ARCH 404 Option Studio

Spring 2005

Iowa State University

MWF 1:10pm-5:20pm, CoD 262

Prof: Mikesch Mücke, Ph.D.

Department of Architecture

COD 588, 515-294-8786

As an architect and as someone who studied and performed music, I have been keenly aware of the intense and often reciprocal dialogue between the audible and the visible. Buildings provide spaces for living, but are also de facto instruments, giving shape to the sound of the world. Music and architecture are related not only by metaphor, but also through concrete space. Every building I have admired is, in effect, a musical instrument whose performance gives space a quality that often seems to be transcendent and immaterial. The ineffable or the immeasurable gives a sense of wonder that forms the difference between building and architecture. Perception and measurement link music and architecture through the tradition of composition in both arts. The idea of harmony, discovered by the Pythagoreans in ancient Greece, describes the mystery in which the length of vibrating strings corresponds to golden section proportions in space. However, it is not only this aspect that connects space with the idea of cosmic order. There is an even deeper connection between the genesis of architecture in a drawing and the composition of music on the five-line staff and its transformation into a public performance. Musical compositions performed through the large forces of an orchestra and architectural drawings used as a means to transmit form into civic space are more than analogous — they are the constructive realities in both arts. The dimension of time shared by both architecture and music provides a critical difference and a critical connection between them. Since music is experienced in time, its impact is related to the unique silence that follows, giving the musical work a memorable and dynamic stability. In architecture, however, the static nature of constructed space gains a dimension of perspective through experience and anticipation. Architecture can only be appreciated by transforming size into scale, matter into light, and time into rhythm, colour and key. As much as architecture depends on the mysterious intensity of music, which gives it space, so does music depend on architecture for continuing to uphold both the audible and inaudible in time. Without music, architecture would disappear altogether. Reducing architecture to a material reality only is to create a city of noise.

Daniel Libeskind, The Walls are Alive. Guardian Unlimited, Guardian Newspapers Limited, London, July 13, 2002

Project 3: A Music and Architecture Research Institute (M.A.R.I.)

This 12-week project consists of a design for a living and working environment that provides resources, isolation, and connectivity for scholars and students to conduct research on the intersection of music and architecture. The design is to be located on a triple-jumbo barge; it is a transforming/transformative environment: the building floats, the site changes.

From June 1 to November 1 M.A.R.I. docks in Davenport, IA, then moves down the Mississippi and through the Intracoastal Waterway along the Gulf of Mexico to Cedar Key, FL, where it will stay between January 1 and May 1, only to return up the Mississippi to Davenport by June 1. Along the way M.A.R.I. may make other stops, for example in St. Louis, Memphis, and/or New Orleans.

There are at least four sites to this project. Two are conventional (Davenport and Cedar Key), although they are unique as well since they bridge the threshold between land and water, solid and fluid, city and barge. The third site is mobile. It consists of three jumbo barges (each is 200’ x 35’) = a floating platform 200’ x 105’. The barge size is based on lock size: either 110’ x 600’ or 110’ x 1200’ along the Mississippi above St. Louis. There are no locks below St. Louis. The fourth site, both temporal and spatial, is the passage between Davenport and Cedar Key, and back.

A note on procedure: narrative structures, innovative modes of design exploration and representation are highly encouraged.

For precedents study Aldo Rossi’s Teatro del Mundo, Le Corbusier’s Salvation Army barge (Paris), the Thames Barge for the American Wind Orchestra (1961-1973) by Louis I. Kahn (mentioned in the documentary movie My Architect) and others.

There will be four critiques as part of this project:

Schematic Design/Intermediate Crit: February 14 @ 1:15pm

Design Development/Midterm Review with invited Critters: March 9 @ 2:00pm

Design Development/Intermediate Crit: April 11 @ 1:15pm

Final Review with Invited Critters: Saturday, April 30, time to be announced

Specific M.A.R.I. program (based on ACSA Steel Competition)



The primary goals of the Music and Architecture Research Institute (M.A.R.I.) design are:

• Provide the space for researchers and students to explore the intersection of music and architecture, both for performance/display of existing designs (musical and architectural) as well as the generation of new compositions and designs. The spaces on the barge are to accommodate visitors, staff, and community members in an atmosphere conducive to research, social, leisure, and educational purposes.

