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Sharon Johnston / Mark Lee

The Architectural Double in the Museum City


Fall 2015

Studio Report


Sharon Johnston / Mark Lee

The Architectural Double in the Museum City


The Architectural Double in the Museum City

Studio Instructor Sharon Johnston / Mark Lee

This studio examines the notions of the Museum City and the Architectural Double through the design of a new freestanding building for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. In the design of museums, biennials, or expositions, the planning of a single building often approximates a form of proto-urbanism. The Museum City adopts a reverse position and postulates that the planning of a city could instead approximate the model of a museum, where buildings are curated, exhibited, and preserved within the city as if they are artifacts in a museum. The concept of doubling is associated with the act of replication. Within the Museum City, the Architectural Double relies on synchronous opposites rather than direct duplication to amplify the curated artifact. The studio takes Chicago’s original Museum of Contemporary Art as a point of departure in designing an Architectural Double—a new building of the exact size and program as a counterpoint to the original on an adjacent site. Together, the museums form an urban diptych and become a singular artifact.

Teaching Associate Maria Letizia Garzoli Students Myrna Ayoub, Michael Charters, Stephanie Conlan, Allison Cottle, Cameron DeLargy, John Going, Ben Halpern, Justin Jiang, Insu Kim, Christian Lavista, Ramzi Naja, Poap Panusittikorn, Michael Piscitello, Snoweria Zhang Mid-Review Critics Cristina Parreño Alonso, Nuno Brandão Costa, Andrew Holder, Kiel Moe, Carles Muro Final Review Critics Iñaki Ábalos, Emanuel Christ, Preston Scott Cohen, Christoph Gantenbein, Reto Geiser, Ricardo Bak Gordon, Simon Hartmann, Mariana Ibanez, Florian Idenburg, Mohsen Mostafavi, Stephen Phillips, Camilo Restrepo Ochoa, Ken Smith, Martino Stierli, Karen Stein


Title

6


8

Contraries Need a Good Reason Emanuel Christ

12

The Architectural Double in the Museum City Sharon Johnston / Mark Lee

17

The Museum City

41

The Architectural Double

44

John Going

50

Snoweria Zhang

58

Justin Jiang

64

Michael Piscitello

70

Myrna Ayoub

74

Insu Kim

80

Michael Charters

88

Poap Panusittikorn

96

Ramzi Naja

100

Stephanie Conlan

108

Ben Halpern

116

Allison Cottle

124

Christian Lavista

134

Two Deserted Islands Mark Lee

142 Contributors

Entrance to Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago from Mies van der Rohe Way.


8

Contraries Need a Good Reason

Emanuel Christ

Every architectural design references models of one sort or another; there is no such thing as unprecedented architecture. Each building is new and unique in and of itself, yet it is bound to have deep historical foundations. In a sense, any good building carries other good buildings within it. It is next to impossible to sketch a new building without contextualizing it among existing examples, and this is why we architects take such a strong interest in history. Learning from history, whether for theoretical or practical ends, is endlessly fascinating. When sketching a design, we look to concrete historical examples and draw inspiration from them. They are simultaneously a spur and a warning. Most importantly, we are able to fall back on an enormous treasure trove of collective knowledge and past experience. It would be downright reckless for us to push these resources aside, and so we draw analogies and weave something new out of the old. Design becomes an act of remembrance and connectivity, as well as a means to spin thematic or cultural relationships—to activate passed-down knowledge in a passionate, yet considered and critical, manner. In their studio, “The Architectural Double in the Museum City,” Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee make the central focus of inquiry this relationship between model and new, original design. The double—pure imitation—represents this relationship


9 View of MCA Chicago from the west with Lake Michigan beyond.


Contraries Need a Good Reason

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at its most extreme. And therein lie the strength and the appeal of the proposed exercise in this design course. Explicit reference to an existing building automatically catapults the design into the fruitful field between the poles of analogy and rebuttal. Every design decision must clarify the fundamental question: Should it be more of the same, or something completely different? For example, should the spatial organization of the access routes be retained? If so, why? And if not, why not? Adolf Loos always argued that any design solution and, likewise, any form that has proven its worth should be replaced only when, in the light of contemporary circumstances, it no longer fulfills its purpose. In addition, any solution or form that no longer serves any purpose should be instantly scrapped. To this day, Loos’s conservative yet fundamental modernism has lost none of its relevance. The student design projects created in Sharon and Mark’s studio show that in the question of same versus different, the urge to create something new tends to win the upper hand. Many of the designs make only vague reference to the existing museum—presumably, the young students found the existing building to be an unconvincing model. Their extensive modifications of the original museum design were likely due to the fact that the difficult constellation of doubling led students to aim instead at complementarity. To deal in opposites—open and closed, above ground and below, bright and dark—is a simple, popular, and effective design strategy. Whatever is new is then, to a large extent, the opposite of what came before. For precisely this reason, the relationship between the two is direct and instantly identifiable. One must ask oneself, however, whether this primarily rhetorical relationship actually has any real quality. An exact opposite always leaves the viewer somewhat puzzled, asking, “So what?” Contraries need a good reason for being. It is only by bringing to a situation whatever it patently lacks that oppositions make sense, for this alone gives rise to something truly different or new, instead of to novelty for its own sake. Only then do the new and the old together produce a novel whole that is dialectical in the true


sense of the term. This is the wonderful lesson to be learned from Mark and Sharon’s studio. O. M. Ungers would surely have enjoyed it.

