Peoples-Ambitious Happy Land
Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize
What if urban design straddles both local and regional ambitions, yet remains meaningful and relevant to the communities it serves? The Tonghui riverfront in central Beijing is a difficult, forgotten post-industrial railway landscape, only because its latent potential has not been realized. These places can be the foundations for insurgent public spaces; self-made urban spaces that range from reclaimed and re-appropriated sites, to temporary events and informal gathering places. We approach the question of city-healing not through a singular top-down strategy, but instead through the analysis of site-specific, unique situations. This produces urban experiments which address both the problems and opportunities of found urban sites. We see programme not as a singular, unyielding thing, but as a limitless list of possibilities generating a continuous urban laboratory in which both public and private are engaged in the process of urban development, represented through narratives that capture the intricacies of human inhabitation.
Munich Concert Hall
This new concert hall design and building for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is sited in an up and coming development in East Munich. The building is spread out like a campus, addressing not only the inner programmatic characteristics of the Orchestra and Academy, but also the vibrant and multi-use surroundings of the site.
The feeling of the hall evolved to adapt the natural formations of Antelope Canyon in Arizona. While the building is made up of spread out programs that pull away from the hall, the feeling inside the hall pulls inward. This sensation is represented as sweeping forms that emerge from the walls and form the seating bays. The vibrant explosion of colour is brought into the hall, emphasized through the seating fabric to further evoke the feeling of the canyon. The combination of these inspirations result in a striking and grand space for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to share their music to the world.
Once in the ocean, the average water molecule will spend thousands of years trapped, waiting, saline. To escape requires energy, the proper vector and above all a berth on the surface. These factors do not align often: At a given time only one in every 100,000 molecules of water participates in the water cycle. Bands of heat and weather conspire to bring a disproportionate number of those molecules to the skies, hills, and umbrellas of Connecticut. There, they join WASSERGEIST.
Reclaiming Bridgeport’s intimate relationship with the water, WASSERGEIST raises two roads which then protect the South End neighborhood from the ocean while wrapping a series of lakes which treat, celebrate, and enjoy one of Connecticut’s most maligned resources: rainwater. Placing most of the new lakes in the ocean guarantees the preservation of Seaside Park. The lakes then become the spine for future development. Before plunging back into the salty depths, the water molecule gets one last hurrah.
Taking advantage of the control afforded by the gaming engine in manipulating the user or environment, ARTIFICE proposes a multi-directional gravity space; the response is one that must treat all surfaces as habitable, defined only by the gamer’s intentions. Whether in the design of a room or a puzzle, the challenge provided by the constant shifting of the concept of up creates a new experience in the interaction with the environment. This is greatly enhanced by the VR capabilities of the Oculus Rift, which tosses the user in a tumultuous world rather than viewing events cinematically. ARTIFICE is an experimental immersive experience developed as an ‘eccentric’ game utilizing the Oculus Rift and powered by Unreal Engine/Blueprints.
Final documentation videos: https://vimeo.com/machogames
Visualization IV: Tower House
Hastily, this artefact is constructed. Bridging between the sad realities of a broken family and the fantastical desire to escape it, in the eyes of Roberto, this drawing comes to life. His family home, designed by Mario Botta, was not constructed on the hill above Riva; instead, it is deep under the sea. As the family drowns in their own obsessions, the world around him submerges; drenched in imagination.
Through collaboration with Autodesk, this project aims to develop an aesthetic direction and effective workflow to create a high resolution 3D printed physical space out of the conglomeration of disparate digital entities.
With the advance of technology, the sci-fi world of kitbashing and unlimited ornamentation/articulation is entering the real world. Form is no longer reliant on arranging and manipulating primitives, but is manifested as an aggregate of objects composed to enclose volumes. This particular composition includes a juxtaposition of notable cute objects adjacent to hard edged, streamlined volumes which induces multiple layers of estrangement and ambiguity that is augmented by a material disregard for any original “intentions” these objects might have had.
Visualization II: Lattice Exploded
The Beinecke Library and courtyard presents itself as a simple framework that is seen as a homogenous grid system. However, when expressed as a series of highly articulated perspectival instances, the governing lattice grid breaks down exposing a multiplicity of experiences.
The project looks at performance to activate the site not only being contained to the interior but also experienced from the exterior. Essentially a 'Vertical Highline', program and activity is extended upwards in a series of interlacing circulation and occupiable spaces. The 'scaffold' extrudes upwards with the building, inherently producing voids in the structural lattice. The introduction of projection facades allows for these void spaces to be productively used, in addition to the enclosed volumes of dance studios and lounges scattered throughout. The single anomaly is the theatre, a beacon that highlights the two primary features of the design, serving both interior performances as well as providing a surface for external projection. Finally, the accent color represents the public corridor, weaving its way from bottom up.