Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2019


reconfigurations, historical architecture, La Calahorra, Codex Escurialensis, images, staging, expanding, editing






In a contemporary society saturated with images, photographs of physical artifacts are intermixed with inaccurate drawings and low-res copies. These new images challenge the associations between buildings and their representations. While Robin Evans writes about the translation of drawings to buildings in the past, this thesis extends this exploration to include the reconfiguration of images using several current digital formats. This aligns to Joselit's statement in After Art, which argues that "an image is a visual byte, vulnerable to virtually infinite remediation." This thesis contends that the reconfiguration of active images into static material can be exploited as a design method that fosters new proposals which engage historical architecture.

This project leverages the image documentation of La Calahorra's renaissance courtyard, producing new building assemblies that subvert the order, composition, and material of the original building. The Codex Escurialensis acted as a pattern book of drawings for the construction of the courtyard, taken from Rome in the early 16th century by the owner of La Calahorra for its drawings of Italian antiquity. The courtyard is an early example of the abstraction that can occur during the transmission from drawing to building. Since then, La Calahorra's image has been reconfigured through many formats, such as film, travel photos, sketches, and physical changes over time.

Speculating on how digital images and software influence the design process, the thesis proposes three example narratives that use these formats, in conjunction between image, drawing, animation, and model:

I. Staging La Calahorra:

Speculating on the future collapse of the courtyard, a film crew deploys scenic props to temporarily recreate and conceal elements, enabling them to shoot three sequences.

II. Expanding La Calahorra:

The building is passed down through the generations, each new owner making new additions to the courtyard, the layers slowly accumulating to make a wholly new composition.

III. Editing La Calahorra:

A new buyer comes to La Calahorra to find the courtyard has been removed and relocated by a previous owner. He decides to rebuild the courtyard based on several distorted scans, low res photographs, and warped drawings that he finds of the original structure.

Additional Information

Thesis Advisor:

Jonathan Louie


Local Input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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