Friday, April 18, 2014

conceptual program diagrams

 I got the program for the elementary school Monday. I am working on conceptual diagrams to develop an overall organization system to refer to as I begin my design for the school. Above is my first approach. I simplified the program to the key spaces of the school, what I found to be most important. I first used rhino to develop the forms. I used different heights of the shapes depending on how frequently the space would be used (larger volume for more frequent usage). Unfortunately, after I made it 2D it is harder to see. I color coded the volumes to group similar spaces together. Each diagram shown are independent of each other, meaning the colors of the left, right and center diagram do not correlate with each other.
After my critique, I developed a new diagram, the pink/red one. My professor extracted key information my previous diagram tried to convey. This included my organization of public and private spaces, as well as the frequency of usage. This diagram shows public spaces at the top, the more private spaces tapering towards the bottom. The density of color defines how frequent the space is used, and the size correlates to the square footage of the space. By extracting the information from the first diagram and simplifying it into a more conceptual, less mass based diagram gave me a better familiarity of how my spaces relate to each other on a private/public level and less of how the spaces would be organized around each other how my first diagram did. The previous diagram associated too closely to how a building would be configured.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rosan Bosch precedent: Telefonplan School

I chose my precedent study for the elementary school to be the Telefonplan School in Sweden. It is one of Sweden's Vittra school system's first classroom-less school.  It is an interior project by Rosan Bosch. This school has no classes nor classrooms, grades or segregation of learning by age. It is purely learning level based and the most important tool for learning is the furniture. It is all custom designed furniture made for interaction between students and group learning. I thought this study was wonderful for surface learning. All the surfaces of the furniture are colorful, activity specific and used in a variety of ways.

It has been challenging to look at the "classrooms" and "cluster types" of the school, as it is an open floor plan, the classrooms being the furniture. Our studio has been looking at cluster types and classroom configurations in our precedent studies. To apply the assignments to my precedent, I have treated the furniture as classrooms and found that they cluster into spaces on a large grid. The edges of the furniture create the circulation spaces and the spatial constraints of the adjacent learning environments. The school has several zones of learning dispersed throughout, as part of the "Vittra" school system philosophy: environments for performing/creating individual work, self directed group work, socialization and physical activity, and directed group work. The children learn and work on laptops.

Classroom and cluster studies, spring studio 2014

 The past couple weeks we have been studying surfaces, classrooms, and classroom clusters for our elementary school design. This is all conceptual work, we were not given a site nor program. The left two images are my first design strategy. I wanted to have desks raised on a platform grouped around a communal teaching and reading space. I liked how the layout introduced personal reading niches.I thought the odd form of the classroom could be put into a more simple form, or a "shell" which could be the envelope. I realized by doing so, the edges
of the classroom could create very interesting in between spaces for hallways in which niches and secondary activities may occur (perhaps the irregular angles could make for a fun interior playground!)
 Here are my surface models. I wanted to replicate nature and integrate the idea of natural spaces inside the classroom environment. I have this tree canopy in which students may huddle and read/ play under. The ramp up would lead to the desks and the pointed objects (mountain like forms perhaps?) are chalkboard surfaces.

 Here I wanted to play with cave forms and more enclosed spaces. dropped down would be a reading/play environment, as well as a small amphitheater like seating for learning. The higher platform would be a curvy chalkboard (I like the idea of using organic forms, this kind of reminded me of a meadow silhouette).

 This one was chosen by classmates during a studio review. Three studios paired up and split into 7 groups in which one model is chosen to share with the whole group of 45. This model has a curvy shape to represent a meadow in which students may nest themselves and view the stage area (the boxes to the left). The surfaces of the boxes (or playhouse) would be chalk boards for the teacher and students to draw on. I liked the idea of having multi-use surfaces.
 Below would be areas to read, desks would be placed on the horizontal platform. A reviewer suggested the platform itself may be the table, and perhaps be made of chalkboard/whiteboard material.
With these models, I liked the concept of various heights and degrees of enclosure. Our following assignment was to create a classroom. This was the first approach I had. The flat space would hold about 24 desks. The space above would be for reading, the space below for play.
 I wanted to keep the idea of nature in my design, and decided gable roof forms could suggest a connection to mountain tops.

