My project, much like last quarter, is a maker/live building that focuses on prototyping and creating prosthetics for those that need them. But rather than focusing on creating futuristic prosthetics that greatly enhance and give super human abilities to those who wear them, I decided to look at a more realistic program and the issue of prosthetics for children. Prosthetics for children is different than prosthetics for adults because children are constantly outgrowing their costly prosthetics. In order to deal with this problem, rather than creating expensive permanent prosthetics, makers have started prototyping prosthetics for kids out of Legos, 3D printed pieces, and a variety of other methods that try to keep cost low and efficient so that the client can afford to update and create new prothetics for their kids. With that being said, I am not picturing this building to only serve children who need prosthetics, but also as a inviting public building that people are welcomed to spend time learning about prosthetics in since my site is located right next to Crane Cove Park.
Keeping in mind that my target demographic consist of children and their families come to this facility to have a prosthetic made for them, I aimed to structure the spaces and use of material to give the sense of transparency between all parties that utilize this building. I also aimed to organize the programs in order for this building to facilitate a collaborative atmosphere as well as creating a community within the building. In order to achieve these goals I have in mind, I included a lot of public open spaces to invite pedestrians into the building. The openings on the facade that the housing units are located are suppose to reflect the transparency concept and allow even by passers a glimpse of what is happening inside the building. Following some of the precedents that are pictured below, I’m looking for the envelope of the building to be semi-transparent and the structural system to be framed out of wood. Both these decisions are to give warmth and to make the building look more inviting over all.
The biggest gestural move that I have in this building are the bridges that connect the housing units to the research units. These bridges are suppose to be large enough for people to spend time in and not solely for circulation purposes. They are also a formal way of representing the attachment of a foreign object in order to help and enhance the programs that the bridges are connecting.