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Emanuel Christ

February 8, 2016


12

The Architectural Double in the Museum City

Sharon Johnston Mark Lee

The Architectural Double in the Museum City examined the notions of the “museum city” and the “architectural double” through the design of a new freestanding building for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Chicago). City as Museum In the design of museums, biennials, or expositions, the planning of a single building often approximates a form of proto-urbanism. The Museum City adopts a reverse position and postulates that the planning of a city could instead approximate the model of a museum, where buildings are curated, exhibited, and preserved within the city as if they are artifacts in a museum. While building a collection necessitates an act of accumulation, curating it necessitates an act of reduction as the very basis of articulating the collection. By reducing the scope of building types to focus on cultural institutions as the anchors around which the Museum City is built, the studio concentrated on the museum as an urban attractor that affects and responds to the development and growth around it. Architectural Double The concept of doubling is associated with the act of replication. Within the Museum City, the Architectural Double relies


13 View from the southeast of the MCA Chicago and sculpture garden within an urban canyon.


A New Museum of Contemporary Art Designed by Josef Paul Kleihues and completed in 1996, the MCA building was conceived from a Neo-Rationalist perspective. With a relentless and uniform grid, the building aspired to construct an architectural dialogue that would bridge two modes of architecture—those represented by Schinkel’s Altes Museum on the one hand and Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie on the other. Situated on an open, gently sloping park space in an urban canyon, the MCA is positioned as a transverse block within the city grid and links the pedestrian thoroughfare of Michigan Avenue to Lake Michigan. Twenty years after the current structure was built, the museum’s collection and programming have outgrown their facilities and will need to double in size, requiring a new building separated from the old by a sculpture garden. The studio began with students conducting research on examples of the Architectural Double and studying the city of Chicago as a museum. Each student then designed a

The Architectural Double in the Museum City

14

on synchronous opposites rather than direct duplication to amplify the curated artifact. Because it replicates only once, the Architectural Double is neither one nor many. It extends O. M. Ungers’s notion of the Dialectical City to the notion of coincidentia oppositorum— the unity of opposites. By perpetuating a persistent dialogue between the original and the copy, the Double emphasizes contrasts between sameness and difference, between one type of architecture and another, between the ideology and style of the recent past and those of today. All of these issues are in constant oscillation within the Architectural Double. The studio took the original Museum of Contemporary Art as a point of departure in designing a Double—a new building of the exact same size and program as a counterpoint to the original on an adjacent site. As a doppelgänger of the existing building, the new one must incorporate what was inarticulate or weak in the original as a component of a new coherent whole, turning it into something positive. Together, the museums form an urban diptych and become a singular artifact.


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Sharon Johnston / Mark Lee

14,000-square-meter New Museum of Art on Lake Shore Park. The new and old buildings are separated by a sculpture garden with a footprint exactly identical to that of each building. Throughout the semester, individual projects were reevaluated at different stages of development in relation to the original.


16


The collective studio research examined Chicago’s rich architectural history through the lens of high-rise building technology and major cultural institutions. The polycentric analysis of the Museum City—the city as a collection of object buildings—constituted our urban and site research through the production of two maps and two taxonomies, each including the existing Museum of Contemporary Art (1996) by Josef Paul Kleihues. The research was compiled in the first half of the semester with the understanding that each student proposal for the new MCA Chicago would not only establish a unique dialogue with the existing building, but would also join these two lineages.

Rear view of the back of MCA Chicago from Lake Shore Park, site of the studio's projects.

17

The Museum City


18

Chicago Architectural Lineage in the Museum City

The historic architectural lineage of Chicago is evident in a set of buildings located mostly within the Loop—the central business district bounded by the “looped” convergence of several of the city’s elevated rail lines. The collection of significant buildings there documents the rapid technological advancements in the pursuit of the skyscraper, from the load-bearing masonry walls of H. H. Richardson’s Marshall Field’s Wholesale Store (1885) to the unadulterated expression of the steel frame in Mies van der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive apartments (1949). Chicago’s historic buildings also present striking interpretations of the architectural double, including Holabird & Roche’s less-than-sensitive steelframed addition (1893) to Burnham & Root’s original masonry Monadnock Building (1891) and Mies’s twinned residential towers at 860–880 Lake Shore Drive.


B

A: Holabird & Roche, Louis Sullivan, Gage Group Buildings, 1898; 87,000 sq. ft.

B: John Root, Charles B. Atwood, Reliance Building, 1895; 70,000 sq. ft.

19

A


20

C

C: William Le Baron Jenney, First Leiter Building, 1879–1972; 165,000 sq. ft.

D

D: Holabird & Roche, Tacoma Building, 1889; 84,400 sq. ft.


E: Josef Paul Kleihues, Museum of Contemporary Art, 1996; 151,000 sq. ft.

21

E


22

F

F: William Le Baron Jenney, Second Leiter Building, 1889; 400,000 sq. ft.

G

G: Burnham & Root, Frank Lloyd Wright (Lobby), The Rookery Building, 1886; 290,000 sq. ft.


H: Henry H. Richardson, Marshall Field’s Wholesale Store, 1885; 400,000 sq. ft.

