/architecture portfolio nus year 1 sem 1 zuo yuchen
architecture is the reaction of the built environment to the needs of society.
architecture is the reflection of the needs of society on the built environment.
In the study of architecture, it is important that we ask ourselves - why do we build? Analogous to why birds build nests, architecture is essentially mankindâ€™s reaction to the need for sanctuary from the elements. As civilizations transition from the hunter-gatherer to the post-industrial urban society we live in today, the basic needs of the common man have also become increasingly complex. Hence, from the early byzantine and renaissance styles to the current paradigms of deconstructivism and critical regionalism, architecture has also undergone a series of transformations to react to the evolving society. As such, architecture should be seen as more than just the creation of an art piece, but a solution to tangible problems. Other than a reaction to the society, architecture is also a reflection of society. A closer look into architecture allows us to derive our own narratives on the past and present of a community, establishing a sense of place, memory and belonging for our environment, encapsulating the perception of â€œHomeâ€?.
This portfolio is a microcosm of my reactions and reflections in tackling the multifarious assignments from Year 1 Sem 1 of my studies in NUS Architecture, displaying a collection of 7 projects that represent my development as a design student. Special thanks goes to my fellow studio mates as well as tutor, Mr Chan Loo Siang, for without their generous help and guidance, none of the following would have been possible.
e t h i c s, w e l l - b e i n g, a n d t h e c o m m u n i t y
c u l t u r e, t r a d i t i o n, a n d i d e n t i
1. E. D. A.
4. I M A M B A S Q U A R E A Sense of Scale : P A D A N
Ethics in Environmental Design / wk 2 / pg 6 - 11
2. B L O O M Elements of Architecture / wk 3 / pg 12 - 17
3. H E A R I N G I N M O T I O N 12 Senses and Experience-field / wk 4 / pg 18 - 23
Documenting and Represent Cities / wk 6 / pg 24 - 31
NG CITY ting Architectecture and Southeast Asian
r e s o u r c e, s u s t a i n a b i l i t y, a n d t r o p i c a l c l i m a t e
5. B R E A T H E Biomimicry for Our Built Environment / wk 11 / pg 32 - 37 6. (P R E S S I O | T E N S I O ) Geometry and Composition in Structure / wk 12 / pg 38 - 43 7. K O M O R E B I
Tropical Paradigm / wk 13 / pg 44 - 49
Prologue: Ethics concerns a crucial category of design that is reducible neither to aesthetics nor technology. However, ethics precedes the judgment of beauty and the question of ‘how to do’ (or know-how)—only if because ethics is first necessary to define our position and approach to any design problem. For example, regarding the problem of homelessness, a designer can propose a homeless shelter as the solution, or frame this as the challenge of creating pockets of spaces in the city for these homeless individuals. To select one, both, or even neither of the above, the designer first has to know where he or she stands on the issue of homelessness— and this position neither presumes the aesthetic nor the technological. And to know where to stand on this issue then requires the designer to be morally sensitive, aware, and finally, able to reason ethically. In design, we would call these considerations knowledge of ‘design ethics’.
ethics, well-being, and the community
E. D. A. ethics in environmental design /wk 2 The Assignment: Through the investigation of spaces in the built environment, we are to reflect on the ethical issues present in relation to the identified design and the extent to which it causes harm by prioritizng and privileging certain people over others. By asking ourselves the following questions: (i) What was the (design) problem? (ii) What was the likely ethical position behind the way the design solved the problem? (iii) What are the solution’s benefits, and what harm did/could it cause? (iv) How can we design better if we change the original ethical position, the different groups in the studio are then required to come up with a proposal for a better, improved design through drawings and prototype model making.
Location: SDE 3 level 3, area outside design studio facing carpark
Our solution to the problem was to extrude the AC ledge outside the windows, rendered obsolete by the switch to central air-conditioning, outwards to create a freely accessible balcony.
Ethical issue: The studio space for year 1 students does not receive enough natural lighting as it is seperated from the windows by a line of rooms serving as the offices for the professors and studio space for the upper year architecture students which are inaccessible to the majority. This results in a discrepancy in the amount of sunlight received across the schoolâ€™s population, showing the prioritization of one group over another as a portion of students are unable to reap the health benefits exposure to sunshine can bring.
Through the provision of a formal study space, students who crave the exposure to sunlight can choose to take their studio activities outside, resolving the previously inequitable exposure to sunlight.
concept The design of the structure was inspired by the shape of edamame beans, with each individual study space mimicking the individual bean pods, hence the name EDA. The curvilinear form also serves the additional function of adding visual dynamism to the facade of the building.
