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Daniel Hemmendinger Portfolio


Daniel Hemmendinger dhemmendinger@gmail.com C: 973.270.8048 62 Dean Road Mendham, NJ 07945


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Watershed Observatory Site Intervention Modular Research Laboratory 9/11 Memorial Flat-Packing Chair Light NAEF Toy Onassis Cultural Center


Watershed Observatory Bryson City, NC 08/2011 - 12/2011

The relationship between place and context allows for a more meaningful understanding of the site and forms a more appropriate artifact within it. The importance of water in shaping the local region is evident from the image above.

The Watershed Observatory is a small but growing organization arising in response to the multiplicity of issues surrounding the conversation of water in the Blue Ridge region. The Observatory alters one’s relationship to water in terms of proximity and means of engagement in order to further one’s awareness of water issues. Due to a dam constructed downstream, local water levels vary by 23 feet between seasons, creating a dynamic and unique site condition.


Anecdote of the Jar I placed a jar in Tennessee, And round it was, upon a hill. It made the slovenly wilderness Surround that hill. The wilderness rose up to it, And sprawled around, no longer wild. The jar was round upon the ground And tall and of a port in air. It took dominion every where. The jar was gray and bare. It did not give of bird or bush, Like nothing else in Tennessee. -Wallace Stevens


Wallace Stevens’ Anecdote of the Jar discusses an object’s ability to rationalize and impose order on its surroundings. The poem offered insight into the question of context and influenced the project’s investigation.


The site model is made from chronologically layered newspaper, and emphasizes the physical and contextual forces that accumulate over time to form the site. The stratification seen in the model is observed on site, a result of the seasonally changing water levels from the dam.


The realization that all land acts as a watershed to hydrological processes informed the project’s relationship to its site. As an observatory, the building situates itself into its drainage basin and acts as a lens to help understand its underlying context.


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Ground Intermediate

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One goal of the project is to form a relationship between researcher and public by maximizing inclusive space and establishing an open and transparent environment. The 15000 sf Observatory is broken into three levels: a ground floor containing the main public space; an intermediate level supporting researcher live and work rooms; and a lower level comprised of outdoor spaces and the library.

1. Map Room 2. Presentation Space 3. Restrooms/ Changing Rooms 4. Storage 5. Researcher Apartments 6. Researcher Offices 7. Library of Water 8. Indoor/ Outdoor Space 9. Water Gardens


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The realization that all land acts as a watershed to hydrological processes informed the project’s relationship to its site. As an observatory, the building situates itself into its drainage basin and acts as a lens to help understand its underlying context.

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5 UP

5 5

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One goal of the project is to form a relationship between researcher and public by maximizing inclusive space and establishing an open and transparent environment. The 15000 sf Observatory is broken into three levels: a ground floor containing the main public space; an intermediate level supporting researcher live and work rooms; and a lower level comprised of outdoor spaces and the library.

1. Map Room 2. Presentation Space 3. Restrooms/ Changing Rooms 4. Storage 5. Researcher Apartments 6. Researcher Offices 7. Library of Water 8. Indoor/ Outdoor Space 9. Water Gardens


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The realization that all land acts as a watershed to hydrological processes informed the project’s relationship to its site. As an observatory, the building situates itself into its drainage basin and acts as a lens to help understand its underlying context.


UP

7

8 UP UP

9 UP

Lower

One goal of the project is to form a relationship between researcher and public by maximizing inclusive space and establishing an open and transparent environment. The 15000 sf Observatory is broken into three levels: a ground floor containing the main public space; an intermediate level supporting researcher live and work rooms; and a lower level comprised of outdoor spaces and the library.

1. Map Room 2. Presentation Space 3. Restrooms/ Changing Rooms 4. Storage 5. Researcher Apartments 6. Researcher Offices 7. Library of Water 8. Indoor/ Outdoor Space 9. Water Gardens


The observatory is 150 ft long and 36 ft wide, and is bent along its length in order to conform to the contours of the site. The building is placed into the hillside so that it sits just above the high water level, allowing researchers and the public to track the rising of the water from any point in the observatory. This engagement with the changing elevation of the river enables the building’s occupants to understand the forces at play and renews their awarness.


The ground level is characterized by a sense of lightness as direct and indirect daylight enter from all sides. The roof floats above the interior rooms, and a continuity between inside and outside is established.

Circulation separates the live and work spaces. The bend in the Observatory’s form allows researchers to have different views of the river from their apartment and office.

The Library of Water contains water samples from the regional river system. The samples are housed in glass jars in a row of high-density shelving units. Light passing through the water samples on the moving shelves creates a kinetic sculpture in the observatory and acts as an accessible, convenient, and beautiful archive.


Site Intervention Blacksburg, VA 08/2010 - 12/2010

College Avenue sits at the border between downtown Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. As a primary entertainment venue in the town, the site has significant value to both entities. The intent of the project is to transform the physical condition of the street from a barrier to an interface between the university and the local populace. To promote this change, automotive traffic is removed and two occupiable volumes are constructed to encourage the renewed use of the road.

611 ,


Each volume is 120 feet long and 30 feet wide, and rises to a height of 12 feet. The volumes enclose two 6 foot depressions in the street that allow the structures to be occupied. The upper portion of both volumes is functional seating as well, and pulls pedestrians in from shops along one side and a park on the other.


site

focus

intent

plan

The project was enriched by an understanding of assembly sequence, material efficiency, and the resolution of forces. Each element that comprises the outer skin acts structurally and aesthetically, and is cut from the same dimension of lumber.


