30 October, 2007

Reina Sofia

The facades of the new addition to the Reina Sophia are very similar. All are made of the same materials and are rectangular shapes subdivided into rectangular grids. The main organizational factor of these grids as planer objects is the triangular shaped roof. This roof is also the most recognizable aspect of the new addition, a fact that I tried to emphasize in my study. I used the roof as an organizational factor to stress the connections between it and the walls and the space created by this organization.


So if you give a world-renowned architect free reign, this is what he gives you--a complex of buildings that have the power to overwhelm the spectator. I choose the word "spectator" because "visitor" does not adequately encompass the profound affect on one's senses. Calatrava's works express a feeling of movement usually relegated to the realm of sculpture. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is best witnessed at twilight or later as the reflecting pools create a stronger tie between the individual buildings. Since the connection to the rest of the city is so weak our class eventually resorted to referring to the complex as "calatrava-land."

29 October, 2007

adventure to the sea

My favorite picture from the trip to Southern spain was of Virgina Black running away from a fast moving car. Doug decided that we should try and make it to the sea in Valencia after seeing Calatrava Land. However, this proved more difficult than anticipated. The road we followed become flooded, and so to solve the dilemma, we waited for traffic to clear. Then all 20 of us could be spotted sprinting down the road trying to keep ahead of the traffic. Virginia following up the end didn't realize that cars where actually coming, and I caught her on camera when she realized that she should probably run a little faster.

28 October, 2007

The Alhambra

The Alhambra seems like nothing more than a see of unorganized patterns when you first enter. However, the more you look at the patterns, the more that you realize that the only reason they seem unorganized is because of their extreme complexity. The Algorithms behind them are so complex that it's hard to understand the creation of only one pattern, much less the hierarchichal relationship between all of the patterns in the palace. A look at Islamic doctrine and the history of the palace makes sense of it all. The patterns are organized from least to most complex, arranged from bottom to top. Also, originally the tiles were colored and the colors also became increasingly complex from floor to ceiling. The main idea behind this is that our presence on earth is extremely simple compared to the nature of the afterlife and of a higher power.

It just wasn't turned on... [Torre Agbar]

So much for waiting till Sunday... then waiting some more. As we know, Torre Agbar didn't light up all pretty-like as we had hoped. On the positive side, several young gentlemen got to express their creative arts (and just incase arch. falls through - practice for a career in tattoo arts). Thanks Will, Hunter, Tyler, etc. :-)

Escape to Montserrat

Hunter and I got a chance to go to Montserrat Friday, October 12th. We took the path at the top of the funicular to the right since it looked less traveled and later scrambled up a barely-there-path (I was skeptical - see pic of Hunter for the path we took) that ended on top of one of those isolated rock formations. It was pretty neat and of course the view was amazing and put everything in perspective.

Unique forms of the Sagrada Familia

Many architects seem to have a signature form or building block. Frank Lloyd Wright used mental building blocks that he played with as a child. Other architects tend toward forms resulting from folded paper, watercolor strokes, or nature. While a generally typical cathedral in plan, the Sagrada familia stood out for the unique forms it contained. I found the iteration of the starburst or lotus shape interesting, particularly as it was present in the interior and all facades but the Passion facade. At first I thought the almost space-age interior and the sculpture outside had nothing in common, but this form prevailed in both whether for decoration, or structural, or even overall with the shapes of the towers.

