Author : Alex Phi

University : Southern California Institute Of Architecture

Status : MArch, 2013

Advisor : Florencia Pita

Title : Segragated Monoliths

Typically, a monolithic structure is solid, unbroken, rigid, invulnerable, and whole.  A true monolithic piece of architecture is large and unified with no recognizable parts.  The investigation deals with displacing and dislodging both formal and organizational aspects of a building while retaining a sense of wholeness.

Singular vs. Multiplicity of Form

There’s a possibility that forms within architecture can give it a sense of continuity through different cultural and spatial qualities.  Distinct isolation from the main body emphasizes the “strategic break” while the articulation of continuity concentrates on smooth transitions. Surface continuity reduces the broken elements and focuses on the larger element of the whole.

Articulation vs. Continuity

For articulation in architecture, there is no single geometrical formula to create proportional harmonic regulation in spatial forms and how those parts are associated with each other.  So each part is united with the whole by means of styles ranging from exceptionally distinct jointing (continuity) to the opposite of high articulation (separation).

The expression of joints in a building reveals how the parts fit into the whole by emphasizing each part separately.  Articulation accentuates the visible aspect of the different parts of a building. Sometimes the effect completely obscures the sense of the whole, breaking it down into too many pieces, but in most cases the articulation expresses a balance between the two. The result may potentially be harmonious, as the fused forms are closer to the form of the human body.