Consider the qualities that make living and working environments work well. How do we perceive and represent them in their respective contexts? In this studio we considered each of these areas and to combine them into a single building design on a close urban site with a tight program.
A client analysis was the basis for an extended conceptual and pragmatic design process. Photography is integrally linked to architecture, not only as a design tool and means to record buildings and cities, but also as a medium that fundamentally relies on light and the framing of views.
End of Year Show
The live/work studio focused on creating a space for a photographer to live, have a workspace, and an attached gallery space for their work. The site was a 100ft by 50ft lot that had to be divided between four buildings with a shared courtyard. The shape of the courtyard was chosen in an effort to create the maximum interaction between the buildings and between users.
1.1 Design Inspiration
Abelardo Morell's photo in Rome using camera obscura was the photo I would explore throughout the course of this project. The thing that caught my attention was how thel lines between inside and outside are blured through the different framing elements.
I began to experiment on how this could create actual architectural elements so I started by making a quick maquette, sculpturally exploring this idea, a sort of 3D sketch to visualize my analysis of the photo.
1.1 Models and Structure
I started to work with the idea of what was inside and what was outside by establishing a central core of the building. From here, courtyards started to branch off to create these inside/outside spaces to create the same type of blurred inside outside theme that the photo had.
Functionally the lowest floor functioned as the gallery that used light brought in from above light spaces. Second floor was a workspace and a courtyard that seperated the living space from the workspace.
The boundry between living space and workspace made the user go throught the outside courtyard which would create more of a barrier between the two.
I worked in purely physical models to get a sense of scale in order to clearly visualize the spaces as they would be experienced.
I presented my initial designs before 4 architects and discussed how to improve the project. They found the blurring of inside and outside a compelling ideas and suggested pushing the idea further, exploring new ways to bring this into the design.
2.1 Applying Feedback
As my design was well received it gave me the opportunity to push my design thinking further, really bluring the boundries of inside and outside within the building itself.
I applied this and created a greenwall that connects all the levels on the south side of the building, drawing light into the lower floors. Another was a below grade courtyard on the west side, which doubled as a parking space through the use of large metal grating.
3.0 Final Design
Building a final model as a group we decided to build all of our model's at 1/4 scale which allowed our audience to more clearly visualize our designs.
I then used the model combined with photoshop to create renderings to more fully imerse the audience in the design.
The thing that I learned the most from this project was the value of working with other people who are different from you. Having to share a site with four people, we had to divide our plots, create a courtyard, as well as manage access from both the North and South. This proved be a challenge as each had a different idea of what the end result should be. As we worked together however I found that as we wre able to agree on things and make comprimises, not only were we happy with the end product, but that it actually appealed to more people than it most likely would have if it was just one persons perspective. This made me see how while working in groups may sometimes be difficult it can lead projects in directions that you yourself would not have been able to take them because of other peoples knowledge.
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