Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Developing the Axis

The axis line which runs through the climbing school originally was parallel to Main Street - a concept that I soon realized neither tied into the idea of a new identity or the programmed space.

I took a step back, and looked at the geography and site....

I then realized that if I angled the axis to align with the White Mountains National Forest [which coincides with both the identity (awareness of surroundings, sense of place, honoring nature) and the program (climbing)] - that it would strengthen the connection of the new identity (with a focus on the surrounding landscape).
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

looking at movement

Looking at moments


Rivers Edge

Outdoor Space (school and path)

River Edge


Public Space

Public Space - Looking south

Outdoor Climbing Wall

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just to be clear

I am planning on re-using the existing building - or at least most of it.
These sketches should explain what I plan to keep and what I envision is on the inside of the existing structure.

I plan on keeping the majority of the building for these reasons:
1. It is one of the few remaining buildings on the entire site.
2. Its obvious links to history.
3. Its psychological connection to the people of Berlin (the last piece of their history of a paper mill town)
4. It reinforces the idea of creating a benefit to a disturbed site - without having to create more destruction/disturbance to create a new piece of architecture - through adaptive reuse.
5. I think the overall challenge would be to take something I believe to be unattractive -large, looming, unfriendly, unapproachable, non-transparent (what goes on in that building?)- and to create something of value, something more approachable for the entire community.


Section One

Section Two

Section Three


I found this project today - Museo del Acero Horno in Mexico. Grimshaw Architects designed a museum within the space of an old blast furnace.

A fascinating project of adaptive reuse.

It gives me hope that I can do the same with my building and program.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Section Model

Thursday, July 23, 2009

P.S. D&M - Just wanted to show you that its a small model (see, it fits in my hand)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Showing you the process

I took the terms I am using to define the new identity and attempted to define how these terms can be represented architecturally.

Accessibility: (approachability, friendliness)
-Gentle grade/slope changes
-View to a given vista or node (or visibility THROUGH opening or glass or material)
-wide spaces
-clear entry spaces (well defined as entry)
-open entries
-large (wide/open) walkways
-warm materials/colors
-sense of place (see where you are going/know where you are)

-Sense (feel, see, touch, hear, smell)
-Orientation (sense of place - know the surroundings)

-Open Spaces
-Gathering Spaces
-Places of convergence (paths, hallways, greens)
-Views through openings (ability to see others)

Recreation (Green Space):
-Bench/Sitting (viewing)
-Experience (enjoyment, happiness)
-Wild areas vs. Landscaped areas
-Medium for interaction

Now, incorporating those concepts into an initial design for the school...

The Site

Looking at the school - wanting to incorporate view of river (interaction of sloping grade with river) and the perception of viewer from school. (The angle of the "view corridor" is based off the angle of Main Street that runs perpendicular to the site across the river.)

By extending the interior wall to the outside (outdoor space) and extending it - I can create several spaces; the path, the green, the wall.

Creating sections of the building on two axis (3 section cuts per). These sections helped me to develop a sloping floor and ceiling in the entryway/entry hall - that emphasises the slope in the grade on the outdoor space facing the river.

Site Section:

Looking at the sloped grade - and what will happen where the grade meets the water.

By creating an exterior climbing wall on the facade of the retaining wall - it reinforces the programmatic aspect of the site and its relationship to the building.
Also - knowing that the river will change in height throughout the year - the river will be allowed to spill onto the hardspace at the bottom of the sloped grade - providing further interaction between the river and site.

Looking at the plan in more detail and its effects on the outdoor spaces around it.

Entry space extends through the building (creating clear points of entry). Immediately, you enter the view corridor (room) that has a direct sloping view to the river. (sense of place/awareness). The climbing room is to the right and spills out onto the green space outside.

Considering the views:

From inside the entry space - looking to the water.

Climbing wall (outdoor space)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keeping in mind that my "identity" of the new Berlin is based on the following principles:
-accessibility to the site
-green space
-visual connectivity
I am attempting to lay out the site - and make connections between the buildings and the IDENTITY which I am proposing.

Sketch One:

First I began with a sketch similar to what D and I worked on together - with the same concept as what I was trying to propose below (to slope the grade to the water). The orange areas are hard spaces, while the green areas are green spaces.

Sketch Two:

Thinking about bringing the river into the site - by cutting away at the rivers edge to create a relationship between the river and the green space.

Sketch Three:

Rather than just creating the space (for the green space opposite the mill footprint) I decided to mirror the landscape as well. Visually, I like the way the egde of the water pushes and pulls with the water. Also, I like the concept of sloping and gently stepping down to the rivers edge.
Here, however, I struggled with the path between the community building (far left) and the mill. Also, I do want an abundance of green space on my site - I dont know if simply placing trees on either side of the NOLS green is enough (or too much!).

Sketch Four:

Playing with the rivers edge - taking away portions of the river to reflect the site. Once again, struggling with the paths/edges between community center and mill. The convergence of the two paths does create a nice space in the direction of the view of the mountains - but I'm not yet sure how to address that.

Sketch Five:

I tried to expand the river and keep a portion of the land mass....but this does not relate to the new identity.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Still under construction....

Scale: 1" = 30'