27 October, 2007

Playground Fun in Valencia

During one of our leisurely walks through Valencia, we came upon this awesome playground. The playground resulted in some pictures, some movies, some laughs, some bumps and bruises, and some straight fall to the sand face first. But it was a great break from the long walk. The swings were my favorite part cause it brought me back to elementary school and recess time.

vuelta españa

(this video is quite old now) while in madrid, we stumbled upon the vuelta espana, a cycling marathon in the city that looped around paseo del prado. we enjoyed the race with a nice coffee, sitting by the fountain of neptune

Plaza Mayor - a second try

During our visit to Madrid, we studies a plaza called Plaza Mayor. We first visited it during the day and I really was not too fond of it. I felt like there was not a lot going on. Then I went back at night to take pictures and realized how much the plaza comes alive at night. The most noticeable difference between the day and the night is the vast change in the amount of people in the plaza. As a result, the mood in the plaza changed slowly throughout the day. The plaza also has a change of sounds throughout the day. During the day, the plaza tends to stay at a neutral tone. During the night, the plaza tends to get louder with people talking the playing of instruments around the dinner tables. I attempted to show this transformation of the plaza in my first A3. Looking my A3 after it was done, I realized that it was a little unclear. Then, I created another A3 of Plaza Mayor to hopefully show the transformation a little better. During my second A3, I toned down the title so it didn't take away from the information I was trying to show. Then, I got an overview of the entire plaza and used lines to show view points. Then I showed a night and day photo of each one of the four sides of the plaza. By doing this, you can better compare day and night. In my second A3, you can see that people tend to stop and look at the plaza more during the day. They take more pictures of the buildings and the entertainment. They also use the plaza as a meeting place. During the night, people tend to sit on the ground more and use the plaza as a shortcut to get to where they are going. You can see this by the fast pace of the people as night.

Snowball fight in Andorra

The climb up Andorra at night was cold, wet, and miserable, but the view was stunning. We could see the twinkling lights in the valley and the silhouette of the mountains against the glow of the moonlight. I froze all night, but awoke to a sunny, fairly warm day, and a snow-covered mountain. We all had so much fun playing in the snow, and the hike down was scenic and fabulous!

21 October, 2007

Torre Agbar

Comparing the forms, color, circulation, and surroundings of Montjuic and the Torre Agbar.

17 October, 2007

The Guggenheim Bilbao, belated

We've all seen the Guggenheim a million times in books and magazines, like one big blind contour in the middle of a city. The Guggenheim Bilbao is objectified in the media and in our world of architectural study, but to visit it, to see it situated in the city of Bilbao, to experience it for what it is to the city, for the city, and for the arts is an altogether different perspective that sheds light on the building itself and Gehry's success at creating such a sculptural piece of architecture that works on many different levels. Contextually complex, the Guggenheim creates moments throughout the city, and the city itself creates valuable moments for one standing in the Guggenheim. To visit the Guggenheim is to see that Bilbao, the city as we know it, would not exist without the monumental presence of the Guggenheim and that the building could not exist or thrive so successfully without the city of Bilbao, its location, and its culture. It is not the architecture alone but the relationship between the city and the building that makes Gehry's Guggenheim work.

16 October, 2007


So we all know that our professors like to use analogies to help us better understand the impact or the visualization of what they are trying to say. Usually, this is a quite helpful tactic, until they get so strange or obscure that it makes your jaw drop and squirm in your chair. Well here are some of the metaphors that our studio professor, Juan Carlos uses:

The Pear: This is the torture device that JC used to describe how we should manipulate our site. It was made of four 'leaves' which joined together by a hinge at the top. A screw inserted between the leaves could be turned to slowly separate the four lobes of the 'pear', expanding the orifice into which it had been inserted. The torturer could choose whether to simply distend the cavity (I'll let you use your imagination here), or expand the pear to it's absolute maximum and mutilate the prisoner.
Injection: This was used specifically on our project to show how we need to have many different reactions on our site. Example, if you take 4 rats and injected each of them with differnt things: poison, alcohol, drugs and water; what would you get? well in my opinion you would have quite a few dead rats!
Cutting: what does this do? When you cut yourself you cause blood shed and scaring. So when analyzing the site there are some things you cant remove, the scars. These are things that will remain somehow, they cannot be healed.
And finally "Honey I Squished the Kids": when trying to describe the how a site should be condensed, he tried to related it to the ever so popular, family favorite, 1989 movie Honey I (yes...) Squished the Kids. I know that this was one of my favorites growing up that helped shape who I am. I will always apply this movie to any concept for a site.

