Monday, 31 January 2011

Brick Breaker Strategy

The angle of the extension frames is the same angle with the existing flying buttresses. Directions are coming from two origin points: transept and the choir center, extending - corresponding the end of the structural grid of the Beauvais Cathedral.

The extension is like the ball bouncing between the brick breaker block and the bricks, the in-between space is to be discovered between the cathedral and the neighbors. Entrances, walkways, vegetation is to be mapped that overlap with the proposal's site.

In-between space in plan

In-between space shown on the aerial photograph (click on the photograph for the larger image)

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Elypsis Vectors

In this version, the entrance / exit to the cathedral would be more practical (G) - making sense. divisions (H, I, J) being parallel to each other, A to G spaces are also less awkward. 

As a result of this study, I can categorize the spaces around the cathedral into 6 types.
(H)(I)(J) can be ideal for cubic spaces
12° (E) can be ideal for circulation: lifts + stairs + escalator
13° (F) 
14° (A)(B)(G)
18° (C)(D)
26° (K)(L)(M)(N)(O)(P)(Q) short but wider spaces

It is important to keep in mind these divisions are not exactly same size and some are equal to each other for the next steps, but the decisions taken for 12°, 13°, 14°, 18° in terms of the space making does not really matter, the only consideration worth to pay attention can be the 26° ones' width.

Taking the 14° slice, I divide the space in plan into 8m x 8m + 16m x16m rooms which is the same dimensions for the structural grid of the cathedral.

The perpendicular divisions can align or be completely different in every slice.

Programming the Divisions

This is an earlier sketch done on Friday before tutorial. Showing an access at +26m above the choir, some ideas for the potential routes for going around the cathedral + the extension.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Moving away from the plan

This scanned diagram shows the height of the spaces for the Beauvais Cathedral.

This is the extensions according to alignments, can give a clue about the height of the wrapping structure.

Structural Alignment

Here, the extension lines meet the existing structure.

The new naming, asymmetrical nature of the new system suits better with the Gothic nature of the building. The study on right side is a potentially interesting starting point to investigate the vault heights - extension space height.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Programming the Skirt

On Friday, Matthew suggested the structural extensions meet with the existing grid / system of the cathedral instead of being a continuation of the choir. It will make more sense to have a wrapping building that follows the existing structural system instead of a circle following the 26 degree rule of the choir.

Boundary Studies

The descending mass - starting from the nave. 

The existing structural grid of the Beauvais Cathedral (bolder lines) meeting the repetition of choir (13 degrees, rotation)

The Context vs Wrapper exploration re-make according to single centered version.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Extending Structure

On left, there's the existing structural grid / flying buttresses extended. On right, there's an additional set of flying buttresses originated from the center point of the choir. These new addition of buttresses are meeting the existing grid's intersection points with the perimeter.

Here on left, the drawing shows the situation after the subtraction of the existing cathedral. On right, instead of making the choir extension meet the existing structural grid's imaginary extension, I prefer the repetition of the existing angles of the choir since the perimeter does not have to be circle in the later versions.

After the subtraction of the public space opening to the restaurants and cafes is shown on left. Every two chapel wall is creating an angle of 26 when it is extended towards the origin. The operation on right is about making this every 13 degrees angle in the "mountain".

The stronger lines are defining the edges of the steps descending while the lighter lines are showing the idea for the structure.

Scale Potentials

Using the center point for the transept and the origin for the choir, new set of flying buttresses are formed around the cathedral. The study shows the maximum length (in plan) of the flying buttresses until they reach to a building on site. 

The longest reaching points are more valuable as entrances - vistas towards the building, from top to the bottom, 3 sections are more to be "built" parts while the open space in front of the south facade can ideally be used as ground level.
Taking the center of the transept as the origin with 60m diameter for the extension of the cathedral is making more sense in terms of the available space around the cathedral.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Understanding the Limits

01, 02, 03 Culture Bishop's House Museum
04 Health - Orthopedist - Florin Patrick
05 Employement Agency - Emploi 60
06 Residential
07 GovernmentFamily Allowance
08, 09 Residential  
10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Culture - National Gallery of Tapestry
15 Employement Agency - Alary Travail Temporarie
16 Retail - Des Fleurs en Plus
17 Restaurant - Le Zinc Bleu
18 Retail - Anquetil Optique
19 Restaurant - Les Palais Bleu
20 Residential

distance from the origin - in between space from the cathedral
01 77 625mm - 57 259mm
02 79 970mm - 60 115mm
03 154 933mm - 134 567mm
04 53 920mm - 32 247mm
05 64 067mm - 26 697mm
06 62 578mm - 31 109mm
07 119 314mm - 87 145mm
08 35 334mm - 10 259mm
09 149 013mm - 128 270mm
10 46 597mm - 25 254mm
11 67 615mm - 46 872mm
12 74 073mm - 53 479mm
13 71 274mm - 50 530mm
14 61 445mm - 40 702mm
15 140 865mm - 120 121mm
16 82 702mm - 57 627mm
17 77 353mm - 45 185mm
18 72 661mm - 41 241mm
19 67 210mm - 29 839mm
20 129 502mm - 107 469mm

