We have been working on a series of multi-unit projects in the office, and this post will be the first of several discussions on the subject of designing form that repeats, and what the various approaches to that problem are (at least at Baran Studio).
In this rendering, you can see variation present in the elevation. There is movement that carries from top to bottom and side to side. However, this variation is not without logic. Aspects of the form repeat, reflecting both a variation of space internal to the project, as well as the shifting location of modules throughout the project. The exterior identifies what happens on the interior.
The street elevation also reflects the horizontal orientation of this portion of the project – it contains flats, which stack. It is also intended to connect to the horizontal qualities of its neighbors, which contain various awnings and cornices.
This image illustrates the relationship between repeated elements to the rear of the property, off of the street. These forms contain a vertical quality that reflects that aspect of the space. Each form is a contained space. These connect to a smaller scale residential quality that exists towards the rear of the site, whereas the front of the projects sits in a more commercial context.
This approach is one that attempts to connect the architecture to both it’s internal and external contexts. A separate approach is to attempt to vary the exterior, which is often an attempt to disguise the repeated nature of the architecture. This usually results in somewhat dishonest ‘decoration’. However, such an approach can be used to provide variation to the repeated elements by integrating them with fluctuating interventions.