Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize
This project exploits the natural tendencies of an observatory: darkness and seclusion. Sited within the gridded trees of Keilder Forest, this observatory provides a quiet and discrete refuge for the amateur astronomer. Eight large rooms, each 11 meters in diameter, are clustered around a small interior court, protecting this space from the cold and wet climate. The entrance is from the northwest corner of the building and visitors descend first into an open room sunken into the slight slope of the hill. Galleries, warm rooms, and a café are accessed from this floor. In the northeast corner tower, the planetarium rests even further down into the landscape allowing for a research space and observatory above. Allowing the interior court to slip down into the landscape below, the dormitories and resident astronomer’s living quarters are raised above the landscape. There are no exterior windows flush to the outside façade, instead, light leaks into the interior between the overlap of the weathered wooden roof of the exterior and the cylindrical walls which wrap into the building. The moments of dislocation between the roof and interior wall also allow visitors to move into, out of, and between the different volumes. At the peak of each roof is a .5 meter skylight which allows direct light and moonlight to illuminate the upper space of the interior. The limited and controlled moments of light leaking into the interior provides the tenuous relationship between interior and exterior, light and dark, and astronomer and night sky.
Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize
The project reconfigures the typical Sunset District block providing communal living for a new working class that might otherwise leave the city in search of affordable housing. The architecture is an open framework providing private and shared spaces allowing the inhabitants to decide to what degree they wish to be communal. If they wish to have a more private apartment, they can easily partition both porches and install their own stairs to the garden. If they wish to live communally, they can retain a private room on one side of the building and share multiple bays and a single stair for their section of the building. All this is contained within a building that announces itself to the commercial street, yet remains hidden on the side streets, linking the block into one shared domestic space, radicalizing the cookie cutter grid and facades of the early twentieth century suburban sprawl.
As a new interpretation of the traditional factory housing, this proposal suggests new types of dwellings that deviate from the usual relationship between residential, industrial, and commercial zones. The deployment of this new housing prototype will act as an economic driver in critical areas and a dry edge against coastal storm surge – its purpose is to stimulate growth. Acting as a new city center, it will ensure continued density and activity within and around itself. The proposal looks at two distinct sites in Bridgeport: Sikorsky, an existing helicopter factory, and Steel Point, a new commercial development. In each case, this project looks at Bridgeport in terms of its large scale, isolated building types, and posits an urban prototype for revitalizing and densifying these introverted islands.
The Liquid Threshold Between Order and Chaos
This seminar explores the design of complex three-dimensional structural systems. Through discussions on existing projects, including some of the instructors’ own, and also modeling and testing new systems to destruction, both physically and digitally (using tools such as Karamba 3D), the seminar intends to foster a deeper intuitive understanding of structures. At what point do you know a structure is at its limit?
Visualization III: Hole to the Sky
The site for the installation was the void between the outdoor stair and penthouse on the upper-most terrace of Rudolph Hall. Using the striations of the corduroy concrete as a datum for porosity, we suggested enclosure of the space using surfaces comprised of plywood ribs, articulated with a subtle undulation that was reinforced by the mirror placed on the ground. The result, whether perceived from within the space or above, was the illusion of an infinite void, where the distinction between the sky and the ground was blurred.