HEINRICH LAUTERBACH -Polish architect of Wroclaw modernism

Post 718 by Gautam Shah

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1 HEINRICH LAUTERBACH Polish architect of Wrocław modernism

2 Haus DR. SCHMELOWSKY in Gablonz by Architekt HEINRICH flickr.comphotosapfelauge26916269368

Heinrich Lauterbach (1893-1973) was a prominent architect of Wroclaw (largest city in the historical region of Silesia, western Poland). He worked between two world wars and post WW-II period. He was in close contact with architecture from a young age. At the age of 14, Heinrich Lauterbach met the architect Hans Poelzig, then director of the Wroclaw Art Academy. He studied drawing and watercolour with Theodor von Gosen, the chief of the sculpture class at the Wroclaw Art Academy. The shaping of Lauterbach as architect was also influenced by contacts with the extraordinary bohemian art environment at the Wroclaw Academy of Arts and Crafts (1920-30s). This included people like Hans Scharoun, Adolf Rading, Oskar Moll and Oskar Schlemmer.

5 Hans Poelzig Grand_Theatre 1919 Berlin Germany

3 Jablonecké Paseky Háskova vila

1 Hans Scharoun, 1893-1972 was a German architect dedicated to experimentation, an eccentric and with influential vision of democratic architecture.

4 Hans Scharoun WeissenhofsiedlungScharoun-pjt

2 Adolf Rading was a German architect of the Neues Bauen period. He briefly worked in the office of Peter Behrens in 1919, and then moved to Breslau, becoming a professor at the National Academy for Arts and Crafts

6 House designed in 1928 by Adolf Rading in collaboration with the painter and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer casa rabe, Zwenkau, Leipzig, Germany 1928-30

3 Oskar Moll was a German Fauvist painter; best known for his landscapes, portraits and somewhat abstract still-life.

7 Mallorca by OskarMoll

 4 Oskar Schlemmer was a German painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer associated with the Bauhaus school. In 1923, he was hired as Master of Form at the Bauhaus theater workshop, after working at the workshop of sculpture.

8 Oskar Schlemmer, Small Houses Bauhaus style near Berlin

Lauterbach, after the war, attended the Darmstadt University of Technology and Technical University of Dresden. Here he came in contact with Martin Dülfer, one of the pioneers of Art Nouveau. Later in Berlin he became a master student with Hans Poelzig at the Prussian Academy of the Arts. He then went through studios and design offices at places like Berlin, Kassel and Opole. The work of Heinrich Lauterbach resulted from his fascination with the creative method and projects of his master Poelzig and the ideas of Neues Bauen (new building).

21 Heinrich Lauteinrich

22 Schmelowský Villa

Neues Bauen (New Building) was an avant-garde movement by than rationalist and functionalist. It emerged in Europe during 1920-30s and was identified as New Objectivity (German Neue Sachlichkeit =New Sobriety). This movement re-modelled many German cities in the period. It originally associated with the Arbeitsrat für Kunst (a union of architects, painters, sculptors and art writers, who were based in Berlin from 1918 to 1921). Arbeitsrat worked closely with the Novembergruppe and the Deutscher Werkbundn with Häring. Many members were important founders of the Bauhaus. Among the supporters of such German movements contributors were Walter Gropius, Otto Haesler, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Ernst May, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Martin Wagner.

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The Neue Sachlichkeit (new sobriety) approach was to pursue architecture and design to fulfill objective functions and not along the lines of personal taste, preexisting historical, national or regional styles. The intention was to create objects without any emotional attachment, like how these were designed or used previously.

15 Single-family House No 35 built for the 1929 building exhibition “Wohnung und Werkraum0

Lauterbach launched his practice as a freelance architect in Wroclaw in 1925, and one of the first project was a Studio for portrait photographer Max Glauer. From 1925 until the outbreak of WW-II, he worked in Wroclaw as an architect. Some of his early projects were a residential house with an exchange office and Kampmeyer parquet factory. Lauterbach, in 1929, he organized an exhibition at Breslau in 1929, Werkbundu Wohnung und Werkraum, WUWA, (Werkbundu apartment and workshop). For Lauterbach, the organization of an exhibition, articles and comments in architectural magazines, brought in fame. He secured projects for two functionalist villas in Czechoslovakia and Dubrovnik (Jablonec and Nisou). He built an apartment block in 1928-29. He also re-modelled Wroclaw Chamber of Commerce. Lauterbach’s design projects were residential buildings, villas, and multi-family houses. ‘The work of Heinrich Lauterbach resulted from his fascination with the creative method and projects of his master Poelzig and the ideas of Neues Bauen’.

9 Heinrich_Lauterbach WUWA House 35 South-West_Façade Wrocław Poland

The Werkbund estates, were developed as experiment in modern residential architecture in Stuttgart, Bern, Zurich, Prague, Vienna and Wroclaw. Lauterbach now led the Silesian regional Werkbund. His colleagues were Hans Scharoun, Adolf Rading, both of the Wroclaw Art Academy. Members of the Silesian Werkbund were involved in the planning and execution of about 40 buildings.

10 Haus H. in Gablonz Built following the Werkbund exhibition Flickr comphotosapfelauge3987225291

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In 1930 he moved into one of his row houses in WUWA, with a neighbour as painter Oskar Schlemmer. The main driving force for Werkbund for Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity), was of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who realized it with his colleagues, Belgian Victor Bourgeois, Swiss-French Le Corbusier, Austrian Josef Frank, Dutchmen J.J.P. Oud and Mart Stam. Neue Sachlichkeit was a movement against expressionism, and rejected the romantic attitude of the expressionism. Expressionism was strongly seen in German public life like performing crafts, art, architecture, literature, etc.

