Follow the ICAA’s Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program, from June 19th through July 15th, as students from across the country spend four weeks in New York City and the surrounding region exploring the ideas, methods, and issues related to classical architectural design.
July 8, by Michael Alexander: Today we took a field trip to two houses in the Hudson River Valley: the home of architect Peter Pennoyer and interior designer Katie Ridder, as well as the home of architect Gil Schafer III.
Although both houses were recently built, they fit seamlessly into the countryside and felt as though they had been there for years. It was amazing to see the different styles that we have been learning about in our classes put to use in construction, and to see how they made the spaces feel. It was inspiring to look at every detail within the houses and realize the amount of thought and care that goes into the simplest aspects of a building.
July 7, by Marylu Bartolon Puac: On Friday morning, we picked up where we had left off the day before, working on the art of wash rendering. The watercolor paper we had stretched on Thursday was ready for us to start applying the techniques we had learned. David Genther, our instructor, reviewed every step of the process before we applied it to the drawing and by the end of the class we all had finished our wash rendered drawings.
In the evening, we went to visit the firm of Ferguson & Shamamian Architects. There we were welcomed by Mark Ferguson, who explained to us the many aspects of how their residential practice was run. Then Stephen T. Chrisman, a senior associate, showed us the different studio spaces at the firm and walked us through the one of their current projects.
July 6, by Mary Leihy: On Thursday morning we continued to work on our final designs in the studio with instructors Michael Mesko, Keaton Bloom, and Mark Santrach. In the afternoon, David Genther introduced us to the art of wash rendering, where we learned the proper technique for coloring our paper with ink and water. We were also taught us how to stretch watercolor paper and how to think about light and shade when rendering a drawing.
The evening led us to a reception with our mentors where we exchanged business cards and good conversation over food. There was also a raffle, where one of our classmates, Isabella Benedetti, was lucky enough to win Ben Pentreath’s book English Houses: Inspirational Interiors from City Apartments to Country Manor Houses.
July 5, by Margaret Jones: After having Tuesday off for the Fourth of July, we dove right back into our busy and exciting routine, beginning with a field study at Columbia University. For this study, we did a measured drawing of the ionic columns featured in the front façade of the Low Memorial Library. This study allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of scale and proportion and to analyze the elements of design that were implemented by our great predecessors, McKim, Mead & White, inside and outside of the beautiful library.
We finished our morning at Columbia by visiting the archives at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library where we had the opportunity to view some original drawings and renderings by several notable architects. These were great precedents to see before we headed back to the studio to work on our final projects for the rest of the afternoon.
We ended the day with a lecture by The University of Notre Dame’s Professor Duncan Stroik. His talk used architectural masterpieces from the Renaissance to disprove the basic principles of architectural design. This was truly fascinating and showed us that it is possible to be creative and innovative while still maintaining the integrity of classical architecture.
July 3, by Madeline Petty: Monday morning began in the studio, where we finalized our coverage of the Corinthian Order, before proceeding with a lesson on external and internal doorways and corners. After looking at a slideshow with many great Classical examples of doorways and arches, we drew the parts of both according to Vignola.
In the afternoon, we continued to work on our final design that is due at the end of the program, a theoretical pavilion in Prospect Park. The class has goals to establish the plan and elevation at a 1/8″ scale. The evening included open studio, which was a great opportunity to make progress and gain perspectives through our peers, books, and TAs.