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Wilhelm, Bernard C.
Urban fabric as a catalyst for architectural awareness :
b center for architectural research
h [electronic resource] /
by Bernard C. Wilhelm.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 87 pages.
Thesis (M.Arch.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Architects throughout have been forced to practice design surrounded by a society that generally lacks of architectural awareness and interest. A growing trend to transition from a relatively isolated profession into a field that promotes stronger public involvement is critical for architecture to evolve. Within the past 10 years, the growth of architectural centers have begun to dissolve the barrier between the profession and the general public in that their primary function regardless of what form they represent, is to introduce and educate issues of architecture that are an inescapable part of our built environment. An investigation of architectural research institute precedents, would allow for opportunities to understand how they have engaged professional knowledge with a growing educated public opinion.Promoting the idea of similar functions locally to a skeptic public has to be based on the importance of change, where new technologies are consistently transforming the way we approach design problems. Introducing a variety of techniques to display information, which go beyond any two dimensional format into a three or four dimensional, more tactile, interactive medium, allowing the observer to become engaged in what they are learning is important for individuals to establish meaning. The facility itself would be a catalyst for learning in which design issues are presented and solutions are viewed by the viewer in a multi-sensory way. The ultimate goal would be able to establish a system of memory responses to allow the general public a better connection with architecture.Creating a center of information housed within a singular building would be a beneficial beginning but it is important to express that information beyond any static building into a contextual environment in which it can be further related with. Adding richness to public spaces that promote cases of good architectural design can be an example that would allow the absorption of concepts through participation. Eventually, the results would lead to more knowledgeable public input about how their built environment is viewed and encourage better design.
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Advisor: Steven Cooke, M.Arch.
Urban living rooms
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Urban Fabric as a Calayst for Architectural Awareness: Center for Architectural Research by Bernard C. Wilhelm III A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture School of Architecture and Community Design College of Visual and Performing Arts University of South Florida Major Professor: Steve Cooke, M.Arch Dawn Mages, B.A. Mark Morse, M.Arch Date of Approval: November 18, 2008 Keywords: architecture center, built envir onment, public architecture, institute, urban living rooms Copyright 2008 Bernard C Wilhelm III
To Roxy, for all your unconditional support, fo r the sacrifices you made and never losing faith in my abilities to accomplish my goal s, for this I owe mu ch thanks and love.
i Table of Contents List of Figures ii Abstract vi Chapter One: Introduction 1 Chapter Two: Case Studies Survey the Public 8 Netherlands Architecture Institute 17 Architecture Exhibits 24 Chapter Three: The Site Site Selection 27 City Analysis-Macro Scale 30 Site Analysis-Micro Scale 38 Urban Living Rooms 43 Chapter Four: Program Study Project Program 50 Chapter Five: Schematic Studies Schematic Design 57 Chapter Six: Design Development Design Solutions 66 Catalyst for Awareness 73 Conclusion 83 References 84 Bibliography 86
ii List of Figures Figure 1.1 Current state of architecture 1 Figure 1.2 Good awareness diagram 2 Figure 1.3 Connect user with streetscape 5 Figure 1.4 Path of inquiry 6 Figure 1.5 Interaction 7 Figure 2.1 Demographic results 9 Figure 2.2 Overall results 10 Figure 2.3 Favorite buildings 11 Figure 2.4 Favorite public spaces 11 Figure 2.5 Preference of house dwelling 12 Figure 2.6 Result variation #2 14 Figure 2.7 Results variation #3 15 Figure 2.8 Architects known 16 Figure 2.9 NAi-Rotterdam 17 Figure 2.10 NAi-Site plan 18 Figure 2.11 Site Diagram 19 Figure 2.12 NAi-Axon ometric drawing 21 Figure 2.13 Massing study 21 Figure 2.14 NAi-Section drawing 22 Figure 2.15 NAi-Se ction diagram 22
iii Figure 2.16 Daniel Libeskin exhibit 25 Figure 2.17 Garden party installation 26 Figure 2.18 Exhibit at Archit ecture League of New York 27 Figure 2.19 Exhibit at Van Alen Institute 28 Figure 3.1 St. Petersburg Skyline 29 Figure 3.2 City aerial 30 Figure 3.3 Site aerial 30 Figure 3.4 Zoning-Land use map 33 Figure 3.5 Figure-Gr ound density map 34 Figure 3.6 Approach at macro scale 34 Figure 3.7 Park space and parking map 35 Figure 3.8 Destination points 35 Figure 3.9 Day activity 36 Figure 3.10 Night activity 36 Figure 3.11 Current city flow 37 Figure 3.12 Proposed city flow 37 Figure 3.13 Cross section through Central Ave. 38 Figure3.14 Cross-section through 1st Ave. S 39 Figure 3.15 Approaches to site 40 Figure3.16 Diagram of views in 41 Figure 3.17 Views towards the site 41 Figure3.18 Diagram of views out 42 Figure3.19 Views from the site 42
iv Figure 3.20 Site along 1st Ave N 43 Figure 3.21 Diagrammatic section 43 Figure 3.22 Site section analysis 44 Figure 3.23 Jannus Landing Corner 45 Figure 3.24 Typical corner 46 Figure 3.25 Str eetscape plan 46 Figure 3.26 St. Petersbu rg existing corner 47 Figure 3.27 From passive to active 48 Figure 3.28 Tram Stops, Hanover, Germany 49 Figure 3.29 Four corner plan 50 Figure 3.30 Urban Living Rooms in context 50 Figure 3.31 Urban living room examples 51 Figure 4.1 Program list 56 Figure 4.2 Program adj acency diagram 57 Figure 4.3 Program schemes 58 Figure 5.1 Connecting spaces 60 Figure 5.2 Connecting views 60 Figure 5.3 Connecting the ground 60 Figure 5.4 Schematic sketches 61 Figure 5.5 Column design study 62 Figure 5.6 Canopy design study 63 Figure 5.7 Section sketches between the two sites 64 Figure5.8 Cross section sketch 65
v Figure 5.9 Schematic ground floor plan 66 Figure 5.10 Schematic first floor plan 67 Figure 6.1 Program evolution 69 Figure 6.2 Section A 70 Figure 6.3 Section B 70 Figure 6.4 Section C 71 Figure 6.5 Section D 71 Figure 6.6 Section E 72 Figure 6.7 Ground floor plan 73 Figure 6.8 First floor plan 74 Figure 6.9 Perspective One 75 Figure 6.10 Perspective Two 76 Figure 6.11 Perspective Three 77 Figure 6.12 Perspective Four 78 Figure 6.13 Perspective Five 79 Figure 6.14 Perspective Six 80 Figure 6.15 Perspective Seven 81 Figure 6.16 Perspective Eight 81 Figure 6.17 Perspective Nine 82 Figure 6.18 Model Perspective One 83 Figure 6.19 Model Perspective Two 83 Figure 6.20 Model Perspective Three 84 Figure 6.21 Model Perspective Four 84
