Rob Wellington Quigley (March 31, 1982)

Rob Wellington Quigley begins his lecture discussing how occupants take possession of architecture. He argues that architecture need to take abuse. He discusses the problem of Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia and how the temporary buildings adjacent are the spaces that people use most socially. He goes on to list built elements in San Diego that impact his work and his interest in occupation, including the bungalow style, US Navy structures, and the Spanish heritage. Quigley’s main interest is in the emotional value of architecture and the social patterns it enables.

Quigley continues with a presentation of several residential projects. He tells a story about a client who, while digging in his lot found a 1920s-era grotto from a mansion formerly at the site. Quigley worked with the client to incorporate the rock structure of the grotto into the completed house, using the stone as a thermal mass. He relates this material element to the Anasazi cliff dwelling ruins of the American Southwest. In addition to this thermal mass, he implemented several other passive energy techniques into this project.

Quigley continues his lecture by showing a commissioned house in Japan which was intended to demonstrate American attitudes toward and treatments of energy issues. He describes the integration of one traditional Japanese room into an ostensibly western house as a type popular in Japan at the time and expresses his dislike of the haphazard way these two zones are integrated. His project organized the spaces and materials to place the traditional room in a place of honor in the house and organized with staggered level organization to do so. He explains his attempt to integrate Japanese building methods into the project through choices in detailing in order to expedite the process due to a limited build period.

Quigley goes on to present several multi-unit project that allowed for more concentration on social spaces. He presents his successes and failures equally and demonstrates progress based upon these observations. In particular, he presents a project in which outdoor space in the common area was created, but made smaller than private backyard spaces. This lead to a partial but limited success in incidental interaction. Within units, he makes a point of negotiating between which parts he articulates and specifies and which parts are left for the residents to take over entirely. He finally presents another very low cost project and his attempts to use a kit of parts to push the potential of a barracks style housing type.

Quigley concludes his lecture with the presentation of several competition projects at larger scales. He discusses a proposal for a theater arts complex in Rancho Bernardo that integrated a phased development strategy and minimized material usage meant to target a potential funding shortage. He speaks about traditional amphitheater usage and seating strategies and his proposed scheme in which a tower would house the services for several stage types while allowing flexible seating depending on performance type. This strategy suggested a theater proscenium suspended on trusses extending from the tower in order to minimize its presence during a music performance.

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