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This is my MRP book for the school of architecture. Is part of the requirement for the degree of Master's of Architecture

Text of ]Dis[ Placement

  • ]Dis[ Placement

  • ]Dis[ Placement

    Odenis Vitoreli JuniorSpring 2010

    Chair: Professor Adeline HoferCo Chair: Professor Hui Zou

    A Master Research Project presented to the Graduate School in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master of Architecture

  • Contents

    Acknowledgements Introduction

    Part One

    Book I: The Book of GesturesBook II: The Book of StillsBook III: Site-Location-Place

    Part Two

    Book IV: A Collection of PaintingsBook V: The Book of RitualsBook VI: The Catoptrics machine

    Part Three

    Book VII: The Book of MirrorsBook VIII: The Book of WaterBook IX: The Book of Scenes







  • Acknowledgements

    Professor Adeline Hofer Your knowledge, enthusiasm, and positive outlook inspired me throughout this project. Thanks for making this past year fun, challenging, and exciting.

    Professor Hui Zou Thanks for your guidance and support during this project and also throughout my undergraduate studies. Your classes helped me to discover my love for architectural history and theory.

    Professor Diana Bitz Thanks for all your wonderful advice and support throughout this project.

    Professor Lauren LakeThanks for letting be part of your Drawing Seminar, and for all the support in this past semester

    My wife Anne VitoreliThanks for the love, support, and understanding during this past five years.

    My father Odenis VitoreliObrigado por ter sempre acreditado e suportado todos meus sonhos.

  • My sister Karina and stepmother Alice Thanks for all the love and support

    My familyWalter, Terry, Christina, Amy, Erich, Andrea, Erich Jr. and Christopher Thanks for all the encouragement, and also for all the fun times we had together in the past years.

    My good friend Dorina Bakiri

    So after 12 semesters I can finally use yellow again

    Thanks for all the critiques, conversations, arguments, laughs, support, and many many many glasses of wine.

    My Friend Ryan McGinn

    Thanks for your friendship and support

    Barnie, Betty, and Tibirius Thanks for all the joy you bring to my life

  • 8Introduction

    This book is a collection of studies that investigate the role of the human figure in the process of making architecture. In this collection there are studies of the relationships between the figure and space, between a figure and another figure, the figure as a sculpture, and the figure moving through a space. In the past the human body was an essential part of architectural design. The proportions of the body were used to generated form and create relationships. The body was also incorporated in architecture in the form of sculpture. These processes created spaces that were imbedded with visible and invisible relations between the figure and form, which created poetic ways to encounter and experience space. Throughout time, perhaps because of a shifting on the design process from a poetic ritual to a pragmatically and over functionalized process, the figural gesture has been diminished if not totally eliminated from architectural design. In the present day, the excessive use of digital media is yet another step in the dehumanization of architecture. In the modern design process forms and shapes are produced inside of a virtual world, and then sent via wireless connection to a laboratory where machines cut, print and assemble architectural models.

  • 9The connection between the mind, hand and object has been broken during the process of making. This masters research project is not advocating the elimination of digital media in architectural design, but it is hoping to use diverse methodological approaches such as collection, literature, ritual, film and painting to look at historical precedents and create a design process that re-establishes connections between the human figure and architecture.

  • Part One

    Book I: The Book of GesturesBook II: The Book of StillsBook III: Site-Location-Place

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    Section One

    The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Matosinhos

    The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Matosinhos is located at the top of the morro do maranhao. The compound consists of six square chapels and a church. The construction of the chapels started in 1757 and was inspired by the sanctuaries of Bom Jesus do Matosinhos, not far from Oporto, and Bom Jesus de Braga, which are both in Portugal. The exterior of the chapel was created in the Brazilian Baroque style, while the interior is inspired by Rococo. The chapels are connected to each other and to the church by a cobble-stone path. Each of the small chapels contains sculptures depicting scenes of the Stations of the Cross. Antonio Francisco Lisboa Aleijadinho, who is one of the most important Brazilian artists, created the sculptures. Aleijadinho was also responsible for the sculptures of the twelve prophets that are located on the staircase which lead from the ground level to the raised courtyard.

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    The visitor experiences the compound by moving in a sequential path that goes from the first chapel to the bottom of the staircase, and then up the stairs to the entrance of the church. During the movement through the path, the body is constantly shifting directions both horizontally and vertically. An overall view of the sculptures presents a compositional juxtaposition between the fragile characteristics of the sculptures inside the little chapels and the robust character of sculptures on the staircase. This juxtaposition can also be seen in the materiality of the two sets of sculptures. The first is made of wood and the latter of soapstone. The two situations divide the itinerary into two parts. In the first part the visitor is removed from the context and becomes only an observer to the story. In the second part the visitor is inserted amongest the sculptures and become part of the context. The wood sculptures are arranged inside of each of the small chapels and the visitor look at them from the outside through the door. In this case the sculpture acquire the qualities of a painting, and the architectural detail becomes a background that emphasizes the context of the scene. Each small room has a distinct way of bringing the observer to the door of the chapel. The way the body comes to the door is sometimes related to the way

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    the sculptures are organized inside the space. In the third room, for example, The Passo da Prisao, Jesus sculpture is placed in the center of the scene and roman soldiers surround it. The entrance to this room is composed of two symmetrical sets of steps that bring the observer to the center of the opening. In this situation the observer has to pause, observe, and finally make a choice of which path he wants to take to the top of the platform. The duality of the scene, which consists of an interaction between good and evil, is translated architecturally in the arrangement of the steps of the entrance.

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    In contrast, in the staircase entrance to the sanctuary one is completely surrounded by the life-size sculptures and becomes part of the choreography. Each sculpture contains a script in Latin. The gestures and the direction that the sculptures are facing are related to these messages. There are sculpture pointing to the little chapels and the path to the church, and these sculptures contain messages about sin and redemption. There are sculptures pointing to different directions and the heavens, and these sculptures contain warnings of punishment to different nations. Finally, the last two sculptures, located on the top of the staircase, point straight to the observer and contain a message of hope and salvation. The scale, gesture and arrangement of the sculptures transform our experience of that space. The body of the observer becomes the thirteenth sculpture on the staircase, and becomes part of the story.

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    Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Matosinhos Site Plan

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  • Itinerary Diagram


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    Chapel 1: Passo da Ceia

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    Chapel 1: Passo da Ceia

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    Chapel 2: Passo do Horto

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    Chapel 3: Passo da Priso

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    Chapel 4: Passo da Fragelao

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    Chapel 4: Passo da Fragelao

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    Chapel 5: Passo da Subida ao Carvalho

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    Chapel 5: Passo da Subida ao Carvalho

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    Chapel 6: Passo da crucificao

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    Chapel 6: Passo da crucificao

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    1. Isaiah

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    2. Jeremiah

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    3. Baruch

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    4. Ezequiel

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    5. Daniel

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    6. Oseas

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    7. Jonas

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    8. Joel

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    9. Amos

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    10. Naum

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    11. Abdias

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    12. Habacuc

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    Henry Moore

    I would give everything, if I could get into my sculp-ture the same amount of humanity & seriousness, nobility & experience, acceptance of life, distinc-tion, & aristocracy with absolute no tricks no affec-tion no self consciousness looking straight ahead, no movement, but more alive than a real person.Henry Moore (Compton 1988)

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    Recumbent Figure 1938