Response to Critiques
In response to the materiality of the building being questioned, I used concrete because it was mandated in the studio as well as the fact that it is a strong, durable material. I wanted to show how the light, usually conceived as a passive material can be used to conquer and change a robust material such as concrete.
The comment about lowering my building into the ground causing a loss in the relationship to the block and the design I am not sure I fully understand. By lowering my building I give focus to the dancing walls and allow for diffused light to enter the building. Since the wrapping of light diffuses objects as well as light itself, it was my intention to exaggerate this diffusion as well as create a passive cooling system. I don’t believe the idea of the project is lost but instead shows that this wrapping of light can be demonstrated at different scales. In the ‘core’ it is shown at the detail scale of the block and a larger scale of the wrapping of colored light with white light. Outside the core this phenomena is shown at a larger scale in the dancing walls.
As to bringing people into the dark to see the light being crude, there would be artificial lights just like any other building however not as many would be needed during peak hours because of the diffused light entering through the southern wall.
The focus of the project I do not think was conveyed correctly. The focus is this outside experience where the ramp, while remaining outside becomes that transition that gradually converts outside to inside. Many elements are not joined equally because they each offer a different experience. This allows for the individual as well as sun to distinguish which space is the focus of the project and most important/inhabitable.
As for the payoff for cutting the building into the ground I believe the connection to the botanical garden and its outside experience is more than an infrastructure. I believe the architecture should respond to the nearby conditions and take a passive approach to the nearby views as well as offer an experience that relates to the outdoor experience of the Botanical Gardens while offering a cooler space. The dirt that is cut could be used in an effort to expand the sites boundaries and offer berms to provide shade.
Direction after Midterms
After mid reviews the project took a new direction of challenging the preconceptions about the given program. The programs would no longer be in one location all year nor indoors.
In designing the building to teach individuals about the properties of light, specifically of wrapping light around objects dissolve the edges of strong materials such as concrete. Light can be used to manipulate the forms of solid concrete geometries, creating different experiences. This dynamic experience will be portrayed throughout the building.
This would portray the building as this changing experience and teach the individual a way to learn about the ever changing properties of light.
When driving up to the building you will see the southern sun reflecting off the concrete and hiding its true form. During summer the northern angles will dissolve the edges of the building. The exterior will create this dynamic and allow for a new experience every moment of every day every day of every year. Entering the project the light will be diffused and soft along the strong surfaces. This will contrast with the harsh Arizona sun and bring attention to light itself. The individual will see the different properties of light. This encroachment will block the rays from the sun, dimming the glare, from the concrete of the building
Upon walking across the parking lot to the building, the individual will see the louver playing across the ground and nearby desert shrubs. You will then walk under these louvers being shaded by the building. The cool shaded cast in place concrete panels will guide you along the side of the building. You will pass between the building and a structural support for the roof system. In this first area light the walls display some curvature with light diffusing along the surface in a vertical orientation.
Entering the building you will be greeting by a shaded interior, void of much of the natural light except what is piercing through the entrance. This light in the morning will gently bounce off surfaces diffusing through the room. In the summer this sun will be prevented from entering allowing for a cool shaded greeting from the intensity of the summer sun.
Entering the first light gallery the light will enter from huge openings in the wall. These openings will let in a lot of light and will diffuse the connection between the ceiling and walls and from the walls to floor. In certain place there will be reveals at these joints exaggerating this effect. It will blur the connection from floors to walls to ceiling with a changing intensity. Light will change the geometry of these objects.
Entering the second light gallery, the light will show strongly through the blocks on the west wall, during the afternoon this will take place along the east wall. These two walls at either time of day will show the individual the contrast between direct light wrapping around the block in the wall and the diffused light revealing the geometry. As the individual enter the blocks seen from a distance will seem different but as the individual takes a closer look they will see they are the same. This will teach the individual about these light phenomena.
The individual will then be wrapped around in direction and have either the choice of entering the gallery/photo exhibit or the bookstore. These areas will be revealed by the distribution of louvers. The books will be placed in the direct light while the circulation will be shaded. The art pieces will also be in direct light.
The individual from the gallery will then enter the bookshop or the outside reading area. From the book hop you will enter the reading room. The reading room will be lit by louvers that are closer together offering a diffused light suitable for reading. This reading room will be quieter by having fuller solid walls than the block walls. This will also take place because of its location at the end of the path of the building.
The outside reading area will be shaded by the building and the landscape that has encroached its footprint. The larger louvers and landscape elements will offer shade as well as creating a cooler micro climate. This reading area will offer a partial seclusion from the surrounding area by being wrapped by the building. The individual will then leave this secluded, cool, quiet area into the landscape and again parking lot. The individual will leave from a different point than entered, offering a fresh perspective to the site.