23

H


24

I

I: Mies van der Rohe, 860–880 Lake Shore Drive, 1949; 180,830 sq. ft.

J

J: Burnham & Root, Holabird & Roche, Monadnock Building, 1891–1893; 422,400 sq. ft.


K: Holabird & Roche, Marquette Building, 1895; 34,850 sq. ft.

25

K


26

L

L: Louis Sullivan, Dankmar Adler, Chicago Auditorium Building, 1889; 864,000 sq. ft.

M

M: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Inland Steel Building, 1957; 325,000 sq. ft.


N: Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham & Co., Carson, Pirie, Scott, and Company Building, 1899; 943,944 sq. ft.

27

N

Following spread: Axonometric map of Chicago's historic architectural lineage. Buildings within the Chicago Loop in center; MCA Chicago and 860–880 Lake Shore Drive at top right.


ELEV ATOR


30

Chicago Cultural Institutions in the Museum City

Following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the city proved its resurgence with the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the New World. Many of the city’s cultural institutions trace their roots back to the exposition, which was characterized by a neoclassical style mandated by Daniel Burnham, the head architect. Significantly, the 1909 Burnham Plan of Chicago, which was inspired by the fair’s “White City,” reshaped the city with an improved lakefront and an expanded network of parks, many of which contain museums as cultural attractors. The Burnham Plan is overlaid on the cultural institutions map, which then extracts and enlarges the parks to investigate the relationship of each museum to its site. The MCA Chicago is located in Lake Shore Park, a relatively small strip of green space in a high-rise urban canyon just north of the Chicago River, adjacent to Water Tower Place and the John Hancock Center.


B

A: Harboe Architects, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, 1896.

C

B: Daniel Burnham, DuSable Museum of African American History, 1915.

31

A

C: William Carbys Zimmerman, National Museum of Mexican Art, 1987.


32

D

D: Josef Paul Kleihues, Museum of Contemporary Art, 1996.

E

E: Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, Shedd Aquarium, 1930.


G

F: Perkins & Will, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 1999.

33

F

G: Billie Tsien & Tod Williams, Logan Center for the Arts, 2012.


34

H

H: Ernest Grunsfeld Jr., Adler Planetarium, 1930.

I

I: Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, Field Museum of Natural History, 1921.


J: Mayers, Murray & Phillip, Oriental Institute Museum, 1919.

35

J


36

K

K: Charles B. Atwood of Burnham & Co., Museum of Science and Industry, 1933.


L: Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, Renzo Piano (Modern), Art Institute of Chicago, 1893, 2008.

37

L

Following spread: Chicago cultural institutions and their parks extracted from the 1909 Burnham Plan.


39


Title

40


The Architectural Double

44

John Going

50

Snoweria Zhang

58

Justin Jiang

64

Michael Piscitello

70

Myrna Ayoub

74

Insu Kim

80

Michael Charters

88

Poap Panusittikorn

96

Ramzi Naja

100

Stephanie Conlan

108

Ben Halpern

116

Allison Cottle

124

Christian Lavista

Previous page: Atrium of the MCA Chicago.


42 Sectional models.


43


44

John Going

As one approaches the fortress-like MCA Chicago, the large, glazed facade at its center implies a similarly enormous interior space just beyond. Upon entering, however, one finds a narrow, passage-like atrium the width of a single eight-meter structural bay. Though quite thin, this fissure has the effect of splitting the museum in two, creating an extremely divided experience for the visitor. To make matters worse, the museum’s largest galleries sit alongside the atrium, further constricting it and obscuring all additional programs from the museumgoer at the periphery. Taking the original museum and its organizational deficiencies as a point of departure, the Architectural Double draws from the generous, palazzo-like atrium spaces found around Chicago in projects such as the Rookery and Marshall Field’s. Expanding on these examples, the Architectural Double serves as a foil to the original MCA building. It inflates the atrium to its maximum extent, inverting the relationships between atrium, gallery, and auxiliary program. Galleries are pushed to the edges of the site to form an attenuated ring of enfilade spaces; two intersecting bars, impregnated with additional programs, cross the atrium and offer passage between gallery levels. The new building, in responding to the weaknesses of the Kleihues design, joins the latter in a unity of opposites. The Architectural Double’s interior offers what might have been expected within the original MCA, and together they act as a unified whole.


45 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


46

The Architectural Double

A


47

John Going


The Architectural Double

48 Rendering of gallery and atrium beyond.


49

John Going Rendering of atrium at lobby level.


50

Snoweria Zhang

The MCA Chicago is lifted off the ground by a plinth, and its imposing, elevated facade is broken by a central staircase. The stair is the most prominent feature of the facade; it becomes the facade. The Architectural Double expands upon the idea of inhabitable infrastructure and treats circulation as the main frontage of the building. At each threshold of the Architectural Double, one is confronted with a wide set of stairs that dominates the entire visual field. The stairs are both the main exhibition space and the dominant mode of circulation. The interior, with the aid of carefully calibrated lighting, becomes a kind of pseudo-exterior. The MCA used to provide a view onto the lake. Because the existence of the Architectural Double obstructs that line of sight, the stairs tease museumgoers with the question of what is at the end of their climb. Atop the new building, a double-height exhibition space not only rewards visitors with a view to the west, but also acts as the summit of the whole exhibition sequence.


