Squint / Unsquint: Associative Composition as a Key to Facade Analysis and Design
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This study explores compositional abstraction in architecture. The act of squinting adopts propositions from Christopher Alexander and structuralist Marcel Mauss. An analytical method based upon element density and regularity is tested through residential facade studies. Observed limitations prompt the introduction of a third axis of exceptionality. Generative possibilities are investigated through a series of facade games. Focus turns to the facades of parking garages as a neutral background for the examination of compositional qualities. Notable garages are examined, and local design guidelines are critiqued. Finally, a garage in Halifax, Nova Scotia is redesigned. Compositional ambiguities inherent in the existing confi guration prompt the introduction of an alternative, associatively rich diaphragm system based upon the compositional and structural logic of trees. A review of the associative method notes its value as an explicit decision-making tool, but suggests that key formal moves remain beyond the generative scope of organizational modelling.