vi Urban Fabric as a Catalyst for Architectural Awareness: Center for Architectural Research Bernard C. Wilhelm III ABSTRACT Architects throughout have been forced to practice design surrounded by a society that generally lacks of architectural awareness and interest. A growing trend to transition from a relatively isolat ed profession into a field that promotes stronger public involvement is critical for architecture to evol ve. Within the past 10 years, the growth of architectural centers have begun to dissolve the barrier between the profession and the general public in that th eir primary function regardless of what form they represent, is to introduce and educate issues of architecture that are an inescapable part of our built environment. An investigation of architectural res earch institute precedents, would allow for opportunities to understand how they have engaged professional knowledge with a growing educated public opinion. Promoting the idea of similar functions locally to a skeptic public has to be based on the im portance of change, where new technologies are consistently transforming the way we approach design problems. Introducing a va riety of techniques to display that go beyond any two dimensional format into a three or four dimensional, more tactile, interactive medium, allowing the observer to become engaged in what information, which
vii they are learning is important for indi viduals to establish meaning. The facility itself would be a catalyst for learning in which design issues are presented and solutions are viewed by the viewer in a multi-sensory way. The ultimate goal would be able to establish a system of memory responses to allow the general public a bette r connection with architecture. Creating a center of information housed wit hin a singular building would be a beneficial beginning but it is im portant to express that in formation beyond any static building into a contextual environment in which it can be further related with. Adding richness to public spaces that pr omote cases of good architectural design can be an example that would allo w the absorption of concepts through participation. Eventually, the results w ould lead to more knowledgeable public input about how their built environment is viewed and encourage better design.
1 Chapter One Introduction Architects main focus is to introduc e, and educate issues of architecture that are an essential part of our built environment.(Fo rd) Advocating architectural awareness to public will prove valuable if people demonstrate an interest and have the capability to express educated id eas and thoughts will provide the architect with a better client. Architecture is about designing for people, and successful architecture allows people to feel safe and enjoy the environment that they live in. The following studies will investigat e how the architecture center has improve the profession of architecture and in turn the built environment around them and create a proposal for such a fac ility in St. Petersburg, Florida. There are architectural centers located thr oughout the world with only a few spread about the United States and currently none located within Florida. The current established architectural centers throughout the world focus on variety of methods to showcase the ways architects can improve the built environment with the encouragement of the public input. Throughout Europe for example, there are a number of architectural Figure 1.1. Current state of architecture
2 centers that have been funded by the government agencies as part of their budget to support the cultural movement, and to involve the community in the development of their own cities. The challenge locally is to introduce architecture as a fundamental part of our lives to a population that seems to completely ignore the built environment that they engage with on a daily basis. It is this challenge that will begin a thesis to question the how, what, and why of what should be done to discover and establish possibilities that can be prove as a valuable education tool to have a better designed and responsible environment, and a more informed public that can support positive changes. To begin, it would be good to understand t he role of what an architectural center is. As it was mentioned before, Europe is the home of many famous established architectural cent ers in the world. The purpos e of these centers is generally simple; to promote architecture among the public enforcing education, responsibility and engagement to the environment and their community. It is amazing how each one could differ from the ot hers in scale, style, technology used, applications, etc. Some are also web based meaning that they are just to be access by computers without a physical pres ence. (Ford,23) These centers contain Figure 1.2. Good awareness.
3 their own identity and services such as, di fferent types of resources from libraries, exhibition space, classroom, c onference rooms, auditoriums, cafes and bookshops. Also, they provide a variety of use to their spaces from debates to lectures and workshops. Peter Luxton, t he national Coordinator of the Architecture Centre Network out of the United Kingdom mentions that all architecture centers share a mistakable belief in a co mmon set of values that enable people to understand and influence the devel opment of their place. Through out Europe, the government pla ys a very important roll in funding the creation of these centers. In the Netherlands for example, NAiThe Netherlands Architecture Institute located in Rotte rdam it is know as the golden child of the architecture centers not just holding a magnificent museum, but also for being an institute for research at the same time. Its financial source from the national government allow itself to have one of the largest architectural collections of information in the world just be hi de that of privately funded Canadian Arch Center in Montreal. The governments invo lvement in architecture is an example on their concern for the safety and well be ing of their population, but mainly it shows their responsibility to preserve the culture and the environment for future generations. Its aim is to strengthen the relation between cultural history and modern architecture by taking the cultural heritage as a source of inspiration for spatial planning, while pl anning for conservation thr ough development.(Ford,86). The value of Architecture Centers is not just as stand alone element of architecture, the idea is to tackle topics of urban issues, planning, cultural activities, art, heritage, sustainability and social and economic activities, of which architects
4 themselves have to deal with when engaging a client with their design and vision (or at least try to when they are dealing with cli ents who just dont understand what we understand). Their value is bas ed on education, not ju st to the public, but also to professionals in the field which allo w them to enrich their know-how to be able to handle design issues from all angl es. With these facilities, the public is able to absorb the knowledge on how, why, and when materials and scale are used with common sense to create a f unctional design with meaning and purpose. On the other hand, it is a plac e where the architect can get updates in technology, materials, and applications to keep up with the new clients understanding their needs and providing responsib le design products. As well as for the public, and the already professionals in the field, promoting architecture to young children as part of the school curri culum is another method to get youngsters to think three dimensional about t heir world. Its the school aged children that need to be thought this way of thinki ng whether or not t here want to pursued a career in any design field. Expandi ng the knowledge of architecture and the responsibility for the environment among ch ildren will help them mature a better sense of their built surroundings. Unfortunately, architectural centers within the United St ates do not share the same success in number as compare to the ones in Europe, but they do share similar purpose and goals. The center s that we find in the US do not necessary hold a variety of applications or uses within a same location, some of them are just a dedicated fac ility for a particular service, or maybe just an exhibit center. In contrary to Eu rope, It is the lack of fundi ng and promotion that creates
