alexan stulc

cooper union school of architecture class of 2010 34 east 7th street apartment 1f new york, new york 10003 212.203.1793

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summer 2007

summer 2008

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spring 2006

alone at sea

spring 2007

chance encounter

domingo gonzales associates

fall 2007

variations and theme

spring 2008

dark to light

allied works architecture

fall 2008

tower acropolis

spring 2009

sense of place

spring 2009

architecture of nature nature of architecture

fall 2009

radical plasticity

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The first design project in my tenure at Cooper Union was an investigation of buoyancy relative to architectural space and form. Given the site, an unidentified expanse of sea, we were to create a vessel for a single inhabitant. My project focused on the isolation inherent in such an existence. Alone at sea, faced with the uncertainty of the surrounding landscape, how would begin to relate to the only tangible reference available? The vessel is composed of two distinct sections, a covered portion to the rear provides shelter, while 55 feet away, the bow rises in front. This distance is the minimum length for a shout to travel and reflect back to its source. The monolithic figurehead serves as both a visual locator and aural reassurance. Architecture becomes the seafarers companion.

alone at sea
00° 00’ 0” N 00° 00’ 00” W Spring 2006 Professors D.Gersten A.Romme A.Titus S.Wines

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The intersection of 34th Street and Broadway in New York City is in constant flux. The ebb and flow of vehicles and pedestrians continue The various tangents of

chance encounter
40° 45’ 1” N 73° 59’ 16” W Spring 2007 Professors P.Eiora C.O’Donnell G.Zullianni

from street level down to the subway below.

movement carve a niche within the city’s fabric; a plateau of uninterrupted mass that extends down to manhattan bedrock. Above, there is an odd mass of empty air, a remnant of Broadway incongruity with the grid. As movement carves out the cities canyons, the leftover areas are points of stasis; a moment of composure for the continual traveler. This is a place for people to stop and interact. It is unprogrammed space to rest, neutral space for people to engage. The leftover pieces of the city’s aberrations are used to house the uncanny experience; the moment of personal exchange.

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the thirty-fourth street subway station is a nexus of circulation beneath the streets of manhattan. Playing host to lines of infrastructure within the city and to outlying regions, the stream of human traffic through this triangle is nearly continuous, whether above or below grade.

the project brings physical form to the disparate flows of traffic moving across the site. it provides a locus the temporal inhabitant may adopt as a guide, it imposes itself as a temporary home. it is

its openness is a catalyst for encounter. upon which relationships may be

it provides a framework or reconstituted.


with the enormity of traffic through this site the element of chance is very much present. this is a place for chance encounters.

a place for the storage of things, a repository for personal affects

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variations and theme
42° 20’ 53” N 71° 2’ 33” W Fall 2007 Professors F.Davis E.O’Donnell S.Rustow M.Young

The Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is located in the Seaport District of South Boston. The culmination of a semester long analysis resulted in the construction of three models based on the perceptual distortions experienced through the building’s visitors. In doing so, the concurrent theme running throughout its spatial progression is revealed. Despite disparate programmatic elements necessary for the functioning of a contemporary museum, the architect’s are able to establish an omniscient sense of the harbor beyond, providing a continuous reference point throughout the work. The implications of this exercise are meant to question the nature of an architectural space transformed by the action of vision and movement.

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reconstitution of digital models into perspectively distorted re-readings

first, digital models are constructed of key component moments within the museum that contribute to the overall ethos of the place. the relevant spaces are then cut from the model in its entirety, producing fragments cut specifically to the angles of our visual range.

once disengaged, the pieces are then projected unto a flat surface through perspectival distortion. this produces a two dimensional image akin to that which would be seen by the eye. the distorted projections are then re-read as measured axonometric drawings. this provides information from which a physical model can be built. throughout each space though, the focal point remains as a framed view of boston’s harbor. reconnecting the building with its locus.

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dark to light
40° 44’ 28” N 73° 59’ 23” W Spring 2008



Professors F.Davis S.Rustow M.Young

This project is for a contemporary museum of sculpture, located across from the northwestern corner of Madison Square Park, in New York City. This location provides for two significant feature to

be F considered; the veritable wall of facades against the open green of the park, and the idiosyncratic fragments of city block resulting from the diagonal cut of Broadway across the Manhattan grid. In tandem with the conditions established by the site, the additional premise of light as a distinct architectural element entered into


theE project. The complex sprawls over two blocks, intersected by East 25th Street. Back of house and gallery functions are split into two portions, separated by an outdoor art space. Circulation is achieved via enclosed bridges spanning across the site.









