Precedents_Mosque de Cordoba, Engineering Building at Leicester University_James Sterling
It is worth the while to ponder if architectural ambitions can be realized with a minimal amount of physical effort but interesting iconography, and this project is intended to explore the possibility. Located in Culver City Los Angeles, a group of obsolete buildings are repurposed not for the sake of preservation, but to give birth to a middle school. Repurposing can be a hard puzzle, but if we are willing break the conventional definition of “inside” and “outside”, and consider a building as a city, interesting spatial scenarios become possible.
The set. A bird’s eye view depicts how new architectural elements–courtyards, glazed roofs, sports courts) are always butting, sitting or confined by existing buildings. This intentional and direct confrontation between the existing and the imposed is always at play.
Traffic. Borrowing concepts from city planning, the school adopt a systems of paths classified as freeway, arterials, collectors and distributors and locals. On roof level, a network of flyways connect four sports fields through a central hub.
Land use and phasing. In the beginning, the school moves into the group of existing buildings found on site, while construction activities take place on the street, in the alleys and between these buildings. In the end, the school expands its footprint to connect these otherwise discrete buildings.
Programming. Functioning very much like a human heart, the school has a central corridor which leads to a series of chambers. Just like valves, 3 critical points of access serve to activate and deactivate these chambers according between academic, lunch and weekend sessions.
Spatial order. Planning of the interior and exterior resembles a checker board–navigators are designed to switch between covered and exposed spaces every time they pass through a door. This breaks the conventional one-to-one relationship between indoor/outdoor and figure/residual spaces.
Texture. While the street (grey) extends fluidly into libraries and classrooms, skateboard ramps, grassland and hardscape fill existing buildings. A rich palette of pavement will take navigators by surprise.
Icon. A thin layer of buildings doesn’t lend themselves towards an icon, therefore, “pink clouds”–chain links around the roof top sports courts serves as the identifier of the school from afar. (Eye level view from the Culver City Expo Line station)
Precedent_Santa Caterina Market | Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT)
The process started by looking into two-dimensional line patterns and developing a three-dimensional tile out of it. Each line from the pattern was given a specific “depth” when they behave structurally in the tile, some taking up tensile stress, the others for compression. Two types of tiles are developed, one from line work of a cable net ,the others from a double layered grid (space frame).
All the surfaces of the tiles are resolved into two dimensional surfaces, modeled with card board and glued, which correspond to water-jet steel plate cutting and welding techniques in actual construction realm.
Steel plate welded columns with stiffeners receive loads from the roof tiles and transmit to the ground , and they are placed with considerations of the tributary areas of the roof.
The roof has another layer of glazing clad, and the four sides are enclosed by glass walls independent from the major steel structure.
Reference_Santa Caterina Market | Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT)
To analyze the market’s hybrid structure with load path illustration