Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hut: Updated

Attempting to update and make progress with the hut study and the benefit it might have to the surrounding site.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hut Study Revisited

My goal for the revisited hut study was to explore and investigate spatial relationships

Relationships of the following were explored:
-hut to site
-hiker (and gear) to hut
-height (tree, hut, hiker)
-scale and proportion of hut (furniture and layout)
-movement within the hut
-the desired views

Updating the Precedent Study

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mont Cenis - Preserving & Giving Back to the Environment

Architecture can be a benefit to the environment.

Rather than being a destructive adversary, architecture could be designed with nature in mind. By creating programs and developing systems for "brownfield sites," architecture could assist in the recovery of "unwanted" (undesirable) spaces. Architecture can aid in the recovery and be the catalyst of positive change to its surroundings.

In order to create (build), architecture typically has a negative impact on its surrounding environment. In addition to being destructive by the building process, the function of the buildings may also play a role in the overall negative impact of the surrounding site. When these buildings/sites are eventually abandoned, the site is left - creating an area that consequentially has an impact on the area (nature) surrounding it. By creating programs that could utilize these spaces, a positive change can be made. Implementing sustainable methods of construction, considering the impact of new construction on the site and creating ways to benefit the surrounding areas (whether it be a natural landscape or urban space). Rather than continuing the process of destruction, architecture could be "retro-fitted" to utilize brownfield spaces. In addition to the reclamation, consciously programmatic systems could be implemented in order to provide benefits to these areas. As a result, the architecture itself would be "giving back to the environment."

Mont Cenis - Preserving & Giving Back to the Environment

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Testing Presentation

Just wanted to see how this graphic reads online...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bart Prince

After finding Bart Prince in an book on organic architecture, I have scoured the internet looking for as much information that I can find on this architects work. I am simply amazed at his work - the way he uses the structure in order to create spaces within his homes, the materials he uses (wood, stone, water, steel), the way he works with the site - and pushed the envelope of what might be "acceptable."

Prince believes that first a designer must start with a good idea - based in imagination. Second, he believes that the architecture should create a quality of mystery - making the viewer wonder "how does this buildings structure work?" "what is the program?" Prince also believes that the structure should be exposed - rather than hiding it within walls.

One of his comments that had a lot of resonance with me was his comment that as an architect you can make a site more dramatic through the design of the architecture. If there is a pre-existing context - then change it!!
(This made me think to myself about the question that Herb posed to us in the first semester - as an architect, what would be your responsibility in design when creating a design for a row house on Mass. Ave. I laugh to think that Bart Prince would certainly not follow the context of the "historic" facades that currently exist.)

Sketch Problem

Recently Mike proposed a sketch problem - to design AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) huts along the AT (Appalachian Trail) in an "organic architecture" fashion. Currently, there are huts along the trail. These buildings are typically made from local stone and wood - but they are not necessarily organic. (nor were they intended to be when they were originally designed)

After looking at several precidents in the realm of organic architecture - such as FLW, Bart Prince, Bruce Goff, Mickey Muenning - I attempted to come up with a few quick sketches to solve the problem of an "organic hut."

First, I took into account the site and site conditions - rocky, steep peaks, above tree line (without trees), small/low lying greenery. Weather conditions are the most extreme in New England - temperature ranging from below zero to over 100 degrees (and this can all happen on a day in July). Four storm centers converge over Mt. Washington, the highest of the peaks in NH. When storms collide over the mountains - the weather can be severe.

Second, I wanted to take into consideration the local materials such as stone and wood - although I do not believe that by simply constructing a building from local materials makes it "organic." I believe that if the building appears to "come from the site itself" - working with the site, the landscape, the materials, the weather - that it then becomes organic.

Third, I wanted to keep in mind that people will be using these huts for shelter in the summer months - and that when they are inside, in addition from being sheltered from the weather, looking out onto the view would also be important.

In order to accomplish this sketch problem - I sketched over photographs of the White Mountains and the AT.

Here I wanted to explore the cairns (stone trail markers) on the trail and how the rudimentary shape of the cairn could influence a shelter.

Then I explored the existing architecture of the huts and how they could be designed (or redesigned) in order to incorporate elements such as large sloping roofs (to collect water) and high row windows to capture light.

Finally, I played with the forms in terms of the landscapes - creating large sloping roofs to resemble jagged peaks, low roof pitches to resemble the flat (grassy) lands, wood/stone exteriors, solar panels to collect sunlight...