Friday, May 8, 2009

Romses Architects: Harvest Green Porject, Vancouver

Interesting project:
the concept of 'harvest' is explored in the project through the vertical
farming of vegetables, herbs, fruits, fish, egg laying chickens, and a
boutique goat and sheep dairy facility. in addition, renewable energy
will be harvested via green building design elements harnessing geothermal,
wind and solar power.

Click on the title above to view project.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Plummet

From the criticism on Thursday I have distilled a few main avenues for consideration as I ride the plummet to the final critique. Brian Goldberg offered two observations that I appreciate: 1st, and I had already been moving in this direction, was to consider an industrial efficiency, not so much in the manner of the plant growth but in the labor of the people engaged in it. 2nd, and this was more of a surprise and a delight, was the encouragement towards artifice or ‘surreality’. This offers a heightened experience, especially for that most important audience, children.
Maria Guest gave me good advice on reorganizing towards more effective circulation by moving my emphasis from the eroded corners towards the central atrium/orangerie, and by adding an east-west scheme to my dominant north-south scheme. I also appreciate Pari Riahi’s comparison of the floors of my building to filters such as that found in the Bialletti coffee makers.
My first priority is to address my roof scheme. I’d like a blend of skylight, greenhouse and photovoltaic planes, and some curves to emphasize the emergence of this style of agriculture from a building originally purposed in a very different way. At the same time I need to create sections that clearly illustrate my vertical emphasis for growing surfaces, screens and trellises as well as the aforementioned circulation.

[images to come]

Monday, April 27, 2009

The midterm review on Thursday was a very constructive one to help me make the next approaches, accompanying many different views and helpful comments and criticism from the guest critics.
The primary idea in my design process of reconfiguring the 19th century mill building into a vertical farm is to derive the programmatic organization, inner spatial forms, and circulatory routes from the extended axes of the existing building, reflecting the current urban context.
The biggest challenge I am dealing with is to adjust my diagrammatic conceptual studies to fit into the reality; existing structural grid of the building. To achieve this, I was advised that the best way may be through exploring the spatial aspects in sections paying attention to the verticality in spaces. I hope to figure out the making of spaces through such approach, and also simultaneously develop the facades of the building by continuously exploring the surroundings. I want the facades to be designed with the consideration of it revealing the inside spatial qualities, with intentions to make it into a welcoming element of the new vertical farm.
I will continue to explore the idea of ‘expanding outward’ in a more strategic manner keeping in mind the flow of the site in the further developments.

In the two weeks following the mid-review, I plan on revising and refining the current proposal. I feel as though the project became quite muddled-up, rather quickly, towards the mid-review and as such I am hoping that the next steps I take will help towards clarifying the architectural manifestations of my initial concept. That isn’t to say that the project will be reinvented; as Anastasia pointed out at the end of my critique, the final leg of this project should be used as an (re)investment.

Based on some of the criticisms I received, I would like to reconsider my building’s relationship to its surrounding context—are there ways for the building to relate back to its surrounding that goes beyond its visual cues? I do think some of the visual cues proposed are quite important as a way to bring people from the outside in, but perhaps there are other ways that perform on a level beyond the superficial—i.e. how the spaces within embody the same qualities that the visual cues try to accomplish.

Internally, the subtractive method previously implemented will be refined and will hopefully become reciprocal with both program and human inhabitation. I am trying to discover how this can be accomplished at moments where the two grids intersect/interact with each other; or if moments where one program transitions into another will begin to generate these intersections.

Because much of the concept was generated from the outside in (sunlight from the outside piercing internal structure), I think that all 5 facades should be able to relate to the incisions made on the interior—the facades need not directly reveal components beyond them, but that incisions or openings made on the facades are able to be traced back (perhaps through projections) to incisions made on the inside.

Light Apertures

The architectural intention of my design begins to create connections between the proposed program and the existing context of the city.

My previous investigations of the way in which the human eye works responded to my ambitions of light apertures created to subdivide spaces based on their light qualities.

The iconic wall becomes a gesture that serves the purpose of a retina and allows light to be reflected and redistributed into the production space. During the summer it will become a grow wall while in the winter the dead branches will allow light to penetrate and bring more light into some of the darker spaces.

My next step is to try to resolve the skin of my building and see how it can respond to my ambitions while providing me with elements of protection and maintaining thermal qualities

Thoughts, midterm review 4.23.09

I want to further explore the idea of correspondence – to push the current architecture proposal so that the language of subtraction is not only that of terracing of each floor according to the sun as it travels throughout the day and year. I want to consider the exterior facades and the roof (the skin of the building) and how that language of the segmented arched windows and the brick pilasters relates to the light entering the space of the building on both a horizontal and vertical plane. I want to define a language of subtraction AND addition to create an architecture suited for growing – that there is a strong correspondence between all floors of the building, northern and southern facades, and ground to roof floor levels such that the architecture manifests/reflects the particular mannerisms of sunlight.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tiffany Mid-review

I have approached this project with the concept of a heat exchanger, applying that idea to adjacencies of different programmatic elements. By increasing the surface area of these adjacencies, there is more opportunity for the systems within this building to feed off of each other. I have also been considering this increased surface area idea in regards to bounced light entering the building as well as protruding volumes. Many of the critics encouraged me to try to go back to the richness and dynamism of the earlier concept models and diagrams to deal with the program more appropriately. They advised me to address differences in the building/program and get away form the rigidity of the system I had designed. I liked Aaron's analogy that the column grid is like the armature of the building and everything else is like this soft material that can be washed away, so that what you are left with is dynamic volume with a variety of different spaces and ins and outs. So, maybe my intervention doesn't just lie within the existing structural grid, but maybe the new skin is weaved in and out through the column grid (like Olga said), creating a secondary limit to the building. What I plan to do next is shortly return to diagramming to break-up the rigidity of my current proposal. And, I plan to address more specific needs of the programmatic element, while keeping the spacial qualities, looseness, and sectional richness of my earlier models in mind.