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SCULPTURAL BIOGRAPHY ARCH 101 Final Project – Fall 2012 Hillside Team: 3TREEO

Transient places for accidental encounters and sensing the briefness of beauty


Description The ARCH 101 Final Project is a collaborative one in which each student challenges and demonstrates their design creativity, knowledge, and skill developed over the course of the semester to collectively envision, plan, design, manage, and build a temporary environmental installation in the courtyard and barren hillside directly outside of the Architecture Department. The installed work shall evoke diverse, but intentional spatial experiences in those who interact with these environments. These transient installation shall: • • • •

Respond uniquely to the context of site Reflect a narrative of human condition Support accidental encounters Provoke others to appreciate transformation that are typically ignored or taken for granted in the every day world

Build and Natural Experience -

Build environment: Embarcadero Center – San Francisco – – – – – – – –

Scale, proportion, light contrast (cast shadow for Hyatt– building to the right), hierarchy of elements between façade of the building and concrete sculpture Intentionality perspective for viewers (residents/tourist) Feel aligned, deeper meaning, person to building, higher order, larger place in world, depth, length scale, size of space in relation to other monumental structures in spaces Sharp angles and price measurements Curvilinear elements of flower, layering and repetition of form Feels elevating (lotus flower), rising up stretching out of building, receives sunlight (on southeast side of high-rise) Synthetic Lotus Flower – symbol representing enlightenment, welcoming, spirit of San Francisco (Hindu), Mystic culture Feels mysterious and functional

Natural environment: Glen Canyon – San Francisco - Personal connection to larger forces that are not human - Texture or gravel ground in contrast with texture of leaves on trees - A secret site, no disturbance allow - A sense of reconnection to the earth - Developing a new appreciation of nature - A sense of awe and amazement - Inspire to internal reflection - A sense of Stewardship for nature - Enclosure – feel protection, secure safe - Place - secret, no disturbance - Smell – fresh - Even softer ground, gentle - Shape – circle of trees (organic network) - Organization, order – cosmic harmony -Time –age – sense of awe, natural wisdom – different type of knowing - Living entities – natured purpose is momentarily unintentional - Nature own provider – nature is architect all form follows function

Site: Hillside •

An interstitial space that is overlooked and undervalued

No human interaction is encouraged within this natural space surrounded by synthetic pathways and buildings. These pathways include: Marston Ave, Batmale Hall, Visual Art Building

In November and December the sun rising in the east reflects on site from 9am to 12pm and in the afternoon when the sun sets in the west from 3pm to 5pm

On Saturday and Sunday many residents from the closer neighbors pass by with their dogs, runners and hikers

Site Opportunities •

The location creates a conversation between two trees, utilizing the space between and around them

A place where local residents and students can decompress from their daily life by reconnecting with nature

A structure designed for a conversation between built environments and natural environments


Competition-winning pavilion concept for this year's Freedom Park Project at Atlanta: SEAT by E/B Office

Fibonacci Transformation – Maya Python - Finalist

Rasmus Svingel Experiment Model:

15 Iterations:

Iterations 1















Major Concepts • Man’s dominance over nature • A society inundated with technology • A desire to harmonize with nature rather than to oppose it


Team Drawings

Team Iterations

Narrative From afar one can see that there are two structures that oppose each other by shapes and levels above the ground and even the direction that the overall form is leaning towards. Both structures share and contain a tree. Closer, one notice what could not readily be seen from a greater distance; there is a textured twine material that wraps itself densely around the first structure, and not as densely in the second structure. One can distinguish that there is space within each structure for a person to travel. The entrance is slightly hidden in between the two structures, both appear to be in transition due to their dominant leaning shapes. People are forced to walk around the structure to find the entrance. Finally a small set of stairs invites people to walk comfortably into the first structure, the stairs are elevated from an uneven public common ground into a isolated space with a firm flattening surface which comforts. The threshold is tense and confining, one is confronted by the tree, but the parabolic shape established by the twine skin opens up slightly to guide you around the tree. There is only enough space for one person to enter at a time, and while the space further in and around the tree is wider, it is still too confining to have interactions with another person for a prolonged period. At the same time you will be able to see through the twine some corner green areas. The space that comes down on you forces you to be funneled out of the structure quickly rather than to linger. Existing threshold however is wider and opens up and is angled out in contrast to the entrance.

