Thickness; Column, Wall, and Space
Studio Work, Spring 2018




Site Plan


                The project investigates on possibilities of constructing a strategy to develop sites that are currently vacant, some due to their non-rectilinear shape with which the current mode of housing development is not so effectively implemented.                
                The existing housing typology of the site is marked by single-family houses, townhouses, and perimeter block apartments. In such, there exists a strong figure-ground condition with a clear definition of front-back or inside-outside where the outdoor space is either an undefined zone surrounding the figure or a very defined void at the center of a volume.


Digram - Site Strategy


                The design utilizes a series of mini-blocks that could be deployed on sites of varying shapes. First, blocks are shuffled around the site orthogonally, maintaining its indifferent-ness to the site with the movement only in a relationship among the blocks. Then, the blocks are rotated along the site geometry, creating a dialogue between inside-outside, where there is no clear distinction but instead space is perceived as an open field articulated by a series of earth columns. To further the blurred distinction between front-back and inside-outside, corridors are placed on either side of volume - one at first floor and the other at fourth - with a sense of movement being able to be perceived from the ground.



Digram - Ceiling Oblique


                Such strategy results in a few spatial conditions that connect the project to the surrounding site. As approaching the site, one sees narrow openings that start to give a sense of space beyond, furthered by a few moments of clear vista that extend to the other end of the site.



Site Plan


                The experience creates a flattened image or collage of the old the and the new - the existing city fabric is framed by newly implemented earth columns. The experience of transitions from inside-outside or vice versa allows a more direct experience of the materiality with openings filtering natural lights that reflect off of earth walls.





First Floor Plan 



Sections

Exterior Rendering  - Parking

                The blocks are largely divided into two parts, both with interlocking units varying from one to three beds. The first type, units are attached directly to the core, sizes varying from one to three bedroom apartment. Other units consist of either one or two bedroom apartments with a possibility of extending either vertically or horizontally. Vertical extensions,  occurring mostly at the edge of the site, further demarcate architecture’s presence. Furthermore, the additions allow for possibilities of opening the roof to be a public and habitable space.



Diagram - Typical Module A


Plans - Typical Module A



Diagram - Typical Module B 


Plans -Typical Module B

   

    The materiality of architecture plays an interesting role in the way that it is through which the experience changes. First, entering the corridor either from an elevator or the staircase, one experiences an ambient light coming from above, an open corridor extending to exterior space, and a more direct aperture at the end of the corridor that frames a surface with light.


Interior Rendering - Core
Section - Public Staircase



Interior Rendering - Corridor

Section Detail - Corridor


                Second, each unit is marked by a space that starts with a lowered ceiling. In case of a two-story unit, there is a staircase leading either up or down, with a sense of space beyond with light reflected off of the earth surface.


Diagram - Interior Staircase



Interior Rendering - Interior Staircase


                Third, the living room is an open space with a large window that cannot be directly experienced but allows natural light into the double height space. Fifth, transitions from a space to another is always an experience of a thick earth wall rather than through a partition wall with the door that is merely a puncture through a surface.


Interior Rendering - Kitchen
Section Detail - Bathroom



Section Detail - Livingroom

Interior Rendering - Bathroom


Interior Rendering - Livingroom

                In such, the thick earth construction that was once perceived as a point or a column, especially at the ground floor, becomes a surface or a wall through which a transition from space to another occurs and the material of the earth is experienced at a more intimate level. Finally, the material changes from a surface to space or volume as it can be physically occupied.


Section Detail - Bedroom
Section Detail - Lobby

Interior Rendering - Bedroom


                In such, the thick earth construction that was once perceived as a point or a column, especially at the ground floor, becomes a surface or a wall through which a transition from space to another occurs and the material of the earth is experienced at a more intimate level. Finally, the material transitions from a surface to space or volume as it can be occupied.


Model Photo


                Through the experience of the design, the thickness of the material is perceived first as columns,  walls, then spaces with each space allowing to experience light and material at different scales, sometimes more direct and other times, more subtle. The registration of the materiality that was initially perceived as columns or points, first, changes to walls or lines - it is through such thickness that one transition from one space to another - then to occupiable spaces or volumes.
                The project hopes to emphasize the experience of architecture, both interior and exterior, and especially at moments of transition from one space to another. It is such experience through which the project is tied together as a whole, furthered by the materiality that is experienced at multiple scales.