No offense, Mies, but in my opinion 'Form Follows Function' doesn't tell the full story. It's a powerful phrase, and it summed up the intent of design in the machine age, but it implies linearity in the design process. Mies' buildings are stunning works of art, and I would argue they were driven by more than function. After all, architecture is more interesting than pure engineering, in which form only follows function. I would argue that in architecture Form Follows Function and Function Follows Form, and it goes on and on like that in a somewhat circular fashion until the design problem is solved. Form and Function inform and reinforce each other. Although function certainly comes before form, recognizing the power of form and treating it as an equally important participant, and not merely as the result of function, can help to propel function itself to an entirely new level. That's how inventions come about, for example.Read More
Happy New Year!
While I am always happy to work on single family residential projects, on of my goals for 2016 is to expand my firm's project types and scales to include more multi-family and mixed use building renovation/re-positioning projects. We are about to go into construction on one such project, a multi-unit condo major building renovation that will bring new life to a corner of DC's Shaw neighborhood. The project includes major structural modifications including almost entirely new floor and roof framing, replacement of the central portion of the building load-bearing masonry wall with a steel frame and new facade, window replacement, completely new systems, vertical circulation and interiors, a new roof access penthouse and roof deck.
This project also allowed us to continue to explore a recurring theme for my firm and any architect working in Washington DC: the dialogue between old and new.
For more images go to: http://www.architextual.com/on-the-boards#/5th-street-multi-family-1/
post by Catarina Ferreira, AIA
While visiting a job site this morning we stumbled upon a nearby vacant building. Inside we found a cathedral of sorts: an almost empty shell, most of the floor framing removed, and the unique opportunity to experience a row house as a single volume with light piercing from various directions. The building will likely be converted to cookie cutter condominiums and the sublime nature of its current condition erased forever.
While we certainly have nothing against renovations, we wish there were more opportunities for maintaining some of the inherent beauty of these empty shells.