Friday, July 23, 2010

i feel like crying..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


having a fever now, felt exceptionally cold the entire day, though i usually feel cold at my seating position, today was really restless, my morning was a killer when i was pushed to drive the car, and my mom to my workplace, then submissions overwhelmed my desk, i could barely be seen from the next desk,...

kityeng's here to pick me up, continuing this later : D ciaozz
and happy fever to me

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Surprise : )

And you brought a germany bear back for me : D
knowing that I always sleep late and have insomnia sometimes,
missing you and rewinding memories of us and rereading messages,
holding it in my arms, as though you're cuddling me to sleep,
accompanying me every night and every middle of the nights when i just couldn't close my eyes,
waking up to it, little mini versions of you,
how i wish i could rescale them, or maybe just rescale me

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I'm so sad and depressed, all I want to do is rest, you told me to rest but I just couldn't seem to find my way through the night, dreams I just couldn't fight, perhaps i just need you beside even though it's just for a while, as brief as a candle in the wind, I think of you lying in that bed, and wonder if there is anything I could have said, I wish you were still here, how I wish you're just here, though I I know that you are still near, I love you more than you know, I just wish yesterday you didn't have to go, darling it seems like a thousand years, much more than a thousand stars, counting them one by one till we grow old, still, I guess we won't be able to stop counting these endless beings, I just want one more day with you, and I know thats what you would have wanted it too, I miss you more and more each day, in particular today, there is so much more we have to say, though we were surrounded by breezes of silence today, I knew you weren't in your best today, it hurts to know that you're cutting us away, I guess you didn't feel it as much as I do, I love you no matter what you're going through, in all that I'm going through, together we'll go through, I will see you again, darling, till then won't my life begin.
I didn't want this,

There are times when I will upset you and cause you unwanted anger,
There are times of mood swings that would bring me down emotionally as well,
In life there will be struggles, arguments and challenges we will have to endure together,
There will be times where I'll pressure myself in finishing everything and letting it out on you,
There are going to be unwise decisions that I'll always make that might disappoint you,
There are actions I might act upon that will cause you to worry about me all the time,
There will be times where I rather stay up late, not going to bed like you told me to,
There will be moments where you will make me cry and bring me to tears,
There will also be moments where you'll weep for the same reasons,
There are harsh words you might say that will cause me hurt and bring me sadness,
but no matter what, I will always love you.

It reeks of this powerful element called emotion
It reaches your heartstrings and tugs
Hear the echoes?
You eyes will swell with tears
You may reach for the tissue when you hear the familar echoes of love amid rainbow hues chiming resonantly in your ears, beckoning you to take note,

“come take my hand, and together we'll stroll down memory lane..”
Shall we?
Could we ever freeze echoes of rainbows?

Or capture its colours of magical wonders in a jar before it disappears?
Would you hold my hand and lead me up the pathway of rainbows?
Up to nowhere near what the world possessed, of divinity of eternity of everlasting
Love transcends time, boundaries and creeds
Believing that there’s no greater journey than the one that leads you to love
Sometimes, if you can catch the breeze at the right time, you’ll have this surging feeling that love is all around us
Have you ever been assailed by such intense happiness inside, that you feel that you’re like a lark going to burst into song?
For crying out loud, everybody does
Good things are transient, are momentary, they never last
Treasure love when it’s around. Maybe for now, it is staring at you in the face
But it’s like a car, parked at your door, and when the time comes, it revs up and roars off
Weep not when love dies as people do fall out of love
Though time will heal almost everything, memories and scars cannot be erased.

Yet, I believe that good things could last, even if it is as little as one percent
Cherishing every day of our lives together, till the day we part
Dear Marcus, indeed none of your scars will make me love you less
Where you?

I know it hasn't been long since I last saw you,
But to me it feels as long as five hundred years,
I miss you to the point I might be loosing all sanity,
There has to be an end to all this calamity,

I think of you every second and every breath,
For you I would stare even into the face of death,
To kiss your lips is to taste the sweetness of love,
And it brings forth feelings from the heavens above,

To look into your eyes is to gaze into the sky,

So beautiful with the stars and the heavens inside,
To see your smile is to see the divine, sweet love of mine.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The beginning...

