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ARC1001: Project 2

(A room) beyond the frame


Duration: Monday 21 October Friday 8 November 2013 Tutors: Sophia Banou, Martin Beattie, Kieran Connolly, Suzanne Croft, Neveen Hamza, Cath Keay, Peter Kellett, Di Leitch, Astrid Lund, Lam Nguyen Tran, Charlotte Powell, Tracy Tofield, Steve Tomlinson, Keri Townsend, Vitalija Salygina, Tijana Stevanowic, Tara Stewart, Armelle Tardiveau, Tony Watson, Jennie Webb, Damien Wooten I should say: the House shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in Peace. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space Learning Outcomes/ Objectives To engage with and develop the brief through sketchbook To explain the internal qualities of the existing house through models To shape internal space of a room beyond the frame at an appropriate scale through models To make coherent oral and graphic presentations of ideas Introduction The project focusses on orderly domestic interiors depicted by Pieter de Hooch in Holland during the mid to late seventeenth century. We begin by observing, drawing and modelling the fragment of the house in the painting, before designing a new room beyond it.

Two women beside a linen chest, with a child, 1663

Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684) De Hooch was born in Rotterdam in 1629. From about 1652 he worked as a painter and servant for a linen merchant in Delft. Though a deeply conservative city, Delft was about to emerge as one of the most creative artistic centres of Hollands golden age. From the mid-1650s, De Hooch started painting domestic scenes and family portraits. His work shows close observations of the mundane details of everyday life, and radiates a spirit of solicitude, tranquillity and virtuous diligence. Women and children almost to the exclusion of husbands and fathers are repeatedly represented in simple situations in the home. In Dutch painting the theme of a woman quietly performing domestic chores and caring for children was relatively new. His paintings reflect emerging social ideals about the family and the roles of women in Dutch society. Most of his art expresses a clear moral point of view, above all the values of patriarchal Dutch society and their celebration of domestic virtue. The Dutch celebrated the family as the primary social unit and regarded domestic virtue and order as the highest social priority. De Hooch offers a particularly affectionate view of children too. De Hoochs ideals of domesticity, maternal care and nurturing were all the more compelling for the comforting framework of his architecture. His orderly interiors speak of warmth and intimacy, maternal tenderness, and the security and comfort of the home. His paintings suggest a series of connected rooms that relate interiors to exteriors. He paints an open door or window, passage or alley on a single line of view, allowing one to see through several interior and exterior spaces, through vestibules and porches, to the streets and back yards, sometimes even as far as the houses surroundings across the street or canal. The relationship of interior to the city outside is a constant in these paintings. The house does not end at the internal limit of its own walls because the external spaces connected to it, the courtyards and streets surrounding, are treated and considered to be within its realm. De Hooch through his paintings depicts the intermediate space that leads us from the very intimate rooms of a family house to the most public space, the street outside. He is picturing the in-between spaces, the thresholds, the articulation between inside and outside. De Hoochs rooms, as was common at that moment in history, are not specific for one activity: they are always big spacious rooms where several different activities would take place. Thus the same room would be used for working during the day, the tables would be covered by a cloth and used for dinner at sunset, and also as a bedroom at night. Therefore, there was not specific furniture for the daily activities, but a series of benches and tables that would serve various different functions.

Mother and Child with a Servant Woman Sweeping, 1655-57 2

Brief for a room beyond the frame Do you know what a painters studio is like . . . it is a world in itself; a universe apart resembling our world in nothing. Jacques Lethve, Daily Life of French Artists in the Nineteenth Century (trans. E. Paddon) New York. Praeger. 1972, p.56 You are required to design a new room beyond the frame of the existing painting. It should be located adjacent to the fragment of the painting you are studying. You should treat the painting as an initial state from which to begin, designing from the information you find here. The exercise assumes that the spatial qualities found in the original painting would be actualized in the room beyond the frame. The new room will be a painting room or studio where de Hooch might work and exhibit his paintings. It will have a maximum floor area of 18 sq. metres. The height of this space will depend on the height of the house you have studied. It will have good natural daylight, although not excessive. The size and style of the windows (and doors) is up to you but they need to be designed. You will also need to suggest what finishes are on the walls, floors, and ceilings. You will need to incorporate a fireplace, space for a small table, two chairs, and an easel. There needs to be space on the walls to hang six de Hooch paintings, which you need to select and curate from the list of paintings provided.