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acr bro oss t h ave adwa e tan bu nue y and gle o is t ildi f fi ng . he fla fth tiro n

light - dark catalyst. the threshold between gallery and auxiliary spaces

heavy the , ite to ring wall oppos bea the estern es open to w lleri the ga t park en adjac


rium b enea main gallery th the space

initial site massing models. cardboard and white board

visitors enter from the north, the sunken ground level gallery is accessed via a narrow glazed corridor, drawing the patron through the urban fabric as they enter the museum. once in the gallery mass, the surrounding metropolis is blocked by the heavy western wall. only the park is seen through the glazed eastern facade.

visitors move upward between gallery floors through staircases puncturing through each plate. amenities are located in the initial building mass, necessitating another pass through the western corridor. the experience is that of moving from dark to light, and back once more.

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urban acropolis
40° 42’ 28” N 74° 0’ 44” W Fall 2008 Professors R.Duffy D.Lewis D.Sherer P.Schubert T.Tsang M.Veledar

Trinity church, by architect Richard Upjohn, was completed in 1836 atop the highest point of land in lower Manhattan. For nearly half a century its towering spire and cross was the highest point throughout the city superseded only by a new generation of skyscrapers spreading throughout the island. The church is flanked on both sides by landscape of gravestones, a small island in a sea of concrete and asphalt. Due to the grade of the site, a retaining wall caps the plot’s rear, towering fourteen feet above the adjacent sidewalk. Working within the tradition of basilica architecture, a second tower was constructed opposite the original spire. Additionally, the existing retaining wall was opened to the street below, forming a secondary chapel to serve the public.

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plan showing the mirrored bell tower, connected via an extension of the gothic nave onto the adjacent street. each point on the plan represents a headstone located within the churchyard.

the central

axis of the church is stepped to accommodate the

fourteen foot change in grade from front to rear. the alter itself is thus suspended in the air. beneath, a pool has been placed.

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sense of place
35° 45’ 53” N 82° 15’ 55” W Spring 2009 Lyceum Fellowship Competition

This project proposes a new blacksmithing studio for the Penland School of Crafts, located in the Blue Mountains of North Carolina. The studio

is sited south of the main campus; on one side the line of woods, an open meadow on the other. Its proximity to surrounding structures affords a

measure of seclusion while still maintaining a dialogue with its neighbors. By design, the studio absorbs the vernacular modes of building relative to

both the area and program. It position and axis are meant to both activate the large expanse of land to its north, and draw in the surrounding forest.

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architecture of nature nature of architecture
36° 3’ 35” N 114° 46’ 35” W Spring 2009 Professors D.Agrest T.Leeser M. Panteleyeva

Lake Mead is the United State’s largest reservoir. Located along the border between Utah and Arizona, its presence is due to the construction of Hoover Dam in 1936. The dam, a miniscule aberration strategically placed within a rocky desert landscape, realized a body of water spanning over two hundred square miles. The lake, because of this particular genesis, presents us with two realities to consider. First, formally, given the irregularity of the terrain, what are the consequences and possibilities of the introduction of a virtually flat plane extending over a hundred miles in either direction? Two, ecologically, how are we to understand or justify the creation and maintenance of such a large body of water in the heart of an arid desert?



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the project proposes a typology for desert farming along the dramatic topography of the lake mead quadrangle. rather than the additive process of foundations to structure, much of the design is based on the act of cutting into the rock face. while seemingly destructive, this process only expedites the natural process of erosion that initially formed the landscape. the cuts are filled with water during wet months, and protect this supply from evaporation during dry season. the stability of this water source allows for the possibility of agriculture; hydroponic farming was specifically chosen for its economy relative to yield. while one such intervention would not generate any harvest of note, a series of these structure could generate favorable results. alexan stulc 29

alexan stulc 30 five tower support the hydroponic lines reaching down into the crevice. sunlight exposure mediates the specific location of crops along the line. detritus falls from the plantings into the reservoir below, breaking down into additional nutrients for the plants above. the foundations of each tower contains the pumping mechanism to circulate water to the plants, as well as storage areas for harvest. access is provided via the adjacent face of the cut, where a ravine allows for vehicular access. alexan stulc 31