If love can be avoided by simply closing our eyes, then I wouldn't blink at all for I don't want to let a second pass having fallen out of love with you.


Music starts playing like the end of a sad movie
It's the kind of ending you don't really want to see
Cause it's tragedy and it'll only bring you down
Now I don't want to be without you around


When I walk I touch the sky. I feel ten feet tall. And I know why
It's everywhere. It's in your eyes. The secret that we can defy
You helped me grow. Now you gotta let me go. Cause I have learned to fly on my own
And it's gonna be. Pulling on my heart and soul. But I can't go back now that I know
Falling upwards. Catch me if you can. One step forwards. Here we go again
Gravity. Ooh, La dada dada da. Can't bring me down
Gravity. Ooh, La dada dada da. Can't bring me down
When I walk I touch the sky. Lucy Schwartz

Honestly, I never thought of gravity as something so subtle and feminine as this

Friday, July 9, 2010


I was a little girl alone in my little world who dreamed of a little home for me. I played pretend between the trees, and fed my houseguests bark and leaves, and laughed in my pretty bed of green. I had a dream That I could fly from the highest swing. I had a dream. Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be. The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep. I had a dream That I could fly from the highest tree. I had a dream. Now I'm old and feeling grey. I don't know what's left to say about this life I'm willing to leave. I lived it full and I lived it well, there's many tales I've lived to tell. I'm ready now, I'm ready now, I'm ready now to fly from the highest wing. I had a dream
Architecture about people. If it had not been about people, it would not have been our profession. It is through our understanding of what people want that our designs evolve. We connect to people through our buildings. Designs must stir people's emotions. Give to others more than what we take for ourselves. And put back to the environment more than what we take from it. We resolve this to be our guiding philosophy for all that we design and create. Architecture has everything to do with people. Which is why our relationship to our client. Go far beyond the project itself. ZLG Design.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively.
Live life with no excuse and love with no regrets.
When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile
Face your past without regret.
Handle your present with confidence.
Prepare for the future without fear.
Keep the faith and drop the fear.
Life has to be an incessant process of repair and reconstruction, of discarding evil and developing goodness. In the journey of life, if you want to travel without fear, you must have the ticket of a good conscience...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Feng Shui

No hill in line. No tree in front.

No john above. No wet beneath.
No mirrored hall or bush too tall.

No stove with sleep or land too deep.
No street too high or wall you’ll die.

No number four, no squared off door
No poisoned corner corner corner corner

– where’s that fucking mirror.
No stop. Look. Go. No door face door.
No decisions without my secret compass.

No evil. No doubt. No end. No.
Fengshui. Somehow, the master forgets about smell, sound and touch.

Ask one and bewilderment will never have looked so complete;
it is all about seen and the no-that-can’t-be-done.
They forget about exceptions to the no because their books only speak of rules,
not when and how they can be broken.
Fengshui. The subversive art of sight, smell, taste, touch, sound and yes.

~Small Projects by Kevin Mark Low

This abstract inspired me a lot after I read the entire book of Small Projects by the Legendary Kevin Mark Low who designed, to me, the most pleasant, experiential and sustainable building in Malaysia, non other than PJ Trade Centre at Damansara Perdana, so to speak. And yes, practicality and feasibility are essential elements that we should learn as we blossom in the world of architecture, not of buildings, but of people and our senses. After working at ZLG Design for a period of two weeks, I started to change my mindset of thinking, to create buildings that value experiences, not merely form making, massing and aesthetics at this point. Yes, all architecture has to have a certain degree of aesthetics but what is aesthetics without quality? Both elements intertwines and twines and twines and we'll whine when we're out of ideas and all.

Phenomenology. The sixth sense. Practicality. Theoretical thinking. Critical learning. Firdaus Khazis. Melbourne University.