5 Figure 1.5. Interaction. (Model by Bernie Wilhelm)
6 Chapter Two: Case Studies Survey the Public Promoting architectural awareness among the public involves having people interested to learn and understand what it is all about. Minus a few exceptions, our built environment doesnt make it a priority to advocate what good architecture is. Is that the f ault of the architect, his asso ciation, the unwillingness of the public not caring or simply an ignorant public? Does the public really want better architecture and can they ident ify it if they experienced it? To investigate this, surveying t he public on those question and many others will begin to determine what they want or know already about architecture and the architect. For the purpose of this thesis, an online survey was conducted to see what a small public demogr aphic knows about architecture and understand how many would like to have stronger movement towards improving their built environment. The survey was conducted on May 30-June 29, in that months time a total of 112 responses were recorded. After a review of all the answers it was determined that 94 of t he 112 respondents showed to be valid to consider a proper analysis. An initial thought before this survey was conducted is that the public would be unaware of what the true purpose of what an architects role is. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, they define an architect as a person who designs buildings and advises in their constructi on, and its known that a building is an
7 enclosed sheltered space. It was decided that an architects purpose is to design spaces and design them well. It was a ssumed that this simple purpose would not be understood by many, leading more towa rds what a dictionary defines what an architect is. Surveying questions related to a certai n design style would result in a general idea of what people like in regards to architecture (Figure 3.8). Pictures of two different styles of house, a tradition al and modern/contem porary style, where shown and each had to pick which one they like. Considered to be simply a subjective personal preference on which one to choose, it would be translated into chance to determine if people would acc ept the modern home verse the much more common traditional house. That w ould allow an opportunity to push architecture design into a more private sectorthe house. The following will illustrate the result s of the survey conducted. The sequences follow by looking at the result collectively, and then formulating results based on how certain question were answered. This method of interpreting the results of the survey showed an opposite response compared to the overall. This triggered new thoughts and provided a clearer reason that architecture needs to be promoted stronger and a center for architectural research is important. Figure 2.1. Demographic Results
8 Figure 2.2. Overall Results
9 Illustrated above are responses to two questions, name your favorite building and name a public space you like to spend time at. It was surprising of the results given, some individuals expr essed liking to some very architectural famous structures (Figure 2.3). A few of the responses forced some research to understand the mentioned building selected since it wa s relatively unknown. It was unfortunate that approximately 1/3 of results had left these questions blank, Figure 2.3. Favorite Building Figure 2.4. Favorite Public Spaces
10 reasoning to believe they simply do not have a favorite building based on their limited interested of the env ironment they occupy. Favorite places express a different attitude towards the question .(Figure 3.5). Again some of the responses were good, for example some of the best known public spaces like Grant Park in Chicago or Fairmount Park in Philadelphia were chosen. Even the corner caf space is a great example, but some not so directly on cue like the movies or a local tennis court, not exactly public space in term of architectural awareness. Figure 2.5. Preference of House Dwelling
11 When asked to choose between two diffe rent kinds of houses that they would prefer to live in, the results concluded an thought that was assumed (Figure 3.14). It was almost a split decision between the two choices with the slight majority going with the traditiona l house. Showing these two different houses were not meant that one architectu ral style is better than the other, both houses have exceptional qualities that make them both ideal places live in. The purpose is to see if people want to have more of a choice in dwelling based on a architectural thinking. With the tradi tional house the winner shows that people associate this kind of house has place to call home. Maybe those would see the modern home as an uninviting place, less homey feel. The traditional home style is so common its constructed all over the United States when in reality it was designed for possibly for a certain climate and may not function well in an environment that it wasn't initially designed for. This is a reason to advocate better design to the masses. The individuals who chose the modern house demonstrate the wanting of something different but unf ortunately is not readily available at a reasonable cost. In conclusion for th is question, the modern house displays ideas that perform better than the traditi onal when its based on its location and specific functions and the respondents who chose this house may understand that. The opposite chosen may need to bec ome aware of this and may have a different perspective. Then aga in the results may have a ll to do with just aesthesis that is based on personal preferences of that person, but it is nice to see at least half like the contemporary hous e and would consider it a home.
12 Figure 2.6. Result variation #2 The overall results revealed a strong support for architecture with most expressing interest to learn more by a llowing the introduction of an Architecture Center. When the question regarding, Do you know an architect was answered no, the remaining questions in general we re answered opposite compared to the overall results. This indicated that these individuals show less interest in architecture, less support, did not fully understand t he role of architects, and felt less strongly about it being a culture issue of society. Allowing to promote education of architecture related topic to school aged children was also not strongly supported. With these specific results, it i ndicated that their exposure to architecture has been limited to none and it is this gr oup people that makes all the purpose of establishing a Center for Architecture r eadily available to the public. It would be important to educate them so they can understand the built environment they live in and engage the public as a client for better design.
13 Figure 2.7. Results variation #3.. These results are based on having no support for architecture related topics for school aged children, this set has similar results to the previous responses referring to not knowing an architect.
14 (b) (a) (c) Figure 2.8. Architects known. (a) the overall responses given to the listed architects (b) responses based on not personally known an architect (c) responses given by people who do not support architectural education for children.
