Friday, September 16, 2011

Eyes on the Street PHILADELPHIA

Taking a cue from Jane Jacobs, PLAN PHILLY launched a new blog called Eyes On the Street about neighborhood planning issues - the interesting ones that people like to talk about!  Perfect name. They asked me to design the web header which I was very happy to do.

Breakfast Club (& Sketching) on The Lawn

My first entree to a Lawn Room.
The Breakfast Club: boys, bagels, beer.
Right, The standard gear for journeys to and from the community bathroom, by way of the arcade, and the standard issue rocking chair which suited me just fine.
Left, the list of this room's tenants by year - all the way back to 1895.
There is an abbreviated bathroom in one corner and an abbreviated kitchen in another, the bedroom and study share a corner, and the living room centers around a handmade door table. The large flatscreen sits on the fireplace mantel. Just as Jefferson envisioned.
And now we get to work, drawing Pavilion III, using our simple tools for gauging proportion.
Our friend, Marina, is engrossed in giving a trial tour.  She is one of 300-400 hopefuls to try out and one of about 60 to be called back for an interview. When she passes the interview, she'll be one of a select group or official U.Va. tour guides. 
The Lawn must be mowed. And we find ourselves adjusting our seats to avoid being mowed.

Friday, September 9, 2011

On-Site Sketching: The University: Pavilion II

Another overcast day, mostly, to complete the drawing of Pavilion II began last week.  One of the delights in sketching at this particular World Heritage Site is the peripheral community that comes and goes throughout the morning - students, families, tourists, tourists from different countries, student tour guides practicing their tourspeak (as pictured above.)

The sun breaks through the clouds triumphally...and it gets a lot hotter and harder to see...but I finish the drawing.

Friday, September 2, 2011

On-Site Sketching: The University: Pavilion II

Lucky to have an overcast day while drawing Pavilion II as the sun is just above its pediment, on the other side of the clouds.

We are focusing on drawing correct proportion from sight, occasionally using our pencils as perspectival measuring sticks and squinting like architectural sketchers do. It will be interesting to see, when completed in the same drawing language, the differences and similarities between the ten unique pavilions.

This morning, while walking up through the range gardens, I approached the lawn through a passage between student rooms and found myself at odds with the column - only one in the long colonnade that frames the lawn, connects the pavilions, and provides covered passage along rooms - that sat in the middle of my view toward the lawn.  Instead of framing this entrance opening between two columns, one column bisects it.  I caught a hint that this is one of Jefferson's moves at breaking the rules of classicism in its own language.