The Architecture of Elements: Object-Oriented-Ontological Approach
Building Type: Library
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Class: AR 672; University of Michigan
Professor: Andrew Holder
Date: Fall 2014

Program Requirements:

  1. Storage
  2. Stacks
  3. Water Closets
  4. Lobby
  5. Vestibules
  6. Vertical Circulation
  7. Offices
  8. Board Rooms
  9. Galleries
  10. Digital Imaging Center
  11. Reference / Lectures
  12. Library

Project Intention:
Rem Koolhaas’ Venice Biennale “The Elements of Architecture” constitutes a totalizing picture of architecture and its constituent parts. It is therefore necessary that the inversion of the elements of architecture as “The Architecture of Elements” constitutes an alternative and as yet unprobed secondary condition ripe for experimentation. An architecture of elements seeks to reduce architecture into irreducible elements outside the scope of platonic solids, and with a high degree of specicity towards their ambient qualities that cannot be reduced without a loss of character. Through formal analysis, primitive forms were denatured and removed from their respective sources and through formal development, the form is then cultivated towards a high degree of specicity that was lost in the analytic step. The result is an idiosyncratic version of the original precedent element geared toward describing particular spatial relationships and conditions. The individual elements were then explored through the style of Yves Tanguy as a way to dissolve the building facade and craft a continuous public space. Moreover, this methodology supplants a traditional “systems approach” to architecture that tends to rationalize spaces in normative and conventional ways. The goal was to reduce the number of elements on the table and probe them discursively. The goal of this method is to arrive at qualities of character, pose, “awkward deportment” and plush casual-ity.