| T H E S P I E L |
Our project merged Elena’s concept of providing varying types of workspaces that cater to different skill sets and work preferences and Ishita’s concept of allocating them throughout the building with a circulation strategy that optimizes opportunities for visual and physical connections. The purpose of the institution is to encourage exploration of the building and consequently of the residents’s artistic abilities.
The external form was derived by designing spatial paths and displaying the resulting visual connections. To induce excitement about the maker movement and inspire public visitors to become makers, we provided view access into the workspaces from the public areas. To induce curiosity between the residents to explore new workspaces, we provided view access into the workspaces from the housing community areas.
[form finding diagram]
(The form was derived from multiple Grasshopper iterations, where we tried to find the balance between a dramatic twist in the form and minimal uninhabitable spaces, along with maximum atrium space and efficient floor area.)
The circulation was divided into two main paths: that of the residents and of the public. The public is meant to be enticed into the building by the inviting entrance formed by the building’s lift that occurs at both street fronts. However, to not disturb the makers, the public’s circulation is meant to be a direct spatial path from the work/material library, through the makers’ gallery, and to the café and out of the building. The residents, on the other hand, are meant to be enticed to walk through every nook and cranny of the building, attracted by Bay views, cityscape views, and light atriums.
The structure was inspired by the Astana National Library designed by BIG, where there are large steel trusses that form vertical fins surrounding an atrium core. These fins frame the outline of our building’s shape and allow for column-free floor plans. Six of these fins are braced frames to allow for lateral stability, while the floor slabs contain grillage to serve as the building’s diaphragm.
To further strengthen the pull of our designed circulation, we designed the vertical circulation as intimate hubs for collaboration. By creating these nooks within grand staircases, we intend for the residents to feel comfortable moving from their workspaces to these hybrid areas between studios, where they have the opportunity to meet someone and share their work with more people.
| T H E R E S P O N S E |
We were reviewed by Clare Olsen, Karen Lange, Tom Fowler, and Bryan Shields.
When we presented, we generally always came back to our struggle with the interior spaces within the building. We were pretty happy with how our final form captures the essence of our circulation goals, emulating the fluidity and simplified interconnectedness of our circulation strategy. We’d like to continue to display that language through our floor plates and section, but have been struggling a little in avoiding dull and rationalized layers of floor slabs.
Clare was really interested in our focus on creating intimacy though layering of spaces, and wanted us to explore that more through smaller details, such as 4″ gaps between areas to reveal visual connections to other floors. She also suggested to pursue the fluidity in floor plates by going back to gestural study models where we pinch floor plates together, carve out atriums, and frame vertical connections. She also suggested to study the form and details in the East Asian Library by Billie Tsien, which was actually already a precedent!
Karen really appreciated the structural model and thought that we should try to design our floor plans revolving around the spaces allowed by the structure. She’d like us to include more intertwining connections as well as a better entrance to entice people inside. She also thought integrating intimacy inside the staircases was counterintuitive as the busy circulation would interrupt the intimacy. She strongly suggested we separate our vertical circulation (elevators and egress stars) and celebrate them individually. She was adamant in disregarding efficiency of floor space for the sake of enhancing atrium spaces and celebrating complex circulation.
Tom wanted us to show our structure more in the plans, since it’s hard to see the connection between the interior space and the structure. He also wanted us to completely remake our structural system into a shell of incredible large trusses. Although we are not leaning towards this “truss-on-steroids” approach, as Tom called it, we definitely are planning on making the structural system more experiential.
Bryan really liked the idea of the stairs as centers for collaboration and wanted us to celebrate them more architecturally by using them as informal meetings of normalized spaces. By that, he meant to insert rationally shaped spaces into our irrational building, and use the leftover “wasted” designed spaces as the atrium/vertical connections. He also suggested that we disperse the housing throughout the building so that the circulation for our residents wasn’t constrained to half of the building.
| O U R C O M E B A C K |
Going into this, we already knew our interior spaces were slightly underdeveloped because we became very object-oriented in our design process. After this review, we are excited and ready to try to design the interior more thoughtfully. We worked so hard to find our building form and capture the language and gesture we wanted, the idea of applying this to the entire interior was daunting. But now with all this feedback, we have so many charette ideas and study model proposals, that we know how to start!
| P O S T S C R I P T |
We have no idea what our project name is, and are open to suggestions.