The final portion of our pavilion project was to continue our digital drawings throughout the process, making similar drawings but in relation to our final pavilion design. This included, like at previous stages of our project, various sections to scale, an abstracted perspective, and a couple photographic shots to illustrate lighting and multiple, perhaps unapparent angles.
While the rest of my pavilion work stumbled (eventually successfully) along, Materials and Design was also shifting gears. Following our return from a (very short) spring break, our focus was turned from the formation of basic structures to the materials that make them up. The entire class was divided into 12 or so groups, to cover a wide variety of materials – mine was given concrete. Each group would then go out and explore their material in a multitude of forms, taking photographs and documenting how it is affected by light, moisture, time, weather, etc. We were also asked to research the material extensively, from not only it’s composition, but where it comes from and how it is used (with architectural examples). The idea being that, at the end of the semester, all the materials would be combined into a handbook, which would then be properly printed and a copy distributed to each of us. I have yet to see this handbook, but hopefully it will appear at some point soon.
Below I have attached the ten final photographs that my group submitted. These photos were jointly taken by myself, along with fellow classmates Erik, Jesse, Royd, and Aaron.
At this point in our project, our professor instructed us in our first attempt at dealing with a site. Up until now, our design process had been removed from any real sense of location – we knew the pavilion was to be located in downtown Troy, NY (the location of RPI), but we had yet to properly explore how the site was integrated into the surrounding city.
The site chosen (which was the same location across the entire 1st year studio) was located at the end of a block, along one of the main streets of Troy. It had a triangular shape to it, which we had not expected. This unusual shape, and the subsequent layout of the surrounding buildings, streets, and river, posed some interesting challenges. Many of us wished that we had been introduced to the site sooner in the design process, as now we were struggling to marry a design to a seemingly arbitrary location. It was as if we were trying to inject this design into the site, which was not only difficult but felt unnatural. Of course, much of this was probably due to our lack of experience of dealing with a physical location for our designs. The first time is always the hardest. And while being introduced the site mid-design posed it’s own challenges, no doubt we as 1st years would have been even more confounded were we asked to consider it from the beginning.
Up until this point, my design had been extremely rectilinear, and the task of attempting to mold this to a triangular space was not easy. For multiple weeks I sketched out different designs and tried to figure out how the entire pavilion would and should come together. I visited the site multiple times, taking pictures and sketching, and each time came away with a new and different idea only to then cut it up and remold it back in the studio. I suspect that this whole procedure is indicative of the design process itself, and while there were many moments of frustration and a loss of how to proceed, overall it was quite enjoyable to work through the entire project and see it’s evolution to a finished pavilion.
To assist us with our site considerations, we were asked to draw up a “Site Drawing” that would explore the various parts of the site and how they might relate to our design. Using a birds-eye view/plan of the site, we then addressed the various movements of the site using different types of lines – this included things like city grid, pedestrian and vehicular flow, light and shadow, and finally how they might be married to our own movements. It was an exploratory take on how the movement of the site and city might meld and form with the movement of our design. Needless to say, many of us found this very difficult, and due to time constraints some of us (myself included) were unable to finish the site drawing. I have uploaded my drawing here to give a sense of my exploratory process, with the caveat that it is far from a completed state.
Beyond the creation of our field model, we were also asked to explore our surface through drawing and photography, similar to our exploration of our original joint. These drawings consisted of a diagrammatic study (two 30″ x 30″), a second abstract perspective exploration, and four new photographs. Once again I utilized the blue/grey color scheme, which at this point had become part of the work and was a great way to give unity and clarity to the entire project.
All of our second semester work up to this point created our body of work for our midterm review.
Following the transformation and construction of our joint (and the subsequent drawings illustrating our process), we were asked to explore the nature of our joint through two new 30″ x 30″ drawings – one showing multiple views of the joint (plan, section, elevation), the other a more “abstract” perspective drawing. I chose to include a blue color-scheme beyond the simple gray tones because I wanted to emphasize the central connector piece, similar to my choice to construct the piece out of wood for the physical model.
We were also asked to explore the model we had built through photography, experimenting with camera placement, lighting, and various “construction” methods, i.e. organizing the parts of the joints in systems they may not have originally been designed for.
EDIT 06.25.13: added updated drawings.