Cristian Alexandru Oncescu
Completed in the fall of 2012, this design for the Center of the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) headquarters was selected to be further developed and detailed in Revit. The goal was to reconcile the conceptual ambitions of the initial design with the realities of the structural, mechanical, and facade systems. As the building is based on a spatial matrix, the structure becomes inherently tied to the form. Despite the complex geometry, the basic module contains vertical members that allow most of the structure to be supported on columns, while the angled beams mostly carry only the load of the wall or glazing system. A further consequence of the unique geometry of the building is the need for a raised floor system to create horizontal surfaces. This provides a design opportunity to distribute the mechanical ducts under the floors, creating a pressurized plinth for air input and reducing the ceiling mechanical system to just lighting. In turn, these interior design solutions come to express themselves on the exterior façade. The detailed curtain wall system introduces a new geometry that unifies the vertical glazed surfaces while also concealing the raised floors through shadow boxes covered with the same reflective glass.
Responding to the catastrophe of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, this urban studio explores the lessons learned and the research required to develop a coastal site on Coney Island through 2080, while protecting it from rising sea levels and future storms.
Implementing a hybrid strategy of "resist" and "adapt," this design proposes a new kind of infrastructure that will evolve with the changing urban and ecological conditions. In 2020, the proposal introduces linear greenways into Coney Island. By converting existing vacant land into public parks bound by a 16-foot wall, the greenways create a new boundary between wet and dry. By 2050, this edge condition is absorbed into the expanding urban fabric, making it indistinguishable from the city at large. The green channels are systematically expanded, while the center of the island becomes the focal point of consumption and amusement. By 2080, the barrier system that allows water to move across the island freely evolves to incorporate a new raised transportation network between the urban islands.