The Bedroom, 1658-60, Oil on canvas 51 x 60 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Design beginnings The process of design is one of iteration; that is, a repetitive process of development that changes over time. Each successive iteration builds on lessons from the previous one. The iterative process emphasises an exploration of several options before settling on one single manifestation of a project. Through this process, you will graphically and three dimensionally test potential design solutions. In the iterative process of design you are ultimately trying to translate what you are thinking in to what you are making. The process requires you to be critical of your own work, and to not treat your ideas as sacred. Remember there are no correct answers, but some solutions may be more appropriate than others. Essentially it is a process of trial and error, the lessons of which you need to learn from. It is important to analyse your own design throughout the process. In every phase of the process, ask yourself why that form? Why that space? Why that location? Inevitably you will have too many ideas and have too much to fit into the space you have. Synthesise your ideas into simple drawings, or analytical diagrams in your sketchbook. You can derive architectural ideas from many sources. With designing there is no right place to start, it is just a matter of starting. Architecture demands at least two sides of your brain: one analytical, technical and convergent: one poetic, free-wheeling, dreaming and divergent. In part, this project is a brief introduction to this process.

Card Players, 1658

Tools for Designing Drawing and models are both abstract representations: they provide methods for expressing architectural ideas and concepts. Drawings are typically constructed on two dimensional surfaces, while models provide a three-dimensional abstraction of space and form. Zell, The Architectural Drawing Course, 24 There are many tools for helping you to design and express your ideas. In this project we will be using only two sketchbooks and study models. Sketchbooks It is essential that sketch books are kept through the whole project, to demonstrate the process and development of your ideas. The sketchbook is the place to document your thoughts, and is a vital part of the design process. Brainstorming can generate a series of ideas and sketches that lead you to other investigations. Sketching allows you to think on paper and draw what does not actually exist. The nature of the design sketch is one of exploration; it can take on any physical manifestation, including a variety of drawing types that are both two- and three- dimensional in nature. Design sketches can be intermixed with text, photography and other graphic images.

Study Models The study model is a type of model meant for the assessment of ideas. These models can be manipulated and remade quickly. They provide opportunities for discovery, inspiration and investigation. You should consider these types of models as developmental and not final renditions of the idea; they are part of the iterative design process. These models get altered, modified or reconfigured constantly through the design process; consider them to be work in progress. Study models provide opportunities to review optional solutions and test ideas before making final decisions. They should be saved and photographed during the design process to see the physical development of the idea over time. You may want to return to an earlier idea.

Programme Week 1. Observing, drawing, and modelling We will start the project with workshops to discuss the ideas behind your paintings. These painting are all very different, but the subjects are common: all of them show a scene of domestic life. In your sketchbook, draw in plan, section, and elevation, at 1:50/1:20 scale the fragment of the house that you see in the painting. When looking at these paintings, one can imagine quite clearly the kind of house its various heights, the lighting, the materials used, the furniture etc. You will have to make some intelligent assumptions about dimensions of doors, windows, fireplaces, ceiling heights etc., in the paintings. In order to begin to understand the painting, make a study model at 1:20 scale based on the plans, sections, and elevations in your sketchbook. Study models should be constructed out of corrugated card to begin with. You are using these models to confirm the overall make-up of the house, as a rough dry run. Although these paintings are primarily of interiors you may find that you need to model some external spaces as well. Date Monday 21 October, 10.00-12.00 Tuesday 22 October 1.30-5.00pm Activity Project Introduction Pieter de Hooch Workshop to discuss ideas behind the painting Bring sketchbooks, copies of paintings, initial research, etc Model making workshops Bring your models and be prepared to make more Workshops/ design tutorials Model making workshops Bring your models and be prepared to make more Requirements for design tutorials Thursday 24/ Friday 25 October This design tutorial will look at your work in progress. You should bring your sketchbook and 1:20 scale study model of the fragment of your painting. 6 Venue Claremont Tower, first floor, lecture theatre 1.02 Studios Staff MB, AT

