Sunday, January 27, 2008

First Massing Sketches and Site Maps

Regional and Transit Site Map

Block Level Site Map

So these are my first (very rough) thoughts about the site. I'm trying to start by really investigating how the residents will actually use the space and beginning to organize the space based on those assumptions. I think the program of the site is going to be the most important aspect and things like sun, materials, gardens will serve an underlying pattern of uses. I'm resisting any particular programs such as games, or dancing or anything else like that for now. I think that having several distinct, informal gathering spaces of different scales, designed to facilitate different lengths and styles of interaction, will allow for the most successful pattern of uses. I think that creating many different 'nodes' of different scales will allow for people to use the space as both the member of a larger group or as individuals, encouraging new residents to utilize the space without forcing people to participate in a single large 'communal' space. The 'common area' is something Johnny and I investigated quite a bit during our NYU Dorm project last spring and I think that the same balancing of privacy and exposure, anonymity and community are things that will be paramount in this project as well.

There isn't much 'Architecture' here: I'm really just still trying to wrap my head around the project and develop my attitude towards both this specific project and the types of elements we will be using here. As far as the existing conditions are concerned, I think that exploiting the patterns and spatial divisions inherent in the site makes a lot of sense. The mechanical equipment already serves to divide the roof into three or four distinct spaces that can be made to function well without much manipulation. In addition, I think that instead of trying to reroute the Bathroom vents we can simply use the existing layout to organize a column grid where we can encase the vents within the columns and support some form of roof structure over much of the site. A real question is of course 'the beast' in the center of the roof and how can we deal with it. I've been looking at Greenscreens as a way of perhaps filtering out the view and noise of it without restricting the air coming into the unit. It might also serve to create a central green core which could support the roof trellis. We'll see.

I've also bee looking at this ASLA project quite a bit. I think the metal grating on top of the low sedum green roof is fantastic and I think that the layering of circulation, use and green stuff is fantastic. Depth, layering and filtering are all qualities that I think would be great to include in as many elements as possible on this project.

We have to present this material tomorrow and after that we split into groups to work on the next phase. I'll write more after getting some feedback tomorrow.

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