Everything good has to come to an end, and so does studio! With such an open ended and theoretical foundation for thought, our chapel studio had landed in very interesting and varied places. Each student’s idea of spirituality opened up new avenues of perceiving a chapel or a sanctuary. Some dealt with light, some dealt with self-perception, some with sound, and others with psyche. Our panel of seven critics had a lot to say. They were Mark Cruvellier, Chair of Cornell AAP, Bob Balder, our very own executive director of Cornell AAP NYC, Lawrence Blough, NYC-based architect and associate professor at Pratt Institute, Andrew Reyniak, NYC-based architect, Nick Marshall, architect and partner at Chase Marshall Architects NOLA, and last but not least Jim Williamson, director the of B.Arch. Program at Cornell AAP and spiritual guru! After weeks of prep and poetry writing, model making at enormous scales, and divine explorations, we sought to answer the questions of how to elevate the ordinary and everyday to deific proportions. Because NYC is the center of grit, business, and pleasure, we often tacked on to the little things, such as evanescense, preemptive nostalgia, veiling, vestiges, permeability, introspection, and innocence. The results were each very different, but a commonality between all of the projects was a folly-like space which accomodated just a few people, where light and city fabric, even refuse, could become one with the inhabitant. That even the detritis of the city would become something beautiful. Most exciting was the fact that we got to learn a bit more about what living in a city means to each of us, and to really steep in a particular environment. The site became the true soul of each one of our projects. Our rigorous analysis and numerous site visits really paid off and were clear. There was much multimedia used in student presentations, and there was a solution appealing to every sense in the human body.
If you are interested in perusing our work, it can be found at this website.
Many thanks to our professors at the illustrious and pensive firm, Tom Phifer and Partners. Gabe and Tom, thank you for teaching us to see and exercise the beauty in the mundane.