Friday, March 7, 2008


We met with Randy Wood [the Architect for the Foyer bldg] and some peeps from his office yesterday and after talking with them, it looks like the idea of a fully enclosed, conditioned, 4 season space might have finally gone the way of the dodo. The meeting was not really a design review of any sort but more about figuring out questions of filing, bldg codes, mechanicals, and all that good stuff. It sounds like (and i might have completely misunderstood this, but here goes) that we just don't have the time for the bldg to dept. to review an enclosed space on the roof even if we thought it was feasible because it would have to be filed as an Alt -1 since we would be changing the already designated 'Use' of the roof-level.

That is because the Foyer proj is pretty far behind schedule and now it looks like they won't be getting their CO until May and while it is technically possible for us to apply for a new permit before they get their CO - it would mean that our proj gets all tangled up with the company that is doing the bldg construction and that they wouldn't be able to get their own CO until our project was completed. What that really means is just 'more money and more time.' In addition, the issues of sprinklers, hiring plumbers and electricians and all that just seemed to make the whole notion of an enclosure begin to seem like more trouble than it was worth. The real question comes down to what do we want to expend our limited time and energy on? Running mechanicals and arguing with bldg inspectors or working on the exterior elements like the gardens a lot more and shifting the core to more of a pavilion-type structure?

Personally, I also think it is a much more interesting project if we move away from an enclosed space. We get to use way better materials and we can be much more wonky about the way the 'inside' space bleeds into the surrounding landscape and the challenge of making a comfortable space without relying on mechanical conditioning is really interesting and could take us in some new directions. It is important, though, to make sure that the proj is still a comfortable place to hang out it, and we will still try and temper the interior environment as much as possible - but we just need to take a different attitude: working with the environment instead of sealing it off, thinking about layering and filtering and screening as ways to buffer the inside against the extremes of the outside.

No comments: