Fall of 1999 at Montgomery College
Required Journal Assignment
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Journal Entry #1
the first journal entry for class I thought it might be a good idea to
give a little background about myself.
I thought I might talk about my job. I have worked for William Doggett
Architects for over three years now. I started in High School as part
of an internship. After a few summers and semesters there, I have been
able to design and work on architecture projects. My architecture
experciences are still few, but being able to practice is good for me
because like that of many older and ancient architects that started out
in an aprentice, they learned by example. Eventually I will move on,
but this is my early years.
my educations is an important fact to which I should talk about. Since
I was a child in early grade school, teachers, my parents, and friends
always admirred my sense of the built enviroment. Not untill High
School was I first exposed to the profession of architecture. There it
began with just some drafting courses. Then my internship began my
senior year. Before I graduated, I talked with a few architects, and
from there I decided that instead of going straight to University, I
would try out a two year school, and Montgomery College was the best
around. When I started at MC I was quite ignorant as the the
architecture profession, but after spending my first semester studying
and learning about architecture, I could clearly see my future hear. I
also took Architecture history for the first time in my first semester,
a big mistake considering I only achieved a “D” but I still loved it. I
hope I will enjoy it the second time around. Later in my college life
at MC I have (will no false modesty) become very knowledgable about
architecture and it’s profession. Not much experience, but a bit of
knowledge. I have continued to take studio classes, drafting &
rendering classes, lecture, and other associated classes. Which brings
me to here, at architecture history again.
guess that is about as much as I’m going to talk about without actually
writing a book. I’ll have a closing entry to conclude my thoughts of
& Thought on an Article Stone Revival, p.66 from Architecture
Magazine, October 1992
Dallas and a Hungarian priest discovered an old stone church in the
Romanesque Style. Cunningham was an architect hired by the Dallas,
Texax Catholic Community. He quickly returned to Texas and begun rough
drafts o the new 900 year old church. Cunningham would do what most
would be scared to do, return to load bearing stone. 427, 2x3x6, 21/2
ton Limestones. Cunningham and engineers had to train mason to do the
work due to lack of any 900 year old contractors to do the work. This
was a smart move, the stones were placed in 2 months instead of 4.
Medieval in design, this church offers a foundation for religous
practice for the future, that is one path for the future. We now see
today that it has not caught on, and we see that with the newly built
Pope John Paul II Center on the Catholic University of America Campus
(not mentioned in the article of course). The building is rectangular
in plan, with an entry canopy on the south side. This entry used
prehistoric type Post and Lintel extensions, the Posts are
non-reinforced round concrete columns joined by metal (non-prehistoric)
and wood over the vestible. Clearly a derivitive of the 900 year old
church that Cunningham and the Hungarian priest found, but also there
is a clear language between the two.
so recently I was spending
some time downtown. While I was there I took a look around like I never
had before. I was (pleasantly) surprised by the amount of Greek, Roman,
and other ancient forms of architecture. Mostly in Revivial style, but
it’s there. A lot of this comes from the republic government influence
of early Rome on our own US government. I am not really educated to
what the link truely is, but it is evident in it’s architecture, which
I’m sure was the goal intended by the architects designing downtown.
Some of the buildings I took notice to was of course the Capital,
Supreme Court, Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, National Archieves, and
National Museum of Natural History. I could go on and on, but I think
I’ve demostrated the point. I am eagerly waiting to get some time to go
back downtown to take some surveys and photographs of some of this and
compare what I see.
This observation orginally made on October 12th, 1996. This entry was
made from notes taken at that time.
Journal Entry #4
a look at the book for our class I will have to say some of my favorite
structures are that of the Metroplitian Cathedral (Paris) and Newton's
(Paris) form Etienne - Louis Boullee. Most of his structures rival most
Megolithic Period Structure in size. Moreover, the designes convey that
massive structures must be rather simplistic and have a
to realize its design intention. Though not a true "architect", Boullee
a great visionary that all architect strive to have such a vision. Some
of my favorite structures include the Pyramids at Giza, Amein
I guess this is suppose to be the most basic structural form of architecture. Off the top of my head, a few others come to mind that could not be associated; the inverted "V", spherical, cantilever, arch, cross, and many others.
and Lintel isn't just an structural form of architecture, but a
element of structural forms throughout manufacturing, engineering, and
structural forms. Of course, to see this, sometime one has to turn the
and Lintel on it's side. We see it in tables, chairs, bed frames, and
car chassis frames. The car chassis is the Lintel and the Wheels are
Posts, moving posts, but they're there. I know it's a stretch, but the
tension, pull and push are all there, and work well. Bet you never
about it that way did ya. Well maybe you did, but I had to think about
Journal Entry #6
I am starting to see how different architecture is. Studying the
pyramids and other Egyptian Tombs was brief and I probably learned more
Televisions shows such as those on The Learning Channel (TLC) and The
Channel. But what I can not get from TV is the comparisons we do with
other buildings and structures we are studying. It amazes me how
up in the pyramids most people get, with them only being built a few
in history. I mean we also see the ziggarats but they really aren't
are they. Even in Egypt, the pyramid and mastaba styles above ground
last long. I think the Giza Pyramids have been copied more time in the
30 years here in the US than total pyramids in Egypt. From the Casino
Las Vegas, the covention center in Memphis, to even the Louve in Paris
Of course the ancient pyramids are a great focal point with their
superior building longevity, and truely simplistic and clear design
It's those aspects of architecture that are hard to question or
The "Stoa of Attalus II" near the acropolis in Athens is quite interesting to me. The distant predessor to the modern shopping malls and plaza, it really shows how to plan a central civic area. By providing areas not only for shopping, but for conferences, public meetings, government interaction, and general community
Ah! Rome, and all her mighty arches.
wonder what made Rome use the arch instead of ancient Greece. The
seem to be so innovative in their design and construction, so why do
ignore the possibilities of the new technology. And it's not as if they
know about it, because they did use it in few areas, but the arch was
common. I see the Roman use of the arch as really the only significant
technological advancement in architecture until steel frame
Gothic architecture pointed the arch to give it flexibility for higher
and longer widths. History is unusual and it would have been a whole
different to have studied the great Greek Empire that may have been
of the Romans, who knows!
