Legacy Educational Project
Designed and rendered in Revit 2019
post-production done in photoshop
The studio project was linked with the AIA COTE Student Design Competition. Participating in an external design competition will offer an opportunity to experience one of the popular methods for proposing an architectural design idea to a broader audience. Architects play a crucial role in addressing both the causes and effects of climate change through the design of the built environment. Innovative design thinking is key to producing architecture that meets human needs for both function and delight, adapts to climate change projections, continues to support the health and well being of inhabitants despite natural and human-caused disasters, and minimizes contributions to further climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. Preparing today’s architecture students to envision and create a climate adaptive, resilient, and carbon-neutral future must be an essential component and driving force for design discourse.
The initial prompt for the project was, "What does LSU need?"
It was important for me to break down my sensory experience of the site into different types of experiences and use those to drive my design. The first type of sensory experience I explored was an emotional experience. Through my time approaching and exploring the island which our hostel would be located, I had an overwhelming sense of discovery. To understand this, I determined which aspects of my tangible sensory experience contributed to my emotional sensory experience and the feeling of discovery. I concluded that conceal and reveal moments caused by the shape and orientation of the island and the heavy tree coverage, uneven ground and elevation changes while walking around the island, rough and unrefined textures beneath my feet and my hands, and the abundance of birds inhabiting the island were all tactile, auditory, or visual experiences which could be identified and combined to create my sense of discovery. I wanted my hostel design to respect the unfound nature of the island and I wanted my guests to feel as if they were discovering the island for the first time despite an established structure existing there. To convey the feeling of discovery in my hostel, I employed the same tangible sensory experiences I concluded led to my emotional sensory experience during my time on the island. To keep the space cool during the summer, warm during the winter, and to make the smallest visual impact on the island, I carved the hostel into the earth and sunk the northern walls into the ground. Because of where guests would approach and access the island, this kept the hostel hidden from sight until guests arrived at the front door of the space. To maintain the uneven feeling of traversing the island, I programmatically changed floor elevations depending on space use. The main communal space in the heart of the hostel was sunken further into the ground than any other floor level. The beds in the private rooms were also sunken below the floor plate. In the shower area, guests would enter through a curtain of water falling from the ground plane and onto the floor of the sunken bathroom similar to a cave and waterfall. Once inside the space, guests into a shower/steam room. I wanted to challenge myself to find a way to passively cool the space beyond just passively keep it from heating up. To achieve this, I designed an evaporative cooling wall along the south side of the space. Similar to a swamp cooler, the evaporative cooling wall worked by using moisture to remove the heat from the air as the natural breeze carried the air through the wall. Swamp coolers use damp pads within their system and to get the same effect in a beautiful and architectural way, I designed custom pressed concrete blocks. Initially, I had considered using limestone for the blocks as limestone us abundantly available in the region and it is a porous stone which would act similarly to a wet pad. However, limestone is water soluble and would not offer a longtime solution for the design. Concrete is a porous stone which is not water soluble so the decision was made to use concrete for the custom pressed blocks. In the design of the blocks, two angled cutouts along the side of the blocks focused the wind into specific spaces which would require more cool air than others. The water trickling between the blocks add an additional auditory experience by controlling the sound of the space and blocking out any city noise from downtown Austin which sits northeast of the lake. The opposing center walls in the space feature a louvered wall system which works in three positions to accommodate temperatures in all seasons.
Prior to our site visit, I read Juhani Pallasmaa's Eyes of The Skin and a few key statements and ideas stuck with me throughout my design process. The first was the idea that when we see an object from afar, such as a design or drawing on a page or a building from the exterior, it becomes an object but when that object enters a field of view that includes our peripheral vision, the object becomes an experience. Because of this, I chose to present stereopanoramic renderings using VR goggles to bring my reviewers into the experience of my design. The second idea that stuck with me, is how we should experience architecture through our other senses rather than experiencing architecture through an occularcentric manner. Pinup reviews make this difficult as they are inherently occularcentric. To change this, in addition to our visual collages, I used audio clips I collected from the site visit to isolate distinct sounds and created an auditory collage of how my space would sound to guests. The auditory collage was presented simultaneously with the VR renderings to create an immersive sensory experience for the reviewers.