04 September 2005

Lemay Ferry Post Office -- rendering


Harris Armstrong's rendering for a Post Office from the early 1930s. The structure was apparently unbuilt. The watercolor is signed "Armstrong Architect". Somewhat later renderings in his more fully developed drawing style were signed with his full name.

This design incorporates many of Armstrong's design strategies from this period of his career:

    -- overall horizontal emphasis in architectural composition

    -- grouping of windows in horizontally articulated bands which are set back from the wall surface to create strong shadows

    -- the entry is incorporated into the facade as the short leg of an 'L-shaped' void (when joined with horizontal fenestration)

    -- cantilevered hoizontal planes are used to define the top of the horizontal banding (as at the loading dock)

    -- use of monolithic walling above articulated openings emphasizing solidity and mass

    -- emphasis on the continuity of windows around the corners by wrapping fenestration and recessing (and therefore minimizing) the corner at the band

    -- suppression of a load bearing expression at the corner resulting in a "floating, light" appearance (contrasting solidity of wall above)

    -- wall below horizontal banding projects from mass to become a free-standing element extending into the landscape to help define exterior spaces

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