Richard Meier’s Douglas House
1- Where? This Project, just as many other Richard Meier projects, is built within a heavily contrasting context of nature, hovering over the shores of lake Michigan. The white reinforced concrete and glass are easily distinguishable from it’s exuberant background heavy in shades of green which invokes a sense of being deep within a forest, away from all man made things, making the project all the more contrasting and also creating a sense of privacy for the entire property which is seldom achieved through other methods.
This natural environment plays a key role to the house, as it provides astounding views of lake Michigan and the vegetation surrounding it from the more public sectors making up the house.
Concerning the atmosphere of the house it is of great interest the clear separation of public and private spaces in the house. The living room receives a great amount of sunlight creating a very contemplative atmosphere, which is the result of the conscious arrangement of furniture and other elements in the direction of the natural beauties surrounding the house.
As previously mentioned, the house is built within a context of nature and relies heavily on the contrast it’s white reinforced concrete walls will provide against the house’s natural background with changing colors around the season. It is built with the intention to be as close to it’s natural environment as possible, with as few trees as possible removed to make way for the construction of the house, it is lodged overlooking lake Michigan. So steep is the fall of the land from the road down to the water that the house appears to have been notched into the site (Meier & Partners.
Online. ). The house has a very simple intention in respect to type, to be a comfortable place to live, separating successfully the public and private areas of the house, exposing the living room and other public spaces to astonishing natural views we can appreciate from the inside the house thanks to the prominent glass panels facing them, while the more quiet and private sector of the house is hidden from this view and closer to the street on the backside of the building, bringing together under the same roof the two different kinds of spaces needed for a house to be truly complete. – When? The Douglas House is the culminating work of the first period of Meier, where all the ideas developed in the experiments in single-family homes resulted in a more balanced and imaginative structure. Built in the 1970’s, it became a symbol of that period of rationalism. It is an architectural piece very closely associated with the period of time it was created, a true symbol of it’s time. Meier was able to capture the powerful tendencies of the time with his personal touch and a revolutionarily modern angle from which we can very still learn very much today.
The memory the house emerges is one of the modernist movement in the seventies, it brings thoughts of the time when modernism was beginning and being experimented with evoked by the house’s purity and whiteness, common in Richard Meier’s architecture 3- How? In this house, Meier proposes formal, space-rich compositions. He organized the internal space such that the small, tight main entrance opens into a large space encased in glass. This style allowed him to express various themes: the contrast between light and shadow, the change in spatial scale, and access via ramps, bridges and stairs.
A skylight running nearly the full length of the roof deck focuses sunlight into the living room reinforcing the separation between the public and private sectors of the house (Meier ; Partners. Online. ). The exposure to sunlight the public section of the house has helps differentiate and bring a different mood to the separate spaces of the house, light is a definining element in this project which allows for the view and the public area to be really shine and stand apart from the opposite section of the house.
The house’s color or lack thereof is part of a usual attribute in Richard Meier’s architectural work, his aesthetics focus on clean lines and a strong sense of function. The lightness to his architecture of planning grids, his play of light and shadow and the absence of any color but white are a mechanism for purification. His white, block-like structure can’t get more white. “Whiteness is perhaps the memory and the anticipation of color. Has claimed Richard Meier on interviews. The color white has become a symbol of modernismo in architecture thanks in no small part to him. Here we see the whitness of Meier’s projects illustrated in his Modern White Beach House. There is much to observe in the shape of Richard Meier’s Douglas House, The shape is a large white prism that emerges from between the trees, further intensifying the concept of the house’s dependance and unity with it’s environment.
The back of the house is a closed facade with small openings while the front features with large glass panels offering extensive views over the horizon. The shape and arrangement of the windows are in strict compliance with the privacy required in each area of the home. 4. – What? The function of the house is clearly intended to be for a single family, with all the necessary spaces required for the commodity of the family, and a very interesting combination of public and private spaces in the house that are very clearly separated.
The function of the house defines a great part of the creative process, and ultimately shapes a great deal the way the house turns out from an architectural standpoint. The character of the house, is defined by the materials used in it, it’s form and function all describe the type of structure it is intended to be by the architect. Richard Meier’s signature of sorts can be seen here as the Douglas House shares several attributes with many other Richard Meier works. 5. – For Who?