Circulation occurs around, between, above, inside, and through the two opposing volumes, creating a dynamic and interactive sculpture in the middle of the street.


The structural assembly’s influence on the quality of light gives the project additional character. Repetitive joints with bolted connections simplify the structural system, and each carriage bolt is countersunk to minimize its impact on the spatial experience.


Modular Research Laboratory Rubondo Island, Tanzania 01/2011 - 05/2011

Rubondo Island National Park is a small group of protected islands located in northwest Tanzania in the waters of Lake Victoria. The park attracts a small number of visitors annually, and its undisturbed wildlife and environment make it an ideal research location. The charge of the project is to design a mobile, modular laboratory to support the living and working activities of two or three researchers. The laboratory is to be made of prefabricated elements and then shipped from the United States and assembled on location.


The goals of the project result from the conflicting politics of the island. The park rightfully prosecutes local poachers who fish illegally, but allows foreign tourists who financially support the island to fish at their leisure. While this allows the park to continue its existence, it is inconsistent with the park’s values and damaging to its resources.

Altering the relationship between researchers and the public in the interest of preservation benefits Rubondo Island. By providing a place for education of both tourists and the local populace a greater respect for the island’s cultural significance is possible.


THE SHIPPING CONTAINER

HIGH DENSITY POLYETHYLENE FOOTINGS

STAINLESS STEEL STRUCTURAL FRAME

x1

x 12

x 84

Capacity: 2247.23 cubic feet Payload: 59417 lb

Volume: 4.5 cubic feet Weight: 143.72 lb

Volume: 19.414 cubic feet Weight: 1550.14 lb

An understanding of the laboratory’s transportation is critical to the project. The constraints it establishes necessitate notions of packing density, material weight, and usability of parts. Questions of module, nesting, and other means of volume reduction are decisive factors in re-evaluating the basic components that comprise the structure. By actively engaging this question, a typical shipping container is capable of carrying 17 deconstructed laboratories.


FLOOR AND CEILING INFILL PANELS

TRANSLUCENT POLYCARBONATE WALL PANELS

MOLDED PULP WALL INFILL

WOOD ROOF PERGOLA

x 57

x 24

x 840

x 10

Volume: 35.625 cubic feet Weight: 477.75 lb

Volume: 16 cubic feet Weight: 890.94 lb

Volume: 9.94 cubic feet Weight: 46.3 lb

Volume: 5 cubic feet Weight: 230 lb


Molded pulp “drink caddies� satisfy many of the ambitions of the project. As lightweight, nesting, interlocking, and light-modulating units, they make the laboratory a place and reject the convention of the insulated panel. The act of making demonstrates the potential for the project to exist in reality.

The final form of the laboratory is a central 9 foot cube with 3 foot deep wings on all sides. Wall panels mounted to these wings swing out to aid in ventilation, create indoor-outdoor spaces, or open for public education. The laboratory can be easily deconstructed and moved to accommodate the transient nature of the island research.


To address unanticipated topographies that the laboratory might rest on, adjustable footings can manage local elevation changes of 15 inches over a 3 foot span. The footings are locked into punched holes in the structural frame with modified plumbing fittings.


9/11 Memorial

Competition, Finalist Marion, VA 04/2012

In collaboration with Husain Almousawi This weekend-long competition for a 9/11 Memorial in Marion, VA, is a place for intimate reflection and a comprehension of the magnitude of the lives lost. Taking advantage of existing site elements--a narrow path and a small public clearing--the proposal calls for a sanctuary for a beam from the World Trade Center towers and a passageway in memory of all 2977 victims of the tragedy.


The 48-foot-long passageway is illuminated by 2977 acrylic rods, each representing a victim of the terrorist attacks. The narrowness of the passageway puts visitors in close proximity to the acrylic rods and forces an acknowledgement of each life lost.


Flat-Packing Chair 06/2011

In order to facilitate the educational goals and task work of the mobile laboratory, chairs emphasizing low cost and material efficiency were designed. The chair is made by lasercutting three layers of plywood and then inserting metal rods during assembly, allowing the pieces to swing freely. Each chair can be built for approximately $20 in material cost.


Inspiration for the form of the chair came from the laboratory’s wall panel. Cut-outs allow the chair to lock into an open position, while two elastic bands around the top and bottom hold it closed and prevent damage during shipping.


Light

10/2010 - 12/2010 The light design began as an investigation of the formal relationship between the hexagon and the isometric wire cube. Their unique sameness despite existing in different dimensions drove the project and enriched the process. The final form of the light folds up from a single flat piece of paper and encloses a lightbulb, reintroducing the play between two- and three-dimensions.


NAEF Toy

02/2010 - 03/2010

Collaboration with Jake Harvey As part of a competition hosted at Virginia Tech, students were challenged to create an object demonstrating unexpected geometric relationships, quality craftsmenship, and multifunctional pieces. The toy is a 6� wood cube, subdivided into twelve pieces. Constructed using an efficient seven cut method on a single wood block, three distinct piece types are created. The four exterior pieces are joined with fabric hinges, allowing them to serve as a container for the interior objects and as a dynamic object on their own.


Section Model, Onassis Cultural Center 07/2012 Perkins Eastman Architects


Works Cited USGS (satellite imagery) Blacksburg GIS (Blacksburg contour map) Frankfurt Zoological Society (aerial photograph) “Rubondo Island - a little story� by Flickr user idogu (poaching photographs) Tale from the Tectonic Forest, Lebbeus Woods (Shipping container image)


Portfolio // 2012