Six weeks has gone fast. The third and last project was a giant leap from the previous one. We went from designing the circulation of a room to designing a library in South Boston.
The site of the proposed library is between a less-than-ideal residential neighborhood and an industrial area. After doing ten study models, I chose a strip-type architecture for the library.
The library has to include a bunch of programs, such as a library storage area, lobby, gallery, cafe, digital workshops, group reading rooms, storage vault, conservation lab, and administration offices.
My thesis, or parti, is to blur the boundary between the public and the private. Consequently, I made the build roof tops as accessible parks. And the exterior facade is glass so people can peek into the library when they are on the ramps or on outside platforms.
During the final review, one of the main comments was that I should have more architectural rules regarding the degree of the ramps and the size of each section.
Today is the last day of Career Discovery. The past six weeks has been a great learning experience. Definitely a great introduction to the study of architecture. In the studio, we did all the things by hand, these include the drawings, diagrams, and models. I wish we had time to learn some computer programs such as Rhino, SketchUp, and AutoCAD. That would be one thing I would change. But given the six weeks I think it would be hard to fit all that in. I especially enjoyed the morning lectures presented by varies practitioners and the field trips to to architectural sites and architecture firms. Overall, a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed meeting some great people!
Five study models
Five more study models
Three prototypes before the final model
1/16 scale model on site
1/16 scale model on site
One point perspective section
schematic diagrams showing the public and private spaces, the accessibility, and the circulation.
1/8 scale perspective view of the library
Bird’s eye view
View from the southwest
The second project is built on the first project. I had to make a bas relief and extrapolate two adjectives from that and the previous motion drawing in project one. The two adjectives I chose were compression/expansion. Using these two word, I had to design inside a room with two doors, one big door on an elevated level and a smaller door on the ground.
First I built three small models. The first one was a literal interpretation of someone walking through the bas relief landscape, the second is more gestural, and the third is an unsuccessful attempt at showing compression and expansion.
From there, I built a bigger model that’s based on the gestural piece. It was not successful in showing compression/expansion. Then I built a second second big model. It was getting close to showing the idea but the final model indicated a compressed space as you walk into the bigger door. You then come out of a small opening where all you see is space. There are no edges in the “room” so you will only experience the vastness of an infinite white wall. From there you can walk down the stairs on either side of you and exit through the small door on the ground level.
This final model appears to be simple but the concept of an infinitely expansive wall was hard to figure out until my instructor informed me of an artist named James Turrell. I applied his method of rounded edges to the final model by curving a piece of paper. I concluded the project with plans, sectional, and axonometric drawings of the final model.
Bas Relief based on the motion drawing of project one.
Three small models that tried to show compression/expansion.
First big model with curvatures
Second big model with weaving pattern showing compression.
detail of second big model looking through the bigger door.
Final model with curved walls
Final model shown without curved walls
Looking through the compressed opening.
Plans of the final model
Sectional and axonometric drawings of the final model
I’m doing a Career Discovery program in architecture at The Graduate School of Design at Harvard for six weeks. The program started last Monday and already we’ve completed one of three projects.
The first project consists of two assignments. One is to make a 6 inch by 6 inch by 6 inch cube using only 90 degree angles and a fixed amount of material.
The second assignment is to choose an object and draw its elevations, sections, and plan. I chose a pencil sharpener. The second part of the assignment is to represent the object’s movement through drawings. Here I tried to interpret the angle of the pencil in relations to the blade of the pencil sharpener as it moves in space.
The program is intense but very educational. I especially like my instructor, who had practiced architecture for six and half years, and is very clear in her explanations. I also like my peers. They are very smart and range from college students to graduates to a 55 year old. Very interesting cohort, indeed.