So make of these comments as you wish. This will give you a little incite to our studio professor. If you need help translation I recommend using freetranslation.com. or any other translation site.

15 October, 2007

plaza mayor video 2nd edition

I decided to cut out the "timeline" aspect of my video and focus solely on how repetition was used to create the main design of the plaza. Popular consensus was that this was the most interesting part of the first installment, so I developed that thought more fully in this edition, which I feel makes the video both easier to understand and more visually appealing.

park adventure

So Maria, Whit, Will and I decided to make a picnic lunch and go socialize in the Ciutadella Park. We made some amazing pasta salad and some sandwiches, and by this point the sun was getting low. We set up a blanket between some trees overlooking a group that is preforming some strange music accompanied with a type of slow dance-like martial art. As it got darker, we busted out our candles. As we are sitting there chatting, I hear movement in the bushes behind us. We discover a man crouching in the bushes staring at us. He slowly back out and left, but then 1ominutes later returns passing in from of us. We keep an eye on him until he goes behind the same bush and Maria is like "he is in push up position staring at us!" So we get up and move. We find some cool people playing with lights on the end of strings and playing guitar and singing. We stay there for the remainder of the night and meet a new friends from Angora and France. Then Maria feel asleep and we carried her wrapped in the blanket for a good while. People laughed.

DDR : Bommarillu Style

there are no words.
iteration #1 of the Bommarillu Bommani Geeste dance sequence...
starring Kelly Pollard, Dylan Thomas, Casey Stanberry, and Rosalyn Cowart
with a brief cameo by Madison Meggs, the creepster in the background.
based on the 2006 romantic musical seen here

14 October, 2007

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia has an extreme contrast of sculptural style between its two currently built facades. These two facades represent the birth of Christ ( a more organic and classical style) and his Crucifiction (geommetric, Cubist style). The two are so different that when I saw the Nativity Facade I hated the Sagrada Familia, while I fell in love with the Cubist style on the other.


Sometimes I can hear this old Earth shouting
Through the trees as the wind blows
That's when I climb up here on
This mountain
To look through God's window
Now I can't fly but I got two feet
That get me high up here
Above the noise and city streets
My worries disappear


after our first all-nighter of the semester a few of us decided to take a relaxing trip to sitges. the train ride there was not bad at all. the town was very cute, the beaches were gorgeous, and the weather was perfect. we attempted the film festival but all the movies for the day were sold out. we found gay nude beaches, a lot of interesting shops, a sitges of born pizza (a favorite among all of us), a bar with 4 euro drinks for happy hour, among other things. the trip back was definitely an adventure. we got back to the train station with what we thought was plenty of time to spare. once we were there, a police officer told us the last train back to barcelona left about an hour earlier. we made our way over to the mob at the bus station. lucky for us the bus stopped right in front of us and we pushed our way through the mob to ensure we would not be left in sitges for the night. overall this was a very relaxing getaway from all of our work and the city.

a church inside-out

I found the Sagrada Familia to be one of the most awing churches. I can't wait to see the finalized product, and hope I am alive to see it. One thing I found interesting was that most of the religious detail remained on the outside of the church. The inside was very breath-taking, but I failed to see of the detail of Biblical references that I noticed on the outside of the church.

a change of heart

The Guggenheim has become the new center and heart of Bilbao; pumping new ideas, people, and money throughout the city. The Museum brings about a million visitors to the city each year.

13 October, 2007


Oct 13, 2007
The Dali Museum in Figueres is about a 2 hour train ride away after taking the metro and all the stops. However, I felt my time in travel was completely worth it. The museum didn't have my favorite works by Dali however there were some really different sketches that I enjoyed. I really disliked the exhibit space because they were narrow corridors surrounding a courtyard and made me feel crowded and rushed. The courtyard was pretty striking thou. I did find one of Dali's sketches for his Jewel collection that I struck me. Dali believed that to be a true artist, you have to be able to use many different mediums, hence the Jewel collection. I know it might be strange, but I have always wanted to be a flying mermaid and it is my screen name as well as subject of many previous sketches...and Dali also has one. We must be soul mates. After Dali, Whit and I decide to check out the largest fortress in Europe. It might have been a mistake to walk around it, because, really how big can the biggest be?? about a little over 2 miles in circumference thats it...