First lets begin looking at the Greek Theaters. Most theaters were located within the Temple complexes out in areas with great majestic views. Most theaters were open (without a roof) and were built right into the sides of natural slopes and hills so that not much digging and re-grading would have to be done. Theather of Greece were typically 1/2 circular, and had the orchestra at the bottom. The design was very important to the people of Ancient Greece because it was the epidemy of the unity between earth and sky. Acoustics were fantastic and it's no wonder, the shape follows the natural harmonic wave of sound. This enables even the last person on top row to hear the slightest sounds down below. Clearly a brilliant design.
Romans learned a lot from the Greeks, and their theaters where no different. They also took advantage of the superior acoustic design. However, Rome was too crowded, and they were to concerned about conquests and power to concern themselves with the earth and the sky. Theaters were more to keep the people of the growing roman empire at ease. Roman did contribute though. they turned some of the more simple theater structures into spectacular Amphitheaters and Stadiums. Right in Rome, the Flavian Theater (more commonly knows as the Colosseum) That has a legacy all its own. Also the Circus (Stadium) Maximus. These were the highest style the Romans could have given to the orginal design of the theater. Nowadays, we see such derivatives as our sports stadiums such as Skydome in Toronto, or the racetrack in Daytona, Florida. We also see music and play theaters that came from 16th century England.
is much more than just what I described, but I see this going on and
on, and this entry was enough to chew on.
I haven't been able to travel to all of the stations, but of course I've been to Union Station in Washington, D.C. Here is one of the best examples of the baths of Caracalla. No longer housing pools from the people to bath in, but still quite civic, as a central place for trains and people to meet. After it's renovation of the late 80s, that now includes a number of shops and more.
The station itself is quite a site to see. If this is truely how the baths would have been I can easily see how many of the people would have spent the day there. The arches, domes, vaulting, white marble, and limestone. It as large volumes and central courts, It has a pleasant tone to it. I guess it would be a little bit different sounding thought with the water, which deadens sound real good.
thing that bothers me most about the Roman baths is the fact that they
appearantly may have contributed to or made homosexual activites more
As an architect, I have to think about how public structures contribute
life socially. Its where I think the Romans failed to see right from
and no matter how spectacular a civic bath, amphitheater, market is
in comes down to the social responsibility of its builder.
guess this is the time when the human race was more simular than it has
ever been since. Take a look at the primative building structure of the
Americans, Amazons, Incas, Mayans, Aftrican tribes and many others.
were all basically huts so early on.
It is true that more facts exist on European and Egyptian culture, but I feel that is one example of how those cultures get more attention. But if a significant amount of interest was made toward Aztecs, and simular large and sometimes more advanced cultures, we could find many more facts to warrant those studies. More students and historians would invest in those areas and perhaps devote careers to them.
It's really about expanding our knowledge. It is not like I disvalue the things we learn about ancient architecture in Europe, Egypt, and the Middle East. It is just that I think it should be that at some point we need to expand our knowledge so that the profession can grow in new directions that it hasn't before. It should have grown some time ago, perhaps avoiding some of the paths we've gone down in today's modern architecture. More knowledge never hurt anyone, so let's try to work on some of those other important cultures and civilizations.
The early romanesque churches were bland in comparison. Though they may have been moving to the cultures at the time of their construction. They now leave a legacy of wondering minds as to why they are not more styles, exterior wise anyway. I guess the notion of "approach" was lost for a period. Gothic styles such as Chartes had ornate style to attempt to attract people to their churches. Romanesque style looked more fortofied, or prison like. Regardless of your religion, once you arrive at Chartes, amongst all the other smaller dwellings and buildings surrounding it, you are instantly wanting inside. One can not help but to consentrate on the detail. Again, there isn't too much to make it overwhelming to the eye. The ornmentation is not cramped together, overlapping to any severe degree, and the saying "God is truely in the details" totally makes sense here.
I highly dought it, but one day, maybe the church will reconstruct
the spire to match the other. The only question is which spire gets
and which one gets to stay and be copied.
This church is and interesting play of verticals and horizontals. While the nave has grown in succession to its earlier counterparts, it also has the gallery to which it introduces a sense of balance with the visually lighten engaged columns. The style is clear, and the only thing that I would have to think could have been better is the roof over the nave. A wooden barrell vault is just not enough for this magnificant structure. The barrell vault style should remain, but a good simple stone with stone ribs, in typical style, would really do a lot for the way it speaks. Instead of the dark void the wood creates, the stone would provide a balance and enlightenment of color, and connection between the opposing nave walls, and complete the church architecturally.
fine example and I can't wait to visit it, though it may be quite a few