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.
Conceived as an aggregation of discrete masses, the Casis Headquarter is simultaneously massive and scaleless. A rigid, yet voluminous outer-shell is punctured by figural arrays of windows which serve the dual purpose of disrupting the purity and autonomy of the amalgamated masses, while providing visual dissonance that distorts the tangible or comprehensible scale of the building. On the inside, these deep windows create a mysterious light that is employed to create a sense of mystery and is organized to provide direction and points of focus within the voluminous interior. One enters the building by descending by ramp or stairs between the crevices of the colliding masses. The lobby is a low, dimly lit space in which the visitor’s eyes and bodies adjust to the new terraform. The interior consists of two types of space- the figural void and the residual cavern. The disconnection of the outer shell and inner volume creates opportunities to sculpt rooms and niches – the figural void – while the accretion of massive forms results in organic and complex in-between space – residual cavern. The project is an exploration in the reinterpretation of the classical notion of poche, a study in the disconnection between rooms and surfaces, in combination with the use of light as a guiding, directional force that creates an understanding of depth and distance.
Ishmael’s Passage: Fifth Floor Bridge Installation
Given that the final project was to be site specific within Rudolph Hall, we wanted to choose a location that allowed for the installation to engage the building and its users. The 5th floor bridge presents the opportunity to create a sculptural installation, visible from multiple vantage points, as well as an interactive passageway that modulates light and views. The construction logic dictated the form of the referential Jurassic rib-cage. The tectonic lattice of plywood members utilizes the bridge’s compressive tendencies to hold it together at the base. At the top, the members are woven together by a system of notches and pegged holes. The compressive force of the bridge and the tensile resistance of the plywood members create a gothic bow in the wood structure. The intention of the project was to test the humility and piety of the student body. Similar to the servant entrance of a Japanese Tea House, the participant is required to lower himself through the passageway. The arrogance and intolerance of the 5th floor occupants resulted in the destruction of the bridge as few were willing to sacrifice their pride.
The close proximity of adjacent houses in the sliver lots of New Haven present the challenge of bringing sufficient light and ventilation into the house. The Hearth House establishes a strategy to unify the building systems into a central core that creates an open and flexible plan, from which the building can expand and contract depending on site conditions. In addition, the hearth punctures the roof, shifting the planes of a traditional gable bringing light and air into the home.