Collage plan studies for projet lyon.  Starting to root architecture on a site is always a challenge, and (especially when the brief is multifarious) it can be hard to make coherent broad-scale moves.  For this study, I began by drawing out the main parts to scale, just as rectangles – nothing complicated.  I used those as a guide to enable me to start to collage: given the floorplan area, I could manipulate and reconfigure it, start to explore the qualities and connections I associated with it, until I had something which resembled a composition of areas.  I’m now in the process of working into that again, to start to break them down into rooms, volumes, spaces, functions, attributes.  It’s given me a foothold, a ground on which to work.

Architecture is at its hardest when it feels arbitrary, the decisions made without reason or logic.  There is nothing wrong with making a decision simply for the sake of having a decision with which to work (and I’ve complained before about students with an aversion to ‘making it up‘), but there is often no reason to work this way.  Proposals do not exist in a void; if decisions are being pulled out of the air then it’s probably because the designer isn’t accessing the right information on the ground.  That can mean setting out information from the site and its surroundings, from the brief, or from the architect’s own ambitions or earlier decisions; what matters is that it acts as a guide, and enables the scheme to grow coherent.