Artist, architect and architectural theoristJohn Hejduk (19 July 1929 – 3 July 2000) introduced new ways of thinking about space that are still highly influential in bothmodernist andpost-modernist architecture today, especially among the large numberof architects who were once his students. Inspired both by darker, gothic themes and modernist thinking on the human psyche, his relatively small collection of built work, and many of his unbuilt plans and drawings, have gone on to inspireother projects and architects around the world. In addition, his drawing, writing and teaching have gone on to shape the meeting of modernist and postmodern influences in contemporary architecture and helped bring psychological approaches to the forefront of design.
Born inNew York toCzech parents, Hejduk graduated from the University ofCincinnati in 1952 and rapidly added a Master’s degree fromHarvard a year later. Unlike most prominent architects, who would attempt to join a practice or apprentice under a contemporary master, Hejduk jumped right back into university, but this time as a teacher at the University of Texas – where his unusual teaching style had him join the “The Texas Rangers,” a group of young architects who created an innovative school curriculum. After the entire group was fired, Hejduk briefly worked underI M Pei in New York and taughtat Cornell,beforeeventually settling at Cooper Union, where he became aprofessor in 1964.
After many years of hopping around, working at Cooper gave Hejduk the stability and position he needed to make waves. Winning a research grant in 1967, he began exploring his early, radical curriculum of exercises involving creating space using geometric shapes placed in various square, diagonal and curving grids in more rigorous detail, but he soon moved away to a more “free hand” approach. He began exploring new influences: psychology, mythology and later in his career, religion.
Publishing his first book in 1969, he embarked upon a career as an artist and theorist, teaching that elements were loaded with emotional context. His drawings often considered themes of architecture through a rather dark lens, and his most famous, the New England Masque (1981) charted alienation within a marriage and was inspired, of all things, by the film version of Stephen King’s “The Shining.”
That’s not to say Hejduk wasn’t a practical architect as well as a theoretical one. Many of his drawings were detailed, buildable architectural plans, such as Wall House I, where he used a single wall to divide the space in hopes of investing it with emotions of division. He built several projects in Berlin, including Cooper Union’s Foundation Building (1975) which he reconstructed, Wall House II, which was built posthumously in the Netherlands, and the famous Kreuzberg Tower, built in 1987 and designed as part of a competition to provide new forms of low and middle income housing in West Berlin. A quietly regimented design, it stands out against the other more post-modern designs of the competition with its reduced color palette and focus on shape.
See all of John Hejduk’s work featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and further coverage below those. You can also see a gallery of his paper workhere.
SO-IL and Laisn Roussel architects have been selected as the winners of an international competition to design a new masterplan for Place Mazas in Paris. Titled L’Atelier de l’Arsenal, the proposal seeks to integrate the historic fabric of the site into a new, flexible urban strategy organized around a variety of new buildings and public spaces.
Located along the Seine River and the Canal Saint Martin at the end of the Bastille Axis, the area is currently in the midst of several civic development projects, including the upcoming waterfront park, parc Rives de Seine. SO-IL and Laisn Roussel‘s proposal will add mixed-use program to the mix, all of which will feature views of the river and the Parisian cityscape.
We are very excited to work on such a unique site in Paris, said Ilias Papageorgiou, Partner, SO-IL. Our proposal suggests a dynamic approach in city making, one that considers history as well as the complexity of today’s conditions while allowing room to accommodate future transformation.
The masterplan divides the site into two main parts. The first, a seven-story wood structure, is located along the historical Haussmanian axis and offers co-living units, social housing and a restaurant. The other side of the site is dedicated to public activities, including a publicly-accessible pavilion containing co-working spaces, a fabrication lab, and a multi-purpose room; a repurpose lockhouse built in 1905 repurposed for cultural events; and three new public squares. An existing homeless facility on site, Aurore, will also be incorporated into the plan.
The design also seeks to activate the waterfront space, providing space for the Yacht Club of Bastille as well as a public swimming pool and several pools for biodiversity research and water quality monitoring.
