The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

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Professors Anthony Candido, Stephen Rustow, Michael Young, and Tamar Zinguer

Museum Analysis
I. Documentation
The students were presented a list of museums that exemplify defining moments in architectural practice from the early 19th through the beginning of the 21st century. While most of the examples were modern, some predated modernism and a few extended beyond. Each student selected a museum from the list and documented it, drawing plans, sections, and elevations—with the greatest precision using all the resources available. Those included books, periodicals, photographs, written accounts, films, scaled drawings, and more. The plans, sections and elevations were drawn at 1/4" = 1'-0", a scale that allowed for subsequent understanding of building systems and details.

II. Analysis
With a clear set of drawings at hand, each student identified the different orders and systems governing the design. The students analyzed program, spatial and tectonic aspects, structural and environmental systems, site conditions, as well as technological and environmental features of the design.

Through the invention of an analytical methodology—documentation and representation particularly appropriate to each building—each student reorganized the project in a way that explained the interrelationship of parts. The analytic concepts were developed and elaborated through a series of drawings and models that emphasized the particular conditions identified as relevant to each museum: spatial content, site and context, programmatic distribution, materials, structure, mediation of natural conditions, and cultural meaning. The methodology invented by each student was used to enhance the representation of these key elements; yet all students made analytic models made of parts, and conceived in such a way as to allow them to be assembled and then taken apart.