Kingston university session 2000/01



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The Villa Mairea primary spaces, the dining and living rooms, border a sheltered garden court, set within a roughly circular forest clearing.

Similarly, a complex formal operations abound throughout the house: an example is the 'metonymy' of the entrance canopy, the irregular rhythm of its timber screen echoing the irregular spacing of the pine trees in the forest - a device that is repeated in the railing of the interior stair. This is followed, in terms of sequence, by the repetition of the same plan form in the studio, the entry canopy and the plunge pool, all recalling the sinuous perimeter of a typical Finnish lake. The finishes of the ground floor are also coded as an internal landscape in which changes from tiles to boarding or to rough paving stones denote subtle transformations in mood and status.
We have give thought to the thingness of things to in order to arrive

at a total “vision” of our world. Though such a poetical method we take

“The measure for architecture, the structure of dwelling”19

Zumthors Art museum relies on a simple, however fundamental structural system to create gallery spaces which rely solely on natural light to illuminate art. The primary structure is comprised of poured in place concrete walls and slabs.

Inside the galleries, this concrete structure is fully exposed and responsible for the space. Its simplicity serves to focus all of the attention in the room on the work of art, rather than space itself.
Both Alvar Aalto and Peter Zumthor possessed the visionary power. They were not believers in the usual of the word, but they had in common an acute sense of the quality of things and the ability to translate their understanding into images by means of structure and light


                  1. Spatiality/building integrator /lighting


“We must learn to understand that the things themselves are the places and that they do not simply belong to the place,” Secondly the places are embodied by means of “sculptural forms.” These embodiments are the “characters” which constitute the place. Sculptural embodiment is therefore the “incarnation of the truth of Being in a work which founds its place.”20

Villa Mairea expressionistic variations within a modern/organic frame work. The sum is a calmly stunning architectural tone poem, Deeply resonant in a special place and time, earthy and exotic all at once21




The Kunsthaus Bregenz was conceived as a daylight museum. The façade made of glass shingles serves as a skin to diffuse daylight that first passes through rows of windows and then through the light ceiling in the halls. Although the light has been refracted three times (glass façade, insulating glasswork, illuminated ceilings), it illuminates the halls differently depending on the time of day or year. In this way, a natural lighting atmosphere is created although the building has no visible windows. Over the hanging light ceiling, specially developed pendulum lamps, controlled by an exterior light sensor on the Kunthaus roof, have been installed that complement the daylight.

By separating the enclosure system from the structure, Zumthor invents a strategy to get natural light into the galleries. Each gallery floor is a concrete box with a glass ceiling. These floors are supported by three interior bearing walls allowing them to float above one another in section. The gap created between floors allows natural light pass through the glass enclosure system and down into galleries. This provides natural light in the galleries with ought compromise the wall surface with openings.

After combining two different approaches,of a recognized architect of a the middle century as Alvar Aalto and an accepted contemporary architect as Zumtor Peter, both share similar thoughts based in that ‘wide idea’ of phenomenology.


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