In this essay not only does the plan delineate (describes) the basic ‘syntax’ of a building, but it also creates a reality on its own; through allography the plan creates an allegory. This thesis won the 2013 Rietveld Thesis award
The floorplan takes a peculiar position in architectural creation. As a notational device, it translates the conception of a built space to a graphical code. The form of an orthogonal projection of a building abolishes the illusion of space, it excludes exactly the elements that are elementary to architectural expression, “light and shade, walls and space.”
Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture.
John Hejduk Still Life Museum / Museum for still lifes, could it be possible for the architect to take the natura morta of a painting and by a single transformation build it into a still life?
First and foremost architectural plans are a tool for instruction and documentation of a building process, but the graphic compression of a spatial idea creates a reality on its own. The plan equally takes part in other disciplines, painting, literature (think of Alain Robbe Grillets Jealousy), as it does in architecture.
Daniel Libeskind, Drawing from the series Chamberworks, 1983, Chamberworks, carries in its title the notational character of the drawings, the form of their conception of space.
The planar form of representation is able to develop architectural problems independent from the construction process. It writes a text, different from that of the building, though in an indexical relation they contain each other. The factual information given by the plan creates a metaphor of the building through decisions made in its form of graphical notation, the format of drawing enables architecture to incorporate and appropriate parts of other disciplines, literature, philosophy, painting. The foundations of casual literacy are different from those of architectural, spatial literacy. In John Hejduk’s Architecs wheel the history of literature stands of the same level of elemental necessity, as that of construction materials, forms of depiction and building elements. Still, a plan is bound to an indexical relation towards reality, but it narrates a different story about the building it depicts, just as the story of the building differs from that of the plan. In its abstraction, the plan creates a Sinnbild (symbol), ideograph, allegory of the building.
Man Ray, Dust breeding, 1920, Duchamps 'Large Glass' metaphorically turns it into a huge landscape, a pictorial setting.
The text formed from a logic of graphical signifiers, line, plane colour, typography, delineates what a building is about it a two-fold way: Syntactical, as the composition of spaces, and theoretical, as the Weltanschauung (philosophy of life), a complex synthesis of philosophical, religious, social beliefs. In that sense, the architects wheel is an archetypical plan, containing Hejduks complete vocabulary, a model for his architecture, for the narrative of basic shape, rather than a concrete building. Every plan evokes the world in which that building exists, the possibility of a space, just like every lie creates the world in which it is true. The plan formulates principles of grammar, methods of thinking and working, it integrates tectonic space and form and human experiences and conditions that comprise our existence and thus it is essentially philosophic.
Dubai Masterplan, “It was the precision of my memory which enabled me to demystify the imaginary quality of the dream: surreal and real became interchangeable metaphors.” Raimund Abraham, the architects dream, 1983
text by Anton Stuckardt [graduate student department of Graphic Design]
from the jury rapport: In ‘Orthogonal Allegories, the reality of architectural plan drawing’ Anton Stuckardt has tackled the difficult subject of how the three-dimensional form is two-dimensionally represented. Still Anton manages to make the subject understandable in a very intelligent way and the thesis shows that he is a sharp thinker. The jury also found it to Anton’s advantage that he took his own interest in architecture, and connected this to the field of graphic design. Overall the thesis was compact, powerful and well written with good illustrations.
Download this thesis:
Orthogonal Alegory – the reality of architectural plan drawing.