So be it, architecture! I'll be back in August!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nonstraightforward Architecture:
A Gentle Manifesto

I like complexity and contradiction in architecture. I do not like the coherence or arbitrariness of incompetant architecture nor the precious intricacies of picturesqueness or expressionism. Instead, I speak of a complex and contradictory architecture based on the richness and ambiguity of modern experience, including that experience which is inherent in art. Everywhere, except in architecture, complexity and contradiction have been acknowledged, from Godel's prrof of ultimate inconsistency in mathematics to T.S. Eliot's analysis of 'difficult' poetry and Joseph Albers' definition of the paradoxial quality of painting.

But architecture is necessarily complex and contradictory in its very inclusion of the traditional Vitruvian elements of commodity, firmness, and delight. And today, the wants of programme, structure, mechanical equipment and expression, even in single buildings in single contexts, are diverse and conflicting in ways previously unimaginable. The increasing dimension and scale of architecture in urban and regional planning add to the difficulties. I welcome the problems and exploit the uncertainties. By embracing contradiction as well as complexity, I aim for vitality as well as validity...

Architects can no longer afford to be intimidated by the puritanically moral
language of orthodox Modern architecture. I like elements which are hybrid rather than "pure," compromising rather than "clean," distorted rather than "straightforward,”ambiguous rather than "articulated," perverse as well as impersonal, boring as well as "interesting," conventional rather than "designed," accommodating rather than excluding, redundant rather than simple, vestigial as well as innovating, inconsistent and equivocal rather than direct and clear. I am for messy vitality over obvious unity.

I include the non sequitur and proclaim the duality. I am for richness of meaning rather than clarity of meaning; for the implicit function as well as the explicit function. I prefer "both-and" to "either-or," black and white, and sometimes gray, to black or white. A valid architecture evokes many levels of meaning and combinations of focus: its space and its elements become readable and Workable in several ways at once.

But an architecture of complexity and contradiction has a special obligation
toward the whole: its truth must be in its totality or its implications of totality. It must embody the difficult unity of inclusion rather than the easy unity of exclusion. More is not less.

~Robert Venturi

Perception in Architecture: An Analysis of the Idea of 'Home' in Modern Houses
Architecture Design Theory 2008
By Marie Jacqueline Tan G-Ming 0801P65546


Architecture is a perception that transforms and needs to be modernized without losing its primary function and fundamental property. In contrast, modern architecture is no longer about purpose or sense of life. (Pallasmaa, 1998, p.125) In time, it is becoming meaningless a people see, people create and that is what architecture is translated into. Building soon will lose their sensory invitation, mystery and secrecy which were once the essence of an ideal place of dwelling. Turning into a retinal art, architecture has thus rejected the perception of a “home”. (Holl, Pallasmaa, Perez-Gomez, 2005, p.29)

The concept of “home” is more towards personalization of an individual which falls outside the modern concept of architecture. Architects build dwellings that, perhaps, satisfy most of our personal needs, but which do not house our mind. When comparing designs of modernity to those of today’s buildings, we will instantaneously notice a loss of empathy for the dweller. (Pallasmaa, 1998, p.113) To a certain point, dwellings must provide space for the experience of the sacred. According to Holl, “Sensations of experience become a kind of reasoning distinct to the making of architecture. Whether reflecting on the unity of concept and sensation, or the intertwining of idea and phenomena, the hope is to unite intellect and feeling precision with soul.” (cited in Dietmar, 2002)

In relation, phenomenology of architecture is looking at architecture from within the consciousness experiencing it, through architectural feelings and emotions. Phenomenology seeks the inner language of a building. If a building does not fulfil the basic conditions formulated for it, phenomenologically, it is unable to influence the emotional feelings that link our souls to the images the building creates. Accordingly, Holl and Pallasmaa are key protagonists who write about phenomenology in architecture. On the same line, similar explorations were the key to Tadao Ando’s works.

So, how do Ando’s houses connect and relate to the phenomenology of architecture? Is Ando’s concept of “space” in line with Holl and Pallasmaa’s ideas on phenomenology?

In this research essay, I will discuss the perceptions on modern architecture through theories proposed by Pallasmaa and Holl respectively, and how it threatens the concept of “home”. I will then further analyze the idea of “home” using examples of Holl’s houses based on Holl and Pallasmaa’s theory of phenomenology. With this, I will discuss Ando’s concept of space by comparing two of Ando’s houses; the Koshino House and the Azuma House that best exemplifies the notion of phenomenology in architecture.