51 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


The Architectural Double

52


53

Snoweria Zhang


The Architectural Double

54 Rendering of main gallery from west entrance.


55

Snoweria Zhang Rendering of main gallery atrium from top of central staircase.


Title

56


57

Firstname Lastname


58

Justin Jiang

The incompatibility between the asymmetrical circulation the and the symmetrical galleries of the existing MCA Chicago prompted a response in its Architectural Double, where the geometry of the stair sequence centralizes the gallery space, buffers the back-of-house programs on the periphery, and introduces four large programs in the corners. As one progresses up the building, the gallery turns from an exterior space to an interior one and gradually expands to the grand reveal at the top. The openings to the central space are always pushed to the corners, encouraging viewers to fully circulate while allowing maximum display space. The top floor features a loose, nine-square grid and subdivides the space with clerestory lights and varying ceiling heights. The roof subdivision produces an additional reading of the massing, which connects with the neighboring Chicago skyscrapers. With its irregular roof and modular facade, the building straddles the boundary between office and museum types, object and monument.


59 Above: Axonometric drawings.

16’ 32’ 64’to right: Plans of level three, level Following0spread: Top, left four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


SECTION A - 1/16” = 1-0”

The Architectural Double

60


61

Justin Jiang


The Architectural Double

62 Rendering of office on level two.


63

Justin Jiang

0

Rendering of gallery on level three.


64

Michael Piscitello

The Architectural Double seeks to define meaning in architecture by rearticulating and inverting spatial systems rooted in the form of the existing MCA Chicago and the city. Tectonics and circulation serve as operative systems to reify latent relationships between the MCA and the city’s promenade. Taking the eight-meter structural-grid bays and the east-west axis of the Kleihues plan as departure points, and supported by a vertical steel-and-concrete slab system, the new design treats circulation as an extension of the park and city. The thin slabs, which can be extruded along any axis, thicken and deepen for service elements, cradle circulation at the perimeter, and partition volumes of gallery space. In contrast to the singular, monumental entrance of the existing MCA, the Architectural Double’s entrance sequence is a dynamic transition between city, ground, and building. From the sloping ground plane, the Architectural Double’s axiality and uniform repetition suggest that one could enter almost anywhere. Moving past the ground floor, one reaches galleries via a system of ramps, which inscribe the building’s outermost edge, inviting the user into a threshold space that both animates the exterior of the building and implies continuity with the city beyond. The journey upward concludes at a rooftop sculpture garden. The ground that once lay between the MCA and Lake Michigan is now displaced to a semi-enclosed space at the top of the Architectural Double, against the backdrop of the lake and the Museum City.


65 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


The Architectural Double

66


67

Michael Piscitello


The Architectural Double

68 Main stair and atrium at lobby level.


69

Michael Piscitello Ramp interior looking west to the city and east into gallery.


70

Myrna Ayoub

The project positions the Architectural Double in opposition to the existing Museum of Contemporary Art—specifically in the way the museum situates itself within the city and its surrounding neighborhood. The existing MCA Chicago expresses impermeability, ornateness, and dislocation of space; the Architectural Double rethinks these conditions through the concepts of symmetry and dissymmetry. On the west, the Architectural Double is in dialogue with the MCA; a curved facade hugs the existing building to create an intimate transition and gathering area. A new connection to the park on the east side funnels visitors into the museum, allowing them to gradually sink into the building, where the circulation plane extends from the park into the interior. The new museum has an open, lighter interior, quite unlike the existing MCA. The gallery and program occupy the center of the plan, while the north and south bars house service amenities and storage, creating compression to the west and east facades. The circulation throughout the museum allows the visitor to move through the site while remaining in contact with the building’s urban context—a value the introverted MCA does not currently provide.


71 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


The Architectural Double

72


73

Myrna Ayoub


74

Insu Kim

The Architectural Double responds to the characteristic features of the constructional grid and the axis of symmetry; it evolves from the MCA Chicago while maintaining the latter’s existing social significance and relationship to public space. The Architectural Double echoes and counterbalances the image of the MCA through a new formal expression that engenders fresh opportunities and spaces. It invites a broader range of activities in Lake Shore Park and offers views of Lake Michigan, while the original MCA building attracts pedestrians from Mies van der Rohe Way. The new museum maintains historical continuity and harmony using the MCA’s grid-androom organization. But it also delivers a different architectural dimension, with material, space, and lighting all offering strong contrasts to their counterparts in the original MCA. Designed on the same principles, but embodying contrasting features, the two museums together form a complementary whole.


75 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


DN

UP

DN UP

DN UP

DN UP

DN

DN

UP

UP

UP DN

UP

UP DN

PLAN - LEVEL 3 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

UP DN

UP DN

DN

PLAN - LEVEL 4 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

UP

DN UP

DN UP

76

UP

DN

UP

DN

UP

UP

UP

DN

Level 2

UP

UP

PLAN - BASEMENT - 1/16” = 1’-0”

SECTION A: EAST-WEST - 1/16” = 1’-0”

UP DN

PLAN - GROUND - 1/16” = 1’-0”

UP

UP DN

The Architectural Double

DN UP


DN

DN

REF.

