Modular Variation | Three Forms

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In my brief insight as to what is “Modular Variation”, I not only learned that it is a subtle change across the same or similar condition of pieces that are compounded to make a whole. But also, that buildings clearly emulate this idea constantly, and are defined by these characteristics.

1. Chrysler Building:

Designed by Architect William Van Allen in the late 1920’s, the Chrysler Building demonstrates the idea of modular-variation. The arcs at the top of the building, as well as the triangles in these arcs decrease as they move closer and closer to the top. In addition to the amount of triangles and the size of the arc decreasing, the curvature at the tops of these arcs increase. The modules of the top detail of this building are the arcs, the triangles and the top curvature of the arc. The variation is the increase in the top curvature, and the decrease in the triangle and arc lengths as it progressively reaches the top of the building. This creates a sense of hierarchy as the building reaches the tip of completion.

2. Habitat 67

Created by Architect Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67 is a clear emphasis of the term modular-variation. Evidently, the module of this design are the individual squares that comprise the living quarters for all the inhabitants. The variation that is followed throughout the construction is the rotation of each of these individual modules, as well as there scale and placement of windows and doorways.I believe that the purpose of this was to create a sense of individualism as well as creating something that is a part of the whole.

3. Metropol Parasol

Invented by Architect Jurgen Mayer, the Metro Parasol the structure is what I would call a clearly defined example of modular-variation. The modules of the form, are all of the cross bracing that meet and are fastened to each other at the corners of the construction. The variation that occurs in this construction, is the changing location of each of the points, and how each one either shifts in the vertical or horizontal direction. The feeling and sensation that this structure gives off is that of flow, peace, and transition as the curves extenuate soft lines, and well rounded edges.


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