Tuesday, April 28, 2009
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
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.
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
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.
One of the things that I have to focus greatly on now is program and the different lighting conditions that are necessary for each program. From this I can begin to create more meaningful relationships between programs based on these light conditions and the transitioning from one condition to the next. Since my project is very much about the spaces between two membranes, the physical and experiential transitions between the programs and areas of the building are very important. What these membranes become, whether they are permeable and impermeable boundaries, openings or enclosures based on the programmatic needs and the relationship between adjacent programs becomes a major part in structuring the decisions that I will now make. These different areas of transition and communication through membranes can begin to become unique to specific moments and thus create a fragmentation of the building into individual parts. A lot of the divisions among the building I was making were in plan, but the sectional relationships that occur and how the light filters down through the building is very important for me to investigate. All of the moves that I make from one program to the next directly relate to and will inform my buildings circulation.
Another topic I'm considering more now is thinking of the program in in more real terms and trying to design with a restraint that will lead to a feasible proposal. How can I create a building that not only "works" as a good vertical farm but also be interesting and thought provoking. The hard part, of course, is designing pragmatically without becoming mundane.
More specifically I'm going to try and create more than one growing climate in the building, with the smaller vertical growing pores having its own microclimate. I'm also going to let the skin of the building not only respond to the program on the inside of the building but also to its external surroundings in a more economical way. Right now, the ground floor is completely stripped of bricks and filled in with glass and new columns in an attempt to bring in the community that walks by. I think there is a more subtle (and economical) way of expressing this that doesn't include shedding the entire floor of its current skin. It only needs a trim, not a full shave.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Updates since the last version:
-Wall thicknesses (different on each floor)
-More accurate elevations (i.e. blocked off windows, etc.)
-Better alignment of parts (actually, everything lines up now)
-All surfaces covered to prevent light leaks, in case anyone's rendering.
About the model itself:
-Locations of things are fairly accurate (within 1" I hope), but little details like window frames, sloped window sills, etc. weren't modelled
-All wall surfaces aren't joined together--they meet, but just not joined to form one continuous surface. I thought it may be easier to modify things since we're going to remove parts anyways. Otherwise you can select everything and type in "join".
-Walls are separated by floors and are put into different layers accordingly (A-WALL-1st FLOOR, A-WALL-2nd FLOOR, etc.). This means that if you're outputting the model as line drawings, you'll have to clean up these seams (between each floor) in AutoCAD or Illustrator--otherwise the building will look like 4 stacked boxes on the exterior.
-Floors are done the same way
-Cores are placed in their own layer, except that they're not detailed--i.e. no stairs, no elevator car, just the voids and walls that surround them
-The roof I actually modeled on Nick's laptop and forgot to transfer it to mine, so it'll come after we get back from Nantucket
If you've been using the older model, I think it's worth it to just copy and paste what you've done into this model--it's much better and less fussy.
I've included some renderings below.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I've uploaded some photos of the site + park from our second visit. They're on our PBWiki under the folder "SITE PHOTOS 2." I know this is a little overdue... OK, a lot overdue.
P.S. My pictures are more detail-oriented--I don't have pictures that encompass a more general area, so if anyone has those, please feel free to upload them. Thanks.
For the next six weeks, you will be adapting the existing structure at 91 Hartford Ave to house an Urban Agriculture Center with a Vertical Farm. You are to incorporate the following program elements into the existing building, and you are allowed to extend the program beyond the structure of the building by a factor of 25%. This can be done horizontally (in plan) or vertically (in section) or both.