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fall 2009 Professors H.Eber, U.Grau, D.Turnbull

radical plasticity

thesis project

In the past century, our methods of waging war have encompassed an enormous shifting of paradigms. Reciprocated by the modes of cultural development, martial strategy has encountered a growing divide between the technological necessities of modern combat and the doctrines that have been in place for the past thousand years. My thesis first provides an account of these advancements through the consideration of two sets of criteria. First, through the categorization of the temporal and scalar manifestation of defensible systems relative to the urban targets, we can document the intersection between methods of technology and destructive technology through the lens of architectural planning. Within, we find the simultaneous expansion and dematerialization of the prototypical city wall to the point of global conflict deterrence. This point is the cold war, the hinge upon which militaristic doctrine pivots into the digital age. The second account provides a survey of urban territories, beginning with the Second World War, and the strategies used to attack and defend city centers – the “heart of operations.” The two studies I have incorporated from the mid 20th century demonstrate the tactics of battle between two equally supplied and staffed belligerents. In these cases the war being fought is symmetrical, in that there is no quantifiable advantage at play. In contrast, the Battle for Grozny – part of the First Chechen, demonstrates the conditions of fighting asymmetrically. This conflict was of special import to the United States Government in contending with the increasingly pertinent issue of unbalanced combat, in that the size and capabilities of the invading Russian army was similar to that of America. The staggering defeat the Russian Troops faced exemplified that battlefield superiority could be gained not only through technology, but through tactical use of the built environment. Unfortunately today we find ourselves tied to an ongoing urban campaign with no discernable end in sight. The streets of Baghdad, initially rocked by American ordinance over six years ago, are still within the throes of a concurrently unfolding occupation and insurgency. It is difficult to evaluate this conflict in the same light as the previous events examine due to its chronological proximity. Our sources of information are most definitely tainted under the auspices of various political bodies, we cannot accurate gauge what is indeed going on, and how it may ultimately factor into global history. Nevertheless, it does meet the criteria previously established – it must be contended with. Furthermore, its location in the present establishes Baghdad as the most immediate study in the knot of culture, war, cities and technology. But our distance from the subject, and the terrain itself, neither allows for an adequate understanding nor an adequate discourse that I believe is deserving of this subject . Instead, I plan on drawing form this events and the previous to establish what is to come in the following months.

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“That the object of Britain’s air war against Germany became the
“Fortifications can be defined as the deliberate erection of physical structures intended to provide a military advantage to a defender and impede, or otherwise disadvantage, an attacker… Given the various important defense roles that cites have always possessed, it is not surprising that the idea of fortifying cities is as old as the idea of the city itself… The incidence of urban fortification has varied over space as well as through time in response to conditions both internal and external to the city.” (G.J. Ashworth, War and the City, London: Routledge, 2001) Fortifications may be isolated into two typological models given the proliferation of gunpowder charged ballistics in the 17th century. As power and accuracy increased, the design and placement of fortified walls transformed to meet the defensive needs necessitated by technological advancement. Earlier fortified cities needed simply to prevent escalade by implementing a barrier suited to fend of enemy attacks for the duration of a given campaign. Weapons came in the form of hand held striking implements, as well as mechanically driven projectile launchers. A city’s defensive capabilities were a product of site, construction, and ration; the only strategy in play was that of outlasting the enemy. Fortification design itself came second continued upkeep and sufficient personnel assigned to its functioning. When planning a fortified wall, the selective arrangement and concentration of firing positions as well as its structural vulnerability determined performance in the field. The technological improvement in artillery in the latter half of the 17th century in turn bred an increased investment in fortification science. As projectile range, accuracy, and power increase designers pursued means to distance the vital components of the city from enemy fire. The development of increasingly complex structures extending beyond the city walls presented a growing series of barriers to be crossed before a decisive penetration. These structures eventually developed into isolated outlying forts; each a node in a sweeping defense net properly spaced to range of weaponry in use.


destruction of her cities did not come about as the result of a carefully thought out plan; it came about in the same way that the Battle of Britain and later the Blitz had been forced on the Luftwaffe. Both came as the result of an unforeseen military and technical situation. Without longrange fighters - and the delay in bringing them into the picture is its own story - massive daylight attacks could not be sustained and the precision of aim that had been assumed would prevail during the day was never reached. Without navigational techniques that permitted blind bombing with accuracies comparable to the size of a factory only area bombing could be done at night. Translated into practical terms this meant that the targets would have to be of city size... Thus in phase one of the Great Radar War defensive radar had eliminated by its mere existence the possible selective destruction of German industrial targets, leaving cities the only thing the Air Force could hit - and all too often the bombers even missed them.” (L.Brown, Radar History of World War II: Technical and Military Imperatives, London, Institute of Physics Publishing, 1999: 279-280.) Following advancements in small arms and artillery technology, the incorporation of aeronautic innovations into the military sphere necessitated a reconsideration of traditional forms of defensible architecture. The introduction of the bomber airplane delivered an unprecedented combination of range and power, simultaneously disengaging the act of destruction from subjective to objective. The traditional morphology fortification has been dissolved into that of the electromagnetic field; combat is distanced from the destruction of personnel to facilitate the demolition of object-targets; buildings, neighborhoods, and finally cities. Like the crenelations of earlier fortresses, radars relied on geometric aptitude in order to generate a consistent barrier across a given terrain. Information from individual towers would be filtered, organized, and sorted in an effort to determine the position, speed, direction, altitude, and size of any incoming formation. Integrated with radio technology, a chain of command could be formulated to absorb tactical information and swiftly decimate it to intercepting forces.