DN

DN

DN

PLAN - LEVEL 5 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

DN UP

Level 3

77

Insu Kim

DN UP

DN

UP

DN

DN

UP DN

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PLAN - LEVEL 2 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

UP DN


The Architectural Double

78 Rendering of the sculpture hall with a veiw of naturally lit exhibition space and an entrance view of gallery with artificial lighting.


79

Insu Kim Rendering of a corridor leading to the gallery space, illustrating the perspectival view drawn from the grid.


80

Michael Charters

The project is an addition to the existing museum in the form of a stand-alone building with the same footprint and the same volume. The Architectural Double is separated from the original building by a garden—again with an identical footprint—and is connected to it via an underground passage. The proximity of the two buildings and their shared program generate an architectural dialogue recalling the concept of coincidentia oppositorum—the unity of opposites. The new addition completes the original, featuring a great hall beyond the existing monumental gate, and in so doing challenges the notion that empty, white boxes housed in decorated sheds represent the optimal setting in which to experience art. Concrete cylinders of various sizes act as containers, exhibiting individual sculptures in spaces with distinct atmospheres. The new building recalls grain silos—a common sight in the Midwest, and a type deeply influential to Le Corbusier and modern architecture in general. The hypostyle hall defined by the columns is open to the sky and the public; it is accessible only from the city. The exhibition spaces within the columns, by contrast, can be reached only from the existing museum.


81 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


The Architectural Double

82 EAST / WEST SECTION - 1/16” = 1-0”


83

Michael Charters


The Architectural Double

84 Spiral escalator moans as it carries visitors vertically toward an overhead skylight. The Martin Puryear piece, smelling fresh of maple, is seen from the intended perspective followed by closer, atypical scrutiny on ascent—verifying that the ladder is in fact not infitite.


85

Michael Charters Extruded islands exhibit sculpture in a sky garden. The perimeter glass volume embraces the islands, framing a collection of objects within a room within the city.


Title

86


87

Firstname Lastname


88

Poap Panusittikorn

The Architectural Double is conceived as a sunken mass that subverts the traditional museum cube. It inverts the MCA Chicago’s relationship to the ground and to the public, yet maintains the same fundamental spatial grid and preserves the MCA’s view of Lake Michigan. In contrast to the immovable opacity of the MCA’s plinth, the Architectural Double offers a porous threshold in the form of an arcade that surrounds a sunken courtyard, offering a glimpse from the perimeter into the world of art below. The courtyard, three stories underground, is at once connected to and disconnected from the city; skyscrapers are visible on the periphery beyond the walls of the museum, but they stand on a different plane. In the courtyard, the visitor’s relationship with the ground is again challenged, this time by a view still farther down—a smaller courtyard is nested within the bigger one. Here, on the deepest floor of the building, the visitor finds a pure gallery space, only connected to the outside via the small courtyard. The visitor’s relationship with the ground, changing constantly as he or she moves through the Architectural Double, offers a counterpoint to the consistent experience of the MCA, juxtaposing the two museums.


89 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level 16’ 32’ 64’to right: Plans 128’of level one, level 0 four, and level five. Middle, left two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


Down

Down

Up

Up

Up

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Up

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Up

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MCA

Up

Down

Up

Down

Up

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SITE PLAN - 1/32” = 1’-0” Up

Up

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The Architectural Double

90

Up


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91

Poap Panusittikorn

Up

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PLAN - UNDERGROUND 5 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

92

The Architectural Double

PLAN - UNDERGROUND 4 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

UNDERGROUND LEVEL 5

Rendering of gallery beneath the sunken courtyard.


SECTION 3 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

93

Poap Panusittikorn

SECTION 2 - 1/16” = 1’-0”

UNDERGROUND LEVEL 3

Rendering of the sunken courtyard.


Title

94


95

Firstname Lastname


96

Ramzi Naja

This project makes the Architectural Double itself a double. The doubling operates on several levels in challenging symmetrical repetition and traditional hierarchical formality, both of which are employed in the existing MCA Chicago. The designed addition is a planometric repetition of the grid from the original MCA combined with serial repetition that allows the building to read as two entities, though in fact the interior features a more complex form of repetition. Confronting the orderliness of symmetry, the project is experienced identically whether approached from the front or the rear. This is accomplished through the amalgamation of atypical modes of repetition to create an efficient space despite exaggerating the very issues that are seen as weaknesses and even problems in the existing MCA, such as the grid, the corner, and the decentralized vertical circulation.


97 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


FOOD SERVICE

ART STORAGE

ART STORAGE

SUPPORT

INFRASTRUCTURE

The Architectural Double

98

FOOD SERVICE


99

Ramzi Naja


100

Stephanie Conlan

The Architectural Double is constrained by the contextual and interior framework of the MCA Chicago, but seeks a new identity within a neutral object. By redeveloping the existing building’s perimeter form, the twin replaces the singular front with a curved extrusion. The museum’s perimeter is in direct conflict with the rigid Chicago city grid and Kleihues’s modular framework, allowing for a new sequence to unfold on the site. Each level of the museum is structured by a “grain” of parallel walls with the same basic dimensions as the corresponding level in the existing MCA. The new building has no clear “front”; the grain alternates from level to level, remaining axially aligned with the city grid, with each floor’s grain being perpendicular to that of the floors above and below. Even though the walls never shift towards the site’s oblique, however, the circulation they define produces a narrative throughout the building that is disconnected from the grid. Public movement is pushed to the periphery as one meanders in and out of galleries. The main stairs remain fixed in the same location on each level, yet force radial circulation because of their orientation to the grain. The slow speed of the procession offers a reappearing sequence of spaces and galleries.


