Introduction to Design, Fall 2014

Balloon Frames

studio critics: M Paz Gutierrez and Andrew Atwood; representation critic: Kyle Steinfeld

This project was conceived of and instructed by Andrew Atwood and Maria-Paz Gutierrez as a part of ARCH 200a. As the instructor of ARCH 200c, Kyle Steinfeld supported the studio with instruction and criticism from a representational and technical point of view. The brief seen here was written by Atwood and Gutierrez.

For this final studio project we intersect ongoing studies of form, material and precedent with new studies of site, program and type. This project is divided into a series of exercises that introduce these terms. These exercises conclude in two design proposals for two single-family houses in two different cities. Borrowing from Steven Holl's Pamphlet Architecture No 9: Rural and Urban House Types in North America, we investigate two of his house types, the Shotgun House and the Father, Son and Holy Ghost House (FSHG House). The site for the Shotgun House is located in Lexington, Kentucky. The site for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost House is in Philadelphia.

The first part of this assignment asks for the analysis of the two sites: students will be asked in parallel to study the Shotgun House and the FSHG House as "types".

"Site", in architecture, can refer to many things. First, it may refer to the physical boundaries of the land that your building will sit on. But it may also refer to the larger ecological, political, social and cultural context of your project. Political factors like zoning, planning ordinances and neighborhood bureaucracies are often key factors in the design process. Socio-Cultural issues are also important to consider. Additionally, ecological and environmental issues are key terms when defining what a "site" is. Indeed, the term "environment", in architecture, is often used synonymously with words like "site" and "context".

The first exercise, done in conjunction with 200C, will ask for the analysis of site through a series of diagramming exercises. These exercises will ask students to select issues related to the context of their site that they value as important or interesting and will ultimately impact how they design their houses. The possibilities are endless.

There's more!

Some other projects from this same class have been posted, as well as some interesting student work from this same year.