ABOUT Emergence is a selection of first semester work from the Master of Architecture I program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. It showcases projects not as conclusive work, but as simultaneous processes of exploration, experimentation and critical inquiry. Sean Chia April 2014
Emergence is the breakthrough when the whole becomes more than just a sum of its parts. It is the moment when unprecedented complexity arises out from a complicated multiplicity of simpler, seemingly unrelated elements or events. Think of complicatedness as increasing in a series of small jumps. By contrast, complexity emerges as one great leap. The process of emergence that is essential to increasing complexity is driven through positive feedback. The recognition of emergence is only discovered on hindsight and is difficult to pre-empt, but it is the liveblood behind the curiosity that drives design.
core projects 06 Calibrated Porosities 30 The Compact and the Convoluted 44 Between Incompatible Plans 56 The Hidden Room other 78 Crafting Intersections 82 Surface Discretization 88 Manifesto for the Baroque
Calibrated Porosities two buildings, two climatic zones, one pseudo-whole
This is a laboratory building that houses 2 hyper-competitive divisions of a large pharmaceutical conglomerate. The host: a permanent, established group of scientists who have been practicing for decades, and experience is their key strength; The virus: a relatively transient and unorthodox group of scientists who are not formally certified, but possess immense enthusiasm and creativity. Eventually, scientists from the younger lab will graduate into the permanent lab if they prove their mettle. Due to the competitive nature of this set-up, these two divisions remain separate throughout the building. This building thus operates as two buildings, despite appearing as one. Even though these two groups of scientists are circulatory separate, they are nonetheless imbricated topologically within each otherâ€™s presence, primarily through the visual medium. The distinction however, is underscored through the thermal - the host building is experienced to be warmer, while the virus, cooler. This thermal difference is achieved through a strategic calibration of the demand for hot and cold labs. Through the sectional bifurcation of a typical room, the upper level would be experienced to be warmer, since warm air is less dense, and the lower level, cooler. The sectional difference also allows for the hotter room to not only be exposed to direct sun, but also, shade the cooler room. Similarly, the cooler room is angled to shield the hotter one from prevailing wind, with itself being cooled simultaneously. As such, the hot room keeps the cold one cool, and the cool room keeps the hot one warm. A symbiotic relationship on multiple levels is thus thermodynamically established. Through the polarity in the experience of heat and navigation, these two buildings and their associated circulatory zones are viscerally separated, and yet remain visually connected, running side-by-side within the proximity of each other as a whole.
schematic model s: 1/16â€? = 1â€™
Nominated for publication in GSD Platform 7, 2014. Design Critic: Jeffry Burchard Jury: Elie Gamburg, Max Kuo, Robert Levit, Holly Samuelson, Elizabeth Whittaker, Gia Wolff
interior perspective Separated by a double-glazed wall, a corridor from one building runs parallel along the other, punctuated by stairs that mutually breach each otherâ€™s spatial boundaries.
h h c
diagrams (top), concept model (above)
The basic unit interweaves two physically separated spaces for two distinct user groups, while maintaining distinct climatic properties through thermosyphonic calibration.
12 1st floor
synecdochic model s: 1/4” = 1’
section A 1/8" : 1'
section The units are aggregated as two biaxially colliding raked slabs to exploit predominant wind directions while maintaining maximum solar insolation for both passive heating and cooling.
schematic model s: 1/16” = 1’
h h c
3rd 2nd AA
1st floor 3/32" : 1' A
floor plans Each shade distinguishes between the two intertwined buildings. 17
axonometric; Note difference in level of entry for each user group. 18
programmatic breakdown 19
4.1 “raked spider”
4.2 “thermodynamic equalizer”
4.4 “rake and slab”
4.6 “lab module”
? ?? + 4.7 â€œcollided biaxially raked slabsâ€?
phase #4.1 â€œraked spiderâ€?
hot labs cold labs
In order to achieve a median temperature in the common areas, hot air from the cold labs below the common areas and cold air from the hot labs above the common areas are vented and mixed.
schematic model s: 1/64” = 1’
phase #4.2 â€œthermosyphon equalizerâ€?
