Three Buildings: Noah Walker
We published architect Noah Walker's first project—a handsome renovation of a Hollywood bugalow—this summer, but checked back in to see which three buidlings most inspired him. They range from the truly old—a Kyoto temple—to the rather more contemporary work of the great Portugese architect Álvaro Siza.
Erdman Dormitory at Bryn Mawr College, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, by Louis Kahn.
"Byrn Mawr is a womens' college but I managed to spend a lot of time there when I was attending Haverford right down the road. Kahn's Erdman dormitory is a concrete castle with a simple plan made of three rotated cubes. You enter the building on a corner of the middle instead of along a flat section of wall. That simple move completely rewires the experience of the building inside. The rooms are on the periphery and there is a large open space at the middle of each cube. Its a powerful building made more so by relying on natural light, concrete, and simple geometric forms."
"There are flashier temples in Kyoto but this is the one that really stuck with me. You walk through a fairly ordinary temple structure to find a truly epic view at the temple's rear. The dark interiors seem to melt away in the face of this panorama where every element from structural columns, to the grass in the foreground, to the trees and hedges, to the mountain miles in the background has been carefully composed for the viewer. You can sit there for hours and watch the play of light change on the land."
"If you are in Portugal you should go for a swim at the pool and then go have a cup of tea. Both projects respond wonderfully to their ocean setting, and Siza is a master of procession—he sets up some wonderful experiences moving through his buildings."