February 6, 2012

The Big Picture

What are the overall goals for this thesis project? I have been asking myself this question over the last few months, but I think they need to be stated in order to progress in the design process.

OVERALL OBJECTIVE: To create an attractive, lively downtown center in the Lloyd District to bring in a diversity of people to live, work and play, keeping the site full of activity during all hours of the day.

Goals:

• Create a strong urban street front (high density massing and grounded corners of the site)

• Provide nodes of outdoor space for families, locals, and visitors (plazas, courtyards, community gardens, outdoor seating, tree canopy, paving, coverings)

• Designate permanent indoor and outdoor space to Farmers Market that can be expanded during certain days of the week

• Provide adequate parking space for residents, employees, and visitors of the site (surface parking and underground parking)

• Develop Holladay Green Street Typology (pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, bioswales, tree coverage, permeable paving, bike lanes, MAX line, vehicular traffic)

• Combine efforts for energy efficiency with the city’s energy plan starting at the Rose Quarter

• Demonstrate a close-looped system for food that focuses on a local market and composting

• Provide residents access to necessary amenities to live a healthy, active lifestyle: local food, water, energy, natural daylight, thermal comfort, privacy, outdoor connection, good air quality, transportation options, daycare service, exercise facility, and close-proximity to cultural events and job opportunities.

• Provide visitors and employees access to ample open public space: water, energy, natural daylight, thermal comfort, private vs. community space, outdoor connection, good air quality, transportation options, and close-proximity to cultural events and job opportunities.

• Interesting architectural spaces to evoke creativity, liveliness, and culture within the district (material choice, urban design, patterns, structure, open vs. closed space – light vs. dark, connections to nature, etc.)

Challenges/Obstacles:

• Surrounding empty parking lots, primarily office buildings, hotels – doesn’t make for a prime living location for families

• Noisy, busy Lloyd Center Mall could be disruptive for residents

• Run-down buildings of harsh materials (concrete, steel, glass, brick)

• Large scale of the chosen site could be overwhelming and presents issues of accessibility and wasted space

• Lloyd Office Tower on the chosen site could take away from the residential feeling of the project

• Lloyd District lacks cultural identity to latch onto

This project focuses on revitalizing a part of the city that is currently lacking in activity, commerce, and connectedness. What does it mean to live, work, and play in one location? The overlapping layers of different uses will be what makes the site a fully functioning, lively environment that can sustain itself over time. Each layer represents a person and their primary activity. If all of these layers coexist, there will be opportunities to share ideas and work together, allowing for the ultimate place for exchange, networking, and commerce. The building’s architecture can also reflect these layers of a local food and art exchange, through materials, structure, separation of spaces, and the blending of indoor and outdoor environments.

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January 23, 2012

Identifying Users & Activity

Who.

What.

Where.

January 22, 2012

Reflection

Through exploring structure, and connections to a biological organism as inspiration for my building design, I discovered a few things that do work and some that do not. I enjoyed playing around with forms and interlocking elements to create the building screen, but I think that if I truly want to use biomimicry as a source of inspiration in the project, I will need to dive back into research to understand how the joints of the human body function and if this is at all related to how the building will function as a moveable piece of architecture.

It is important to keep in mind how the building will emerge at all scales, so as we move forward in looking at the overall massing design and “big picture” goals, it will be helpful to keep in mind the transition spaces where this wall screen could become interactive in a variety of spaces. It is a detail to the facade, but it could also play a major role in how the  form is shaped.

From the pin-up review of our projects, I also realized that design is often about trial and error. We all explore many alternatives before coming up with an idea that sticks, and to be flexible in the process only allows for the greatest outcome. There are many sketches that will probably be saved in my notebook for another time, but in working out different concepts, I have learned that the ability to change and transform an idea is beneficial to every project. I hope to use this mindset in solving the next set of challenges in this coming week in terms of site concepts and parti designs.

