Pure form
Just Imagine
Unconscious City

Marble Wonder

Spring 2016

The class, instructed by the Mauricio Pezo and Sofia Von Ellrichshausen, focused on re-imagining the Chicago bungalow housing typology as a marble object.

In my chosen bungalow study, I analyzed the natural progression and intended directionality within the house, and then used different arrangements of marble slabs to indicate desired direction and movement both physically and visually.

After looking at studies of Chicago bungalows, both within my given studies and others in the class, there were clear themes within the typology, with some easier to act on. After picking the specific case that I then studied, it was easy to understand intended directionality within the house, as more private areas were secluded, while the more communal gathering spaces were larger, with greater entrances and more apertures. There is suggested entry into these gathering spaces by means of moments like the entry way, implying entrance into the living room and providing a distance and obstruction of visual connection with the stairs and the hall that leads to more “undesired” locations within the house.

Once the marble was introduced into the plan of the house, I looked at a variety of methods of suggesting the directionality of the house. I struggled with the degree to which I should expose such a suggestion, whether it should be quite blatant or more subtle (settling on a more blunt suggestion), and if the directionality should be based on destination or experience. After settling on the final arrangement for the plan, which was composed of direct exposure to the suggested direction through line work implying the course of movement in any moment, I then took to understanding the facade of the bungalow, and applied a more broad stroke to the exterior than I had to the plan. I took the directionality at its most inherent form and created intersecting leading lines, exposed through the dark diagonals of the marble slabs, to create a completely visual guide to the entrances of the bungalow. I exposed apertures by giving them a distinct white marble against the otherwise black bungalow, while still maintaining a directionality within (either to the nearest entrance or to the interior if the aperture is a physical entrance). As a whole then, the dark solid form of the bungalow created a mass, a congruent weight, as the house. When placed within a context, it would stand as a distinct entity of its own amongst others of its typology. By this, the house is at its most basic— individual, with the pattern of marble furthering this by suggesting the intention of being individualistic as well. 

By incorporating marble into the bungalow typology, I was able to stray away from the idea of bungalow as a module for suburban Chicago, and instead focus on this particular bungalow as a specific instance of intentional thinking and organizing, as a landmark or installation piece, and as a piece that is not part of a whole, but singular in its qualities and expression.