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Live Art Studio

Emily Geppert | Architecture Fundamentals Studio II | Professor Wacta | Winter 2013


Table of Contents

Exercise 1:

Serial Vision Sketching

Exercise 2:

Landscape, Measure, and the Body

Exercise 3:

Building Analysis: Exploring a Building in Context

Exercise 4: Modeling the Landscape Exercise 5:

Site Analysis - Exploring a Place Through Visual Field Notes

Exercise 6: Architect Profile Exercise 7:

Client Letters

Exercise 8: Project Centering Exercise 9: Questions and Answers Final Design


Exercise 1 Serial Vision Sketching The objective of this exercise was to create a series of sketches that focused on a particular aspect of the site. These sketches focused on a single element and recorded the essential characteristics/ingredients of the space.

Sketch 1: view of the beginning of the pathway as seen from the bottom of the site

I chose to focus on the pathway that traversed the rugged upper section of the site. This pathway has been eroded over time and presents itself as a significant part of the site. The next objective of this exercise was to form a series of sketches that focused on several aspects of the sight. These focuses tell the viewer more about how the site is organized as well as significant parts of the site and their uses.

Sketch 2: a detail of the bottom of the pathway, edge marked by a man-made curb

Sketch 3: a view of the shadow lines of the tree as they pass over the pathway

Place within a Place This is the area within the site that encourages people to stop. It can be a place of gather or relaxation, but is not a place that is meant for passing by.


Exercise 1

Focal Point This is the center of attention in the site. It immediately grabs the viewer’s attention and holds power over how the rest of the site is perceived.

Place (Exit) This is the node on the site that begins the process of exiting. It can be a place where the viewer is encouraged to explore before he leaves the site.

Significant Detail This is portion of the focal point of the site. It adds enrichment and texture to the view.

Link to Exit This is the transitional path of the site. It allows the viewer to trace a direct route to the exit.

Mystery This is an element of the site that is not fully understood. It can be a place where the purpose is not easily identifiable.

Mood This is the view that allows the observer to fully engage with the complexity of the site. It is easily affected by changes in weather or the attitude of the viewer.


Exercise 2

This site seems to have a wealth of history to it. The path that divides the site has been worn away by many pedestrians over the years. In order to represent this, we chose to create our model from scraps of newspaper. These scraps represent the snippets of history one can see at the site. However, these snippets do not tell the entire story and only through careful observation and discovery can one put the pieces together. The black ombre color demonstrates how time has slowly started to wear away these stories, erasing them from history, though their effect is still seen.

Landscape, Measure, and the Body The objective of this exercise was to explore how the human body related to the scale of the site by using elements of the human body to measure the landscape. I watched the movement of a person as they climbed the site. This allowed me to see how the elevation related to the walker’s height and determine the site’s depth based on her relative size as she went further into the distance. The next objective was to form a site model that embraced the nature of our site in an abstract way. My group decided to focus on the historical aspect of the site.

Landscap, Measure, and the Body Nicole at origin - 66 steps By Emily Geppert, Silvy Liu, Abby Skaggs, Nicole Winkler

A collage of the process of mapping the site

Abstract model of the site


Exercise 3 Building Analysis: Exploring a Building in Context The objective of this exercise was to explore and analyze the layout of the site. I looked at the organization of the site and used this to create a series of representational, abstract, and symbolic sketches.

Abstract Centralized

Symbolic Centralized

Representational Centralized

Abstract Cluster

Symbolic Cluster

Representational Cluster

Abstract Linear

Symbolic Linear

Representational Centralized


Exercise 4 Modeling the Landscape The objective of this exercise was to better come to understand the site through accurate means of mapping. I created a 3/32” : 1’-0 model with 4” contour lines.

Model of the site at 3/32” : 1’-0”


The objective of this exercise was to help improve our drawing and analytical skills by recording different aspects of the site. I created freehand and computer aided drawings to diagram different site information and environmental relationships.