Camp Nou.....except more nou.

On an architectural current events note........don't know whether you've heard but they are going to completely redo Camp Nou. A recent competition was held and they picked Norman Foster's colorful new renovation as the new look for the Barca soccer team's stadium. If you to to the COAC in the bookstore building, you can see the models of the top ten entries that were made for the competition. Foster's is on the far left side of the display, most distinguishable by its intriguing colorful skin.

This is not the first time Foster has done a big stadium project. Wembley Stadium, the most famous stadium in England, was once a rotting old dump that turned into one of London's cherished new additions to its skyline. This project means just as much to its team's fans and the country (Catalonia), but the design is much different. In this case, Foster decided to keep the general form of the stadium, except giving it a more dynamic skin that he even calls Gaudi-like, and improving on the current facilities. The stadium will also be able to seat 106,000 people after its completion. Below is a YouTube clip of Foster, in which he is talkin' about the stadium.... talkin' about the design, no?


11 October, 2007

Tres Preguntas Cortas and other Spanish Snafus

Temples and I had many Barcelona adventures while doing our cultural project for Spanish class. We were a wonky pair, the two of us clueless when it comes to the Spanish language. We decided to ask people around Barcelona 3 short questions...Where would you live if you could live anywhere in BCN? anywhere in Spain? and anywhere in the world?
Our first hot spots were the various plazas in Gracia. At this point in the game I was so nervous I was about to throw up. I'm not usually so shy or anxious but the thought of approaching a stranger rambling on in my broken Spanish terrified me! I turned to Temples basically freaking out, begging him to hop into the nearest bar on Placa del Sol so I could get a little help regaining some courage. He just laughed. Apparently my slight anxiety attack was funny?!? So I told myself to just do it!...(there's a flashback for you) and it was all downhill from there. Our first interviewee Adriana was as sweet as could be, quelling all of my unwarranted fears for the rest of the day. Temples and I went on to interview several very interesting people. Not to say there weren't anymore setbacks...I couldn't keep up with the number of times Temples spoke in French instead of Spanish, or the number of times people couldn't understand us! Two ladies near the Born misunderstood the question and thought that I asked them what they liked to drink...beber instead of vivir. Temples,the ladies, and I had a good laugh.
There were other distractions as well. We wanted to stop for food every ten minutes, true Rozzy and Temples style, and we'd occasionally/always slow down past the windows of shoe stores. We ran into two dogs in the Born stuck together, back to back. We couldn't figure out how that could have happened...it was pretty disturbing, but impossible to stop staring. In Parque de la Cuitadella there were crazy break dancers behind our bench and jack hammers rattling while we were conducting interviews. If it wasn't one thing it was another, but I must say the project was a fun one. We compiled a video summary...complete with bloopers and all! enjoy.

10 October, 2007

The entrance of light into the Sagrada Familia

A week before we went on our first study travel to Madrid and Bilbao, we visited the Sagrada Familia right here in Barcelona. The building was absolutely incredible. There was so much detail to the building, I feel I could stay there and study the building for an entire 24 hours and still miss something. While I was sketching on site, I found the bell towers in the front very appealing. I really liked the way they drew my eye up the sky. I did research on the Sagrada Familia and found that the vertical shape of the bell towers represent the union between earth and light. I also found the columns in the front of the building really attention getting. If you looked really close, you could see the names that were on top of each column. One column actually had my name on it. The column in the middle of the main entrance had the name, Jesus, on the top. While studying the building, I continued to find many characteristics and designs that continued to draw my eye up to the sky. While doing these case studies, I found the concept of light to be very interesting. I continued with my study of light and how light enters the Sagrada Familia. I emphasized my sketches with zooming in on actual pictures I took during my visit. Light tended to enter the building through the bell towers, the central nave (but that may also be cause it is still under construction), and through the stain glass windows.

