Columbia GSAPP Core Studio I
The project seeks to challenge the widely held public perception of science and the activities of the scientist as that which is obscure and inaccessible by nature of their apparent complexity. More specifically, the project questions the assumption that the field of science consists of a vast unknown involving advanced technology and scientific principles not easily understood by the general public. The project asks the question: Must the lab be an impenetrable, homogenous space?
The location of the lab on Peck Slip in lower Manhattan is subject to two primary forces: the public and the sun. The overall gesture of the lab on the site reacts to and accommodates the South (sun) and North (city, public) around a central axis, or core, in order to simultaneously allow for maximum public access and solar gain.
Through an attention to and subsequent manipulation of the fundamental scientific force of heat, the project creates a series of microclimates through adjacencies and varying thicknesses of enclosure and horizontal surfaces. The microclimates are designed to accommodate the thermal requirements of each programmatic element, while spatially and materially expressing the unseen, yet powerful force that is heat.
The project invites the public up and through the building and its varying thermal conditions. The path of circulation through the building is in itself a climatic adventure, with moments of exposure/enclosure and inside/outside along the way. Moments occur throughout the building where the concrete slab of the floor plane rises up to form clusters of concrete mounds that can be used as tables, chairs, or benches for both the scientists and the public to enjoy. Social interaction between the scientists and public is increased as typical environmental divisions are erased.
binary building condition studies in section
floor slab shift studies
programmatic heat logic diagram
building massing models