During a December visit to the Saint Ignatius Chapel in Seattle, Washington I was reminded of the transformative power great architecture embodies. Below is a short letter thanking Steven Holl and others who helped realize this poetic assembly of space, material and light.
thank you for creating architecture that engages my imagination. presenting textures that draw out emotions of my past, choreographing light to carry weight so heavy that alloys appear as a feather. thank you for keeping ends open, for implying intersections and capturing the innate physical properties of material. thank you for compressing my perceptible space through the rich saturation of details so that conditions twelve feet away disappear until I am directly adjacent to them, quietly transforming a modest 6,000 square foot chapel into a cathedral.
in honor of regional architecture in West Texas,
Unintentionally much time has passed since my last post so I felt it necessary this subject be of monumental proportions from observations on West Texas Cotton Sheds.
These engineered giants elegantly mark East Lubbock’s landscape at a scale far greater than the single story residential houses or sprawl commercial shops that make up most of this city. Assembled from steel frame trusses and sheet metal cladding, these ancient archetypal forms tower roughly five stories high, with a roof shape based on cotton hull’s angle of repose. The entire building footprint is free of columns or walls to accommodate the storage of shells and seeds after harvesting the fields. Necessary circulation space exists between each shed as it sits in close proximity to the next staging an impressive rhythm of positive and negative forms.
Some of these sheds are not volumetric at all only skeletal, implying a shape that will grow with the arrival of cotton seeds. It is the arid climate of this region and an air tunnel at the base of the cotton seed pile that allows it to be successfully stored outside.
With the changing light these industrial monuments introduce a beautiful pallet of subtle colors.
Because of the scale these buildings command attention,
because of the material the shades are never the same,
because of the geometry these monuments dynamically register the shifting of the day,
*Cotten sheds at Ave. A x 34th and 50th, PYCO Industries.