Antoine Predock working on a clay model for the Student Activity and Recreation Center at Ohio State University en route, 2001



When a project is formative or embryonic the drawings are often terse and immediate, a kind of encoding or DNA that will inform the making of the building.  These preliminary or anticipatory drawings lead to three-dimensional clay models, which can be very tiny - three-by-five inches like Cal Poly, or very large, like the one for Agadir which is five feet long and three feet wide.  I am still exploring as I work with the clay but I am working toward a finality.  Compared to a drawing on paper the models are very real; they are the building.  They are not 'massing models,'  they rationally address section and plan. 

In the case of my clay models, my team cuts out functional program bits in cardboard, to scale.  They're abstract squares or rectangles and I test them against the clay forms as I'm assembling and shaping the clay.  So I don't do an architectural concept sketch and see if the program has anything to do with it.  It is embedded in the work from the very beginning and the discussions with clients with respect to the performance life of the building are very exciting and lead off into many interesting directions in terms of the programmatic intensities in the work.  So the program figures continually with the different ingredients of energies that go into the first moves or gestures toward making the piece that becomes a building.  The disclaimer with respect to the program would be that we know historically that buildings through the ages change their program and this ephemeral notion of program has to do with political overlays, cultural norms or evolutionary change in what was functional content.  The Pantheon changes from a pagan temple to a Christian church overnight, so these kinds of tremendous reversals are also part of the possibility.  This means that any building must have a life of its own, in a way independent of program, but of course accommodating the original program.  So when architecture becomes solely program-driven and is merely a functional diagram, without other admixtures, it becomes a rather empty determined condition.  Like a body without a soul.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.

Spaceport America, New Mexico





The World Mammoth and Permafrost Museum, Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha, Russian Federation










Social Sciences and Humanities Building, University of California, Davis, California










Pam Bay Resort, Agadir, Moroccol













Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, Alto, New Mexico











Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York













Ohio State University, Student Activity and Recreation Center













Ventana Vista Elementary School, Tuscon School, Arizona













National Palace Museum, Taiwan













Science Canyon, K12 School, Colorado Springs, Colorado













Maryland Center for Performing Arts, College Park













San Diego Padres Ballpark














Arizona Science Center, Phoenix, Arizona












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