15 Netherlands Architecture Institute The Netherlands Architecture Institute prides its self fo r being a leader in promoting architecture among the general p ublic (Figure 3.4). Situated in the heart of Rotterdam on the nor thern edge of Museumpark, the NAi has named this location its home since 1993. Architect, Jo Coenen designed a facility that functions more than just a museum but as a cu ltural institution that is open to the public to educate architecture, urban desi gn and spatial plannin g. The NAi specifically targets four areas. It aims to be a forum for discussion for the design community; a study center for teachers and students; a source of knowledge and ideas for those involved in the social process of which architecture and planning is a part; and a point of access to archit ecture and planning for the public at large (Coonan, 68-9) The NAi houses important archives and collection, provides facilities for research and offers a pla tform for discussion while allowing access to the public. NAi possesses one of t he largest architectural collections in the world: 15 kilometers of shelving containing such things as drawings, sketches, models, photographs, books and periodicals (Ford,86). They are responsible for maintaining their extensive collections which dates back as Figure 2.9. NAi Rotterdam. (Brouwers, Ruud, and Jannes Linders. The Netherlands Architecture Institute Rotterdam: Nai Publishers, 1998)
16 far as 1800 and permit access to when requ ested upon. The NAi Library, which is open to the public, contains more 40, 000 on architecture and related professional activities and an extensive range of architectural journals, both national and international. (Ford, 86) One of the probable reasons for NAis success is the Dutch governments role in how architecture should have a stro ng relation with cultural history. The institute is a major collabor ator with other organization s, academic fields and artistic specialties that forms the vital importance of the NA is existence on the need to be aware of the built environment. Funding to support the daily operations and various research conducted is supplemented by the Dutch government along with its high attendance of visitors yearly. The NAi enjoys freedom of opinion, despite its state subsid y. We must be able to put on critical exhibitions and publish critical books, states Ruud Brouwers (former director). The NAi is also independent of the arch itects professional or ganizations (Coonan, 69). Along with the archives and specialty collections that are housed within the institute, the exhibits which are ev er changing is the main force forward for the NAi. The architect, Jo Coenen design ed a great exhibition hall that measures some 1000 square meters in area at 9 meters high with a 30 meter long glass wall that overlooks water (B rouwers, 11). Over the y ears, areas never intended for public access have been utilized to showcases their ever growing collections and demand for more display space. Even the exterior lawns that enclose two sides of the original exhibit space have been used to display various exhibitions. It is one thing to understand how the NAi is successful by it countless ef-
17 forts in it various programs and exhibits offered but how much of that success is contributed by the building itself. As mentioned, the center has managed to adapt to increase it public space within without building additional space and after 15 years in the same building there hasnt been a request to expand the original structure (Brouwers,11). Granted the center is a display of good architectural design both in the macro and micro scale but how? After a study of the plans and sections related to the building, there are number of quite simple gestures the arch itect does to create a bold statement. One of the first qualities t hought of was the architects reaction to the somewhat triangular site (Figure 2.10). The site plan is about the impor tance of the engagement of the building to the site (micr o) and surrounding area (macro). The heavFigure 2.10. NAi site plan.
18 ily traveled roadway to the north is expr essed clearly as a solid boundary for the structure that acts as the hard edge of t he site. To the south, where the Museumpark is located the openness created by the architect to the open space of the existing park invites a dialog between the two (Figure 2.11). The structure acts like a node and also allows for the sense of enclosure for the par k. The southern side of the site along the park can be in terpreted as the softer urban edge due to the lesser traveled street in between edged by the public green space. The building in its simplest form is a combination of four shapes each representing a specific function (Figure 2.12). A long curved bunker on concrete legs, nicknamed the banana , provides 5000 m2 of floor space for the archives and separates the park from the major r oad (Coonan,68). A tall block topped by a dramatic pergola that houses the library and reading room. This is a light-asair glass, steel and corrugated-metal spacea clear box that seems to be floating on water (Lubell, 81) the massive block to he north side is main exhibition space Figure 2.11. Site diagram.
19 Figure 2.13. Massing study. Figure 2.12. NAi Axonometric drawing.
20 where as the block opposite houses the lecture hall and caf. Each component is connected by the in-between space that co nsist of a combination of circulation, sitting/ waiting areas or patio spaces wh ich allows for interaction as one passes through (Figure 2.13). A section analysis continues to show the breakup of the major component elements but a closer look reveal s another kind of programmatic separation (Figure 2.14). The plan section relation illustrates the degrees of public verses private spaces (Figure 2.15). For the most part the building is a public space but what little is needed to remain private is situated on the upper floors of the building. Semi-Public area occupies the mid section and the most public areas remain on the lower levels. Figure 2.15. NAiSection diagram. Figure 2.14. NAi Section drawing.
21 Through a section view, the in-between spac es show the separation of the levels of publicprivate area. Both in plan-axo view and section elevation there is a clear relation on the spaces created as a tr ansition to one component to the next. This study of how this buildi ng was designed and understanding of how each component within functions can be used to formulate the same fundamental thinking into a site and program for the purpose of this thesis or any project. It is not a matter of simply copying which is done way too often with failed results because each design project doesnt have same the amount of thinking and effort needed for each to work.
22 Architecture Installations The art of architecture is experi enced through the senses of sight and touch but not in the way an art lover would appreciate a great work of art. People generally experience building without really paying much attention to them (Bonnemaison, 3). This is one of reason why ar chitects turn to architecture installations to bring attention to issue in t he built environment that otherwise may not be easily done through convent ional architecture. Whether displayed with a museum or installed outside, installations can engage in critical, often controversial, soci al and political aspects of architecture the implicit effects of buildings. They c an push the experimental edge of design in ways most architectural commission cannot, they differ in three ways: they are temporary, their function turns away from utility in favor of criticism and reflection on the built environment and the author/ architect chooses the content (Bonnemaison, 3). When creating a space to exhibit these installation it should be aware that the architecture exhibit wants something from the public not the other way around. It is the their aim and challenge to communicate a difficult subject, and the publics cooperation is needed (Feireiss, 9). The following selected installation exhibits demonstrate a variety of way to express issue of architecture. Some are displayed outside as some are in stalled inside a gallery setting.
