Past and future. Two distinct pieces of the structure of Wabash which must be connected through an experiential center offering a glance into the rich, long-standing culture of the area. This joining of halves through a connection point highlights this dichotomy while celebrating their union. In traditional Japanese wood joinery, there is a practice of connection through geometry. In this tradition the two distinct portions of the assembly are linked with the most vital piece of the structure: the circulation core. It is no coincidence that this core also houses a canal boat, which is essential to the history of the Wabash area, linking guests with the previous life of the site. Past and future are emphasized through a contrast in materiality and forms. The latter, more public form, though separated through level changes and finishes, gracefully accepts the entrance structure. Hardwoods prove vital to the project as the celebrated structural forms and the core itself. As visitors progress through the building, varying use of hardwood exemplifies its versatility, warmth, and solidity it grants to space. This solidity and warmth echoes the culture of Wabash, working to connect their cultural halves.
Dan Kaiser, LA501
Examining acoustical qualities physical
landscapes. Located in San Francisco’s SOMA district this site sits below the Federal Building, and architectural wonder. Although being severely shaded most of the time, this area provides a great possibility for integration and art. Overall with the bus stop location, diverse surrounding community and sheer amount of pedestrian traffic this spot could not be better for a large engaging art experience such as Allegro. Because the building’s facade is so angular and geometric, I decided to expand on that concept, continuing the building into the plaza. The form evolves in an organic representation before it eventually dies down, thus mimicking sound waves. I noticed the day care on the site and chose to represent the sound “or lack thereof ” at the moment. There also seems to be an impressive amount of music and art venues to the north of the site. My idea is that this space could be a focal point in the city. A gathering place for locals heading to shows as well as a tourist hotspot. The sculpture being made from frosted 3-form plastic allows light to pass through but also is sturdy enough for adults and children to climb on it, creating a play space for the daycare as well as neighborhood kids (and adults). Above the play space hangs a metal string art piece that combines both of my case studies so that not only does it establish space above Allegro but it also provides light to bounce off it during the day. This would be mounted to the annex building as well as the federal building, and it would be extremely light thus not altering the surrounding facades. Providing more seating at the bus stop allows for more people to visit the site. By tying into the sound concept and creating mounds allow for more seating that isn’t a conventional bench. Not only is it fun, but also functional. The bistro was deconstructed slightly so that it could become a little more a part of the plaza and the mounds of grass allow people to sit outside and enjoy the sun on lunch break.
GARY TRANSPORTATION HUB
Ethan Talbot, ARCH 302
Gary, Indiana is a city that was once thriving due to the steel industry but has currently lost its appeal to those who travel through the city. This transit hub is meant to improve the current condition and bring it back up to ties with its neighboring cities. With much of the vehicular and pedestrian traffic moves along the site, inspiring linear elements to create an edge condition to interact with people traveling towards the neighboring baseball stadium. The main programs of the transit station are raised from the ground level to platform level, making an easier transition
from building to platform. The elevated, covered space created by the transit station can be used as a gathering area for those in the community. The structure for this space is held up with an offset truss system which is pulled worn with tension cables, eliminating the need for columns which would visually divide the space.
Hao Xu, ARCH 301
Critic: Prof. Koester
This design for an “Institute for the study & application of Biophilic patterns” is situated along the Brooklyn Pier, providing sweeping views of the East River and Lower Manhattan. The Water, a significant element of the site, is the foundation of the design and serves to connect human life and the city with nature. The institute, an elegant shell situated over a simple interior, appears to be sculpted by the wind and water, appears to float on the water, deepening the connection between the institute and the natural world.
GRANNY SMITH LEARNING CENTER
Anais Hamer, FCID 484 The question of the interior’s importance, or perhaps its own virtually—that is to say, the extent to which the interior can exist as a “virtual” entity, divorced from its architectural shell or frame—was raised poignantly by MAIO Architects’ entry to the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial entitled The Grand Interior. In it, a field of pink objects floats on a mirrored surface, no perceptible “building” or formal boundaries present. MAIO asserts, with this simple gesture, that “objects and interior spaces remain the most fragile part of architecture: excluded from it while gaining at the same time their own autonomy,” an autonomy that, in today’s digital age, allows the interior to become a object of its own.