Use is fairly clear in this structure, it is meant as a home for a single family, this mans everything designed in the house has the final objective of being useful or adequate for a single family, every part of the house must have the family’s best interest in mind, just as is the case with Richard Meier’s planning of the Douglas House User in this case is again a reference to the expected future occupants of the architectural piece; the entirety of the house’s design is oriented in order to fit those needs of the people who will be living there when the house has been finished . – With What? Beginning with reinforced concrete, Meier makes desired subtractions from the volume but maintains the glass structure independently of the foundation. The house is positioned on a very inclined plane, which makes it necessary for the structure to be very resistant and to be planned in such a way that it can maintain the level of the house, having foundations that reach deep under the ground. Bibliography Rodolfo Barragan An architectural score: Recording and reading orchestrating an architectural experience Chicago, Illinois May 2008
Adrian Forty Word and Buildings: A vocabulary of Modern Architecture Thames ; Hudson USA 2008 Meier, Richard /preface by Richard Meier ; essays by Paul Goldberger and Joseph Giovannini ; afterword by Joseph Rykwert.. Richard Meier : Houses and Apartments. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications. , 2007. Richard Meier architect : 1992-1999 / Richard Meier / essays by Kenneth Frampton, New York: Rizzoli, 1999 Douglas house, Harbor Springs, Michigan, design: 1971; completion: 1973; architects: Richard Meier and Associates. Magazines J. Michael Welton. Under Waterfront. ” Dwell October 2011: 118-124. Author: Giovannini, Joseph, Source: Form: pioneering design 2007 May-June, p. 50-57 Document: English Author: Stephens, Suzanne, Source: Architectural record 2003 Mar. , v. 191, n. 3, p. 65-66,[68,70] Document: English Web Pages Elizabeth Edwards. “Step Into The Douglas House, a Richard Meier Renowned Home in Harbor Springs. “Mynorth. com. 2010. Traverse. September 6 2012 http://www. mynorth. com/My-North/February-2010/Step-Into-The-Douglas-House-a-Richard-Meier-Renowned-Home-in-Harbor-Springs/.
Perez , Adelyn . “AD Classics: Douglas House / Richard Meier” 28 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 09 Oct 2012. <http://www. archdaily. com/61276> Glei, Jocelyn K. “Richard Meier ; Partners Architects: Limitations Are An Opportunity” 20 June 2009. 99u. Accessed 12 Nov 2012. http://99u. com/articles/6883/Richard-Meier-Partners-Architects-Limitations-Are-An-Opportunity ——————————————– [ 2 ]. Nature invoked to justify artistic license. The sixteenth-century garden of Italy, like the Villa Lante, (… had aimed to make out nature works that demonstrated the superior power of human intellect and artifice over nature’s inability to attain beauty when left to itself. Andre Felibien. (Forty, 227) [ 3 ]. Atmospheres are percieved through human emocional sensibity. This form of perception Works incredibly quickly and humans evidently need it to help them survive. Humans are capable of immediate appreciation of a spontaneous emocional response of accepting or rejecting things in a flash (Zumthor, 2006, 13) (Barragan, 89). [ 4 ]. Context.
The task of the architectural project is to reveal, through the transformation of form, the essence of the surrounding context. V. Gregott, 1982 introducing to French edition of Gregotti 1966, 12 (Forty, 132) [ 5 ]. Type. In the pursuit of meaning. The two remedies to this lay in the revalorization of ‘type’, and in the configuration of ‘context’ [ambiente] as part of architectural. “Ultimately, we can say that type is the very idea of architecture, that which is closest to its essence” A. Rossi 1966, 1982, 41. (Forty, 309 and 304) [ 6 ].
Time is constituted not by the movements of objects but by the multiple structure of the threefold present, a structure of human experience. The representation of time in threefold present retains the notion of time as linear succession. By Saint Augustine(Barragan, 67) [ 7 ]. Memory “This secondary pleasure of the imagination proceeds from the action of the mind, which compares the ideas arising from the original objects, with the idea that we receive from the statue, picture, description, or sound that represents them” (… The concept of empathy which reincorporates an emotional state or physical sensation projected upon the object of attention and popularized within architectural literature by Geoffrey Scott in The Architecture of Humanism (1914)… Wilson. (Barragan, 92) [ 8 ]. Architecture is at all times the simultaneous visualization of these three ideas of space: of a three-dimensional coordinated space, of place, and of the four dimensional space-time continumm. (Van De Ven, 46. ) (Barragan, 59. ) [ 9 ]. Light.
When an architect finally discovers that light is the central subject of Architecture, that is when he o she has began to understand something and begun to be a real architect (… ) Not for nothing does the sun rise ever day. Alberto Campo Baeza. (Barragan, 71) [ 10 ]. Color can be understood through the optics and phsiology of visual perception as well as the physics of Light and wave lenght. In visual perception, a color is almost never as it really appears. In order to use color effectively it is necesary to recognize that color continually deceives visual perception. Barragan, 77) [ 11 ]. Form in antiquity. Plato and Aristotle. For Plato form provides the solution to a complex of problems; Form is apprehended by opinion with the aid of sensation. (Forty , 150) [ 12 ]. In English-speaking countries between about 1930 to 1960 ,“functional” became a catch-all term for modern architecture (Fory, 186) [ 13 ]. The charactr of his [the architect’s] work must refer solely to construction, and costruction to the idea which is to be expressed and to the material which is at his command for the purpose (Fory, 130) [ 14 ].
Architecture is produced by ordinary people; Therefore it should be easily comprehensible to all. It is base don a Lumber of human instincts, on discoveries and experiences common to all of us at a very early stage in our lives (Rasmussen, 14) [ 15 ]. What the “user” is meant to convey in architecture is clear enough: The Person or persons expected to occupy the work (Fory, 317) [ 16 ]. Structure in relation to architecture has had three uses. Any building in its enteriety , the system of support of the building,