23 The purpose in examining these differ ent approaches to display architecture is to create a clearer understand of it can be done in successful way. The architectural installations represent an opportunity to engage in design research and to contribute to public discussions about the built environment (Bonnemaison, 11). Figure 2.16. Daniel Libeskin Exhibit. Beyond the Wall, 26.36 at NAi, 1997. (Feireiss, Kristin, and Jean-Louis Cohen. The Art of Architecture Exhibitions Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2001)
24 Figure 2.17. Garden Party Installation. Metis, Canada, 2002. (Cormier, Cohen, and Davies.Head in the Clouds.Journal of Architectural Education 59.4 (2006): 31-35)
25 Ten Shades of Green exhibition pres ented ten buildings from around the world exemplifying architectural innovat ions catalyzed by divergent approaches to sustainability. Each building was exhi bited on a separate m obile table (Figure 2.18). The tables were composed of six, eight or ten 3' x 2' plywood modules. As a traveling exhibition, the modula r components can be dismantled with a minimum of labor and the tables can be re configured according to the particular spatial restrictions of the respective exhibition venues. The exhibition's adaptability is its sustainability (Lewis, 61) Figure 2.18. Exhibit at Architecture League of Ne w York. 2000. (Lewis, Paul, Marc Tsurumaki, and David L. Lewis. Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis: Opportu nistic Architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.)
26 Architecture + Water celebrates t he design possibilities of these apparently contradictory elements (Figure 2.19). Although ty pically conceived as opposites architecture is understood as fi xed and stable, while water is seen as fluid and dynamic the tension between ar chitecture and water can provide the constraints and limitations through which im aginative architecture occurs (Lewis, 62). The projects selected for this exhibi t negotiate this contradiction as the catalyst for architectural invention. Each project occupied an 18 wall wedged out for rear video projection (Lewis, 62) A continuous 1/2 hollow acrylic tube filled half way with water, formed a literal line around the gallery and used to Figure 2.19. Exhibit at Van Alen Institute. 2001. (Lewis, Paul, Marc Tsurumaki, and David L. Lewis. Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis: Opportunistic Ar chitecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.)
27 Figure 3.1 St.Petersburg Skyline. From at op The Pier. (Photograph from Wikipedia.com) Chapter Three: The Site Site Selection The city for this proposed project will be located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Known locally as St. Pete, it is a thieving city of appox. 250,000 people (Figure 3.1). The history of St. Pete rsburg dates back to 1875 when John C. Williams laid eyes on the land he purchased that is today downtown. It wasn't until Peter Demens arrived with his railroad in 1886 that the l and purchased by Williams as a new settlement would be plac ed on the map. Peter Demons had won the bet between Williams to name the new town, St. Petersburg after his home in St Petersburg, Russia (Marth,3). The city is a lively place both day and night. St. Pete is a popular destination among tourist mainly for its beaches that lie on west end of the city. The
28 Figure 3.2. City aerial. Proposed sites indica ted in red. (Map provided by Google Earth). Figure 3.3. Site Aerial. (Map produced by Google Earth)
29 downtown section itself has numerous attr actions that make a great place to spend a day or two, especially during t he fall and winter months with its cooler weather and plenty of annual festivals. The city has been on mission ever since the late 80s to reinvent its downtown co re due to its decline over the previous years. Efforts to bring in new busi nesses, cleaning and beaut ifying the streets and promoting mix use projects have been pr oven successful in how the city is today. Central Ave. has been since the time of its begin the core and life of the city and continues to be evident to this day. The streets character is strong by allowing space for caf tables, tree lined for shading, decorative paving to walk and generously wide sidewalks. A specific site was chosen along a busy one way corridor half a block from the popular Central Avenue (Figure 3.3). The two vacant sites along 1st Ave North with 5th Street North between them, will make an ideal location for this project considering that it is along south side of the street. This allows for north facing faades along the street to have the potential for more transparency. Besides selecting the site for its orientation qualities, the site location in reference to it surroundings had important factor as we ll. The physical surrounds of the site are composed of lower to middle rise bu ilding with more than half of them are consider historic. The functions of many of these buildings are public, a post office, county government facilities, a chur ch and old historic apartment building (Figure 3.4). Contextual the area is not expected to change much so it will be important to consider the neighborhood as t he design evolves. Additionally, the activity that occurs in the immediate area around the site is very active during the
30 daytime due to the county offices and conti nues to be active along Central half a block south in the evening hours with est ablished cafes, bars and art galleries. City Analysis Macro Scale After deciding the site, it would be critical to conduct an extensive analysis of the city (macro scale) in relation to t he chosen site and then look at the site in more closely (micro scale) to begin a strong conceptual desi gn proposal based on city and site conditions. The following page s illustrate a series of diagram that translates the analysis of city into gr aphic means (Figure 3.5-10). During the study of the city, it became clear that the city has put a major focus on its waterfront. This is for good reason since the ci ty planners have allocated most of the land along the water to be public parks and al most everyone who lives in and visits the city enjoys them (Fi gure 3.11). Unfortunately, if you start from the waters edge and travel into downtown the life f ound along the water begins to taper off to a point where there is a dead zone in the geographic center of downtown. It is clear that the activity that makes the wate rfront successful needs to be filter into the city core (Figure 3.12).
31 Figure 3.4 Zoning-Land Use Map Proposed site indicated by the numbe red black shapes in the center.
32 Figure 3.6. Approaches at the Marco Scale Figure 3.5. Figure Ground Density Map
33 Figure 3.8. Destination Points Figure 3.7. Park Space and Parking Map
34 Figure 3.10. Night Activity Figure 3.9. Day Activity
35 Figure 3.12. Proposed City Flow Figure 3.11.Current City Flow
36 Figure 3.13. Cross section through Central Avenue (Photograph by Bernie Wilhelm)
37 Figure 3.14. Cross sectio n through 1st Ave South. (Photograph by Bernie Wilhelm) Examining the city through section re veals a very consist trait throughout the city. The rigid grid layout of the city is characteriz ed differently from one street to the next. It was discovered that the right of way the width of the public street between buildings is 100 feet for every street in the central downtown core (Figure 3.13). Central avenue is a two lane two way street with pull in parking along the street edge where as 1st Av enue South and North have 3 lanes of one way traffic with parallel parking on each side (Figure 3.14). Central Avenue is more pedestrian friendly in contrast to t he more car friendly 1st Ave but both are exactly the same width.
