“Buildings Shaking Hands”

The most embarrassing experience I had while in Savannah, was realizing that I couldn’t figure out how to spell it. Sometimes I marvel at my own ineptitudes…

Savannah, GA

The Scottish Rite Free Masonry Building   Savannah, GA

Everything ever written about Savannah talks about the formalized series of parks found throughout the city. They are truly wonderful. Look them up. However, looking deeper, what struck me was the broad range of traditional architectural styles and forms: The back alley row house to the 19th Century 7-story-Beauxs-Arts-Picture-Palace/Apartment-Building.

It’s also interesting that the close proximity of diametrically opposed building types did not rip a whole in the architectural space/time continuum. The building pictured below lives next to the building pictured above.

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Amazing little row house. Savannah, GA

It works, and without getting too deep into it, I’ll just point out a few reasons why – density, site placement, and material palate:

Google map showing the location of the two buildings.

Google map showing the location of the two buildings.

The dominant building is allowed to be dominant but it isn’t disassociated from other buildings (density). The little row house is separated by an alley, and surrounded by buildings that relate more closely to it’s scale. I imagine that the parking lot was once another building, but none-the-less, it gives the row house room to get out of the other building’s shadow – and a wall continues the built rhythm on the side walk, so it feels warm and fuzzy when you walk by (site placement).

Lastly, they were both made using traditional materials. So even though they are at vastly different scales, they were made with a similarly sized building unit (a brick). This allows them to easily communicate with one another (material use). Oh to speak in architecture… the sixth romance language.

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