... but it can be improved, just like a taste for wine can be refined, or for baseball, or for anything else. It happens at the level of the individual, not the species. As architecture is for the most part straightforward and easy to understand, most people's architectural taste is already pretty decent. This is proved by the number of tourists that flock to Venice and to Paris and to Charleston but not to Columbus. But like anything, to rise to the level of a real amateur (lover), it takes hard work and a devotion bordering on obsession.
With its satellite program in Charleston, Clemson’s School of Architecture has the potential to offer students an extraordinary opportunity: the chance to study traditional architectural design in the heart of one of the world’s finest traditional cities. Architecture (the magazine) says there are “two parallel worlds” in architecture today: one devoted to “mainstream modernism,” the other to traditional architecture. Clemson's proposed new building in Charleston is in an anti-traditional idiom because Clemson’s School of Architecture is devoted to mainstream modernism; Clemson has no program in traditional architecture. But it could. Along with the College of Charleston’s Program in Historic Preservation and Community Planning and the American College of the Building Arts, Clemson’s Charleston architecture program could be at the core of a world-class Center for the Study of Contemporary Traditional Architecture. Contemporary Traditional Architecture in Charleston could be treated as an elective concentration, special topics or certificate program without interfering with the current curriculum at the School of Architecture’s main campus.
Scheme A is organized around an open courtyard and a corner pavilion. The pavilion - a public Hall of Architectural Review - has piers which, along with those that support the adjoining ironwork, support busts of prominent Charleston architects. Scheme B is organized around an enclosed courtyard entered under a double-story portico along Meeting Street and a single-story loggia along George Street. Both schemes share a common design philosophy: Carefully designed combinations of stuccoed masonry walls, pitched roofs, timber and steel frames, and projecting eaves and moldings contribute to the buildings’ sustainability, as they are not only durable but also repairable and maintainable. Charleston’s climate is subtropical, so the buildings have narrow footprints and use loggias, porticos, and courtyards in order to take advantage of breezes and to provide shade. Large expanses of glass are avoided, and walls facing south and west have moderate window-to-wall ratios. Both schemes employ the minimal yet robust classical details which have been in continual use in Charleston for over 300 years and which contribute to a monumental character appropriate to a public building.
THE GABRIEL MANIGAULT
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE
We are pleased to announce the inaugural Albert Simons Prize - an annual award to the Clemson architecture student studying at the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston with the best project inspired by Greco-Roman classicism. This year’s prize is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in either semester of the Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 academic year, and all projects are eligible. The Prize is accompanied by a $500 cash award, and the winner will be announced at the end of the 2014 Spring semester.
Bevan & Liberatos is hosting an Open Discussion on the topic of Contemporary Classicism on Saturday, Sept. 14th at 89 Wentworth St. at 4pm. It is free and open to the public.
For more, please see bevanandliberatos.com/albert-simons-prize
We'll be giving a lecture next Thursday called "What is Classicism (And Why We Think It Matters to Charleston)" hosted by the Charleston Historical Society and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. It is being held at the Karpeles Museum on Feb. 28th at 6:30pm and is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there.
We are excited to be giving a couple of lectures on Grecian Architecture in Charleston as part of a series along with local historian Peg Eastman. "Grecian," by the way, is what the people practicing what we now call "Greek Revival" called it at the time. (They also called it "Modern Architecture.") We prefer to call it what they called it - "revival" tends to suggest it was mere copying, which of course it wasn't. Learn more about the lecture series at the Society's website here.
We'll be giving a lecture at the next Preservation Society of Charleston's membership meeting on Thursday, May 13th at 7pm at the Charleston Museum. It's called, "An Architecture for Our Time and the Genius of Albert Simons." We hope you can make it. Find more information here.