This project, a design for an early childhood learning center, raises many of the same questions about the autonomy of the interior—particularly where the limits of the built shell are questioned by the application of large-scale photographs which substitute walls for forests, dissolving the perception and pertinence of the confining capabilities of architecture. The importance of the interior, and the objects that make it up, remains an important and fundamental question for this project and the disciplines housed in CAP as a whole.
Anna Goodman, ARCH 402
Prof. Dan Woofin
Hedonistic Sustainability, a term coined by architect Bjarke Ingels, is defined as “sustainability that improves the quality of life and human enjoyment.” Ingels, and other proponents of hedonistic sustainability, argue that sustainable practices cannot be successful if they only consider environmental concerns, they must work in all aspects: financially, environmentally, and socially. My focus in this project is to examine the user’s enjoyment and experience of space and identify where this can intersect with and benefit environmental sustainability.
In the 1970’s, Hungarian architect John Macsai, then working in Chicago, wrote and edited two design handbooks that defined universal standards for housing and residential design. Both outline how to efficiently design residential housing in an urban setting, and are still used today as a standard by firms in design work. In these texts, several base assumptions that Macsai makes become quite clear:
Macsai works exclusively with orthogonal forms. Orthogonal plans, by their nature, allow limited exposure to views and daylight, with a few prime units receiving exposure on more than one side of the building.
In many Macsaiesque plans, this means that a maximum of four units on each floor have exposure to light and views from multiple angles, thereby limiting the potential for light and views for the other units in the plan, and hence limiting these units’ desirability.
The advantage to the orthogonal plan is its high degree of efficiency.
The orthogonal tower is created from the repetition of structural bays that lend the tower its efficiency and allow the design to be easily expanded to larger and larger floorplates, allowing the Macsaiesque plan to become a universal, homogenous standard.
With Macsai’s assumption of the orthogonal plan, façade exposure is directly related to the efficiency of the floorplate—but how is “efficiency” measured? Floorplate efficiency, to a developer, is defined as the rentable area (i.e. the units themselves) as a percentage of the total floor area, which includes stairs, halls, lobbies, mechanical spaces, elevators, stairs, etc. The most “efficient” designs reduce non-rentable areas and increase rentable ones.
The problem with this thinking is that it typically produces narrow and deep apartments without good daylighting and with little connection to the outdoors—but to resolve this issue, the width of the apartment must be increased, and the depth (to maintain a constant area) decreased, lengthening the hall and increasing the amount of non-rentable area in the floorplate. The narrower apartment achieves a better efficiency, but the wider apartment has more access to natural daylighting, which saves on electric lighting, and also makes the units more pleasant places for tenants to live. The wider unit is more sustainable, but less efficient.
So what if there was a design somewhere in the middle? What if I taper the plan of the apartment? A tapered apartment increases access to light and views while maintaining floorplate efficiency by reducing the length of the interior hall. Three different tapered apartment types were developed: a five-hundred square foot efficiency, an eight-hundred square foot one-bedroom, and a twelve-hundred square foot two-bedroom unit. Together, the tapered units form a curvilinear block, with a convex unit on one side of the hallway and a concave unit on the other side. The concave unit is formed into a longer, thinner unit, giving better daylight penetration where the form itself has a naturally restricting wall length. The concave unit is suited for two-three bedroom units exclusively. A daylight factor analysis conducted on tapered designs found that they receive significantly more daylight, better distributed, than an orthogonal unit of the same hallway length. Tapering the plan maintains economy while enhancing the design’s environmental qualities, it removes the shortcomings of Macsai’s assumptions while retaining the advantages of his ideas.
Curios / Spectacles
Stephanie Vance, ARCH 402 Critic: Prof. Kerestes
By treating social housing as a spectacle, a curiosity to be known better, to be valued inherently in itself, this project seeks to challenge the preconceptions of this typology as cheap, dark, cheerless, and bleak accommodations. Literally turning social housing on its head, these units re-contextualize the spectacle from contemptible to curious by uncovering iconic forms full of individual character that inspire pride, returning dignity to the occupants and suggesting that social housing should be an integral part of a vibrant community life.