Stations House ι Pre-Fabricated House ι North Carolina ι Dwell Magazine ι Mathematicians,
engineers and artists excite and define the limits of once closed
domains seeking refuge from time and its foreclosing protagonist. The
Stations House is a new pre-fabricated house that sustains its own
structural integrity and the momentarily passage or stations of life
along a continually reformulated threshold. It is made in tension—shear
plates are suspended at a distance from each other, opening the space
of a house.
emerge along the structural and spatial chords—the hypotenuse generates
and gives presence to stationary moments of life before they evaporate
to renew themselves again and again. The House's emergence is its form and unbounded life is its only indicator.
Stations Houses surprises: its art is ascertained across disciplines as
the asymptotic recognition of time defining limits. The Stations House
overcomes entropy and offers the intuition of beauty as a recurring
freedom. A short smile—held silent—is its finest instigation. . .
"The business of all structures is a conservative one of maintaining the status quo," says materials scientist J.E. Gordon, meaning that a structure must "generate adequate forces to oppose the loads they have to carry." The Stations House is destined to stabilize the site. To endure the weight of the slowly moving earth. See: Entropy: Robert Smithson She was concerned with the stability of the land; here was her origin and the moment of her sense of duration. Her life’s weighted purpose was given to moments of weightlessness.
A house carries with it a mode of transitory time: it weights its inhabitant with memory; carried without recourse these memories sustain the body giving it resistance. The Down House instigates stress in and along the wall surfaces. The stress of gravity on both matter and form activates a set of migratory forces along the building’s surface. They are configured in a way that it would perpetuate an actively changing and topologically complex set of vital forces. A stiff plate shell is self-supporting but only in certain directions. It opens itself volumetrically, refusing to provide closure. see: Giuseppe Terragni’s work in statics and plate, or diaphragm, constructions: Palazzo Littorio, 1934. Plate construction pushed to the point of buckling.
A sudden unstable moment and a rapid fall to the ground; he responded with faith and stood again—facing the still open future. Despite the stillness, a collapse has occurred: We witness a man near us; we are one step removed, but within a range that allows empathy. The building’s shell, while structurally and formally finite, is a template that manifests torsional forces.
In her face he saw the only person he knew loved him as no other. The house is a structural shell composed of thin plate ceramic surfaces. Repositories of immanent time, "immobile cyclones," they are bundles of other forms and other temporalities. AEG, which has marketed household goods for a century, has now produced a house composed of woven surfaces that recalls the mass-produced Eames chair.
Against the tide—and with the potential of persecution—he offered his help boldly and in front of those that might reveal his actions. Giuseppe Terragni: a photo-elastic study of a surface under loading. Stress and strain are revealed in a pattern of polarized light. The stair resists buckling—its plate and beam structure flex with use but retain their structural stability.
On the Counter: Nivea Creme, ca. 1920: An imprint, a touch, comfort— but something more difficult and sorrowful as well. Our situation is reflected in the mirror, our otherness revealed in the most intimate acts—focused personal moments at home; focused moments at work on the factory floor. Everyday life in two spectrums: producing at work and living with the results of work A small gesture—a moment of realizing another facial contours. No sense of shame.
Not only fallen, but fallen a second time. The witnesses see the precarious and mounting fear—they can’t turn away and even from a distance they see him become other to his own home. He is seen through a layer of glass; he does not yet realize or accept his own destiny. A mural inscribed on the wall—on the plate of the house—shows a structural test. Failure is anticipated. Sartre's solitary dominion over a park setting is undermined by the arrival of another person. Menaced and de centered by this other—realizing he is not alone Sartre finds himself occupying a tangential relationship to an other -- his vision converges on this other -- on where he "is not" and where he cannot be.
In the crowd he sees each as one—unique and apart—amassed but singular too. Detail in foreground is by Robert Morris: Morris called the stripes of paint in his work ‘veils’; one can see through them to the canvas behind. Space itself is now draining, as energy runs in small veins toward the earth. So many times—eyes from another century—but they look familiar—so much in common but so many years apart.