Site Layout Schemes
Additional Block Studies Continued
Additional Block Studies
Site Study/Wall Explorations/Concept Model
The concept model shows a strong linear core which represents concrete’s characteristics as a strong static material. The curving pieces show how light interacts with concrete. Light wraps, bends, and diffuses along concrete’s surface while at the same time manipulating concrete. Light changes the visual representation of concrete while not changing the concrete physically. This strong, robust, concrete material is changed by light, usually seen as an effect or soft material. The model also shows the desire to create an outside experience fitting to the location by Phoenix’s Deser Botanical Gardens. The landscape can also be used to show this wrapping of light and sometimes halo effect achieved by light on objects.
In designing my blocks I wanted to explore the properties of light in creating a dynamic wall. The phenomenon experienced to achieve this reaction is diffusion. In my light studies I used diffusion to create a form on the wall creating this changing geometry on a stationary object. The light diffuses over the surfaces revealing certain edges while hiding others. This diffusion over edges creates different geometries as time and sun angles change. The use a series of planes is used to exploit this manipulation of light to create different edges and forms within a stationary concrete wall.
The parameters changed between the different walls are the number of surfaces in the form extruding into the void, the location of this form, as well as the geometry of the opening.
In continuing the study of light I discovered different properties of light and gained new knowledge of light as a material. I discovered how to tell a story of progression with light.
The first block demonstrating diffusion of colored light observes the diffusion after entering the block. This diffusion is captured on the interior walls of the block as well as the clear angles pieces of plastic. The smaller opening where light enters creates a dictation for the path and angle the colored plastic receives light. Creating angled interior walls allows for the light to be continuously diffused and qualified. The story changes through the day creating aglow through the clear plastic or a diffusion of colored light along the side walls.
The second block also explores colored light but on filtering the light first before it enters the block. This creates a glow that is experienced on a broader scale and for more amount of time in a day that the first block. This block also hides the filtering of light instead of drawing attention to the colors compared to the first block. The story experienced is an intense direct light to a diffused blue light fading the further from noon time gets.
The third block is my favorite and I believe with some alterations can be used for exercise 3. This block uses different geometry to reflect and bend light. Light is most controlled, manipulated, and observed in this block. The block goes from a solid intense geometry of light to slowly revealing the geometry and angles surfaces within. The light entering at a higher angle is bent around the curved channels on the side. The progression not only manipulates light, reflecting it and bending around the surfaces, but slowly reveals the geometry inside.
In trying to decide which sites to pick from the list I decided to go to places I have never been or to discover phenomena at a familiar site. After arriving at a few sites the phenomena discovered was the different ways shadows played on surfaces. The phenomena seemed to only vary as a result of the atmosphere. This prompted me to go to the top of the parking structure between SMOCA and the Scottsdale Library. I wanted to analyze the cause of these phenomena that I was seeing at these two sites. I wanted to see which colors and light qualities where present as the sun was setting. I discovered how the sky did not stay on a constant gradient in the aspect of light and color. Light did not continue to decrease as the sun went below the horizon but instead I experienced a twilight period just after the sun was no longer visible where the sky was actually lighter than while the sun was still visible. After this twilight point the sky continued to darken. The colors also changed from this twilight period from the top of the sky starting as a shade of black changing to a white and blue color. After the twilight period the sky continued shit into darker shades of blue and orange. The blend of these colors changed as well and the shades of these colors. At some points there would be bluer than orange while at other points the colors might be equal.
Then I went to sit under Mill Avenue Bridge by Tempe Beach Park because it was a beautiful day. Arriving at the site I was not entirely sure how to make a study of the water changing. I waited for 2hours watching the water’s reflection and taking pictures. Since it was from 1-3pm the sun moved slowly, creeping its way down the arch supporting the bridge. Flipping back through my pictures around 2pm looking for some sort of system that was changing I noticed that the color on the concrete was changing. I then looked up and saw there was no reflection on the concrete. There was a cloud that at its thickest part filtered the light enough to make the intensity unreflective. I then discovered the phenomena of diffusion and reflection working together at this moment as well as the atmospheric light changing the color of the concrete.
The final presented study was the Prayer Pavilion by Jack Debartolo. I had never been to this site but heard about how spiritual it was. I looked around the site trying to get the best angle and found that I could capture the sunset as well as the pavilion from the hill the center is embedded into. From this point I could see the conversation the structure was having with the scenery. From the west of the structure the building seemed to have an ominous portrayal being a tall structure backed up to a taller hill. I wanted to show this conversation of light in my study; focusing on the dialogue between natural and artificial light. The colored panels were diffused through the building similar to the diffusion of the light in the atmosphere. Both colors were fading to black.