Wednesday, September 30, 2009

schematic design

Heather and I started our schematic design phase by blocking out the spaces and placing them in the appropriate locations. We used the approximate square footage that we calculated during the area analysis, to help us determine how much space was being used. After placing our spaces we then decided how you people would circulate within the space. Next we established which spaces that are going to be public and private.

spatial allocation



alternate layout

We added in this alternate layout because we were unsure about removing the existing staircase and now that we know that we have the option to remove it, we well most likely be using this layout.

view from enterance
first floor

second floor

overall view
note the level changes in the floor and ceiling, which reinforces our concept of funneling.

Peer Evaluation

Megan and Caroline

I feel drawn to Megan and Caroline’s design because it is similar to my project in content, concept, and goals. Their concept is fusion in a sense that they are fusing together the past and future/present qualities that the building has undertaken.

I really like how they are concentrating on one main element that attempts to fuse together all of the floors within the building. At first they spoke of an accent wall that in a way protruded through the floors and was present within each level. I like this idea in a sense but feel that a celebrated staircase could achieve this goal and provide the main means of egress throughout the building. Literally it is the stairs job to connect two or more floors. So tying back to the concept this would achieve the fusion that needs to occur within the space. Whether the staircase is centrally located or it is placed off to the side, it will still be dominate in the space, drawing attention to the fusion that is occurring.

Another aspect that was also mentioned was the second floor being set back slightly at the front of the space so that it was open to the first floor. At first I was unsure why this decision was made at this point but then I began thinking that this too could be another element of fusion within the space. In a sense the negative space created acts as the force of fusing the different levels together. If this element is desired and designed further I think light, through day lighting, could play a large part. Lighting would become a third element of fusion. When it comes to spatial adjacencies, I think that it could be achieved through placement and choice of materials to promote the idea of bringing together and fusing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

conceptual exploration

Problem: How do we connect the historic nature of the building and the modern aspect of the furniture being sold?

As is, there is a disconnection. The solution is to design a space that fuses the two extremes together. We are dealing with the historic preservation of the downtown Durham district and the innovative, modern distinctions of CBI and the products that they stand by.

We connect the extremes through a forward movement toward a destination of a more advanced state.


Forward movement = funnel
More advanced state = future

Forward movement transitions from the past to the present with the intent of the present obtaining the future.

Spatially the past represents the exterior and the historic preservation of downtown Durham. Upon entering the “reception area” the field of vision is narrowed by the building and its physical features. Beyond the “reception area” are the products, and the way they are displayed speaks of a flexible and non-permanent showroom. A flexible showroom leaves it open to future products and their necessary arrangements. Varying ceiling levels will aid in the funneling process, focusing the attention of customers on products with the intention of future business deals.

I was walking down East Chapel Hill Street in search of the new CBI satellite showroom. I came upon a brick building with their sign hanging in the window and I was surprised to see a modern, forward moving company housed in this historical downtown building. I walked in and immediately felt welcomed by light and the openness of the reception area. I began noticing the blending of two typically different styles through the materials in the space. The one thing that caught my attention significantly was the furniture and how this was suddenly the only thing that I wanted to focus on.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Precedent Analysis Conclusions

Circulation was interesting through out the different precedents but I felt fond of the example where you walked into the space and there were two aisles of showroom spaces and then around the exterior the employee offices were located. This also touches on the zoning that I felt worked but as far as circulation it kept the people in the center and gave them a couple of aisles to go down and interact with. The public and private spaces were clearly defined, so this made the zoning effective and the circulation productive.

I think that a good point was brought up in class about the site context of the Apple store in SoHo. I understand the Apple has a brand that they have to keep but I feel that the site context is very important and that this should influence the design of the building and its interior. If a site is historic the design should incorporate certain aspects that make the building unique in the first place. I feel this ties into the interior finishes aspect because if the site is a historic brick building then maybe the original brick structure should not be covered up with a wall of gypsum board. I am not sure if any of the precedents took this into consideration.

I feel that the HVAC systems in most of the precedent studies were exposed with the exception of a few. I think people think that this a trend right now. There are certain situations where the HVAC makes sense to leave exposed and other situations where it is better if they are covered up. I think a lot of the precedents that left them exposed did attempt to distract attention away from them by painting them black or in the case of the showroom I researched they painted them the same color as the walls. They also used large lighting fixtures, and a high quantity, to create a “new ceiling” so that HVAC was not as noticeable. I feel that these approaches to leaving them exposed were the best because they were not distracting yet they were still being celebrated.

Lighting was an important part in the designs of the precedents because I feel that uniform ambient lighting was not what they were going for. I think they decided to mainly use accent lighting because it focuses on the items they are selling and makes them more desirable to the customers.

The only reoccurring concept that I could determine from the precedent analysis is that the designs strove for the selling aspect of their products and whatever it would take to enhance this was done.

The most unique feature to me was the showroom that Robert and Jon researched where each space had a different color light that was being thrown onto the furniture. It was very bright and can’t typically being used in any other showroom but it is a unique idea that could be toned down and applied in a simpler manner.

Monday, September 14, 2009