Diptych as Building
Our project creates an architectural diptych by correcting the structure of the old Palazzo Rucellai and reproducing it in an ‘ideal’ rationalized form. While the existing façade is incomplete, an early drawing shows Alberti’s ideal proposal as a symmetrical five bay composition (AABAA). Our project mirrors this to create a three bay extension (BAA) to the palazzo that overlaps the two residual bays of the unfinished façade. In between the two parts is the ‘hinge’ that manifests itself as an internal stair both dividing and uniting the overall composition. The hinge is revealed in the street elevation by removing the stonework of the fifth bay. This duly maintains the incomplete state of Alberti’s façade and subsumes it in the architectural diptych.
There are multiple dialectical relationships between the two sides of the diptych, the genesis of which is a reaction to Alberti’s trompe l’oeil façade. The flattened classical trabeation is abstracted and extruded to form an open modern post and beam system. This realizes the implied deep space collapsed within the old façade and expands it into the building.
Architectural Speculation in a Black Market
School of Architecture for Penn Design
Staying true to the project brief for the proposed “new” and “improved” University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, spaces were measured in terms of the tools, equipment, and seating used to facilitate internal activity and interaction. The movements of occupants and provision of services establish a field of activity, unhindered by vertical, inner partitions. The building envelope expands and contracts as a result of interior demands. Thus, the form grows from a system of relationships facilitating human mobility, without distinct nodes or large, singular, and centralizing spatial gestures, ultimately allowing the occupant complete freedom of movement and expression.
Visualization III: White Dragon
Our final project called for a site specific installation that complimented the formal language of the predominantly vertical front entry stair of Rudolph Hall. The installation mediated two scales - human experience and the building's larger context. Parametric design was used to generate the curved underside of the paper canopy into a straight line across the top. The form was then placed on a colonnade of ascending posts up the stair, inviting interaction and allowing mobility.
Architectural Design: Reduction and Recombination
By definition, dwelling is the act of existing in a place for an extended period of time. While the duration of a built structure can be generations, the personal items we surround ourselves with—such as books, lamps, shoes, or clothing—eventually become the sole evidence of our existence. The Minimum Dwelling Code expresses the ephemeral notion of dwelling. It articulates the structure of the house as the form to which personal items conform, and then removes the structure to allow for an unrestricted arrangement of possessions. The floating elements in the Stair Conflation represent items essential to living that establish the feeling of home, regardless of the supporting structure.
Architectural Design: Higher Ground
The second project of first year design studio explored the role of the pavilion in mediating various site conditions, including water, the surrounding flora, and existing structure, near the Eli Whitney Museum in New Haven, Connecticut. The pavilion is a series of three follies, penetrating the fence line that marks the border between cultivated land and the built structure of the recreational water basins preexisting on the site.
A delicate, open air, wooden frame allows a fluid visual and sensorial connection between the loosely defined spaces of the pavilion and the surrounding vegetation. The first of the follies represents the gallery space, extruded and nestled between the trees, where children can exhibit their wares made in concurrence with Eli Whitney workshops. The second folly unfolds out toward the water, with a partially enclosed area for the café. The final folly opens directly onto the water, forming a platform where children and families can enjoy direct access to the river.