• Enable the institute to be responsive to the personal and professional needs of the scholars and students.

• Provide easy access to information about the M.A.R.I. programs and service for the scholars, students, staff, and general public.

Secondary goals include the potential of M.A.R.I. to serve as a mobile post-disaster environment that can replace destroyed public functions in areas hit by earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, or other natural disasters (See the attached Student Competition for Creating Space in Extreme and Extraordinary Conditions)


Barge, Davenport, Cedar Key, and in between.

Summary of Program Requirements:

The architectural program elements (in square feet) for the M.A.R.I. are as follows:

  1. Entry Lobby/Lounge 1,500 sf

  1. Garden and Orangerie (used to facilitate thermal control during cold months) 2,800 sf

  1. Observation Deck(s) 2,800 sf

  1. Theater/Performance space with stage and one-manual tracker pipe organ 7,200 sf

  1. M.A.R.I. Visitor Store 1,000 sf

  1. 10 Seminar/Class Rooms 4,000 sf

  1. Kitchen and Dining (shared by scholars and students) 4,500 sf

  1. Radio Station 600 sf

  1. M.A.R.I. Online Journal/Blog, Paper Journal/Yearbook 870 sf

  1. Library/Media Center (includes the International Women Composers Library)  3,870 sf

  1. 12 Scholars Offices 3,360 sf

  1. Administrative Offices 1,950 sf

  1. 16 Laboratory/Practice/Design Spaces (various sizes)  6,400 sf

  1. Apartment for caretaker couple (2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom/shower) 1,500 sf

  1. 12 Cabins (for scholars-in-residence) each with bathroom/shower 3,600 sf

Net square footage 45,950 sf

Toilets, circulation, etc. @10% 4,599 sf

Gross square footage 50,545 sf


Entry Lobby/Lounge 1,500 sf

The entry lobby and lounge space is a place for meeting and carrying on spontaneous conversations before and after attending activities in the theater/performance space or in other meetings (seminars, lectures, etc.).

The Building Lobby in addition to being a meeting place will be used for scholar and student exhibits/critiques and will contain an information desk where users can receive directions to offices, meetings, and performances.

Lobby 1,350 sf

Information Desk 150 sf

If the Theater/Performance space is located in proximity to the main building entrance the Theater and Entry lobbies/lounge may be combined into one space.

Garden and Orangerie 2,800 sf

The garden works as a spatial release from the scholarly activities. It is an outdoor space.

Garden 2,000 sf

The orangerie is a enclosed but glazed space to keep sensitive plants/trees safe from freezing temperatures. The space should be adjacent to the garden and on the same level for easy moving of the sensitive plants/trees.

Orangerie 800 sf


Observation Deck 2,800 sf

The observation deck functions as an outdoor space that connects the barges occupants visually to the changing environment beyond the building.

Theater/Peformance space 7,200 sf

The Theater will be used by scholars, students, and staff for M.A.R.I.-related activities. Events such as

movies, special lectures, and musical and theatrical performance will be open to the general public when M.A.R.I. is docked at one of its land-based destinations. To enhance community relations this space will be available to local civic and social organizations.

The Theater will contain stepped seat for 400 people, a standing gallery, stage, stage storage areas, a projection booth, and a one-manual tracker pipe organ from A. David Moore Inc. in North Pomfret, VT. In addition to the fixed seating provisions must be available for the physically handicapped.

Seating 4,000 sf

Gallery 600 sf

Stage 1,200 sf

Stage Storage 1,200 sf

Projection Room 200 sf

Since the Theater will not require a flyloft, the Stage Storage will be used to store and move scenery and props. This may be located on one or both sides of the Stage.

M.A.R.I. Visitor Store 1,000 sf

The Visitor Store will sell textbooks, software reference books, supplies, and personal items (t-shirts, etc.) that are related to the intersection of music and architecture.

General Display Area 750 sf

Checkout counter 50 sf

Storage 200 sf

10 Seminar/Class Rooms 4,000 sf

The seminar and class rooms will be used by scholars and students to explore issues related to the intersection of music and architecture. All ten rooms are fully media-equipped with 6.1 surround-sound system, video/DVD projection system, and retractable projection screen. The seating is not fixed.

10 rooms @ 400 sf each = 4,000 sf

Kitchen and Dining 4,500 sf

Normal meal service will be provided by M.A.R.I.’s kitchen.