 We developed how the classrooms may cluster together. I decided this cluster worked best as it created shared spaces in the middle, that was enclosed and private. It would create a linear circulation.
 Here are some final models of the cluster.
 The roof would extend into the outdoor space.
 Here you can see that the entrance of the classroom is on a lower level than the gable roof area.
Above the flat roof area of the classroom I imagined a roof garden, I would like to implement the ideas seen in the New York High Line because the roof garden would follow the linear circulation space below, similar to the linearity of the high line. Knowing that our site is on a sloped hill, I imagined the roof garden to connect to the hill landscape.

 This areal view shows how the garden space would be placed above the hallways inside the building.
 This is the basic platform I originally tried to play with. I realized the three different levels were difficult to manage.
 These are my first sketches of how I wanted to orient the buildings to create the individual community spaces. I originally wanted the community areas to be libraries corresponding to each grade level.
These are the floor plans I ended up with for this exercise. The gathering/learning/teaching space is at the entrance, a small amphitheater like seating for children to sit and learn. The ramp wraps around the step-seating. The desks are arranged on the platform, where the gable roof is placed.

HDRI on photosphere

For my ECS 2 class (environmental control systems) we are studying existing lighting qualities in atrium spaces. My group chose to study the Willamette atrium on campus. We learned how to create HDRI images and false color images using photosphere (which unfortunately is a Mac only program). It's a very simple process. After taking five shots on a camera in 5 different exposure settings  -2,-1,0,+1,+2 the images are put together on the program. You simply click on make HDR and it stitches all the photos together to replicate the most accurate lighting quality of the space. We then take the image into false color rendering to analyze the brightest and darkest areas of the space. In areas with greatest contrast produces the most glare.

 Here you can tell the lowest floor of the atrium is darkest. Part of our project is to suggest design strategies to create better lighting in the atrium. We are playing with material, color, and finishes to better disperse the natural light entering the atrium. We do not have any conclusive decisions yet as we are in our first stages of the project.

 This is the darkest part of the atrium, the West entrance. The natural light is blocked from accessing the interior space because of the large overhang. The image shows how little the light fixtures help to illuminate the area.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Studio Exercise-Memory case study

 This term I am designing an elementary school. To begin, I have documented a single learning environment from my past elementary experience. I am assigned to analyze the space by memory. I chose this community pod I remember vividly. My elementary school is broken up into wings, each with the same layout and pod. This one focuses on the kindergarten through fourth grade wing.

 This pod services many uses, mostly gatherings every Friday for all the classrooms to meet for a small assembly. The large platforms are spacious enough for many seating arrangements. I remember lying down, spreading my legs, sitting criss-cross, leaning on my elbows, etc. The openness of the platforms also allows various densities of groups to gather.

My studio is focusing on learning surface types. To the left I diagrammed the four main learning surfaces. The back wall is used for displaying large projects and art pieces, the two side walls are white boards used for calendar updates and various event notifications. The center is a large floor area for a variety of uses for children to spread out and learn, or it may be used as a stage for assemblies. To the right I diagrammed the views. The curve of the seating allows children to observe each other, and also emphasizes the center of the room where teachers may place themselves during assemblies.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring studio 2014 project 1

I was assigned to study cluster formations for our first project this studio. I was to create a single 3D module by dividing a 4x6 index card into 16 equal segments, then cutting and folding into a unique shape. After several experiments, I then chose a module I liked best and then recreated it three more times. I then essentially tessellated the module to create the cluster. To the right is my second favorite option.  

Here is my final model. Below are my two sections.

(I apologize for the iphone photos, I'll be taking better photos soon).