Michael Graves School of Design
This proposal for the Michael Graves School of Design is at once a critique of the banal office park architecture of the site and the programmatic composition of Rudolph Hall. A diaphanous glass box hosts intertwined studio spaces and faculty offices. Rather than a traditional voided center such as in Rudolph Hall, the building is filled with a colored sculptural condenser of shared spaces that include auditoriums, classrooms, fabrication facilities and student lounges. This social center, conceivably caught in amber, is suspended from above and sculpts space throughout the box in order to maintain a dynamic visual connection to the open studios that surround it. It designates a space for student ownership and fosters communication with the greater public by glowing from within. Volatility is engendered by the center’s tension with the rigid box, alluding to the inherent power and activism of the collective student body.