Sunday, March 28, 2010

Some further notes on Mothers House

  • The house is an amalgamation of contradictions - simple/chaotic, open/closed, large/small, distorted/regular.
  • Evenly shaped, flat exterior walls suggest closure, but large openings suggest openness and light.
  • Rigidity of interior contradicted by the fact some of the rooms are shaped according to their domestic purpose.
  • House has awkward spaces and elements e.g. central stair that narrows, second storey stair that goes nowhere, and fireplace that is too large.
- Schwartz, Frederic ed. (1992), Mother’s House: The Evolution of Vanna Venturi’s House in
Chestnut Hill, New York: Rizzoli; p. 30 - 32

Progress photos:

Sean sacrifices his finger for the project:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some notes on Venturi's "Mother's House"

  • "Symbolic conception rather than one that is purely spatially abstract... the space is pulled. The space is distended from that hearth as the mass of the chimney rises up to split the house"
    Christopher Mead, ed. and introduction. excerpt from Vincent Scully, 'Robert Venturi's Gentle Architecture.' The Architecture of Robert Venturi. p11-12
  • Rigid symmetry is "monumental" at the street but looser towards the rear.
    Stanislaus von Moos. Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown: Buildings and Projects p.244 - 246
  • "The monumental street facade alludes to Michelangelo's Porta Pia in Rome and the backwall of the Nymphaeum at Palladio and Alessandro Vittoria's Villa Barbaro at Maser... the broken pediment recalls the 'duality' of Luigi Moretti's apartment house on the Via Parioli in Roma" - Von Moos
Michelangelos Porta Pia

File:VillaBarbaro 2007 07 08 09.jpg

File:Villa Barbaro panoramica fronte Marcok.jpg

Luigi Moretti's apartment house - (Source:

  • Some elements corresponding to domestic program, others whimsical not inappropriate to an individual house.
  • Front is a symbol
  • Palladian rigidity
  • Pediment a representation of a classical composition
  • Neoplatonic figure - Vitruvian vision
  • Reflection of plan of Kahn's Goldenberg House project of 1959 in the Beach House

ARCH1201-Architectural Design Studio 3

Robert Venturi - Mothers House