Sunday, September 7, 2014

Guggenheim Helsinki

This past month I've been working with a visiting Fulbright scholar on his Guggenheim Helsinki design competition project. It was interesting to see his process of work and pacing as I have only been exposed to the structured process of studio.

It was cool to see Max reaching out to several students and professors to contribute to the design process. We worked with a landscape designer and some professors were able to give us weekly reviews for the schematic phase. I liked to see how I could fit into the process being a second year student.

I first worked on the schematic design, diagrammatically laying out where programmatic spaces could be. At the stage I began working, the basic form and concept had been developed. Thus, I had a form to work with and placed spaces where it seemed most ideal. Max was happy with what I produced, and we worked off these designs for the first review session. Like studio, after review we had a lot to fix and work around, and several large schematic design issues that needed further developing and revisiting.

Max introduced me to ArchiCAD which is a really great program, very user friendly and quick to learn. Using this program, I got to design the wood patterns of the roof deck. Here, Max emphasized the importance of having reasons for every design move, such as having all the panels running in the same logic. Using the same program, I also got to edit some floor plans, and organize the furniture layout. The floor plans were a really great learning task for me. Max used the concept of regulating lines to keep walls and spaces visually organized. Where needed, dotted lines were used to aesthetically show the use of regulating lines. The floor plan contains several irregular shapes and odd angles, thus using the regulating lines kept the floor plan clean and logical. The use of furniture to express spaces also enhanced the floor plan, which I had not done in my previous studio assignments. A trick Max showed me to develop spaces was to firstly draw the circulation of the room, and then organize the walls around the circulation path. This way of design simplified the process for me, as keeping a strong circulation provided a decent starting point.

The design in general was a good concept of blending the city fabric with nature, providing public spaces, acknowledging the city fabric while introducing modern form. These large concepts I had integrated in studio, however it was interesting to see how these concepts are developed and recognized in a large project such as this.

Throughout the process, Max had also assigned me various tasks such as thumbnails for board layout, Photoshop-ing diagrams, facade design, researching building costs, etc. I was introduced to working with a team, sharing tasks and design ideas, etc.

It was interesting to see that Max had begun with a form. The past couple projects I had done a similar way of design, beginning with form and filling in the space. I had originally thought this to be a weak way of designing because of the limitations the form may exhibit, however, it was refreshing to see a completed, well designed project using this method. I still would like to learn how to develop spaces by both creating form while also allowing the interior spaces to form the exterior.