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ADDITIONS

a research inquiry

Matthew J McGrane
MID 510 Research Methods
November 19, 2009
Building additions have been an important component in the architectural
realm for centuries. How an addition manifests itself on the building and
within the context of the space is something that has been addressed by archi-
tects in an amazing variety of ways. Some additions are integral to the build-
ing, constructed to appear as though they were a part of the original design.
Others, preferring not to interfere with the scale and form of the original,
detach themselves to become the original building’s neighbor. This neighbor
can sometimes be extremely cozy, or distant. It can be noisy or quiet. It can
enhance the setting of a civil dialogue or it can create an unbearable tension
or friction that makes it difficult to be around. Additions have a humanity that
speaks to us and to the buildings around them.

They have a long and fascinating history. One such example is the Cathedral of
Siena addition, conceived as a massively ambitious project, turning the existing
gothic cathedral as we see it today into a transept of a huge nave that would
cut through its center, creating a space so large as to rival St. Peter’s in Rome.
The project never came to completion, and luckily we still have the skeleton of
the exterior walls looming hauntingly alongside of the cathedral today—it func-
tions both as a testament to the impressive motivations of the Sienese, but
also as a public plaza and as a place where layers of various interventions have
occurred through time.
pg 2
In fact, Italian cities have had a legacy of opportunistic building, seizing upon
existing ancient Roman foundations and fragments, or re-assembling pieces of
them and integrating them into new buildings. Rome abounds with churches,
palazzos, and public squares where the evidence of Roman civilization lies all
around the visitor, quite intact to the attuned eye. The original purpose of those
ancient buildings were of no value to the medieval Roman citizen, so they re-
appropriated what was laying around to address their own immediate needs
and without realizing it, created objects of amazing richness and layered mean-
ing in the process.

The circumstances surrounding our approach to building additions in this


country and in this century couldn’t be more different. In some ways, we could
stand to learn a thing or two from the medieval citizens of Rome, but in many
ways we have also been injured by the specter of 1960s urban renewal, when
turn-of-the-century urban architecture was razed by the blockload to become
empty lots for parking cars. For many historicists and lovers of old buildings,
what has survived is extremely precious, and intervening with a 19th-century
building in any way except restoration is considered a violation, an act of her-
esy. While history and old buildings are to be revered and respected, freezing
a building in time is also not usually well suited for an evolving population and
evolving context, especially for buildings whose function has become obsolete
or unaccommodating, and a financial drain. So how are current practicing
architects addressing this dilemma?

The search strategy implemented to address this issue involved researching


back issues of the architectural journal, Architectural Record, to study and
observe the various solutions being offered by leading design professionals on
public and private buildings. Because these buildings cannot conceivably be

pg 3
visited in a short period of time and feature international projects, photographs
from the internet had to be acquired to give a sense of the project itself, includ-
ing any images of the original building.

Further study opened a new issue, which became the re-definition of the prob-
lem—how to catalogue the various additions in a way that is meaningful? The
data gathered concerned the Architectural Record issue being reviewed, the
architect, the location, and the building type. Reviewing all the data that was
unfolding and starting to categorize it turned into a form of grounded theory,
where it was ascertained what was essential, and various term labels began to
form as a way of cataloguing the additions. They are identified as follows:

• THE EXTENSION
The extension is an addition whose general form picks up right where an ex-
isting building leaves off, with key lines and rhythms extended into the new
project. Stylistically it may or may not copy the original, but it simultaneously
alters the proportions in all cases. Arata Isozaki’s footbridge is an extension of
Santiago Calatrava’s bridge (sample 1), and while it does not imitate the origi-
nal forms of Calatrava’s bridge, it does continue a very specific gesture and
specific line. Diller Scofido + Renfro’s Alice Tully Hall (sample 27) is another
example, where the geometry of the addition mimics the original, morphing as
it moves away to culminate in a cantilevered mass. The original geometry is
radically transformed.

• THE ARTIFACT
The artifact is similar to how medieval Romans approached additions in their
cities: disassociated features of a former construction are embedded as pre-
cious objects in a new program, and are highlighted as an important design
component. Peter Zumthor’s Kolumba museum in Cologne (sample 3) is an
excellent example of creating a space around the ruins of a church bombed in
World War II. The remnants recall the buildings history and violent end, but the
addition brings it new life. In the United States, an artifact of an earlier building
is preserved as a façade element in the Folsom and Dore Street apartments
(sample 22), juxtaposing two different scales.

