Unknown Threshold

October, 2014

I was given a photograph of an architectural element (see fig. 1). Using this photograph I was asked to develop a project envisaging the space that this detail was a part of. I interpreted the image I had been given as being part of a threshold of some kind. Subsequently, I worked to place this element geographically.

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fig. 1 photo of unknown architectural detail

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After some thought, I saw the photo as capturing a detail in a hot arid environment where taking control of sunlight is integral for survival. Therefore the offset column, which I saw in the photo as being just inside of a sand stone archway, creates two zones. One sordid, with a dense network of columns, and the other large open and well lit. The threshold therefor signifies a junction in which a decision is to be made; disappear to the left, into a dark network of columns, or stride to the right?

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fig. 2 imagined threshold plan

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The exterior of the threshold is also planned in such a way that the trajectory of arrivals suggests their interior path. Elements are constructed and arranged so that surfaces receive or are deprived of direct, indirect, and reflected light. This ultimately creates a series of identifiable space whose programs are defined by their lighting conditions.

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fig. 3 imagined view of threshold