Forum Les Halles 2040 is a REdesign of the busiest transport hub in Paris that will replace the failed designs built in 1979 and 2015. Parisians have never supported any of the projects at Les Halles for their design nor their functions, yet it holds a number of adjacent sites with high regards including the Pompidou Center, The Royal Palace and the Louvre. After examining the surrounding context, we determined to use our building as a means to “break” the Parisian courtyard and the Pompidou Center by utilizing techniques learned through the process of glitching. A glitch within architecture can be achieved (and in our minds most successfully achieved) by copying. Doubling an object estranges both the copy and its original. We used this [ copying process ] as a strategy to create obscene results. We started with existing buildings as our [ base blocks ]; this allowed us to determine what it is we like about the buildings that fascinate us, break them down into useful components, and [ recreate ] a new architecture from them. Upon defining our site, The Forum Les Halles in Paris, France, our first move was to purposely copy the Pompidou Center across the site in a rough massing that created a courtyard, a façade toward the courtyard, and a façade toward the city. Much of our focus throughout the semester was creating an inhabitable façade; and this is what we were able to achieve through this fusing process of copying in high density. Layering and depth was one of the reasons we had initially took interest in the Pompidou Center, and wanted our building to take this notion to the next level. It becomes a façade that mimics the Pompidou from the outside, but has a different look on the inside. Therefor the city dweller is never certain when one stops and the other begins, succeeding in a gradual yet seamless glitch.
Graduate Studio - Eric Owen Moss
What is a high rise?
This was the question posed for this 6 week studio course. Site analysis was important in this increased density location as the presence of a train, 2 major roads, and the LA river define building placement and function. Personal studio focus was to study inner building relationships and blur the line of how many buildings are really present.
Separating the inner aesthetic from the outer one created a dialogue that that was unique within the buildings and changed when facing the city. An oversized truss and bridge system filled the inner faces of the building which would be used to support the structure. The outer faces utilized 2 types of concrete which unify or separate the buildings depending on desired effect. These moments were based on initial viewpoints.
Plaza Looking Up
Suspense is used within an array of artistic disciplines including film, literature, music, the performing arts, and fine arts. While architecture demonstrates an ability to engage suspense on a variety of levels, it is undervalued territory within the discourse. Suspense is an effective tool in grabbing attention, holding interest, and leaving people wanting to come back for more. Architecture needs to catch up to the rest of the artistic disciplines in finding an effective way to utilize suspense. One way that architecture can achieve suspense is by materializing the effects of potential energy.
Potential energy exists within all buildings but due to their static nature, it tends to appear invisible to us. When a building collapses, we are reminded again about the massive forces that exist within these structures. In order to extract this energy and embody it into an inert structure, a building must appear to have either just moved or to be just about to move.
Historically, architecture is filled with diverse examples of destabilization. The classical facade appearing to slip in Giulio Romano’s Palazzo Del Te, suspension bridges that are built to cross seemingly impossible spans, or the heroic cantilever defying gravity. These have been done and architecture now needs a new expression of suspense, one integrated into the form itself.
As shown in my animation, I began my methodology by considering both the bound and relaxed states of an object. By extracting a moment between these states, one that is neither too relaxed nor too bound, the posture of the resulting mass began to suggest movement. It’s this suggestion that something is being contained and may move if you are not looking carefully enough that I believe can open new territories for suspense within architecture.
My site is in Havana, Cuba and the program is a campus of six art schools. The campus will serve as the completed, functioning extension to the art schools that were constructed but never completed during the Cuban Revolution in the 1960’s. There is one building for each pillar of art that works with suspense internal to its discourse: film, literature, music, the performing arts, fine arts, and architecture.
After spending the first half of my thesis focusing on my technique in creating bound masses appearing to unfurl, I wanted to open them up and discover interior relationships. Beginning as solid mass, it was a reductive process in which I found the most successful results to be those that contrast sharply from the exterior. Having small glimpses of the interior poke through to the outside draws one in and creates a sense of mystery as to what is happening on the inside, which in turn adds to the feeling of suspense.
The six final models I have produced are based around the program of the six different schools but also explore different interior to exterior relationships in each one. The first one shows a definitive line drawn between inside and outside. I removed material in models 2, 3, and 4 that allowed the exterior form to create interior spaces common to the interior language. Model 5 allows the exterior to breach entirely into the interior space creating walls and ceilings for the interior. In model 6, the exterior begins to take the rigid form of the interior and allows the interior to be exposed.
