PostGuild, Guild House

by Farnoosh Rafaie (MArch '18)

The presence of perimeter is what we subconsciously associated with the aggregation of the city. A pastiche of its articulated parts, ill defined characters have become a construct in the assemblage of urbanity,a banal response in new development. A juxtaposition between the existing datum of the city and its newly infilled verticality, Seattle seemingly exists as the intersection, a collision of horizontal projections against the proliferation of skyscraper. A contrast against the slick, formal materiality of the skyscraper and the common, informal materials found within Denny’s Triangle, perimeter seeks to present position itself as the its face toward its public though its visible tectonic treatment. We can state the identity of the city, as perceived by the polis, can be defined by the articulation of its perimeter.

The frugal palazzo then acts as the in between. As palazzi are defined by their presence within the city, they find themselves redefined by the context of Seattle and frugality as they shift toward the authentic treatment of grandness to the appearance of grandness. Housing then responds from its outward appearance in, as skin becomes the medium through which frugal palazzi are expressed. An attempt to recontextualize housing through the negotiation of its magnificent container and the ways in which we dwell.

A play on optical corrections, The PostGuild, GuildHouse becomes a paradox in the appearance versus the authentic treatment of the palazzi, while located at the northern intersection of Denny’s Triangle. The triangular site acts as the perceived part of the articulated whole, as the palazzo becomes a play between the illusion of the formal city block and the diagramatic cut of its informal housing. A duality of scales, the formal appearance of its exaggerated facade performs as the assimilated veneer toward the city, as its informal counterpart strives to reveal the hidden everyday occupation typically unseen within palazzi. A reveal between the superficial encounter of perimeter within palazzi and the occupied, inner contents of its infilled skin.

The PostGuild, GuildHouse is inevitably defined by dwelling, as it transforms from the elevated type of noble palazzi towards housing for unionized workers within Seattle. The revival of trade apprenticeship within the contemporary city, the PostGuild, GuildHouse proposes palazzi as it manifests itself deeper within the reality of the city while existing as a social condenser for its inhabitants. The split between retired dwelling and specialized guilds, I propose a program in which trade apprenticeship becomes the catalyst in addressing a new typology of housing demands. A dweller’s typology after labor, this post-work palazzo candidly weaves together the outstanding need for newly trained labor and the impending need for lower to middle class housing within Seattle’s aging workforce.