View House is a space for visual exploration. Stepping levels, cast shadows, and hidden passages lead visitors through this maze of an architectural funhouse.
The Field Condition, The Ruin, The Folly
View House was guided by three architectural devices:
the field condition: a circumstance found at a project site that could not have been anticipated in advance (in this case, an incline placed into the middle of the 100’ x 100’ site)
the ruin: a skeleton. Its physical layers have disintegrated over time – or were never there to begin with
the folly: a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs
These devices established the fundamental issues and context for the project, providing a point of origin for an architectural proposal.
To create View House, a grid of walls was manipulated in plan by pinching, pulling, and expanding to create forced perspectives and paths. A large dip was cut out of the tops of the walls, creating a system of high and low points. These exposed walls became the skeleton, or the ruin, of the project.
The ground was stepped to accommodate the incline of the site. At the high steps, View House can be admired as an object, a collective figure, a system. At the low steps, visitors are engulfed by View House’s towering walls, finding themselves lost within its complexities.
Finally, follies were added atop the walls to reinforce the conditions below. In areas where paths went uninterrupted, shadows were cast with straight lines to urge fast, forward movement. In areas where paths overlapped, shadows were cast with materials like nets, trellises, and intersecting lines to slow users down to consider their surroundings.