About Me Architecture

Beyond My Fascination with Legos

A good friend of mine works in Chicago at Studio Gang. Azure Magazine just ran an article on an interior project she worked on.  This is the start of the article..  Studio Gang’s Ballroom Blitz

More on Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture thoughts continued from my post a day ago, 1.5.10, Why An Architect…

Venturi’s manifesto makes the case that there are multitudes of reason and problems to figure out in architecture.  ‘Each contains within the whole contrasting scales of movement besides the complex functions.’ He states as certain ‘problems’. The complex form and building, scale and perception could be poor in relation to one scenario, but work significantly well as the whole.  So, here is his case of complexity and contradictions and examples throughout history for the case of working (great) architecture.

I believe Venturi’s reference to ‘modern’ architect means the architect now and I begin to daydream while reading of my own contradictions, tensions and fascinations…

I remember learing about Native American societies in the 3rd grade. Beyond my captivation with Legos, I had never been confronted with such great mazes, built across plains and in mountain sides. I always recalled the Mayan culture in Merida, but in researching my few leads I think I must have seen images from Mesa Verde.  Mesa Verde National Park – The First Pueblos 


Mazes and labyrinths represent a magic journey, an experience, something I enjoy tangling myself in. Looking at them from above they could be a house plan – a plan in which the space will direct the inhabitant. Like a house plan the maze leads people through in sequence to establish a rhythm, one that is parallel to their living.  Some labyrinths are used for meditation, as they were historically sought to.


 A part of architecture is establishing a set of rules which are derived from the intentions of the project. Venturi points out Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, and the structural rule of columns.  The grid is broken by elements necessary to conduct living in the Villa.

Alvar Aalto finds order from necessary elements in his work.  Look at the repetition of his Riola Parish Church. 


Venturi presents rules of structure citing Kahn’s proposal for a Philadelphia Office Tower

and Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.



I am inspired with these thoughts of rules, and breaking the rules to construct living in structures. 

What about mixing Kahn’s wind braced tower with diagonal circulation, similar to Corbusier’s ramp circulation in the Villa Savoye?

2 replies on “Beyond My Fascination with Legos”

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