What follows is a game. Each text describes the plan of a well-known structure you have seen in print or maybe even visited, designed by architects whose names you know and whose works you have studied. Each paragraph is a generative text, a synthetic representation that prefigures a project. Each text is more than a concept: It has metric and sensorial qualities, describing spaces in terms of proportions, relations, geometry, materiality, or atmosphere, while leaving out the superfluous.

To play this nerdy architects’ game the rules are simple: you have to read each text and draw the plan it describes. Can you guess the building? Compare your drawing with others’ and most importantly, have fun! 

Generative text 1

Two circles are contained one within the other.

The circles are not concentric; instead, the inner circle is displaced so that the area between both circles

generates zones of different scale and hierarchy.

The inner circle is… bright and open to the sky,

while the in-between space is dimly lit and closed to the exterior.

From the north, a wedge penetrates from the exterior

and reaches all the way to inner circle. This wedge provides a view of the outside world and does not interrupt the spatial continuity of the in-between space. Smaller rectangular volumes are attached to the perimeter, providing various services.

Forest villa. Kasuyo Sejima. 1994

Generative text 2

Six parallel and evenly-spaced walls define a rectangular spatial field on level ground. The walls are the same height and built of concrete brick.

There are no doors or windows. Instead, each wall is punctured at least once to create an access, exit, and connections across.

Larger wall interruptions generate bigger spaces within the spatial field.

Some of the walls adjacent to these bigger spaces are curved out, in such a way that

they create spatial tension against the bigger spaces.

Sonsbeek Pavilioin. Aldo van Eyck. 1966

Generative text 3

A cluster of rooms is enveloped by circular membrane.

This membrane is thin and transparent and allows light to reach deep inside into and between rooms.

Some rooms are square, some are round, and others have free-flowing forms.

Some rooms puncture through the roof and others are open to the sky to let light in, while still others are not necessarily defined by walls.

Their arrangement in plan creates voids of various shapes and sizes. These in-between spaces are louder and brighter, allowing people to roam freely and enter the rooms in any order they want.

21st century museum of contemporary art. SANAA.