Compression and release, enclosure and transparency

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Virginia Tech

A philosophical standpoint that directly informs the design method: concern to invoke genius loci, to make a specific place, to give appropriate expression to architectural form. There is an attempt to remain in touch with what, in another age, would be described as romantic: the emotional appeal of nature, collective archetypal aspects of human culture, and the individual creative impulse.

Polarities figure prominently : positive / negative, formal/random , orthogonal / organic. These are not all-out oppositions but symbiotic dualities--sides of the same coin. Orthogonal formality is posed against the site's natural vagaries. The positive is defined precisely by the negative: it needs the presence of the negative in order to register, and vice versa.

The siting of the building, its various materials and its different outlooks are all chosen with the aim of putting those who will inhabit it in touch with their surrounds, the genius loci.