Is there such a thing like the innocent grid?

'When I first made a grid, I happened to be thinking of the innocence of trees, and then a grid came into my mind and I thought it represented innocence, and I still do, and so I painted it and then I was satisfied. I thought, 'This is my vision'.'

Agnes Martin

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At the threshold of landscape

Hard to imagine for city people, but sometimes architecture is merely a visitor on the threshold of sky, water and hillscape.


Play of light

The play of sunlight and shadow makes the weather present even when the head is turned down, away from the sky. Hard materials appear soft by the small distortions created by leaves above and below.



Translucent, a peculiar category. Any material in any size,  thickness or density can qualify based on a clear manifestation of failure. A hesitant state in which the material is unable to decide whether to fully absorb, reflect or give way to light. A passive quality which, at times, reveals a radiant beauty in objects hiding behind.



The memory of wood

Throughout history, architecture shows a profound relationship with the forest. Conceptually, as primary inspiration for man made structures. Practically, as a source of primary building material. Thankfully, in the age of reinforced concrete, we have the pleasure of enjoying the memory of wood.

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As Mr. Portaluppi demonstrates, the architect's signature can be handsomely attached to the wall. More often, it is less visibly inscribed into the wall itself. A personal touch to something that needed to be built either way. A habitual shape of window,  railing pattern, or choice of tile for example. This form of signature is not merely for show. It is essential to the identity of a building.


Soft Encounters

Natural stone applied in architecture is often associated with the monumental and solid. On close encounter, the soft qualities of stone will become apparent; the rich pattern of sediment, drawings of deposits and erosion, velvet-like textures to touch.


Notes is a collection of observations and memories by Common Practice. All photos by Inara Nevskaya and Jurrien van Duijkeren unless otherwise stated.