January 22, 2012

Applied at an Urban Scale

I have created a building screen that would work to filter light  in an interesting way, but would also use the interlocking joints as a hinge to fold the panels up as a canopy. These would create great transitional zones for any indoor to outdoor spaces of the program. If I pushed the idea of staggering the wood slats to allow for openings, or exaggerated the angles of these panels to flex in and out, the building form could become quite expressive and dynamic.

January 13, 2012

Interlocking & Flexibility

The way a spinal cord and rib cage uses bone members to intersect in rigid connections is inspiring in terms of structural design. This concept could indicate how the connections of the buildings become rigid interlocking pieces, but are flexible in the spaces they create. The separation of the linear pieces could also prove to be a fascinating building skin on the exterior of steel and glass wall framing.

January 13, 2012

Exploring Structure Through The Human Spine

My first idea in finding inspiration through biomimicry was looking at the grapevine canopy and how the way the leaves and twines are weaved together and how that could create a skin for the building that would filter light in an interesting way. This could also bring about ideas for a passive solar building, but I have more to explore with that concept.

The other idea that I started playing around with was how two elements interlock and create strong connections for a building. I started playing with the forks and looking at how the spokes could interweave to make really dynamic light patterns, but I wanted to see how a natural organism could reflect a similar concept. I started poking around the AskNature website again and found the structure of the spinal cord and rib cage that inspired me to explore further. It spoke about a similar idea of the strength that comes from interlocking elements and how that creates a rigid vertical column, while still allowing for flexibility.

January 13, 2012

Forkitecture

Exploring how forks can interact has brought about an idea of what the building structure could be like. The potential for these rigid pieces to interweave and create interesting patterns of light is something I would like to explore further in order to create a building skin that would wrap around the multiple structures on this large site.

December 9, 2011

Thesis Booklet Draft

Thesis Draft

I still have a few things to work out with these first set of pages, such as setting up a table of contents with page numbers that correspond, adding site analysis interpretive drawings, editing some of the existing pages, and spreading out the information to allow for more concise and readable documents.

November 15, 2011

Science Fair

November 6, 2011

Program

At the site I have chosen on NE 9th Avenue and NE Holladay Street, I will be proposing a mixed-use housing development with commercial use at the ground floor. The buildings facing Holladay will respond to the Farmers Market across the street and have strong pedestrian-oriented building facades.

The opposing corner of the site, which faces NE Multnomah Street, will most likely be Mixed-Use Tower of condominiums with a podium building below of commercial and office use. My efforts will be focused towards the development that faces Holladay, but the tower scheme is simply an idea on what the entire site could potentially become. This development is related closely with the schemes proposed in the Lloyd District Development Strategy that was created by the Portland Development Committee in 2001.

Mixed-Use Housing Development with Restaurant/Art Gallery Below

Housing: 5-7 Stories

  • High-Income Lofts: 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, with balconies?
  • Mid-Income Flats: 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, with balconies?
  • Lobby Space
  • Circulation Corridors
  • Mechanical/Maintenance Rooms
  • Storage
  • Parking Underground
  • Resident Amenities: Gym, Lounge, etc.

Restaurant: Mid-scale

  • Dining Areas
  • Large Kitchen
  • Storage
  • Loading, receiving of goods
  • Public and Staff Bathrooms
  • Staff Offices
  • Bar
  • Hostess Station
  • Private Dining
  • Outdoor Dining?
  • Parking

Art Gallery

  • Small Exhibit Space
  • Supportive Café
  • Bathrooms
  • Offices
  • Storage
  • Parking

Activity Use:

  • Housing – 24 hours a day
  • Restaurant/Bar – lunch to dinner, 11am to 10pm (bar until 2am closing?)
  • Café – breakfast to lunch, 6am to 2pm
  • Art Gallery – day use, generally 10am to 5pm
Estimated Square Footage:
  • Housing: 30,000 – 80,000 square feet
  • Restaurant: 5,000 – 10,000 square feet
  • Art Gallery: 5,000 square feet