101 0

Above: Axonometric drawings.

16’ 32’

64’

128’

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


The Architectural Double

102


103

Stephanie Conlan


The Architectural Double

104 Rendering of perimeter wall and interior grain.


105

Stephanie Conlan Rendering of cross grain gallery space.


Title

106


107

Firstname Lastname


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Ben Halpern

The design of a museum, as a collection of objects, typically approximates a form of proto-urbanism. Yet the city of Chicago may be described as a Museum City at the urban scale—the city as a collection of cultural attractor buildings. I extend the analogy back to the scale of architecture in a different way—the museum is a collection of rooms; it contains a non-hierarchical, open, and recognizable system of bounded objects. The building counters Kleihues’s relentless and introspective logic with one that is malleable and aware of its context. The rooms are pushed to the envelope, leaving a generous atrium that shifts in shape on each level, culminating in an off-center, triple-height, cylindrical drum. Catwalks support a cohesive flow through the galleries, while a controlled and spiraling path rises autonomously up the building, extending through the primary mass into its own drum. Like a cinema, the museum is a vision machine for the wandering spectator, activated by light and movement.


109 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


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112 Slits of context exposed with movement along a catwalk.


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Ben Halpern View of the path emerging autonomoustly up the atrium.


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Allison Cottle

The fundamental question this project asks is, “How can the old become new?� Inspired by studies of Chicago institutional precedents and the quirks of the existing MCA Chicago, this project reconsiders and reappropriates the barrel vault for use in a modern museum. The vault represents age, history, importance, and institutional power; this design builds on that rich symbolic value, overcoming traditional physical limitations to adopt new methods of construction and expression. Although the museum is new, it will forever be tied, both physically and symbolically, to what came before it. A cellular program is packed into the two lowest levels of the building; galleries occupy the upper levels. Boundaries between galleries are thickened to absorb all necessary service spaces, allowing floor plans to remain uninterrupted. Singleand double-height gallery spaces are nested within one another, collapsed into a perfectly square extrusion.


117 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


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120 Rendering of central atrium looking west toward the ICA.


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Allison Cottle Rendering of the upper level cafe looking east toward Lake Michigan.


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Christian Lavista

The other one, Borges, is the one to whom things happen. I wander through Buenos Aires, and pause, perhaps mechanically nowadays, to gaze at an entrance archway and its metal gate; I hear about Borges via the mail, and read his name on a list of professors or in some biographical dictionary. . . It’s no pain to confess that certain of his pages are valid, but those pages can’t save me, perhaps because good writing belongs to no one, not even the other, but only to language and tradition. For the rest, I am destined to vanish, definitively, and only some aspect of me can survive in the other. . . I am forced to survive as Borges, not myself (if I am a self), yet I recognize myself less in his books than in many others, less too than in the studious strumming of a guitar. Years ago I tried to free myself from him, and passed from suburban mythologies to games of time and infinity, but now those are Borges’s games and I will have to think of something new. Thus my life is a flight and I will lose all and all will belong to oblivion, or to that other. I do not know which of us is writing this page.

From “Borges and I,” Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings. Translated by A. S. Kline.


125 Above: Axonometric drawings.

Following spread: Top, left to right: Plans of level three, level four, and level five. Middle, left to right: Plans of level one, level two, and level three. Bottom: East-west site section.


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128 Rendering of the exterior; present remoteness.


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Christian Lavista Rendering of the interior; vanished population.


130 Massing models.


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132 Chicago trip and site visit, September 30–October 3, 2015.


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134 Top: O. M. Ungers, “Green Archipelago,” 1977.

Bottom: John Hejduk, “Victims,” 1984.


Mark Lee

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Two Deserted Islands


Two Berlin Islands Berlin’s 700-year history has involved island organizations of varying degrees of effectiveness. Certain models that responded to the city’s specific social and political circumstances at particular moments have taken on lives of their own and have been extrapolated from their original contexts to become global models. Two speculative models of “archipelago” organizations—the agglomeration of dense programs segregated from one another— stand out as prescient examples in exploring the relationship between island organizations and metropolitan forces.

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Islands and Boundaries While recent research in architecture has generated a set of theoretical inquiries into the dissolution of boundaries, this trajectory is being countered by a search for limits and the decisive definition of borders. On one hand, the impetus behind the dissolution of boundaries—whether substantiated by desires for interconnectivity, indeterminacy, or multiplicity—has seemingly reached an impasse. On the other hand, the proliferation of privatized, single-use programs such as gated communities, special economic zones, or tax havens has reinvigorated a renewed interest in segregated organizations and their impact on cities. Consequently, the study of island and archipelago organizations and their potential as generative models in the contemporary city has gained momentum within current discourse. Rather than viewing such island-like monocultures as fissures in the inclusive mentality of globalization, these organizational models provide opportunities to promote alternative forms of connectivity through the precise demarcation of limits and borders. Characterized by impermeable, hard boundaries and limited checkpoints, island and archipelago organizations are spatial segregation taken to the extreme: a world of fragmentation where definition triumphs over blurring, separation over combination, and destination over nomadism.


