Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky. Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal p ‘Transparency,’ ‘space-time,’ ‘simultane- ity,’ ‘interpenetration. Two Modes of Transparency: Literal & Phenomenal. The key aspect to Rowe and Slutzky’s seminal essay on Transparency: Literal & Phenomenal, is the .. Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky in their essay ‘Transparency: Literal. ‘tltlder the tille “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal”. The significance of this lematic of Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky’s co-authored writings under the title.

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Transparency may be an inherent quality of substance -as in a wire mesh or glass curtain wall, or it may be an inherent quality of organization -as both Kepes and, to a lesser degree, Moholy suggest it to be; and one might, for this reason, distinguish between a real or literal and a phenomenal or seeming transparency. However, the villa at Garches presents multiple geometric planes that are both positive and negative spaces of the facade.

One can, for this reason, distinguish between a literal and a phenomenal transparency. Perceptual transparency is a transparency of lookingas the transparent conditions arise due to an overlapping of material or substance, whereas Conceptual transparency is a transparency of readingthus engaging the mind of the viewer or reader, in order to interpret and understand successive layered spaces as modes of transparent phenomena. Furthermore, the literally transparent is best viewed at an oblique angle hence the diagonal, two point perspective of the photograph in order to define space in a more complex way.

Perceptual vs Conceptual Transparency: Rowe and Slutzky makes a distinction between two types, modes, or conditions of transparency in their seminal essay on Transparency: Adolf Loos states that his architecture is not conceived in plan, but rather in terms of spaces or cubes, hence the Raum — or Space — planwhich achieves a merging of storeys and spaces into a contiguous and continuous space.

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Transparency means a simultaneous perception of different spatial locations. The control of certain parameters, such as the proportion of solid to void, the relationship between the opaque surface and the porous openings or holes can achieve a seemingly gauzy and mysterious, yet luminous and brilliant, experience of the screen.


To introduce new terms into the dialectic of transparency, one can appropriate the terms of Sol Le Witt, and the Conceptual Art movement of the s, in order to reinterpret Transparency as being perceptual or conceptual.

Literal and Phenomenal, The mathematics of the ideal villa and other essays. With this set of evidence, Rowe sets out his basic tenets that define transparency: Translucency is where light sifts, filters and penetrates through the successive additive effects of layered, stacked, overlapped or superimposed planes, glazed surfaces, films, or veils.

Literal transparency is perceived and definite, while phenomenal transparency is conceived and indefinite.

Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal

The figures are endowed with transparency: Having the property of transmitting light without scattering to that the objects lying beyond and behind are seen clearly; allowing passage of a specified form of radiation; fine or sheet enough to be seen through-diaphanous. This other type of seeming or implied transparencythat is an interpretive transparency, or an interpretive mode of seeing-through, can be distinguished. Hence, phenomenal or conceptual transparency is achieved, following what Rowe and Slutzky mentioned with regards to the notion of stratificationthat is, the sequential layering of frontal planes and spaces.

Formless light is given a memorable character whereby the radiation and energy from the sky is collected and sculpted.

Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal | Arch

The filtering and penetrating effect of light through translucency achieves a layered glow phenmoenal, where natural light passes through, slows down, softens, bleeds and diffuses from one space to the next, from exterior to the interior, and through different layers of the interior, pheno,enal a superimposed overlapping penetrative effect, bringing daylight further and deeper into the space.

Notify me of new posts via email. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Screens could be more porous or less porous according to the desired or necessary amount of solar exposure.


For me, there is no ground floor, first floor etc…. This site uses cookies. This overlapping and interpenetrating xolin figures conjures an ambiguity or contradiction of spatial dimensions. I think an transparsncy way to understand phenomenal transparency and the implication that it suggests an end result or volume is the comparison to a Cambridge University study on how we read and interpret written language. The concepts and conditions of transparency parallel movements of Relativity theories and their implications; where space-time relativistic thinking allows for two objects to co-exist simultaneously in the same space and time, as such transparency is a space-time condition of betweeness, a simultaneous perception of space.

In this way, the viewer is called upon to conceive the reordering of the painting in order to complete the thought. In the various modes litersl indirect lighting, such as slots, tubes, conduits, light shafts, light funnels and scoops or some other labyrinthine configuration, the incident light arrives mysteriously as it is reflected or redirected from the inner surfaces of the light baffle, concealing the window or opening.

You are commenting using your WordPress. The boundary is blurred.

Filtering and diffusing light through perforous patterned screens or facades, creating a myriad of patterned shadow effects as the sun changes its position during the course of a day. One can perceive the glass and framing behind it, and the space behind the glass is easily recognized.

This reiterates the notion of transparency as a seeing- or passing-through, that is, a journey, a penetration, or a passing through of the gaze. This site uses cookies.

Plummer in his description of pulverized light mentions. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Transparency is a condition of passing or seeing through.