From CREATING INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITIES, Volume 1, Number 1, 2003
Much like its academic clients, Ayers Saint Gross approaches projects by utilizing research and precedents that provide valuable insights. Among its design tools are comparative analyses ranging from large-scale campus plans to small classrooms.
ASG shares these findings on its Web site, and in the last few years the catalog has expanded to include a comparative
view of 65 university plans at the same scale; a comparison of various classroom types; a look at the historical development of a mythical university; a timeline of historic moments on American college and university campuses; and a series of hyperlinks to architecture and planning Web sites for planners, faculty members, and administrators.
The study of precedents of another kind was at the heart of a project designed by ASG associate Alexander Fernandez, recipient of the 2002 Gabriel Prize from the Western European Architecture Foundation. The grant supported a three-month sabbatical to convey the humanizing power of French classical architecture and landscape. The watercolors shown here are among numerous works Fernandez completed for the project.
In reflecting on the research, Fernandez says, “Architecture is a multi-dimensional messenger that tells stories about a culture. Since burial also is a way of slicing through history, I was interested in the marking of monumental death conditions and places in the Parisian landscape during the monarchy, Enlightenment, revolution, and Napoleonic periods.”