Presentation Boards

The images from the previous post that detailed the results of our project were designed into a compilation of 3 presentation boards, being 30 inches wide and 24 inches in height. The images were arranged in an attempt to best display our design from the concept through to the end result.

Final Boards

TEG Competition

The building increases the variety of activity in the area and promotes use of the plaza. The form is derived from major connection points around the city, merging lines onto the site to give angles and shape to the building. Promoting a holistic city experience, the building form then rotates incrementally up each successive floor. […]

The Estopinal Group Competition: A Manifesto

The recent redesign of Georgia Street has promoted a new downtown culture for Indianapolis. The Pan-Am Plaza has been suffering from a lack of attention, since the architecture surrounding it has done nothing to promote the plaza’s use. Our design will replace the ice rink on the north border of the plaza with a building that will both add to the variety of activity in the area and promote the use of the plaza. The program encourages a connection to the people in and around the building, and our design will use the pedestrian flow to activate the Pan-Am Plaza. The lower levels of our building will act as a pathway between Georgia Street and the plaza. Our ground level will be filled with activity, and passerby will be drawn into and through the building, guided to the plaza. A gradient of visibility on the façade will entice curiosity into a pathway running through that will connect the people, the site, and the building. The side facing Georgia Street will remain simple, while the plaza front will be reaching out, reflecting the varied program and energy both in and out of the building.

 

Partnering with Tony Bontrager

http://agbontrager.wordpress.com/

A Completed Corner

I found that my explorations of the work of Enric Miralles influenced this project as it evolved from the original idea. Miralles’ work was heavily grounded in the site. The Igualada Cemetary was constructed with a metaphor of the relationship between life and death, the earth and our relationship to it. The Scottish Parliament building was realized through the building’s connection to the ground of Scotland, which can be seen in Miralles’ collage.

My idea is grounded in the site around the Duck Pond on the campus of Ball State. A corner has many ideas that it can be linked to. It can be introspective or outgoing, depending on orientation. It is a connection of lines, offset from the center but still a vital part of the whole. My project was an introspective corner on the northern end of campus, linked through McKinley and the adjacent campus context.

The diagrams explain my main concept, an intersection between land and water, and the metaphorical ideas associated with that. The seating is grounded in the site, a small retaining wall supporting the wood members slanting from the earth. The planar seating arrangement is a linear composition, drawn into the ground, having a slight introspective quality as the seating angles in. The separation from the pond is explicit in a channel of water that cuts around the dock, covered by a sheet of glass to emphasize the crossing. The dock is linked to the water, just as the seating is linked to the earth. The extension of the dock is kept thin, encouraging continued movement. The sweeping curve lends a panoramic and expansive view to the scene, linking the dock to the large whole of the pond. The dock edge is also rippled; the dock dips in and out of the water, lending a greater sense of motion and activity to the curve, which completes itself in a circle, a moment and space out on the water.

The significance of this project isn’t in any large built form, but in the ideas that are expressed in the details. The site was not helpless to begin with, so my entire project can be seen as an interaction with the existing conditions of the site, complimenting and merging with it. The images below can provide a visual vocabulary, which hopefully can be seen to be strongly linked to my earlier post about my project ‘manifesto.’

‘Corner’ Project

It is always difficult to compress ideas into so few words. Working with a project, I get to know it inside and out, having a deep understanding of what and why. Putting that knowledge into an easily digestible format is hard to do. A typical presentation is meant to solve this issue, presenting drawings, diagrams, models, and commentary on your work. Despite this, I think the following short paragraph gives a description of my current work that captures some of the core ideas of the project. Hopefully, upon seeing the images that I produce, this paragraph and the later presentation material will have the same inherent meaning and/or feeling to it.

This project explores the idea of a corner as an introspective space, working with the central core while retaining a sense of isolation. Within the context of Ball State’s campus, the Duck Pond already serves this purpose to some extent. This design account for and facilitates the existing use of the pond, while expanding the space’s potential use for meeting, contemplation, reading, and relaxing. Planar seating grounded into retaining walls intersects with the fluid movement of a curving dock; this design would create a corner on campus that has a quiet energy, quite unlike the main campus aura.

Less Visuality, More Feeling

Given a list of “less and more” kind of opposing ideas in architecture, this pair struck me as being more profound than a first glance might suggest. Less Visuality, More Feeling. To me, visuality is what an average person takes away from a building experience. Anybody not educated in the field of architecture or design will most likely only care about whether it looks “cool” or not. An architect should be concerned about much more than that. A building should do more for a person than stimulate their eyes. How a person uses and feels a building is a much more intimate design problem. Every aspect, from lighting, texture, color, materiality, scale and space, and more come into play. Holistic design should contemplate all of this. When an architect is attempting to secure a job, the client obviously needs to be impressed. The visual look of a building matters too, but it is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle. If an architect can get a person to “feel” their building beyond how it looks, that impression will last longer and be more significant than a postcard snapshot in their memory.

Questions

What is an architect in today’s society?

Someone who works to solve problems through built form.

What is an innovative architect?

An innovative architect is someone who can satisfy the needs of the client, both requested and implied, while at the same time creating a work that is sensitive to the environment, the site, its surroundings, etc.

How should one practice architecture?

A person should practice architecture with passion, pure and simple. Without a drive to be the best possible, architecture would not have the momentum needed for improvement.

What are the architect’s responsibilities?

An architect is responsible for a variety of things. Of course there are the essential requirements like coordinating the design and construction of a building. On top of that though there should always be more. Ethical and moral responsibilities should be considered as well. Efforts of sustainability, considerations for future building use or recyclability, the desires and needs of the client, and many other things should be on the architect’s mind. The job is rarely as cut and dry as it seems.

What or where is architecture’s laboratory?

The laboratory of an architect exists within his or her mind. It is the concepts and ideas that start out as little kernels in the brain, that germinate on paper and in sketches and drawings. A drawing board and a full complement of tools is not necessary to be creative. Sometimes the best ideas come at unexpected times or in unexpected ways.

How can architecture be taught today?

Architecture can by taught today through hands-on application of information. It’s not enough to study well-known buildings in a book, or learn the proper way to install flashing on a roof. That information is only information until someone takes it and applies it to the design of something new. That information then becomes architecture, as a student learns to create the best that he can using all the resources available to him. The job of the professor is to ensure that those resources are there for the student.