Hot and cold labs are paired to perform symbiotically. Hot air is vented from the cold lab into the hot lab, and vice-versa. Stairs perform as a diode to regulate the collective flow of hot and cold air to the common areas.
synecdochic model s: 1/8” = 1’
phase #4.3 â€œhdbâ€?
Units are relemtlessly aggregated serially to fulfill the requirements for 150 labs (75 hot + 75 cold), 5 common rooms, and 1 event space.
schematic model s: 1/64” = 1’
phase #4.4 â€œrake and slabâ€?
a s: 1" = 10'
b s: 1" = 10'
Predominant wind direction and optimal solar insolation are internalized as external motivators to reconfigure the aggregation.
schematic model s: 1/32” = 1’
The Compact and the Convoluted one building, two climatically-distinct milieus
The initial premise of the investigation yielded two desires: first, the inversion between density and porosity; and second, the nesting of a geometry in the compact state that would be expelled and form a separate entity from the resulting convoluted state. The former demands an understanding that in order to introduce gaps to create porosity in the convoluted state, these gaps, or voids, must be attached to the given armature of the piano-hinged dissection. conceptually, this could be imagined to be air that exists on the outside of the compact state. When transformed, this blanket of air is forced into separating the resulting convoluted geometry, creating voids between solids and thus realizing the porosity desired. In the case of thermodynamics, the object in the hot milieu is thus understood to be containing cool air within, and when transformed, this cool air is expelled to the exterior, while simultaneously bringing the hot air from the previous state into the interior. The truncated pyramid is used as an apparatus for both heating and cooling. When upright, it performs as an apparatus for cooling through the convection flows instigated by solar insolation. When inverted and driven into the ground, it becomes a vessel for capturing geothermal energy in the form of hot air through conduction and convection. Thus, with a single geometric device, the space below an upright truncated pyramid experiences cooling, while the space in the upper region of an inverted truncated pyramid experiences heating. Through bi-axial 180-degree rotations, the armature enables the toggling of the orientation of these pyramids. Consequently, the inversion between inside-outside space (and thus air) takes place, ultimately resulting in the dispersal of hot spaces in the hot milieu and vice-versa in the cold.
schematic model s: 1/32â€? = 1â€™
Design Critic: Jeffry Burchard Jury: Katy Barkan, Meagan Panzano
sections Adaptation to different milieus is achieved by inverting the same building.
diagrams Step-by-step transformation from one state to another.
diagrams Conceptual, functional and in-situ thermodynamic operations.
freeze-frame animation 37
3.1 “latent canopy”
3.3 “split cones”
phase #3.1 â€œlatent canopyâ€?
Transformation process depicting the deployment of an external canopy to shield habitable spaces from overheating in the hot milieu. 40
schematic models s: 1/32” = 1’ 41
phase #3.2 “yakitori”
heat sink on cold room to dissipate heat from sun to the relatively cooler air
axis of rotation: grilled chicken skewers (焼き鳥)
hot room enclosed in thick walls
cold room enc transfer heat insolation to r ground in hot ensure rapid h
cold room open to elements to ‘scoop’ cold air in for hot milieu state; shaded from sun to minimize solar insolation; thin walls to ensure maximum coldness
COLD MILIEU N
tion: grilled ewers (焼き鳥)
cold room enclosed; heat sinks transfer heat energy from solar insolation to relatively cooler ground in hot milieu; thin walls ensure rapid heat loss
‘scoop’ shaded olation; coldness
hot room open to elements to ‘scoop’ hot air in for cold milieu state; unshaded to receive maximum solar insolation; thick walls perform as thermal mass to remain hot throughout the night
HOT MILIEU N
Inspired by grilling skewers (one side cooks while the other side cools to a crisp), the armature is modified to reduce motion to simple rotations.
