While glass acts as a simple screen, optimizing north light and eliminating noise and fumes, a concrete frame--shifted out of phase--defines the interior spaces between fairfaced
columns and soffits; spaces that are further modulated by hinged butterfly screens that act as a veil to provide privacy, reduce glare and re-proportion the apertures to a more domestic scale.
The relative coarseness of the glazing contrasts with the really excellent quality of the fairfaced
concrete, which rivals Zumthor's at Bregenz (AR December 1997), most unusual in the US.
Enclosed by walls of smooth fairfaced
concrete, cubicles are provided for both traditional Japanese squatting and Western sitting lavatorial modes.
Throughout the chapel complex, materials such as untreated oak, fairfaced
concrete, glass and local stone are as consistently simple and reticent as the spatial organization.
Grey continues inside the houses, where fairfaced
concrete walls and floor slabs are exposed.
When seen in winter, the glancing shafts of sunlight on pale York stone and fairfaced
concrete contributed to the pleasure and tranquillity of the place.
Steel is galvanized, walls are fairfaced
concrete block, and floors are concrete or asphalt.
A central circulation spine leads visitors through an enfilade of exhibition areas enclosed and defined by vertical planes of fairfaced
concrete cylinder houses a circular entrance hall which acts as a spatial and organisational pivot in the L-shaped plan.
Walls are of fairfaced
brick or lined with softwood: the floor round the wet kitchen area and the brick fireplace is in granite tiles; elsewhere it is of pine boards, sealed but otherwise untreated.
Most of the other finishes are equally robust (no bad strategy in a college of art): internal partitions are grey fairfaced
concrete block, and ceilings are black grids of steel.
One consists of the extension of the Mollien staircase constructed of fairfaced
concrete -- a material reference to Pei's reception hall under the Pyramid.