The design of the Atelier de L’Arsenal is motivated by our conviction that architecture is everyone’s business. In our view, urban resilience and the collective practices developed for and by users are two major challenges for the cities of tomorrow. Nicolas Laisne and Dimitri Roussel, Partners, laisne roussel.
The competition was organized by the city of Paris as part of the Reinventer La Seine initiative, which aims to introduce innovative new proposals at the intersection of architecture, creative urbanism, and development for sites along the river.
Team: Atelier Georges, Manifesto, Of ce for Cities, WoMa, Yacht Club Paris Bastille, Aurore, Colonies, Institut du Monde Arabe, Base Tara, Cluster EMS, Innogur, Elioth, Acousteb, Sinteo, Maitre Cube, Francilibois
Lead Developer: REI Habitat
Landscape Architect/Urban Planner: Atelier Georges
Associates: Gh. Andr, S. Bessalah, B. Darras, Ph. Gaube, I. Hankart, P. Hendrix, Th. Henrard, A.S. Petit
Structural Engineering: SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl
Building Services: SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, (in collaboration with FTI sa) Ph. Samyn, J . Michiels
Civil Works: RECUBO
Construction Coordinator: JC Consulting
Cost Control: FORUM
Management: A. Charon
Model: A.M.A., F. Van Hoye
Botanical Artist: Patrick Blanc
Glass Roofs: L’ATELIER DU VERRE
Watertightness: MEULEMAN J-P
Automatic Watering: AUTOMATIC SPRAYING SYSTEMS
Installation Of Vegetal Wall: John Jacob sprl
From the architect. This house for an artist includes the street level of an existing small house. It now houses the entry hall, a family room and a kitchen; the living-room and the stairway are in the extension to the building.
The second floor includes the master bedroom with its bathroom, as well as ve children’s rooms and sanitary installations. They are equipped with a mezzanine protected by textile netting that will lead to the glassed-wall facade.
The house presents curved and vegetalised facades that are very private and closed to the neighbours to the north, the east and the south. In contrast, the west facade is entirely glass-walled as if it were one huge partitioned window.
It is planned that Immense translucid white polyester curtains in widths of 1.6 m suspended from the top of the structure to the ground floor would run along this great window to ensure shade in the summer months.
Initially conceived as a wall of ivy with a patinated cop- per roof, the vegetalised facade is finally composed of a selection of exotic plants chosen by the botanical artist Patrick Blanc, and extends to cover the roof.
We had to design the structure, the insulation, and the water-tightness of the envelope and resolve the building physics issues in order to receive the necessary support systems, irrigation and fertilisation systems for the plants that are set into a felt support stapled to rigid PVC panels.
Anyone with an interest in design knows that there are an infinite number of ways to decorate the same space. Whereas one family might prefer bright color, soft textures, and lots of indoor plants a young couple may tend towards minimalism and cool, neutral colors. The two homes featured in this post are both in the latter camp. By using largely neutral colors like gray, brown, white, and beige the designs cultivate serenity. There is nothing more soothing than moving from room to room and knowing that each space will be a cool, clean, simple space. Just look below to find out how relaxing these kinds of designs can be.
Carefully chosen accessories like unique teapots can make a big difference in a minimalist design.
Lots of natural light is imperative if you are going to decorate with so many dark colors.
To take the clean lines to the next level, the kitchen features are largely hidden. Dark gray walls slide open to reveal the sink and countertop while the oven stays exposed. The result of this unique design is kitchen clutter than can be completely hidden from view whenever the homeowner likes.
Even such beautiful kitchenwares as natural wood cutting boards can look messy when left out. But not in this kitchen.
You did it! You finished those grueling years of architecture school, perfected your portfolio and your interview pitch, and you landed your first job with an architecture firm. Everyone told you that working in a firm would be lightyears different from what you were used to doing in school, but until you get out there yourself, there is really no way to know just what that might entail. Once you’ve tackled life’s bigger questions about surviving outside of architecture school, you still have to learn to function in a day-to-day job. The learning curve is steep and it can certainly be overwhelming, but you’ve made it this far and there are a few lessons and skills you are sure to gain quickly as you start your career.
