Answering the questions:
1. We have two different kinds of transparency presented in the article. The first is ‘lіtеral trаnspаrеncy'; the second is ‘phenomenal transparency'.
2. 1) Picasso. Clarinet Player – literal transparency;
2) Braque. The Portuguese – phenomenal transparency;
3) Delaunay. Simultaneous Windows – literal transparency;
4) Gris. Still Life – phenomenal transparency;
5) Moholy‐Nagy. La Sarraz – literal transparency;
6) Léger. The Three Faces – phenomenal transparency.
3. We can see the physical interpretation of literal transparency in architecture which is an obvious effect of Cubism. Also, such characteristics of Cubism as faceting of form, spatial ambiguity, and multiplicity are present in architecture.
4. Literal transparency can be achieved with a help of physical materials such as glass or plastic. On the other hand, phenomenal transparency is a result of a definite order of layers which create a vision of transparency. It is hardly possible to accomplish in architecture.
5. Five layers of space through vertical dimensions are frееstаnding walls, physical plаne of glаss, the reаr wall of terrace, parapet of the garden, second-floor balcony. Four horizontal dimensions are the roof of the penthouse and elliptical pavilion, major roof terrace and the coulisse, first floor, principal floor.
Through ages, artists were trying to depict transparency on paper. What is a transparency? Collins dictionary says that it is a quality of object or substance to be transparent. Which is true, but it bounds us with a physical side of transparency. We cannot say that this feature belongs only to glass or plastic, or some kinds of liquids. We will use pictures of Cubists and their techniques to explain this theory.
Cubism is a modernistic trend in the visual arts, especially in painting, which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in France and characterized by the use of geometric forms. Also, it influenced great changes in music, sculpture, and architecture.
Transparency is one of the main characteristics of cubism. Gyorgy Kepes in his Languageof Vision said that transparency is an ability to perceive more than one object in its particular position at once (77). According to Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky, we can subdivide transparency into literal transparency and phenomenal transparency (45). In Cubism, this technique borrows definite features of substance, as glass or water. Literal transparency can be achieved with the help of overlapping some transparent planes. On the other hand, phenomenal transparency is more about organizing different planes, objects or spatial grids in order to help our mind to percept the desirable effect. Here we can relate phenomenal transparency to the Law of Closure described by Gestalt. Our brain can perceive different incomplete forms and objects in their complete shape. It can draw whole objects addressing to the memory, even when one of the parts of a picture is missing or there are some useless objects that prevent us from seeing the whole picture.
Transparency in a painting is a representation of things with the help of overlapping planes or organizing it in a definite order to help a viewer to understand and to see.
It is not surprising that transparency became a trend in architecture. There were some quarrels about applying the effect of transparency into architecture. And here we face the physical aspect of literal transparency. How can we achieve transparency in a building? Obviously, we should use some transparent materials such as glass or plastic. Phenomenal transparency provoked some problems. Only strict and precise planning and combining of all the elements of the building can result in exact phenomenal transparency.
I would like to relate this technique of Picasso painting with New Freiburg University Library. It was completed in 2015. University Library is a great example of literal transparency in architecture. Here we can see an open floor plan with slabs supported by numerous columns which are the same, as in Le Corbusier's villa at Garches. We have a lot of geometrical forms presented by different forms and size of windows. We can see that on the light all the windows have different shades, which is created with a help of angle of elevation of windows. Also, we can mention that they are separated with lines of metal to create an exact form. Picasso used the same technique with his dark lines. The building has sharp angles which form an effect of a cut diamond.
Kepes, Gyorgy. Language Of Vision. [Chicago]: P. Theobald, 1944. Print.
Rowe, Colin, Robert Slutzky, and Bernhard Hoesli. Transparency. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, 1997. Print.