THE CONTEMPORARY BUILDING
Wednesday, May 19 | Perloff Hall
Winter Final Reviews
Building Design Studio
Instructors: Neil Denari, Narineh Mirzaeian, Mohamed Sharif, Roger Sherman
The second quarter of the core sequence leaps immediately into the realm of a fully defined architectural proposal that builds on the formal and analytical skills acquired in the fall. As it was clear from the work done last quarter, geometry, material, and structure are terms that cannot nearly stand on their own as they are deeply intertwined in the discipline. When use or program is added as a catalyzer to the mix, architecture's life becomes complex as people engage with the order(s) embedded with its composite nature. The 412 studio places a single program into the context of a pattern I structural based studio in order to develop an initial understanding of the methods used to create and control architectural form and its attendant core elements (structure, envelope, and interior environment).
1.0 I Course Objectives
One of the deep similarities between the natural and artificial worlds, of which architecture is firmly rooted in the latter, is a profound reliance on structural systems. Whether an animate process (e.g. bio-evolution) or an object governed by intelligent design (a building or product), structure is the very essence of the material life of virtually everything. Structure is by necessity a reaction to forces and stresses acting on bodies in a gravitational field and as such, it expresses much of the logic found in the formal qualities of both nature and architecture. Surfaces, skins, vectors (columns, beams, braces, webs, lattices, etc.) all participate in the array of components that make up an entire structural assembly and in various combinations, a set of systems exists to work with in the development of architectural structure and it attendant set of expressions. Indeed, structure is, whether explicitly revealed or not, a geometric language that is not only responsive to the paths of gravitational loads moving through matter, but a force which organizes the tectonic vitality and space of architecture.
The Building Design Studio focuses on the relation of structure to architectural design and examines different techniques of expression and form finding through the development of a multi-level, contemporary office building in Los Angeles. Basic principles of structural design will be introduced in this course and with the project's emphasis on a programmatically simple set of requirements, these basic ideas should be advanced with reasonable, if newfound expertise. Each student is required to present a clear understanding of individual design proposals within the context of other architects work and buildings. A thorough understanding the action of structure on architectural design is taught in the studio in tandem with the assistance of expert consultants. The course seeks to train students who can fundamentally control the influence of structure on their design proposals and who can present, verbally and graphically, a full understanding of structure's physical and aesthetic role in their work.