Architecture is not that simple. The moment you enclose a space with solid walls and a roof you need to open it (for access, light and air). If you leave it closed, the room becomes a hidden one, accessible only through memory or imagination. From the outside, this blind space would be a solid block, with the presence of a sculptural mass, but not an inhabitable building. An opening on a wall is not that simple. An aperture on the opacity of a room implies both to interrupt the continuity of its enclosure and also to replace it by something else (by a view to the lake, to a noisy street, the sky or the texture of your neighbor’s fence). In its progressive buoyancy, the moderns rejected the obscure confinements of the room by introducing a couple of inventions: the panoramic window (equivalent to a horizontal film) and the glass curtain wall (equivalent to a large screen without thickness). The natural scene was then transfigured into spectacle, into a selective edge around a view. Crack! the house is no longer in the site but before it, they say. In its bucolic popularity, the window became a “picture”, a postcard, turning the building into a mere shooting device. However, in its abstract flatness, the opening can be understood as the physical and mental access to another dimension; as the literal and metaphoric mirror of an introverted domain. Paradoxically, this could be conveyed both for a window on a wall and for a painting on that same wall: for a picture plane to work, its size, position, depth, frame, shade and translucency, become the measures of its content. Again, a picture on a wall is not that simple. The illusion of space, the fictitious world beyond a “notional glass”, was already interrogated by the pre-moderns (since the secreted camera obscura) and cancelled by the post-painterly abstract painters (“what you see is what you see”, one said). Before them, perhaps without moral judgment, murals would fetch rooms into rooms and ceilings would be dissolved into heavenly firmaments filled with trickeries. Once more, the art of architecture is not that simple.

Since the studio project is a guest residence for a selection of Chilean wineries, the conflict between the presence of architecture amidst nature and its own representation (both as a large hand made painting of the building in its vineyard and as specific paintings placed within its rooms), ecology will inform oenology as much as fantasy will inform domesticity.

This course has a hybrid meeting schedule. Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen will meet in-person on September 2, 3, 16, 17, 30 and October 1 and14 for Final Reviews. They will also meet on-line the remaining sessions.

This course has an irregular meeting schedule. 

Sofia Martinez will be in residence Thursday and Friday on the following days: September 2, 3, 23, 24; and for final reviews.

Mauricio Pezo will be in residence for final reviews.

The instructors will also hold class via Zoom on the following Thursdays and Fridays: September 9, 10, 16, 17, 30; October 1, 7, 8.