Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky. Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal p ‘Transparency,’ ‘space-time,’ ‘simultane- ity,’ ‘interpenetration. Two Modes of Transparency: Literal & Phenomenal. The key aspect to Rowe and Slutzky’s seminal essay on Transparency: Literal & Phenomenal, is the .. Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky in their essay ‘Transparency: Literal. ‘tltlder the tille “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal”. The significance of this lematic of Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky’s co-authored writings under the title.

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Translucency is where light sifts, filters and penetrates through the successive additive effects of layered, stacked, overlapped or superimposed planes, glazed surfaces, films, or veils. Top Blog at WordPress.

Literal Transparency occurs through the layering and stacking of the physical material of the walls and surfaces, whereas Phenomenal transparency occurs through the layering, overlapping, and superimposition of axes and gridded spatial orders, thus producing an ambiguity of spatial organizations, resulting from a sequential ordering or a successive stratification and layering of space. Conversely, phenomenal transparency exists when a designer deliberately abstracts space, not through the use of overlaying transparent hpenomenal, but through the reorganization of multiple spacial grids that would normally define a plane.

I do not design floor plans, facades, sections. There is no ambiguity as to the form or that which lies behind the plane of the transparent surface. It is such that transparency is a condition of betweeness in these terms of successive and continuous stratification, overlapping, layering, and superimposition of spaces.

Llteral, phenomenal or conceptual transparency is achieved, following what Rowe and Slutzky mentioned with regards to the notion of stratificationthat is, the sequential layering of frontal planes and spaces. The opening of light is concealed and hidden away from view, the channel or shaft forces the light to bend, to reflect, and to become more diffused while entering the space.

As can be seen from the dictionary definitions, the term transparency implies the optical or observational notions of showing or seeing through. This overlapping and interpenetrating of figures conjures an ambiguity or contradiction of spatial dimensions. Transparency is connection and continuity ; it is a dialectic between revealing and concealing, as well as between seeing and reading. Adolf Loos states that his architecture is not conceived in plan, but rather in terms of spaces or cubes, hence the Raum — or Space — planwhich achieves a merging of storeys and spaces into a contiguous and continuous space.


An act of inter-modal transparency, literal and phenomenal, actual and implied, seen and read, perceptual and conceptual, co-existing together; a multi-penetration of transparencies, multi-transparent, multi-interpenetrative and phenomeenal, multi-moded transparency.

However, I finally grasped what he described when I realized that the frontal view of the villa at Garches compared to a frontal view of the Bauhaus yield very different interpretation of the buildings at hand. Henry Plummer describes Atomization as the sifting or filtering of light through a porous screen Plummer, You are commenting using your Facebook account. Light corrodes and dissolves the solidity of mass.

The painting depicts spatial ambiguities ; a property of transparency, due to an illusion of deep yet shallow space; a fluctuation of back and forth movement of objects and planes advancing and receding simultaneously. This thus reiterates the notion of space-time interpenetrative spaces of simultaneity.

One sees through, sees pass the overlapping glazed or meshed facades, exterior and interior, and one reads and interprets the layered spatial arrangement. Translucency can be defined as the condition existing within the continuum between opacity and transparency, between the two polarities of obscurity and clarity, between solid and void.

A doubling of transparency, both literal and phenomenal, perceived and interpreted. The Raumplan demonstrates a framing of rransparency, a seeing coiln penetrating through the successive frames of view.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress. However, the villa at Garches presents multiple geometric planes that are both positive and negative spaces of the facade. Notify me of new comments via email. These concealed light sources and hidden apertures can help choreograph trsnsparency direct a journey, a promenade architecturalewhereby the indirect sources of light are points of command leading rowf further and deeper into a building.

Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal

A transparent medium, substance, or matter allows, permits, and invites light, air, and sight to penetrate through. The filtering and penetrating effect of light through translucency achieves a layered glowwhere natural light passes through, slows down, softens, bleeds and diffuses from one space to the next, from exterior to the interior, and through different layers of the interior, creating a superimposed overlapping penetrative effect, bringing daylight further and deeper into the space.

Here the actual and the implied relationships of transparent modes or operations are seen in opposition to each other, creating ambiguous dialectic or double overlapping readings of planes and spaces. Notify me of new posts via email. The boundary is blurred. Perceptual vs Conceptual Transparency: Le Corbusier breaks up the face of his villa by adding and subtracting, opaquing and opening up his surfaces in an irregular way that adds depth to his volume.


Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here There is no clear boundary between what is lit and not lit; the distinction between light and non-light is undecidable, indeterminate, and ambiguous. With this set of evidence, Rowe sets out his basic tenets that define transparency:. Mesh screens or other finely patterned porous facades have the capability to disintegrate objects into light and air.

For me, there are only contiguous, continual spaces …Storeys merge and spaces relate to each other. I think an easy way to understand phenomenal transparency and the implication that it suggests an end result or volume is the comparison to a Cambridge University study on how we read and interpret written language.

Literal transparency is perceived and definite, while phenomenal transparency is conceived and indefinite.

Transparency | Architecturality

The diagonality is important, as the arrows in both the plan and section refer to the same view, that is, both arrows are in effect the same, as they both denote the same sequence of framed vistas.

In the first first figure, La Sarrazthe painter paints with obvious transparency in his pigments in order to layer the receding layers of planes. To reiterate the dialectical overlapping and multiple readings of conditions of transparencyliteral transparency is a perceptual and actual transparency of seeing or of substance, whereas phenomenal transparency is a conceptual and implied transparency of reading or of organization.

The Bauhaus would appear as a huge curtain of translucent glass with a plane wall lying behind and a gridded division of the translucent plane by the metal on the glass. Plummer refers to the Canalization of light as being the channeling of light through hollow mass, where artificial routes, labyrinths, and tunnels are carved out for natural forces to penetrate the inner depths of a building. These transparent planes, objects, or surfaces interpenetrate each other.

Plummer in his description of pulverized litreal mentions. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Hence, there exists two modes of transparency, two modes of layering, the Layering of Planes and the Layering of Spaces.