A Brief Essay, In Four Parts:
Part 1. Definitions:
By "mannerism" I mean exactly this:
Contradictions, exaggerations, and counter-intuitions in architectural form resulting from intentional manipulations to the "rules" of established types, disciplinary techniques, or representational conventions.
By "mannerisms" (plural) I mean loosely this:
A collection of architectural form-types that can be discretely sub-categorized by their geometric traits, formal qualities, construction techniques, and material aesthetics found within a particular physical context or situation.
Part 2. Darlings:
There are certain things in architecture that endear themselves to architects as well as broader cultures. These, I claim, are our Darlings; a particular breed of architectural types characterized by deeply rooted architectural histories that are taken up by each successive generation of architects, and that are often the character defining features of buildings. Domes, columns, vaults, arches, gable roofs, bell towers, dormer windows, turrets, bay windows, and chimneys are a few of our Darlings. In fact, many of these are deemed culturally and politically valuable to the extent that they are written into planning, zoning, building, and preservation codes.
Part 3. The Corner Turret:
The San Francisco bay area has a corner problem. Many buildings, especially houses, in the bay area have tightly bloated protrusions bulging from their corners.
3.1. Roof to Turret Relationship
The relationship between the roof and the turret is a key circumstance in evaluating formal, spatial, and compositional aspects of a building with a turret. The turret’s alignment or offset to the roof is central to the outward address of the building and its interior configuration.
3.2. The Flare Detail
The architectural flare detail is a familiar detail for the Victorian turret. A typical flare detail bends the exterior surface of a wall gently outward and is often used to differentiate one floor from the one below. Always taut and crisp-edged, the flare detail is susceptible to other surface and material expressions.
3.3. Shingle Cladding Patterns
Shingle cladding patterns on Victorian forms are a well-known material system that introduces ornamentation and articulation over what is otherwise a collection of small interior rooms contained within a bulky mass.
3.4. Turret as Figure
The turret is a confusing form. Is it added to the building? Is the building conceptualized and constructed around this corner form? Is the turret a compound figure in conjunction with the building, or is it a differentiated part? It can be hard to tell because often the turret is oddly conjoined with the building yet also has its own clear distinctive parts; conical or domical top, articulated cylindrical body, tapered or flat-cut bottom.