Food Preparation/Storage/Dishwashing 1150 sf

Scholar and student dining room 2,500 sf

Vending Area 150 sf

Serving Area (20 lf of serving counter) 500 sf

Dressing Rooms 200 sf

A men’s and women’s dressing room (100 sf each) containing toilet facilities and a shower

The Kitchen Area needs direct access to Shipping and Receiving as well as the General Storage Area.

Radio Station 600 sf

M.A.R.I. will have its own radio station, WMAR, operated by scholars/students.

Broadcasting Booth 70 sf

Control Booth 50 sf

Files/Workroom 480 sf

M.A.R.I. Online Journal, Paper Journal/Yearbook 870 sf

The scholars and students will gather, organize, and edit data for an online journal/blog which will be updated monthly, as well as a bi-annual paper journal and an annual yearbook of activities related to M.A.R.I.. If there is enough interest M.A.R.I. will also provide a daily podcast.

Print and Supply Room 150 sf

Editor’s Office 120 sf

Work room 600 sf

Library/Media Center (includes the International Women Composers Library)  3,870 sf

M.A.R.I.’s library/media center holds the contents of the International Women Composers Library, which consists of CDs, score sheets, LPs, and books.

IWCL 1,500 sf

The Media Center consists of listening/viewing desks to sample the sound/visual information in the library. It includes desks with amplifiers, laptop hookups, etc. The media center has a high speed satellite uplink (T1 connection) for digital uploads/downloads.

Media Center 1,500 sf

Checkout Counter and reserve storage 400 sf

Librarian Office 470 sf

Scholars’ Offices 3,360 sf

The offices for the scholars have high-speed wireless network access. All offices have a window to the outside.

12 offices @ 280 sf each = 3,360 sf

Administrative Office Suite 1,950 sf

This office suite will house the two Directors, the Building Manager, and support staff.

Secretary/Receptionist 150 sf

Waiting 240 sf

Director of Music Activities 240 sf

Director of Architecture Activities 240 sf

Building Manager 240 sf

Break Room 100 sf

Conference Room 300 sf

Conference Room 200 sf

16 Laboratory/Practice/Studio Spaces 6400 sf

There are various spaces that need to be designed for a variety of uses. Laboratories are controlled interiors where scholars can pursue experiments (behavioral and/or technical). Practice rooms are acoustically isolated interiors where individuals or small ensembles can practice compositions or prepare for a performance. Studio spaces are for individual and/or group work to design experiments/spaces/architectures, and to do graphic layout of brochures as well as audio/visual presentations. Included in this set of rooms is also an anechoic chamber for testing. Each practice room is equipped with a Steinway grand piano and basic audio/video tools, as well as a black/white board with five-line musical staff. Each design studio is equipped with four drawing desks and basic audio/video tools as well as a black/white board.

16 rooms, various sizes = 6,400 sf

Apartment for Caretaker Couple  1,500 sf

  1. A caretaker couple will maintain M.A.R.I. during its docking and travel times. The couple will live in the apartment year round. The apartment is equipped with two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom/shower.

12 Cabins for Scholars-in-Residence 3,600 sf

  1. Each cabin is equipped with a double bed, storage unit, bathroom/shower.

  1. 12 cabins @ 300 sf = 3,600 sf

Support Facilities 3,180 sf

Loading Dock 180 sf

Shipping and Receiving 700 sf

General Building Storage 600 sf

Mechanical Room(s) 1,500 sf

Electrical Room 200 sf


Grades are assigned based on the following criteria:

•    COMMUNICATION: Graphic and verbal ability to express ideas clearly and effectively.

•    COMPLEXITY: Level of formal and theoretical difficulty. Probing new terrain.

•    CONSISTENCY: A persistent and responsible interrogation of the course content throughout the semester.

•    COMPLETENESS: All submissions are on time and complete.

Letter grade breakdown:

A – work is complete and responsible interrogation of the project in all of these areas.

B – work is complete, demonstrates a level of sophistication in the other areas.

C – work is complete, but lacks development in the other areas.

D – work is incomplete, and lacks development in the other areas.

F – work is incomplete, underdeveloped, and demonstrates inconsistent application of effort.