13 House 35 Heinrich Lauterbach South-West Façade Wrocław Poland

Academic Life From 1930 to 1932 Lauterbach was a lecturer at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Wroclaw. From 1940 to 1945 he had to do military service. After a teaching assignment at the Technical University of Stuttgart (1947 to 1950), Heinrich Lauterbach became a professor of architecture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Kassel in 1950. He was also a professor at universities in Poland and Germany.

17 Villa Friedrich Schmelowsky in Gablonz Jablonec nad Nisou, Architect Heinrich Lauterbach 1933 Wikipedia Image by FrantAla

Since 1955 he was a full member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts. He also became a member of the prestigious association of architects, ‘Der Ring’ in Berlin. In the postwar period he taught at the universities in Stuttgart and Kassel.

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Schmelowský Villa “It was designed by the architect Heinrich Lauterbach designed a Villa for the dermatologist Friedrich Schmelowský and his wife Marie. The Schmelowský Villa stands in a quiet area of greenery. From Opletalova Street, it seems closed and inaccessible, but it presents a friendly face on the garden side with its large glazed surfaces. The extended shape of the house with the protruding rounded living area supported on steel pillars and the bathroom oriels with round ‘portholes’ gives the impression of a cruising steamship. The layout of the house and the interiors is timeless and as such it continues to serve its enlightened owners today without the need for any modifications. Experts consider the villa to be an excellent example of the aerodynamic functionalism of the Wroclaw school”. (https://www.jablonec.com/en/jablonec-nad-nisou/monuments-and-culture/the-schmelowsky-villa/).

19 Heinrich Lauteinrich

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MY BLOGS > LINKS with #URBAN

Post 694 –by Gautam Shah

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These are few of My BLOGS search-listed as “URBAN”.

SMELLS and SPACES https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smells-and-spaces/

URBAN SMELLS https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/urban-smells/

449 SPATIAL SMELL BRANDING https://designsynopsis.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/449-spatial-smell-branding/

448 URBAN LIFE in 17 C https://designsynopsis.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/448-urban-life-in-17-c/

125 URBAN CLIMATE https://designsynopsis.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/125-urban-climate/

The CORNER in City https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/the-corner-in-city/

CORNERS and Neighbourhoods https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/corners-and-neighbourhoods/

The CORNER -metaphor https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/the-corner-metaphor/

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HOW do we SITE BUILDINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/how-do-we-site-buildings/

LOCATION of BUILDINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/location-of-buildings/

ROOFS 3 -Skyline and Silhouette https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/roofs-3-skyline-and-silhouette/

VALUATION OF BUILDINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/valuation-of-buildings/

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Sloped Roofs https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/sloped-roofs/

REFERENCING buildings -issues for design -15 https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/referencing-buildings-issues-for-design-15/

REUSE of BUILDINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/reuse-of-buildings/

ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGEMENT https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/engineering-project-management/

GRADES of EXTERIOR and INTERIOR SPACES https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/grades-of-exterior-and-interior-spaces/

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PLACE IDENTITY https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/place-identity/

VALIDITY of BUILDINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/validity-of-buildings/

CORRIDORS and PASSAGES Transfer Systems in Buildings (Part – IV ) Vasari Corridor of Florence https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/corridors-and-passages-transfer-systems-in-buildings-part-iv-vasari-corridor-of-florence/

EVOLUTION of PROJECTS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/evolution-of-projects/

IDENTITY in a SPACE https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/identity-in-a-space/

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EAVES

Post 681 –by Gautam Shah

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Eaves, is a curious word. It has a dilemma hung on it. It is both singular and plural form of the word. It derives from Old English ‘efes’ =edge. It cognates, with words like, Old High German ‘obisa’, Gothic ‘ubizwa’ (hall), Gothic ‘ubizwa’ (porch), Greek ‘hupsos’ (height) and German ‘oben’ (above). Eaves are not just the roof edge up-above, but overhanging edges of a hat or forests.

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Eaves-dropping and eaves-dripping are etymologically related, but serve vastly different meaning. Eaves-dropping is listening to a private conversation, standing under the sill outside the window, and that sill ‘drops’ under the eaves projection. Or is it trying to over-listen idiosyncrasies of eves. Eaves-dripping is the dripping of water falling off the roof edge, and sometimes causing land washout.

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The eaves are projected roof edges or additional structures at a lower level, but both primarily conceived to throw rain water clear of the walls. These were required to protect softer wall materials or the masonry joints, like mud. Eaves help throw rain water away, not only because of the depth of the projection but its angle. These prevent erosion of the footings and plinths.

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Deep eaves shade the walls from sun-rays. The shaded areas of eaves form a buffer air zone to protect the walls from convective heat. Eaves as projections add to the upward load on the undersides. Projected eaves of wood, are fire prone elements. Modern buildings are constructed without any type of overhangs, because it hampers servicing-cleaning of facades, enhances efficiency of disaster rescue and evacuation, and reduces chances of irregular fire-spreads.

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Eaves are formed of cement-concrete, and as framed structures of steel and other metals. The framing is covered with a soffit made of materials of poor fire resistance (less than one hour of fire rating), and therefore is ‘susceptible to ignition by embers and hot gases’. Once the eaves catch fire it spreads to the exterior wall and roof.

13 Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House, in Buffalo, NY.  Wikipedia Dave Pape.jpg

The eaves of any depth (Chhajja, cornice, cap, ledge) form a small to large, functional or decorative overhang as an architectural entity. Eaves and other architectonic elements like lintels, arches, head formations, floor ends, are all variously fudged to create new vocabularies. FL Wright began to open up the interior spaces with clear glass doors and windows as in Prairie houses, by using the darkened space below the elongated eaves. Taking advantage of the dark formation under roof overhangs, Wright began to negotiate the corners with windows, and broke the box like Victorian architecture of the age. He added bands or elongated windows to add to the horizontal effect of the eaves’ roofs.