Location - City of Savannah

Location - Neighborhood

Location - Travel Distances

City Hall 0.4 mi

Downtown 0.3 mi

Site Jepson Center 0.5 mi

Ships of the Sea Museum 0.2 mi

SCAD Museum of Art 0.5 mi

Exercise 5 Site Analysis: Exploring a Place Through Visual Field Notes


Exercise 5

Man-Made Features - Pathways

Neighborhood Context - Relative Heights of Surrounding Buildings

Man-Made Features - On-site Features


Exercise 5

Legal - Historic District Zoning Ordinances

Site and Zoning - Lot Size and Boundaries

Legal - Ownership and Jurisdiction


Exercise 5

Natural Physical Features - Trees

Natural Physical Features - Ground Cover

Utilities - Locations


Exercise 5

Circulation - Vehicular

Human and Cultural - Negative Activity

Circulation - Pedestrian


Exercise 5

Sensory - Views from the Site

Sensory - Noises

Sensory - Views into the Site


Exercise 5

Climate - Average Rainfall

Climate - Average High and Low Temperatures

Climate - Sun Diagram


Exercise 5 Concept Exploration After looking at the existing conditions of the site, we were asked to use the things we learned to help us formulate our concept. I wanted to utilize the orientation of the site to the view as well as the sun path to inform my design.

Concept 1

Site Plan Explorations

Concept 2

Tower Explorations

Tower Height in Relation to Power Plant

Elevation Concept 1

My initial thoughts for the design went in two directions. First, I thought of a cloud descending on the site. It would float above the ground and not interfere with the contours of the site. Second, I thought about embedding the building into the site. This would give the appearance that the building and the site were a cohesive whole. Through the idea of embedding, I latched onto the creation of a tower. This tower would serve to provide the best view of the river while also providing gallery space. I sketched out potential elevations for the building at this stage.

Elevation Concept 2

Elevation Concept 3


Unfold

Exercise 5 Concept Development

To spread out or display

Sequentially unfold: to reveal or develop over time

Physically unfold: to bring out of a folded state

Phenomenally unfold: to become clear, apparent, or known

Step 1: Choose an idea, a word, or a natural phenomenon.

We were asked to follow a step-by-step process to help us formulate a physical concept for our building. I attached the word unfolding to my project from the beginning. This word invokes the idea that the building houses something, in this case art, as it unfolds. People are able to view the artists throughout many stages of their work, literally watching as pieces unfold before them. Each piece of this building is understood individually, but also as a whole the creates a greater understanding.

Step 3: Show three graphical representations of the idea, word, or phenomenon.

Unfolding architecture slowly reveals the elements of a space as one passes through to give one the feeling of coming to know and understand the space.

Step 2: use an architectural language and rewrite the definition in a way that it can translate to an architectural form.


Exercise 5 Step 4: Using the previous step, create four conceptual models.

Model Concept Sketches

Step 5: Create a final model that transcribes in volume and architectural language the phenomenon that you explored.


The objective of this exercise was to investigate the design practice and philosophy of an architect that would become our design guide for our project. I selected I.M. Pei as my architect. I created an 11” x 17” poster detailing his practice and philosophy as well as significant buildings he has designed.

I.M.Pei

Exercise 6 Architect Profile

Louvre Pyramid 1989 Paris, France

Pei was asked to build a new entrance and operational infrastructure for the Louvre Museum in Paris. The challenge was to add to this eight-century-year-old building without dampening the spirits of the people or compromising the existing structure. The centrally located glass pyramid provides direct access to the galleries in each wing of the museum and floods the subterranean expansion building with light. The entrance alights gently upon the sacred ground of the courtyard of the Louvre, its delicate nature a restrained example of modernism that acknowledges the depth of history it must represent.

National Gallery of Art East Building

1978 Washington, D.C. The irregular shape of the site, a trapezoid, presented a distinctive problem. Through simple sketches, Pei discovered dividing the site into two isosceles triangles solved the issue, providing separate spaces for the two different programs of the building – a museum and study-center/office facility – as well as nestling the building on its site between the intersection of Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues. The large, central atrium unites the two sections while simultaneously providing a place for circulation.

