Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summer Break

Salukitecture takes the summer off so there will be no new posts on this site until the fall semester begins.  The semester begins August 22 and the next time new posts will be on this site will be about two weeks after the semester begins.  Have a great summer!  JKDobbins

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ise Grand Shrine

By: Stephen Lauer

Shrines usually have similar architectural features that signify that the structure is a prayer location. The first feature is a torii, which denotes the entrance or approach to the shrine. The purpose of torii is that they are the gate that divides the earth and the spirit world as Shinto shrines do not exist on earth according to Shinto teachings. The ground the shrines sit on is on earth but the structures and homes for the deities are in the spirit world thus allowing the deities to hear the people’s prayers much easier. Most torii are made out of wood but can be made out of other various materials and painted different colors. The main color scheme for torii is orange and black. The next feature is the komainu which are a pair of dogs or lions that guard the shrine. These are usually located by the entrance to the shrine to oversee who enters the shrine. Next is the purification trough which allows people to wash their hands and mouths before entering the shrine. Anyone that is sick, has open wounds, or is mourning must wash before entering to remove the impurities that you are bringing in. Next is the main building and offering hall which usually consist of separate buildings. The main hall is where the sacred artifacts are stored and kept safe while the offering hall is where the visitors come to say their prayers and give their offerings to the shrine. The next feature is not at all shrines but is a stage for bugaku dance or noh theater. Noh theater are songs and dances that tell the stories of legends, history, literature and even current events. Ema are the next feature at shrines and are a place for visitors to write their wishes down and leave behind in hopes that the deities will see them and make them come true. The most wished for things include good health, success, passing exams, love, and wealth. Omikuji are hung throughout shrines and are paper slips with fortunes on them. The fortunes written on them range from very good luck to very bad luck and it is said that by tying the fortune to a tree branch the good will come true and the bad can be prevented. The final feature is shimenawa which is a straw rope with white paper hanging from it to denote a sacred on the other side of the rope. Usually these are placed on torii gates to signify the shrine on the other side being sacred. One feature that will never be found at a Shinto shrine is a cemetery as death is seen as an impurity and therefore not dealt with by the Shinto shrines.
Ise Grand Shrine is the shrine dedicated to the most important deity in the Shinto religion, Amaterasu, the sun goddess. The shrine is made up of a complex of buildings which in total is roughly 125 different buildings. The main buildings in the shrine resemble granaries and do not resemble any other Asian architecture style. Naiku, the inner shrine, and Geku, the outer shrine are both disassembled and rebuilt with new materials every twenty years to keep the building fresh and new for the deities. This tradition just completed its 62nd rebuilding in 2013 making the 63rd to happen in 2033.

Low Poly Perspective of the Ise Grand Shrine

Thesis Efficient Space

By: Patrick Szczecina

            The first issue that arises that the thesis is aiming to solve is that of space usage on the interiors. When looking at interior spaces many areas are larger than they need to be or areas are smaller and need more space. When putting in adjustable walls that allow for sliding or swinging this can solve the issue above. An example of this can be the factor of one space being large and being used as multiple areas. A wall can be moved to create a new space, i.e. cut the room in half and now creating two rooms. The space can be a living or dining room, being it the largest public rooms in a home, and later can have a wall turn or slide to create a new space such as a bedroom. An architect stated that "had the added effect of unbalancing the overall proportions of living / sleeping / cooking / washing space in the flat."11 For a space to work properly all spaces need to be proportional to others and for the needs that they are meant for. This goes for both sides having a large kitchen but small dining rooms doesn’t feel right and doesn’t work correctly. Along with the idea of walls that are adjustable, another factor is that a floor is able to be adjusted. In this context the floor and walls need to be adjustable where the walls follow the floor itself. The floor can slide from an interior space past the exterior wall to create a new space. From the original room that can be rather small the floor that moves extending into the outside creates new interior spaces. The spaces within a structure all can be manipulated based on a user’s need, be it larger gathering spaces, more room for bedroom, and more room for the kitchen. This amplifies the usage of spaces to be maximized to the fullest potential and to allow as little waste of space as possible. Transformative architecture tries to solve the issue of spaces not being used or underused, by allowing spaces to be manipulated into different spaces that may be used. These spaces must function to that of users, “The suitability of the work to use by human beings in general and the adaptability of it to particular human activities, (2) the stability and permanence of the work’s construction, and (3) the communication of experience and ideas through its form.”15 This also allows for small square footage spaces to be transformed into higher capacity areas that will be used more.
11 Robarts, Stu. "Tiny German Apartment Makes Clever Use of Space." Tiny German Apartment Makes Clever Use of Space. Gizmag, 7 May 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. http://www.gizmag.com/spamroom-micro-apartment-moabit/37403/
15 Gowans, Alan. "Architecture." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. http://www.britannica.com/topic/architecture


