Coral Floral Corporal
We begin with the creation of coral structures through continuous surfaces that folded back on themselves. These become monolithic figural forms that are then carve along straight lines. The cut frames the building within the site. Like a window frame, the building captures a single moment in a landscape or a cut object form. Rather than a discreetly bound form, the cut suggesting an infinite continuation of the object. The interior is carved with boxes to create occupiable space as well as to provide a regular geometry to read against expressive form.
Our surface treatment for the coral structures is inspired by Otto Wagner’s floral motifs and his treatment of ornament as continuous surface patterns, uninterrupted by architectural elements. As opposed to the classical model of ornament, which embellishes structural elements, Wagner treats walls as textiles. We introduce Wagner’s vertical landscape to our reinterpretation of the secessionist building as the ornamental system.
Our final system is a membrane structure that lives within the body of the cut mass. These flexible gallery spaces expand and contract to accommodate changing exhibits. Conceived as a singular entity that procreates through cell division, these spaces suggest a literal corporality – the inhabitation of the body itself as opposed to the classical notion of scale and proportion in relation to the body.
History of Landscape Architecture
Water features in gardens often form one continuous narrative. Even the smallest and most private water feature could be understood as part of a larger irrigation system. Pompeii is the perfect example of this, where water came in from one source and was distributed into different parts of town, taking various forms both in public and private realms, such as fountains, pools, baths, and euripas, entertaining the eyes and ears of its citizens. While some of the closer integrations of water and life in ancient Rome are lost in the course of history, Pompeiian example of the use of water remains as an infinite source of inspiration to architects and designers.
CASIS has three different programs that require different levels of privacy. I separated them into three separate buildings: administration, research laboratories, and exhibition space for the public. The ultimate goal of CASIS is to bring these three programs together and promote interaction and to that end I created three social connectors to link them. The conference and lobby space connects exhibition and research space; the payload operation center plus main exhibition space connects all three; and the lounge space connects office workers and researchers.
On the site, I followed the strong grain of Manhattan that runs from the city to the river. I was interested in the constructed ground plane coming to the river, but instead of a single drop down, I developed a cascade down to the water to experience different levels of the city edge: the highway, the bridge, the constructed ground, and the actual ground.
The Sunken Courtyard House
The sunken courtyard house prototype aims to bring the Asian concept of inviting nature inside a house into a western urban setting. This is achieved by sinking parts of the side and backyards, creating private courtyards from the nature surrounding the house. The large openings of the house connect the sunken courtyards to the tight interior space, overcoming the spatial constraints of the narrow lot. Layers of screens maintain privacy from neighbors while still allowing nature the pass in the form of light and shadows.