plating its future at a time of urban crisis and depopulation. Ungers realized that the center of the city could no longer be maintained by the conventional approach of restoration, and that a new model was needed as a response to population shrinkage in a walled-in island with definitive borders. But instead of viewing the post-war city as a crisis that needed rectification, Ungers radically treated the existing condition of the city as a projective model for Berlin’s future. After surveying the remains of the city, Ungers and his team selected parcels of the existing urban fabric that stood out for their historic, social, and environmental identities and their relevance for West Berlin. Through a process of demolition and infill, the enclaves were then defined, sculpted, and turned into archaeological artifacts—liberated from the anonymity of the city and transformed into quasi-islands. The empty spaces between the

“Berlin as Green Archipelago” In 1977, Ungers collaborated with a group of architects on an urban project for the city of West Berlin. Titled “Berlin as Green Archipelago,” the project consisted of approximately 60 isolated “urban islands” floating within the ocean of open spaces surrounded by the Berlin Wall. Characterized by the extreme spatial contrast between enclaves of densely urban fabric and the vast emptiness caused by wartime destruction, the city of West Berlin was contem-

islands were then to be filled in by forest over time, turning West Berlin into an archipelago of dense urban islands in a sea of greenery. While the green forest could be seen as mere infill compensation for Berlin’s former density—a placeholder for the city’s future growth—the islands containing Berlin’s quintessential DNA were preserved and embalmed by the forest to ensure the continuity of the city’s identity. Although generated as a temporal response to a specific geopolitical context, and often considered a transitional, purgatorial model for Berlin’s future growth, the “Berlin as Green

Left: figure-ground diagram of “Berlin as Green Archipelago.”

Right: redistributed figure-ground diagram of “Berlin as Green Archipelago.”

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The first is O. M. Ungers’s “Berlin as Green Archipelago,” in which depopulation is treated as a future model for walled-in West Berlin. The second is John Hejduk’s “Victims,” in which anthropomorphic buildings wander within a walled camp. Although different in scale and intention, both models are composed of isolated, dense, and defined artifacts surrounded by residual and unprogrammed spaces and contained within a hard boundary. Both are paradigmatic models for the city; both rely on the amount of distance between islands for their efficacy; both are models of smaller islands within a larger island. They differ, however, when examined in light of Gilles Deleuze’s distinction between “continental” and “oceanic” islands—one model is the former and the other the latter. While both seemingly take an isolationist posture, each instigates new forms of connectivity through the introduction of hard boundaries.


Victims Hejduk began his theater masque series two years after Ungers’s “Berlin as Green Archipelago.” Named after Carnival rituals, the masque series advanced a theatrical model for the city whereby buildings were scripted as characters that played out their respective roles. Starting with the “Berlin Masque” of 1979, the series developed into the “Lancaster/Hanover

Hejduk defined and enclosed the site for “Victims” with two layers of tall hedges, between which a tram circulates. Not unlike the double-tiered Berlin Wall with limited checkpoints, the site is entered through a control point by way of a bus stop from which visitors proceed over a drawbridge and through a gatehouse. Within the hedges the site is colonized by a grid of young evergreens, which were to reach full maturity over the course of the first 30-year cycle. Over the second 30-year cycle, Hejduk offered the citizens of Berlin the opportunity to insert any number of his 67 anthropomorphic structures, or “Victims,” into the site, as well as the opportunity to decide upon the time sequence of their construction and their relationships with one another. As with his earlier “masques,” Hejduk emphasized the individual, discrete buildings by employing elemental biomorphism and typological variations to create the mytholo-

Masque” of 1982 and finally culminated in the 1984 project “Victims.” “Victims” was designed for the PrinzAlbrecht-Palais competition for a memorial park on an old Gestapo site in Berlin. Planned as an incremental piece to be created over two 30-year periods, the project tested the transferability of the islands-within-an-island model from the urban scale of Ungers’s “Green Archipelago” to an architectural scale and, in many ways, became a microcosm of Ungers’s project.

gized structures. Often situated on motorized wheels or limb-like supports, the structures are characterized by a lack of stability or permanence. Each structure is complete and figural; each structure is an island in its own right. But unlike Hejduk’s previous masques, in which the transient individual structures are isolated, most of the structures in “Victims” are precariously connected to one another, touching without interlocking. The “Victims” maintain their autonomy while implying a loosely held-together network.

Left: figure-ground diagram of “Victims.”

Right: redistributed figure-ground diagram of “Victims.”

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Archipelago” project produced a paradigmatic model for island organizations that transcended its origins. Unlike Colin Rowe’s “Collage City,” Ungers’s “Dialectical City” was achieved through the clear definition of the borders of each entity, separated by an abundance of space without overlap or collision. Instead of healing the wounds of the war, Ungers exacerbated the differences among the islands through definition and distance, turning Berlin into a Noah’s Ark of the city’s future.