MB, CP, TS, CK, KT, DW, TT,

Thursday 24 October

Studios and various rooms

ST, CK

Friday 25 October

Studios and various rooms

SB, MB, PK, DL, AL, AT, TW, JW ST, CK

Week 2. Modelling and preliminary design In your sketchbook begin to think about what kind of room you would find beyond the frame. Start by thinking about the brief for the painting room to understand what it might mean for the project. How do you get into the room? Where might your windows go? You will need to think about how the studio will be inhabited. Where will the artist sit and work? What views will you see through, beyond, and outside the space? In order to be realistic with yourself about whether your design ideas work or not, try to sketch design ideas in plan, section and elevation at 1:50/ 1:20 scale from the start. Can you make assumptions about the basic orientation of the fragment of the house from the direction of light and the way shadows fall? What time of day is it? What would be an ideal orientation for a painting room? On your own reflecting back on the painting, describe briefly in your sketchbook the materials, furniture, lighting, sound, smell, colour, etc of the studio. Choose some keywords and sketch the place in your sketchbook. Research body proportions and dimensions associated with activities happening in your painting room. Ask yourself what is a good height for sitting, standing, viewing paintings etc? Measure and document the space your body occupies while performing such activities. You may wish to tape out the space of the painting room at full size on the studio floor in order to give you a clearer idea of the actual size of the painting room. Aim to make three study models of your painters room at 1:20 scale, exploring different ideas, based on initial observations done in your sketchbook. These could be made out of foamboard, mountboard, greyboard, craftboard, or corrugated card. Although this project is primarily about the interiors you may find that you need to model some external spaces to set your room in its full context. Use a camera to take photos of the study models as they develop.
Date Monday 28 October, 10.00-12.00 Tuesday 29 October 1-5pm Activity Design lecture Venue Claremont Tower, first floor, lecture theatre 1.02 Studios Staff MB

Thursday 31 October

Friday 1 November

Workshop/ roaming tutorials Start modelling painting rooms Model making workshops Refer to separate schedule Workshops/ design tutorials Model making workshops Refer to separate schedules

MB, KC, SC, NH, LNT, TS, VS

Studios and various rooms Studios and various rooms

ST, CK

SB, MB, PK, DL, AL, AT, TW, JW ST, CK

Requirements for design tutorials/ final review Thursday 31 October/ Friday 1 November This design tutorial will look at your work in progress. You should bring your sketchbook, 1:20 scale study model of the fragment of your painting, and 1:20 scale study models of the painting room. 7

Week 3. Finishing and presenting the project We should think of the interior less as a room, in fact, than as a piece of furniture, or maybe a cockpit. Michael Pollan, A Place of my Own, 58 As you refine your understanding of the painting, and the room beyond it, through your sketchbook, and study models, produce a more developed, well-crafted final model, which explains the whole project. You may wish to explore further the material qualities of your house interior, by using different materials like balsa, coloured papers, card, etc. As a starting point, 5mm white foamboard, at 1:20 scale gives a realistic thickness for timber walls and roofs. You may also wish to consider other materials like mountboard, greyboard, craftboard, or corrugated card. When choosing your modelling materials you will need to decide whether to differentiate between the old and the new, or just use the same in order to mix and dissolve the new fragment into the existing one. Please remember that a model can only ever be an abstract representation and will never represent the scene in reality. We are not looking for historically accurate reconstructions, rather something that explains the experiential qualities of both the existing space and your painting room beyond the frame. Date Monday 4 November, 10.00-12.00 Activity Introduction to final review, feedback sheets, PEC forms, etc Workshop/ roaming tutorials Student-led final Review and feedback Refer to separate schedule Venue Claremont Tower, first floor, lecture theatre 1.02 Studios Staff MB

Tuesday 5 November

MB, KC, SC, NH, LNT, TS, VS SB, MB, NH, PK, DL, AL, AT, TW, JW CP, TS, CK, KT, DW, TT, ST

Friday 8 November

Studios and various rooms

Requirements for final review Thursday 7 November/ Friday 8 November This final period will be spent refining your proposals, adding depth and meaning to your scheme, prior to the final review. You should bring the following to the final review: Sketchbook 1:20 scale study model of the fragment of your painting Three 1:20 scale study models of the painting room 1:20 final model of whole project Something in writing Before the final review you should prepare a 5 minute verbal presentation of your ideas in 200 words. You should explain the key ideas behind your painting, and give a distilled picture of the design development of the room beyond the frame through sketchbook and study models. Finally, talk about the interior quality of the space you want to make, as described in your final model.

Woman and Child in a Pantry, 1658, Oil on canvas 65 x 60.5 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 9

Bibliography Sutton, Peter, Pieter de Hooch, Phaidon, Oxford, 1980 Sutton, Peter C., Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684, Dulwich Picture Gallery in Association with Yale University Press, 1998 Valentiner, Wilhelm R., Pieter de Hooch The Masters Paintings in 180 Reproductions, A. Zwemmer, London

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ARC1001 Project 2, A room beyond the frame: Feedback Sheet 2013


Student Name: . Critic: .

Work required:

Sketch book

1:20 study models

1:20 final model

Comments: Sketchbook

Comments: 1:20 study models

Comments: 1:20 final model

Comments: Overall presentation

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