Between Incompatible Plans rediscovering the planimetric cut
In this project, the floor plan as a tool for communicating architecture is scrutinized. Two plans are prescribed: one from the ground floor, and another, from an upper floor, but these plans do not correspond to a single building. Instead, they are cut from several possible buildings. With the exception of their perimeter, the plans appear to be incompatible with respect to geometry, axes, structure, location of vertical circulation, and probable programmatic distribution. As incomplete pieces of information, the goal is therefore to analyze the given plans to identify patterns or templates, and subsequently ‘stitch’ them together by filling in information through the production of intermediate floor plans. Typically, the floor plan is understood to be a horizontal section cut. If we were to imagine the cut line to be a ‘lens’, and the ‘object’ to be the actual building, the projected ‘image’ is thus the resultant floor plan. With this schema, the building in question can therefore be manipulated sectionally to negotiate not only the geometry demanded from the prescribed plans, but the required programmatic volumes as well. This sectional manipulation not only addresses the contingencies that arise from the juxtaposition of the two prescribed plans, but results in a form that naturally affords a program. In this case, the sloped section corresponds to the raked floor plates of a theatre. Success is achieved when the building appears to be well-behaved not only in plan and section, but programme as well.
schematic model s: 1/16â€? = 1â€™
Design Critic: Jeffry Burchard Jury: Inaki Abalos, Meagan Panzano
1 s: 1" = 8'
a s: 1" = 8'
lens position manipulated object larger than image; required floor area achieved inadequate ceiling height at corner
diagram inverted to achieve required floor area and ceiling height form accomodates suitable programme
overall spatial organisation
front-of house circulation
back-of-house space and circulation
axonometric (left); diagrams (above) Public/private spatial, programmatic, and circulatory sequencing. 49
1.1 “apparent cuts”
1.2 “elephant in the room”
? ?? + 1.3 “theatre building”
phase #1.1 “apparent cuts”
n construct L - lens, O - object ceived = actual object
form manipulated form manipulated object larger than image; required floor object arealarger achieved than image; required floor area achie awkward form results in “excess”, unconsidered awkward form space results in “excess”, unconsidered sp
typical plan construct I - image, L - lens, O - object image perceived = actual object
on manipulated lens position manipulated er than image; required floor object arealarger achieved than image; required floor area achieved e ceiling height at corner inadequate ceiling height at corner
diagram inverted to achieve requireddiagram floor area inverted and ceiling to achieve heightrequired floor area an form accomodates suitable programme form accomodates suitable programme
Manipulation of form below and above the planimetric cut absorbs contingencies that occur between successive floor plates, while simultaneously accommodating programme.
phase #1.2 â€œelephant in the roomâ€?
s: 1/8" = 1'
BB' s: 1/8" = 1'
First iteration of implementing a diagonal plane to negotiate between the otherwise incompatible floor plates.
schematic model s: 1/16” = 1’
The Hidden Room five rooms experentially disguised as four
Hiddenness is an agenda. Hiddenness is also multivalent. Yet, the pleasure of hiddenness is not without revelation. In this project, hiddenness is explored beyond visual perception. Hiddenness thus resides in cognition, or the lack thereof, and what is experienced as four rooms is in reality five. Organized in a vertical series, each room is experienced sequentially through an elliptical stair that wraps around the room and re-orientates the body a full turn during each pass. Therefore, one leaves and enters the room through the same orientation each time, creating the impression that not only all rooms are equal but the means of which they are experienced are as well. This thus forms the premise for intervention: exploiting the notion of sequential conditioning, the elliptical stair is used as an armature to create a disjuncture between oneâ€™s subjective mapping of the building and his/her actual movement through it. To further mask this agenda, a decoy is employed in the form of a revelation of an unexpected bifurcation during the return path of circulation. This discovery evokes a sense of being one step closer to the truth, but is instead a step further back. The notion of hiddenness is thus played out in both physical and metaphysical realms within the sequential programming of the building; the former is revealed sensorially, but the latter, if ever disclosed, exists only as a disruption in oneâ€™s cognition.
schematic model s: 3/32â€? = 1â€™
Design Critic: Jeffry Burchard Jury: Angelyn Chandler, Irene Hwang, Cameron Wu
nd ultivalent. and elation.
