Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Vision

By Stephen Tutka

The other night I was on the phone with my parents and as I described a building floor plan to them they both got excited and said, “That’s my boy, the architect. You have a vision, you always have.” Maybe it is my inner rebel but I didn’t agree with them. I can say that I’ve always been interested in the way things are built and figuring them out but I wouldn’t go as far to say I have always seen architecturally. I have learned to see architecture. And I’m still learning how to hear it and speak it.

After class one day a professor here at SIU took us to a building near our architecture building and pointed out the structure. The building has a breezeway that is WAY over designed with a series of concrete beams and 14 or 16 inch columns. But, it is clear to see that the structure of the breezeway is aligned to the structure of the buildings that it connects. Where windows are placed, where beams connect, where hallways and rooms are located, are all indicators of the building’s structure. He posed a question, “Who thinks this was designed to add floors?” I don’t know how many people in my class had noticed that before he said it. I hadn’t looked close enough to really think about it before.

The point is, I can look at buildings now and see what type of construction is used, typologies, and can visually see design decisions made by an architect. How is that? I couldn’t do that before and I don’t know when I started to. It just sort of come to you as you surround yourself with it. You can look at a building and FEEL it. You get a sense of it. It talks to you. 

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