1. You might not do much designing.
We might as well get this one out of the way. We’ve all heard the horror stories of new employees becoming nothing more than Revit-monkeys and slowly wasting away in front of their computers working on toilet partition details. While it’s not necessarily going to be that bleak, don’t expect to be given a big design assignment on your first day at the office. This, of course, depends on the type and size of firm you work for. A smaller firm is often more likely to give you experience on a wide variety of tasks, including some design work, while larger firms often have their employees take on more specialized roles. Under what conditions you work best is up to you to figure out, and you may not always get it right the first time. If you’re not happy with the kind of tasks you are given, you can always ask your supervisor about taking on different responsibilities, but it may help you to expand your mental definition of designing. Even the more mundane-seeming assignments you may be given still require careful thought and decision-making and you can really design all the work you do by applying the design thinking you have developed to the task in front of you.
2. Communication really is key.
It sounds like a clich, but one thing it can be difficult to simulate in school is the role of communication between multiple parties that is always involved in the design and construction of a building. While by this point most of us have been disabused of the idea of the lone wolf architect/genius, the extent to which coordination and communication become a part of your work day may be surprising to new hires. Architects are not expected to have all the knowledge and expertise necessary to put a building together from start to finish, but we are expected to orchestrate, coordinate, and facilitate communication between all the people who do make up that collective knowledge base. The quality of that communication can make or break a project perhaps even more easily than the quality of the building design. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know something, just find the person who does.
3. Ask questions.
No, really. Ask ALL the questions. It may sound obvious, but this is one of the most important things you can do when you are just starting out in the field. Some may be hesitant to show a lack of knowledge in a certain area to their project managers, or may be uncomfortable interrupting someone time and again to ask for help, but trust me. They would much rather take the time to explain it to you than to have you guess and make a mistake. Because unlike in school, a mistake here can cost someone real money and time. Will you still make some mistakes? Sure, it happens. But the best way you can minimize that risk and coincidentally the best way to learn and show your supervisors that you’re interested and engaged in your job is to ask every question you can think of.
4. Keep learning.
On a related note, it is important to never stop learning and never lose the curiosity you had in school. Architecture school creates a great foundation, but once you get out and into the real world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all that you still don’t know. Instead, try to see that missing knowledge as an opportunity. There is no better way to learn than by doing, and you’ll likely learn something new every day when you start working at a firm. Be open to it, be excited, and you’ll find yourself climbing the learning curve in no time.
5. Take an interest in your coworkers.
If you can become friends with your coworkers, you’ll have a more enjoyable time coming to the office every day. In addition to the social benefits, you can learn a lot from people who have been in the field longer than you. Your coworkers will likely have diverse backgrounds that give them a particular perspective, or they’ll have something they’re especially passionate about or a unique skill that sets them apart in the office. People usually like to talk about themselves if you can get them started, and if you ask them what they’re interested in, chances are they’ll tell you all about it and maybe you’ll learn something new along the way. This can be especially true if your firm also employs interior designers, planners, engineers, or really anyone else. It can be helpful and interesting to look at a project from their different perspectives to learn more about the design process.
6. Go to as many meetings and site visits as you can.
If you get the opportunity, a great way to learn about the design and construction process is to sit in and tag along at site visits and other meetings. Plus, what could be more exciting than seeing a building you’ve worked on or helped to draw start to become a physical space? Seeing something firsthand make the transition from the theoretical realm you’ve become familiar with in school to a habitable building is a fantastic way to learn about the process and way more fun than reading about it in a textbook or ARE study manual. Even if you feel out of your depth, or perhaps underqualified, for a certain meeting or conversation, you’ll never be at a disadvantage for having participated and you’re sure to pick up something interesting or useful along the way.
7. Find a firm with a culture that works for you.
As I mentioned earlier, the firm you choose makes some difference in the type of work you’ll likely be doing, but besides this most new hires start at about the same level. The major difference will likely be in the culture and atmosphere of the company you choose. You will probably be spending at least 40 hours a week at this place, so it will make your life a lot more enjoyable if you like being there. Priorities vary, but good general guidelines are to choose a firm that matches your workstyle. If you work more efficiently in peace and quiet, maybe don’t choose a firm with an open office layout. If you get your creative energy from interacting and collaborating with others, you might not be happy in a cubicle. As someone who is new to the field, it is also important to look for a firm whose leadership really fosters and encourages growth for young staff. A supportive culture can go a long way in your development as a designer and future architect.
