Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some of My Favorite Follies

Here are some follies I have found inspiring. I have been fortunate to study at least a few of these in person, with Blackwell's honey house and SHOP's camera obscura as exceptions. In no particular order, here are some of my favorites:

1. Meditation Pavilion, Brion-Vega Cemetery in San Vito d’Altivole, Italy, by the great master, Carlo Scarpa. This is an original sketch I made on site. Scarpa's obsessions concerning constructivism & symbolism are perhaps best represented in his works at this private family cemetery.

You can see more pictures of the cemetery here:

2. The Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, Italy. This work by Bramante is more an intensely rationalized sculptural treatise on high Renaissance artistic and architectural tenants, as set out by Brunelleschi, than any type of useful structure.

3. The Honey House by Marlon Blackwell in Cashiers, North Carolina. This is a structure built by the Arkansas architect to store honey. Taking cues from "utilitarian" structures such as mobile homes, roadside stands, factories, and farm buildings and employing contemporary design and construction concepts, Blackwell exemplifies an approach which is highly inspirational to my own folly design.

4. This camera obscura designed by SHOP Architects is an example of how follies can be experimental instances of design and construction with its extensive use of digital fabrication techniques.

5. NC native and Chapel Hill resident Patrick Dougherty's "stick houses" are sculptural installations, painstakingly created using woven tree saplings, resulting in follies which draw on mystery and whimsy.

It is my hope that these few illustrations further illustrate the phenomenon that is the architectural folly, and that they cause you to search out your own beloved examples. In future postings, I will discuss my own folly design- however, these notable endeavors are not meant to be compared to my own modest effort, only to introduce the notion of creating a folly in the first place.

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