Advanced Design Studio: Lynn

Lynn: Tennessee Valley

Bridge Dam Dike


Design and Visualization




with Brennan Buck

Course Description

This studio will indirectly address the issues germane to the New York Metropolitan Area raised by Hurricane Sandy as a method of engaging an ongoing local discussion that has larger consequences beyond the region. Instead of beginning by forming a problem from outside the discipline, our studio will begin by stating worthy intra-architectural problems that would change one's design response to the emerging challenges to design civic infrastructure in a densely populated urban areas. 

The topics we will focus on are:

Attention to the architecture of infrastructure comes and goes but presently infrastructure is a distinctly American and global question. Often, infrastructure is an opportunity to marry monumental form with structural expression and/or landscape design. Participation in the studio will involve a clear position on the status of monumental form and civic expression. Given the present journalistic and perhaps professional climate of aversion to civic expression this should be a hot button issue for everyone.

Infrastructure is often without volume and civic interior experience. This semester we will imbue infrastructure with internal experience, character and identity to avoid the design of empty facades cladding large urban machines; even if it forces functions and experiences in unprecedented ways. This might also raise ideas about the boundary between public and private development.

Everyone will be asked to look at: new materials and their structural and formal implications, such as the composite Neal Bridge in Maine; new mechanisms for extracting energy and directing natural forces, such as the Bath County Pumped Storage Station in Virginia; and a new paradigm for relating to a global ecology which is in transition with rising sea levels and changes in weather patterns.

The studio will select three sites and three infrastructure building types that suggest different design problems in their site, typology, urbanism and structure. Every student will quickly conceptualize a bridge, a damn and a dike as a method of defining an architectural problem for themselves; such as the relationship of architecture to landscape, machine, roadway, water, topography, structure or other problems germane to the design of infrastructure.

Sites may include Storrow Bridge, No.2 (tie) Rt.l/9 over Passaic River/NJ Turnpike (Pulaski Skyway), Aetna Viaduct Bridge, WolfCreek Dam and Herbert Hoover Dike.