A

AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Assistantships
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts
Close
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6
Kolb diam yirmiyahugilbert sp21 ob5

Object ➔ Building?

Buildings are prescriptive as opposed to facilitative. Whether new construction or renovation, a building begins its life as a sea of possibilities. In the process of planning, design, and construction, potential fates are lost and others discovered. In the end, what’s left is a creation with a singular history, static qualities, and a cohesive narrative about its purpose and role in the world. Even when evolution is baked into a project from the start, adaptable systems become rigid and prescriptive in their translation from idea to physicality. There is magic to a space which, despite its materiality and specificity, remains charged with the sense that anything is possible. But how is this condition achieved? How does a building maintain its “blank-canvasness” and simultaneously come to life in specific ways? Solution #1: Retrofit a relic. By rehabilitating a forlorn warehouse or factory, the architect benefits through inheriting a pre-painted canvas. By designing in concert with an existing set of spatial, material, and circulatory features, the final building is not a finished product, but a physical record of a dialogue which took place. The space is therefore enlivened with a sense of play and possibility, as visitors float between the walls of a conversation perhaps unfinished. Solution #2: Co-opt a structural system to generate highly specific and inventive objects, then set about occupying them. Yirmiyahu Gilbert