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Façade

facade

/fəˈsäd/

Noun
  1. The front of a building that looks onto a street or open space.
  2. An outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.
 
Synonyms
front – frontage – face – frontispiece

Modularity and proportion are a large part of my stock in trade. Without those tools, design would be next to impossible—difficult at best.

Palladio

Planning and volumetrics are two aspects of creating any new Agincourt buildings that come to me fairly easily. But elevations are another matter. Take the Methodsit church, for example.

Putting the project circa 1920 placed it at the near end of the “Akron-Auditorium” phenomenon, Protestantism’s major contribution to American religious architecture. I’ve gathered material on the A-A plan for at least the past fifteen years, including at least 2,500 postcard views (some of which I’ve posted on Flickr.com). Looking at so many examples of the so-called Akron-Auditorium plan type for so many years, I can recognize one at fifty yards in a blizzard from a moving vehicle—did that once in Waterloo, Iowa on the way back from Chicago. So, the plan of Asbury United Methodist Church at 211 Agincourt Avenue NW was a relative walk in the park.

Not so for its elevations. Try as I might, the solid 1920 plan resists a comparable elevation. Each one of several “solutions” is so much a product of the 50s and 60s—the decades when, in fact, I was becoming architecturally alert—that I won’t embarrass myself by posting them here.

What is it about elevations—façades—that defy me? Would that it were simply a matter of modularity and proportion.


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