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According to Japanese mythology a door portal is formed by the Hisashi (usually means eaves), whose character has the meaning ‘a space to see’. It is a connection with the outside. So a door occurs when a horizontal element like the eaves is formed. The essence of a gate comes into being through the eaves. Torii is a metaphoric gate, formed by head bands, the ‘eaves’. The eaves are free floating elements, seemingly have no side supports. The Torii gate has such eaves lines. The Sanchi Stupa Gate also has three emphatic horizontal bands of eaves. The Toran, buntings, streamers, banners, all are forms of the eaves.Gates

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The eaves not only protect but mark an ambulatory pathway around a building. The moya, or main room of the shinden, was surrounded by a secondary roofed veranda, or Hisashi. The moya was not partitioned, privacy being secured by low portable screens. The area surrounding the *moya or core of a temple building was a narrow aisle-like area, usually only one bay wide. It can extend around the moya or on one, two or three sides. The floor of the moya and the Hisashi are at the same level throughout. Hisashi may also refer to an unenclosed veranda or corridor protected by either additional eaves underneath the main roof, or by the extension of the eaves of the main roof over the open Hisashi.

10 -Shree_Hathisingh_Jain_Temple.jpg

Eaves-drop or eaves-drip, is the width of ground around a house or building which receives the rain water dropping from the eaves. Projected eaves have been matters of tenancy-rights disputes between neighbours. An ancient Anglo-Saxon law, a landowner was forbidden to erect any building at less than two feet from the boundary of his land, and was thus prevented from injuring his neighbour’s house or property by the dripping of water from his eaves.

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● A proprietor may build as near as he pleases to the confines of his property, provided the eaves drop from his building does not fall on the adjoining property. It is enough, however, that eaves-drop actually falls within the building’s property; and the conterminous proprietor has no right to complain although the water, following the natural inclination of the ground, should afterwards run into his property.

● The Roman law required a proprietor who had no servitude stillicidii to place his building two feet and half within his march.

● In Scotland there is an express statute on the subject; but by custom nine inches, at the least, seem to be necessary for the eaves drop.

-Dictionary of the Law of Scotland, Volume 1 By Robert Bell

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Eaves projections and Fires: The building act of 1707 in London and other towns of England banned the projected wooden eaves to prevent spread of fire along the wall and to the roof structure. A 18″ thick parapet was required and the roof edge was set back. The roof was set back little more to provide drainage of rain water. Parapets over the roofs were made taller, shaped, decorated and pierced.

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The CORNER -metaphor

Post 672 by Gautam Shah

This is the 1st article of series: ‘CORNERS’.

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Corners and Angles power cable-power-lines-current-energy

A corner is convergence of two lines or surfaces, respectively to a point, or line. It can be an outward entity with crowning vertex, and an inward form of a depressing nadir. A vertex and nadir both are zero measure elements, mere points, abstract representation of a corner. In comparison a corner is far more substantial due to its wedge like spread.

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‘Nature has no corners, you are the vertex or nadir of it’. -unknown.

Terrestrially directions are always well ‘based’, real and cardinal (North, East, South, West), whereas, Corners occur as inter-cardinal ephemeral entities. The spatial sensualities of the human body, format the sense of emplacements and orientation, such as the Left-Right, Up-Down and Front-Back.

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Indian mythological space has 10 corners (four cardinal points + four angular points + up & down). The Kshetrapals (Guardians of the estate), however reside in four corners of the plot. The Global locations are defined through the corner formed by longitude and latitude. The Global Positioning System (GPS) was based on tracing of radio frequency, but now multiple satellites (as many as 24 or more in different types of orbits) work as regional and global location noting system. Besides location, the satellites also define movement and its direction, and altitudes. Currently photographs have embedded information about location (like longitude and latitude through GPS), but in very short future this will be reinforced with information about angle or direction of the shot.

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Estate corners have been assigned specific meaning and preferred tasks in Indian Vastu Shastra (Classical cannons of design-building). East direction should be open, light, bright and clean. West direction is for stability in life. North is holiest or purest direction. It is for wealth and prosperity. Energy flow out so should be lowest in level. NE is for deities to reside. South direction is considered inauspicious for entrance. It is owned by Yam, Hindu deity for death.

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Some similar approach is offered in Jewish-Christian traditions. God created all sides, but left the North unfinished, saying, ‘whoever declares own-self to be God, allow the person to finish this corner, and then all shall know the truth’. From that unfinished corner, demons, winds, earthquakes, and evil spirits come forth to the world. From the north shall disaster break loose (Jer. 1:14). Because of the cold North winds, it was identified as the abode of evil spirits.

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Egyptian pyramids and other buildings are squared and well oriented. These have axial depth depicting space sequences. But the Egyptian art has total absence of oblique except for the Ra’s rays, ropes of weighing scale, wide feet and few gestures of the hand. There is a datum line that divides the scene into several strata, but does not become a scaling device. There are vertical elements that frame (a built-frame like mandap or chupah) the important person but it is a planner view. Architecture is gravity stable, with sloping faces of columns, obelisks, pylons, ceremonial ramps, and oblique faces pyramids.

andré bloc, sculpture-habitacle 3, la tour, meudon, paris, france 1966

A corner is a recognizable, and long-lasting point or mark on a property. It is a point, from where a change (of direction) occurs. A corner marked property, has edges that define the exterior versus the interior attributes. It also defines, ours versus others domains. Corners define convex or concave (outward or inward) character of a spatial entity. Corners, if belong to the inside, mark what is included, and if on the outside, define what is excluded. We traverse an estate as a planner entity of corners, and for this, the contoured undulations are not important. A triangle, a three-cornered shape, has three vertices, and it is the minimum entity. Large country surveys are resolved to triangles, as the sharing of vertices, edges, and angles creates a linked universe.