Desert Islands Within Deleuze’s endogenous framework of “Desert Islands,” the term “continental islands” refers to islands formed by separation from a continent, and “oceanic islands” to those emerging from the ocean. In the case of continental islands, the ocean is understood as always being on top of the earth; in the case of oceanic islands, the earth is always conceived of as being under the ocean. Hejduk’s islands, being imported from without, are therefore essentially “oceanic,” while Ungers’s islands, having once been part of a larger urban fabric, are fundamentally “continental.” While different in origin, both continental and oceanic models rely on detachment as a means of generating an alternative connectivity. In both Hejduk’s and Ungers’s Berlin islands, the hard boundaries around the sites form new universes and allow for the smaller islands within to be removed from any sense of scale or reference. Although Hejduk’s islands operate at a scale between building and subject, and the scale of Ungers’s islands is between the urban and the metropolitan, both “Berlin as Green Archipelago” and “Victims” are heuristic models of island organizations that transcend scale. This is evident in Ungers’s drawings, in which the islands of urban fabric are given architectural form as single buildings, as well as in Hejduk’s drawings, where individual transients gather to generate the city. Consider a speculative redistribution of the smaller islands into a gridiron structure for both Berlin models: detached from their original relationship with one another, the smaller islands begin to relinquish their autonomy and form a new taxonomy of parts. The logic of this alchemical alphabet soup, in which new forms of connectivity begin to emerge within hard boundaries, is the precursor to what the “red follies” did for Bernard Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette or the “preservation islands” did for Rem Koolhaas’s plan for La Defense. Hejduk’s and Ungers’s islands in Berlin paved the way for

those Parisian islands. Their generative potential in architectural and urban design has yet to make itself fully manifest.

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While Aldo Rossi’s “Analogous City” treated the city as a static stage-set and backdrop for theatrical life, Hejduk’s version treated the city itself as the accumulation of dynamic individuals. Whereas Ungers provided stability in an unstable scene by treating the city as a museum of islands, Hejduk injected instability into a stable and quarantined city in which his “Victims” oscillate between the roles of contemplation and participation within a walled enclave.

The author would like to thank Christian Seidel, Christian Rutherford, Gabriel Coin, and the students at the Technical University of Berlin for their research and drawings of “Berlin as Green Archepelago,” and Lindsay Erickson for the drawings of “Victims.” This text originally appeared in San Rocco, Issue 1 (Islands), Spring 2011.


140 Midterm and final reviews, Fall 2015.


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Contributors

Sharon Johnston is a founder and Principal of Johnston Marklee. Employing her wide-ranging knowledge of diverse architectural practices, Sharon builds and directs distinguished collaborative teams tailored to each specific project. Working with artists, fabricators, and consulting engineers, Sharon directs teams to customize and integrate formal, material, and component-building systems into distinctive architectural solutions. Sharon is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a BA in History & Art History. She earned her architectural degree at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Mark Lee

Mark Lee is a founder and Principal of Johnston Marklee. Mark shapes Johnston Marklee’s collaborations with advanced research teams composed of innovative thinkers and designers from professional and academic disciplines. With deep knowledge of both architectural history and contemporary discourse and construction practices, Mark directs design teams through critical research while striving for efficiency and precision in production. Mark has written and lectured widely on his research regarding culture-specific landscapes and new strategies in material form and technology. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he earned a BA in Architecture. He earned his second architectural degree (MArch II) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He sits on the advisory board of Depart Foundation. Chris toph Gantenbein


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Christoph Gantenbein and partner Emanuel Christ graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in 1998. In the same year they founded their firm Christ & Gantenbein in Basel. The office's activity extends to a broad spectrum of projects— private and public commissions ranging from small transformations to housing, office buildings, bridges, and urban masterplans. One of their focal points is museum architecture: They are currently planning an extension to Basel’s Kunstmuseum, the renovation and extension of the Swiss National Museum in Zürich, as well as an extension to the WallrafRichartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud in Cologne. Completed projects are to be found in Switzerland, Germany, England, China, and Mexico.


Colophon

The Architectural Double in the Museum City Instructors Sharon Johnston / Mark Lee Report Editor and Design Ben Halpern Editorial Support Michael Eisenbrey, Claire Barliant, Travis Dagenais n Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design Mohsen Mostafavi Editor in Chief Jennifer Sigler Publications Coordinator Meghan Sandberg Series design by Laura Grey and Zak Jensen ISBN 978-1-934510-56-8 Copyright © 2016, President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Acknowledgments

Acknowledgements The studio trip to Chicago was made possible by the generous support of Enrique Suarez, Harley Ellis Devereaux, and Matthew Johnson, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. Image Credits Cover image: Ben Halpern Page 6: © MCA Chicago; Photo, Peter McCullough Page 9: © MCA Chicago; Photo, Nathan Keay Page 13: © MCA Chicago Page 16, 40, 132–33: Insu Kim Page 140–41: © Justin Knight The editors have attempted to acknowledge all sources of images used and apologize for any errors or omissions. Harvard University Graduate School of Design 48 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 publications@gsd.harvard.edu gsd.harvard.edu


Studio Report Fall 2015

Harvard GSD Department of Architecture

Students Myrna Ayoub, Michael Charters, Stephanie Conlan, Allison Cottle, Cameron DeLargy, John Going, Ben Halpern, Justin Jiang, Insu Kim, Christian Lavista, Ramzi Naja, Poap Panusittikorn, Michael Piscitello, Snoweria Zhang

ISBN 978-1-934510-56-8

9 781934 510568 >

The Architectural Double in the Museum City  

The Architectural Double in the Museum City, studio report, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Fall 2015. Instructors: Sharon Joh...