Born in China, I.M. Pei moved to the United States to study architecture. He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from MIT before joining the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Between 1948 and 1958, Pei worked for Webb and Knapps. He then established his own firm that would later become Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Pei’s taste for design has been noticed and appreciated by many. He has won numerous awards, including an AIA Gold Medal (1979), the Pritzker Prize (1983), Praemium Imperiale for Architecture (1989), and the Royal Gold Medal (2010) among others. Pei and his associates firmly believe in architecture that relates directly with its context. Each design challenge is approached from its unique sense of place within a city. There is never a single solution for every problem; rather, each problem requires a fresh look to create a building that exists in harmony with its surroundings. This perspective lends Pei the ability to bridge a variety of architectural styles in order to create something best suited to the site, its program, and the community it serves.


Exercise 6 Concept Development Our goal was to further the our concepts by applying transformations to our site. Once I had settled on a design, I worked on differentiating the spaces in my building. Through these preliminary sketches, I was able to find a solution to separating the spaces in this gallery.

Cutting Down the Site

Sliding Along the Axis

Separating the Two Pieces

Morphing to the Site

Reattaching

Section Concepts


Exercise 7 Client Letters The objective of this exercise was to provide a limited scope to our project in order to design a building that had a specific end goal in mind. I decided to create a live-in studio and art gallery for international artists visiting Savannah. I wrote my letters based on this prospective design, selecting a fictional client who would request such a building.

501 Whitaker  Street   Savannah,  GA  31401     January  10,  2013    

Ms. Emily  Geppert   Partner,  Pei  Cobb  Freed  &  Partners   88  Pine  Street   New  York,  NY  10005     Dear  Ms.  Geppert,     I  am  writing  to  you  on  the  behalf  of  the  Savannah  Arts  Foundation  to  ask  you  to  consider   undertaking   the   design   for   a   gallery   and   studio   space   located   in   the   Historic   District   of   Savannah,  GA.    Our  organization  desires  to  build  the  Live  Art  Studio   and  Gallery   to  establish   a   place   for   visiting   artist   to   live   and   work   while   simultaneously   hosting   exhibits   of   their   completed  and  in-­‐progress  art.    Our  mission  through  this  project  is  to  bring  the  community   together  in  an  environment  where  they  are  pushed  to  learn  more  about  the  creative  world   by   interacting   with   art   through   its   various   stages   of   construction   and   following   its   progression  from  conceptual  to  concrete.     The  studio  program  includes  private  living  spaces  for  the  visiting  artists,  public  access  studio   spaces  where  they  can  work,  and  a  public  gallery  to  showcase  their  completed  pieces.    The   property  we  have  selected  is  located  on  the  West  end  of  the  prominent  River  Street,  just  off   the   main   thoroughfare   of   Bay   Street   and   surrounded   by   an   artistic   community   that   includes   students  of  the  Savannah  College  of  Art  and  Design.     Our  hope  for  the  design  is  one  that  meshes  seamlessly  with  the  site  and  works  within  the   existing  context,  yet  sets  itself  apart  in  form  as  well  as  function.    We  want  to  add  a  hub  of   creative  energy  to  this  area  that  appeals  to  both  the  established  residents  of  this  community   as  well  as  those  just  passing  through.     I  greatly  appreciate  you  taking  the  time  to  consider  accepting  our  proposal.    I  look  forward   to  hearing  from  you.       Sincerely,     Arnold  Wright     Executive  Director,  Savannah  Arts  Foundation  