Day Trip to Montserrat

When Sunday came along, Will, Tyler, Virginia, and I decided to make day trip to Montserrat. The trip was absolutely incredible. We started with our 45 minute train ride, which was followed by a 5 minute air lift up to Montserrat. It was beautiful. Because it was Sunday, there was a service being held in the basilica. That was our first stop for the day. There were so many people in the church that we really couldn't see anything but we could hear the choir and they were wonderful. After the service, we visited the museum. The museum had pieces by Picasso, Dali, and much more. After lunch, we continued our journey by hiking up two of the mountains. The second mountain we were hiking up, we found an open piece overlooking the entire area. Virginia had the urge to do yoga, so she did yoga while teaching me and our new friend, Rafi. After our yoga session, I decided to do some gymnastics. I did not know if I was ever going to get the chance to do gymnastics on top of a mountain at Montserrat again. So i decided to do a dangerous, but liberating, handstand on the top of the mountain. Not only was it an amazing feeling but it resulted in a really cool picture. Our day trip to Montserrat was definitely unforgettable.

09 October, 2007

parc central de nou barris

The other day I explored the park that I picked for Kathrin's class. Maria and I decided to head up to check out our site, not really knowing what was in store. We had picked this without knowing what the park or the neighborhood were like. When arriving at our site, the first thing we noticed were these huge palm leaf looking structures. These seemed to be a theme throughout the park, because there were about 7 sets of them each with about 4 structures. The site was gigantic, about 17 hectares in size. It took a while to walk through the entire park, but we eventually got through it. The best part of the park was the playground that we found with many different things to do. We agreed that it was probably meant for kids a little younger than us, but our temptation was too much. We played on the playground for a good half an hour. My favorite part was the zip line thing. Here is a video of maria going down the zipline.

cursed rainbows

So, while many students where practicing and finalizing and presenting their Spanish presentations, I decided to take out my good old film SLR . After standing outside RESA for a while trying to decide where to go, I decided on the Parc de la Cuitadella. It was a nice day and I spied on some kids who looked like they were practicing for the circus. I start to hear thunder and saw a huge black cloud approaching, and of course assumed it wouldn't amount to much. But then it poured. Luckily we found a place for shelter but still got wet enough. I blame it on my Rainbows, which I hadn't worn since Bilbao when it poured.

how much wood would a plaza mayor chuck if a plaza mayor could chuck wood?

the most intriguing thing about plaza mayor is it's layering of space. this takes place in the organization of program--under the arcade is commercial, on the other side of the columns is dining, and further in we find places for meeting, meandering, and performers. my video seeks to capture this layering by passing along the same strip of the arcade in a long, continuous shot. it also captures the contrast of the arcades as they enclose and suddenly disappear. They cover you and then open up into the larger spaces through which one would enter the plaza.


Pl. Mayor has drastically changed since its execution and festival days, opting for a more tourism-based environment to accomodate the throngs that visit daily. I noticed the beauty and blemishes found everywhere around the arcade because of this tourism increase. From wiring, trash and dishes to artwork, performers and decor, the arcade has a definite deuling attitude.

plaza mayor video mapping

In this brief video, I attempted to show how Plaza Mayor was designed and built by repetition. I also wanted to show how the space has been used for drastically different events throughout history.


Hunter Mckenzie + Matt Fry + Frank Kortyka = McFrk-itecture. Tambien, just so I remember this when I read my posts later, I saw a guy get hit by a car in Madrid while he was running to catch a train.

my starbucks desk organizer

In the words of Dave Welch, "the coolest dumb thing I've ever seen." And yes, for all you curious Starbucks execs who frequent this blog...it is copyrighted.