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The prime cornered entity has been the Dice, with its potency to turn the fortunes. The dice, on one its six sides, has 4 dots at corners (like the city cross road diagonals). This was known as quatre (French), and anglicized to cater. Somewhere along the time, the word Cater came to be truncated to ‘cat’, and corners were identified for the cat to be in. No one asked the feline creature, if she preferred, a window sill instead?

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corners

Corners are right angled, acute, obtuse or reflex. Solids have corners with two exterior faces and hollow objects have two interior faces. The outward sides of an acute or right angle corner are difficult to comprehend simultaneously, because one of the side remains concealed, till one turns around. The exterior corner can be grasped fully, if only one moves away from it. Obtuse and reflex corners sometimes defy the perspective view. Solids have impersonal exterior faces, and hollow objects have compassionate interior sides’. Acute corners of an isometric view create visual aberration, where outward and inward corners look identical.

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A megaphone, trumpet, bullhorn, etc. are cone-shaped acute corners whereas speakers have a wider cone of an obtuse angle, both are meant to amplify the sound. The conical angle enhances the power of sound and radiate it in desired direction. A ‘listening cone’ for hearing fetal heart sounds of babies, is acute angled, whereas a dish-antenna is an obtuse-angled device that captures sounds (or energy) from a wider source, and concentrate it at the narrow end.

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A plane vertical edge enhances the corner, but if the plane is not a true square or has surface perturbation like single or double curvature then visual distortion is very ambiguous. An outward incline of the edge-plane over a corner push the centre of gravity away from the base, and makes the solid unstable, conversely an inward lean of the edge-plane over a corner is visually depressant, but offers an assuring gravity-stable solid.

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Corners are secluded spaces, ideal for intrigue, but the occupants remain unaware that conversation gets amplified and others can overhear. Secretaries, maids and butlers use reverse wine glass for listening to secrets. A corridor is a good sound transmitting tunnel, unless properly baffled or insulated. A corner protects you from sides, but does not allow any offensive action. Corners have little freedom of movement, and so one cannot hope to play blind-person’s buff.

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A corner entrance offers deepest traversing distance, so on any estate (party-place, banquette hall, game or fun-park, museum). Just like the main course of dinner, the entree is longer lasting and satisfying. Corners are closed and dead, but seclusion of a corner is dissolved by a gap in the end, like a funnel. It drains away the energy, but also acts like a pressure release valve. This technique is well exploited in public spaces like piazzas, plazas, courtyards, etc. The sides of parallel (square or rectangular) remain uninvolved but a cornered entity (parallelogram, triangle or multi-cornered) offers hopes of involvement.

Parthenon Athens Greece (1978) Wikipedia Image by Steve Swayne

Corners were re-realized when ‘perspective machines’ began to offer rational views with regulated corners. For architecture, the corners were  conceived for the perspective, but in paintings, these were exploited to put everything to scale and format a unified composition. The view making corners were most obvious in Greek Parthenon Here, not only the site was cornered, but built-form was also angled, but much later Baroque period created its own multi cornered architecture irrespective of the site.

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Essence of a corner is its end point, and not the sides, inside or outside faces. In a perspective, corners mark the change of plane, but due to the taper, scale the scene. The corners, in perspective exterior or interior ones, all really occur inside a hypothetical cone. Performance stages were once round, but for controlled perception, have turned into wedge form. The tapered form of the stage has several advantages: On solid wall stages tapered shape reinforces the sound delivery like a megaphone, the wedge shape adds to the visual depth, it also allows the sides of the set to be visible from the audience arena. Games have corner shots as penalties. Loneliness is not confined by the sides, but it is just a personal low point, in an empty or crowded space. In a corner, if the change over is spatially distanced or time delayed, it turns into catch-22, a paradoxical situation of opposite set of rules (title of 1961 novel, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller). Corners must be negotiated quickly and decisively, and as in games one must negotiate (‘cut’) it from a distance or get shot by hidden opponent.

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A corner is also a joint, and here two different things have some generative encounter. Joints are conditions of adjacency between two or more objects, which offer some spatial surprises. Many different social and political activities flourish at corners, investing a different meaning to the architectural space.

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The word corner derives from > ‘corne, corner, horn, cornū, cornua, cornere, corniere, corna (horn or hyrne), angle. Use of cater (French quatre =four”), as a verb can be traced to the 16th C as meaning ‘to place something diagonally, move diagonally, place diagonally or cut diagonally’.

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MORPHING the ARCHITECTURAL GEOMETRY

Post 671 by Gautam Shah

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Geometry

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Architectural forms are primarily of neat geometric constitution. Externally these may remain holistic, but internally evolve into a complex entity. The interior morphing compulsions are for new spaces and novel experiences, whereas the gamble on the exterior front relates to new shapes and silhouettes. Internal uses are varied and dependent on the orientation and connection to exteriors, but external side basic demands are for ethereal lightness and grounding to the gravity. On the exterior front, to sustain the neat geometry and maintain the holistic form, several compromises occur. These include lopsided connections with the outside, regimented face on all sides, irrelevant scale and form for the locality and community. Where such liberties are required, these are sought to be covered up with a monophonic applique skin. The skins could be opaque and glossy, or transparent and reflective. The skin is also included with extensive texture of architectonic elements, surface treatments and ornamentation, to camouflage the variations.

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Architecture India Temple Orchha Orchha Fort

The validation of a holistic entity, on functional, structural or social is not possible, unless wide range of compromises are accepted. Historically, large number of architectural forms start as a composition of several sub entities, but mature into a singular form. This was more plausible where buildings were designed by a master architect, and later handled by expert builder or a strong political patron. The comprehensive forms also emerge when cannons of styling or architectural orders are well established.