An informal study area that also doubles as the seating for an outdoor crit area. This mound is indeterministic in its design such that users are free to adopt any posture of their liking, which we identified as one of the facets of ethical architecture.
The undulating fins serves as a sun shading m level of sunlight through from small opening
evaluation Though we may have provided a solution to the complication of unequal sunlight exposure, the construction of such a structure may cause other ethical issues to arise, such as the loss of privacy for the offices of the professors. In the end, we came to the conclusion that
there can rarely be perfect solutions and architecture ultimately comes down to the ethics of triage. At the end of the day, it is up to society to decide what to forgo and where there is no good to be had, one should at least turn to the lesser of two evils.
mechanism, but yet still allows a comfortable gs along the structure.
The discussion pods are designed such that they are slightly below the ground level. This creates a sense of privacy when users are engaged in their discussion and also ensures that other users of the balcony do not have their view obstructed.
learning points - Models should be built in context. - Aesthetics does not equate to ethics. - Section drawings are not one-point perspective drawings. - Sources of inspiration should bear a degree of relevance to the topic.
Prologue: A building is composed of various elements. In the past, architectural thinkers tried to explain the origin of architecture by identifying the fundamental elements of architecture. Marc-Antoine Laugier’s famous drawing, the primitive hut, represents vertical trees, horizontal beams, and roof trusses as the essentials, which correspond to the column, the entablature, and the pediment of classic architecture. Gottfried Semper used a Caribbean hut as a theoretical model for his “four elements of architecture”: the hearth, the roof, the enclosure, and the mound. The education in École des Beaux-Arts in the 19th and early 20th centuries was based on the elemental analysis. Significantly, as Reyner Banham pointed out, this elementalism became the backdrop of the modern paradigm of functionalism. Claiming that “a house is a machine for living in”, Le Corbusier tried to update architectural elements as if they were mechanical parts. In the latest development, Rem Koolhaas and his collaborators traced the evolutions of 15 architectural elements at Venice Biennale 2014, revealing the process of their de-materialisation and informatisation.
ethics, well-being, and the community
BLOOM elements of architecture /wk 3 The Assignment: Through the exploration of the unique architectural elements inspired by the tropical climatic and/or Singaporean cultural context, we were given the challenge to design a new hawker centre typology incorporating the four elements of architecture. No specific location was given, with the focus more on the design of the architectural elements. Restrictions were given such that the size of the hawker centre was to be square in plan with 20 m x 20 m dimensions, with the height up to our own discretion.
overview Site study: Alexandra Village Food Centre After studying the architecture of the food centre, we noticed certain interactions between Semperâ€™s 4 elements that allow the structure to adapt to its tropical context. The roof of the building is not connected to the enclosure and instead, there is a gap in between to maximise ventilation. The usage of louvres with the double roof system further adds to the tropicality of the food centre.
concept The analysis of local hawker centres led us to the conclusion that the most defining element in terms of tropicality would be the roof. We hence decided to experiment with the idea of deconstructing the elements of roof and enclosure, merging them into one distinct entity. With reference to the strategies adopted in the Alexandra Village Food Centre, we came up with a design for our new hawker center shaped after the flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim. Other than the mimicry of its shape, the design inpired from the nationâ€™s national flower also has a deeper cultural significance, aiming to establish a distinct sense of identity amongst the local populace.
roof / enclosure A total of 6 “petals” make up the roof of the structure, with 2 of them integrated as enclosures. The form of the roof creates an open-concept dining space while louvres and openings in the roof allow comfortable levels of sunlight and ventilation.
Our interpretation of the hearth for the structure would be the drink stall, integrated with the central structural column. The drink stall not only serves a cohesive purpose in food centres, due to a need for beverages regardless of the stall the customer choose to eat from but also acts as a symbol of bonding, as exemplified by the expression - “talking over a cup of coffee”.
The hexagonal shape of the mound enables multiple routes of entry, creating a sense of welcoming and the raised floor gives prominence to the structure, facilitating the promotion of identity. The tables are also arranged in a deliberate manner to optimize circulation.
evaluation In the pursuit of the aesthetic and redefiniton of Semperâ€™s 4 elements, the functionality of the structure was sacrificed, as it was not rain proof - a feature paramount in the tropical context of Singapore. However, it can be argued that though the building was unable to solve the practical problem of keeping out precipitation, its intrinsic value to more intangible cultural concerns like the seek for identity is irrefutable. This alludes to the conclusion that functionality is not the sole determinant of a buildingâ€™s merits.
learning points - Balance of form and function - The use of geometry can be especially helpful in design - Techinical drawings like the plan, section and elevation should be kept to the same scale and orientated to correspond to and align with one another - Buildings can be a solution to more problems other than those relating to the functional.