Perceptions on modern architecture and how it threatens the concept of “home”

To start off with, Pallasmaa speaks of architecture as an experiential art that integrates with the five senses, not solely on sight alone. In today’s world, sight has dominated the way we “see” the world. People usually perceive based on first impressions which usually arise from external perceptions. As architects, we design what is most pleasing to the eye; what looks good on pictures and often we communicate ideas through the visual medium. (Holl, Pallasmaa, Perez-Gomez, 2005, p.29) However, most architects tend to neglect or otherwise fail to see the importance of integrating the other senses in evoking a multi-sensory experience in space. (Pallasmaa, 2005, p.62) It is merely a representation of treacherous and blind hostility towards the senses. (Niezsche, 1968, p.253)

Consequently, Steven Holl addresses that our reactions to the visual, tactile, aural and kinaesthetic s sense to a building and its environment very much conditions our behaviour and the way we function in a space. For a building to illustrate an experiential value that surpasses its functional value, a building would need to provide sensory experiences through overlapping elements of architecture to create engagements that in turn form emotional reactions to space. (Holl, Pallasmaa, Perez-Gomez, 2005, p.41) Here, we may be able to have a clearer sense of what is meant for Steven Holl, by that little very “to see.” (Futagawa, 1993a, p.80) Vision is not a certain mode of thought but rather, it is the means given to us for being absent from ourselves. When we observe a building, are we aware of our unique existence in space?

Similarly, Pallasmaa and Holl expresses that architecture is an experiential journey that can never be experienced as a whole. A building needs to be sliced apart from its totality in order for the partial perceptions to be explored. Broken up into fragments of experience such as light and shadow, materiality, enmeshed experience, time and duration, an individual must utilize all the five senses in order to capture the essence of distinct phenomena. (Holl, Pallasmaa, Perez-Gomez, 2005, p.42)

An analysis of the idea of “home”

The feeling of being “at home” cannot be bought because it comes from an intimate relationship between us and our most personal space. (Pallasmaa, 1998, p.60) Our house and home enables us to develop a sense of who we are. It is like a point of departure from which we orient ourselves, shaping us just as we shape it. Fundamentally, a “home” acts as a barrier that distances us from the public, leaving us all alone. Through reflective analysis and solitude, only are we able to access our inner life and being. In addition, buildings do speak through the silence of perceptual phenomena which draws focus onto one’s existence.
This can be seen in one of Steven Holl’s architecture, the New Residence at the Swiss Embassy, Washington D.C., United States. Responding directly to the needs of an ambassador in modern times; in contrast to the existing house, this new one provides privacy for the ambassador and his family, as well as flexible space for today’s diplomatic social life. Besides, with a mixture of strong gestures with the almost secretive air, this new residence announces itself as belonging architecturally to the 21st century.

Figure 1: New Residence at the Swiss Embassy, Washington D.C., United States.

“We have just as great a need to keep secrets as we have to reveal, know and understand them,” mentioned Pallasmaa. (1998, p.121). One of the reasons why contemporary houses are so alienating is that they do not contain secrets anymore. Their structure and contents are conceived at a glimpse. It is simply just transparent and contains very few meanings to its existence. “Home” is particularly strongly felt when we look out from its enclosed privacy yet feeling secure in the inside. It is widely observed that contemporary architecture utilizes a lot of glass walls to eliminate the traditional concrete walls, to break the boundaries between the public and the private.

In the Planar House, Holl placed perforated sheets of steel in front of the main entrance to illustrate transparency. By doing this, he succeeded in creating integration with the exterior, but at the same time, maintaining a level of privacy. When light shines through the patterned steel sheets, the patterns reflect down onto the floor, transforming at different times of the day.