8. Get started on licensure right away.
Speaking of the future, if licensure is something you are interested in pursuing it can be helpful to get a jumpstart on it right away. Find an AXP supervisor (or whatever you need given the licensure system in your country) and make sure to get credit for your hours if you’re going to be working them anyway. Even if you don’t feel like you’re ready to start your tests, it can be easiest to start studying while your brain is still accustomed to it rather than a few years out of school. If your firm has a licensure study group, join it! If it doesn’t have one, start your own and recruit your coworkers! A support network can be advantageous when you’re working towards licensure, not to mention giving you and your coworkers a bit of mutual responsibility and guilt to hold you accountable to your study goals.
9. Speak up about your interests.
Just like starting a study group, if you have other interests and passions, share them with your supervisors or project managers and work with them to get the most out of your time at the firm. A good firm will want to help you pursue your interests and they’ll always appreciate any outside expertise and enthusiasm you can bring to the table. It can be intimidating to speak out and jump into responsibilities as a new employee, but it can personalize your career and make it much more rewarding.
10. Get involved in the community outside of work.
It is important to be involved not just within your new company, but outside of it as well. Especially if you moved to a new city for your job, a great way to get to know your community and really relate to the context of the work you’ll be doing is to get out there in person and see what it’s all about. This could take the form of volunteering for an organization you’re passionate about, joining a committee that’s design related like a Public Arts Committee or the local Main Street Organization, or it doesn’t have to be work-related at all. Take karate lessons, start a book club; the possibilities are endless and it has the bonus of bringing variety to your life so that you don’t feel like all your time revolves around your job. You aren’t in studio anymore-you’ll need something to fill your newfound free time!
11. Your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job.
Lastly, there can be a lot of pressure for new grads to find their dream job with their dream firm right out of college. And to be honest, that’s just not always possible or feasible. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Every job you have will be a valuable learning opportunity that you can take with you to the next job you land. Don’t give up on your dreams of course, but if it doesn’t pan out right away, just be patient, be engaged in the job you have, and give it your all until the next opportunity comes around. If you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, maybe switch to a different but related field for a while and then see how you feel about coming back to architecture. An architecture education is a great knowledge base and offers a creative way of thinking and problem-solving that you can use wherever and however you choose. Don’t worry about taking the linear path to your dream job and try to focus on the present; by the time you get to that job you know you were meant to have, you’ll just have more valuable experience and knowledge than you did when you graduated.
Model Makers: Soo Bhin Han Graduate Architect and Julia Fatovich Undergraduate Architect
Consultants: Steve Burdett Engineer, Andrea Tate Landscape Architect
From the architect. The Mindalong House occupies a semi-rural block on the edge of John Forrest National Park, at the base of the Darling Scarp in Western Australia. Arrival is through a screen door under a large Mari tree and the entrance roof extends over to give you protection. Walking through you find yourself located to the hill beyond with large decking area with pool raised out of the ground, it is at that point you realize you are on a raised plinth.
The climatic regression house plays with thresholds of what is internal and what is external. Two shed-like pavilions surround the communal gathering area, conceived as a ‘cathedral of light’. The timber decks exist at the threshold, and extend from these dispersed living spaces, allowing access throughout the building. The communal gathering area breathes through two passive light towers, regulating the internal climate. The body is continually being turned to open up to the hills beyond. To access the sleeping pavilion is through the external communal space protected by the court of native plants and raised pool plinth. Views of the horizon, punctuated by existing granite rock formations and scattered trees, penetrate to the heart of the central living spaces.
The timber deck circulation allows different perspectives of the landscape and proximity of the creek at the north western edge of property. All accesses to pavilions is via deep roof overhangs giving a freedom of space and extending the internal floor out to blur the threshold of internal and external. The poetics of Mindalong House are a strong shed with sculptural entrance by day and a series of light boxes in the landscape by night.