Looking at the socio-economic history of Bushwick as a working class, manufacturing neighborhood, I wanted to reappropriate the sawtooth as a typological symbol of monotonous manual labor into a signifier of creative and intellectual production. Beyond the semiotics of the building form, I also wanted to let in northerly light through the sawtooth to evenly illuminate the gallery/cultural space on the third floor and parts of the two lower floors. This emphasis on light is based on the idea that light is the harbinger of enlightenment and knowledge. The programs are divided dichotomously into two categories: immaterial and material, which can also be essence and form or heavenly and earthly. Immaterial spaces house and involve minimal weight of physical objects. It is a spatial manifestation of the intellect which has no physical substance. Material spaces are for handling large quantity of objects that serve the intellectual and creative activities of the immaterial spaces. The building is inserted into a grid of columns and the circular roof creates a rotated contrast to the primary grid to let in true north light, thus highlighting its place as the focal point of the building. The vertical circulation cores are located at the three corners of the site and they all converge at the third floor gallery.
Architectural Design: Stage 01
I started the project by looking at the wider context of New Haven. The site is located between the two major dichotomous forces of man and nature, each represented by Yale/New Haven and parks/cemeteries respectively. The framing streets of the nine square grid extend westward and intersect with the central spine of the Winthrop Ave. at junctures that are, together with parks to the west, within walking distance from the site. Learning from the analysis, I wanted to create \a house that is culturally vibrant and environmentally friendly. A fundamental factor of culture is communal interaction, so the house is a monolithic open shed that invites through its flexible spaces conflict, action, and reaction among the inhabitants. The monolithic exterior is carved out by the void of the light well that receives southerly light and wind for the bedroom stacks to minimize the need for artificial supply of light and ventilation. Vertical circulation core, light well, and the bedroom stacks engage in a push and pull as opposed to the cavernous space of the communal living room to catalyze slow metabolism of life that is necessary for the integration of the environment and human culture.