In this plan for a small house at the Bristol building exhibition in 1936, the architects Marcel Breuer and F.R.S.Yorke curved one of a set of parallel walls, in a way similar to Le Corbusier in the Pavillon Suisse (but maybe without the subtlety).
which Monsieur La Roche could display his collection of paintings. This room has one straight wall and one which is, from the inside, concave. Along the curved wall there is a ramp which leads up to the next floor. The curve of the wall and the ramp make the room more of a place to stop; it lies on a route— an 'architectural promenade'— which begins outside the house and finishes on a roof terrace, passing through the triple height hallway, up the stairs, into the gallery, up the ramp, to the library on the second floor, and out onto the roof terrace. The curved wall also plays a part on the outside, tacitly guiding visitors to the front door.
Richard MacCormac, in his design for a new library building at Lancaster University, dedicated to John Ruskin, has adapted the parallel wall strategy by curving the walls together at the ends to exaggerate their effect of enclosure and protection. Inside, more parallel walls channel movement through the building.
In a temporary sculpture pavilion in Sonsbeek Park near Arnhem in the Netherlands, built in 1966, Aldo van Eyck distorted the parallel wall strategy in another way.
Conceptually, he began with six simple parallel walls on a defined area of ground. Built of simple blockwork they were about 3.5 metres high and 2 metres apart, supporting a flat translucent roof. These walls set up a pattern of movement through the pavilion.
He disrupted this plan with openings and semi-circular niches, to create places for the exhibits, to allow more routes through the pavilion, and to open up lines of sight across the grain of parallel walls. The result is a complex frame for sculpture and people.
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