Issuu on Google+

temple of kephri: design process


This book serves as a narritive for my thesis project during my final semester in Kansas State University’s Master of Architecture program. It shows the inception and evolution of ideas through writing and process. It is dedicated to my studio-mates, who shared in the process, and my family, who showed me the value of working hard. Laruen


introduction | 06

exoskeleton | 10

structure | 18

sculpture | 12

program | 24

4

contents


contents site | 26

temple of kephri | 44

design process | 34

bibliography | 54

contents

5


introduction This studio course was about more than just the design process, it was about finding new approaches to a problem and celebrating the uncertainty that one might have. Our first day of class we were given a quick design charette: to design the Hall of Icarus. There were no wrong answers as to how we would percieve this hall, the objective was to present your design in a clear concise way, and whatever you do, just commit to it. This became a common theme in our studio this year. Creating more iterations of your work, created more opportunities for sucess. The more we were able to commit to an idea and either prove that it was incorrect or correct, the better the end result became. This semester was about taking a new approach to design. We began the semester by examining the exoskeleton of an insect. We then became more familiar with the exoskeleton by creating it in sculpture. This sculpture then led way to our sturcutral unit, which in turn created our structural system. It was only then that we began to see enclosure and program in these spaces. This ultimately resulted in our thesis questions. This process, though frustrating at times, resulted in designs that were not forced or common, they were original thoughts from a unique process. In this process, the most important piece I discovered was how critical it was to document every move you made while designing. Since we were rapidly transitioning from one idea to the next, being able to take a step back and capture the moments where your ideas changed was critical for realizing where you had opportunities for success.

figure 1 enlarged jewel beetle

introduction

7


What is the modern idea of sacred and how does this parallel with ancient sacred celebrations?

8

introduction


As a studio we were given the task of designing a sculpture derived from an exoskeleton. I was immediately intrigued by the irredescent qualities the jewel beetle posses. Scientists have been studing “jewel beetles” for the past few years, discovering their introcate cellular structure. The outer shell is made up of layers which reflect the light in a spiral reflection, intensifying their apperarance. When we transitioned our sculptures into structure, I was creating a structure to support this undulating surface. I focused on the geometry and the idea of the macro-micro scales within the hexagon creating layers of hexagons. When looking at the program for this structure, I looked into the ancient and modern interpretations of the jewel beetle. Today, the beetles shells are often used as a medium in art sculptures and jewelry, often being coined “the living jewel”. In ancient terms, the egyptians had a god with the head of a beetle, Khepri. Khepri was often depicted as a man with the beetle head or simply as a scarab, that was believed to push the sun across the sky. I decided to connect the two ideas of a metallic irridescent shell with the sun to create the Temple of Khepri. The space is located in Queens New York, at Gantry Plaza. This waterfront area is currently being revitalized and is an up and coming green space for Queens. Located parallel with 48 st. in Manhattan, the site is ideal for observing a sunlight phenomena, Manhattan-henge. Manhattan-henge is a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The term is derived from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. It was popularized in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. The dates of Manhattanhenge are usually around May 28 and July 12 or July 13 – spaced evenly around summer solstice. In 2011, Manhattanhenge occurred on May 31 at 8:17 p.m., and on July 12 (full sun) and 13 (half sun), both at 8:25 p.m. The temple will focus on the beetle’s reflectivity in the light, specifically during the summersolstice. Twice a year, sunlight will be able to pierce through Manhattan, into the temple, where it will bounce off a reflectiv surface creating a spectacle within the temple.

introduction

9


10

exoskeleton


exoskeleton figure 3 enlarged jewel beetle

An enlarged view of the jewel beetle’s exoskeleton reveals an elaborate cellular structure of five to seven sided geometrical shapes. Scientists have discovered that it is with this form, that the jewel beetle is able to reflect light in such a vibrant manner.