• THE PAVILION
The pavilion is attached to the original structure, but appears detached and
spatially independent. Sometimes the pavilion link occurs underground, or
may be a minimal contact with the host building, touching it very lightly. The
addition itself is observed as an independent building, and the original building
appears untouched. Light boxes cascading across a stretch of land adjacent
to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are pristine examples of this (sample 11).
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art also features a pavilion addition that links
underground to the original structure (sample 4). Pavilions were the most
popular types of additions to museums in this research data.

pg 4
• THE PLUG
Whereas the pavilion is perceived as an independent building, the plug is
smashed up directly to the original with little or no spatial separation. The
Hearst Tower (sample 2) is an example of a vertical plug, while Chicago’s
Ralph Ellison High School (sample 20) is a quintessential horizontal plug. In
both cases, neither addition has anything to do with the original structure. If a
perceived plug contains elements of the original, it is actually not a plug but an
extension.

• THE INFILL
The infill takes a void between buildings to connect its various pieces into a
megastructure that is detectable from ground level. It is one form with several
styles of architectural blocks comprising a whole. The Morgan Library (sample
9) and the Wheeler School (sample 37) show an infill.

• THE CAP
The cap is a small architectural addition to the top of an existing building.
The Docks de Paris is a spectacular cap to a drab original waterfront building
(sample 33), the cap becoming a series of pedestrian walkways that connect
the spaces to the upper deck. It also becomes the building’s public identity.
Another is the lid and faceted glass diamond that projects from the Diane von
Furstenberg Studio Headquarters (sample 14).

• THE WRAP
The wrap is a cloak addition that in injects a stylistically differentiating form
around the original, either in whole or in part. A poetic wrap shields the deli-
cate brick walls of the Our Lady of the Conception Chapel in Brazil (sample 31),
and shelters the open space with a new floating ceiling. Another protective
wrap guards the skeleton of a 6-story retail building in San Francisco (sample
32)

• THE SUBTRACTIVE
The subtractive is a special kind of addition that is actually a removal of spe-
cific parts of an existing building. It can be considered an addition in the sense
that is an intervention that re-purposes the structure. Only one sample in this
research was subtractive, the Montpelier addition in Virginia (sample 34). Now
a museum of James Madison’s home, the addition had to demolish vast por-
tions that had been added over the decades, most recently by the duPonts, who
owned the estate before bequeathing it to the National Trust.

After determining the nature of each project as having a specific typology, the
categorization of each project was complete. Data was entered into a spread-
sheet showing the reference sample, the published issue, the project name,
location, architect(s), building type, and addition type. The following images
show the order of the projects listed:

pg 5
DATA SAMPLES
sample 1
Bilbao Bridge over Nervion
Bilbao, Spain
Arata Isozaki

building type: bridge


EXTENSION

sample 2
Hearst Tower
New York, New York
Foster + Partners

building type: office


PLUG

sample 3
Kolumba Museum
Cologne, Germany
Peter Zumthor

building type: museum


ARTIFACT

sample 4
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Brunswick, Maine
Machado and Silvetti Architects

building type: museum


PAVILION

sample 5
National Museum of Singapore
Singapore
W Architects

building type: museum


PLUG

pg 6
DATA SAMPLES
sample 6
Perleman Wing, Philadelphia Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Gluckman Maynor Architects

building type: museum


PLUG

sample 7
Prado Museum
Madrid, Spain
Rafael Moneo

building type: museum


PAVILION

sample 8
Dairy House
Somerset, England
Skene Catling de la Pena

building type: house


PLUG

sample 9
Morgan Library
New York, New York
Renzo Piano

building type: museum / library


INFILL

sample 10
Shaw Center for the Arts
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Schwartz / Sinver

building type: museum / theater


PLUG

pg 7
DATA SAMPLES
sample 11
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kansas City, Missouri
Steven Holl Architects

building type: museum


PAVILION

sample 12
Knight Building, Akron Museum
Akron, Ohio
Coop Himmelblau

building type: museum


PLUG

sample 13
CaixaForum
Madrid, Spain
Herzog & de Meuron

building type: cultural / museum


ARTIFACT

sample 14
von Furstenberg Studio Headquarters
New York, New York
Work Architecture Company

building type: office


CAP

sample 15
One Window House
Venice, California
Touraine Richmond Architects

building type: house


PAVILION

pg 8
DATA SAMPLES
sample 16
Front Street, Block 97
New York, New York
Cook + Fox Architects

