Counter to the increasing thinness and transparency as evidenced in the press, the studio will explore the role of “thickness” in architecture. What is an architecture that conceals rather than reveals? Can poché exist in architecture today? What is the role of the façade if not to render the interior legible? What is the experience of thickness? Given the program to be explored, there will be an emphasis, even a necessity, to design an architecture that obfuscates the relationship between the interior and exterior.
The studio will associate with Allied Works in Portland; a firm that is noted for its “research–based” approach to architecture in the pursuit of buildings that “resonate with their specificity of place and purpose.” (Brad Cloepfil) Utilizing an existing office project, an undercover police station, the studio will expand upon the requirement for anonymity to explore broader questions in architecture, as suggested above. Collaborating with Brent Linden (Associate Principal) and Allied Works will provide a unique underpinning to the semester with access to program research and background, site information and documentation and, even more importantly, the people and projects of this outstanding firm. A 4–day trip to Portland, with substantial funding by a generous gift, will include visits to Allied Works projects in Portland and the vicinity.
Ultimately, the studio is an investigation of an architecture that attempts to go beyond the current stylistic proclivities that we all enjoy. Utilizing a truly exceptional program and site, the studio will embrace CIRCUMSTANCE – things that condition or determine another- and INNOVATION -the moment that theories (invention) are put into practice, in order to push beyond our own assumptions.