The Last Blog

By: Megan Crider

This is the last blog of the semester – and the last one I will have to write.  It is the end of April (the 27th to be exact).  Graduation is two and a half weeks away…. I. Can’t. Believe. It.  This is crazy! We are almost finished with grad school – it seems like we have only merely begun.  School normally goes by quickly anyway (in my opinion), but this feels like it has gone by even faster. 
This has been a great experience.  I truly have enjoyed getting to know my fellow classmates.  Our class is such a diverse group of people with a wealth of different experiences and backgrounds.  It has been exciting to meet and develop relationships with them.  The student-instructor dynamic has also been a more rewarding one.  I feel like, as graduate students, we are viewed more as colleagues and less as students.  That changes the whole ‘feel’ of the classroom – it seems more professional and there is a different level of mutual respect.

Don’t get me wrong though, there have been some trying times (isn’t there always though?).  Times where we thought, “eff it, I already have a degree” and times when we have wanted to pull our hair out.  And I am quite certain that tears may have been shed at other times.  But through it all, we have stuck together and have weathered the storms of graduate school – and it has been worth it.  We are almost there! I am looking forward to graduating and completing my thesis and beginning the chapters of my life that begin after school.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last but not the least: Retrospection of a Year Long Journey

By: Kristina Shrestha

A year long journey started from the very first day at SIUC. The very first blog reminds me of the pristine memories and experiences I have ever had as a new Graduate student. Now, I am here posting my last blog. Last but not the least, this blog will retrospect and summarize the year long journey here at SIUC.
Despite ups and downs, this journey will be a major milestone for my career and will be a very good lesson for the future. No doubt, I learned a lot. I honed my skills on software and tools that will act like my backbone for my upcoming career. Revit, 3Ds max, Rhino, and Grasshopper were challenging to me at first glance but now situation has changed a lot. I am honed my skills on these tools including AutoCAD and Sketch Up that I had been using for almost a decade.
As mentioned above, today I am going to write about my projects so far. The first project that I had accomplished in last summer was “Open Air museum of Buildings” designed imitating nature. It is located at Little Grassy Lake, Illinois. The opening building had to be designed in such a way that it will relate to other buildings which were in display at that time. The buildings that I chose for the open air museum and buildings from nature were Falling Water House, Leaf House, Shell house, Casey Kay house and Pod Exhibition Pavilion. The opening building was the first building which would provide the facilities for the visitors.
The second project was the planning of a city in Glenelg, Maryland. The master planning had to be done in groups of three and we had choice to select buildings for an individual project. There were five choices. i.e., Apartments, Hotels, Community Centers, Senior Living and Retails. I selected mid-rise apartment for the design. The project included 11 floors and 8 floors apartments. They were two bedroom, three bedrooms and four bedroom apartments. They were located near the community center and the retail area. The site was planned in such a way that the retail space will be in a walking distance.
This semester I am working on my thesis. My thesis topic is “Creative Workspace”. The main theme of the thesis is to create a workspace which would enhance the creativity of the people working in the environment. The site for the project is downtown St Louis, Missouri. Two historic buildings exists in the area. They will be preserved and rehabilitated into apartments for the employees. My thesis is still in progress and will end at the end this summer.

