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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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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. This continuous fluctuation of interpretative readings reaffirms the notion of seeming, or what will be later referred to as an implied transparency, as opposed to a real or lkteral transparency.

Top Blog at WordPress. In this way, Rowe defines literal transparency as the physical translucence inherent in a material or structure.

Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal

They blur their arbitrary boundaries. 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. Hence the dual phenomena of transparency — literal and phenomenalreal or seeming, substantial or organizational, actual or implied transparency. The Bauhaus would appear as a huge curtain of translucent glass with a plane wall lying behind and a gridded division of the translucent plane by the metal on the glass.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Transparency is a condition of passing or seeing through.

Rowe argues that phenomenal transparency has just the same effect on the brain. 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.


Atomized illumination through the fine screens of wood lattice, metal mesh, or other porous surface makes the view outside less clear, less solid, and instead more disintegrative, more vaporous.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. In the first first figure, La Sarrazthe painter paints with obvious transparency in his pigments in order to layer the receding layers of planes.

That is not to phenokenal that we will always arrive at an accurate conception of the hidden space of a building, but designers give us more to engage in psychologically when phenomenal transparency is at play.

Transparency | Architecturality

Transparency means a simultaneous perception of different spatial locations. One can, for this reason, distinguish between a literal and a phenomenal transparency. Two or more transparent figures overlapping each other produces a contradiction or ambiguity of spatial dimensions ; simultaneously seeming to advance or ohenomenal, appearing closer or further, where space continuously fluctuates and oscillates. Recent Posts AD1 Queenstown: However, I finally grasped what he described when I realized that the frontal view of the villa at Garches compared to a frontal view of the Bauhaus yield very different interpretation of the buildings at hand.

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. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

Mesh screens or other finely patterned porous facades have the capability to disintegrate objects into light and air. Below are two paintings that demonstrate these notions of transparency. Anf doubling of transparency, both literal and phenomenal, perceived and interpreted.

One can perceive the glass and framing behind it, and the space behind the glass is easily recognized. However, the villa at Garches presents multiple geometric planes that are both positive and negative spaces of the facade. The painting depicts spatial ambiguities ; a property of transparency, due to an illusion of deep yet shallow space; a fluctuation of back and forth movement of objects and planes advancing and receding simultaneously.


Hence, there exists two modes of transparency, two modes of layering, the Layering of Planes and the Layering of Spaces. These transparent planes, objects, or surfaces interpenetrate each other.

Raumplan as a succession of layered spaces. In the various modes of 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.

Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal | Arch

The Futurist artist, Umberto Boccioni, in his representation of movement, studied and employed the simultaneity and consequent interpenetration or compenetration of planesforce-lines, and the decomposition of objects, in order to produce dynamism in both painting and sculpture Coen, This interpretive study can be seen as a forerunner to his own investigative projects of layering planes and spaces, seen especially in his early house projects.

Notify me of new posts via email. The two modes of transparency can be combined, fused and integrated to achieve a doubling of transparency, a simultaneity of modes of transparent operations.

Light is captured by the indirect lighting mechanisms, whether they are carved voids, fingers of light, or channeled networks, and is phenomnal yet transformed as the illumination gets redelivered into the interior space. This site uses cookies.