2 3
Figure 2: Planar House.
Figure 3: Light and shadow, time and duration (Holl, 1991, p.62)

This concept of experimenting architecture with spatial and light sequence, textures, smells and sounds is also represented in Holl’s Stretto House. (Holl, Pallasmaa, Perez-Gomez, 2005, p.65) The “stretto” form enables Holl to divide the space in a way that each space is imperative to the other. The flow of space evolve as the floor surface overlaps the next level, the roof overlaps the walls and the curvilinear walls draw in light into the interior spaces. Not only do the forms that compose the house work like the instruments, but the landscape also acts as one of the voices in the “stretto”. When the landscape flows into the house, light flows in too, indicating a flooded room which serves as the phenomenological center of the house. For Holl, the concept is the very meaning of the house. (Holl, 2003, p.37)


Figure 4: Stretto House.

Ezra Pound argued that “music decays when it goes too far from dance and poetry withers when it distances itself too far from song”. (Holl, 2003, p.50) In the same way, architecture has its own origins, and if it moves too far away from them, it will lose its effectiveness. Thus, an intimate relationship with one’s “home” needs to be continually reasserted.

Tadao Ando’s concept of space

One of the questions frequently raised is of how Ando’s houses exemplify the theory of phenomenology. With this, I am going to analyze the theory of phenomenology by Holl and Pallasmaa and incorporate the theories into Ando’s two houses; the Koshino House and the Azuma House respectively.

The Koshino House is located underground, emanating a feeling of secrecy and distancing from public spaces. However, light that enters through narrow slits in walls and ceilings, and in addition to some large windows in the living room facing the outdoor court creates the feeling of openness to nature. Windows are situated to offer only a limited view to the garden, but admit generous amounts of light, which flood over the large concrete surfaces, bringing them to life with passing clouds through time. Therefore, one would not feel that they are enclosed by solid, heavy concrete walls surrounding them.

5 6
Figure 5: Aerial photo.
Figure 6: Side View.

Approaching from above, visitors first enter the double-height block which contains the living room before approaching the longer, single-level space containing a row of smaller rooms.

7 8 9
Figure 7: The two rectangular blocks separated by a flight of stairs, with the living room visible within.
Figure 8: The living room visible within. (Ando, 1997, p.67)
Figure 9: The bedroom wing. (Ando, 1997, p.66)

The essence of “enmeshed experience” (Holl, 2005, p.29) can be first appreciated when visitors descend a flight of stairs before entering the house. Slits of openings tend to camouflage the interior yet exposing it a little, evoking a sense of curiosity. Furthermore, light creates direction in relation to the user’s path. (Ando, 1997, p.7) The corridor leading inside brings visitors to a space lit by a series of slit windows, progressively increasing in height. It suggests spatial depth as one approach deeper into the space. When light shines, colour as a sensory experience is intensified; materials of the walls are highlighted and areas nearer to the light source are emphasized. (Holl, Pallasmaa, Perez-Gomez, 2005, p.91)

10 11
Figure 10: Exterior stairway leading to the entrance.
Figure 11: Interior corridor leading to a room. (Ando, 1997, p.68)

Figure 12: The action of light and shadow, creating monotonous tones of colour.

13 14
Figure 13: Atelier interior
Figure 14: Natural light from above the living room.

The combination of light, shadow, material, colour and the way one responds to each of it further heightens one’s experience through a space. The dematerialization of form which goes through a perceivable passage of time, through the impact of light is strikingly demonstrated in the living room of the Koshino House. Through the action of sunlight, concrete is transformed into an illusory surface. The slits tend to break the bond of the four walls that encloses the space. In view of that, the most expressive interior space is the double-height living room which features a cantilevered dining table beyond the recessed space. (Ando, 199, p.64)

15 16 17
Figure 15: The main entrance.
Figure 16: The dining area.
Figure 17: The double-height living room. Claire, N. (2007)

All of this is implied in the layered plan of the Koshino House, which is inscribed into the surrounding topography in such a way as to expose the principle rooms to the full trajectory of the sun. (Ando, 1997, p.66) However, sunlight enters more precipitously into this house from above, through a narrow precut into the roof at its junction with the wall, casting circular patterns on the floor. From this aperture, a single interrupted shaft of light descends to run its ever-changing luminosity across the adjacent concrete wall that runs the full length in the living room.

