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House Page Board

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The House Page Board was a group of elected and appointed officials who oversaw the United States House of Representatives Page Program.

The board was created in 1983, after a congressional page sex scandal, to protect the pages who come from all over the country to serve Congress and originally consisted of two members of the majority party, one member of the minority party, and several officers of the House. Currently, the Sergeant at Arms of the United States House of Representatives and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives serve on the board.

In reaction to the Mark Foley scandal, the composition of the board changed. It consisted of two members of the majority party, two members of the minority party, the Sergeant at Arms, the Clerk of the House, the parent of a former page, and a former page. These changes were implemented as part of the House Page Board Revision Act of 2007. (Pub.L. 110–2, 121 Stat. 4, enacted February 2, 2007).

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  • ✪ Architecture Short Course: How to Develop a Design Concept
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All architecture begins with a concept. If you’re struggling to find one, curious as to what one is, or simply wondering how architects begin their projects, this short course will walk you through the process I use and some of the techniques I rely on to develop architectural concepts, all illustrated with one of my residential projects. Very simply stated, a concept is an idea that underpins your project. To an architect, the concept is what distinguishes a work of architecture from a mere building. At its core, architecture seeks to solve problems. It’s the questions we ask that will determine which problems our architecture will solve. Developing a concept allows us to frame the questions we’re asking and it guides the design process. Choosing a starting point for your design can be intimidating and an early stumbling block for designers of any skill level. But it doesn’t have to be. Your concept shouldn’t be rigorous; the more malleable it is, the better. In fact, most architecture can’t be reduced to one singular concept diagram; rather it’s informed by many concepts working in concert. There may be organizational concepts, material concepts, functional, or structural or formal concepts. So, don’t fret if your design idea isn’t reducible to a single elegant black stroke on a page. It’s best to illustrate concept development with a real project so as I said, we’ll use our Squid Cove Residence as an example. Before we can develop the concept, we have to first understand the practical constraints. Now, my design process begins only after gathering and assessing all the given parameters for a project. Now, this primarily consists of three types of information. There’s information derived from the site things like: local climate, the prevailing winds, the solar aspect, vegetation, neighboring structures, the site’s history, and any unique liabilities or opportunities. The site of course also comes along with legal frameworks for development, which describe where and what we can and can’t build. The second type of information we’ll gather is from the client. Now, every client has a set of cultural beliefs and preconceptions, preferences and agendas. Of course, we’ll want to determine their budget and understand the personality traits and organizational politics which might also shape the design. The client and the building type together determine what architects call - the program - which is essentially a detailed accounting of all the spaces the building will contain. And the third type of information I gather is related to the building typology. Is it a museum, a home or a school? To learn about a building typology we often conduct an analysis of notable or relevant historical precedents. We want to know the essential problems these type of structures grapple with. Understanding the history of the archetype allows us to approach a problem from a fresh perspective. Now, all of this necessary information it’s something that we collect for every single project. This inventory can also serve as the progenitor for the design concept – our seed idea. And, rather than shunting creativity, these constraints often incite the creative process. As with a good film, the setting, the characters, the cinematography, and the plot all conspire to make it what it is. It’s the experience you’ll recall rather than the concept per se. Sure, the concept sets the film in motion and it’s the starting point for all that follows. But this concept – the one or two-line description – can’t possible capture the richness and depth of the finished film or in our case the architecture. Yet without it, the work is unfulfilling and so it should be clear that the concept is necessary for all of our work as architects. Once we’ve gathered this information, it’s now time to begin processing it into a useable form. Of the three, the site inventory is the most readily translated to a physical diagram. For our Squid Cove project you can see I’ve transcribed the zoning, the deed, and setback information onto