April 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
Draft for the NEXT exhibit at the Corcoran
(The Revit model is just a placeholder for the time being. Drawing Room rendering in the works! (Soon.) And that text… oh that text. Another placeholder while I attempt to work with the 144 character limit.)
Here is the first sketch of reception. Note that the “view” isn’t really a view at all, but a live-stream projection… or just a custom wall covering (there’s some theoretical VE for you).
March 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
Which of the following doesn’t fit?
- Know thyself.
- Beauty is chaos.
- Only connect….
If you chose “Beauty is chaos,” then you’re absolutely correct! “Know thyself” and “only connect” are actionable themes, whereas “beauty is chaos” is merely a statement—and an incredibly ambiguous and subjective one at that.
The inspiration for this outlier came from page 136, when Lucy tells Charlotte:
‘It makes such a difference when you see a person with beautiful things behind him unexpectedly. It really does; it makes an enormous difference….’
This idea is also supported by an article in The Independent, wherein Jay Merrick writes:
There is no ideal, dictatorial beauty in architecture, nor a precise definition of beauty—our experience of it is often momentary, unexpected, and contradictory. […] Beauty in any form always causes some form of emotional or intellectual chaos.
Nevertheless, a good verb is required. Something to do with muddle, perhaps? (And putting the quotes together for the first time, it becomes apparent that unexpectedness is key.) Whatever the final verbiage, though, the goal tied to this particular theme is to frame guests in momentary vignettes (à la Wes Anderson). Here’s a basic sketch to give you a better idea of what I mean:
Not beautiful yet… but they will be!
February 9, 2013 § Leave a comment
In Merchant Ivory’s film, an illustrated series of grotesques openly addresses the fact that the film is a literary adaptation. These grotesques are used to list the cast of characters, as well as to divide the film into “chapters.” (Read more about them in Filming Forster: The Challenges in Adapting E. M. Forster’s Novels for the Screen, available here.)
Taking inspiration from the film’s approach, I sketched an idea for an interior “title page” that would embrace the fact that the space is a translation. The main point of entry to the fourth floor (on which the pensione is located) is an elevator tucked away in its own abbreviated corridor. So a guest’s first look at the pensione will be framed by the opening doors of the elevator…
After exiting the elevator, the guest will enter the “title page” before crossing a defined threshold into the translated space.
How stark the contrast between the two spaces will be is yet to be determined, but here is a look at creating stark contrast through color:
But what about reception?
Typically, reception is immediately visible when a guest enters a hotel. The above scenario clearly bucks this tradition. How much of a problem is that? Is it a problem at all?
First things first: the location of the main (only) elevator simply precludes placing reception at the point of entry. Relocating the point of entry would require intruding on the spaces below, including the historic event spaces of the Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte-something I am loath to do, despite the fictional nature of the project!
Secondly: The flow of the novel is that of a traditional comedy… confusion, even greater confusion, revelation. (Or muddle, if you will.) Now, confusion is not exactly what you want your guests to experience when they are trying to check in. Is it possible, though, to achieve an acceptable hesitancy by delaying access to reception, while also guiding visitors to reception via a path that does not allow for deviation?