88 Pine  Street   New  York,  NY  10005     January  23,  2013    

Mr. Arnold  Wright   Savannah  Arts  Foundation   501  Whitaker  Street   Savannah,  GA  31401     Dear  Mr.  Wright,     As  a  partner  of  the  Pei  Cobb  Freed  &  Partners,  I  firmly  believe  in  a  design  that  directly  relates   to  its  context.    We  approach  each  of  our  projects  from  the  viewpoint  of  a  place  that  has  to   exist   in   the   greater   whole   of   a   city.     This   design   philosophy   seems   to   mesh   well   with   the   intentions  you  have  for  the  development  of  your  Live  Arts  Studio  &  Gallery,  and  I  am  pleased   to  inform  you  that  I  will  be  able  to  accept  your  project.         The  site  you  have  chosen  for  this  gallery  is  an  excellent  choice.    It  is  steeped  in  history,  yet   has  not  been  overrun  by  the  city  in  its  quest  for  modernization.    It  has  survived  the  hotels   and  tourists  and  stands  as  a  tribute  to  what  Savannah  is  at  its  core,  so  I  believe  it  will  make   an  excellent  location  for  a  gallery  and  studio.     I  hope  that  in  further  correspondence  we  will  be  able  to  settle  on  a  design  concept  that  you   find  suitable.    My  desire  is  to  build  something  that  adds  onto  the  landscape  and  settles  into   it  as  a  part  of  the  site  itself.    I  will  develop  this  through  careful  examination  and  study  of  the   site  and  surrounding  area  as  well  as  the  historical  precedents  that  have  been  put  in  place  in   the  district.  

I look  forward  to  working  with  you.       Sincerely,     Emily  Geppert     Partner,  Pei  Cobb  Freed  &  Partners  


Exercise 8

What is the central concept or idea that drives your project and consequentially helps you make important design decisions? My central concept is the idea of unfolding architecture. This idea mimics the design process of the artists that will be living and working in this studio. Just as their pieces unfold, so does the architecture.

What ecological impact does your project have on this site? My project sits within the site and makes itself a part of the landscape, yet differentiates itself. It works with the existing pathways, but modifies then to become a part of the building and its program.

Project Centering The objective of this exercise was to help us focus our design efforts. We were given a series of questions that would help us reconsider the design decisions we had made thus far.

What influence has the previous analysis stage played in your design scheme and what logical design process have you followed throughout this project?

What role does scale and movement play in the perception of the site and the design in this urban environment?

The previous analysis has allowed me to gather a better understanding of the site on which this studio will reside. The careful processing and recording of data gave me insight into the potential problems that I will run into as well as the beneficial parts of the site that would be worth highlighting in my design.

When approached from two different locations, the gallery leaves two very different impressions. The scale of the North side is of human proportions. It sits unobtrusively on the site, and it is even dwarfed by the surrounding context. The South side, however, is of a much grander scale, effectively dwarfing the context. The curious user will be drawn in by the meandering pathways to the entrance.

How have you gathered and applied information about human needs, behavior, and inspirations to inform the design process?

How does your project address the organizational and spatial issues?

I have looked at the need for sunlight, circulation, airflow, and views to inform my design process. I worked on including all of the elements in my design concept in a way that allows them all to be utilized by the users.

There is a clear differentiation between the public and private spaces. The largest portion is devoted to the main user: the public. The smaller portion makes up the private living and studio spaces.


Exercise 8

How does your design utilize vegetation as space making and character giving elements?

What historical architectural precedents have helped you determine your design?

My space utilizes vegetation to create sight barriers between each part of the site, effectively allowing the building to unfold visually as the viewer traverses the site.

I used the historic vernacular of architecture in Savannah to inform my building. The brick facades evoke the era of the original city and become the cornerstone on which the central concept for the building is built. The building unfolds from this rich past to become a thing of the present and an even greater future.

What role has the gestural sketch played in the design and representation of this project?

What technical ideas have helped you determine your design?

Gestural ketch has helped me to process the essential elements of my building, reducing the unnecessary elements and revealing the most important aspects.

The desire to use a traditional facade led me to using a traditional load-bearing wall structural system. This system creates a parameter under which the design must fall in order to be structurally sound.

How are handicapped codes and site restrictions manifested in your design thinking and building/site making?

What has been the greatest site design challenge in this project?

Handicap codes and restrictions dictated the movement into my building. The length of the ramp needed forces the user to slowly meander up to the entrance and lets the building unfold in a controlled manner. This slow approach prevents the viewer from being overwhelmed and instead allows him the time to process and appreciate the building.