As one exit, it is the space is open, as one step down onto the first step it becomes a little more confining, and on the next step the space opens influenced by the location of twine to your right and your left, widens and open the space again. You descend into the public but intimate second structure. You will encounter two biomorphic shapes steps that will lead you in to the next part of the structure. In addition, there is enough walking room around the tree to so that neither traveler or human feels as they are too close to the tree, or that one is in the way of the other. The space opens up into the second structure where one can take the right of left path around the tree, along the pathway are benches that vary in height and shape that conform around the tree. If one walk take the right pathway one will encounter the lowest bench where sitting down will force one to face nature with your back to build environment (Batmale). The low height of seat forces one to slouch, which could encourage one to seat yourself at the next bench to the right. From here one can see the contrast of high walls on the left blocking out the built and the low walls on the right welcoming nature. The next seat also increases in height the wall opens around this sit facing nature with ones back towards the tree. Here is an opportunity to embrace and appreciate the nature around and further away from you. Finally you will be able to sense the celebration of the tree due to the location of the tree in the middle which create a contrast with the initial part of the structure where the tree is on the edge.



Issues Storm Track: During our installation process we encountered a huge storm that destroyed part of our initial joints. Afterwards we developed stronger joints that were planted two feet down the ground with additional support.

Final Construction

Continue Final Construction

Tectonic Language • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • •

The firths structure is a tilting geometric form, It contorts due to the varying heights angles of the four vertical post and the twine attached between them Twine is used as a skin material in the first structure. It is horizontally juxtaposed more densely at the bottom and more loosely at the top The alignment is arbitrary at the bottom, but as it transitions upwards it becomes parallel to the surrounding buildings The entrance is hidden within the space between the two tress. It is revealed when you walk around the tilting structure The proximity of the tree at the entrance almost obstructs your path as you enter There is tension established in the first structure due to the tilting angles of the vertical poles There are steps that lead you down from the isolated space back into the public space, you descend downward The same twine material from the first structure continues to through the transitional path into the second structure The permeable skin of the second structure creates distorted framed of Batmale due to the slight changes of angles as opposed to strict ninety degree views The angle and heights establishing the shape of the rounder frame blocks out the constructed world The faces of the second structure are responsive to the tree because the vertical poles are angled in facing the tree Similar systematic connections of vertical poles exist in both structures but vary slightly There is a contrast between the titling of the first structure which leans into the established space and the second structure which leans out from the space Four benches are attached to the frame of the second structure and their biomorphic shape suggest that they are conforming around the tree The varying heights and sizes of the benches and directions of views creates micro nodal experiences within the macro of the second structure

Post Mortem •

Strengths - Systematic joint attachments within both structures - Achieving a parabolic form through the usage of twine as a skin - While the skin is permeable, the frame is still sensed as the foreground making built environment the background - Structure blend into the site as part of natural elements

Weaknesses - The twine skin for the first structure was not as taut or as dense as we intended - Fastening of the twine to posts in the first structure are not as precise or clean as we wanted - The seats are not sanded or cleanly as we wanted

Opportunities - Incorporated found branches as a building element - Water proof upholstery for the benches - More intentional and established ground patterns in the first structure - Tertiary node around the stump

Challenges Remaining - Blocking off travelers from stepping into transitional pathway before entering the first structure - Strengthening the legs of the benches which are unattached to the base of frame

Jury Critiques Strengths - Manipulating the earth in confined spaces - Celebrating the trees by putting a frame around them - Defining the geometry between the two structures - Contrasting the built stairs and un-built nature - Creating a legible transition between the two structures - Making conscious the relationship between the earth and the built environment - Fabricating complex joints of variable angles

Weaknesses - Not integrating benches (seen as furniture) into structure -Not making twine taught in structure one to highlight tension - An additional step on structure two was needed

Conclusions • •

• • • • • • • • • •

Architecture has complexities and contradictions Building joints is a time consuming but central process. Buried joints don’t get credit or interpretation by jury Architecture is a language communicating a story Building is a process of identifying objectives and satisfying needs How do I respect nature by building structures that will modify/alter natural systems? Managing time effectively can reduce costs Relationships among stakeholders are key Is architecture responding to nature? A knowledge of ecology and geology are necessary for an architect to function Architecture is often a violent interjection into nature Architecture needs to honor eco systems Buildings need to be more responsive to nature by incorporating biomimicry

Tips • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Update the schedule of the entire team weekly Stay on budget and develop consensus for purchases Working late hours check with everyone before leaving for security and safety CCSF police security patrol more on weekdays than weekends Be aware during the weekends that many residents and hikers will check your progress Each team meeting should begin with an agenda and time check Use the initial days effectively to get ahead Stay on your goals and objective as planned Establish communication channels at the beginning When symptoms of stress are present, go for a walk and then comeback refreshed Check with your team if anyone has used before construction tools. Maximize each team member’s skills At the end of the day meet with your team for 5 minutes to review progress and plan your next day

JULIO SORIANO CCSF ARCH 101 - Fall 2012 Professor: Jerry Lum

ARCH 101 - Final Project  

Sculptural Biography

ARCH 101 - Final Project  

Sculptural Biography