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The maturation to a comprehensive form has occurred on the same building during its planning, with later day improvisations, or as a style upgrade across a region. Such changes come through extensive rejuvenation of the shell or as superficial application. Often, there was no conscious effort for a comprehensive form, but rather affirm to a trending ‘style’. The style morphed forms were more unifying with new orders, thematic confirmation, repetition of patterns, axial symmetry, proportions etc. It also gave way for superfluous decorations to be added, by later generations.

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Architectural geometric forms besides being too neat and simplistic have little to offer in terms variations. So on external and internal sides, the form is transgressed. The bloated form causes spatial diversity. The geometric form is stretched outward as projections, galleries, and inward as cutouts, chowks, ducts, etc. The transgressions occur over existing openings or new ones, but all bring in more illumination and visual connections with nature. Later day structural changes are rare, as many were load-bearing entities. Morphing new things over existing structure was an easier strategy.

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The outward push or exterior transgressions of buildings have had two basic purposes. To create a comprehensive architectural entity by stabilization (wider base), stepped form, hierarchical arrangement of constituents, linking of loose elements, balancing the composition, add segments of interest on the side that are deficient, establishing connections to the site topography or neighbourhood, strengthening or recasting the style value, increase the footprint and for adding the mass.

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Building forms are pushed outward to enlarge and reconfigure the shape of interior space. The breach removes the omni present sense of enclosure of interior spaces. The outward transgressions, like verandahs extend the threshold or buffer zones. In many instances it facilitates sideways view, additional aeration and illumination. The outward push of the building mass added surface area, and space for new architectonic elements or units for pattern making.

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The outward push makes an architectural composition multifarious, but it is the inward push that changes the spatial quality and often the raison d’ etre for the adventurous undulation of the outer form. Openings created or reformed for interior space modulation, began to create a visually recognizable entity at twilight and night times against the darker setting of the town. Steeples, lanterns etc. were simultaneous elements of both the exterior and interior transgressions.

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Architectural form transgressions are profuse at roof level. The chief purpose was to pattern a silhouette. In old buildings the silhouette or the edge-line was factored in twilight hours. But after 19th C the street lights and massing of structures in the surroundings began to redefine not only the massing, but the roof edges. Roofs are re-composed with same unitary shapes being replicated at different scales and with siting positions. These at micro level include manipulation of roof edges, parapets, eaves, finials, grotesque, gargoyles pinnacles etc. At macro level, roof elements include Chhatris, belvedere, flying buttresses, spires, roof lanterns, steeples etc.

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To convert a conglomeration of bare geometric elements into a comprehensive building, several levels of changes occur. The changes include confirmation to gravity by way of a wider base for stability, localization (orientation, climate) (position of entrances in North versus South Europe), Real and perceptive structural stability, cultural validity and stake-holders accordance.

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Such a process of confirmation is consciously negated by the deconstructivist. The confirmation to gravity is post conception adjustment, wider base for stability is camouflaged behind reflective surfaces, localization does not exist, elements of real and perceptive stability are defied on the exterior side but are outrageously clumsy on the internal side, cultural validity and stake-holders accordance is given a go, for the ‘universal’ built-form. It is not architecture but a construct like a sculpture. It is an adventurous built-form offering spatial complexity for new experiences, a fresh behavioural setting, but one is expected to search for a functional utility.

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ARCHITECTURAL vs COMPUTER WINDOWS

Post 668 by Gautam Shah

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The first independent version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, was released on 20 November 1985. It was originally going to be called Interface Manager, but Rowland Hanson, the head of marketing at Microsoft, convinced the company that the name, Windows was more appropriate.

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And this was the beginning of unlimited harassment to all architects (and even lay persons), first from the Encyclopaedia and later by search engines. This happened when a nominal word of day to day use, became almost an exclusive intellectual property. Many of the Microsoft ‘windows’ features were already tried out by Apple computers.

Windows View Involvement function of proximity

The ‘Windows’ was (or ‘were’, no grammar Nazis have raised the issue) was an opening to look into data. There was earlier a nearly invisible dot as the command ‘prompt’ to interact in dBase and other programme, and it never prompted anything except that the entered command is not right.

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Windows 3

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But here the ‘computer industry’ (Microsoft, Macintosh or some less known entity) was offering an Icon like a door within a door. The icons or windows were displayed as tiled on the screen, that is, they could not overlap or overlie another, but icons interacted with others in time and space. There were active and latent icons in terms of time reference. ‘Spatially the icons on a screen were more relevant then others that were not seen’. The icons were perceived to be windows or peep holes that allowed one to see through it.

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For many, the icons are still like the 36th Chamber of Shaolin. One is aware that there is something of higher order inside, but too scared to cross over. The unceasing efforts are to form 36th chamber where ordinary people can enter and learn the “art of self-defense.

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In the movie 36th Chamber of Shaolin, “San Te wants to create a new chamber where he can train ordinary people in the basics of Kung fu so they can defend themselves against their oppressors, the temple officially banishes him in a surreptitious way to allow him to carry out his mission. He returns to the outside world, namely to his hometown, and assists the people.”

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This was a view in a window (like a shop front display), but, it was destined to become (with internet) an architectural entity for viewing out, whatever is happening in the world. The earlier version of Windows was little better than dBase like programmes where the software creator and user both were instilled with unspecified fear ‘do not push a wrong key’. The user was perceived to be an alien, and better remain outside.

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The computers gradually became Janus’s gateway (Janus -a dual headed God of antiquity) with an interior world and an exterior cosmos. This was a virtual window or rather an entire building of its own, which could be shifted around, pushed away to obscurity, shrunk or enlarged.

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Some of the basic functions of a computer system have been storage, processing power and programmes. Now one more is added, the communication or linkage. With live linkage one can source storage (cloud), computing power (parallel server processing) and dynamic programmes (in place of static loads). These make for a ‘home’ out of an architectural ‘house’, where the opening systems (‘windows’ or any other) make connections. So Microsoft windows may need to be renamed “Doors”, as doors are more functional (for passage, delivery and dispatch) than any other openings’ systems.

