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: Literal and Phenomenal

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here One can, for this reason, distinguish between a literal and a phenomenal transparency.

This thus reiterates the notion of space-time interpenetrative spaces of simultaneity. Recent Posts AD1 Queenstown: This site uses cookies. Le Corbusier breaks up the face of his villa by adding and subtracting, opaquing and opening up his surfaces in an irregular way that adds depth to his volume. I think an easy way to understand phenomenal transparency and the implication that it suggests coli end result or volume is the comparison to a Cambridge University study on how we read rtansparency interpret written language.

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.

To resolve this contradiction one must assume the presence of a new optical quality. Light is captured by the indirect lighting mechanisms, anf they are carved voids, lhenomenal of light, or channeled networks, and is transported yet transformed as the illumination gets redelivered into the interior space.

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.

An act of inter-modal transparency, literal and phenomenal, actual and implied, seen and read, perceptual and conceptual, co-existing together; a multi-penetration of transparencies, multi-transparent, multi-interpenetrative and interpretive, multi-moded 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.


There is no ambiguity as to the form or that which lies behind the plane of the transparent surface.

Conversely, phenomenal transparency exists when a designer deliberately abstracts space, not through the use of overlaying transparent planes, but through the reorganization of multiple spacial grids that would normally define lireral plane.

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Transparency | Architecturality

Transparebcy in his description of pulverized light mentions. Transparency however implies more than an optical characteristic, it implies a broader spatial order.

Dematerialization is the dissolution of matter through or by light, where thick, heavy, and massive, construction or cladding appears to be dissolved, eaten, or consumed by light itself. These transparent planes, objects, or surfaces interpenetrate each other. In a sense, the architect provides a suggestion of what the volume of the space might look like behind the opaque walls, and the viewer is allowed to conjure up the hidden spaces.

Literal and Phenomenal, The mathematics of the ideal villa and other essays. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Screens could be more porous or less porous according to the desired or necessary amount of solar exposure. Translucency can be defined as the condition existing within the continuum between opacity and transparency, between the phenokenal polarities of obscurity and clarity, between solid and void. Adolf Loos states that his architecture is not conceived in plan, but rather in terms of spaces colon cubes, hence the Raum — or Space — planwhich achieves a merging of storeys and spaces into a contiguous and continuous space.

Hence the dual phenomena of transparency — literal and phenomenalreal or seeming, substantial or organizational, actual or implied transparency. Email Twitter Facebook Pinterest. 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.

The opening of light is concealed and hidden away from view, the channel or shaft forces the light to bend, to reflect, and to become more diffused while entering the space. Notify me of new comments via email. 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.

Two or more transparent figures overlapping each other produces a contradiction or ambiguity of spatial dimensions ; simultaneously seeming to advance or recede, appearing closer or further, where space continuously fluctuates and oscillates. Transparency means a simultaneous perception of different spatial locations. To reiterate the dialectical overlapping and multiple readings of conditions of transparencyliteral transparency is a perceptual literxl actual transparency of seeing or of substance, whereas phenmenal transparency is a conceptual and implied transparency of reading or of organization.


The Raumplan demonstrates a framing of frames, a seeing or penetrating through the successive frames kiteral view. You are commenting using trans;arency WordPress.

Space not only recedes but fluctuates in a continuous activity. To find out more, including litedal to control cookies, see here: There is no clear boundary between what is lit and not lit; the distinction between light and non-light is undecidable, indeterminate, and ambiguous.

Mesh screens or other finely patterned porous facades have the capability to disintegrate objects into light and air. Transparency may be an inherent quality of substance -as in a wire mesh or transpafency curtain wall, or it may be an inherent quality of organization -as both Kepes and, to a lesser degree, Trnsparency suggest it to be; and one might, for this reason, distinguish litral a real or literal and a phenomenal or seeming transparency.

As can be seen from the dictionary definitions, the term transparency implies the optical or observational notions of showing or seeing through. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Notify me of new posts via email. The diagonality is important, as the arrows in both the plan and section refer to the same view, that is, both arrows are in effect the same, as they both denote the same sequence of framed vistas. Light corrodes and dissolves the solidity of mass.

Transparency is connection and continuity ; it is a dialectic between revealing and concealing, as well as between seeing and reading. They blur their arbitrary boundaries. Filtering and diffusing light through perforous patterned screens or facades, creating a myriad pheenomenal patterned shadow effects as the sun changes its position during the course of a day.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. What results is an organization of shapes that are clearly in superimposition with one another in a vacuous expanse suggesting outer space.

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