38 Figure 3.15. Approaches to the site. Site Analysis Micro Scale The approach taken to facilitate an understanding of the site and its relation contextually to the urban fabric we re through section anal ysis. Other important information gathered about the site were the approaches to and from it (Figure 3.15). It is easily accessible by foot and car and situated along a commuter bus route and a downtown looper trolley service route. Taking into consideration the views to the site is critical for the visual prominence along the street edge for the purpose to attract people and views from the site were acknowledged as well (Figure 3.16-19). In section, the major concern was the levels of public verse private functions that might show the best relation within the site and to its neighboring site.
39 Figure 3.17. View towards the site (Photographs by Bernie Wilhelm) Figure 3.16. Diagram of views in
40 Figure 3.19 View out from the site (Photographs by Bernie Wilhelm) Figure 3.18. Diagram of Views out
Figure 3.20. Site along 1st Ave N. (Photograph by Bernie Wilhelm) Figure 3.21 Diagrammatic Section. 41
42 Figure 3.22. Site Sections Analysis
43 Figure 3.23. Jannus Landing corner Urban Living Rooms The corner of the street in any city has many distinct purposes, it is a meeting place, a place where decisions ar e made, a node or maybe or its just the crossroad of another street. Conducting business on the corner makes it an ideal place due to the multiple directions of exposure and agreeing to meet a person at a corner has similar reasons. Ever y city has their own way of treating the street corner, St. Peters burg has made it a code withi n their city development regulation to make the corner an important space. The city in the early 1990s, implemented a code for the street co rners and other urban qualities named Plaza Parkway Design Guidelines Focused on the corners, a neck-out of various lengths depending on its location within t he downtown core would be installed to allow for greater space for the pedestrian (Figure 3.24). This design idea would
44 follow a pattern that would be repeated at every corner on each si de of the street intersection (Figure 3.25). What has been completed so far allows for a better corner for the pedestrian but architectura lly not as successful. The space is enhanced with benches and other urban furniture but remain passive, it lacks an important character, a sens e of place (Figure 3.26). The corners observed using the newer guidelines, sparked an idea on how to activate the corners. The co rners with sitting elem ents had the appearance to be living room like, especially when people would utilize them to engage Figure 3.24. Typical street corner design. Figure 3.25. Streetscape plan
45 Figure 3.26. St Petersburgs existing corners (Photographs by Bernie Wilhelm) with each other. The space can be maximize d by introducing architecture into them that can promote awareness of s patial conditions and materiality. These newly designed urban living rooms would now solidify a new purpose for the corners of the intersection by introduc ing new urban spaces that can be occupied with the sense of shelter and increas e interaction with us ers and the streetscape, turning an once passive corner into an active place (Figure 3.27). Challenges in designing these corner s is what specific guideline should one follow that will bring architectural aw areness within the space designated. The goal would promote awareness by co mbining a spatial condition that can lead to a sense of place, and the mate rial relationship for that particular corner to the contexts of that intersection. The City of Hanover, Germany built a seri es of tram stations that were to be easily mass-produced, with a standardized steel struct ure (Figure 3.28). They were to respond to individual locations using a variety of materials dressing the steel frames (Bell, 158). A similar conditi on can exist with the intersections, the
46 Figure 3.27. From passive to active. (Photographs by Bernie Wilhelm) opportunity to develop urban rooms that have mass produced spatial configuration then skin them with different material s based on the theme of the corner they are placed. Thinking about the entire inte rsection where the four urban rooms are to allows for a dialog between each side of th e street by its ori entation, materials or visual connections (Figure 3.29). Anot her way to form a stronger awareness of architecture is through quantity of material s, where a set amount of material is given and then is constructed in various conf igurations at a certain intersection to demonstrate space making variations (Figure 3.31). The success of such an plan for the urban corners architecturally sounds
47 Figure 3.28. Tram Stops, Hanover, Germany. (Bell, Victoria, and Patrick Rand. Materials for Design. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006) solid, though the public would need to accept them to prove their value. Its important that these rooms are designed by considering scale of the corner and user along with what functions occupy the co rner. Adding other elements such as kiosks can allow for greater use of the cor ner by promoting more activity the sign of successful urban architecture.
