As our project House: In Reference continues to develop, we’ve already left behind our first prejury. The project is about designing a house by only using certain references from already-designed cases. The design decisions should be explained by words like “referring to”, “translation of…”, “variation of…”, “adapted from…” etc. The list of cases that were handed to us before was a good place to start. I’ve started with analyzing those cases but the one I was most influenced by was Kaufmann House designed by Richard Neutra. I’m really interested in houses that are in a true coexistence with nature. Also, as I proceeded with my research, I was even more impressed with Neutra. He was an Austrian architect, designing houses mostly in the west coast. He was self-taught in evolutionary biology. This explained his common use of distinctive horizontal and vertical elements. He thought that horizontal planes give us comfort as they remind us the horizon which has always made humankind feel safe. And the verticality is almost a representation of the inevitable natural force, gravity.

This balancing horizontal and vertical elements can be talked about many other cases as well, but another architect I was directly referring to was Frank Lloyd Wright and his infamous residential project Falling Water House which was also designed for Kaufmann family.

As these cases created a library of relations for me, I was not done with Kaufmann House just yet. On the plan, the house has a central space from which other spaces start to grow, branching onto the site. This “branching” of spaces was a principal that I later referred to in my proposal. I translated the concept of branching in the vertical direction too, creating a sequence of spaces both on the x axis and y. To achieve this, I quoted the L shaped relationship of a space coming on top of another.

I’ve worked on other references as well. As a means of relating and reaching out to nature, I’ve adapted the extension of roofs which can be found in House in Kifisia by Nicos Valsamakis. This Greek architect is also very interesting. He went to the same architecture school with Mies van der Rohe, but he is lesser known.


House in Kifisia
another example of the extensions by Valsamakis

Other references I took were for the application of openings and transitions between spaces. First, I’ve decided to quote a full surface of openness because I observed that it creates a distinction between spaces without the need to use a partition wall. I’ve observed this mostly in the Smith House designed by Arthur Erickson. The surface of transparency, with the help of a vertical plane nearby, created a less active space, almost specializing that space for relating to the outside. 

For creating this circumstance, I also took reference from Jacobs House by Frank Lloyd Wright which also has strong ties with nature. I varied the framed windows covering the whole surface and adapted it into my design without the frames.


As my design goes, there is a big central space on the ground level that later relates to sub-spaces and other levels. But this big space is also divided into sub-spaces by certain elements, like the vertical plane I used. This vertical plane creates a sort of division in the big central space. Not using partition walls yet, I’ve looked for references that can complete this division by adding connections in-between. Then, I had a fun idea. I took on the challenge of adapting and varying the connection reference from Azuma House by Tadao Ando. In Azuma House, two concrete masses are related by using a passage in the middle, which is almost the exact opposite of my study. Actually, that’s why I thought it would be a good “what if?” question to work on.

In the end some references found themselves to be lost along the design process while some continue to reflect their strong existences. I’m sure a lot will change in the process. For once, I will work on the scale of my references as the scale problem was the main critique I got from the jury. And I will work on this branching idea with “what if”s such as “What if the house branches to the inside?”.

Relevant Documentary: West Coast Modernist Architecture of The States

While digging up for some information and references for our term project House: In Reference, I came across this fun documentary about the modernist architects in search of an answer for the housing of the West Coast.

The episode explains the modernist movement and discusses the major works of modernist architects mainly based in the west coast from 20s to 50s. I loved that it gave clear examples and the social problem of housing was critically examined through time. The launch of the Case Study Program is also mentioned. I found this very informative as it is very parallel to what we study in the studio -and outside of it.

3D Collage revise/addition and “Quotation”

In this revision I added to the model a new human scale as a representation of how different means of “inhabiting” can be. Not only they can be on different dimensions, facing different directions, they can even have different scales which shows a great deal of variation.

I also added new extensions to the box and a new excluded surface as a new means of observing. I used it to emphasize the frames I created which also show ways of observation.

The next part of the assignment Continue reading “3D Collage revise/addition and “Quotation””

Case Study Collage Revise

While coming up with a 3D collage, expressing the cases and phrases we are working with, I discovered the concept of the black box. I came up with the idea after thinking about one of my phrases “inhabiting the sublime” and the cases I analyzed. In most of the cases, the cube, or the box, was a very initial step in understanding the houses. I thought of this cube as the thing that everything happens inside. And we can only observe the extrusions of it. It covers all sorts of actions and situations that occur inside a “house”, it is all kinds of inhabiting. So inhabiting the sublime can only be distinguishable if I extrude it from the cube and define it outside of the cube, where it adapts itself and works with the second phrase reading the material. .. Continue reading “Case Study Collage Revise”

House Research & Collage

As our research on houses continue, we were assigned to work on a collage to gather our information and interpretation of the cases from a list of houses and random phrases. I found my phrases fun to work with which were “inhabiting the sublime” and “reading the materials”. And my list of houses included:

Le Corbusier, Villa Stein / France, 1927
Richard Neutra, Kaufmann House / California, 1946
Charles and Ray Eames, Eames House / LA, California, 1949
MVRDV, Double House / Utrecht, 1997
Diller + Scofidio, Slow House / New York, 1991
Nevzat Sayın, Yahşibey Evleri 1-7 / İzmir, 1996-2006
Rem Koolhaas/OMA, Dutch House / Netherlands, 1995
Aires Mateus, House in Azeitao / Portugal, 2003
ELASTICOSPA +3, Yuppie Ranch House + Barn / Italy, 2004

My interpretation of these on the collage has been a play of dimensions and surfaces while providing the information about the phrases I worked with.



The “What if…” Sketch Problem

In a part of our studio time, we were given a sketch study. Each student picked a small piece of paper and like a fortune cookie, the piece of paper had the information of the sketch problem we were each assigned with. They all consisted of fun “what if” architecture questions. Mine said “What if, Richard Meier designed Villa Dall’Ava by OMA?”. It was a challenging study because it required being familiar with both architects and designs by heart. I had to make a research on Richard Meier and learn the “essentials” of his designs while also studying Villa Dall’Ava and OMA’s motives and decisions behind the design. The process was fun and I’m quite happy with the end result. I might make some alterations after trying to think more like Richard Meier.