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“This situation of ‘mutually assured destruction’ (or the acronym MAD)

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city 1. City-as-target, City as a site of catastrophe. A large scale

was openly articulated in the late 1960s, once both the United states and the Soviet Union (and their military allies) had both the nuclear stockpiles and so-called ‘triad’ or delivery systems - manned bombers plus landbased and submarine based inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) - capable of surviving a first strike sufficient to claim a guaranteed ‘overkill’ upon each other. It is not clear, but usually assumed, that the destruction which is mutually assured is a high percentage (80-90 percent) or the settlements of the combatants, together with unspecified world-wide effects (which are incidental to the theory). The mutuality is itself the

tragedy in the making, from natural disasters to geopolitical targeting. “The densities of population, material goods, and wealth have made cities, from their inception, simultaneously a given culture’s goal (future and potential glory realized) and vulnerability (future potential destruction of

The first firearms, the hand cannon of the fourteenth century, lacked a specific mechanism for any of these three functions [fueling, ignition, guidance]. A smoothbore tube served as the only guidance mechanism, so that the rest of the process depended on human marksmanship. The fueling function was also reduced to a loading procedure, either muzzle or breech loading, and to heuristic know-how about gunpowder behavior. In the early hand cannon even the ignition mechanism was lacking. The gunner had to use his left hand to light the fuse, which obstructed any further development of this form of weapon. Then in 1424, the first mechanical device for firing the weapon makes its appearance. Till then the dimensions of the hand gun had been limited because it was essentially a one-hand weapon... The other hand had of necessity to be free to allow the lighted slow match to be plunged down to the touch-hole. A consideration of this will show that early hand guns had to be weighty in comparison to their bore if they were not to recoil out of all control. Barrel length was also limited by considerations of convenience and it was not until the trigger-acting “serpentin” or cock holding the match was invented and applied that the gunner had two hands to aim and steady his piece... the application of a finger-operated device to fire the piece may be taken as the point where the true gun develops out of its rudimentary stage as a hand cannon. It becomes a matchlock.” (M.DeLanda, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, New York, Urzone Inc., 1991: 26.)

the cultures perceived trajectory).” “In the earliest secular work in the Western intellectual tradi-

tion, the Iliad, Homer evocatively captures the inescapable duality of the city by exploiting the pun in the Greek word kredemnon, which means both veil and battlement. When Andromache watches from the walls of Troy as her husband, Hektor, is dragged in death behind Achilles’ chariot, she removes her veil. Both she and the city are undone by the failure of the veil/battlement to protect and by its successes in attracting undesired attention. (Ryan Bishop and Gregory Clancey, “The City-as-Target, or Perpetuation and Death”, Cities, War, and Terrorism: Towards an Urban Geopolitics, MA, Blackwell Publishing, 2003; 55)

“A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now. It is too late. The Evacuation still proceeds, but it’s all theatre. There are no lights inside the cars. No light anywhere. Above him lift girders old as an iron queen, and glass somewhere far above that would let the light of day through. But its night. He’s afraid of the way the glass will fall - soon - it will be a spectacle: the fall of a crystal palace. But coming down in total blackout, without one glint of light, only great invisible crashing...Far to the east, down in the pink sky, something has just sparked, very brightly. A new star, nothing less noticeable. He leans on the parapet to watch. The brilliant point has already become a short vertical white line. It must be somewhere out

