Recently we were allowed the use of computers at one of our one-day-long exams – so my school is finally living up to the attribute change in my about page – it used to be horrible, now it’s damp. A real improvement in life quality.
Here’s the outcome: judge it lightly since the overall design was conceived with a specific public in mind during a brief four hour period, including plotting.
Man, this post is definitively sarcastic. I’m working on improving that (as in downplaying the sarcastic note).
The assignment was loosely formulated so as to allow maximum freedom in identifying problems and needs in the Lipscani area and proposing an architectural (built) solution that would tackle the aforementioned points.
My vision concentrated on issues relating to the poor visibility/readability of the overall area (and the necessity of a landmark) and the lack of “free” public urban space. The functional program was mainly derived from the observation that most historic centers (Lipscani being a prime example in this) loose their initial cultural and traditional economic value in favor of the over-dominant bar/cafe. This leads to a certain repetition of fluxes (economic, cultural, pedestrian) which harms the respective area.
Geometry-wise, my proposal respects local aspects of the area, namely its porosity and the way the urban tissue coagulated around narrow winding streets and small interior courtyards in a constantly surprising lattice.
In respect to this approach, i considered the lot as a solid volume on which forces are applied in respect with the openings and general director lines of the site. Performing a “structural” analysis on the site revealed the patterns by which these forces would naturally flow towards given points of rest (namely the designated openings of the courtyards). Using topological optimization techniques these patterns were transformed into geometry which was later subtracted from the original body thus giving the overall shape of the building.
By following this design method I ensure an optimal circulation flow through the built site, encouraging interaction and furthering the development of the local urban tissue in a manner very close to its characteristics (gained by spontaneous evolution) thus fully integrating the new implant.
That’s wrapper of the last month, give or take.
Here’s the latest school project, finished some time ago in early January. After pondering wether to reveal it or not (not that proud of it), I decided for the former in the end…
That would summarize my last project at the design studio. Our theme consisted of creating a “perfume museum” at a site located in the vicinity of the Mogosoaia Palace. (I found it to be a very difficult site – history, tradition, nature etc. how to properly integrate a building in such a rich and precise context is a question that remains open.)
The project’s challenge was to transpose the notion of perfume in an architectural form. Wikipedia suggests many trails. Chevalier’s Dictionary of Symbols suggests some more. Balzac: “Tout parfum est une combinaison d’air et de lumiere.”; Hugo: “Le parfum est de la lumiere.”. Floral motifs, blobitecture, incense and religion, drugs – it was up to you to decide on how to visually speculate perfume.
I was fed up of the meanings and interpretations of perfume. Perfume nowadays is synthetic. Leave me be. Smell chemistry. You can’t contradict that.
I broke the visual representations of the chemical components of a standard perfume (chemical representations have very strict geometric rules – 120 deg angles, pentagons and hexagons) and got voronoi regions.
Ahhh, sweet metaphor of computational architecture. Isn’t it beautiful? Elegant? Yet it has nothing to do with architecture. Form is detached from function and we are approaching a similar crisis of that of modernism, when the exact opposite happened. People don’t find themselves included in such designs. Computation that strictly refers to form/ellegance alienates architecture from its goals. I don’t trust the starchitect theory as being the solution; it won’t last or it will split us into sculptors and engineers.
(Please do read that article. It’s a must. It shows past (as in blobitecture and zaha), present(not the “so last year” deconstructivism or – worse even – post-modernism) and pushes through to the question posed by the future.)
Enough theoretical blabber. I’m giving all this computational business some thought. Code in architecture is nice, as long as it serves the people, not just ellegance. (Please do notice I didn’t use the term “function”. I prefer the much more accurate and revelatory word “people” = complex emergent system.)
Here are some pics of the model:
Programmed in Rhino. Finished in Sketchup. Model made in ManualManufacturyCAD(hand glued). Laser cutting here.