Thoughts and Views from Megan

Monday, September 26, 2005

International and Organicism Comparison

Architectural Theory I
Professor William J. Carpenter FAIA PhD
September 26, 2005

International Style Compared to Organicism

International style ideals with three different principles: emphasis on volume, regularity and avoidance of applied ornament. Organic architecture is the reinterpretation of nature through the structure and materials in the context of the site.

An example of an International Style building is the Bauhaus by Walter Gropius in Dessau, Germany in 1926. Here the building is of large masses but is constructed in such a way that the mass itself is dissolved. The building has regularity to it instead of being symmetrical or balanced. It stands and defines itself as a building. With the clean lines and the selection of material, Gropius avoided applied ornament as much as he could. There is ornament present, but the non functional ornament isn’t.

If you look at the building and site, it is almost as if the Bauhaus could be placed on any site in any location. It is as if it isn’t site pacific.

The Harris House, by Rudolph Michael Schindler, is his most literal expression to unite architecture and nature (of his Los Angeles homes). It is a small one-person household located on top of a hill over looking the valley and mountains surrounding. The upper part of roof top is flattened, house situated on the highest part of the slope, and garage is under the house. The house sits on top of a bolder that is used as part of its foundation, integrating nature with the stability of the structure.

The house takes the site specific elements and is designed around the parameters that is present, integrating the structure with nature.


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