workbook/  289 Caruthers Street, 10/02/2002

Preliminary massing for 289 Caruthers Street for Castean Holdings

Residential Infill in a Rough Neighbourhood

Insertion of 5 residential units of 2000 sq.ft. each: 
 - one 13 foot wide, 95 foot long structure on presently unutilized driveway; 
 - one 4.5 storey tower; 
Second storey expansion and restoration to the historical Magee building;
Preservation and proper landscaping of the five courtyards: 
   - the Courtyard of the Smoking Pipes, 
   - the Rhombic Courtyard, 
   - the Shoemaker's Courtyard, 
   - the Courtyard of the Three Doors, 
   - the Courtyard of Wounded Angels;
Restorative landscaping to the Chain-link Fence of the Maledicted. 

Engaging the surrounding nineteenth century historical context as the only valid reference, the building reifies an arcane minimalism whose morphology rests on the conjoining that artistic rigour of sensibility for construction materials with a personal rapport for the eurythmic precedents of... van der Rohe ( that emanate from his representations of a form of impetuous and revolutionary classicism)1 and which is here imbricated with a memory and abstraction more oriented towards the architector's interiority and his dealing therein with architectonic feelings seeking to emote that final limit of Rilkian "invisibility" 2 .

1. The later serve to introduce an aesthetic itinerary that quickly avails itself of a geometrical deviance elaborating, initially, a personal architecturalzing (one that tries to  undertake a cultural crossing leading beyond Zevian catechetics not as a way of turning one's back to it but contrarily, moving towards deeper understandings that will nourish it through those similar roots with that vital water that has been so mis-spilled on routine building and of whose alchemy the contemporary, disorganizedly focused on the caprice of  'the main concept',  in his doing, seems negligent or ignorant of ).  It is represented through drawings interconnected by revelatory synapses, and which, of themselves, from the point of view of professional doing, can be understood both as research and as eluctable electronic results,  as  «operam virtualem imprimatam». 

2. ref. "The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge - a Novel", Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Stephen Mitchell, Vintage Books, April 1985 
-- inspiring an architecture suspended between metaphysics and history and formal experiments denying the true facade or back and sides, opting for: an architectural vocabulary of a series of fragments fixed "by the interweaving of space" within a continuous and circumscribed volume ( a fluid progression of movement encouraged by the numerous assonances between the material planes and the "collected objects" and characterized by the mechanics of perceptual prolepsis--- disengagement and continual interference, emerging,  disappearing, and re-emerging translated without declaring an unambiguous conclusion) ;  an architecture of the "subordinate perimetering" of a field of action through tectonic expressive means referencing not a single format but rather the  multiple modalities of placing the intended uses as perceptual instruments evidencing their diverse spatial qualities in relation to that continuous and circumscribed ambience and so establishing a profound interaction in which each becomes a critical instrument for the reading of the other. 

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