There are no required books. All readings will be on the arch403 server in the *arch404Mikesch2005 folder in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format. Here’s how you log on to the server:

From Mac:

Command-K or in the Finder choose Go>Connect to Server


Username: arch403

Password: arch403

The .pdf files are in the *arch404Mikesch2005/Readings folder

From Windows:

Open FileZilla

In the Location window type

Username: arch403

Password: arch403

The .pdf files are in the *arch404Mikesch2005/Readings folder

Make sure to read the files OFFLINE, that is, copy them from the server to the hard drive of the machine you’re working on (drag them to your desktop from the server). If you want to you can also print them out for analogue readability.


Open Sound Bibliography (check also the Media folder on the arch403 server)

Please amend the bibliography as your find more information.

Books with +++ are part of the reading assignments. Everything else is supplemental but highly recommended reading.

Adorno, T. W. (1990). On the Fetish Character in Music and the Regression of Listening. The Essential Frankfurt School Reader. A. a. G. Arato, Eike. New York, Continuum: 270-299.

+++ Bandur, M. (2001). Aesthetics of Total Serialism: Contemporary Research from Music to Architecture

Battersby, C. (1989). Gender and Genius: Towards a Feminist Aesthetics. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

+++ Brockman, J. (2004). A Theory of Roughness: A Talk with Benoit Mandelbrot. Edge, Edge The Third Culture: 9.

Cichy, B. (1964). The Great Ages of Architecture: From Ancient Greece to the Present Day. New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Cook, S. C. T., Judy S., Ed. (1994). Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music. Urbana, University of Illinois Press.

Corbusier, L. (1958). . Paris, Editions de Minuit.

Corbusier, L. (2000). Modulor: A Harmonious Measure to the Human Scale Universally applicable to Architecture and Mechanics

+++ Forsyth, M. (1985). Buildings for music: the architect, the musician, and the listener from the seventeenth century to the present day. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.

+++ Grueneisen, P. (2003). Soundspace: architecture for sound and vision

Gutman, R. W. (1968). Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind and His Music.

Holding, E. (2000). Mark Fisher: staged architecture. Chichester, West Sussex, Wiley-Academy.

Holl, S. (1996). Stretto House. New York, Monacelli Press.

Kahn, L. (1991). Order is. Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-century Architecture. U. Conrads. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press: 169-170.

Lang Ho, C. a. R. A. B. (2001). House: American Houses for the New Century. New York, Universe.

Lobell, J. (1979). Between Silence and Light: Spirit in the Architecture of Louis I. Kahn. Boston, Shambhala.

Lorenz, A. O. (1924). Das Geheimnis der Form bei Richard Wagner.

Marshall, K., Ed. (1993). Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions. Boston, Northeastern University Press.

Martin, R. (1967). Living Architecture. London, Oldbourne.

Matossian, N. (1986). Xenakis. New York, Taplinger Publishing Company.

McClellan, R. (2000). The Healing Forces of Music: History, Theory, and Practice. San Jose, toExcel.

McCoy, E. (1977). Case Study Houses 1945-1962. Santa Monica, Hennessey + Ingalls.

Neumann, F. (1978). Ornamentation in Baroque and Post-Baroque Music. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

+++ Norberg-Schulz, C. (1965). Intentions in Architecture. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

Pearson, D. (1989). The Natural House Book: Creating a Healthy, Harmonious, and Ecologically-sound Home Environment. New York, Simon and Schuster.

Pendle, K., Ed. (1991). Women & Music: A History. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

Randel, D. M. (1986). The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Richardson, P. a. L. D. (2001). XS: Big Ideas, Small Buildings. New York, Rizzoli.

Sullivan, L. (1988). Ornament in Architecture. Louis Sullivan: The Public Papers. R. Twombly. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press: 79-84.

+++ Thompson, E. (2002). The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933. Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press.

+++ Treib, M. (1996). . Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press.

Dialogues. J. Mathews. New York, Pantheon Books. 4: 63-150.

Sea Shells. Boston, Beacon Press.

+++ Wold, M. a. C., Edmund (1985). An Outline History of Music. Dubuque, Iowa, Wm. C. Brown.

Zeising, A. (1855). Aesthetische Forschungen. Frankfurt am Main.

Zuidervaart, L. (1991). Adorno's Aesthetic Theory: The Redemption of Illusion. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press.