Monday, February 25, 2008

The Living Roof

So this scheme isn't really in existence anymore - but I thought I'd post about it a bit anyway. This is what we presented to Stephen and Anne on Wed of last week: The Livingroof.

Renderings: Margot, John, Stephanie and Meghan.

Its a pretty straightforward proposal. The space is basically broken up into a core and a surrounding field. The core is organized along the axis of the existing bathroom vents: the walls of the core hide the vents inside and the stair is screening out the large air-intake unit in the very center of the site.

Site Plan: Meghan and I

The core itself consists of an enclosed kitchen area which uses sliding polycarbonate panels on barn-door hardware, a roofed but not walled entryway, a trellis-covered dinning area which flows out of the kitchen and second story deck which functions as a viewing platform / secondary hang-out space. The whole mass has two shed roof frames which support about 500 sf of PV panels high enough above roof level to get full solar exposure all day long (no shading from the building to the south)

Site Diagrams

Illustrative Plan: Meghan

The Structure itself is made up of very simple materials and is based on an idea of modularity which was something that drove a lot of the specific forms of the project. A simple steel column grid is oriented along the building axis - the large mushroom vents would be enclosed in a metal-screened cavity - essentially a thickened wall made up of columns and screen - and the stink-vents (which have to be 7' above inhabited surfaces) are extended up inside the hollow steel tube columns though the roof above. The flooring in all the core spaces is a wood deck, either a mahagony or an ipe - something super weather resistant. Steel beams form both the roof of the kitchen area and the floor of the second floor deck. The Kitchen walls are sliding plastic panels - so that the space can be very open during the summer but can block out snow/ rain so people can still use the roof during bad weather. None of the space is 'conditioned' as in, no AC or heat. In the dinning area, built in benches, tables and planters would give lots of informal seating and be designed using the same language we use in the rest of the 'landscape' world: horizontal lines rather than vertical ones, and softer materials.

Here's some quick shots from the 1/2" scale model of the 'core.'

Laser Cut Museum-Board, Painted Bass wood, Plastic and Plexi-glass: Carrie and I

In contrast to the 'core' is the field which we designed to preserve the 'rooftop' feeling that is so rare in New York: the open sky, views, wind and sun. The Western section of the site is the vegetable garden, made up of raised beds with paths that step down through them. At the southern end is a greenhouse / shed which served the garden area. The Northern circular area is an amphitheater like space with low, informal step seating which faces a large outdoor screen on the core which would be used for movies during summer nights. We were initially looking at the idea of music and performance as something that might inform the design for this area: the residents are all between 18-26 and we were thinking that this age group uses music as a very important signifier of identity, they use music to locate themselves as part of a group and the performance of that identity is central to a healthy self-image at that age. At any rate, the idea of a stage, or a place for residents to 'perform' for one another [whether formally or unconsciously] was something that could be implemented here.

Materials and Cross Section: Margot

Garden, Sustainability and Transverse Section: Carrie + John

Some shots of the 3/16 scale model. Hopefully we'll take proper model shots this week and I'll post em' if they turn out nice.

Chipboard, Bass Wood, Plastic: Margot, Stephanie, John, Carrie and Meghan

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