guarantee of stability in this philosophy of deterrence. An implication of this is that attempts to defend targeted cities, in any of the by now traditional ways, is potentially dangerous - as it lessens the assurance of destruction, unbalances the nuclear stand-off, and thus presents one of the other side with a so-called ‘window of opportunity’ for engaging in a ‘winnable’ exchange. Against this conclusion that all defense of cities against air attack is now impossible - provocative of the very preemptive attack it seeks to defend against, and an act of aggression in itself - must be set three developments that have been apparent since the MAD scenario was first conceptualized as the basis of superpower defence policy. First, so long as technical refinements in the destructive effectiveness of the air weapon keeps pace with the creation of defense facilities or plans, then the strategic balance is not upset - and this is very largely what has happened in the history of civil defence in the post-war world. Second, the reduction of all armed forces to a combination of small-scale conventional forces and massive nuclear strike capability was supplemented later by the doctrine of ‘flexible response’, and subsequently in the mid-1970s by that of ‘countervailing force’. In the latter doctrine an escalating scale of mutual destruction makes the defense of cities against smaller, more manageable attacks more possible and profitable. Third, the existence of the nuclear superpower stand-off has not removed the threat of less totally destructive conventional air attacks on cities outside the superpower homelands (as was demonstrated in Baghdad and Basra in 1991). Indeed such a stand-off, it can be argued, makes surrogate wars of this sort more likely. (C.J. Ashworth, War and the City, New York, Routledge, 1991:145-146.)

bomb 1. “What a gift to be able to sow death upon sleeping towns”(Le

over the North Sea... at least that far... icefields below and a cold smear of sun... What is it? Nothing like this ever happens. But Pirate knows it, after all. He has seen it in a film, just in the last fortnight... it’s a vapor trail. Already a finger’s width higher now. But not from an airplane. Airplanes are not launched vertically. This is the new, and still Most Secret, German rocket bomb. “Incoming mail.” Did he whisper that, or only think it? He tightens the ragged belt of his robe. (T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow, United States, Viking Press, 1973: 3,6.)

Corbusier, La Ville radieuse, elements d’une doctrine d’urbanisme pour l’equipement de la civilization machiniste. Boulogne: Editions De L’Architecture D’Aujourd’Hu, 1935; 8-9). The culmination of destructions brought about my aerial warfare was the complete demise of traditions cities and the emergence of modern utopias. Ville Radieuse went beyond the “machine for living” ideology into the psychological trauma facing much of Europe following the first world war; the need to reconfigure cities to both deal with their own demise and prevent [see footings of Marseilles Block] future casualties via defensive architectural planning. The airplane, already an icon of technological advance, also became the catalyst for an ambitious wave of modernist architecture and urbanism. Traditional city centers of narrow streets and buildings were cleared in a day, allowing the light and air filled urban blocks of modern utopianism. See also illustrations from “Here Comes Tomorrow”, by John Mansbridge.

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“When the small arm was capable of being fired only about once a minute, this zone (of infantry attack) could be crossed with comparably little difficulty... Hence arose vast ditches, the elaborate arrangement of flank defense the ‘caponiers’, countless galleries, etc., of the various systems of Fortification. The modern rifle has rendered all these expedients absolutely unnecessary in the future. The intensity of fire which a single line of men can now deliver upon a given area exceeds enormously the maximum formerly attainable by the combination of every conceivable system of cross-flanking... There is no arm so potent in its influence on all questions of land defence as the magazine rifle.” (Major G.S.Clark, Fortification: Its past achievements, recent developments and future


“ICBM defense is by far the most-discussed BMD [ballistic missile defense] mission. The strategic goal of survivable ICBMs is widely shared, albeit with varying levels of urgency. Proposals to defend ICBMs evoke less controversy than defense of other targets: denying the opponent a disarming first strike is universally recognized as stabilizing, whereas attempting to deprive the opponent of the ultimate sanction of destructive retaliation, as in city defense, is often challenged as chimerical or destabilizing. ICBM defense is also regarded technically as the most promising application of BMD, since compared with defense of cities, it is a relatively modest goal and the targets are well defined and subject to the defender’s control.“ (A.B Carter, D.N. Schwartz, Ballistic Missile Defense, Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1984: 122.)a

progress, London, Murray, 1890: 105.) “At first, there will be increased slaughter on so terrible a scale as to render it impossible to get troops to push a battle to a decisive issue. They will try to, thinking they are fighting under the old conditions, and they will learn such a lesson that they will abandon the attempt. The war, instead of being a hand-to-hand contest in which the combatants measure their physical and moral superiority, will become a kind of stalemate, in which, neither army being able to get at the other, both armies will be maintained in opposition to each other, but never being able to deliver a final and decisive blow. Everybody will be entrenched in the next war; the spade will be as indispensable to the soldier as his rifle...” (Major-General H.Essame, ‘The New Warfare,’ History of the First World War, England, Purnell, 1970: Vol 3, 1181.) From the end of the First Battle of Ypres to the fall of 1918, the Western Front consisted of a line of trench systems stretching from the North Sea south to the Swiss border. The principal belligerents were Germany to the East, against France, the United Kingdom, and the United States to the West. Between the two sides lay a stretch of land saturated with land mines, barbed wire, and corpses of those unfortunate enough to be stuck within. This barren landscape remained largely impenetrable until the introduction of tanks in the later stages of the war.