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The smart ‘Home’ (computer or such devices) will need lot more individualization not through configuration efforts but through commonly shared (floating around) intelligence. These include the languages, intonation, choices, history of preferences, behavioural characteristics, biological patterns and capacities.

Multi-level ghorfas, as seen at Ksar Ouled Soltane in southern Tunisia..

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT + GURDJEEF + OLGIVANNA HINZENBERG

Post 666  –by Gautam Shah

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FLW

The relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Gurdjeef began when FLW married Olgivanna Hinzenberg (3rd wife). She was one of the students and dancers (from 1919 to 1924) of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, and followed on his long journey from Tiflis to Paris. When Olgivanna came to Taliesin, she brought her daughter from an earlier marriage, Svetlana. Wright, though was never a pupil of Gurdjeef, in any conventional sense. Olgivanna and Wright married in August 1928, shortly after the birth of their daughter, Iovanna. In 1932, at Taliesin in Wisconsin, they established the Taliesin Fellowship, a renowned and some would say infamous school of architecture and allied arts.

Wright became the model of Ayn Rand, the architect-hero Howard Roark, in her novel, ‘The Fountainhead.’ Rand, though never met Wright before the publication of novel in 1943. She met him, two years later. She has said of Wright’s fellowship – ‘It was like a feudal establishment…. The apprentices] were like medieval serfs….

It is said ‘Falling water, the Johnson Wax Administration Building and the Guggenheim Museum’ as great architectural icons could not have come into being without the emotional and financial support of the Fellowship and the Gurdjeef philosophy that came to the architect through Olgivanna. Through Olgivanna, Wright was indirectly but inextricably linked to the ideas of extraordinary man, G. I. Gurdjieff.

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An article by By Frank Lloyd Wright (1934) “Gurdjeef at Taliesin” Link 1 > http://www.gurdjieff.org/wright1.htm

FLW writes > Gurdjeef, declaring all mankind idiots, divides them into three classes—those who take what they can get; those who get what they can take; those who get what they get’. A man able to reject most of the so called culture of our period and set up more simple and organic standards of personal worth and courageously, if outrageously, live up to them. He affected us strangely as though some oriental Buddha had come alive in our midst.

A similar Topic > Link 2 > https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/f-l-wright-vs-g-i-gurdjieff/

‘Wright had recently announced, in a spurious attempt to appease his creditors, that he intended to leave Taliesin and make his home in Chicago. Taliesin would presumably be vacant, and Gurdjieff was looking for just such an estate in America to which he could move the Institute. It is not likely that Olgivanna would have been thrown in Frank’s way without the concurrence of the ‘master.’ Moreover, she, herself, felt she had been commissioned by Gurdjieff to obtain a suitable property in the United States. But the whole effort went for naught when Taliesin once again caught fire and burned to the ground. The estate was useless to Gurdjieff’.

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In 1932, economic depression there was no architectural work to be had anywhere by anyone including Wright. Wright offered ‘to-pay’ apprenticeship (called fellowship) in an architectural School at Taliesin. Gurdjieff seems to have been an incomprehensible mixture of self-appointed messiah, visionary genius and mysti­cal seer. Olgivanna Hinzenberg, had a selfish mission to use the estate at Taliesin for her mentor Gurdjieff. But as the fate would have it the estate was destroyed in fire, and it was up to Wright to reestablish the structure in the hard times. Students were ‘used’ in construction and operation of the institute.

Fire at Taliesin

Olgivanna, incorporated Gurdjieffism into the school. Students studied and performed the Gurdjieff dance ‘movements’ taught by Olgivanna, and participated in the outings, theatrics and music that were an important part of life at Taliesin. The concept was the spiritual transformation of the individual. It was very unusual mix.

Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by Olgivanna to write his ‘Organic Commandments’: Love is the Virtue of the Heart. Sincerity the Virtue of the Mind. Courage the Virtue of the Spirit. Decision the Virtue of the Will. His writings and statements indicate that he was a spiritual person but not a religious man. He often stated that his religion was Nature, and often chided those who spoke of the idea of religious doctrine.

Taliesin West

We are all asleep, he taught, lost in the mechanical repeti­tion of response patterns of behavior. Freedom is to be found in awakening, in becoming aware of who we are, and what we are. This may be achieved through “the Work,” a system of constant mental and physical challenges whereby a student may be shaken into a state of higher awareness. (https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/f-l-wright-vs-g-i-gurdjieff/)

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REFERENCING buildings -issues for design -15

Post 649 -by Gautam Shah

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10165726954_471e29c4c0_zBuildings are nominally referenced by way of orientation, alignment, linkages, front-back placement, ground-line (gravity) or datum, framing, etc. Such references site a building location, set a direction, form relationships with surrounding elements, confirm the flow of energies like gravity, magnetism etc. and with it generate the sense of horizontal (parallel to the flow of energy) and vertical (towards-against the flow of energy). In this sense Referencing achieves a sense of balance, stability, steadfastness, belonging, scale, proportion and comparison.

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Referencing is recognition of relationship between objects and persons in the context of the environment or the surroundings. Such recognition is a basal instinct. We mainly visually discern the size, direction, distance of objects and comparative details of objects, but these experiences are reinforced through other sensorial references like hearing, smell, touch, tastes etc. We also experience referential effects of energy like gravity, magnetism, electricity, etc.

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Reference, derives from Middle English referren, from Middle French référer, from Latin referre, formed from the prefix ‘re and ferre’. Other derived words carry the sense of link-to, connect to, to carry back, to deliver, consult, an allusion, signs, indication, mention.

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References can take on many forms, including: real and measurable, ephemeral like a thought, metaphysical like an allegory, sensory experience, manifestation of energy, a geometrical pattern, crypto-graphical conversions, or a part of a sequence or order.