snphysical conlorcognition, or
sedexperienced his around it. this ne pass and one me on orientation re all rooms are well. us this thus of the notion of da-as an armang ctive mapping ugh it.
dofin the form of ing rn the return se vokes a sense ack. lity a step back.
hndphysical and amming he of the e erlatter, if ever gnition.
diagram Perceived (left) vs. actual (right) circulation. Red is the anomalous room.
a 1/6" = 1'
G 1/6" = 1'
2.5 1/6" = 1'
axonometric Nested geometries. 62
schematic model s: 3/32” = 1’
2.2 “blindspot stacked”
2.3 “lazy L”
2.5 “guggen-toilet roll”
2.7 “oblong lozenge”
phase #2.1 â€œblindspotâ€?
Geometric studies calibrating the relationship between proportion, visual and semiotic perception.
conceptual model Four voids perceived from the front, while in reality five exist.
phase #2.2 â€œblindspot stackedâ€?
Introducing circulation as an additional variable in manipulating spatial perception.
schematic model s: 1/16” = 1’
phase #2.4 “diamond”
Multiplying and aggregating previous “blindspot” geometries create unexpected results - larger enclosed voids of missing space open to sky.
phase #2.5 â€œguggen-toilet rollâ€?
Breaking out of previous geometrical studies, this iteration depends purely on circulation, orientation and morphing interior space as a technique to hide.
schematic model s: 1/16” = 1’
phase #2.6 â€œowlâ€?
Instead of relying on formal contrivance to literally hide a room, the notion of cognitive disruption in the mental mapping of space is introduced. 74
schematic model s: 1/16” = 1’
analytique (in-progress) Kanazawa Umimirai Public Library
“Equilibrium guarantees the stability of an entire building and of course each one of its parts” -- Mario Salvadori, “Why Buildings Stand up” The problem of a 2-dimensional frame embeds the complexities of load transfer into what appears as a simple task: the joining of two pieces of the same material. In order for a frame to be rigid, the connection, size and shape of individual members and frame itself all play important roles. This is as true of a simple timber frame as it is of a skyscraper. In this frame, the form of the joint embodies the joint mechanism itself, eschewing the need for any form of adhesives or fasterners. Taking cue from a typical lap joint, an indentation is introduced to augment rigidity, simultaneously increasing surface-to-surace connection which is essential for friction-held joinery. The resultant is a frame that expresses its tectonic character not only at its joints, but as a collective entity in each of its member’s synchronic performance: the frame delightfully bounces when stress is applied.
Part of GSD 6121 Construction Lab. Instructors: Danielle Etzler, Mark Mulligan Collaborators: Christian Gonzalez, Blair Storie-Johnson, Dasha Mikic
In discretizing a form that is made up of both developable and non-developable surfaces, the challenge is twofold: first, to design and extract particular sets of iso-curve fields from the surfaces, equally or unequally arrayed, in order to panelize the curved surface; and second, to resolve the intersection between the panelized patches as consistently and elegantly as possible. For the most part, the panels will be quadrangles, and in the areas affected by the intersection, triangles may be deployed to resolve the disparities between isoâ€?curves extracted from the two patches. In the inevitable case that triangles are used, the implicit goal is to minimise their number and to manifest a coherent strategy for patterns which they produce while negotiating geometric seams and scalar disparities. In the first project, a torus and a hyperboloid are intersected to form a hybrid solid, and the developed planarquadrilateral mesh from the latter is used to govern the formation of the mesh on the former. Triangle panels are then discreetly introduced to â€˜stitchâ€™ the discrepancies that occur at the seam. In the second, multiple non-developable surfaces of both positive and negative gaussian curvature are intersected, and thus the introduction of alternative techniques of discretization; in this case, the secant plane and truncated cone methods are utilised.