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bomb 2. See also Tower. “The threat of attack from the air demands

wall 1. See also Fortification, Industry, Siege, Technology. Perimeter

Radical Plasticity is concerned with the dematerialization of urban structures in respect to the desctructionreconstruction intrinsic to urban combat. the first portion of my research chronologically locates specific points over time when the role of the city wall has undergone a paradigm shift. As weapons technology has improved, defensible stratigies for urban areas have had to reasses their strategies and methods. Development of extended range and power in respect to projectile ballistics has in turn necessitated the expention and fragmentation of the prototypical city wall to mediate this force. Concurrently, independantly evolving political structures have simultaneously absorbed and influenced the progression from a central to dematerialized body of power. War is no longer waged between soviergn nations, but between disparate parties lacking physical territory.

“The military mind of 1775 was not accustomed to the idea of precision. There was no finicky idea of hitting an individual aimed at if he was more than sixty yarda away. Sniping or sharp-shooting was unknown, or perhaps looked on as bad form and likely to add to the horrors of war. Musketry fire was a body of fire directed at an opposing line or square before close conflict with the bayonet... The leading projectile weapon of the past was the shaft arrow, a piercing projectile which mad a relatively clean puncture wound. The crossbow quarrel was blunter, shorter and heavier than the flight arrow and it had a greater striking energy at normal ranges. The shock effect... must have been greater and the wounds therefore more dangerous. the bullet not only possessed this quality of heavy shock effect, but also had no piercing point. It simply punched a hole and carried into the wound fragments of armor, clothing and the layers of material through which it had passed. “ (H.B.C. Pollard, A History of Firearms, New York, Lenox Hill, 1973 : 9,19.) “At the same time artillery technology was improving, advances in small arms technology also occurred. Rifled repeating arms made small groups of infantry much more lethal. Small arms technology radically changed infantry tactics. In an urban area, these developments had the effect of turning individual buildings manned by small groups of soldiers into miniature fortresses. Groups of buildings became mutually supporting defensive networks… Additionally, the lethality of infantry meant that the integrity of the urban defense was not broken by a break of the walls. Defenders now had the capability of defending effectively throughout the depth of the urban environment.” (Lieutenant Colonel Lou DiMarco, US Army, “Attaching the Heart and Guts, Urban Operations Through the Ages;20)

urban changes. Great cities sprawling open to the sky, their congested areas at the mercy of bombs hurling down out of space, are invitations to destruction. They are practically indefensible as now constituted, and it is now becoming clear that the best vertical concentrations which offer a minimum surface to the bombs and, on the other hand, by the laying out of extensive, free, open spaces.” (Siegfried Gideon, Space, Time and Architecture, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1941; 543). Gideon’s postulation has been ultimately repudiated by the events of the September 11th attacks on New York City. War has reduced itself; these are no longer the battles of sovereigns, but of cultures. Combatants are virtual, personal; we no longer infiltrate cities, but homes.

of centralized community structures; predating contemporary modes of urban organization. Industrialization, creating an influx of the rural population into metropolitan areas, expanded the city edge. The line of the perimeter wall became a zone in itself [see Vienna]. Coupled with technological advances in weaponry, the city wall became obsolete. “For several hundred years after the Middle Ages, city populations were relatively stable, but urban populations began to increase rapidly in the late 18th century. The walled cities began to experience significant crowding and suburbs of the city began to expand beyond the city walls, making the effectiveness of the walls questionable.” (Lieutenant Colonel Lou DiMarco, US Army, “Attaching the Heart and Guts, Urban Operations Through the Ages”; 19)

technology 1. See also Globalization. “Ever since the twilight of


See also City. Despite its ultimate demise, the city wall can

remain ingrained within the urban fabric.

