ARCH 101 | SPRING 2012 DANIELLE JESSOP
Spring Break ●
Over spring break I went to Big Sur and explored the area around our cabin as part of our break assignment. I enjoyed studying the environment and becoming more aware of my surroundings. We revisited this assignment and explored a natural and built environment. I chose Buena Vista Park and the Federal Building. I enjoyed Buena Vista Park a lot, it is a fascinating journey. I wasn't able to enter the Federal Building but explored the external structure of the building in detail.
We began the iterative process for our final design prestation. I was so excited. And nervous. Such a big, challenging and potentially rewarding experience.Then came the 6 iteration challenge. This was a serious challenge for me. I wanted to create 6 original designs that were distinguishably different from each other. I had a feeling that the other classmates would either all veer towards the hill side or not. I was up for either challenge. Working with the slope and creating a chair was what I really wanted to do. I also drew inspiration from a new Starbucks in Japan that has a interior design made of crossed pieces of wood. My designs were not very well received so I went back to the drawing board to see what I could come up with.
Focusing in on the entrance and coming up with an arched form was successful. I am happy about the direction I am going in, and also think I have come up with something that is both interesting and challenging, but achievable. It will be hard to figure out how to get the arches to stand, and stay there for a period of time. I like that I have combined designs with Marlena. We are both hard workers and should team up well together.
We liked the design we collaborated on and started doing material planning. PVC was the overall preferred material for the project. I wasn't very excited about using it but was confident that I'd be able to make it work. We decided on using wood once we got to Home Depot. It will give the appearance a more organic look and that will add to the overall feel of the completed project.
Construction began the first Friday after we were given the go ahead to start building. After 2 hours of moving around wood, measuring and getting the shape of the arch figured out. We drilled it together, liked the form, stood it up and it collapsed.....unfortunately we have no pictures. Saturday we began construction again, decided to simplify the construction of the arch and was able to make one.
Progress continued at a regular pace. Several mile stones were achieved in our group, such as first standing structure. I felt proud to be part of a group that was working together so well. And equally dedicated to working hard to get it done. I feel confident that we will finish on time, hopefully early so we can finish up rough areas.
In general we progressed easily, there were some obstacles that we had to deal with. Our arch was plain, boring and predictable. We increased the arches to have three layers. This was the first time the theme of 3's came into our design Standing the arches up was looming over us from the beginning. Getting stakes hammered very deep into the ground and screwing the arches to the stakes was our best and safest option. With the help from classmates we were able to stand up both arches in one class. We wedged in extra strips of wood to make sure they didn't fall between classes.
Once the arches were complete we were a little unsatisfied with how they looked. It needed another dimension of interest. We came up with a bisecting line that added more of a feel of compression and release. This was where a lot of our concrete concepts came into play. The addition of bisecting lines added to our triangular or 3's theme.
The lattice part of the design was very important to each of us. Through brainstorming on and off for a few days we had a good idea of how we wanted to make the lattice.
Now to start what I have called, the lattice fan. Marlena and I were the most excited about this part. It came together very quickly without many issues. This was such a defining piece of our design. It really made it site specific and let it grow into it's surroundings. Without it, our design would have been very boring. The space created could be viewed from multiple angles. Every time you moved your view changed.
Completion! We finished building on May 12. It took a few minutes for it to sink in that we were both finished building and early. We had 4 days till presentations and were done. I'm so glad we worked hard from the start. I am so proud of what we created.
Reflection This class was mind blowing. It was hard, easy, fun, frustrating and everything in between. I'm very glad I have chosen a path in architecture. For the first time I really feel I can do this, and that I can be good at it. The intimate studio environment we ended up creating was nice, but part of me wishes we could have had a large class. Not too big, don't get me wrong, I really liked being able to get your input on everything I did. Just more creative minds all together. The final project was a great idea. Working big is intimidating but I loved the feeling of pointing up from the courtyard and saying 'yup, I made that'. I'm going to remember that forever The second half of the semester was definitely my favourite part. I liked working with Marlena and am really happy that I can say we'll for sure be friends out of class. I feel I grew a lot as a designer the last 2 months. I've opened my mind to a lot, I am a human sponge. I was surprised how much I learnt in the critique from the guest judges. I have learnt to be aware of my surroundings, really really aware. You need to know what you are designing on before you can start anything. Every nook and cranny needs to be addressed, it can take months, but it is essential. I am eager to start Fall semester and add to what I have learnt this semester. But first I need to start my summer. I look forward to learning and seeing as much as I can.