The greatest challenge was working with the drastic slope of the site. This slope presented many issues with transferring users from the top to the bottom of the site which forced my design to behave in a way that facilitated an ease of movement through the site.


Exercise 9 Questions and Answers The objective of these exercises was to expose to a variety of architectural texts that would help us to deepen our knowledge of the profession. Our task was to read to given texts and prepare a discussion question and answer it thoroughly.

“Richard Serra, “Richard   A Translation” Serra,  a  Translation”  Question  and  Answer  

Visual Notes

regards to   movement.     This   constantly   shifting   point   of   view   causes   them   to   have   an   ever-­‐changing  

learning how   to   take   visual   notes,   implying   that   it   is   something   not   often   taught   to   the   public.     If  

Visual Notes  Question  and  Answer  

Question:   Richard   Serra   created   his   sculpture   Shift   based   on   the   human   perception   of   horizon   in  

Question:   Visual   Notes   by   Norman   Crowe   and   Paul   Laseau   prescribes   itself   as   the   handbook   for  

perspective of   the   piece.     How   are   cultures   similarly   influenced   by   their   varied   perception   of   a  

such a   handbook   needed   to   be   written,   I   must   ask   the   question   why.     Why   has   the   art   of   visual   note  

another reason?  

single idea  (or  “horizon”)?  

     Crystal  Palace,  London  

taking lost   its   value   in   our   society?     Is   the   invention   of   the   camera   the   only   reason,   or   is   there  

Genius Loci: “NaturalVisual Place” “Man-Made Place” Notes  Qand uestion   and  Answer  

Question:  How  does  architecture  seek  to  mimic  the  natural  world  through  its  manipulation  of  the   human  response?  

                             Schlesinger  and  Meyer  Department  Store,  Chicago  

Answer:   While   Serra   experimented   with   only   the   human   scale   of   perception,   he   inadvertently  

modeled a  situation  true  within  cultures  as  a  whole.    Though  geared  towards  a  single  experience,  

Serra’s piece   offers   insight   into   how   a   culture’s   location   in   time   can   affect   its   acceptance   and   integration  of  a  single  idea.    An  idea  may  be  offered  identically  to  each  culture,  but  their  individual   perspective  of  this  so-­‐called  “horizon”  is  unique  to  each.    Take  for  instance  the  Crystal  Palace  and   the  Schlesinger  and  Meyer  Department  Store.    Both  were  born  out  of  the  pursuit  of  metal  –  iron  and  

steel –   as   a   new   building   structure   and   basis   (their   “horizon”),   yet   each   achieved   a   form   and  

function that  was  vastly  different  from  the  other  due  to  their  unique  perceptions  and  desires.  

Answer:  I  must  first  take  a  look  at  the  direction  this  society  has  traveled  in  recent  decades.    Left-­‐

brained thinking  has  come  into  greater  focus  than  it  once  was.    School  systems  in  particular  push   this  idea,  placing  greater  emphasis  on  a  student’s  ability  to  think  analytically,  learn  new  languages,  

or reason.     Meanwhile,   art   programs   and   other   such   creativity-­‐driven   courses   are   diminishing.    

Even with  what  is  left,  the  perspective  of  these  has  changed  over  the  years,  the  idea  becoming  that   they  are  only  for  the  artistically  talented  student  and  of  no  consequence  for  those  who  are  not.    This  

shift in   view   leaves   the   students   that   struggle   most   in   the   area   of   visual   note   taking   without   the  

ability to  learn  it.    While  the  invention  of  the  camera  did  not  create  this  problem,  it  fueled  the  idea   by  allowing  a  fallacy  that  the  camera  creates  equivalent  visual  notes  as  the  human  hand  to  form.  