the Cold War, defense intellectuals and students of politics have been attempting to come to terms with what they describe as ‘the revolution in military affairs [RMA].’ In the most general terms, the RMA refers to the anticipated transformation of combat demanded by the invention of increasingly complex and nearly cybernetic battle systems.” (Daniel Bertrand Monk, “Hives and Swarms”, Evil Paradises, New York, The New Press, 2007; 264) Monk goes on to observe the difficulty in assessing the pace of warfare’s advance as it reaches the limit of reflexive insight into historical typologies. Our nearest benchmark are the advances made following the onset of the cold war; the advent of ‘smart’ weaponry such as cruise missiles and stealth technology. Unfortunately, as combatants have transformed from national entities to clusters of insurgent groups, high technology weaponry has been obviated by superior tactical information.
war 1. See also Body. “This is what war does. War tear, war rends. War

rips open, eviscerates. War scorches. War dismembers. War ruins.”(Susan Sontag, “The Telling Shot,” Guardian Review, February 1, 2003; 4-8). The scale of warfare oscillates between continents and bodies. What remains is the intent to incapacitate, violently. Shock is vital to a successful campaign. 2. See also House, Weaponry. “…the classical Clausewitzian

[Carl von Clausewitz,Prussian author of Von Kriege] definition of warfare as a symmetrical engagement between state armies in the open field are over. War has entered the city again – the sphere of the everyday, the private realm of the house…”(Misselwitz and Weizman, “Military Operations as Urban Planning,” Territories. Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 2003; 275-86)

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1 - Directorate of Military Intelligence 2 - Ministry of Defense National Computer Complex 3 - Ministry of Defense Headquarters 4 - Muthena Military Airfield 5- New Iraq Air Force Headquarters 6 - Iraqi Intelligence Service Headquarters 7 - Army Storage Depot APRIL 29 1945 APRIL 30 1945 MAY 1 1945 MAY 1 1945 8 - Republican Guard Headquarters 9 - SRBM Assembly Factories 10 - Ministry of Industry and Military Production 11 - Iraqi Intelligence Service Regional Headquarters 12 - National Air Defense Operations Center

1 - Secret Police Complex 2 - New Presidential Palace 3 - Baath Party Headquarters 4 - Government Conference Center 5 - Ministry of Propaganda 6 - Government Control Center 7 - Presidential Palace Command Center 8 - Presidential Palace Command Bunker 9 - Secret Police Headquarters

1 - Telephone Switching Station 2 - Telephone Switching Station 3 - Telephone Switching Station 4 - Telephone Switching Station 5 - Telephone Switching Station 6 - Television Transmitter 7 - Communication Relay Station 8 - Communication Relay Station

1 - Electrical Transfer Station 2 - Electrical Power Station 3 - Ad Dawray Oil Refinery 4 - Electrical Power Plant

1 - Ashudad Highway Bridge 2 - Railroad Yard 3 - Jumhuriya Highway Bridge 4 - Karada Highway Bridge

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“The Chechens used the urban terrain to their advantage by funneling the Russian armored columns into kill zones. First the lead and tail vehicles would be destroyed, effectively trapping the rest of the vehicles in the street. This would be done by the best Chechen RPG gunners, of whom there were not many. The y would then leave the immediate area so they would not be killed in the ensuing battle. Then the less-experienced gunners would destroy the rest of the Russian column. In this way the better RPG gunners would not be at much risk. The snipers and machine gunners would suppress any supporting dismounted infantry while RPG gunners destroyed the vehicles. In this manner, they would be able to destroy the Russian armored columns piecemeal. The Chechens learned quickly how best to use the buildings of Grozny as defensive positions. They found that the main guns of the Russian tanks were unable to elevate enough to fire upon the upper floors of the buildings, or low enough to fire upon the basements. The Chechens also learned that the Russians were indiscriminate about their use of fire support, and would call in artillery strikes on any building from which shots were fired. The Chechens would use only the middle floors of buildings, therefore, and maintained safe areas in the basements. In this way, they could stay off the roofs and away from the indirect fire of the Russians. To add to the canyon-like effect of the streets, the Chechens boarded up and blocked off all ground-floor entrances and windows of the buildings. Thus, when an ambush was sprung, the Russian dismounts were unable to take cover inside the buildings.” (S.McCafferty, ‘Lessons Learned from the Battle of Grozny, 1994-1995’ West Point, New York, 2000: 13)