Figure 18: Sun orientation in the Koshino House.
19 20 21
Figure 19: Fragments of light created by window panes.
Figure 20: Another light source from slits on the top.
Figure 21: A single shaft of light.

In this instance, the pattern of changing light becomes increasingly organic in shape as it falls onto the continuously curved walls. This is clearly shown in this excerpt:

“…light drawn into its forms dim shadows within emptiness…We are overcome with the feeling that in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway…” (Ando, 1995, p.307)

“Light is a mediator between space and form. Light changes expressions with time. I believe that the architecture materials do not end with wood or concrete that have tangible forms, but go beyond to include light and wind which appeal to our senses”. (cited in Ando, 1995, p. 306) Moreover, not only light and wind but also rain, snow and fog are to be directly experienced as one transverse, for example, the open courtyard of the Azuma Residence, Sumiyoshi, in order to pass from one room to the next.

The Azuma House is a concrete rectangular residence, aligned with other houses in the street. (Ando, 1997, p.51) This ruthlessly minimal, solid blank facade completely shuts off from the streets, focusing completely on the inside; on its own perfection. (Ando, 1997, p.50) However, Ando succeeded in creating a space so thoughtful and reflective even though he had to work against the urban chaos of the city. Having thought hard about the meaning of life and dwelling, Ando came to a close that coexistence with nature was fundamental to human life. With this, Ando marked a contrast between his concrete house and its environment. (Ando, 1995, p.11)

22 23
Figure 22: Azuma House aligned with other houses in the street. (Ando, 1997, p.51)
Figure 23: Simple form of geometry. book.html

Inserted into a row of narrow houses, the simple fa├žade stands out without breaking the rhythm of the street. Stepping through the door, one no longer needs to be conscious of the external world. (Ando, 1997, p.7) It seems to contradict because at the same time, the plain bare walls seem to reject entrance.

In the Azuma House, Ando divided the space in half, incorporating a courtyard in the centre, which is a long narrow passageway. Dealing with space constrains, Ando opened up the courtyard: enabling the dweller to look up to the sky and feel the wind blowing, stirring up emotions and purifying the spirit. It allows residents to experience nature without the distractions of the city. Besides, the absence and presence of the sunlight creates contrasting ambiances as it affects the colour and lighting of the open courtyard. The artificial lighting can be seen mirroring itself on the floor, which evokes a sense of nostalgia, serenity, tranquility and peace.

24 25
Figure 24: The different effects of lighting at the courtyard.
Figure 25: The central courtyard, with its overhead bridge linking the two living areas is open to the sky. (Ando, 1997, p.53)

With this, Ando incorporated the idea of sensory intimacy with surroundings; as a representation of nature which was seen as a form of resistance mediating between universal modernization and traditional Japanese cultures. (, 2007). No matter how advanced society becomes, a house in which nature can be sensed would ideally represent the perfect environment to live in. Hence, there are no barriers between man and his environment, both on the inside and outside, because everything exists at the same time and is interconnected.

The bedrooms were upstairs in separate halves, with the stairway leading to them going through the courtyard. (Ando, 1997, p.7) This means that the residents must carry umbrellas to move around their home on rainy days. The central section which is completely roofless had evoked the controversy of convenience to the inhabitants but Ando had explained why he considered the interior courtyard a burden worth bearing. From a functional viewpoint, the courtyard of the Azuma House forces the inhabitants to endure the occasional hardships. (Ando, 1997, p.8) At the same time, the open courtyard is capable of becoming the most essential part of the house, introducing the everyday life and assimilating precious stimuli such as changes in nature.

This very much supports Steven Holl’s theory of phenomenology which often speaks of bringing the spirit of nature in to create an engaging experiential feeling. With spaces bordering an interior courtyard, Ando attempted to return the contact with light, air, rain and other natural elements to the Japanese lifestyle. This can be seen as the action of rain calls attention to the floor material details. (Futagawa, 1993b, p.13)
Figure 26: The steps and bridge in the central courtyard after rain. (Ando, 1997, p.54)

Not only that, this small space acts as a spatial entity that attempts to balance the reduced physical space of the house. Furthermore, the courtyard doubles its function; one as a pathway and the other as light source for all rooms. Azuma house is a windowless building that only receives light through its courtyard. “In its simple but rich spatial composition, in its expression of enclosure, and in the way light gives character to daily-life spaces, this house encapsulates an image of my architecture.” (Ando, 1984, p.26)

Figure 27: Plan view of the interior.