08 October, 2007

Something With Alliteration Because That Makes Titles Cool

For this week's case study of the Sagrada Familia, I chose to focus on Gaudii's use of the natural world. Most churches prefer to ignore nature in their structure, but Gaudii revels in it. He intertwines the two to show religious passion combining with nature instead of existing in spite of it.
My sketching style also changed. I started looking more at the image I was drawing than the page, and I tried to use color to sharply punctuate the sketch instead of just glossing over it.

Samsara in Gracia

Saturday night a group of us went to a restaurant in Gracia called Samsara. It was amazing. If you put price aside for one night, check out this tapas bar. For about 16E a piece, the 9 of us got 21 tapas, 3 bottles of wine and 3 desserts! This is some of the best food you will have because you try so many different things; from tempura asparagus to potatas bravas with pesto it was incredible! And the dessert was the perfect ending; my favorite was this chocolate muffin that was like a volcano of chocolate when cut open. This was a perfect dinning occasion with great ambience, food and company. So if you are a large group, or solely a couple, this place will cater to your needs. Enjoy!

07 October, 2007

Plaza Mayor, do and re-do

The first study I did on the Plaza Mayor was focused on repetition and the differences that stand out from this repetition. The repetition in the plaza created a backdrop for all of the important historical events that took place there. I wanted to express that, but I didn't really get it accross in my first iteration. The second time, I did a more analytical elevation drawing to show the repetition of lines and elements. I combined this with pictures of other historical architecture typologies to show how architecture could be used as either foreground or background to influence public opinion. Finally, I sketched the different activities within the plaza to show its current uses.

Fourth of July and Naitonal Day of Catalunya

Fouth of July conjures up images of Deer in grassy fields telling God to bless america, people of all ethnicities being brought together to stuff their faces with incredible amounts of hot dogs, and oversized children trying to chose the lucky duck (at least on google). In stark contrast, the National Day of Catalunya made me think there was about to be a Civil War in Spain. As I was walking down the street, I saw tons of people calling for rebellion. Later that night, we went to a concert where we saw some of the most amazing cultural dances and heard Catalan music that was unbelievable. Some of the dancers were wearing the colors of Catalunya and were up on stilts swinging fire sticks to the beat of about 15 different drums. The Catalans have a different type of pride here. It's one full of energy, rhythm, and life, and is much different than any national celebration I have been to in the states.

06 October, 2007


Despite producing the work of half a person" we all know we suffered health wise this past week and nothing was better at the end of it all than some long sleep, good food, and archi-lovin. I know it keeps me going! luvyall!

Plaza Mayor: From Dawn to Dusk

The occupancy of public spaces of Europe is one of my favorite subjects so far in our travels. It is so interesting how no matter where you go in Europe, there is always a series of plazas that includes a central plaza, and most of the time they are always packed with people. I feel that this is one of the things that makes a place a "city" in its truest sense. I feel like the idea of an American city is slowly fading away, and the lack of public space is a major reason. A lot of cities in America don't even have a single place for pedestrians unless you count the parking lot of a McDonalds or something. Of course it is an unfair comparison but it unquestionably makes Europe a more adventurous place in a way.

The Plaza Mayor is dynamic because of its history and the way it changes with the time of day. I decided to take photo montages of the interior so that it looks like I broke open the square and showed all the people there at once. I took three, one in the morning, one in the mid afternoon and one at night. The one in the morning is when it is empty and filled mostly with tourists. The other two show the plaza at much more active times, mostly because more locals are out and about. The plaza's permanent conditions include its place in the history of Spain, and the events that took place there, which both make it a tourist attraction and a place of pride for the Spanish kingdom. The number of people and types of people are also affected by the time of year, time of day, weather and events of the city. The time we were there was towards the end of tourist season, during a period of fine weather, and around the time of the noche en blanco. I would make an educated guess that because of these conditions the amount of people shuffling through and hanging around the plaza mayor was relatively high.