The program for the new building is broken into two categories. The first is the Urban Agriculture Center, where food and soil are grown, and community/education outreach takes place. The square footage of this category is open, and the area allotted to each component is given in percentages. The second category is supplemental, serving as financial support for the UAC. These programs are given specific (minimum) square footages. The breakdown is as follows:
urban agricultural center:
food production & acquaponics (65% of area)
compost & vermiculture (10% of area)
classrooms, offices & incubator kitchens (25% of area)
market - 10,000 s.f.
café – 4,000 s.f.
optional site enhancements:
exterior (windrow) composting area
exterior (seasonal) growing beds
The following programs are required to have zenithal light (i.e. daylight from above): classrooms, offices & incubator kitchens, the market, and the café. Obviously the food production area will need light from above as much as is possible, but it is understood that artificial light is essential to the control of the growing environment.
As established at the beginning of the semester, the mill building you have so thoroughly documented is eventually to be re-imagined as a vertical farm. Though we do not yet know exactly what that requires programmatically, we know that it will demand a large amount of light indoors. The existing building has a particular relationship to light, a particular materiality and a particular structural system.
You each have spent the last few weeks thinking carefully about light and making devices that measure, register, regulate and manipulate light. Using the thinking that the full-scale process has initiated, you are to spend the next week exploring subtractive operations on the site. Though your work may involve many ways of manipulating the materiality of the existing building, subtraction (also understood as the addition of light) is to be primary. Everything else is open: the degree of abstraction, the scale, the method, the sensibility.
Using a material of your choice, build a ‘thumbnail’ sketch, in model form, of this operation. Begin with the building itself, at one of the following scales: 1/2” 1/8” 1/16” or 1/32” = 1’. The thumbnail itself should be no larger than 10” in any direction.
You may wish to build several models in sequence to flush out your ideas. This is welcome, but some degree of resolution should be present in the final thumbnail that is presented. If you have built a sequence of models, present the trajectory. If the process of drawing is important to facilitate your inquiry, please pursue that, and present those drawings to accompany your thumbnail.
Stoner, Jill. Rain in the City. from Visualizing the City, ed. Alan Marcus and Deitrich Neumann, Routledge 2007.
The students spent Saturday March 14th, and part of Thursday March 26th documenting and measuring the site of their next project. The following was their assignment.
measurement & documentation
We will spend Saturday, March 14 at the building at 91 Hartford Street in Providence. The building is a former mill structure, situated on the Woonasquatucket River at the southern edge of Olneyville. You are to work as a team of 12 to document the building completely in a set of drawings. The drawings are to be completed in Autocad, fully coordinated and cross-referenced with each other.
All drawings are to be at a scale of 1/8” = 1’, except for the site plan which is to be at 1/32” = 1’. The following is the list of drawings to be completed:
cover sheet / index of drawings
a1-0 site plan
a2-1 ground floor plan
a2-2 second floor plan
a2-3 third floor plan
a2-4 fourth floor plan
a2-5 roof plan
a3-1 cross section
a3-2 cross section
a3-3 long section
a3-4 long section
a4-1 south elevation
a4-2 north elevation
a4-3 east elevation
a4-4 west elevation
a5-1 ground floor reflected ceiling plan
a5-2 second floor reflected ceiling plan
a5-3 third floor reflected ceiling plan
a5-4 fourth floor reflected ceiling plan
a6-1 ground floor interior elevations
a6-2 second floor interior elevations
a6-3 third floor interior elevations
a6-4 fourth floor interior elevations
a7-1 – a7-12 detail
Each person will be in charge of one category of the drawings, depending on the level of complexity. The group will need to work closely together to coordinate the set, and make sure the correspondence between drawings is correct.
You are also to individually locate and document one detail in the building. Select the detail for its particularity and idiosyncrasy. The detail drawing can be at any scale deemed appropriate. It should communicate an intrinsic aspect of the building to the rest of the class. Presume your drawing to be a highlighting of some aspect of the materiality of the building, and a document of the detail’s relationship to natural light. If necessary, take creative license with this drawing in the pursuit of the detail’s particularities. How do you communicate the idiosyncrasy of this detail?
Frascari, Marco. The Tell-the-Tale Detail from VIA 11. University of Pennsylvania. 1991.