Prologue: Science knows that there are 12 human senses, but each sense has a specific influence on the human soul and on human health as well. It is important for architects to be aware of this because the building and its environment can affect health. This is especially important for children, as their entire organism and soul life are developing. At the University of Goettingen, Germany, Professor Christian Rittelmeyer has done research on the design of school buildings, resulting in a book: Einfuehrung in die Gestaltung von Schulbauten, or Introduction in the Building of School Buildings. In it, he gives proof that even architectural forms can have an influence on childrenâ€™s health. Unless there are conscious ef orts made by the designers of our physical environment, the world will beincreasingly deprived of such senses and experiences. Commercialisation and infrastructurisationdominate our daily environment, leaving no spaces for humanity to experience the range and potential of our senses and emotions, and making it increasingly harder to stay healthy in our own being.
ethics, well-being, and the community
HEARING IN MOTION 12 s e n s e s a n d e x p e r i e n c e - f i e l d / w k 4 The Assignment: Through the exploration of the 12 senses and their relationship to architecture and our physical environment as well as discussions on the case studies for the projects based on the idea of the sense-experience-field with Walter Siegfried Hahn, we will focus on the creation of a playground for children, adults and seniors alike based on the idea of the 12 senses, developing ideas about how to cultivate and invoke such senses in the design of our daily environment.
overview The main theme of this project revolves around the sense of hearing. Sound is produced through the vibration and resonation of objects, and the sense of hearing allows us to pick this up, telling us more about the inner structure of object than sight. This sense is active when one is listening to noise and music. This project aims to remodel the typical merry-go-round, an indispensible element of the traditional playground, by adding the sensory dimension and creating a unique hearing experience-field.
concept The design for the play equipment is inspired by water glass xylophones. Based on the above concept, I proposed the creation of a “musical merry-go-round” that creates music through movement, as the mallet attached to the side strikes the surrounding glass containers filled with different amounts of water to produce different pitches. The faster the merry-go-round moves, the faster the
music will be, vice versa. The users can also vary the amount of water ir the containers to “create their own music”, making every experience on the merry-go-round an unique one. With music as an universal language, the making of music also fosters social faculties as the users can engage in a special “dialogue” with one another through their different renditions.
a cacophony of sounds The Percussion
A rod with a knob attached to its end is fitted to the side of the merry-go-round, acting as the mallet for the xylophone. As the structure turns, the mallet strikes at the surrounding glass containers, producing a myriad of different sounds that combine to form music when given proper structure.
The water level in the glass containers that surround the merry-go-round and can be varied. The difference in water level causes vibrations of the glass when struck to be damped at different degrees, producing different tonal values.
Wires in tension at the centre of the merry-goround add another layer to the generation of music. As the the structure turns, an extrusion from the centre piece would act aa a pick that plucks on the revolving strings, producing pitches that correspond to the tautness of the string.
evaluation With the integration of the sense of hearing with movement forming the backbone of the structure, the motivation behind the usage of water can be called into question. Water adds a new level of complication due to the requirement for a sophisticated plumbing system for its proper management. Hence, instead of using water to emulate the xylophone, solid blocks of either different materials or varying lengths could be used in its stead to achieve the same effect.
learning points - Avoid being too direct in terms of design: one does not need to use explicit musical motifs and symbols to show that the structure is about the sense of hearing. Doing so can make the design seem shallow, as good design should be able to speak for itself. - The usage of water in models can be dangerous without proper waterproofing.