640px-LuccaPillarsIn architecture references occur explicitly, subtly and metaphorically. Explicit references are superfluous or add-ons like enrichments, embellishments, stylized forms, with little relevance to functionality. Explicit references denote an overwhelming urge to make the ‘form follows the function’. Subtle references in built forms are innate, with deep rooted cultural connections like customs. The logic is integral in the social fabric, and no justifications are offered or expected. Subtle references in architecture have restricted relevance, available only connoisseurs, experts or practicing colleagues in the field. Subtle references require perception of a whole entity, as available in abstracted orthographic presentations such as plans, sections, elevations. Subtle references often connect to things or incidences that are in different time and space. Metaphoric references relate to abstracted representations. The layers of abstractions or coding are many and their trace complicated, so a metaphor seems to stand alone. Metaphoric references become a language of variegated forms. It is a pattern in its own entirety, like an alphabet where original phones or images have very remote connections.

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References have hierarchical structure where parts and components of the entity itself mutually relate, and also associate with other objects in the same or different time and space. Metaphoric expressions in architecture link expressions in other fields, or allude to such thoughts and concepts.

640px-Bourges_Cathedral_exterior_016Architectural references are formed intentionally, accidentally or unknowingly. Intentional references are part of the design creation process, so could be as justification for something that is uncommon. Accidental references are realization on a hind site. These actualize after drawing documentation, graphical representation, scaled-model making or through actual execution. Architectural references unknowingly become relevant, in some other context, because such effects were not perceived, or some unknown connection emerges through other media.

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Kodungallur-RD-11Nov11Architectural references are explored to reinforce or dilute a concept, and focus or divert from a composition. References are used to enforce or negate the essential elements of a style or theme. Just as enforcement occurs through repetition, highlight, scaling or linkages, negation needs occlusion, elimination of details and restraint. Holistic compositions though have singular but very emphatic expression, whereas assemblies formed by single person or organization have some basic consistency, with noticeable reference.

640px-IMG_4404_-_Milano_-_Casa_degli_Omenoni_-_Barbari-telamoni_-_Foto_Giovanni_Dall'Orto_20-jan_2007Reference in architecture is often literal, and so easily perceptible, like representation of birds, animals, objects, etc. The process of revelation however is made little more complex due to several layers of conversion or negotiations. Grotesque forms, humanoids, demons, devils, beasts, monsters are such conversions, where each representation becomes more complex with age and graphics making technologies. Yet robots remained replicas of humans or animals with head, eyes, hand and legs for several decades. Martians or aliens are still humanoids.

5287484698_4e967f272f_zFor architectural forms, the domineering factor has been the gravity, and the related sense of horizontality versus verticality. Gravity is part of our being conditioning all our creations, and it has taken years to move away from the gravity related prevalence, in conception of outer space modules. Gravity refers to stability, and anything wider at the base is safer and permanent and so monumental. Similarly, any reverse position is challenging and so celestial. For the same reason Ground-line or Horizon becomes very important base line for a building to relate to. Real or notional reference to ground-line is always assuring.

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This is the 15 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

VERANDAHS and equivalent architectural forms Part – II

Post 548 by Gautam Shah

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640px-Casa_del_Rey_Moro,_Sevilla._Patio

Verandahs are compared to Antaravedi, a land between two rivers -a Doab. A verandah is a territory between a public and a private domain. The duality of the verandah persists through its many different forms across climates and cultures. The usage varies from intensively participatory space, a shading device to a decorative appendage. Verandahs or similar architectural spaces have been placed on outer faces and also on inside face abutting the inner courtyards or chowks. These spatial entities have been ‘embryonic elements’ that have formed spaces and activities into a cohesive organization.

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The built-form of rooms protects, but as an enclosed space it becomes sometimes oppressive enough, for need to transgress it. Walls are removed and roofs are punctured to connect to the outside or other spaces. The change is brought in or the space reaches out. The openings create a hierarchy of spatial zones, a remote or inner zone close to the wall, and a series of gradually varying environments of ‘internal openness’, and ‘external vulnerability. The spatial privacy and intimacy are passing and subjective, but not dependent on the spatial formations.

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A verandah has had many architectural configurations. A lean-to like shade overtly attached to the shell of a building remains a casual expression for escape from the enclosed space. It is open on three sides as a transition space between interior and outdoor spaces. The low level of edge eaves frames the view. Such lean-to shades perambulate the house to provide shade and cover from the rains. It is a transition area between the public and private sections of the building, and circulatory space to access rooms that are often internally and intentionally unconnected, such as guest rooms, home office, food preparation area (Babarchi-khana), etc.

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Pakistan Verandah

The verandah, of the mid-east architecture, the Iwan becomes the most important space for interactions, making the rest of the building a subdued refuge. Iwan or Liwan (Iwan with al prefix) relates to an old Persian word a-pad-an (appadana) standing for unprotected place (referring to the veranda-shaped structure open to the outside elements). A similar word in Sanskrit ‘apadana’ means ‘to arrive at‘. The Persian Apadana was a structure in as part of the palace buildings at Persepolis, with open verandas with columns on three sides. The columns and ceiling were replaced with a barrel vaulting, in Parthian and Sasanian architectures. This aywan of the post-Islamic architecture is a veranda, open on one face. A Riwaq is a longer or stretched out arcade or portico for transition, open on at least one side.

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The traditional houses of mid-east regions have a multi-functional core space with distinctive spatial quality. The space offers controlled brightness and protection. It is more of a participatory space, and less for transition or circulation area. The space (till now) was for family engagements beyond the gender considerations. Such house forms with varied spatial arrangements, in various languages of the region, called as ‘tarma’, ‘riwaq’, ‘talar’, ‘ursi’, ‘hosch’ ‘sofa’, ‘eyvan’, engawa, ‘hayat, ‘lywan’, and ‘apadana’. These multi-functional core spaces are not outward transgressions but inward scoops incised from the shell of the built form. The front has been with and without columns, roof flat or vaulted, and the space height from single to multiple floors.

