The Spoken Silence of Architecture: Storytelling Store


“Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.” Edgar Allan Poe


Worlds can be made through imaginative and copious interpretations of words, gestures and signs, as well as drawings, models and architectural elements. It has often been said that architects are great storytellers since their creativity and imagination relies in the making of new worlds that can be inhabited.  From drawings to the most crafted details, architects tell stories as they imagine and make. Every mark in the architectural drawing as well as every material in the construction of buildings speaks to the architect’s imagination provoking the muses of narration to participate in the architectural project.

This studio will investigate the close relationship between storytelling and architecture by looking closely at structural and essential aspects of narration. Departing from sounds, gestures, silence and details, the close study of short stories will be used as a paradigm for imagining and making architectural fables.

The project will be a storytelling store for all ages located in Washington DC. The store will provide places for telling past stories, constructing new ones and storing some to be told in the future. It will also provide a small residence for the store care-taker, a library and a coffee shop. Exploring notions of reality and fiction, the studio challenges the students to work with an existing building, weaving stories of past and future into a new present.



Studio Co-Authored with LAUREL MCSHERRY