the site plan. This diagram sets the real boundaries of our project. We have property line setbacks, a setback from the ocean, and an unstable bluff we need to avoid and this is shown on the topographical plan. There are a number of trees on the site and one significant Ash that we’re trying to avoid, but for the most part the trees and vegetation here were just unremarkable. Next I add to this the solar path, the prevailing wind direction, and this amazing view. There are site utilities and an existing logging road and because there’s no public sewer here, I worked with a soils scientist to define the best spot for the septic field and consequently the well which needs to be a certain distance away from the field. Now, this can often be a stringent limitation to the buildable area because there’s so much granite locally, so it’s important for me to define it early. And, the one last piece of information, is that there’s a neighboring house here that we want to avoid looking at. Now, I like to diagram these constraints on the site plan before I visit the site so the information becomes a part of how I see things when I’m there. Visiting the site of course will leave a different impression and I find mapping things out first allows me to overlay the two in a way that selects for opportunity. Now that we have this diagram we can start to see the buildable site. Still quite a bit of territory. This video won’t cover the programming phase, we’ll save that for another one, but prior to this I’ve worked with the client to define the size of the home and budget which are – as you’d imagine – strongly interrelated. There’s no sense in beginning any design work until the client is aware of the rough cost of the work which at this stage is directly tied to their wish list of spaces and the sizes of those spaces. So, having completed the programming exercise I can now diagram the relative size of the home and overlay that on the site when the time is right. Because I work solely on residential projects I’m quite familiar with the building type so I’m not doing an exhaustive precedent study for each project. But knowing the typology allows me to reinvent and rethink things when I see an opportunity. If I were working on a building typology I was unfamiliar with, I’d research building precedents and use that information as an underlying framework for developing the program and possibly as a launching point for my concept. Now you should look at the work of Bjarke Ingells as a contemporary example of someone who uses typological reinvention to inspire his building concepts. So, we’ve visited the site and we know what and where we can and can’t build. We know something about the building type and we know our client has budgeted for the design we’re about to undertake. What’s next? Well, this is where the building concepts or parti comes in. Parti is sort of architect lingo for, “concept” – and it actually comes from the French prendre parti which means, “to make a decision” It’s the organizing principle we use as a starting point for the design. Now, I’ve come up with a few of the most common ones I rely on to spark ideas, but there are an infinite number available to you. We’ll start with the simplest, and it’s one we’ve already touched on in our initial information gathering phase. Buildings interpret their surroundings and reformulate them in a way that can be experienced. The site demands specificity from our architecture. It must react to it. So, using the site to inspire the building concept is as genuine a place to start as any. We can react to: views, light, topography, historical features, vegetation, and other structures. When a building concept references the site in a rural setting, it establishes a dialogue between natural and man-made; in urban and suburban contexts, a boundary between what you can design and control and what you can’t. Your design inspiration can editorialize this relationship: will it oppose nature or the local surroundings or complement it? Will it disregard it, or adapt to it? Will it impose order on it or will it assume a different order? For our project, the site was an important progenitor of the design concept. It was important for me to work with the landform and exploit the natural slope. Of equal importance were the view to the water and the solar aspect each of which became strong organizing forces that shaped our early building massings. I imagined one arriving to the site and being presented with the view beyond, rather than the building. So, I knew I wanted to site the home to the south splayed out along the hillside rather than on the crest of the hill. The sloping landform presented an opportunity to mimic that with the form of the house and I began thinking of ways to zone the organization of the building to complement the site features too. I used the view to the cove as well as the solar aspect to select the most desirable site for the home. Now, often competing site factors will force you choose one site force as more dominant. For example, the prevailing wind direction is in direct competition with the idea I had about arrival to the site. If we were to position a taller mass to the northwest to act as a natural wind screen it would impact our afternoon sun and prevent an arrival