“For my dad’s generation being Sunni or Shia, it wasn’t about politics. And it certainly spawns no violence. It meant celebrating some religious holidays differently. My dad and his friends, many of whom are glad to be Americans now, grew up in a nation that had just changed hands from Ottoman to English. The British had crowned a man from Mecca Arabia as the new Iraqi king. They were thinking about self-determination, not religion. It wasn’t until the civil war in Lebanon that I began hearing the terms Sunni and Shiite with any regularity. News coverage focused on the Christian-Muslim divide, and a Muslim-Muslim divide. But the war in Lebanon was really along the lines of privilege, not piety. People who were better off had access to power, both political and electric. Their roads were paved. In the poorer neighborhoods that happened to be mostly Shiite, blackouts and potholes were a way of life. It was really a war for equal opportunity and rights under the law. With 20/20 hindsight, we see a similar story in Iraq. Saddam Hussein consolidated his power by setting people against each other, offering privilege and prosperity to the Sunnis and poverty and persecution to the Shi’as. Here in America, the Sunni Shi’a divide is a nonstarter. Sure people may be aware of their backgrounds and traditions. There’s an annual Shia convention. And in some mosques if you look closely, you’ll see people praying side by side. Some with their hands folded across their bellies Sunni style, and some with their arms loose at their sides, Shi’a style. But there’s no frostiness between them. But in Iraq three years after Saddam Hussein was toppled, his sectarian legacy is like a poison that gets more toxic every day. It’s fed and spread by terrorists from within and without. It’s aggravated by the presence of foreign troops including our own American soldiers. Sectarian hatred now threatens the unity of a people that in my dad’s day were proud and eager to be just plain Iraqis. Today it looks like the poison of sectarianism has infected a nation. And if Iraq splinters, the winners will be the terrorists, whoever secures the oil fields, and the legacy of Saddam Hussein.” Anisa Mehdi 02.03.2006

Over time, Shi’as became a distinct collection of sects, alike in their recognition of ‘Ali and his descendants as the legitimate leaders of the Muslim community. Although the Shiites’ conviction that the ‘Alids should be the leaders of the Islamic world was never fulfilled, ‘Ali himself was rehabilitated as a major hero of Sunni Islam, and his descendants by Fatimah—who is venerated among Sunnis and Shi’as alike—received the courtesy titles of sayyids and sharifs. Shiites have come to account for roughly one-tenth of the Muslim population worldwide. The largest Shiite sect in the early 21st century was the Ithna Ashariyyah, which formed a majority in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain. The sect also constituted a significant minority in eastern Saudi Arabia and the other Arvavab states of the Persian Gulf region, as well as in parts of Syria, South Asia, and eastern Africa. The Ithna Ashariyyah was the largest Shiite group in Lebanon, and Shiites in that country, as well as in Iran and Iraq, were among the most vocal representatives of militant Islamism. Smaller Shiite sects included the Ismaliyyah, who formed the bulk of the Shiite community in parts of Pakistan, India, and eastern Africa, and the Zaydiyyah, who lived almost exclusively in northwestern Yemen. Various sub sects of Shiism were also found in other parts of the Muslim world. Encyclopedia Brittanica

The Sunnis recognize the first four caliphs as Muhammad’s rightful successors, whereas the Shiites believe that Muslim leadership belonged to Muhammad’s son-in-law, ‘Ali, and his descendants alone. In contrast to the Shi’as, the Sunnis have long conceived of the theocratic state built by Muhammad as an earthly, temporal dominion and have thus regarded the leadership of Islam as being determined not by divine order or inspiration but by the prevailing political realities of the Muslim world. This led historically to Sunni acceptance of the leadership of the foremost families of Mecca and to the acceptance of unexceptional and even foreign caliphs, so long as their rule afforded the proper exercise of religion and the maintenance of order. The Sunnis accordingly held that the caliph must be a member of Muhammad’s tribe, the Quraysh, but devised a theory of election that was flexible enough to permit that allegiance be given to the de facto caliph, whatever his origins. The distinctions between the Sunnis and other sects regarding the holding of spiritual and political authority remained firm even after the end of the Caliphate itself in the 13th century.

Encyclopedia Brittanica

alexan stulc 38

alexan stulc 39

nets sales center
40° 45’ 23” N 73° 59’ 24” W Summer 2007 Domingo Gonzales Associates

Lighting details for construction document submittal. Drawn by Alexan Stulc under the supervision of Domingo Gonzales.

alexan stulc 40 Presentation drawing of Dutchess County Residence, designed by Allied Works Architecture, for their forthcoming monograph. Part of a series of drawings revised and reformatted for publication.

dutchess county residence
41° 45’ 36” N 73° 45’ 0” W Summer 2008 Allied Works Architecture

Scale model, approximately four foot square, for the Dutches Country Residence designed by Allied Works Architecture. Architecture was constructed of laser cut acrylic sheet with paper and wood accents. Topography was made from layered sheets of cardboard topped with joint compound, sanded and painted to finish. Built in collaboration with Bjorn Lund Morgenson .