Moreover, the feeling of “enmeshed experience” (Holl, Pallasmaa, Perez- Gomez, 2005, p.29) is apparent in the Azuma House. Light creates positive and negative spaces and these acts to direct user to follow a certain pathway. Reflections can be seen on the interior walls, persuading the user to enter in.

28 29 30
Figure 28: Section of the Azuma House.
Figure 29: The full-length glass opening creates a sense of transparency to the surrounding.
Figure 30: Light and shadow shown in the section of the house.

In addition, today’s residential spaces may be quite comfortable and functional, but a house infused with nature is more suitable for man and is more true to the basic character of the house. (Jodidio, 2007, p.449) So, by bringing in nature and light into the simple geometric form of houses, closed off from their urban context, Ando created complex spaces. As Ando stated, “I inject the extraordinary into what is the most ordinary and familiar of environments – the house - and thereby encourage people to reconsider what is ordinary.” (cited in Jodidio, 2007, p.451)

The courtyard is an important place where seasonal changes can be directly experienced and perceived by the dwellers through the senses. Also, the expression of nature changes constantly as sunlight, wind and rain brings variety to life. The courtyard is the nucleus of life that unfolds within the house and is a device to introduce experiential phenomena that are being forgotten in the urban world. (Jodidio, 2007, p.451) In this way, architecture has become the medium where man comes in contact with nature.

This made known many aspects of his mature style, including the use of simple plain concrete, and his conscious effort to admit light and wind into the defining walls of his buildings. (Ando, 1997, p. 172) At different times of the day, light shines, dramatizes and highlights different spaces especially to heighten experiential feelings.

Figure 31: The manipulation of light in spaces at different times of the day.

Ando himself consider the Azuma House to be the point of origin for his subsequent work, as he approaches the concept of connecting the art of building to the art of living. With this Ando succeeded in relating the fixed form to the kind life that will be lived in. In the case of Azuma House, the life to be lived was that of busy urban dweller whose opportunities to experience nature were few.


The artistic dimension of a work of art does not lie in the actual physical form of the building. In fact, it exists only in the consciousness of the person experiencing it. Its meaning lies not in its form, but in the images transmitted by the forms and the emotional force that they carry. Thus, phenomenological analysis makes it possible to approach the unsaid, and the implicit helps us to relate our experience of a given place in the form of a narrative or of sensory observation.

Therefore, it is clear that Ando’s concept of “space” in architecture does not only support Holl and Pallasmaa’s theory of phenomenology but also further enhances the concept of phenomenology. Ando is an architect who stresses on the importance of individual journey through a space, complete with sensory experiences as one slowly derives meanings to their own existence, bringing out the very meaning of “space” itself. He also speaks on the importance of bringing in the essence of nature as a concept to “space” especially to contemporary houses which apparently depicts a lack of sensory invitation as modernization takes place.

However, since the circumstances of the environment which we live in are meaningless and that we can only vaguely understand our existence, we hope to infuse architecture with a sense of belonging by coming into contact with the deepest aspects of human nature. (Jodidio, 2007, p.444) A “home”, thus, is a secure and peaceful place where individuals and families escape the pressures of the modern world and also express their individuality in private reflections. (Pallasmaa, 1988, p.61, 119).


Published Texts

Dietmar M.S. (2002). Steven Holl, Idea and Phenomena. Switzerland: Lars Muller Publishers.
Futagawa Y. (1993a). GA Architect 11, Steven Holl. Japan: A.D.A. EDITA Tokyo Co., Ltd.
Futagawa, Y. (1993b). GA Architect 12, Tadao Ando. Japan: A.D.A EDITA Tokyo Co., Ltd.
Holl, S. (1998). Intertwining. New York: Princeton Architectural Press., p. 11, 15.
Holl, S. (2003). Steven Holl 1986-2003. Madrid: El Croquis.
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