This week I focused the work on two things in particular : The theatre are and the longer strip of the skin. I worked mainly in sections to get a better understanding of the main entrance sequence and its articulation with the auditorium and theatre . Instead of having the forum be a rigid and closed area that would be separated from the rest, the idea is to use the entrance as a moment of void that could also be used as a scene for any kind of performance or gathering. The acoustics could be a problems in this area which is why the structural intervention needs to take that into account. The auditorium hovers above the main entrance and is open to the open forum , as is the adjacent library and archives. This main void is an opportunity to create transparency between different parts of the program but it should also have spatial qualities of its own to be able to work independently.
The longer strip of the skin is a very complex organism. It connects internal elements of the program , as well as the public distribution on the lower floors. The additional spaces are connected through the skin but blur its definition in some areas. The more private elements of the programs such as the accommodation for students only connect on the upper floor and free the ground floor to visitor who can see the student activity from afar while they move through the galleries into the exhibition areas. The second courtyard opens the hall to the more private sequence. It spills into the restaurant and café and is open to the sky.
This weeks’ proposal test how far the idea of the additional layer as an activator for the existing structure can go.The study areas and studios are all connected visually and physically due to their interaction with the strips.Diaphragm walls on both sides are not only structural but the idea of structure as the giver of light is starting to become a more integral part of the design , although it is at its very start.
The longer strip of connects the studios and study areas visually and physically. It allows light to go in and controls it near the dark rooms. The sort of dark platform is quite flexible in terms of spatiality but is only defined by the quantity and quality of light that can enter it .
Additional spaces are connected to the existing structure via the layer . It also organizes movement from the higher edge of the lot to bring people inside the exhibition areas , through the open courtyard and public facilities. The idea is to keep the entrance as transparent as possible from street level and let the view guide visitors . Some areas that remain mostly private are aggregated around a more private void that connects to the main courtyard on ground level but also lets sunlights in through its orientation and height.
This model is an attempt to understand how the concept works with the existing structure as well as the new function. The Chiaroscuro (Clair – Obscure ) is a photography technique that uses strong contrasts between dark and light with bold contrast and controlled shades between the two. I thought this had a striking resemblance with the actual needs of a photography school where every bit of light needs to be controlled. Due to the important need of strictly dark areas , the base is used as a “basement” with a few areas where natural light can come in.
The rigid additional system allows the flexibility of spaces inside the school. Diaphragm walls are used to separate the dark areas from the informal areas where light can come in through slits . These organize special areas inside due to the movement of pillars that partition some “exterior areas”.
The interaction between the central strip which houses the main facilities , like the Public Library, is not just structural but also in terms of light. The levels of floors are defined by the height of beams that allow the physical separation between the reading areas and studios. The idea Chiaroscuro, needs to be translated structurally to allow a gradient from the darkest areas to the more lit ones. Structure as the giver of light is something I talked about early on , but still needs to be defined more in the details.
After Last week , I tried to explore further the idea of the second layer and understand its nature. The model I made this week raises more questions than It actually answers , which is to some extent how I intended it to be. The question of levels (or heights in a more abstract way) needs to be more defined and question to allow the transparency I’m trying to implement. The ida is the be able to create a sense of intimacy without completely blocking the view. The skin also connects the levels which also allows more freedom with heights. Its definition still needs to be pushed further , especially the outer skin that needs a structural element that modulates the facade and creates porosity and interaction. Sketching sections have proved to be quite useful when it comes to adjusting this play of light/height/layer .
The make it a bit more clear , I put side to side an Image of kahn’s school in Ahmedabad and the idea of this outer layer as a giver of light is very defined in his project. The thickness serves a more prominent purpose than solely circulation in my proposal , but It illustrates very well the idea which is to filter the exterior and bring light and views inside