Without the strength of others who would rise again and towards a fate now secured. At a distance. It is clear that time is foreclosing possibilities. On the third fall, He is seen from inside the house, across the courtyard. Witnessed from a distance, he is two layers removed.
Glass Wall: Flat Surface of Glass: When a brittle material such as glass is tempered it is reheated after formation and allowed to cool "naturally." In the case of glass, tempering results in a material that can withstand severe forces perpendicular to its surface, but can easily be fractured by a slight tap to its edge. Tempered glass is stressed along its outmost surface... Glass is painted black in a manner that recalls the Stations of the Cross (1958–66) by Barnett Newman. A line is drawn and a negative space opens in the flatness of the plane.
At night patterns emerged in the trees—a breadth of natural circumstance—in each a slow corporeal life—rising towards the sky and then ebbing towards the earth. A panoramic view allows the horizon to curve: we are cast into space, and the stability of time is eradicated as the station point fails. A wider view—an expanse of trees and a panoramic expanse of totemic winter trees is revealed by sliding glass doors.
It is here that Mondrian rattles the bones of human configuration for the last time; it is here that the white rectangle steps out of the background landscape into its own space. Frank Stella. After Abstraction: Into the site + into Nature: Color and shape float freely; their extension in any direction, and of any duration—endless complexity and reformation. Frank Stella, Working Space
The fall to earth; the manufactured unwinds from its dialectical container. Unwound and un-fallen—to the earth again. An arc defined by gravity drops from the structural diagram. Woven becomes unwoven; energy drains and slowly material and body are allowed to find rest at the earth. The arcing fall of the body in the Pietà is projected into the network and negative spaces of Brice Marden’s Cold Mountain paintings (1988–91). The body deforms the void, unwinding the house’s walls: space prevails as time and production fail to become divine.
It will be understood that in speaking here of beauty I don’t have in mind plastic beauty, but simply the particularly moving presentation of a sum of possibilities. (Guy Debord). After the cantilever and the attempt to open space while allowing for production, we leave the scene of architecture and return to nature, moving on to new forms of immanent life.
Michael Bell ¦ Design
Stations House ι Pre-Fabricated House ι Dwell Magazine ι Mathematicians,
engineers and artists excite and define the limits of once closed
domains seeking refuge from time and its foreclosing protagonist. . . .
The Stations House was designed for a Dwell magazine competition for an affordable prefabricated house to be constructed on a site in North Carolina. From its inception, Dwellhas made an attempt to introduce innovative new housing to a mainstream shelter-magazine audience. While the magazine has not promoted a rigorous reintroduction of modernism in a formal, historical, or theoretical context, it has tried to offer an alternative to the neo-traditional housing that is prevalent in the United Stat
The Stations House was designed to function practically and theoretically. It makes use of prefabricated components and high-end manufacturing techniques, but its major goal is to create a narrative of private life inside and around a highly commodified house. The building itself was influenced by the Catholic Stations of the Cross; each of the fourteen drawings interprets one of the stations as an interaction between house and occupant. The project is intended to draw attention to the dynamic tension between what the Werkbund termed “divine economies” and the Stations of the Cross as they show Christ becoming divine in death. The drawings juxtapose biblical narrative with architectural components and spaces, depicting a modern occupant living and moving through a highly technical, fabricated house. In the seemingly banal circumstances of everyday life, the house creates a tension between the body of the occupant and the material, or mechanical, body of the house. The goal was to reveal the common cleft between the deeply personal aspects of dwelling and the abstractions that highly evolved economic systems produce. In this case, the theme of a divine and corporeal life that is transformed as it faces a societal power is taken to an extreme to reach a wide audience. As the stations progress, the body of the user slowly begins to merge with the structure of the house; in station thirteen, the body begins to deform and reorganize the house’s structural system before it is removed from the house entirely in station fourteen. The drawings were created by altering the stability of tectonic structural systems with various artworks (painting and sculpture) that exhibit entropy and weight; the house slowly reveals a theme of bodily and material weight and a propensity to return material to the earth.
Project Team: Michael Bell, Thom
Long based on pre-fabricated elements from Glass House @ 2 Degrees,