Prologue: A sense of scale is indispensable in understanding architecture and drawing. When we say a space is ‘tight’, ‘cosy’, or ‘oversized’ or overwhelming for a particular purpose, we are referring to a sense of ‘human scale’ or the measure of space required for human activity. The fine-scale measure of space and form for bodily movements for various tasks requires familiarity with the domain of study named anthropometry. An awareness of the human body’s dimensions also serves as a measure for estimation. A sense for proportion refers to dimensions of parts in relation to the whole and is essential in visual estimation when documenting what you see. Familiarity with different scales and the required level of details of construction is also fundamental to architectural drawing.
culture, tradition and identity
IMAM BANJOL SQUARE a sense of scale : PADANG / BUKITTINGGI documenting and representing architecture and southeast asian cities / wk 6-7 The Assignment: The studio was to embark on a field trip to the preassigned Southeast Asian cities. The objective of this assignment was for us to learn to sense and recognise the application of scale in architecture and deploy architectural drawing conventions. We were to record and document architecture and the spaces of the city at three scalar levels: (1) the small and medium-scaled buildings of a fine-grain city neighbourhood, (2) the body and the public/private threshold, and (3) an awareness of urban morphology and the overall layout and orientation of a city. Through drawing and observation we will also learn to recognise type and model in architecture and distinguish this from style, training us in ways of seeing, reading, distinguishing, and representing/drawing form, volume, surfaces, spaces and architectural features.
cent ral padang barat
t h e c i t y s c a l e : p a d a n g c i ty padang barat subdistrict 26
imam bonjol square
the neighbourhood scale : central padang barat jln imam bonjol - jln moh yamin - jln pasar raya 27
the tale of two cities On week 7 of the semester, the studio journeyed to the island of West Sumatra, Indonesia, exploring the built envrionments of the neighbouring cities of Padang and Bukittinggi, home to the Minangkabau. The historical backdrop of the 2 urban settlements exemplifies the way cities react and adapts to its natural environment, alluding to the concept of architectural morphology. Bukkittingi is an embodiment of static adaptation, where the city centre has remained at the same location since the early days of the settlement, adapting itself in situ to the requirements of the respective milieu. On the other hand, Padang, the focus of my groupâ€™s studies, shows mobile adaptation, where the city centre has been shifting up north through the ages, away from the threats posed by natural disasters and leaving behind buildings which are subsequently repurposed and gentrified.
imam bonjol square The area was previously referred to by the Dutch colonists as the city square due to its proximity to the government buildings. After the city centre moved up north, the square was repurposed to serve as a public complex for recreational and official sporting activities. The stadium grandstand was subsequently built in year 1995. It is shaped after the traditional Rumah Gadang houses of the native Minangkabau, a gesture to propagate the cultural identity of the local population, promoting nationalistic pride while creating source of tourist revenue.
Rumah Gadang design motifs
Stadium grandstand at Imam Bonjol Square
threshold space Shophouses opposite Imam Bonjol Square An informal space is observed between the shops and the main road, which usage is different depending on the user. This space lies between the typology of private and public spaces, serving as an extension of the shops to display their products, as well as acting as a sheltered space for pedestrian movement and social interaction.
learning points - The use of poche and lineweights in drawings should be consistent. - Perspective should be omitted in the crafting of elevations. - One should ensure the proper planning of space before starting on drawings.
Prologue: Our planet, Earth, faces devastating environmental challenges. Its surface has been severely damaged, and much wildlife has been destroyed. Natural resources have become dangerously scarce, to the point where they can no longer sustain the whole population of the planet. The population has risen to over 10 billion, and wars and food shortages have displaced millions of people, forcing them to migrate to urban areas. Most people have also been forced to live in urban areas to help the planet’s natural resources renew themselves. As a result, urban areas have required high-density development to accommodate the large numbers of people. People are living in super high-rise towers in these areas – towers that have been designed to perform like a bio-organism, to seamlessly integrate into the lives of humanity. These super towers have been designed to provide the population with five basic, essential needs: Air (wind), Water, Sun, Soil (ground), and Trees. The super towers act like wind/water/sun catchers, harnessing energy and natural resources. The super tower has its own cycle of ecology, and the five socalled ‘elemental super towers’ (one for each basic need) have been designed according to the principle of Biomimicry. The principle of Biomimicry has three levels: the Organism level, Behaviour level, and Ecosystem level. Each super tower has been designed to perform at least one level of Biomimicry, and a variety of super towers have been designed for and constructed in severe environmental conditions.
resource, sustainability, and tropical climate
BREATHE biomimicry for our built environment /wk 11 The Assignment: With this undesirable yet plausible scenario in mind, we were asked to come up with the design of the five ‘elemental towers’ according to the principles of Biomimicry. The task is to define each element in terms of the natural resources required, then to design each super tower to be able to harness its resources. Each tower is rather mono-functional. It does not have to address all the elements, but can be focused on dealing with just one element. The tower should be 1,189 metres tall and the building’s exterior parameter cannot exceed 841 metres.
t h e e l e m e n t of air Air is essential to the sustainance of life. A human being can survive for weeks without food, days withouts water, but only minutes if deprived of air. There are different ways through which air can be harnessed. Through the process of respiration, air can be converted into energy to sustain the human body. It can also be harnessed in the form of wind to generate electricity through wind turbines, and serve as a vector for thermal regulation and ventilation.
objective The goal is to create a tower that harnesses the element of air for thermal regulation via a passive, environmentally benign system.
biomimicry Branching out of the trachea The trachea in the human lung branches out to a number of primary bronchi which in turn branch out to form more secondary bronchi. With reference to Murrayâ€™s law, this branching action ensures greater efficiency in the absporption of oxygen into the blood stream.
