Hui Zhen Ng
Advanced Design Studio: Lynn
Factory tours have often been criticized and associated with zoo visits, wherein companies capitalize on the spectacle of factory workers. This proposal is a response to the zoo-like dynamic of the factory tour; all workers and robots are hidden, save for occasional glimpses of products in motion as they travel along the assembly line.
By focusing on the transitory moments of the assembly line, the project frames the factory experience as one of mystery and surprise. By offering only glimpses of inventory travelling to and from various work stations, the visitor anticipates the next moving object along the line - whether it be a small object like a wheel or fabricated system like a chassis. The inventory enters the visitor’s view by gliding along the roof, travelling down to the wall and back into the ground. The visitor is engaged in a precarious moment and suspended in a figural space.
Instead of a linear assembly line, the project reorganizes the production line at various angles, allowing the visitor’s path to weave into the production line. The resulting spatial knot creates a moment of dynamism and intensity which contrasts with the orthogonal factory box.
The moiré effect of the façade is activated by the moving inventory. This same flickering is perceived on the exterior through the building’s perforated double-skin, a feature that additionally produces a subdued sense of movement along the street.
The overall experience of the factory is further activated by the assembly line from the urban context, while the element of surprise is enhanced as the visitor goes further into the building. The visitor walks into the building from the street and traverses the building in a loop, all the while experiencing a constant change in section.
Advanced Design Studio: Eisenman
This project constructs an antinomic and iconic sacred space by using a scheme of enclosure, drawn from the church cloister typology. By juxtaposing two normative typologies, the cloister against New Haven’s urban fabric of object buildings, our scheme achieves a typological resonance of difference.
Through the investigation of context, typology and iconicity, the project questions the typology of religious spaces in contemporary setting in the city of New Haven.
Currently, existing railway tracks form a depression on the ground, physically disconnecting two adjacent urban fabric- the New Haven nine squares and Wooster Square grid. Using the church cloister typology, the scheme bridges this gap by enclosing the site’s immediate urban block, restructuring the otherwise isolated State Street train station into an urban connector for the two neighbourhoods.
While enclosure typologies typically disconnect external forces to create a stable interior, the bridging courtyard frames and forces the aggressive movement of the trains travelling through New Haven to become part of the event of the cloister. This dramatic gesture results in a cloister without a ground and amplifies an external force internally. The result challenges the autonomy of the church cloister by creating a dynamic interior where the religious spaces are sandwiched between two datums of the profane - between the streets and the train station platforms - such that both their paths weave yet never physically accessible to the other.
In a city dominated by object-buildings, the cloister typology appears out of context - its visual and spatial displacement allows the church to gain iconicity through typological resonance of difference. As a result of the cloister eroding the existing fabric, a small, private chapel sits independently in the cloister, at the point of conflict between the paths of the religious and the profane. This is the only place in the scheme where both groups interact, and is the only figural object in the courtyard. Its height gives it an eminent presence from all parts of the cloister interior as well as from the exterior along Chapel St.
Proposed as an inhabitable sculpture, the CASIS headquarters deviates from the New York City grid typology while still respecting its immediate context. Its foreign form is a negotiation between the need for physical presence among proposed towers on site and its contrastingly small-scale programs. In order to engage the public at street level, the building expands its territory horizontally and claims the adjacent park for its public leisure space. Two solid entities keep distinct users apart, only allowing for cohabitation when similar programs merge and overlap. The exhibition is a journey that starts from the street and ends at the top, where the cores dissolve to form a porous shared zone. As part of the public sculpture realm, the CASIS headquarters helps to form a community of shared objects in the otherwise overly systematic and dull master-plan.