building type: multi-family residential


WRAP

sample 17
Parke-Burnet Gallery Building
New York, New York
Foster + Partners

building type: multi-family residential


PLUG

sample 18
Gentry Library
Gentry, Arkansas
Marlon Blackwell Architects

building type: library


WRAP

sample 19
Julia Stoschek Collection
Dusseldorf, Germany
Keuhn Malvezzi

building type: museum


CAP

sample 20
Ralph Ellison High School
Chicago, Illinois
OWP/P

building type: school


PLUG

pg 9
DATA SAMPLES
sample 21
Booker T Washington High School
Dallas, Texas
Allied Works Architecture

building type: school


PLUG

sample 22
Folsom and Dore Street Apartments
San Francisco, California
David Baker + Partners

building type: multi-family residential


ARTIFACT

sample 23
Contemporary Jewish Museum
San Francisco, California
Daniel Liebeskind

building type: museum


xxx

sample 24
Yale Art and Architecture Building
New Haven, Connecticut
Gwathmey Siegel Associates

building type: higher education


PLUG

sample 25
Museum of the Roman Theater
Cartegena, Spain
Rafael Moneo

building type: museum


PAVILION

pg 10
DATA SAMPLES
sample 26
Museum of Arts and Design
New York, New York
Allied Works Architecture

building type: museum


WRAP

sample 27
Alice Tully Hall
New York, New York
Diller Scofido + Renfro / FxFowle

building type: higher education


EXTENSION

sample 28
Reitberg Museum
Reitberg, Germany
ARGE Grazioli Krischanitz

building type: musuem


PAVILION

sample 29
Espace 400e
Quebec City, QC
Dan Hanganu + Cote Leahy Cardas

building type: museum


WRAP

sample 30
Fulbright Building
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Marlon Blackwell

building type: office


EXTENSION

pg 11
DATA SAMPLES
sample 31
Our Lady of the Conception Chapel
Recife, Brazil
Paulo Mendes de Rocha

building type: chapel


WRAP

sample 32
185 Post Street
San Francisco, California
Brand + Allen

building type: retail


WRAP

sample 33
Docks de Paris
Paris, France
Jakob + McFarlane

building type: retail


CAP

sample 34
Montpelier
Orange, Virginia
MCWB Architects

building type: museum


SUBTRACTIVE

sample 35
Inujima Art Project
Inujima, Japan
Sambuichi Architects

building type: museum


ARTIFACT

pg 12
DATA SAMPLES
sample 36
Davidson Center
Jerusalem, Israel
Kimmel Eshkolot Architects

building type: museum


PAVILION

sample 37
The Wheeler School
Providence, Rhode Island
Ann Beha Architects

building type: school


INFILL

sample 38
Fort Point Loft Condos
Boston, Massachusetts
Hacin + Associates

building type: multi-family residential


CAP

sample 39
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Renzo Piano

building type: museum


PAVILION

sample 40
Art Gallery of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
Frank Gehry

building type: museum


CAP

pg 13
The actual spreadsheet showing the information is as follows:
SAMPLE ISSUE PROJECT LOCATION ARCHITECT BUILDING TYPE ADDITION CATEGORY

