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Core II: Thinking Green Instructors Jaron Lubin, Hillary Leonard Duration: 16 weeks

Thinking green was a studio finding a relationship between biological growth patterns and architecture. It was not a study of LEEDS (green environmental architecture) but an understanding of organic geometries in architecture. The class began with a study of a particular plant and we were required to choose one, study it , give a written presentation on the botanical and scientific aspects of it and lastly draw a set of line drawings at 1:1 scale. I chose the tulip because it had beautiful geometries. While studying it, I learned that many cultures shared my belief. In Eurasia where it was first discoverd, it was admired for having a graceful modest beauty. In Holland, it was valued for being very diverse in colors and geometries. While drawing elevation, section and plan, the parts of tulip began to resemble architectectural components.

Modelling Tulip in Rhino After studying and drawing the tulip by hand, the class was required to model the plant using the software, Rhino. The course taught the software Rhino which allows one to model organic shapes in an intuitive manner. It was helpful modelling the plant for it allowed me to learn some of the challenges of the software and become acquainted with the program.

While studying the tulip, the bulb takes in a harmless virus which causes the tulip to have streaks of yellowish, whitish color on the petal.

Site Analysis: Carpenter Center After studying the plants, a design intervention that related with our speciman would be placed at the Carpenter Center. I chose the entry way walkway as my site because it provided this vertical void that felt that felt empty and imposing in scale. I wanted to compress spaces within these large voids to create an intimacy which I felt was lacking on the site. I looked at the site in elevation, seeing that the void rose 25’, enough for two stories to exist. These drawings are documentations of the site while also expressing my interest in compression.

Entry B

Site documentation and sketch vignettes overlayed express the idea of compressing spaces within this voids.

Entry A

Programming the design intervention The Carpenter Center cultivates the art community by providing studio and exhibition spaces for the art students at Harvard. There is a vitality within the building., however this feeling dies when on steps out and sees the empty voids which look cold and imposing. My progtramm aims at filling these voids with cultural vitality extending the spirit of the Carpenter Center. The design intervention is a boookstore, a media gallery and a circulation space integrating all these elements. All these spaces are given literal references to the tulip.

Media Gallery:1428 sf

Circulation: 1653 sf Bookstore: 800 sf

The BookStore: Head The head of the flower represents the bookstore. This part is open to natural light like a tulip head.

Media Gallery: The Bulb The media gallery is the bulb. The space is opaque and will mimic the bulb’s multilayered condition. The space is programmed to be opaque in that artificial light will used in this space. Unlike the bookstore there will be no glazing and the experience within this space will be internalized with a focused attention on the media being displayed whether it be film, light show, etc. As direct correlations are given to the design with the tulip, a less literal analogy was applied. The tulip is known for having streaks of yellow on the petals. A harmless virus penetrates the bulb at the roots and causes the tulip to have these streaks of colors. The media gallery would represent the bulb which generates an external element (light) which would permeate within the rest of the building. This idea would materialize towards the end of the studio. Circulation and structure: The Stem The circulation and structure holding the building is the stem. In a literal sense the stem holds the head of the plant.

Fabricating a Structural System As compressing spaces into the large voids become my design intent, a structural system needed to be employed on the site. The structural system would be a series of arches which allow for an elevated floor system and sheathing to be clipped onto. The Kansai International Airport by Renzo Piano was a precedant study. In the case of the Kansai Airport, the structure carries a sheathing from the top. The structural system would evoke similar organic geometry but hang a dropped ceiling composed of glass sheathing.

A Series of Structural Arches shall be placed on the site holding the elevated floor slabs and the sheathing

Precedent Study: Kansai International Airport, Renzo Piano

Sketch of Structural Arch in Action

The Structural System becomes constructed on the site

Structural Element at front

Structural Element at rear

Sketch Diagram of Wooded ceilling in the media gallery

Structural Element in Full Plan + Section of Existing Conditions

Preliminary Process Modelling Flesh and skin are applied after the structure was framed.

Modelling the Bookstore

Preliminary Skinning of design intervention

Approaching the Bookstore

Modelling the Media Gallery

Preliminary Process Modelling

The ceiling contorts and undulates within the structural framework creating an experience within the circulation space.

The form bends and contorts to fit the voids.

Compression creates a sense of proximity and closeness to others.

Final Design


3 2

1: Bookstore

2: Circulation

3: Media Gallery

Final Design: Plans and Section of design on site

Final Design: The Bookstore This space is open to light, composed of large overhangs like petals from a tulip.

Final Design Plan/Section of dropped ceiling composed of semi-transluscent glass sheathing which illuminate the circulation space in spontaneous and diverse patterns.

Final Design: Circulation

The bulb takes in a harmless virus which causes the tulip to have streaks of yellow/white on the petals. This fact represents insidious growth from an external force. The media gallery represents the bulb as the agent that generates an external element. It produces light which permeates light patterns into the circulation space, mimicing a biological growth pattern of the tulip.

Final Design: The Media Gallery The bulb of the tulip inspired the design of the media gallery. The bulb has layers of composition similar to an onion. The media gallery is a series of wood panels layered and hung from the steel structural arches. The wood panelling creates a continuous datum between wall and ceiling surface. The surface becomes the palette where digital media can be displayed.

Inspiration for the Media Gallery: the bulb

The wood panels are hung from the structural arches.

Cross section of media gallery space showing the continous flow between wall and ceiling.

The wall becomes the pallette for media to be displayed on.

Inside media gallery

Advanced Design Studio  

Finding a Correlation Between plantlife and architecture

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