48 Figure 3.30. Urban livi ng rooms in context. Figure 3.29. Four corner plan.
49 Figure 3.31. Urban living room examples. The different configurations have same quantity of material.
50 Chapter Four: Program Study Project Program It was establish from the beginning t hat the ideas for an architectural center would need to be combined with other el ements to further es tablish it worth for the city. By just creating an architecture museum, to simply display artifacts of architects and the built world, would not be sufficient enough in the long term help sustain itself. Architecture is a co mplex subject, it doesn't focus on one certain element, neither does architecture deal with just one group of persons. It is essential to gather together all what make architecture work and mesh them together somehow to form a stronger dialog. This is where program comes into play (Figure 4.1). As mention, architecture is a comp lex beast of many different issues and topics and the roles required to make the whole system work is numerous. It is one thing to be able to design a space that will be able to display to the public how architecture works and go so far as to enable users to interact with what is being shown but what happens w hen they have finished looking at the displays. When they leave, are they exposed any one thing they have just observed? Forcing ideas expressed within a museum, then being able to experience these conditions in the urban context will br ing further connection to person. The built environment that we occupy wasn't simply created by one single entity or one specific group, its the work of many dealing a wealth of issues and
51 complexities. With this known it is important to house all together the groups and agencies that help create the physical wo rld we live in. Architects deal with many that assist them to make the decisions for an y given project. Engineers, City Planners, Code Enforcement, Fire Marshals, Building Department, and even lawyers and accounts are the short list of many that architecture consults with on a regular basis. Each of these groups hav e their own associations including the architect that govern the way they conduc t business but very rarely do they engage with each other to see how they w ould be able to benef it one another. One of the goals of this project would be able take these agencies, not necessarily all of them but the most cl osely consulted and have them within the same building. Establishing an area of the center devoted to enhancing the built environment through the departments that regulate it and enforce it can have only positive effects. It would just make mo re sense to be able to have the building department within the same building has city planning or the AIA. Providing space to allow the many associations of engineers, architects, and or interior designers can allow for stronger communica tion between each other. In the end, having all these element together will benefit the way they conduct business but more so have a profound effect on how the built world is developed. In addition to providing those department s space to interact, designing office space for general leasing so that specific businesses could set up shop would enhance the overall pur pose of the center. Thes e spaces would be meant for business related to architecture and c onstruction like construction companies,
52 construction lawyers, or accountants that are specialized for architects and contractors needs. One of the main important programmatic element of this entire project is the promoting the awareness of architecture to the public. This is actually not one particular item but a combination of many. Awareness m eans that one understands and by doing that they can be able to formulate educated decisions and opinions to help greater their surroundings. One the of the major ways of allowing for this to happen is provide adequate amount of gallery space to display information and concepts. The space would need to be designed in the way that they can be configured to house the possi bly of numerous unique exhibits. Exterior space would also provide an oppor tunity for addition exhibit options. The exhibit spaces would be the driv er that would excite people to enter and learn and once in, the learning exper ience can be furthered by continuing with the educational component of the program. This would be the area where partnerships with universities locally, nationa lly or international could create programs that educate by a hands on approach. Satellite classes for the established schools of architecture can promot e classes here. There woud be continuing education for the professional to ma intain licenses and for individuals who seek professional enhancement. Studio spac e would be provided to invite guest architects or professors to hold workshops or even practice. One of the most important groups to get into architecture are the school aged children. Here there can be classes that help them see ther e world three dimensionally and understand how it works. The number of possibi lities for the educational program is
53 endless but is essential to be established wit hin the center to better assist in promoting architecture. The local American Institute of Archit ects (AIA) would certainly name this place its home and would also be in c harge of it functions A foundation would need to be created to handle this exciting experience working side by side with the AIA. Another important part of the center is to organize a program that will help emerging young architects to build thei r experience in the work force, by allowing office /studio space for these young architects. They will have access to the AIA for professional gui dance for their first years and then be able to be on their own successfully. To finalize on the program of the center, one additional element would be a grand auditorium space and event hall. The auditorium would have the indented purpose for open city planning meeti ngs and hearings, along with utilizing the space for large lectures and allowing it to be rented out for private function specifically related to architecture. T he facility would also have the space for retail that ideally would cater to the theme of the center and available areas for cafes and a small restaurant.
54 Figure 4.1. Program List
55 Figure 4.2 Program Adjacency Diagram Once a general program was finalized it was important to determine how each of the program elements would fit in to the whole scheme. An adjacency diagram began to bring together what program would fit bes t next to (Figure 4.2). There were some preconceived thoughts as to where certain program would be placed for example, it seems vital that t he exhibit space be in close proximity to the street level with open spac es that relate to closely placed cafes or other retail components. Since the program was spread over two sites it was decided that the education program along wit h the event spaces would occupy the west site as the rest would be on the east site. A rranging the diagram to read as section, allowed the opportunity to understand the dens ity of the projec t and see at what levels should certain program be placed at (Figure 4.3).
56 Figure 4.3. Program Schemes. Three Schemes were given to determine which would work best between the two sites. The project from this point followed the order represent in scheme one based on the location of the auditorium to work the best.
57 Chapter Five: Schematic Studies Schematic Design For the schematic design phase, the fo cus required to pay closer attention to the street level conditions along t he street edge of the two sites and between them as well (Figure 5.1). The most chall enging issue was to create a dialog between the sites that expresses a strong rela tionship, in other words, the project can not result in looking like two differ ent architects designed it. It would be necessary to connect the sites by ways of visual connections through alignment of spaces and or materials (Figure 5.3). Ma king a literal connection by overhangs or canopies was an approach initially looked at but considered to be not the strongest solution (Figure 5.4). Designing in section made it possible to clearly create spaces within the scheme that bought abou t some of the elementary ideas to promote architectural awareness. Spaces focused on views, openness, and the in between spaces to establish a dial og with the user and architecture. Investing different materials and uni que ways to describe common architectural details like the column or over head canopy, can heighten the awareness of a certain space (Figure 5. 4-5.5). Being able to expre ss architectural details of connects and material relationships in ex aggerated ways will facilitate the learning of the user and hopefully br ing about awareness as well.
58 Figure 5.1. Connecting Spaces Figure 5.2. Connecting Spaces Figure 5.3. Connecting Spaces
59 Figure 5.4. Schematic Sketches
60 Figure 5.5. Column Design Study
61 Figure 5.6. Canopy Design Study
62 Figure 5.7. Section Sketches between the two sites
63 Figure 5.8. Cross Section Sketch Diagramming in section is a useful method to visualize how spaces can relate to each other at different leve ls. The section revealed how a dialog between the two sites can easily be understood (Figure 5,7) and whether it is successful or not. It also allows for t he creation of openness within the scheme to allows voids for light or sight. The possibility of different levels of circulations that forms the path to various program el ements and the connection it creates can allow for a strong interact ion with others and the building. Interior gardens and rooftop plantings also pr omotes awareness to integr ate the inside with the outside or occupy spaces otherwise not considered before (Figure 5.8).
64 Figure 5.9.Schematic ground floor plan. NTS.
65 Figure 5.10. Schematic first floor plan. NTS.
66 Chapter Six: Decisions Design Solutions Transitioning from a sc hematic perspective into more developed scheme began to reveal the some of the concept s that will express various degrees of architectural awareness. Having to underst and from the onset that designing a program to develop on these sites required the use of se ctions at various scales. From site analysis to programming the se ction told how elements should come together and the many conditions expr essed from them (Figure 6.1). The challenge was to work with a long narrow site with a program that seemed to grow daily to produce a sc heme without creating a solid mass that would be possible if one followed the ze ro zoning set backs of the property. Some of the fundamental qualit ies that make good architec ture is thinking about the user, allowing the user to engage with the architecture by not being timid about. Reactions on how to fill an urban void that has been created by demolition or poor planning will result in the healing of the streetscape when contextual relationships have been responded to correctly. The study of NAi clearly showed a program that was separated to expressed by volumes and then connects and in-between spaces created is where the real architecture occurs. That conc ept was carried throughout the course of this project resulting a variety of spat ial conditions that can promote awareness for architecture otherwise rarely designed for many urban projects.
