Major Building Design Studio with Gabriel Fries-Briggs, Kevin Daly, Karel Klein, and Andrew Kovacs

M.Arch., Second Year


THE FIRE STATION was part of a Major Building Design Studio, the final studio in the M.Arch.I core sequence at AUD. Taught by a team of faculty, each studio shares a common theme, with each faculty member developing a single brief and project site to explore and develop the theme. The studio is organized around a large complex multifunctional program with an urban component — this year, a fire station.

The fire station is a public building where architectural issues are both expressed and realized in a modest way. Its organization is typically perfunctory, as befits function. And yet examples from Venturi and Scott Brown’s Fire Station #4 to Zaha Hadid’s Vitra Fire Station demonstrate that there are opportunities for architectural ambition.

As an integrative design and research problem, students explored the precise architectural translation and materialization of abstract cultural forces and demands (i.e. codes, markets, and socio economic groupings) and considered issues such as the relationship of new development to existing urban fabric, how contextual and cultural forces inform design, and the complex interfaces between program components, constituents and drivers (i.e. public, private and hybrids). Over the course of the quarter, the studio focused on three central themes: origin, research and analysis; organization and programming; and representation.