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The typical Iraqi Tarma house is sited deep into the plot, with a largest possible courtyard in front of the Iwan space. The central space of the Tarma house is an atrium called as ‘hosch’ in Arabic. Tarma house courtyard has been often compared to A Roman atrium house (Also called Roman compliviatum). A Tarma house courtyard is open on all sides except for intentionally but separate buildings or neighbouring properties. A Roman atrium house, in comparison has a centrally located courtyard, well defined on all sides. Roman atrium side spaces can be compared to the Osari or Parsal spaces that abut a central courtyard called Chowk. Osari is a verandah or small Liwan like space with or without columns, on one or many sides of the courtyard. The Osari oriented to different directions and house elements (such as kitchen, entrance, water-storage, etc.) serves different purposes.

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VERANDAHS and equivalent architectural forms

Post 522 by Gautam Shah

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Verandah Kerala Village in India Wikipedia image by Author Yanajin33

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Verandah is an architectural space ‘attached’ to the exterior part of a building, often with its own distinctive roof. Verandah has as many forms, as the word itself has meanings. The origin of the word is claimed to be both of India and Portugal. Some of the popular words for it across the world have been Veranda, Varanda, Verandah, Varandah, Baranda, Barandah, Barmda, Baramda, Barandilla and Varada. It is said that first recorded use of the word was in the journal of Vasco da Gama, voyage to Calicut in 1498. If the root is considered to be var, vara, bar or bara, these have base in both the languages. Sanskrit Var or Vara has several derivative-combinative meanings but Varanga (Var+anga)= best part (of the body) environing, enclosing, circumference, space or room has here very contextual relevance. Similarly to it, in Portuguese the vara is a rod (vaār in India =yard), stick (as in vara do castello,-high part of a castle from which one can see farthest into the distance – a platform -castellated). And Latin vara is a forked pole, structure with divergent pieces, trestle. Spanish baranda or barandilla is an entity with a railing of balustrades.

Porte Cochere at Waddesdon Manor, Author Giano at English Wikipedia

A less plausible explanation by Ronak Shah at the  > http://justaboutanythingandeverything.blogspot.in/2011/08/language-thief.html is word derived as a culmination of two Bengali words baahir =outside and andar =inside which together meaning ‘something that is considered outside, but situated inside a room or covered area‘. This explanation is wrong on the count that in Indian languages, A precedes B and D (both meaning second), such as Ek-Do, Ekai-Duhai, Ek-Be, etc., and so andar-baahir is better precedent than baahir-andar.

Portuguese Villa near Chapora, Goa, India, Author Dominik Hundhammer (User:Zerohund)

Another interesting word for verandah is Hindi word of Persian origin is Baramda or bar+amadah =coming out. It also has a sense of outdoors and barāmad =to acquire, possess or receive. Gazal by Nomaan Shauque explains the word baramad well – Dūbne vaalā hi thā sāhil barāmad kar liyā / us ne bil-āķhir dil hamārā barāmad kar liyā” (here baramad is used for –to acquire). Was baramada a space for acquiring entry to the house or gaining pleasures of the environment?

Wiss House at Kalbar, Scenic Rim Region, Queensland, Australia Wikipedia image by Author Shiftchange

Antaravedi a word generally used for land between two rivers (doab) has also been mentioned by Hemchandracharya (a dictionary maker of the 12th C) in terms of a structure resting on columns. Is a territory between two rivers -an Antaravedi signifies some metaphoric connection to a verandah -a place between outside-inside?

Gandhi ashram Verandah Ahmedabad, India Wikipedia image by Author Umar

Verandah has many architectural synonymous forms such as Lanai, Piazza, Stoop, Galilee, Portico, Porch, Solarium, Sun-porch, Sun-room, Sun-Parlour, Awning, Engawa, Arcade, Colonnade, Porte-cochere, Patio, Deck, Balcony and Gallery. In the Indian context the equivalent forms are Osari, Padvi, Padavi, Padsal, Padsala, Parsal, Pad-osri, Oti, Osaro and Oto.

Grande style Verandah Image by Author Cgros841 at English Wikipedia

Verandah and View have intimate connection. Verandah+view together are linked to Seating, Resting, Meeting, Chatting, Breeze, Rain, Forest, Breakfast, High tea, Entrance, Exit, Reception, Goodbye, Home, Restaurant, Resort, Rivera and Bungalow.

Colonies map of the Portuguese Empire (1415-1999)

Verandahs have been lively spaces across warm, humid and moderate climates of the world. From India and Portugal its functions have been formalized into many architectural styles. It has been formed into a ‘lean-to shed’ to stretched galleries on the front, sides and back of the buildings. The buildings have been houses, hotels, resorts, farm houses, clubs and commercial ones. The verandah has spread its shade to British, Portuguese and Spanish colonies and places of migrations, in India, SE Asia, Australia, West Africa and Americas.

Winifred Rawson nursing her son on the verandah of The Hollow. French doors from the sitting room open onto the verandah. Wikipedia image Author Edmund Rawson

Barbara Brooks1 has very aptly described her experience of life with verandahs as –“We ate, slept, received visitors, partied, told stories, grew plants, checked-out the weather and the neighbours, and daydreamed on the verandah. / Verandahs were part of my childhood: the kids played on the verandah when it rained,the men stood on the verandah to look at the sky and predict the weather, the women threw washing up water over the verandah rail to water the garden.”(1) In Search of Verandahs by Barbara Brooks University of Technology, Sydney, Creative Practices, Faculty Member.

Verandah Life

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