67 Figure 6.1 Program Evolution
68 Figure 6.3. Section B. Creating voids as transition spaces. Figure 6.2. Section A. Street edge condition and relation of the two sites. Layers in elevation express the setback from the street.
69 Figure 6.4. Section C. Habit able roof spaces and elevated plazas. Figure 6.5. Section D. Setback the tower to form a social canyon and allowing a buffer from the busy one way street
70 Figure 6.6. Section E. Voids created allow for open public space sheltered by the building above with view of the gallery below. Each of the sections illustrated prov ide a clear communication of the various spaces designed. The voids and canyon like spaces express the transitions between the major volumes that provide opportunities of interaction. Rooftop terraces and elevated plazas provide areas of urban refuge at different levels. From the tower above the views of green roofs enhances the view below to the ground level. The spatial relationship between t he two sites are represented by the pulling apart appearance of the two sites. The plan development of this project never surpassed the first two levels keeping focus of the user scale with the street (Figure 6.7 and 6.8). In plan the relationship made to connect both side is expressed by form alignment and material continuity which has visual domi nance from either side. The space which 5th Street runs through bet ween the sites acts a spill over space when events occur and exterior caf space along wit h urban element and furniture to accommodate the public.
71 Figure 6.7. Ground floor plan. NTS.
72 Figure 6.8. First floor plan. NTS.
73 Figure 6.9. Perspective One Catalyst for Awareness Architecture can be interpreted by the architect in one way but can be misunderstood and rejected if that meaning is not made clear. As the project concludes, its imperative to make sure the big concepts were understood. The series of perspective renderings to follow repres ent some of the conceptual moves that support awareness of architecture; reacti on to the urban edge, creating voids, social canyons, folding of planes, unexpected public spaces, and relating two site along the same street edge. Perspecti ve one represents the project as a re-
74 Figure 6.10. Perspective Two actions to the urban edge (Figure 6.9). The density created acts as a way to heal the void created by demolition or poor pl anning. An urban identit y is created by placing hierarchy to materials mainly the folding element of the main tower, and how is corresponds to the opposite site and that itself has been set back to simulate layers of verticality. The vertic ality can be understood better in Figure 6.10, the street edge condition remains closely related to the human scale then as one looks beyond the vertical levels begin to rise in the distance. Allowing for large amounts of transparency will in effect ma ke the building blend in with the sky. The levels of transparency are not inclusive to representing
75 Figure 6.11. Perspective Three glass, it also is the openness created with voids or exposed structural elements that allows for light and breezes to filter through. The street edge conditi ons created along the exhibit areas have this language not commonly seen for most street le vels, a structure that appears to be floating over a mote like pool of water (Fi gure 6.11). Just the si ght of a structure of this can spark the question of how or why, and will force any one remotely interested to stop and observer. Along the street edge, an integrated canopy system that acts as a shelter component for the roof garden above, promotes different levels of cover to the pedestrian. T he tree lined frontage acts a buffer to the busy street and enhances the enclo sure of the walk way.
76 Figure 6.12. Perspective Four The exhibit gallery along the street edge act as a buffer to the entry court of the main building from the busy one wa y traveled street. The glass box allows for views through it to dire ct pedestrian travel into the man made canyon created that is part of the entranc e. This social canyon is named so be cause of the sence of enclosure created by the tower and the gallery box along with the amount of people that can occupy and interact within this space.
77 Figure 6.13. Perspective Five Signifying the sense of entry is another element of awareness (Figure 6.13). The transparencies of the building base strengt hens the massive solid construct canopy jetting out to express t he entry. The same material travels across the street to follow its way up t he elevated plaza area where it reveals the entry element to the audi torium (Figure 6.14).
78 Figure 6.14. Perspective Six A sustainable way to design is provi de green roofs but fu rther make them a more habitable space other than just being planted roofs (Figure 6.15). The integrated canopy system that overhangs the street walk wraps itself up and over to form a trellis like cover over the roof garden atop t he exhibit spaces. The roof garden acts a small retreat within the c oncrete urban world. Another usage for the roof is making a roof top lecture space to teach and show video displays. Protected overhead by the upper floors of the office tower giving the space a degree of shelter.(Figure 6.16)
79 Figure 6.15. Perspective Seven Figure 6.16. Perspective Eight
80 Figure 6.17. Perspective Nine
81 Figure 6.19. Model Perspective Two View looking east Figure 6.18. Model Perspective One Contextual view
82 Figure 6.21. Model Perspective Four Birds eye view looking south Figure 6.20. Model Perspective Three View towards the east expressing the urban edge
83 Conclusion Throughout the process of this thes is, focuses have shifted at various times to further explore so me of the fundamental qualitie s that make architecture. The initial thoughts for this project were to establish a center for architecture to promote and educate the public and gain stronger involvement. This was just to consider designing one single structure to accomplish this idea but through studies and analysis it clearly changed to morp h itself into something much bigger and better. The bigger part created a challenge where time was limited to display a successful project for the purposes of a t hesis study, so focus turned to strategies within the urban context of the site that would promote the case of good architecture. Some the results display are not necessarily the final answer to the concepts statements addressed, although they show a level of think that should be considered every time an architect designs any project. In the end, architecture is about peopl e. People occupy architecture and should do so with meaning and understanding of how they experience their built environment. Architecture can be an extrem ely subjective topic, as was quickly discovered as critics and suggesti ons started to form this pr oject, but its just that principal to get more of the public invo lved so they too can be subjective in a educated way to further better the world that we live in.
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