sequence which presented the view rather than the building. Not all problems will be solved by assuming a singular attitude toward the site. What was most important was the idea that the building conform to the topography. Unfolding along the hillside allowed the building to create a series of terraced planes and transition spaces mediating inside and out. We could then use these to establish intermediate zones between architecture and nature. Using the hard-edged site retaining walls and decks would give us the chance to highlight and contrast the soft edges of the site. Equally, I could have positioned the home at the top of the site and used it as a light monitor or viewing tower or I could’ve completely excavated the terraces, placed a green roof on top and concealed the home. And, although these were ideas I explored along the way, they were abandoned as my client helped shape the decision making. The site helps to shape other dimensions of our concept too, things like the material and structural concept and we’ll get into those in future videos. But, you’ll begin to see and it’s worth noting how the concept reverberates throughout the design. You’ll always be referring back to it as you iterate and look to it when you’re stuck on a design problem. The site will obviously inform the organization of public and private spaces too. How one arrives and moves from the public gathering spaces to the more private sleeping spaces. It shapes where we locate windows which would be toward the views and to capture the sun. And, the site informs the formal concepts too. This site concept is like a marriage. The architecture shapes the site and the site shapes our architecture. So, this is not enough you say? Well, I agree, there’s more meaning to extract and more layers to the concept we should explore. So, inspiration number two: the client concept. Every work of architecture requires a client. For residential architecture, the client is a major force driving the design concept. Not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also programmatically. The client determines the program and which spaces are most important in that program. And, they obviously provide the financial framework for realizing the architecture. Successful architecture artfully addresses a client’s needs. Now, client-driven concepts can take the form of narratives, or lifestyle peculiarities or they can be purely functional. For example, a request for all living to be on one level, or an open plan. For this project, our client expressed a desire for the house to act as a gathering place for friends and family but also that it accommodate seclusion and the need for retreat from others. Because we live in a seasonal community, the summer here often sees a massive influx of guests and visitors. So, those who live here year-round are accustomed to welcoming house guests in the summer months. This inspired the division of spaces into separate living and sleeping pods, each afforded a unique aspect or view to the site. Now, as we begin to organize the spaces of the client-driven program a simple way to develop a concept is to divide public and private spaces and then take a position on their relationship. Now, perhaps you overlap them. Perhaps they’re in separate pods or nested. Perhaps their relationship is inverted. From here begin to diagram your concept and iterate. For our project, we continued on by layering our client’s interest in the outdoors and a near constant schedule of expeditions to faraway places. This lifestyle helped fuel a story about what the house could be, how it might function and, when they were home and traveling and where we might position the spaces in relation to each other. And this, brings us to inspiration number three. The Narrative Concept. Inspired by an attitude about how our client might live in the home and welcome guests, and how they plan to move in and out of the spaces, and mobilize gear – this all suggested to me the imagery of an encampment by the sea. I envisaged the home as a place for family and friends to gather and sort of ‘camp together’. Uniting in the evenings around the campfire to share a meal, but retreating to private quarters for sleeping. The village concept provided for both social gathering and private reflection as needed. Expedition travel allowed the house to expand and contract with the seasons and with ebbs and flows of visitors. And, this story, as we’ll see begins to inform layers of meaning as we develop the floor plans and exterior elevations later. Nested pods provided for escape within the larger space of the home and a variety of scales mimicked the site beyond and my client’s need for respite and seclusion even when surrounded by friends. Each one of these ideas exists in various forms in the earliest, early design concepts presented. Now I created this cover sheet to describe the thinking behind the plans, but it may not be important for you to convey this to your client. It’s sort of up to you. I think it adds a level of interest and a discussion point, but not every client will see the value. It’s most important that it exists for you as you develop the design. They will of course care most about what the design looks and feels like and so at this stage I present very loose