figure 2 enlarged jewel beetle

An enlarged view of the jewel beetle’s exoskeleton reveals an elaborate cellular structure of five to seven sided geometrical shapes. Scientists have discovered that it is with this form, that the jewel beetle is able to reflect light in such a vibrant manner.

exoskeleton

11


12


sculpture As a studio, we were given the task of designing a sculpture derived from an exoskeleton. I was immediately intrigued by the iridescent qualities the jewel beetle posses. Scientists have been studying jewel beetles for the past few years, discovering their intricate cellular structure. The outer shell is made up of layers that reflect the light in a double helix form, intensifying their bold colors. The undulating surface reads almost like a topography, changing colors as the shell’s form evolves. In the first iterations, I missed the mark as to what we meant by sculpture, a 3-dimensional object which is able to transcend its materiality in order to symbolize something else. This means if the sculpture looked like a stack of translucent plastic, it wasn’t doing its job of implying a new, unseen meaning to the medium. In these sculptures I tried to imitate not only the same vibrant, irridescent colors that the jewel beetle’s exoskeleto possesses, but also the undulating form made up of geometric shapes. Experimenting with plastic sheets, bubble containers, glass tile and wood, I finally found that what gave me the desired effect was cut gluesticks dipped in paint. The effect of the light passing through the back end of the sculpture was intense and colorful, the same effect a jewel beetle’s shell posses. Since the examinatino of the jewel beetle’s exoskeleton was at a microscopic level, I included a single magnifying glass in the corner of the sculpture which enlarged an actual jewel beetle. This allowed people to witness first hand the vibrant and irridescent qualities posseses in the shell as seen in the sculpture.

sculpture

13


first sculpture: capturing movement segments of glue sticks dipped in paint to emulate the vibrant color and undulating texture of the jewel beetle.

second sculpture: capturing reflectivity glass tiles glued together to form an undulating form

sculpture | reflective surfaces

15


third sculpture: capturing undulation wood hexagons stacked to create an uneven undulation

16

sculpture | undulating surfaces


17


structure After the exploration of the jewel beetle’s exoskeleton with structure, we transitioned into how this sculpture could be represented as structure. First instinct was to just represent each cell as its own entity with a single column supporting the center in an almost Johnson Wax Building motif. This was incorrect, it did not engage the undulating nature the final sculpture embodied. Through trial and error, ultimately the structure began to be based more off of geometry, breaking the organic sculpture down into a seires of hexagons. When looking at the geometry of the hexagon, there was an underlying idea about micro and macro scales. Each hexagon could be infinitely broken down or expanded depending on the scale. The structure began to take form in an almost fractyl motif, most resembling a tree with extending branches to help support the undulating surface. Proportion was critical. Every dimension calculated. The structure began to feel right. The next step in the process was to create five to six of our units to create a structural system. After seeing all of the units together, it was logical to stack the units on eachother, allowing the structure to have a larger base, therefore giving it more stability to increase the amount of surface it supports. How these hexagon units connected with eachother also gave variation to the structure. The units could be placed in a way where they interlocked closely, creating a tight system of columns, alternating them slightly to create an open grid, or placing them in a random formation, allowing for various sized opening in the supported surface. Ultimately, I returned to this study throughout the entire design process of the temple, analyzing the geometry of the units and create the right grid for the space.

structure

19


20

structure | developing a unit


Exploration of the relationship of the first sculpture with the hexagon. Creating a mathamatical conclusion from something seeming random.

The next step was creating a repeatable structural unit based on the sculpture. By taking a the geometries of overlapping hexagons you begin to get a kaleidoscope effect where one unit changes into the next By leaving voids on the outside edges of each unit, a stronger definition is made between the two... but is this a desired effect? What happens when the units are arranged in different ways?

structure | creating a repeatable unit

21


experimentation with the arrangement of each structural unit. an array of possibilities for openings within the structure from zero, to ordered, to random openings.

22

structure | creating a system


creating a dynamic structural to connect to the “skin�. The final iteration combined the bases of the second iteration, mirroring the it along the horizontal axis, although some consideration was given to positioning the units on angles.

structure | creating a system

23


main hall multi-purpose space security office coat storage

reflection spaces restrooms private storage custodial closet maintenance closet

24

program


program As a studio we were given the task of designing a sculpture derived from an exoskeleton. I was immediately intrigued by the irredescent qualities the jewel beetle posses. Scientists have been studing “jewel beetles” for the past few years, discovering their introcate cellular structure. The outer shell is made up of layers which reflect the light in a spiral reflection, intensifying their apperarance. When we transitioned our sculptures into structure, I was creating a structure to support this undulating surface. I focused on the geometry and the idea of the macro-micro scales within the hexagon creating layers of hexagons. When looking at the program for this structure, I looked into the ancient and modern interpretations of the jewel beetle. Today, the beetles shells are often used as a medium in art sculptures and jewelry, often being coined “the living jewel”. In ancient terms, the egyptians had a god with the head of a beetle, Khepri. Khepri was often depicted as a man with the beetle head or simply as a scarab, that was believed to push the sun across the sky. I decided to connect the two ideas of a metallic irridescent shell with the sun to create the Temple of Khepri. The space is located in Queens New York, at Gantry Plaza. This waterfront area is currently being revitalized and is an up and coming green space for Queens. Located parallel with 48 st. in Manhattan, the site is ideal for observing a sunlight phenomena, Manhattan-henge. Manhattan-henge is a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The term is derived from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. It was popularized in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. The dates of Manhattanhenge are usually around May 28 and July 12 or July 13 – spaced evenly around summer solstice. In 2011, Manhattanhenge occurred on May 31 at 8:17 p.m., and on July 12 (full sun) and 13 (half sun), both at 8:25 p.m. The temple will focus on the beetle’s reflectivity in the light, specifically during the summersolstice. Twice a year, sunlight will be able to pierce through Manhattan, into the temple, where it will bounce off a reflectiv surface creating a spectacle within the temple.

program

25


When choosing a site, my first instict was to look at locations where the “modern”beetle was causing devistation. Forests in Colorado and Washington State are suffering from the beetles. When taking a second look, however, I decided to look at connections to the “ancient” beetle, and possible sybolism with the sun. This uncovered a sunphenomenon called Manhattanhenge, a semiannual occurrence in which the sun aligns with the eastwest street grid in New York City. Derived from the concepts of Stonehenge, Manhattanhenge is the modern day equivalent of calculating the summer solstice. The Manhattanhenge concept allows me to continue to play between the two planes of “ancient” and “modern”, representing ancient traditions of sun calculations with the modern city grid.

figure 4 Toronto-Henge

26

site | selection


site

figure 5 Chicago-Henge

figure 6 Manhattan-Henge

site | selection

27


figure 7 Stonehenge

28

site | historical sun reference


figure 8 Manhattanhenge

site | modern sun reference

29


The site is located in Hunters Point, an up and coming development in Queens, New York. This water-front area is currently being revitalized with new park spaces, housing, high school, library, and other mixed-use buildings. The site is located parallel with E 34th Street in Manhattan, ideal for viewing the solar phenomenon, Manhattanhenge. The site is located in an industrial neighborhood with a high day-time population. The sun temple is located with direct access to the waterfront parks, on axis with the New York City street grid. This provides the community the unique opportunity to observe the Manhattanhenge event together. Occurring only twice a year, residents of Hunters Point have the unique vantage point of watching the setting sun pierce through the entire Island of Manhattan, creating our society’s modern Stonehenge. Choosing to develop along the waterfront of Hunters Point will not only provide additional green space, but will also give a non-denominational worship space for the community. While still in close proximity to the fabric, the temple will create a serene environment, celebrating past and present traditions.

30

site


figure 9 Aerial View of Hunters Point

site | aerial view

31


32

design process | modern - historical reference


design process

What is the modern idea of sacred and how does this parallel with ancient sacred celebrations?

modern (adjective)

sacred (adjective)

ancient (adjective)

of or pertaining to present and recent time; not ancient or remotecharacteristic of present and recent time; contemporary; not antiquated or obsoletepertaining to or connected with religion.

devoted or dedicated to a some religious purpose; consecrated. entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.pertaining to or connected with religion.

dating from a remote period; of great age of or in time long past, especially before the end of the Western Roman Empire old-fashioned or antique.

design process

33


Doing the use-reading for programming in parallel with this project gave me a lot of insight on how to evaluate the project’s current design. Whenever I felt as though I was getting stuck, or didn’t know how approach a particular problem, thinking about how the 7 sensens would apply to the space always helped to clarify my intentions. Additionally what I felt was more appropriate for this project, was looking at the relationship to the four-fold: earth: the sacred space rests on top of the earth, making its presence known. sky: this sacred space is derived from its relationship with the sun, specifically its alignment on particular dates. the sky pases through the perforations of the screen and makes a presence within the sacred space. divinities: the sacred space was initially related to Kephri, an ancient egyptian god responsible for pushing the sun across the sky. this reference led me to focus on this movement of the sun, specifically regarding the winter/summer solstices and spring equinox. these dates have a pressing relationship with numerous religions including ancient egypt, ancient greece, ancient rome, pagan, christianity, incans, and even atheists. mortals: the sacred space is a place where mortals can come and perform rituals. what do I mean by ritual? are there different kinds of rituals? can a ritual imply religion, habit or something expected?

34

design process | four-fold


ritual (noun) the performance of ceremonial acts prescribed by tradition or by sacerdotal decree. a specific, observable mode of behaviour exhibited by all known societies. It is thus possible to view as a way of defining or describing humans.

worship: those who use the temple for religious or contemplative purpuse. this may occur every year, month, week or day, but consistancy is key.

stumble: those who simply stumble in the space or walk through the exterior spaces. those who stay for a brief moment in search of directions, or in need of a restroom.

observe: those who enter the space to observe the main hall and have an awareness of the space. those who return to the site every for viewing manhattanhenge.

design process | defining terms

35


36

design process | mid-critique


Going into the mid-critique, the temple was located on the northern end of Hunters Point, parallel with 48th Street in Manhattan. The Temple of Khepri consisted of a large main hall, an upstairs observation deck, and a small cafe and restrooms in the lower level. The main hall was intended to be an open and versatile space, where viewers were able to come and observe the way the sunlight perforated the different cells of the ceiling. The sunlight coming into the space would always be changing with time and day, creating a dynamic space viewers would want to return to. The undulating ceiling carried down the east facade, allowing the light to reflect down into the lower spaces. Ideally, on Manhattanhenge, the light from the setting sun would pierce through the temple, and reflect off the back wall’s undulating surface creating a magical space twice a year. Two heavy walls form the perimenter on either side of the main hall, enclosing the stairs taking viewers to the observatory deck. Located on the roof the structure, the observatory deck gives visitors the ideal location for viewing Manhattanhenge. After the mid-critique, we were given a chance to reflect on not only our process but the design decisions we had made thus far. I began to re-evaluate the location of the temple. Though I still wanted to align the temple on axis with the New York City street grid, placing it in a location where it was more accessible and incorporated into the future Hunter’s Point development was more ideal. Moving the site to the southern end of the development, would give the temple more accessibilty from users in the residential towers, feel more incorporated into the street grid, increase the amount of light through the streets of Manhattan by aligning the axis with a twoway street, and finally, give the temple more possibilities to develop the exterior with access to Newton Creek. Additionally, I began to reconsider the program. While the temple’s main purpose was to create a dynamic main hall where viewers were able to see how sunlight perforated the exterior skin, creating varying degrees of public and private spaces would help to develop the temple’s sacred intentions. Finally, I began to play with how the ceiling interacts with the enclosure, and how th positioning of the columns effected the overall space.

design process | mid-critique

37


After further iterations, I began to explore the use of more axis in the site, with the primary axis still orienting the building towards Manhattanhenge, but also introducing the winter solstice and spring equinox axis as a way of not only dividing the building into different masses, but also creating two different approaches on the site. I also began to look at how a large amphitheater at the end of the temple would create the ultimate viewing area for the temple. The temple would be situated in the hillside to allow viewers to walk down the grand staircase, directly out of the temple towards the waterfront. The private worship spaces added from previous iterations would be located in the basement along with storage and restroom facilities. Though this design allowed for more possibilities with shadows within the main sacred space, how the undulating roof met the enclosure still did not feel right. Intuition was telling me to push the columns to the outside and re-evaluate how the roof met the structure and enclosure.

38

design process | shadow study


design process | shadow study

39


1 1.21 1.21

1 2.21 2.21

1 3.21 3.21

1 4.21 4.21

1 5.21 5.21

1 6.21 6.21

40

design process | shadow study


design process | shadow study

41


42

temple of kephri


temple of kephri

temple of kephri | site plan

43


44

temple of kephri | transverse section


South Elevation

East Elevation

temple of kephri | elebations

45


46


temple of kephri | longitudinal section

47


48

temple of kephri | first floor plan


temple of kephri | second floor plan

49


50

conclusion


conclusion This studio course was about more than just the design process, it was about finding new approaches to a problem and celebrating the uncertainty that one might have. Our first day of class we were given a quick design charette: to design the Hall of Icarus. There were no wrong answers as to how we would percieve this hall, the objective was to present your design in a clear concise way, and whatever you do, just commit to it. This became a common theme in our studio this year. Creating more iterations of your work, created more opportunities for sucess. The more we were able to commit to an idea and either prove that it was incorrect or correct, the better the end result became. This semester was about taking a new approach to design. We began the semester by examining the exoskeleton of an insect. We then became more familiar with the exoskeleton by creating it in sculpture. This sculpture then led way to our sturcutral unit, which in turn created our structural system. It was only then that we began to see enclosure and program in these spaces. This ultimately resulted in our thesis questions. This process, though frustrating at times, resulted in designs that were not forced or common, they were original thoughts from a unique process. In this process, the most important piece I discovered was how critical it was to document every move you made while designing. Since we were rapidly transitioning from one idea to the next, being able to take a step back and capture the moments where your ideas changed was critical for realizing where you had opportunities for success.

conclusion

51


52


bibliography figure 1: enlarged jewel beetle. http://lh4.ggpht.com (pg 2, 8). figure 2: enlarged jewel beetle. http://lh4.ggpht.com (pg 12). figure 3: enlarged jewel beetle. http://lfarm6.static.flickr.com/5139/544941662 _485721f1dd_z (pg 13). figure 4: torontohenge. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ sandraherber/8112303158/sizes/z/ figure 5: chicago-henge. http://www.flickr.com/photos/smik67/5576436797/ (pg 29). figure 6: manhattanhenge. http://ipadwallsdepot.com/wallpaper/ manhattanhenge-2012-58823 (pg 29). figure 7: stonehenge. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QSB*mgJIJLM?Th-xwn2w-zl /AAAAAAAAJHc/Nb42bGjCUp8/s1600/stonehenge_sunset (pg 30). figure 8: manhattanhenge. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mmBw3uzPnJl/ TP38LqOwsSI/AAAAAAABzEM/VSILahBPzs0/s1600/ manhattanhenge_07 (pg 31). figure 9: aerial view of Hunters Point. http://www.maps.google.com (pg 32). figure 10 and figure 11: “Site Views: Concept Design” Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park: Community Board 2 Presentation June 24, 2009. Site Views. Page 8. ARUP, Thomas Balsley Associates, Weiss, Manfredi.

bibliography

53


temple of kephri