Testing two origins

Monday, 24 January 2011

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Project Brief

Seven Lamps of Architecture
Lamp of Sacrifice - Illusion
Lamp of Truth - Wrapping
Lamp of Power - Mounting
Lamp of Beauty - Bundling
Lamp of Life - Meandering
Lamp of Memory - Containing


Completing a major cathedral like Beauvais is not a similar task to completing Notre Dame of Paris or Reims as if they were left incomplete in the middle of a major metropolis of France. The city has a population of 60.000 and it is not likely to increase in the near future. Cars are dominant at the city center, population is not young. One important aspect of the city is presence of the Beauvais Tille Airport. The airport is used increasingly by the travellers of Paris and Disneyland. Shuttle and train services are supporting the airport. As a city, the expectation of Beauvais become Bilbao by the power of one building is unnecessary and unrealistic. However such a beautiful building the left alone, incomplete in the middle of this village like city is tragic too. It should be recognised there is a reason the most ambitious gothic cathedral ever built is incomplete and it is mainly related to the financial and cultural weakness of the city Beauvais.

Turning the Beauvais Cathedral politely into a sparkling diamond having no dramatic impact on the city life would be an elegant restoration work. What should happen with such a great interior space is, it should expand, break the ground and conquer only to become part of the city again without any banal statements against the religion. Preserving itself as a Cathedral, a new world can be built around it to prove the power of the building again.

Urban Thesis

Our world today is not about the city, it is about buildings, it is either about the free standing - object like buildings or ugly and mega buildings providing infrastructure themselves. If this is the rule of the game, we can only manipulate and shock, to prove a building can do more than being a pretty sterile background image, a wallpaper.

Like Mont Saint Michel, like Laon Cathedral of France, Beauvais has to expand has its own city around it engaging 24/7 with itself instead of being alone. The completion is not a physical addition, completion is the bridging of Beauvais with it's people. It’s a soft transitional frame providing great spaces between the spectacular interior of the cathedral and the slow city of Beauvais.

This transitional space must be heavy looking like a mountain however when it is experienced as a space should be very light looking as a structure. The observer must be surprised in the city seeing at certain angles building becomes almost transparent similar to the experience of Reims Cathedral’s facade.

Mont Saint Michel of France is a city built around a church located at the highest of a rock. Since Beauvais has the most ambitions of height among other Gothic cathedrals, the idea is to treat the incomplete cathedral as an origin for a mountain city opening into the great interior.


Nave is the incomplete part of the cathedral, therefore the proposal starts with the line completing half of the roof for the nave. Then this nave reaches the ground level descending while rotating around the cathedral taking the transept as the origin. The lines, like a spider web are connected to each other forming spaces independent from the interior of the cathedral,

Monday, 17 January 2011

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Perimeter Study

This perimeter is defined by the railway in south and river on west.

Taking the transept as the origin and scaling down the perimeter %50 + %50 + %50 a new perimeter is formed around the cathedral.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Meandering Routes

Mont Saint Michel from top. The built part of the Mont Saint Michel is the south and east side. This illustration is orientated towards west on top.

The entrance is from southern skirt of the mountain, the yellow indicates the route to the abbey. There's a church, hotels and tourist information buildings on the sides.The diagram on right is the interior walk including terrace round walks starting from the interior of the abbey. The experience is all interlocking indoor spaces.

The exit walk is a different route with restaurants and shops on the sides.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Flying Buttress Mountain

As a diagram, this is the complete building. My aphorism for the Ruskin's Lamp of Memory chapter is about being against the idea of "complete building". Buildings are never complete and every room in a building has a potential of becoming another building within the larger.

The boundary, the perimeter is what divides the building from the city, fortified to become another city in itself. The criteria and the technique of defining this boundary is also important.  

Sunday, 9 January 2011

City of Beauvais

The medieval city center has the Beauvais Cathedral and this perimeter can be a starting point for me.
City center of Beauvais, the train connection from south and the Beauvais-Tille Airport on north which is increasingly used by European economy airlines by Paris and Euro Disney visitors.

Impact on the City


On left, Disneyland Paris. On right, Beauvais Cathedral surrounded by 3km diameter.

The 3km diameter filled with water.