Friday, May 08, 2009

The Looking Glass Room!

Inspired by Alice's conversation with her Kitten about the Looking Glass house... I gave my interior architecture students a chance to become Alice...
I gave my students three famous living rooms; one in Villa Savoye by Le Courbsier, another in Vanna Venturi House by Robert Venturi and the last in Budenburgh Haus by Foster and Partners.
After analyzing the given room and the general house where it is located, each student became Alice and had to walk through the Looking Glass into the adjacent room to the one given.
The function, size and character of the room was to be designed according to a story that students had to come about the current client of the house. Students had to be fantastical in their approach by means of exaggeration, apposing statements, or augmentation of reality.

As presentation means I asked my students to learn and apply water coloring techniques... and to make it a bit easy on them I didn't ask for a model.

The results were pretty good in general... the concepts were a bit direct, though some students did embrace the project completely...
As for the application, students showed a deeper level of maturity as interior architects. They paid more attention to details.
I didn't ask them to design their furniture but if they picked a piece of furniture they had to explain why...
One point that were given to me by the Jurors was why students didn't think of how their new imposed rooms would've changed the overall character of the existing houses. [Thanks to Arch. Hazem Turk and Arch. Lana Tahboub from CC for being great jurors]

And here are the students works:
= Villa Savoye
:: Mudaffar Ma'aitah
In his room, Muddafar had a man and his wife with two hobbies; fencing and dancing. He created a space that is cut into two halves with two different characters. Masculine vs Feminine... These two sports depend highly on footwork so Mudaffar made the union between the man and woman be in a one unified flooring. His concept is strong. But his implementation lacked the extra step that would have made it a real bold statement.

= Vanna Venturi House
:: The Black Hole | Amina Sh. Hassan
Amina said that Mrs. Venturi is kleptomaniac. So behind her innocent look she had a secrete life. So Amina designed a normal looking living room that works perfectly with the rest of the house but behind or inside the room there are secret nooks where Mrs. Venturi hides her stolen stuff. Amina played it smart by creating a safe design with this tiny twist to everything. Amina had the best water color presentation among her group. I still think that Amina could've gone wilder in implementing the two opposing sides of the room.

:: Vintage Modernism | Ridab Soudani
Ridab had the most challenging concept. She was playing around the concept of post modernism as rejecting modernism and accepting historical references and modernism rejecting history and accepting functionalism. To apply that she picked famous modern furniture and imposed history on them by using old rustic materials and in some cases stripping them from their functionality. Ridab's implementation didn't take its full extent to produce a mature end result. Though the project hold high potentials for example in the giant art piece that featured Mies Van der Rohe's chair in rusted cooper.. The room lacked a good functional layout with furniture lacking to complete the identity of the room.

:: Sara Khatib
Sara had the story of Mrs. Venturi being an illusionist. Sara started playing well with the idea of creating illusions out of her space but as she went into the details somethings were out of tune.
Sara chose to build her room on top of an existing room and create a hidden stairs that take the client up to that room. The geometry of the room was trapezoidal. Sara picked some interesting pieces of furniture but in general the room lacked the functional appeal in terms of furniture layout.

= Budenberg Haus
:: The Chamber| Dalia Muslih
Dalia created a room on top of the existing room as well. But the function was different. She created a workshop studio for her ship maker client. But the client wanted a bathtub next to his working area where he can relax and have a view at the canal in front of the complex. Dalia had a smooth design development though still her design didn't reach its climax.

:: The Poseidon Room | Ruba Yaghmour
Ruba chose to design a bedroom. Her focus point in the bedroom was a hanging aquarium that was partly inside the room and partly outside it. Ruba played around the relations between in-in and in-out. She created a narrative that starts with a sliding door that connects the bedroom with the living room and then the hanging aquarium which is a reminder of the canal outside and then the window wall that connects the inside intimacy of the room with the outside scenery.
Ruba had a simple but a concise concept and that served her well in implementing it.

:: Shadia Jaber
Shadia also designed a bedroom. But driven by the apple trees she played around notions of seduction, temptation and intimacy. She created a narrative corridor that led to her room. She used mirrors to create the illusion of unfolding the space gradually as you walk to the room. She had an idea of designing an apple tree chandelier but she didn't manage to design a visually appealing one.
Her design is bold in concept but still shows timidity in application.

:: Interior Architecture First Project

:: Originally at SABE Reconnaissance

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