The second semester of the junior year focuses students on the development and refinement of an architectural design based on a deeper understanding of architectural space. The specific spatial qualifiers that we will address in studio are site, structure, and the integration of various building systems. Each of these topics will be examined to explore interrelationships of the various systems which comprise a building. The specific building type that students will be working on this semester is the design of a mixed use Bicycle Institute/Community Center on a site adjacent to the former Erie Canal in the Blackrock neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.
Contemporary buildings include a vast array of systems: structural, heating, ventilating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, fire protection, egress, envelope, and enclosure. Each system brings its own ordering systems and priorities. The act of incorporating these systems into the design of a building in a coherent, integrative, and orderly composition is a fundamental skill for an architect. The choices about which orderly or disorderly manner the various systems of a building are brought together are important for students to consider.
In previous studios, students have explored the process by which to make design decisions. In this studio, we will expand the number of systems and variables which are to be included in the design. In addition, we will explore how various performance metrics may be used to facilitate an architect’s design decision making process while sorting through the often contradictory requirements.