Part of GSD 2122 Projective Representation in Architecture. Instructor: Cameron Wu Collaborators (for 2nd project): Olivia Heung, Quek See Hong
close-up on interface
close-up on secant planes
Coda: Manifesto for the Baroque The Problem with a Classical Architecture Architecture: an evolving entity, once an edifice reserved for celestial reverence, ultimately descending upon the realm of the Individual; From the divine to the carnal; from the ideal type to the articulated individual; from the objective to the subjective; from the Tower to the Cathedral; from imperfection towards perfection, and instantaneously becoming imperfect once again; from the frontal to the oblique; from the static to the dynamic; from figure-ground to figure over ground; from mass production to mass customisation; from Architecture to architecture(s). 1. Architecture is an act of creation. It is a human activity. Thus, it should also be a humane activity. Order dehumanizes architecture and its excessive obsession visual order over functional order renders Classical architecture inhumane. Inevitably, Classicism and its singular vision is the enslavement of human imagination and its associated creativity for the sake of aesthetic formality. On the contrary, the Baroque is manifold. The acknowledgement of plurality sets up a fertile ground for imagination, and thus breeding ideas that the very act of creation so desires. Not one idea, repeated ad nauseum but many ideas, repeated, if at all necessary.
2. Classicism is futile. We live in an imperfect world, and the pristine, impeccable Ideal does not have a place in our realm of the horrifying Real. As such, ideals remain as ideas, and its associated artifacts are merely attempts of idealizing the Ideal. The Classical artifact is an objet petit a of the unattainable Other; the Other that is, the Ideal. It is a mere symbol of perfection, and it in itself is imperfect in our bodily kingdom. Wittkower is a denizen of fantasy, and the latter is where reality and the Real is abstracted, reduced, modified, obliterated, and “codified” into a censored, ignorant reading of reality. 3. The Baroque embodies life. It is in the realm of inherent chaos, where aesthetic order yields to the order of the idiosyncratic body - the functional, sensorial, and experiential. The order is thus, Classically-speaking, disorder. Complex relationships that are pertinent in the human ecosystem of the individual and society are in constant flux, and not isolated stasis. The Baroque seeks difference and celebrate contingencies. Where change is the constant, there is no perfection. And yet, this is in itself, perfect. From the evocative sanctuary of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane to the infinite expanse of Piazza del Popolo, dynamism, expressivity, and mutability are quintessentially a doubling of life itself. 4. The desire for Classicism is itself, Baroque. To express preference, individuality, or subjective opinion, regardless of objectivity, is to be Baroque. Wittkower’s diagrams, are merely an instance from an limitless set of possible “Classical” interpretations of Palladio’s villas. Perfection merely lies in the eyes of the beholder, and thus to be Classical, is to be Baroque. The Baroque is omnipresent and its ghost haunts all who opposes its nature, be it the Villa Medici, Villa Farnesina or Villa Madama. 5. Last but not least, to be Baroque is to be human.
acknowledgements Calibrated Porosities, The Compact and the Convoluted, Between Incompatible Plans and The Hidden Room Fall 2013 GSD 1101 Core Studio Studio Instructor: Jeffry Burchard (Design Critic in Architecture, GSD and Associate, Machado and Silvetti Associates) Studio: Maria Carriero, Christian Gonzalez, Jia Gu, Yun Gui, David Hamm, Sarah Kantrowitz, Dasha Mikic, Kimberly Orrego, Blair Storie Johnson, Bryan Yang --Crafting Intersections Fall 2013 GSD 6121 Construction Lab Course Instructors: Danielle Etzler, Mark Mulligan Teaching Assistants: Kevin Hinz, Maynard Leon, Charlotte Lipschitz, Ben Ruswick, Joanna Rodriguez-Noyola, Alex Watchman Collaborators: Christian Gonzalez, Blair Storie-Johnson, Dasha Mikic --Surface Discretization Fall 2013 GSD 2122 Projective Representation in Architecture Course Instructor: Cameron Wu Teaching Assistants: Michael Burton, Iman Fayyad, Joan Tom Collaborators: Olivia Heung, Quek See Hong --Manifesto for the Baroque Fall 2013 GSD 6121: Buildings, Texts and Contexts Course Instructor: Michael Hays, Erika Naginski Teaching Assistants: Lisa Haber-Thomson, Bryan Norwood, Eldra Walker 90
M.Arch I First Semester, Fall 2013, Harvard GSD