1 Jan-08 Bilbao Bridge over Nervion River Bilbao, Spain Arata Isozaki bridge extension
2 Jan-08 Hearst Tower New York, New York Foster + Partners office plug
3 Jan-08 Kolumba, Art Museum of the Archdiocese Cologne, Germany Peter Zumthor museum artifact
4 Feb-08 Bowdoin College Museum of Art Brunswick, Maine Machado and Silvetti Architects museum pavilion
5 Feb-08 National Museum of Singapore Singapore W Architects museum plug
6 Mar-08 Perelman Wing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Gluckman Mayner Architects museum plug
7 Mar-08 Prado Museum Madrid, Spain Rafael Moneo museum pavilion
8 Apr-08 Dairy House Somerset, England Skene Catling de la Pena house plug
9 May-08 Morgan Library New York, New York Renzo Piano museum infill
10 May-08 Shaw Center for the Arts Baton Rouge, Louisiana Schwartz/Silver museum plug
11 May-08 The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Kansas City, Missouri Steven Holl Architects museum pavilion
12 Jun-08 Knight Building, Akron Art Museum Akron, Ohio Coop Himmelblau museum plug
13 Jun-08 CaixaForum Madrid, Spain Herzog & de Meuron museum artifact
14 Jul-08 Diane von Furstenberg Studio Headquarters New York, New York Work Architecture Company office cap
15 Jul-08 One Window House Venice, California Touraine Richmond Architects house pavilion
16 Jul-08 Front Street, Block 97 New York, New York Cook + Fox Architects multi-family wrap
17 Sep-08 Parke-Bernet Gallery building New York, New York Foster + Partners multi-family plug
18 Oct-08 Gentry Library Gentry, Arkansas Marlon Blackwell Architects library wrap
19 Dec-08 Julia Stoschek Collection Dusseldorf, Germany Kuehn Malvezzi museum cap
20 Jan-09 Ralph Ellison High School Chicago, Illinois OWP/P school plug
21 J 09
Jan-09 B
Booker
k TW Washington
hi t Hi Highh S
School
h l D ll Texas
Dallas, T Alli d W
Allied Works
k AArchitecture
hit t school
h l plug
l
22 Jan-09 Folsom and Dore Street Apartments San Francisco, California David Baker + Partners multi-family artifact
23 Jan-09 Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, California Daniel Liebeskind museum plug
24 Feb-09 Yale Art and Architecture Building New Haven, Connecticut Gwathmey Siegel Associates higher education plug
25 Feb-09 Museum of the Roman Theater of Cartagena Cartagena, Spain Rafael Moneo museum pavilion
26 Feb-09 Museum of Arts and Design New York, New York Allied Works Architecture museum wrap
27 Jun-09 Allice Tully Hall New York, New York Diller Scofido + Renfro / FxFowle higher education extension
28 Jun-09 Reitberg Museum Reitbert, Germany ARGE Grazioli Krischanitz museum pavilion
29 Jun-09 Espace 400e Quebec City, QC Dan Hanganu + Cote Leahy Cardas museum wrap
30 Jun-09 Fulbright Building Fayetteville, Arkansas Marlon Blackwell Architects office extension
31 Jun-09 Our Lady of the Conception Chapel Recife, Brazil Paulo Mendes de Rocha chapel wrap
32 Jun-09 185 Post Street San Francisco, California Brand + Allen retail wrap
33 Jun-09 Docks de Paris Paris, France Jakob + McFarlane retail cap
34 Jun-09 Montpelier Orange, Virginia Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker museum subtractive
35 Jul-09 Inujima Art Project Inujima, Japan Sambuichi Architects museum artifact
36 Jul-09 Davidson Center Jerusalem, Israel Kimmel Eshkolot Architects museum pavilion
37 Jul-09 The Wheeler School Providence, Rhode Island Ann Beha Architects school infill
38 Jul-09 Fort Point Loft Condos Boston, Massachusetts Hacin + Associates multi-family cap
39 Aug-09 Chicago Art Museum Chicago, Illinois Renzo Piano museum pavilion
40 Aug-09 Art Gallery of Toronto Toronto, Ontario Frank Gehry museum cap

Some interesting information was revealed upon charting the various data
into graph form. The following four graphs focus on the amount of additions
projects catalogued in each Architectural Record issue, the quantity of building
types that were represented (with museum showing as by far the most highly
published building type), the various assigned typological label being quanti-
fied, and finally the museum additions typologies that were the most pervasive.

pg 14
pg 15
pg 16
Conclusions

While museums tend to occupy the vast majority of coverage in Architectural


Record, a variety of other built forms are interspersed to offer a wide spectrum
of addition solutions to the reader. This is in keeping with the museum-building
boom that has been in effect for over a decade now, with museums around
the world looking to architects to give them a branded identity to stand out
amongst their competitors, and to lure visitors. The means in which those solu-
tions manifest themselves is vast.

Plugs are the solution that is most readily applied by the designers for their
various projects, with pavilions being a close second. However, in museum
design, pavilions are the most pervasive form. It may be that the vererated
buildings that originally housed the works of art are considered to be extremely
important objects in and of themselves, and that the delicate approach of the
pavilion is viewed as the most unobtrusive way to expand a collection without
altering the building.

The method of research employed in this label approach was mainly guided by
a quantitative-to-qualitative means, from a detached perspective. Allowing the
forms to emerge on their own, studying them closely, and beginning to create
groups of similar chunks of data was a method of organizing seemingly unor-
ganized, loose information. While other typologies may eventually emerge with
further research, this collection of eight labels seems to cover an extremely
broad range of buildings. If anything, subcategories (such as the vertical plug
and the horizontal plug discussed earlier) may be all that is necessary to fur-
ther differentiate the distinct features of a particular addition. The amazing
breadth of these structures and the approach directed by the architect and the
program therefore do have correlational information that can be assessed and
catalogued within these parameters.

pg 17

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