Monday, 12 March 2012

Final Thoughts

As our group work finalized the creation of the model without me on the final day, as I have been sick in bed, I was unable to load pictures up. However, it is with pride that I can say that we, as a team, built a great model in my opinion. As it was my first time ever making one, I was quite reluctant to try on the first day with Kevin. However, after about 1-2 hours, I realized that if I got over the fear of stuffing up, I could lighten the workload, hence, so I did. Kevin, Shaun and I met up several times throughout the span of the two week period in order to model each level and cut the balsa and plastic sections, piece by piece.

After many hard worked hours, I noticed that the parts I had made myself were actually looking presentable. I expected my initial gluing attempts to be crooked and unstable, however, it seems the time and effort I, and my group members placed in this project was well deserved in the end.

We decided to model the Villa Savoye in 6 pieces, each level separated in half so when stacked upon each other, it created a beautiful section which one could view all the space inside the building, as well as the circulation.

Although my drawings did not go as well as I had hoped being my first time for them too, I was still pleased that I was able to learn how to use Autocad, as well as Archicad to complete the work nessecary for this assignment. It has honestly taught me several lessons which I will never forget. Firstly, The time constraints of this assignment really put things into perspective for me. Usually I have always been the type to leave things to the last minute, as I have prioritize quite poorly in the past. With this assignment, it was the fresh start I really needed. It allowed me to start a day after the initial discussion in our tutorial. We could have possibly started on the day if we had the materials in front of us, however this was not possible, as we had not even discussed what materials would be used.

Secondly, as I have preciously mentioned in group work a few weeks ago in class, I have never been a large advocate for Group work, as it has gone terribly wrong in the past from personal experience. The two guys Shaun and Kevin both held the assignment in the same regard as myself; this allowed us to work hard, efficiently and most importantly, as a team.

Finally, I have learnt many skills, such as the ability to read plans to a greater extent, the ability to decipher between depth using line thickness to some extent, as well as the several programs I had to learn to use for this assignment. I hope we get a mark that reflects the countless hours we spent within the two week period working and collaborating on ideas as well as building our plans and eventually, our 1:100 scale model of Le Corbusier's 'Villa Savoye'.

Final Axonometric + Plans + Sections

With these two sections I can see the flow and circulation within the building, via both the Ramps, as well as the stairs seen behind them. These two access points appear to run up and down every level of the house, making it quite easy to move about within the structure.

This axonometric projects the house from a view which allows one to see the large hole in the centre of the building, allowing for the natural environment to interact with the structure. The C shaped roof allows for maximum sunlight to enter the structure, creating a warm and relaxing feeling throughout the building. However, the downside of this is that when it rains, the Villa Savoye suffers the effects of the weather.

In the ground level Plans one can notice the large Window like U shape which encompasses the majority of the front section. This allows for light to enter the structure from the front. The large Garage allows for 3 cars to be parked, and the servants quarters adjacent to it allows for living space. The Ground level has two forms of travel to the next level, through the ramp situated in the centre of the structure, leading all the way to the top, as well as a staircase which allows a user to access each level.

The First Floor appears somewhat constricted due to the Square design of the structure. As one can see, the right side of the structure allows for open space, however, as one travels to the left side, one starts to become squashed between a maze of narrow walkways,walls and doors. This is a poor design in my opinion, as it is as if the Creator Le Corbusier attempted to squeeze too much into one level.

The Rooftop Garden, one of Le Corbusier's 5 points of Architecture, allows one to view the natural landscape surrounding the building, as well as being in a garden, on top of the structure.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Thinking about the Villa Savoye

After spending a few hours just staring at the plans for the Villa Savoye, quite a few things started to become apparent to me. I began seeing 'choking points' in the design, essentially large rooms turning into extremely narrow hallways then re opening into large vistas of room space.

I also noticed the way in which the Villa Savoye is completely surrounded by trees which open up into a rolling green facade of grass, contrasted by the building itself. I think it was a great concept, hiding such a house behind trees, because as one walks through the dense treeline, one becomes enveloped with the view of such a unique work of art.

Monday, 5 March 2012


Today in class our group had a chat with Nic in regards to the progress of our model as well as our drawings. As we didn't actually have plans on paper due to unforeseen errors with the line weights and layers in AutoCad, we had an in depth chat regarding our structure.

Nic run us through several techniques which will prove quite valuable in the long term for our projects, including how to securely create stable pillars for our bulsa wood model. By poking a pinhole line through the floor as well as a pinhole in the above floor, it thus allows for the model to hold the pillar in place firmly. If enough pillars or supporting columns are put into place, it should thus create a successful foundation.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Group Work Progress

So far we have begun building our model. We met up on Saturday in level 5 of the Red Center, using plans we had drawn up, as well as the aid of a model we found on Google Sketch-up for reference, and started the modelling process. We have modeled the bottom level for the most part, however we still need to model the 'U' section of the ground floor. We are undecided as to whether we should model this thrugh a series of balsa wood sticks or to cut 0.5mm x 3.1mm(width and height of the peice) and have every second one placed to create the U shape. I believe the second method, although not as accurate, is a better design for structural integrity, as balsa wood is quite flimsy, however if we are to get good marks great attention to detail will be needed, thus the thinner individual spikes are probably the better choice.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

History of the Villa Savoye

The Villa Savoye, designed by Le Corbusier in 1929, is argued to be one of the most significant contributions to twentieth century modern architecture. The Simplistic design inspired by Le Corbusier's was his way of demonstrating the start of the new 'Machine Age'. 
Le Corbusier designed The Villa Savoye to address his 'Five Points of Architecture' -  the basic building blocks of his architectural theory. These were Slender Columns to support and elevate the building in order to allow the garden to flow beneath to some extent, a Flat Roof which could be used as a garden and terrace, essentially allowing the building to blend further with its surroundings, an Open Floor Plan serving the purpose of creating more free space within a structure, only placing load bearing walls where they would structurally be needed, creating Ribbon Windows to allow illumination and ventilation, as well as a larger viewing space to the surrounding environment, and finally, the creation of a Free Facade allowing an unconstrained view within the structure, free from load bearing considerations.
The design itself was remarkable during its period as it was quite futuristic during the early twentieth century. Le Corbusier designed all four sides of the Villa Savoye in response to the view and the orientation of the sun, to allow a maximum intake of direct sunlight and minimal shadows.

Overall this house presents quite a unique design concept which was years ahead of its time, and has essentially reshaped modern architecture as we know it today.

Upon researching this House however, one can begin to see its many flaws as an architectural artwork.
Firstly, whilst it was ahead of its time in design and concept, the Savoye's were not very fond of their house which leaked like a sieve whenever it rained. Due to this fatal flaw, the house was abandoned and eventually used as a barn. Secondly, the house was designed using prosaic materials, intended for constructing lower class houses throughout Paris. The design incorporates iron handrails to give it an upper class feeling, however one can not draw away from the fact that the materials used to build such a house were quite mundane and outdated.