The respiratory system The respiratory system is one of the many cooling mechanisms of the human body. Through the process of breathing, cool air is introduced into our systems and excess heat is expelled, cooling our bodies down. Hence, our aim was to create a tower which utilises a similar mechanism - a tower that could breathe.
air Contained air is orderly. Uncontained air is chaotic. The form of the tower draws inspiration from this concept. The modular cuboid spaces outside the circular rings follows a disorderly mode of arrangement while those within are given order through an upward spiral, mimicking the way air rises.
mechanism The cooling mechanism is built upon the difference in temperature between the top and bottom of the tower. The temperature is generally around 10 degrees Celsius lower at a height of 1km than at ground level. As the top of the tower is cooler than the bottom, this creates a convectional current, allowing hot air from the bottom levels to rise and escape through the top. This also creates an area of low pressure in the modular units, allowing external air to flow in, achieving further heat regulation and improving ventilation as wind is created as a result.
“the bronchi” The ceiling of each subunit is connected to the central pipe through smaller branching pipes. These serve the same purpose as the bronchi, improving the efficiency in the transfer of air through Murray’s Law.
“the trachea” The smaller pipes converge into a large central pipe, where convectional cooling occurs. This allows the risng hot air to escape from the building into the external environment.
â€œthe rib-cageâ€? The concentric rings are angled to direct oncoming wind into the building, analogous to the functionality of a wind-wing-wall. It also serves as louvres to protect the interior from direct sunlight and fulfils the aesthetic purpose of adding a sense of flow to the structure
evaluation Though the effects of conventional cooling is irrefutable, controversy is still present on whether the effect of passive cooling is significant enough due to the inaccessibilty of exact calculations and stimulations. It is also a mistake for a building to rely fully on passive measures of thermal regulation as certain systems in the building may require a specific temperature to function. Ethical issues may also arise as users are no longer in control of their thermal environment. Hence, instead of just the manipulation of building form, conventional air conditioning should still be installed to enable a mixed mode and full mode of operation. Moreover, the goal of a net zero energy consumption can still be achieved through the installation of wind turbines on the tower power these features.
learning points - Due to time constraint, we were unable to show the branching of the secondary pipe in our model. In the future, when such a situation arises, we should build at least one representitive unit that can be extrapolated to the rest.
Prologue: Architects and structural engineers work hand in hand to come to artistic solutions and innovations that reconcile humanity and nature, aesthetics and function, material usage and multiple usage of spaces. With these considerations in mind, how can we generate a unique structure and envelope that suits people, nature, and the environment in the tropics?
resource, sustainability, and tropical climate
(PRESSIO | TENSIO) geometry and composition in structure /wk 12 The Assignment: Using only one type of material from the choices of basswood, paper 250gsm or lighter, or cotton thread with wood or paper as supplment, each group was to design a bridge that can span a gap of 600mm and a dome that can enclose a square void of 400mm x 400mm. The structures must be able to support the weight of 2 full coke cans upon completion. The aesthetics, creativity, the integrity of geometry, and the composition in design also have to be taken into consideration.
concept This project draws on the concept of compression caused by tension, attempting to redefine the conventional tensile structural role of the string. It is also an exploration of the geometric properties of triangles and the resultant complexity created by their three-dimensional overlap.
the â€œbrickâ€? The basic modular component of the structure is assembled using a combination of 3mm plywood and 0.5mm cotton thread. The wood components are joined through the interlocking of grooves, with one continuous piece of string links the two edges of the top and bottom wood pieces. This type of connection gives rise to a stable pyramidal module.
the â€œmortarâ€? One end of the wooden groove of one module is slotted into the midway point of the string of another module, and the other end in the former is inserted at the end point of the adjacent string in the latter. The resulting compression generated by the tension in the 2 opposite strings helps to keep the two modules in place.
evaluation In designing the bridge, we were too insistent achieving the shape of an arch. However, the geometry of our module and the method of arrangement creates a spiralling structure rather than an arch, so we had to deviate from the organic arrangement to add disparate modules to change the direction of the connection, making the structure more complicated than complex. Instead of trying to force the modules into the shape of an arc, we could have instead tried letting the structure spiral naturally. The resultant structure could have been used as our final product, as bridges do not necessarily have to be arched to serve its purpose.
learning points - Structural elements in architecture is defined by their function instead of form. - The utilization of geometry in design can give rise to a variety of aesthetically pleasing forms.