In recent years the analogue model has been nothing but a final product churned out at the end for representation. By initiating my design in an analogue manner and later making sense of it digitally I have reversed the norm of this typical work flow and found a territory that emphasizes the difference between the two. After creation the models were scanned. This scan excavated the ground where the models were placed back into so the line between the two highlights the discrepancy. The animation also shows this where the photos are blended into the digital model.
Every thesis is an evolution of design. Mine led me to discover new topics such as how contrasting interiors can be enveloped by exteriors, looking into poche and whether it can be figural in addition to the original goal of the thesis which was to discover an architectural language that can suggest movement by considering the effects of suspense and potential energy.
Graduate Studio - Jeff Kipnis
For this 6 week studio course the brief was to design a hybrid high end brothel and kindergarten. The complexity of two highly contradictory programs within one 64’x 64’ x 64’ cube would proven to be extremely challenging. The course was taught to consider the space inside-out. We were never concerned how the building would look from the exterior, because if the program and circulation were intricate from the inside, then the exterior would be effected without purposely addressing it. Throughout the course we designed in plan, section, and axonometric.
The purpose was to take a stance on how you wanted certain clientele to interact or not with others, then detail specific episodes for those people. By addressing only spaces that would be interacted by characters in an episode, I learned what spaces could be a loud note or a soft one. My main focus was on circulation. I created a central double helix stairwell, and had opposite-sided entrances for kindergarten and brothel so the clientele would not interact as they moved upward. Initially treated as a stacking project, I focused on layering and how certain spaces effected others.
Graduate Studio - Marcelo Spina
This studio, titled Withdrawn, focused on massing and how mass is affected by apertures. The additive stacking technique I have chosen makes the building read quite heavy. I purposefully embraced the brutalism and monolithicity in this project. The other technique that was focused on throughout the semester was how to project windows planarly onto the mass. My strategy was to project different window textures, but always according to the same angle and across all masses. This allowed for the two entry corner facades to read frontal while the other angles appear slightly askew. The continous projection allowed distinctly seperate masses to read as a family. This also creates movement across the building composition.
Graduate Studio - Marcelyn Gow
The title for this studio was Incompatible Objects. I began by indexing a series of revolution-based candleholders and mashed them together. After cutting the mass according to the site conditions, I hollowed out a central void and flipped it upward to make terracing a focal point of the project.
Texturing, apertures, and the boolean sections were main themes of the studio. I studied how textures on the outside of a structure will affect the interior spaces. Deliverables for this studio included a 3D powder printed model and a 5 minute animation of the design process which can be viewed at:
Material Lab: The Great Green Wall
Research and development of a hybrid wall system that integrates air filtration, dispertion, and deflection. The system is designed to exist as a highway barrier wall to filter air from the highway into neighborhoods. The wall incorporates a unitized air filtration unit that will use negative air pressure to drive air throughout the channels. The primary structure consists of FRP that also serves as the air circulation channels. The glass is divided into 8 appropriate sized single curved panels. Our proposed site for this wall is as an entrance into SCI Arc and can be tested as a pollution barrier.
Design Development is an opportunity to learn more about tectonics and envelope systems. In a 5 member team, we chose a previous studio project and developed it to have a proper tectonic and circulation system. The buildings are a multi-use residential, hotel, office, and retail program. The 3 buildings are split to these different programs and had to be resolved with separate circulation systems. Our facade is broken into a GFRC panelized system with an embedded red acrylic inlay. There is a 3 foot gap for a catwalk between the outer secondary structure and the inner primary structure and curtain-wall system. We focused on detailing the facade, cores, ground connections, slab connections and structural systems.
The first part of the semester was to analyze three skyscraper case studies. My partner and I chose two-tower systems and studied the City National Towers in LA, the Marina City Towers in Chicago, and the Riviera TwinStar Towers in Shanghai. Our interest became the space that is created between structures when more than one is involved on site and we titled our analysis Interstitial Icons. Our final project was to create a hybrid skyscraper based on our precedents.
We took a close look at how these buildings worked in plan, section, and elevation. We also analyzed site plans and how the different buildings were interacting in 3D space as they moved vertically. The proposed typological mutation brought to light topics of corner condition, surface tectonics, and performative structure. We decided to make our hybrid a 4-tower system in order to multiply the complexity of the inner building relationships.