...[I]t is never wise to build your house on the most ambitious spot in the landscape. Rather seek out a more humble and secluded nook or corner, which you can fill and warm with your domestic and home instincts and affections. In some things the half is often more satisfying than the whole. [John Burroughs]
My sense is not that joints are necessary for construction, but that they are necessary for coherence, for architectural meaning to occur, even if jointlessness is technically possible. It is clear that long before the modern era, the understanding of the parts of a building and their constructional relationship was a key to a larger understanding of the building as a manifestation of ideas. The assembly of parts in precarious equilibrium can be understood as a parallel for another system: a social order, a political order, a philosophical order, a natural order. [Ed Ford]
If the architect first designed the joining of materials, what building would emerge? This was the premise of the studio with the program of an environmental education center in Yosemite National Park. The "joint" was first explored primarily through model iterations, without consideration of the site or program. Once a viable option was chosen, we extrapolated the joint into structural schemes for the buildings needed at the center: cabins, a dining hall, classrooms, and bathrooms.