Is architecture an art? This question has no simple answer, having been debated from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times up through Medieval and Gothic construction to Modernism as well as other contemporary design periods and movements. This series of models – created in the process rethinking a barn as a home – suggest that art and architecture exist in tension, opposition and dialog … all at the same time.
The artistic techniques employed by architect Julian King in this case have helped his client (a retired writer) to visualize spatial experiences in three dimensions (with paired two-dimensional drawings) and allowed King as the designer to explore and develop a hybrid remodel of a Tuscan barn in Italy – a modern dwelling that draws both literally and metaphorically on the models that preceded its reconstruction.
Any designers of built environments (from small objects to buildings or even entire cities) know first hand that representation is not reality – the experience of a real built place or space is never what models or drawings (plans, sections, elevations or perspectives) show.
Combined with regular dimensional drawings and other more conventional watercolor renderings, the more abstract, sculptural and experiential diagrams take the design process a step further – they do not pretend to show anything solid or real, but rather communicate a sense of moving through the finished home in time and space.
“Selected as the winning design by Japan Architect’s International Residential Design Competition 2009. The renovation of an old barn into a place for a writer to retire in, and re-write her own life story, investigates how perception, and the manipulation of it, can be used to convey meaning. Perspectival illusions are used to imply an ulterior status of the structure; eradicating corners, bending walls, and relocating the viewer between what the villa appears to be, and what it actually is. Moving between the imagined and the real, the owner’s life story is retold, ultimately returning to a womb shaped bathroom.”