An architecture of interlocking order

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Ludwing Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was by consensus one of the twentieth century’s most illustrious architects. He stated, “Things by themselves create no order. Order as the definition of meaning and measure of being is missing today; it must be worked toward, anew”.

Order is a visual effect of a cumulative sequence of views. Viewing a presence of order in a building is cause for good feeling and it is the speaker of existence and reason for being. The repetition of walls in a composition creates patterns, and patterns effect order in creation of space. Changing the presence of order in a relative fashion is the dance of the walls, pleasure of a great sense of interest, motive of thought and ambiguity.

Going from a broad expansion to a narrow slot, coming from a dark place to a bright place, moving from lower level to higher platform, going from inside to outside, using steps for positioning of better views of nature and stepping down to touching cold clear spring water, all are reasons for our being, sense of pleasure and great feelings. Any building which can give us a good feeling and sense of pleasure close to that of nature is Architecture.

This study is about interlocking order among architectural elements in the design of an architecture. For this study, the building which is designed to emulate an architecture of interlocking order is an Institute for Scholarly Studies. This building is designed for the thinker to come and be educated, to learn from, to teach others and to relax and enjoy the essence of a beautiful place. It is to be a place of meditation and a place of conversation for two people who desire privacy or for more people who wish to engage in conversation.

Program requirements dictate to provide facilities to serve the purpose of the organization and to give a sense and meaning that its existence enhance the feeling and sense of pleasure of the viewers and the users.

The design of this place is generated from repetition of a wall within a wall which has been gained by constantly reframing the problems and repeatedly searching for solutions. The problems occurring throughout the design have been resolved by learning, experiencing, and journeying in search of discovery through visual inspection and sensing through imagination of physical models and drawings which are made interactively.

The sense of experiencing a place, what we see, hear, smell, and feel, is very important in design of architecture. These factors were carried along and incorporated into design in order to improve the quality of the building. Also, it was very important to locate and determine where and what the center of focus of the building should be.

These were the subject matter and the motives of design. Some of these were captured in the preliminary sketches and have remained dominant themes throughout the design.