Answer:  I  believe  the  natural  world  is  something  that  is  perceived  by  our  brains  as  supernatural   phenomena.     This   is   especially   true   of   spaces   that   extend   beyond   the   norm,   such   as   unique   rock  

formations or  tall  mountains.    When  we  interact  with  such  spaces,  the  beauty  of  creation  can  stun   us.     Architecture   itself   is   merely   a   manifestation   of   the   human   desire   to   experience   such  

phenomenon.   Humans   yearn   for   interaction   with   spaces   that   provide   an   experiential   moment,   whether   they   are   natural   or   man-­‐made.     Architects   can   satisfy   this   desire   by   using   the   elements  

presented by  nature  to  create  similar  experiences  within  their  own  creations.  


-

Exercise 9 Design Development After extensively analyzing the site, I narrowed in on the key issues I wanted to address with my gallery. The sight lines of the site are especially important due to the surrounding buildings. Only a narrow view of the river is offered and I wanted to capitalize on that. A secondary influence for my design was the established pedestrian movement through the site. I wanted to keep the original flow of the site, but modify it in a way that brings the viewer down and around the gallery.

Views from Site

Sight Lines and North/South Axis of the Site

Pedestrian Circulation


Exercise 9 Site Exploration The site’s existing conditions and orientation informed my initial building plan. I worked with he sight lines of the site as well as the north/south axis that run through the site as the basis for the plan.

Site Plan Exploration Sketches

Site Plan Exploration Sketches Including Landscape


Savannah, GA

Summer Solstice 9am

Summer Solstice 12pm

Summer Solstice 3pm

Section Summer Solstice 12pm

Quito, Ecuador

Summer Solstice 9am

Summer Solstice 12pm

Summer Solstice 3pm

Section Summer Solstice 12pm

Toronto, Canada

Exercise 9 Shadow Studies

Summer Solstice 9am

Summer Solstice 12pm

Summer Solstice 3pm

Section Summer Solstice 12pm

I looked at the way sunlight and shade affected my site and building in different locations. I chose the current site in Savannah, Toronto, and Quito as the three comparisons to see how location changes the way the sun affects a building.


Savannah, GA

Winter Solstice 12pm

Winter Solstice 3pm

Section Winter Solstice 3pm

Quito, Ecuador

Winter Solstice 9am

Winter Solstice 12pm

Winter Solstice 3pm

Section Winter Solstice 3pm

Toronto, Canada

Exercise 9

Winter Solstice 9am

Winter Solstice 9am

Winter Solstice 12pm

Winter Solstice 3pm

Section Winter Solstice 3pm


A

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Williamson St

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Site Plan

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Roof 60' - 0"

Level 4 48' - 0"

Level 3 36' - 0"

Level 2 24' - 0"

Level 1 12' - 0"

Basement 0' - 0"

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South Elevation

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East Elevation

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West Elevation

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Basement Plan

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Second Floor Plan

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Fourth Floor Plan

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Basement Storage – 1670 sf Private Living – 420 sf Private Bedroom (2) – 110 sf Private Bath – 52 sf First Floor Entry – 860 sf Office/Administration – 718 sf Rest room – 64 sf Private Living – 715 sf Patio – 1500 sf Second Floor Gallery – 912 sf Rest room – 64 sf Private Studio – 715 sf Third Floor Gallery – 1590 sf Rest room – 64 sf Fourth Floor Gallery – 1590 sf Rest room – 64 sf

Qualitative Program

Quantitative Program

Exploded Axonometric


Seattle Public Library

Seattle, Washington 2004 This building uses a skeletal structural system with a glass exterior shell. A common diamond module was utilized to create the mullions for the glass cladding. The curtain wall is entirely custom-made for this building, which allowed the designers greater freedom in their design by giving them the ability to carefully control each design element.


Chapel In Villeaceron

AlmadĂŠn, Ciudad Real, Spain 2001 This is a concrete structure that relies on it carefully folded nature for stability.


Darcons Headquarters

Delicias City, Mexico 2008 The skin of this building is folded over itself with spaces being divided through the use of opaque versus transparent materials.

Architecture Fundamentals II  

I designed a propsective art gallery and artist residence in downtown Savannah, GA.

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