Message - Re: Sirs,can u please........

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Posted by  Paul Malo on March 08, 2002 at 08:27:50:

In Reply to:  Re: Sirs,can u please........ posted by jose on March 08, 2002 at 07:47:39:

Louis Kahn wrote an essay describing his design process for the Unitarian Church at Rochester, NY. I've read this in print somewhere, but can't recall the source. If you or your helpful librarian can locate this article, you'll find it worth the effort, since it will prove of lasting value to you--as it has to me.

Basically, Kahn's process was first involved analysis of the program (or "brief") for the project. This entailed a hierarchical ranking of functional components. If you know much about Kahn, you may recall, for instance, his sorting out of "served" from "servant" spaces. Once the relative significance of the various program elements was determined, Kahn began to develop grahic ideograms. These were NOT functional "bubble diagrams" of required adjacencies, but were symbolic diagrams representing relative significance (or potential importance symbolically) of the plan elements. The article reproduced Kahns own sketches done during the process.

This sort of design by ideogram requires the ability to abstract, or deal at a more generalized level. Analogy is involved, or poetic metaphore. How do you express more and less important? There may be, for instance, the biological notion of head-to-tail, or the astronomical model of central sun and orbiting planets.
This is the CONCEPT, you see, that you asked about.

In this instance, Kahn chose the astronmical model, the worship space being the sun, with class room spaces being planets, and servant spaces (supporting elemenst of the program) being smaller moons orbitng around the planets. In other words, the "parti" as we call such an ideogram, became one of concentric rings.

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