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hal box - the genius of the basics

June 18, 2017

Is a creative career worth the effort?

How do you see architectural design as a vehicle for lifting up others?

How does your personal experience affect the built environment and the community you work in?

Why do you feel a desire to solve problems and deliver solutions? 

 

 

These are the burning questions, people! Personal expression, realizing potential, and an aesthetically pleasing building are a large part of what make this life satisfying for me. Equally so is witnessing creative expression of other designers.

 

 

Having a general knowledge of and appreciation for the basics of design and architectural elements was, for as long as I can remember, part of what I was always drawn to as a young person. Imparting the appreciation and depth of seeing to others is what makes architecture a fulfilling career and makes design a universal language. 

 

Hal Box in his book "Think Like An Architect" does a beautiful thing by opening the concept of high architectural design to the amateur, lay-citizen, and anyone interested in form or an affinity for beauty in the built environment. This welcoming gesture is the beautiful root of the story that he tells in order to impart appreciation, knowledge, and discernment upon his reader. 

 

 

Sometimes, going back to the basics even for professionals can serve as a quick but lasting reminder to why they started at the beginning. As follows are Hal's 26 basic rules and concepts of determining architectural form, analyzing and comprehending function, and developing a theoretical basis for a successful and personal project.

 

They can be broken down into many categories and "what-ifs" and cultural variations, but we'll start with the overview. At some point in the future, we'll break all of these topics down in further detail. Please like always let me know if you're interested in a particular topic or discussion and we can choose that road, first!

 

 

RULE 1

DECIDE WHERE NOT TO BUILD 

 

RULE 2

SPACES THAT STICK MAKE A PLACE 

 

RULE 3 

FORM A SPACE USING WALLS, FLOORS, CEILINGS (OR THE LACK OF THEM TO GET CREATIVE)

 

RULE 4

LOCATE A BUILDING FOR THE PLEASURE OF ALL FIVE SENSES

 

RULE 5

ORIENT A BUILDING AND ITS ROOMS FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION 

 

RULE 6

MAKE SHADE AND/ OR INVITE SUNLIGHT PER MICRO- AND MACRO-CLIMATE CONDITIONS

 

RULE 7

TREES AND LANDSCAPING ARE GREAT ASSETS THAT SHOULD NOT BE LEFT UNTIL THE "END"

 

RULE 8

ORGANIZE PLANS TO GIVE ALL OCCUPIED ROOMS NATURAL LIGHT 

 

RULE 9

SHAPE A BUILDING IN RELATIONSHIP TO ITS EXISTING SURROUNDINGS 

 

RULE 10 

SHAPE A BUILDING BY ORGANIZING ITS FUNCTIONS (RELATED, UNRELATED, OR NEUTRAL)

 

RULE 11 

A RECTANGLE IS THE MOST ECONOMICAL SHAPE, BUT IT IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST SHAPE 

 

RULE 12

DESIGN WHAT THE EYES WILL SEE. EVERYTHING THE EYES DON'T SEE SHOULD SUPPORT WHAT THEY DO SEE

 

RULE 13 

EXPRESS CHARACTER AND SCALE IN A WAY THAT COMMUNICATES INTENTION 

 

RULE 14 

A RESIDENTIAL ROOF SHOULD BE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE SHELTER AND SHADE. LARGER NON-RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS SHOULD INCORPORATE BOTH SHELTER AND SHADE THROUGH OTHER ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS BUT NOT NECESSARILY ROOFS

 

RULE 15

GRAVITY WILL ALWAYS WORK BEST WITH A BUILDING, NOT WORKING AGAINST IT

 

RULE 16 

EXPRESSING THE STRUCTURE OF A BUILDING HELPS TO EXPLAIN ITS ORGANIZATION AND THE DESIGN RESPONSE TO IT

RULE 17

MANIPULATE THE STRUCTURAL EXPRESSION TO EMPHASIZE CHARACTER AND STYLE

 

RULE 18 

WALLS DO MOST OF THE WORK TO DEFINE WHAT ARCHITECTURE "IS" 

 

RULE 19

FOUNDATIONS COME FIRST IN ANY RELIABLE BUILDING

 

RULE 20 

CONSIDER FIRST MATERIALS INDIGENOUS AND NATURAL TO THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT AND MICRO-CLIMATE

 

RULE 21 

WATER GOES DOWNHILL. WATER GOES INTO AREAS BELOW GROUND

 

RULE 22

COMPOSITION AND PROPORTION ARE THE ELEMENTS THAT ELEVATE A CONCEPTUAL FORM FROM A PLAIN FACADE TO A CONSCIOUS DESIGN ELEMENT

 

RULE 23 

WALLS AND FACADES DETERMINE COMPOSITION OF A WHOLE 

 

RULE 24 

SPATIAL COMPOSITION IN THREE DIMENSIONAL SOLID VOLUMES AND THE ABSENCE OF SOLID VOLUMES CREATE AN INTERNAL RELATIONSHIP TO AN ENCLOSING FORM

 

RULE 25 

DETAILS DEFINE STYLE, INFLUENCES, AND BUILDING CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES

 

RULE 26 

ALWAYS CONSIDER THE PERSONAL, THE CULTURAL, THE PASSING OF TRADITION, THE HABITUAL, THE ENTERTAINMENT, AND THE LIFESTYLE OF THOSE WHO WOULD INHABIT THE STRUCTURE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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