Prologue: “It is important that architects and students of architecture from hot-humid South East Asia understand the climatic factors which influence building design and structure and find appropriate expression of this in the context indicative of our tropical region and our associated culture. Because of the lack of sufficient written material on tropical architecture, there is a danger of students merely regulating images from foreign magazines that do not address the regional issues of this climate, culture and context.” Jimmy Lim As prospective architects educated and trained in the tropical region, we should explore our own ways in weaving the threads of the language of form and space to define architecture that is deeply rooted in the climate, culture, and context of Singapore.
resource, sustainability, and tropical climate
KOMOREBI tropical envelope /wk 13 The Assignment: The aim is to create an envelope that encloses a square void of 600 mm x 600 mm, or a circle of 600 mm diameter. The base is to be prepared in the way that one can poke their head into the envelope to experience the inside. The height of envelope should be between 400 mm and 600 mm. e success of the envelope will be evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitatively, Th the envelope will be tested with an electronic fan and a spotlight, with a 15 cm height flag in the middle and observing if the flag can sway in horizontal wind direction. The flag also has to be protected from vertical rain and direct lighting at 60 degree angle. The more sway of the flag and the less area under direct lighting, the better. The protection from rain will be assessed by looking the model from above; no holes are expected to be seen from that position on top of the central area. Qualitatively, the manifestation of the statement on tropicality in architecture wil be tested and experienced via a bottom-up view from under the structure.
komorebi The interplay between light and leaves when sunlight filters through the canopy.
overview Building enclosure does not need to be the absolute limiting barrier in the tropics due to the equable climate. Hence, the main aspect of architecture in the tropics is the aesthetics of the roof, bound to emphasize shade, shelter, shadow and profile. Thus, we decided to adopt the approach that places heavy emphasis on the element of the roof, while establishing the perception of a “fuzzy” wall - one that is intangible, yet palpable.
concept The envelope draws its inspiration from the layered structure of a tropical rainforest. On the macro level, the vertical anatomy of the tropical rainforest can generally be classified into four sections - the emergent, the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor. On the micro level, the leaves of the broadleaf evergreens found in the tropical rainforests are also arranged in multiple layers. The overlap of the layers on both the macro and micro level serves forms the “roof ” of a the tropical rainforest, creating a complex envelope around the forest floor, allowing it to stay cool regardless of external conditions.
The roof is formed through the layering of a mixture of louvred and non-louvred subunits. This layering allows light to pass through at angles below 60 degrees to the horizontal, creating an intriguing interplay of light and shadow that is reminiscent of sunlight filtering through the leaves in a tropical rainforest, while also serving the purpose of the conventional â€œdouble-roof â€? facilitating ventilation. Subunits are also arranged such that no holes could be seen from the top, providing sanctuary from rain and the hot afternoon sun. The roof is also designed such that during periods of precipitation, the lower subunits will catch rain water dripping from the upper ones and direct it out of the envelope.
evaluation A light well lies in the centre of the envelope to ensure proper lighting during the periods when sunlight is blocked out by the roof. It is mimetic of the palpable light rays perceived when the sun shines through the tropical canopy.
The envelope is only able to shield perfectly vertical precipataion. When the rain comes in at an angle due to prevailing winds, it would be able to penetrate through the roof. However, we should also allude to the fact that this might not necessarily be a bad thing as the element of rain is a quintessential part of our tropicality. Hence, a new paradigm can be conceived that embraces the intrusion of rain, placing indoor planter boxes under the areas that are prone to get wet, removing the need to water the plants manually.
learning points - Instead of building to keep out the elements, we can instead build to embrace the elements. - Inspiration can always be found in the natural environment.
The roof is supported by 5 columns, interconnected with horizontal louvres that are also structural in nature. The louvres are angled towards the east-west orientations for optimum shading. These columns also defines the space within the envelope, creating a threshold space between the internal formal space and the exterior, quintessential in the vernacular architecture of the tropics.