So if you’ve been keeping tabs with my college blog, you have probably realized it’s anything but academic work as of late. I’ve got a few minutes today, so this post will be about the first project that we did this semester. The final critique was on 9-26 so it was roughly a 6 week project.
At the bottom of the post there are pictures. You can see when I began to focus on a specific idea and how it evolved into my final model:
Project 01: Rest and Shelter
Project 1 started with the exploration of different types of chairs. I received the Plop Chair by Oskar Zieta as my case analysis. The chair was characterized by the process through which it was created, being that it was two pieces of sheet metal welded together and deformed through pressurized air. up. It could be set up anywhere, and transported very cheaply. Once the pressurized air deformed the sheet metal, the chair was made.
Once all the chairs were reviewed, the class began to study what rest is and what shelter is. From my own research I decided that a rest area would be somewhere where one can relax, sit down, enjoy a coffee; while a shelter area would be where one could escape the elements, wait for a bus, etc. Shelter would be something that is quick, easily accessible, and meant for the short term while a rest area would be better suited for something more long term.
From the first set of design iterations I knew that I wanted to separate the two spaces. I felt that each space had it’s own program and therefore was worthy of it’s own space. I wanted an obvious transition from one space to the other so that the user felt the change of scenario and understood that the rest area is meant to be more contained, and sheltered away from the rush of the city life.
Unfortunately, I soon realized that having the two areas stacked would not make sense. It worked in terms of ground square footage, but did not offer any real benefit beyond that. In addition, it would make the transition between the two spaces difficult and uncomfortable. At this point in the project, I had to take a few hours and stand away from my design as so much of my previous design work was focused around the idea of having the two spaces stacked. It was time to wipe the slate clean.
Some time away did me well. I began to look at the project from a different perspective. I understood that my main problems with the last design were the transitional points between the two spaces as well as the fact that the structure and skin did not coincide very well with the interior of the spaces. Due to this, I looked for a solution that would make the spaces more fluid, yet still create an obvious separation between the two. This led to the dropping of the second space to a height that would be more in tune with human scale and proportions. I now had the two structures side-by-side, one which was elevated to about 3 feet. On the inside of the rest area, this would permit users to feel separated from society both mentally and physically. At first the transition would be around the back, but that too was soon to be changed.
The next iteration of the model was one that incorporated the skin of the exterior structure with fixtures on the inside. The skin also helped support the initial concept of using the modular bays. These bays encapsulate the windows, which are placed at suitable heights for the users. Seating height, standing height, etc.
My final model hits all the right cylinders. It incorporates my concept (separation of rest and shelter), skin of the building (modular segments) and structure (ribbing) all in one.
The more traditional bus/train stop area is well suited as a shelter area, protecting users from the elements. One can transition into the rest/lounge area with an easy 3 step climb.
The lounge area becomes a place where users can come in, enjoy a coffee, watch a movie, relax etc. In this area, users will be able to enjoy the seclusion away from the city, yet still enjoy the natural light and movement of air facilitated in the roof and walls. The lounge area is suited with a private area, a standing-height counter and a seating area, each structurally supported by the bays of the exterior.
The final iteration also capitalizes on the fluid movement of the users. Users can enter on one side of the structure and exit facing a completely different one. The user is taken in by the space, forced to twist and turn and is released onto an elevated surface on another side facing a new subject, letting him/her feel rejuvenated.
Lastly, the modular element of the structure makes it a very versatile structure. It can be increased or decreased in size by three feet, making it a feasible space for nearly any kind of location.