Articulated Soffit

In Kenneth Frampton's essay 'Vilanova Artigas and the School of São Paulo' which is the introduction to the issue of 2G journal he aludes to the Brazilian architect's

'reservations about the received syntax of the International Style, which tended to treat the concrete roof as though it were little more than an abstract plane, devoid of the structural integrity of a traditional roof....while he seems to have been attracted to the liberative spatiality of the Corbusian free plan, he was not sanguine about the atectonic character of the flat roof.'

The drawing convention which could be used to develop the articulated soffit is the reflected ceiling plan (RCP). While often used for laying out suspended ceiling tiles and light fittings - the RCP could be something much more evocative - describing changes in light, material and articulation of the soffit. An RCP of an urban sequence would describe the movement between streets, alleys, halls, courtyards and awnings.

The following are a selection of and variatons on reflected ceiling plans.


3 illustrations from
'An Account of Palmyra and Zenobia with Travels and Adventures in Bashan and the Desert'
Dr. William Wright

Perforation Pattern for Ceiling
Toni Stabile Student Center


Stretto House
Steven Holl


Crypt, Sagrada Familia

Barcelona 1891

Antoni Gaudi

Ala Napoleonica, Museu Correr
Fresco by Santi Sebastiano
photo by



Samothraki, Greece

drawn by Tetsuo Takemoto


San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

Francesco Borromini
photo by

Ordos 100, China


Newmarket and Weavers’ Square

The description in the linked text
'Newmarket and Weavers’ Square' by William O. Frazer - of a body of water drawn from a datum in one part of city and arriving on the walls of St Thomas Abbey is one embodiment of topography and city, of nature and culture all bound together.

These Liberties offer interesting territory for you all to look into, as you formulate thesis and address ecology. There are endless archaeological records and historic descriptions of the area such as that above which give one a deeper understanding of the life of cities. The Liberties is perhaps in some ways one defining condition of the city - being a place trading on the edge of its centre. It is described as a ‘Portal Suburb of Dublin’ in an essay called ‘The Western Suburb of Medieval Dublin – Its 1st Century’ by Cathal Duddy OFM – accessible here.

There are many other interesting aspects to the place, largely documented by urban historic geographers under Anngret Simms, thus documenting settlement and topography; archaeoogy etc.... also documents such as the conservation plan for St Lukes Without as written by Shaffrey Architects and published by Dublin City Council - St Lukes included an Almshouse for Widows. Also as discussed last week the Street Guides Published by Dublin Civic trust. Another is Kevin C Kearns for urban folklore of this place. Others listed at the end of the document linked at top are also interesting to follow up as they have charted the archaeology of the place very closely. All the above in context, for you, of study from basement to pavement to awning to sky.


Some reading - these will generally go in the side bar