Qzh

A rhythmic diagram with the north eleva-

(below) shows the plan's tion, which fans out like ordering system. A live a skirt (far right). A sun-

oak (near right) was pre- screen (bottom) veils served and integrated south-facing studios.

A rhythmic diagram with the north eleva-

(below) shows the plan's tion, which fans out like ordering system. A live a skirt (far right). A sun-

oak (near right) was pre- screen (bottom) veils served and integrated south-facing studios.

On the north elevation, small, punch-card apertures in the brick walls play against large, triangular windows in the perpendicular spaces between wall planes (left). The glazed north entrance forms pleats and folds around the existing live oak tree (below). A small bal-cony—or penalty box, as Dean Sabouni jokingly calls it—penetrates the brise-soleil, providing a break-out space from the architecture studios, while the art studios, on the ground floor, can open with glassy, roll-up garage doors (right).

glazed architecture studios to the east. Though this elevation offers the project's most collaged and even disjointed composition, the contrasting materials and forms effectively distinguish among the functions within. And the sunscreen, dipping toward the ground, mediates between the prairie grasses in front of the building and the campus behind it, while alluding to a shady Southern front porch.

As if entering a truly lived-in home, students typically access the building not from its formal street approach, but from the back, or campus, side to the north, where an ancient oak tree commands an entry courtyard. Here, on the north face, the brickwork becomes extraordinary. Using old-fashioned, wire-cut clay bricks, instead of the more artificial-looking versions that clad the surrounding buildings, Roto inventively explored corbeling, displaying a jubilant range of possibilities in full view of the students. The skin, with mortar matching the deep orange bricks, wraps the cylindrical auditorium like taut fabric, flaring out toward the base. Like a monumental flap swaying in the breeze, a wall of brick opens from the drum, creating an interstitial space, where stairs spill out from the theater.

Farther down the long north elevation, a series of canted walls fan out beneath the roofline, creating in-between spaces for tall triangular windows perpendicular to the wall planes. Playing against these large openings, small punch-card apertures punctuate the planes of brick. If the battered masonry and little windows evoke a fortress, it is one transformed by an accessibly human scale and sense of whimsy. The inventiveness continues, for example, where the walls surge out at their bases, transforming the geometry as they undulate up to crisp, 90-degree angles at the top. Paradoxically, the brickwork expresses heft or solidity, but billows like a skirt.

The craft of bricklaying, Rotondi says, was originally brought to this region by African-American slaves. At Prairie View, the architect encouraged his bricklayers to use traditional hand methods in new and creative ways, fine-tuning the corbels to enhance the walls' sculptural qualities.

For the interior, Roto produced a central circulation "canyon" that

YYePG Proudly Presents, Thx for Support »

1. Cultural archive

2. Cultural gallery

3. Breezeway

4. Gallery/pinup area

5. Existing oak tree

6. Administration

7. Conference

8. Office

9. "Canyon"

10. Lecture hall

11. "Main space"

12. Art studio

13. Wood/metal shop

14. Lounge

15. Architecture studio

16. "Porch"

17. Theater/lecture hall

18. Reference library

19. Classroom/seminar

20. Computer lab

21. Open to below

23. Roof deck

1. Cultural archive

2. Cultural gallery

3. Breezeway

4. Gallery/pinup area

5. Existing oak tree

6. Administration

7. Conference

8. Office

9. "Canyon"

10. Lecture hall

11. "Main space"

12. Art studio

13. Wood/metal shop

14. Lounge

15. Architecture studio

16. "Porch"

17. Theater/lecture hall

18. Reference library

19. Classroom/seminar

20. Computer lab

21. Open to below

23. Roof deck

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment