Acknowledgments I would like to thank my wife for her
encouragement while finding time to immigrate to a new country, start over, and succeed in her own career; for raising two children while their father was staying up late making models and otherwise “scrolling in, scrolling out” in front of a computer screen; and for her uncommon strength and endurance. I am very lucky. Also, I should tell my two girls, Amina and Tatiana, even though they probably won’t remember these days, that they were absolutely the best excuse not to read, write, or think about architecture. I love you girls and I can’t wait to read both of your theses in a few years. Finally, I want to thank the Boston Architectural College faculty, especially Tony, Ian and Karen, who were thoughtful mentors and reliable sources of insightful critique. Thank you.
Biographical Note Born in Alexandria, Louisiana,
Matthew came to the Boston Architectural College after a decade long career as a U.S. Air Force officer and helicopter pilot. After leaving military service and working as a commercial pilot for several years, he ultimately relocated from Reykjavik, Iceland with his new family to seek a masterâ€™s degree in architecture. Matthew enrolled in the BAC in the spring of 2008 and is currently employed at ADD Inc, Boston, MA. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Factors Engineering from the U. S. Air Force Academy.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Schematic Design Review
Design Development I Review
Design Development II Review
The Corporate Campus
The Post-Urban City Perpetuated Dichotomies City Garden - Garden Estate First, Second, and Third Corporate Natures Corporate Campus Typology Polymorph Idealism (Evolution) Form and Re-organization
Appendix - Thesis Proposal
Abstract The suburban corporate campus is a complex synthesis of landscape and building. It is a constructed landscape; a derivation of picturesque principles, landscape-building relationships, and corporate organization. At a macro scale, this thesis transports the corporate campus, landscape and all, from its familiar exurban setting into the city as a type of urban park. At the campus scale, the clustered campus typology of buildings and landscape is re-arranged into a linear form and re-shaped to produce a variety of landscape-buildingorganizational situations. As a corporate campus within an urban park, the project operates at several scales to explore the formal and spatial juxtaposition between landscape, building, and the city beyond.
Opposite: Rendering of Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s, Stowe Estate Landscape Garden, Buckingham, UK overlaid on thesis site wireframe. Rendering from History of Garden Art by Marie-Luise Gothein (1913).
Generic private pharmaceutical corporation South Boston Industrial Seaport District, Boston, MA
Campus: approx. 20 acres Building: approx. 400,000 gsf
Labs Offices Common areas Food service areas Athletic and changing rooms Library Auditorium Daycare Tenant offices and labs Parkland
Campus: parkland, birch forest, courtyard Building: linear, serpentine, low-rise Linear
Planting, glass, wood, polished metal
Steel framed, poured concrete cores, composite metal deck
Triple-glazed curtain wall, vertical metal louvers with wood accents, retaining walls, earth berms Serpentine, sprawl, curved, urban park, corporate campus
Introduction As a corporate campus within an urban park, the project operates at several scales to explore the formal and spatial juxtaposition between landscape, building, and the city beyond.
The Corporate Campus The corporate campus has become an indispensable component of suburban geography and mythology. The rhetorical debate regarding the campus’ associations with sprawl and its cultural-spatial phenomena have obscured the campus’ own particular heritage and capabilities. Most notably, the corporate campus typology carries the traces of complex buildinglandscape relationships developed through centuries of unlikely precedents. The corporate campus typology has indeed shaped and been shaped by the suburban experience. And as professional affection for the suburban experience continues to wane, some have suggested that with it goes the legacy of the corporate campus.
Opposite: From a heritage of unlikely precedents, the corporate campus has evolved through the quintessential mid-century modern and continues to remain relevant today; top left, Oxford campus; top right, Villa Capra; center, Connecticut Life; bottom, proposed Apple campus, by Foster + Partners.
While many planners and pundits have declared the end of sprawl and its accessory landscapes such as the corporate campus, there does seem to be a simultaneous resurgence of the typology. Some of the world’s most successful companies (Facebook and Apple, for example) are currently planning enormous new corporate campuses. Not only in North America, the ideological home of the modern corporate campus, but new campuses are being planned at an international scale. Far from entering an era of decline, a closer look at the campus typology reveals a continued investment in the particular qualities and expectations of the corporate campus.
It is important then to consider the “corporate” campus as both the physical capital of the corporation and as a unified (corpus) composition. In either case, the corporate campus is uniquely evolved to create a selfreferencing spatial and programmatic environment. The corporate campus is a construct of both the corporation and its image, articulated though architecture and landscape. In short, the corporate campus is really a constructed landscape; a derivation of picturesque principles, landscapebuilding relationships, and corporate organization. This investigation, New Corporate Sprawl, attempts to reevaluate the legacy of the corporate campus, to extract and re-examine familiar assumptions, and reposition them into several new scales of context. In a broad gesture, this thesis transports the corporate campus with its megascale buildings and landscapes to a post-industrial, urban site to evaluate the post-urban condition. As this thesis will describe, the corporate campus can find relevant precedents to relate to the modern city as both the campus and the city evolve towards more vague and transitional futures. At the scale of the campus, the traditional relationships between building and landscape are explored and reoriented to create new organizational strategy. By utilizing picturesque effects as well as structural modifications to the campus typology, New Corporate Sprawl explores methods to redefine the traditional buildinglandscape paradigm. New Corporate Sprawl attempts to build on the traditional typology of the corporate campus and to employ the scale of its building(s) and landscape to imagine an alternative future for the campus and the city; to explore the formal and spatial juxtaposition between landscape, building, and the city beyond.
Digital collage of Assembly Square Mall, Somerville, MA and the Cigna corporate campus (with landscape).
Digital collage of South Boston industrial seaport and Ikea, Charlotte, NC (with parking).
The Post-Urban City The corporate campus may be affiliated with the suburb, but the paradigm of land-use which perpetuates the effects of sprawl is not exclusive to the exurb. The image of the city, despite being shrouded in the protective romanticism of contemporary urban discourse, is increasing being shaped by the structure and program of suburbanism. As architect, Rem Koolhaas, insisted in a 1999 dialogue with Andrés Duany at the Harvard School of Design, the rhetorical opposition between the central city and the suburb has become anachronistic; we are now faced with a universal urban condition.1 That universal condition is better illustrated by the spatial and programmatic incongruity of the contemporary metropolis. In this reality, the city center is suburbanized as much as the greater metropolis becomes more urban. Within this context, New Corporate Sprawl is an investigation of what Anthony Vidler describes as the “posturban” condition. Vidler’s portrait of the modern experience reveals an urbanity in which, “the suburb, strip, and urban center have merged indistinguishably into a series of states of mind,” and is marked by a “continuous movement across already vanishing thresholds.”2 In this case, the corporate campus straddles the thresholds of a post-industrial site, vaguely framed by a super-structure of a convention center, a collection of large-scale industrial warehouses, a seaport, and a residential district.
Opposite: The post-urban city is capable of absorbing a range of scales, programs, densities; these photocollages illustrate the scale of some suburban typologies, the corporate campus and an IKEA (with parking and landscapes) at a concurrent scale; this exercise encourages an alternative view of urbanism augmented, not limited, by post-urban program and form.
Perpetuated Dichotomies The perpetuated dichotomies of city/suburb obscure the reality that, at many scales, patterns of land-use and program are largely consistent throughout the metropolis. For instance, cities and suburbs tend to group uses into large homogenous blocks which are then arranged (often arbitrarily due to the multi-dimensional forces of land-use) into heterogeneous collages. This is why the sequence
of the suburban experience can be parodied as: a fifty acre shopping complex, next to a subdivision, next to a cluster of four car dealerships. That is the same paradigm that creates the dense financial district, the urban desert of the convention center and its parking lots, and finally the hyperdense, residential enclave. Even the urban trend towards “mixed-use” is being corralled into special, grouped districts for “innovation” or transitoriented-development. Despite these trends, heterogeneity continues to exist as a vital characteristic of the metropolis (urban and exurban) even if it is in blocks of homogeneous uses and programs. City Garden - Garden Estate It is tempting in the era of modernizing globalization to be cynical about the corporation and its pastoral campus. Indeed, it is difficult to analyze the corporate campus without letting some observations fall within the memes of “corporate” stereotypes. Obviously, this study is also an opportunity to disrupt some of that conventional wisdom. But it is also a chance to extract the corporate campus form its suburban environs and to look at what it shares with urban landscape. In particular concern for the contemporary post-urban condition, one defined by a certain vagueness of program and urban thresholds, there are urban landscape precedents with which corporate campuses share a common heritage. Consider the formal English garden estate which directly relates to the tradition of the corporate campus. These private gardens were thought to contribute to the public welfare by just being (and being “beautiful”). In the urban form, the garden estate has evolved to embrace various scales of public function as well as diverse __________ 1 Rem Koolhaas, “Exploring (New) Urbanism” (debate with Andrés Duany (CNU), Harvard Graduate School of Design, May 1999). 2 Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely, MIT Press, 1992, p. 185.
first nature sublime
second nature pastoral infrastructural
third nature picturesque
landscape forms. From the public garden to the common green to the pocket park, the city garden is a structural component of the urban fabric. It is an example of not only an acceptable, but a desired form of incongruity within the urban fabric. As we consider the heterogeneous collage of the post-urban city, why then should we not consider the corporate campus as the modern garden estate? Beyond the purely programmatic scale of the corporate campus as it substitutes for the city garden, the potential of the corporate campus might fall within what some describe as landscape urbanism. In other words, the scale of a corporate landscape might be exploited to perform many infrastructural and/or environmental functions. While this might suggest a significant technical role for the urban, corporate landscape, it is perhaps more interesting to consider the urban functions of large-scale landscape from an historical vantage. First, Second, and Third Corporate Natures
Opposite: Images in the left column illustrate classical interpretations of the first, second, and third natures of landscape design theory; The images on the right might be considered examples of these principles applied to the urban context; this thesis attempts to operate in and explore these concepts via the corporate campus typology.
The underpinnings of the corporate campus as a constructed landscape (and presumably a landscape that could be constructed for a legitimate urban function) can be illustrated by the first, second, and third natures of landscape discourse. Without, delving into the rich explanations of these theories, it is enough to suggest that whereas the corporate campus has in its most routine form been purely ornamental, it has existed as a third nature. In other words, it has existed purely as art, without a necessary regard for ecological performance but with an enhanced, designed capacity for visual effect. This situation is best illustrated by the picturesque heritage of the garden estate, a legacy evident even in the most contemporary examples of corporate campuses. The meandering approaches, clustered trees, and rolling lawns of the mid-century corporate estates also come to mind. It is safe to say that the third nature or picturesque effect has been and remains an
indispensable element of the typology. But before the third nature was articulated during the renaissance, Cicero asserted that a second nature, a nature augmented by man for his own utility rather than pleasure, provided the cultural landscape necessary for civilization. I would suggest that this essentially infrastructural view of nature is also a constituent element of the corporate physical landscape. Although it has more frequently taken a back seat to the most ornamental function of campus landscape, it is perhaps a more convincing vehicle for the corporate campus to adapt to urban program. Where the urban situation offers mere fragments of green landscape capable of performing an ecological function, the contiguous corporate landscape might offer the capability of performing at an infrastructural scale. The thesis presented here attempts to address these natures at various scales through the design of building and landscape. That of course leaves this thesisâ€™ disposition towards the first nature to be defined. The discourse on urban form is of course familiar with the urban version of first nature; the sublime is often manifest in depictions of the urban condition as dysfunctional futurescapes or Gotham cities. That banal vision of the urban sublime is not accepted here. Instead, this thesis would argue that within an urban context, it is not the built form that remains sublime, but the unexpected occurrence of a more primal nature. The implication is of course of a first nature that is wild, that is in fact wilderness. Within the heart of this proposal is designed a small forest, relatively secluded, accessible but unmanaged, an unlikely (even if token) alternative to its urban context. The goal being of course to expand the vocabulary of the corporate campus to include as rich a variety of city-building-landscape experiences as possible while allowing the design to simultaneously operate as fictional, ornamental, infrastructural; sublime, pastoral, and picturesque; spatial, technical, visual.
Plan of Saint Gall Villa Capra
c. 9th Century c. 1591
Chateau de Marly University of Oxford
c. 1686 c. 1700
University of Virginia Harvard University
c. 1825 c. 1850
Stanford University Nela Park
c. 1890 c. 1911
General Motors Technical Center Connecticut General Life Headquarters
Googleplex Apple Campus 2
c. 1956 c. 1957
c. 2003 c. 2013
Corporate Campus Typology Beyond its relationship to the city, the campus typology itself is a rich precedent to evaluate buildinglandscape relationships. The beginning of the evaluation goes much further back into architectural history than one might expect. Polymorph Idealism (Evolution) The suburban corporate campus did not materialize in the sprawl of the exurban landscape without precedent. What some might suppose to have sprung from a perverse, corporate paradigm of elite isolationism reveals itself, in actuality, to be a conflated hybrid of spatial archetypes: the cloister and the villa. The cloister and the villa can be themselves seen as prototypes for the urban and the suburban respectively. The dual precedents for the corporate campus are distinguished in the most general terms by their respective preoccupations with the enclosed yard and the open range, the cluster and the lone figure in the landscape.
Opposite: The diagram illustrates the tandem evolution and crosspollination of prototypical campus forms. The plans are aligned to their respective centers of gravity. Over time, the campus has not only grown larger, but the relationship between building and landscape has become more complex.
The diagram accompanying this text (opposite page) shows the tandem evolution and cross-pollination of the prototypical campus forms. The effect of the cloister on corporate campus design was transferred by way of the university campus which was adopted by heads of industry in the late 19th century as a means of institutionalizing a collegiate image of innovation and virtue. On the other hand, the villa came to exert its influence by way of the formal garden which exists ultimately as a form of domestic and virtuous nature. Over time, the campus has not only grown larger, but the relationship between building and landscape has become more complex. The plans (opposite page) are diagrammatically aligned to their respective centers of gravity or, in other words, the most significant visual, psychological, or
spatial focal point. This demonstrates not only the physical spatial dimensions of the plans, but compares the (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) symbolic gestures that those arrangements hope to achieve. The evolution which has given us the suburban corporate campus is an evolution of the ideal plan into the polymorph idealisms of the yard, the range, the cloister, and the villa. Form and Re-organization Perhaps the most significant outcome of this precedent and typological study is the proposal for the final building form. As the campus has been shown as a hybrid of open and closed building forms, surrounded by and surrounding landscapes at various scales, the thesis proposal attempts to define specific building-landscape relationships. One notion, which also relates to picturesque effects, was to create a building form that must be viewed from various angles through the landscape; a building that cannot be viewed from any one perspective in its entirety. By extracting the courtyards and campus buildings as well as their surrounding landscapes and rearranging them into a single linear “building” the campus precedent is both respected and modified. The final step was to reshape the single building, to loop the campus back onto itself. This formal move is intended to shape specific, unique landscape zones while creating new “cross-campus” adjacencies between architectural programs. Essentially, the thesis proposal is an entire campus--buildings and landscape---reformed into a single structure that, due to its size and orientation on the site, appears to be an actual campus of multiple buildings. Conversely, the fact that the campus is in fact one building yields a single building that can be better secured, can better integrate and share services and building systems, and can be used as a path itself to traverse the campus landscape and the diverse episodes that the building form helps to shape.
The corporate campus as it exists today, having drawn to various degrees from both the archetypical forms of the cloister and the villa, is a series of building-landscape relationships at multiple scales: the campus is a building or series of buildings which contain landscape while remaining surrounded by a larger landscape itself: it is an object in the landscape (the villa)at the same time it is a container for smaller scale landscape episodes (the courtyard).
Perhaps the most significant outcome of this precedent and typological study is the proposal for the final building form. This formal move is intended to shape specific, unique landscape zones while creating new â€œcrosscampusâ€? adjacencies between architectural programs. Essentially, the thesis proposal is an entire campus--- buildings and landscape---reformed into a single structure that, due to its size and orientation on the site, appears to be an actual campus of multiple buildings.
Pespsi World Headquarters
Connecticut Life Insurance
Scaled comparison of the proposed building and several well-known corporate campuses.
“In Bigness, the distance between core and envelope increases to the point where the facade can no longer reveal what happens inside...interior and exterior architecture become separate projects, one dealing with the instability of programmatic and iconographic needs, the other — agent of disinformation — offering the city the apparent stability of an object.” 3 Perhaps the most uncompromising quality of the corporate campus, as a typology and as demonstrated in this project, is the relentless demand of scale. Whether in terms of building(s) or landscape, circulation or program, cost or construction, scale is an exponential, not incremental, multiplier. Underlying each theme of this project, the challenge and opportunities of scale serve as a unifying design element and taskmaster.
Previous spread, left page: The New Corporate Sprawl in its urban context, a corporate campus as urban park providing an integrated buildinglandscape alternative to the proposed district development of the next decade (orange buildings) while forming a large-scale landscape link to adjacent (proposed by this thesis) greenways; previous spread, right: aerial view of the campus highlighting the unique landscape experiences framed by the serpentine building form.
In many ways, the problem of scale has been from the beginning the common denominator of the thesis scope. New Corporate Sprawl, as a title, implicates the role of scale in both the breadth of the metropolis and the expansive tendencies of the corporate program. “Sprawl” describes the phenomenon of modern metropolitan development and it describes the physical corporate campus, always clamoring for space. As a concept, New Corporate Sprawl suggests that the post-urban condition is largely at the mercy of scale (or rather a myriad of scalar juxtapositions in form and program), asking designers to consider the programmatic and spatial incongruity of urbanism. At the scale of the campus, the concept of sprawl is perpetuated as the corporate program expands, cannibalizing and colonizing new workspace while (often in futility) attempting to imprint a sense of corporate identity on the composition of the whole. Despite the challenges imposed by
scale, this thesis attempts to explore the potential of scale in building and in landscape. In fact, the proposal embraces scale, asking the public to see the corporate campus and its estate as an essential component of the urban fabric, as an infrastructure, even as delight. The opportunities of scale, as it turns out, have informed New Corporate Sprawl, making it not only “big” but also rich ground for exploring the quintessential elements of the corporate typology. The length of a linear campus can be manipulated, as the serpentine form does, to create new scales of interstitial landscape, essentially forming a pathway of building program through an urban park. The expanse of a post-industrial site can be exploited to provide a largescale urban gesture that is both familiar as an urban greenspace and unexpected in its variety of terrain, planting, and architectural intervention. In the terms of what Rem Koolhaas calls “Bigness,” scale has been an ongoing architectural and urban design project. But whereas bigness has been seen as a side-effect of capitalist post-modernism, New Corporate Sprawl is an exercise in embracing scale, accepting its long walks along corridors or across lawns where necessary, and using its monumentality to further the composition of a whole. Scale allows the variety of unique building-landscape episodes; it allows the picturesque effects of “seeing” architecture emerge along a series of designed perspectives; it allows the campus to be proposed as a significant compliment to the masterplanned urban development of the post-industrial district. The proposal is big in many ways, but contrary to Koolhaas’ bigness, it seeks to reduce the threshold between interior and exterior conditions, at the urban and the architectural scales, by embracing and re-orienting the most compelling gestures of the corporate campus typology.
__________ 3 Rem Koolhaas, OMA, and Bruce Mau. “Bigness,” S, M, L, XL. Monacelli Press: New York, 1995.
The corporate campus and the city beyond. Following page: Proposed site plan; greenspaces to the northwest and southeast, including an expansion of the existing seawall are proposed as future development; building at far left of plan is proposed residential development as part of area masterplan. The campus building itself defines several zones of unique experiences.
250 ft north
Opposite: Divided by accessible â€œnotchesâ€?, the single corporate building appears to be several buildings interrupted by landscape. Right, from top to bottom: The project master plan augments an existing district plan to better integrate landscape into the future urban fabric. 1) Proposed buildings in the next decade (orange). 2) These new buildings reveal a lack of contiguous landscape planning. 3) The corporate campus and large-scale urban park. 4) The proposed future extension of greenways to link the campus to adjacent urban infrastructure.
floor plan | ground level
floor plan | second level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
northwest entrance southeast entrance play area (daycare) birch forest courtyard garden accessible deck birch forest entrance ridgeline
aa | building/landscape section at north entrance-birch forest-second floor corridor
bb | building/landscape section at auditorium-courtyard-south entrance
cc | building section at typical lab (two levels)
labs / birch forest
In section, the campus attempts to frame a series of unique episodes or building-landscape relationships; the goal is to use the building as a way to look through from one landscape to another; the building is itself a pathway for walking through the landscape, creating relationships with the building interior spaces and the materiality and spatial qualities of light, planting, and terrain.
parkland forest courtyard garden
Informed by the examination and reorganization of the traditional corporate campus typology, the proposed building is deliberately formed to create unique landscape zones which are then designed to relate back to the building program and views. The primary zones are parkland, birch forest, and garden courtyard.
courtyard garden urban
Opposite page: Detailed wind, air pressure, and shading analyses were performed to provide environmental data to inform the selection of planting types, densities, as well as to evaluate the microclimates created by building and terrain design.
predominant winds - summer / winter
shading - spring
WINDS SUMMER Velocity (m/s) 12.5
shading - summer
WINDS WINTER Velocity (m/s) 22.9
shading - winter
air pressure - summer / winter -
N + +
AIR PRESSURE SUMMER
Air Pressure (Pa)
shading - annual
AIR PRESSURE WINTER Air Pressure (Pa) 563.22
group 1 evergreen
group 2 sun flowering groundcover
group 1 shade tolerant
group 1 shade tolerant flowering
group 1 shade tolerant
group 2 shade intolerant flowering dogwood (d) flowering courtyard
black birch (d) forest sugar maple (d) bright foilage courtyard forest, south
american elm (d) winter hardy forest parkland black spruce (eg) parkland, north
gray birch (d) forest Opposite page: Based on wind and shading studies, several planting groups were selected considering the plantsâ€™ ideal environmental requirements. In this project, the materiality of the landscape and specific planting types were considered as actual building materials, as if they were a wall or floor covering.
basswood (d) high pH soils forest, south
paper birch (d) forest eastern hemlock (d) parkland, north
Tree specimens, right, referenced on the planting diagram (opposite) were selected for color, density, and hardiness (all suitable for New England climate) to create a material palette to relate to the building and its specific programmatic episodes.
quaking aspen (d) forest
solar radiation study cumulative baseline
SOLAR RADIATION ANNUAL (SW) BTU/ft2 135760.8
solar radiation reduction with facade system
SOLAR RADIATION ANNUAL (SW) BTU/ft2 96,763.5
A solar radiation analysis was performed to inform the design of the facade system. With such a large building, it was necessary to find a system that could be uniform while allowing for variation; the solar analysis highlighted areas of high solar gain as potential areas to manipulate the facade system for performance and visual interest; the facade achieves an approximate 30% reduction in annual, cumulative solar heat gain.
The proposed facade system uses vertical louvers of varied material (metal, wood), densities, and arrangements to create a facade of great variation with a fixed set of components, a facade that changes depending on the campus visitorâ€™s perspective.
typical wall section with vertical louver system
brushed metal panel roof screen system mounted on braced, square steel tube structure (bracing not shown)
membrane roofing, protection board, 4â€? rigid insulation, underlayment, composite metal deck
wood/metal vertical louver system; top bracket mounted to continuous, slab-edge mounted metal angle
4 recessed mechanical sunshade 3
louver system bracket at intermediate floor mounted to continuous, slab-edge mounted metal angle
triple-glazed curtain wall
flush sill at polished concrete floor (interior) and matching concrete paver (exterior)
9 polished concrete floor on slab on grade
metal louver, wood clad on one side wood modulates light
louver C and B
louver C and no louver at grade for building entry/exit
louver A and B
individual vertical louver systems A, B, C
louver A and B
metal louver, wood clad on two sides solar gain aspect wood limits glare/solar gain
metal louver semi-reflective, northern aspect allows light to pass
facade - vertical louver system diagram
louver systems arranged for solar aspect and visual interest
+ second lvl
louver system diagram
glazing/roof screen diagram
Opposite: The facade is design to recede into the landscape, allowing a reflection of the landscape materials while offering its own picturesque visual effects to the campus composition; forming a thin threshold between work and landscape. Above, a double layer system of triple-glazing and vertical louvers create varied degrees of visual separation between work, landscape, and outdoor climate.
The facade system is designed to not only reflect the landscape, but to subtly add its own texture and variation to the picturesque effects of the campus design.
The projectâ€™s structural system consists of steel frame construction, laterally braced by concrete cores; curved girders (red) are spaced at intervals which correspond to typical lab modules and service corridors.
structural framing / concrete cores steel girders steel joists lateral bracing concrete cores
structural columns and footings steel columns concrete footings/slab on grade
structural system with retaining walls
1 glass guard rail with concealed attachment at metal panel
building section at courtyard / landscape roof
2 living green roof; 24” turf and soil, filter fabric, aeration layer, drainage layer, root barrier, waterproofing membrane, protection board,insulation, vapor barrier, composite metal deck 3 1/2” polished metal panel, concealed guard rail attachment, parapet/ retention wall 4 wood/metal, vertical louver shading system 5 triple-glazed curtain wall
6 flush sill at polished concrete floor (interior) and matching concrete paver (exterior) 7 polished concrete floor on slab on grade 8 18” concrete retaining wall
Interior view looking out to the courtyard; the building design allows visual connections across landscape to other parts of the campus building beyond.
The building itself is a path through the landscape; the proposal calls for planting very close to the building to reduce the visual threshold between interior and landscape; here the building corridor arcs seamlessly from the first to the second level and back down again, acts as a path in the birch forest.
Small scale final model for area site model.
Like any corporate campus, masterplanning must anticipate eventual campus expansion. The view, above, imagines several strategies for future expansion by: a) adding height to the library for additional office space, b) stacking additional lab spaces above the tenant (leasable) labs, or c) constructing an additional campus facility following the interrupted arc of the main building and its landscaped ridge.
View northwest from southeast corner of the site, overlooking campus parkland and building towards the central business district.
The introductory review is an opportunity to state the thesis concept and demonstrate how that concept might be expressed in architecture. The work for this review focused on several themes: typology, agenda, site, and potentials. The major focus of my thesis inquiry rests on the precedents of the corporate campus. My research looked at the evolution of the campus typology and how it has morphed into a corporate architecture. Critical to this typology are the relationships between building and landscape. The implicit agenda of the introductory review was to state the enduring predominance of the corporate campus by showing how the typology continues to be deployed by some of the most progressive corporations such as Facebook and Apple. Specifically, I propose that even while corporations seem to be recolonizing more “urban” sites, we should consider the possibility that the landscaped campus may come with them. While there were many constructive comments regarding the presentation, a few key areas were highlighted regarding site and the potential of the corporate campus transplanted in an “urban” environment. There were concerns that the site did not properly relate to the corporate program and that such a proposal may not be appropriate in that area. Also there was a concern that the thesis should not fall into a mere pastiche of corporate models, but look at more innovation ways to explore the campus typology. Next steps identified for the thesis at this review included looking a matters of scale, landscape, and building within the site context; looking at proposed development in the area that might work with or against such a proposal, and try to identify a specific corporate program to begin to shape the thesis argument. design critics: Ian Taberner Karen Nelson
Opposite page: Even while corporations seem to be recolonizing more “urban” sites, we should consider the possibility that the landscaped campus may come with them; photocollages explore the “natures” associated with the corporate campus.
The preliminary review is an opportunity to clarify the thesis concept and offer potential options for testing the thesis argument. I used this review to emphasis my agenda in terms of precedent and landscape. The process leading to the preliminary review started by strengthening my argument about the role of landscape in the urban environment and to relate those assumptions to the theory behind the corporate campus. The scale and form of the landscaped corporate campus were tested graphically within the site context. Finally, three proposed options were presented. Program and form were highlighted in the review discussion. Specifically, my proposal that the thesis could be explored best by evaluating a pharmaceutical research and manufacturing campus was well received. However, future work would have to get more specific about the scale and spatial relationships that such a program would imply. Regarding form, there was a question as to whether any of the proposed options really built upon the precedents or relied on them too heavily. For future work, it was agreed that I should select one of the proposed schemes and develop it further. However, it would be necessary to start representing the character of the landscape and its relationship to the site and urban context. Also, more work would have to be done to illustrate how the architectural form and scale is derived from the thesis concepts. design critics: Anthony Paprocki, thesis advisor Ian Taberner
Opposite page: Diagram illustrates several permutations of characteristic corporate campus features related to open and closed buildings and landscapes; the serpentine form emerges as an intriguing hybrid of these conditions thus leading to more investigation of this form.
Schematic Design Review
The schematic review covered concept, site, scale, program, and landscape to a greater degree of detail than previous reviews. The intent was to investigate the thesis concept through one architectural scheme. The work for this review resulted in a complete schematic design to include concepts for site landscape and building systems. By using 3d models and graphic collages, I explored the concept of the corporate campus rearranged and formed into a single building. Concept diagrams and architectural drawings were used to illustrate these proposals. The review discussion was wide ranging and covered many topics, conceptual as well as more practical issues concerning my proposal. One issue of particular interest had to with my overall agenda, i.e. why I would want to propose a landscaped campus in an industrial seaport. Also, there were some concerned about the scale of the building and its â€œlinearâ€? form in regards to serving the program of research and manufacturing. It was clear that I would have to find a way to re-address the conceptual intent of my proposal. Finally, some reviewers suggested that my proposal was form-driven, lacking a rationale in relation to the site and program. Recommendations were to re-evaluate scale and form as well as site relationships. Not inclined to abandon my work to this point, I proposed to find better ways to articulate my agenda. A greater level of detail would help illustrate my intentions and help me improve and refine the concept. design critics: Anthony Paprocki, thesis advisor Chip Piati Ian Taberner
Design Development I Review
The first design development review focused on building form, materials, landscape, and the conceptual relationships between these elements. Some significant revisions to the previously presented schematic design were made to clarify the critical characteristic of the campus: that it is actually a single building which is re-shaped, notched, and terraced to appear as multiple buildings working on concert. This review refined the notion that despite the strong form in plan (which will seldom be recognized except by air), the building in the landscape will never be fully offered in any single perspective. In other words, the building deliberately avoids being “seen” completely from any one vantage point. This relates the perception of the building in the landscape back to principles of the picturesque. One strong assertion made by the design at this point was in regards to the building’s ability to “meet” itself at several locations, juxtaposing interior program and other adjacencies with unique landscape zones. The parti (left) illustrates how the reshaping of the corporate campus allows for new spatial relationships as the building folds back onto itself; within these lobes are specific landscape zones, each with a unique relationship to the building, the campus, and the city beyond. Recommendations for future development at this review included comments regarding masterplan, specific landscape materials, scale of the building and parkland, as well as concern about interior circulation. Shortly following this review, the thesis progress was reviewed by a landscape architect to focus primarily on the building’s relationship with landscape. Several strategies were discussed to give character to the landscape to further the overall thesis concept, as well as to begin to inform the character of the architecture specifically. This discussion was critical is making the leap from a “generic” campus to more specific building-landscape relationships.
Opposite page: Parti diagram illustrating how the re-shaping of the corporate campus allows for new spatial relationships as the building folds back onto itself; within these lobes are specific landscape zones, each with a unique relationship to the building, the campus, and the city beyond.
design critics: Anthony Paprocki, thesis advisor Jessalyn Jarest, landscape Josh Rathbun Jose Ribera
Design Development II Review
The second design development review focused primarily on building systems but also included development of the landscape plans, site circulation, lab layouts, and materials. The work between the first and second design development reviews was focused on finalizing the landscape component to the maximum extent possible in order to concentrate on more detailed building systems. The material prepared for the review included HVAC strategies for the campus labs. This work was reviewed by an MEP engineer at the design review and helped validate the overall approach to the mechanical plan. Specifically, one strength of the low (two floor plus rooftop mechanical space) is that expensive and space-consuming mechanical equipment, specifically for high-tech lab spaces, can be easily retrofitted or replaced along the rooftop, mechanical spine. In contrast to mid-rise laboratories where it is very expensive to replace equipment to keep up with evolving lab technology, the thesis campus building can be easily accessed to maintain equipment along the entire spine of labspace. The review was also an opportunity to present an overall site strategy for surface water run-off and soil remediation, taking advantage of the large-scale capabilities of the campus landscape. By designing the building and terrain to form several site collection points and using sub-surface piping to a retention pond (part of the designed landscape), the more negative effects of site run-off can be mitigated. The design critics recommended that further work should concentrate on a more thoughtful facade system which addressed the thesis concepts of the picturesque and landscape-city relationships. Additionally, they encouraged me to think of ways the building could do more to evoke the sense of visual interest generated by the landscape. design critics: Anthony Paprocki, thesis advisor Pat Duffy, mep Daniel Nauman Ralph Jackson Josh Rathbun Jose Ribera
Appendix - Thesis Proposal