Facades by Front
The terracotta industry is almost extinct in the United States as an artisanal practice.
That's right, and that's a good description. We didn't want to make a facade that was too slick and precisely fabricated, as a modular unitized system with which to clad the structure. It wasn't about that.
It had to be something people worked on by hand. It needed to be a tactile material that wasn't too perfect. So we researched different terracotta manufacturers all over the world, comparing the way they made their products and the differences between the materials.
These tubes or brises-soleil became known in the office as baguettes, which is something that happens a lot in Renzo's office — calling materials and components by food names.
Elite Kedan, AIA, RA, is a practicing architect and an adjunct professor at Florida International University. She studied at Cornell University (B.Arch) and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (M.Arch, MAUD). Kedan worked for two years as a designer at Moshe Safdie and Associates in Jerusalem, then worked in architecture firms in Boston and New York before opening her own office in Miami in 2005.
F. Jonathan "Jon" Dreyfous, AIA, RA, is a partner at CR Studio in New York City. He received an M.Arch from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and two degrees from Brown University, in European history and architectural history. Dreyfous has worked for architectural firms in Boston, San Francisco, and Tokyo, and apprenticed at the office of Günter Behnisch in Stuttgart, Germany, collaborating on the design for the IBN Forestry Research Institute.
Craig Mutter, AIA, is an associate at Machado and Silvetti Associates in Boston. He studied at the University of Virginia (B.S.Arch) and Harvard Graduate School of Design (M.Arch). Mutter worked for four years with Kennedy & Violich Architecture before receiving the Rotch Traveling Scholarship in 1996, and later worked as an associate at Polshek Partnership Architects, Architecture Research Office, and Ann Beha Architects.
This article is excerpted from Provisional: Emerging Modes of Architectural Practice USA, edited by Elite Kedan, Jon Dreyfous, and Craig Mutter, copyright © 2010, with permission of the publisher, Princeton Architectural Press.
Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...