Final Critique, Project 3

Hi All,

I had my project 3 final critique a few weeks ago. It was a mixed review. Being overly ambitious in Revit and having spent a week at Greenbuild 2012 caught up to me in the end (Don’t get me wrong though, I would go to Greenbuild all over again, given the opportunity). I would have liked to spend some more time on another design iteration as well as furthering my Revit work to my full potential. Regardless, here is my project 3 narrative and final work. I’ve decided to start publishing only some of my final work on the blog, as there are restrictions as to how much media I can upload. If there’s a really cool study model (a.k.a. process work), I’ll be sure to upload it.


Youth Hostel

This project began with the exploration of the different programs that are required in a hostel. This exploration of different programs such as private and public areas, service areas, reception areas etc. was done through study models. My focus on creating a layout, which allowed for a feasible layout in terms of program, led me to develop my circulation. For example, I knew that I didn’t want the kitchen next to the bedrooms; therefore, I placed the bedrooms upstairs, away from the other more public programs. As you rise through the hostel, it becomes more private. The ground floor is very public and service oriented. (The public alley in the back of the site is the perfect service entry.) The next level is where less public as it is more fine-tuned towards the hostel users. It features the reception area, kitchen, seating and mezzanine area. The third level is where the sleeping quarters are. There are about 40 beds. Rooms range in size and from more public (6-8) people to private (1-2). Private bedrooms feature their own bathrooms while public rooms have common bathrooms throughout the hallway.

As for the site, throughout the length of this project, we were asked to try to tailor our performance area to a specific type of art or constituency. I chose to focus on local music groups. Within walking range there is the Berkeley School of Music, numerous public bars, Arlington Street Church and Trinity Church, all of which have a potential use for the space. Because my performance area is more aimed towards set performances as opposed to street performers, I began to explore how people would access the performance area, whether it be passing through a ticket booth or having complete access. To solve this, I have created various tunnels and methods of circulation into the site. Each type of pedestrian has a facilitated way of entering the performance area.

In the ideal world, I would have had time to create a few more iterations of this project. The site needs to be re-worked in order to fit better within the site. I think the transition from Newbury to Dartmouth via my site is one that is still unsolved. My goal here was to encourage people to become one with the site, but I cannot confidently say that I have succeeded. The week that I lost attending Greenbuild 2012 was one that could have been spent developing the site to better assist in the transition from Newbury to Dartmouth, while avoiding the congested corner.

1) Urban Performance

The project is aimed less at street performers and more at organized groups, such as notorieties, small local bands, and even school groups (Berkeley is nearby). By having a closed-in performance area, the site becomes less welcoming towards random passerby’s and more aimed towards scheduled performances; the information booths also contribute to this.

2) Site Strategy

The site encourages an organized circulation through the use of alleys connecting Newbury to the performance area. Different entrances are suited for different purposes (general admission, hostel users, shoppers, general pedestrians). Shop placement also encourages flow and direction of traffic.

3) Building Strategy

The main building is a mix of mass and voids that are being offset both vertically and horizontally. Circulation is also crucial in the design of the hostel, as it helps determine the layout of the different programs. As one progresses from the first floor up to the second the program remains public (laundry, lounge, seating areas, mezzanine); however, the third is completely private, housing all the sleeping spaces.


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