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.’
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.