sketched plans to give an idea of how each concept deploys the program on the site and within the home. This process usually incites reactions both positive and negative and you’ll use it to pivot moving forward. So, as you can see, it’s not a singular concept. There’s a narrative that ties it together and suggests a means for organizing the spaces on the site. There’s the site topography and natural features that suggest where we want to locate the home and there’s our client’s life that tells us how the elements of their story can inform the architecture. So, I’d struggle to produce the diagram of this concept as gracefully as Maya Lin, but it’s still a concept. And, it’s informed every move I’ve made since. Sure, I revisited it and refined it. I’ve tweaked things based on client feedback and tastes. But it’s still there and I continue to layer on meaning as I develop the design. When there’s a question I know how to answer it because the conceptual framework is there to help. Now, there are as I said, infinite other ways to develop concepts, here’s a few more if you’re still stuck. Materials. Architects like Peter Zumthor, Herzog and DeMeuron, and Peter Bohlin often use the raw materials of building as the starting point for their work. Every line we trace on the page represents real physical materials coming together to make our architecture. Instead of rendering our work in pure white as we so often do, why not seek meaning from the materials we’ll use to construct it. Local stone, or wood, aggregates, tradespeople, or special techniques; these can all be called into service of the architecture and the spaces can be enriched with meaning. Materials have very specific properties by which they’re bound. Steel conducts, it’s strong in bending, it can be welded. Stone is heavy and thick and imposing. Glass is light and ethereal. Bricks are the size of the human hand and lend texture, and scale and warmth to a space. Ask yourself how these materials or combinations of them tell a more interesting story. For my work, I’ll always use the underlying narrative concept to reinforce the material concept. Here we’re using dark stained local cedar shingles as the siding for our project. The spruce, pine and fir forest here is a variegated dark green. The shingles and the wood grain replicate this subtle tonal difference and the green helps the building to recede into the site. Board-formed concrete references the wood graining and the process of making. Its patterns will host mosses and lichens as the building weathers. Is this a separate concept? No, it all feeds into an attitude about a place. Next, a structural concept. The expedition and the camping narrative that we’ve been talking about helped us develop the structural strategy too. The gable form is a tent, glazed walls let ample light in and we’re employing lightweight cabling elements reminiscent of tent poles or cordage to tie the walls together. And of course, there’s nautical references here that are pretty strong as well. Now you could also, write a manifesto. What do you believe this architecture’s role is in society? What are the larger questions it’s proposing? Check out Dieter Rams for a famous manifesto. Having researched your building typology, how can you disrupt long-held beliefs or organizational layouts? See BIG’s power plant for example. Perhaps you could explore a formal concept. The idea of architecture parlance. The bird’s nest. The chicken that sells chicken. And of course, there’s always the process of making. Charles and Ray Eames used their journey from ignorance to knowledge as the motivation for many of their designs. How can you bring a fresh perspective to the problem you’re facing? Is there something inherent in the process of building that reveals something novel? The design process isn’t singular, or linear. We don’t create a concept and stick to it in the face of changing information. Use what you’re learning to pivot, that’s perfectly acceptable, sensible even. You’ll present ideas to your client – or professor - and they’ll react. Design is a dialogue and the concept ensures you have something to talk about. Return to your design and tweak it using the new information you’ve gathered. Each time we learn a little more about our client, about the design and new opportunities arise. Now, in the next part of this short course, we’ll look at how we begin turning the concept into architecture. If you’ve found this video helpful in any way, you can help me by giving me a thumbs up below and sharing it. This is how I know what I’m doing is helping you and it will allow me to continue to grow the channel. Thanks for watching. Cheers!

List of chairpersons

Chairperson Party Dates
Sue W. Kelly Republican 1998 – 2001
John Shimkus Republican 2001 – 2006
Dale Kildee Democratic 2007 – present

Current members

Member Party Dates
Rob Bishop Republican 2008–Present
Virginia Foxx Republican 2008–Present
Diana DeGette Democratic 2004–Present
Wilson Livingood House Sergeant at Arms 1995–Present
Lorraine Miller House Clerk 2007–Present
Adam Jones Former Page 2007–Present
Lynn Silversmith Klein Parent of Former Page 2007–Present

External links


This page was last edited on 20 January 2018, at 16:36
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