New Urbanism

By: Josh West

New Urbanism is a planning and development approach based on principles of how cities, towns and communities had been built for the last several centuries: walkable blocks and streets, housing and shopping in close proximity, and accessible public spaces. Within this new era, public spaces are a high priority, functional designs and the use of underutilized spaces are focused on the most. By understanding the spaces that are not used as much, can be transformed into lively main streets or boulevards through new urbanism design. “Above all, New Urbanism is about creating sustainable, human-scaled places where people can live healthy and happy lives.” Relating this to Charleston, South Carolina, the need for better connection with the immediate area of the site is a must and by creating this connection, residents of Charleston can live a healthy and happy life with the help of new urbanism. Over the past twenty-five years, the new urbanism movement has changed the conversation from debating the alternative forms of development to discussing how best to preserve, design, develop and restore our regions, cities and neighborhoods. New urbanism includes mixed-use development, transit-oriented and traditional neighborhood design to bring new to their designs. The core of any developing process is creating a region made up of hierarchy of social and political groups, following a pattern, to create a well-rounded community. This pattern can be used for just a single, mixed-use building to an entire community. By implementing New Urbanism principles, cities can grow extensively and expand their neighborhoods and create a greater unity within their city and surrounding areas. The main new urbanism principles are:
·         Walkability
·         Connectivity
·         Mixed-use Diversity
·         Mixed Housing
·         Quality Design
·         Traditional Community Structure
·         Increased Density
·         Transportation
·         Sustainability

·         Quality of Life

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Construction of the Signage

By: Jeremy Clow

Saturday the 16th came through and provided a worthy day of work for the sophmore architecture students build. As the coordinator for group 6 we organized with three of the members present by 8am to work on site for the whole day. Two platforms of concrete had to be poured for the feet of the bench system. For this we transported a series of tools as well as concrete mix and water to the site. The locaiton of site 6 is approximately half a mile as the crow flies from the closest building, PSO. The PSO building and parking lot is the location for all the material and tool storage as well as offsite construction. Taking the trail system to deliver materials entails a variety of turns, elevation changes, and rough earth. Delivering as many materials in one trip is key to success with the limitations of time available on site. We started with the leveling of two platfroms in the earth to install a prefabricated 2x4 framework to pour the concrete into. The frames had to be placed in precise locations, square with one another as well as level. They also had to be centered for the feet of the bench that is mounted between two posts that hold the roof structure. A series of checks took place throughout the process, moving the bench over the holes many of times and adjusting the location and angle to ensure the pours would be perfect in the end. Afte the earth was level, square, and tamped down we added a light layer of gravel. The framework sets freely above the gravel, with additional gravel placed inside the frame and dirt packed around the outer edges. Next came the cement, mixed in a wheel barrow from 40lb bags and water delivered in 5 gallon buckets. The students were quick to learn mixing anything more than one bag at a time wasn’t worth the effort. Mixing the concrete can be difficult to get the perfect mix of water to aggregate. After a series of trials and mixing opportunities for each of them they had a pretty succesfful system of mixing to installation. The slabs were poured and construction on the signage began. A few minor items had to be completed on the roof systems and structure as well. Lunch was near and the two other participants in group 6 were arriving from previous obligations as well. The team took this opportunity for a return to PSO to regroup, acquire additonal materials, and eat their lunch. After the lunch break we returned to the site and split into two groups. A team of two and I started installing the roof and the reamaning bolts and the main structure. The other three started installing the concrete block bases and signage pieces. The signage has a very simple yet unique design system. Four concrete blocks burried in the earth with just a few inches protrduing hold the 4x4 posts that are attached to the signage. Two posts are mounted between two 2x6 treated boards on each side. The 2x6 boards are also knotched and hold 5 cedar boards that span between the posts. These cedar boards will hold the signage being produced by Touch of Nature. Completing the signage on site was a very difficult process with the earth not being level or flat. This called for a plan of action on site and the installation of the first four blocks, level and square with one another. After this was done each of the four signs wiere constructed on top of the blocks and bolted together. From there each piece was moved to its particular location and the earth was marked for the digging and installation of the concrete blocks at each signage location. The day was drawing to and end so we finished with the construction of the signage pieces and marking of the earth for excavation.