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Project One

Six Space Set _ Small House

If the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of
the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its
successes, tradition should positively be discouragedTradition is a matter
of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must
obtain it by great labour. T.S. Elliot, 1920.

The traditions of Architecture have evolved since the beginnings of civilisation. Architectural
grammar such as spatial typologies, that transcend cultures, time and styles, have emerged as part
of this tradition. By looking at historical precedents we can discern certain formative patterns that
can not only be used to analyse and interpret existing buildings but also as a means to create new

You are asked to explore a series of spatial types, developed into small dwellings intended for
domestic habitation; spaces to live in. In the first instance you are to imagine living in a small
habitat of 40m2 including space for living, cooking, washing (body and clothes) eating and
sleeping. Then you are asked to develop six spatial systems that articulate six different possibilities
for living.

A straight forward task? Perhaps! What though, if you are expected to transform this ordinary
domestic spatial program into a poetic architectural language - works that demonstrate how well
you understand the six spatial typologies, works that may affect the minds of an audience and bring
forth an emotional response. Then the task becomes more complex, formal and aesthetic - more
architectural. You will be required to work with, explore and understand a series of six spatial
orders. You will have to develop and control a set of prescribed principles in order to make
abstract spatial figures that resonate as architectural projects. To achieve this you will need to use
your imagination, sensibilities, knowledge and determination.

Every small house is to be considered as an independent entity, like an organism that is distinct
from its surroundings because of its internal constitution (its figure). There is no specific location
for the project, simply assume that the site is a flat plain and has a generic Perth climate. Each
dwelling relies on its own special order to create a sense of beauty and should be compelling in its
own right a unique example of how each spatial typology can influence the creation of a distinct
place to live.

So what seems like a simple task suddenly becomes demanding - something that requires
imagination, thought and effort in order to realise a convincing project.
You shall develop all of the six formal spatial patterns identified below:
Centric, Courtyard, Cloister, Serial Progression, Spine and Linear.

Working Methods
You should work consistently with models, diagrams and drawings to represent your ideas. Use
these tools to explore spatial arrangements and to create different spatial typologies
(You will be required to submit your sketchbook, process drawings and models)

A Sketch drawings/diagrams
To explore multiple possible arrangements. Using lead pencils (experiment with hard & soft) ,
draw ideas, diagrams sketch perspectives in your sketchbook and make scale drawings on paper
(try different paper types drafting, trace, detail, film etc).

B Models
1:200 Form models - to explore spatial arrangements and to create the different spatial
1:100 Spatial models - to develop qualitative properties materiality, light & shade and the

C Hardline drawings
To describe plan & section. Use 2H or HB pencil on drafting paper or trace. Draw at scale 1:200
and 1:100. Use the photocopier to create underlay drawings from which variations to the original
can be made.

D Photographic studies
To test, analyse and describe the spatial qualities of your project using a variety of lighting
conditions time & season.

Final Presentation
You are to present your process work as a series of studies. The format of the studies will be digital
prints on A5.
The studies should be developed using a chronological and thematic framework for each of the six
spatial typologies. This will require selection; editing and formatting from the work you have
produced using the four working methods over the duration of the project.

Assessment Criteria
In assessing this project we will review the body of work produced over the duration of the
assessment period. The criteria for assessment will include the following:
Exploration & testing of ideas
Is there evidence of depth in relevant research?
Has there been rigorous testing of ideas through the process work?
Is there evidence of development and evolution of ideas through the process work?
Does the project engage with principles of environmental responsibilities?
How well has the student made use of time in developing the project?
Project Implementation
Have the conceptual idea/s been clearly stated and realised?
What level of inventiveness, interpretation and integration in the generation of
architectural design propositions are evident in the project?
How well have the formal aspects of the project been developed in regards to form, space,
light, orientation and purpose?
How well has the project been expressed visually & verbally?
What level of craft & skill is evident in the visual presentation of the project?
Is there evidence of reflexivity What was done well? What could be done better?

Neille, S. 1998. A Rambler's Gallery - Spatial Propositions in Architecture. In Interstitial
Modernism, ed. L. van Schaik. Melbourne: RMIT University.

Purves, A. 2004. The Persistence of Formal Patterns, in [Re]Perspecta: The First fifty Years of the
Yale Architectural Journal, eds. R. Stern, A. Plattus and P. Deamer, 444-445. Cambridge, MA: MIT

Clark, R. and M. Pause. 2005. Precedents in Architecture: Analytical Diagrams, Formative Ideas,
and Parts. Hoboken, New J ersey: J ohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.
(Held in the reserve collection, Robertson Library)

The brief for this project has been adopted and adapted from a programme Dr. Stephen Neille
began developing in 1997.

Leonie Matthews
February 2010