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IMAGES a. Kabah, Mecca b. Barber House, Point Douglas Winnipeg c. Abandonded Crack House, Point Douglas Winnipeg d. Sketch: Building behaviour & body behaviour e. Black Box, Winnipeg f. Black Box at night g. Black Box Interior

GREGORY BECK RUBIN - STUDIO DEDALE JANUARY TO APRIL 2008 Walls are the most element aspect of architecture. That is because they limit space. We build walls, like Vitruvius, to be pure and homogenous. However, if we slice through the walls of Vitruvius, and the prefabricated walls in a building in Winnipeg Today, they would bear no resemblance to one another. To accommodate both the ideal of architecture and the reality of building in a Northern climate, we have developed technologies that we can hide inside the wall. Perhaps if we had not thought of the wall the way Vitruvius taught us to, then we may not have designed all its layers in the way we have, compacted and, more importantly, hidden. The ideals we impose on our most basic tool, the wall, is indicative of the way we value space in general, both natural and artificial. If we were to envision this threshold between interior and exterior differently, we would regard the space differently. For my project, I will investigate the hidden space of the wall. The goal of the project is to explore new paradigms of the wall in the Canadian context, historical and environmental. The project takes on the wall as an iconographic symbol as well as technological system.

a WHEN I began the project, I wanted to find space in Point Douglas where I could cut into an existing building envelope, preferably a home. The wood frame wall of most typical home constructions is in fact a “void wall”. The cavity spaces inside the wall are the spaces where we hide vital infrastructure. By cutting into the wall, and revealing the hidden inside the wall I would do two things. First, I would identify the systems as they relate to the lived world. And second, by revealing hidden activity, I would alter my understanding of architecture, and its effects on our perceptions of internal and external spaces. �After a good few weeks of searching, I was generously offered space in a home. However, for a number of reasons, I have decided that the project will not be built in Point Douglas. Rather, I will build my own space here on campus, and go through the same exploration, closer to Studio, the lab equipment, etc... There are disadvantages and advantages to both situations (building on campus versus in Point Douglas), and I am going with my gut on this one. (aside: Thanks very much to the good folks I have met in Point Douglas and helped me to get the space, but more importantly, introduce me to the neighbourhood and its various facets. I am still very keen to develop work in Point Douglas, and hopefully, this can happen in the future). The plan now is to build a black box on campus. The space is defined by the walls that enclose it: a wood framed room closed and sealed: a non-space, a void space. After the space comes to be, I would enter the space, and begin to define it by revealing the layers of the wall in that space, creating new space. I have two roles to play in this project, and each role comes with its own set of questions. First, I will define the system that is the wall for establishing the black box space. What are they? The composite wall is a complex organism - is it autopoetic? What are the minimum layers or systems that make up this wall for it to limit space (and do what: sustain inhabitation)? Is there such a thing as space without someone to inhabit it? This last questions lends itself to defining my second role, that of observer/eventual inhabitant or the void space. I will have to enter into the black box (how?) and then transform the walls so that it can sustain me. But sustain me how? What is the essence of Architecture? In this sense, the walls and I take on the role of two performers. How will we interact?

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The transformation of the black box is an evolutionary process. But it is also the site for recording the transformation. Similar to my last term’s final installation, Curio, I intend to draw on the box, inside, outside, above, and all around. It is critical that both the drawing and whatever armatures, insertions, details and constructs are considered at the same scale. The transformation is also directly linked to how my body, and its different senses measure and define space. We think that seeing space dominates all of our other perceptions of space. And this is largely true in the modernist context. But it is another contradiction, like the Vitruvian and the prefabricated wall section. Building architecture with all of our sense is essential to exploring the new paradigms of the wall. Another rule I would like to establish throughout the process of this project, is to recycle/reuse existing building materials as I start to cut into the walls. Habitat for Humanity runs the Restore in town and there are all kinds of building materials they sell there. The black box itself will be built from dimension standardized parts: 4 X 8 plywood sheets, 2 X 4 lumber beams, rigid insulation, pipes, circuitry, etc... As I take apart these prefabricated components, what I will add should embody the same cultural phenomena which produced these materials and their attributes in the first place. The project embodies the idea of expanding the systems and codes that are embodied in the architecture of the room. Bu building into the order of the wall, its expansion becomes an example of what potentials lies in the materials and language of building we employ today. The new spaces are there, and with rigorous and imaginative interpretations of their layers, they will be revealed, and their phenomena will affect our vision of architecture.

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ASSEMBLY & DOCUMENTATION METHODOLOGY IMAGES a. CAD drawing of Black Box Assembly b. Construction Drawing Document Page Setup : Method for Recording Black Box development c. Black Box frame assembly: 2X4 Spruce stud construction d. Heat Seal technology: keeping the Vabour Barrier sealed throughout the block box e. Assemblinf the Vapour Barrier Seal f. Placing the Vapour Barrier with the wood frame g. :Interior of black box finished with red painted OSB sheathing h. Two distinct layers of sheathing on the Black Box: Red interior, Black Exterior. i. Exterior finishes: painted OSB sheathing, standard 4X8 sheets. j. Movie still from moving the Black Box to the outside, and project “site”, between CAST and JAR building k. preparing the site l. the four black box elevations m. Making a door: bringing to violate the Black Box n Construc tion Drawing Set evolution o. Construction Drawing Set evolution i

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FAILURES AND TECHNOLOGY IMAGES a. The tools of the construction: combination of basic construction tools and laser cuter b. Laser Cut Pieces of the door hanging system: MDF and acrylic c. Door hanging system pieces assembled d. CAD drawing of laser cut pieces (MDF sheet) d

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a d ESTABLISHING HORIZON AND POINTS OF REFERENCES JAR platform - West and North Elevations Engineering Building - South and East Elevations IMAGES: a. digital survey at engineering building b. East facade c. South facade d. digital survey at JAR platform e. detail, North facade with plomb weight f. detail, West facade with plomb weight. f e

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INITIAL PLANS FOR BLACK BOX VIOLATION/VAPOUR BARRIER WALL EXPANSION The violation and transformation of the Black Box is planned and acted upon both in the sphere of the drawing and the construct. It is a back and forth process which gives me two things. a total perspective on the multiple systems I would like to integrate into the Black Box (drawing), and a direct, 1:1 familiarity with the materials and their limits (actual building). For each of the walls, I have proposed a different system which each investigates the possible transformations of the vapour barrier from a hidden system into a visible and architectural element. The four indi-

d vidual systems are tied back to the roof. The roof is the element which prinicipally delegates how water, and other forces such as wind, (and it’s associated loads), & heat are transferred in and out of the building. Therefor, the roof system (see below) rathet than “shed” or attempt to block the transfer of these elements into the walls becomes an architectural element which embraces and is designed to absorb, trace and make apparent how water, wind and heat affect the entire project. Working with the technology which seals the Vapour Barrier, and gives it’s impenetrable edge, I use heat welding as a tool to change the plastic from a barrier into a vessel for holding, and making apparent the realtionship between the previously hidden systems and their relationship to systems on both sides of the wall.

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IMAGES: a. sketches: South & West walls b. sketches: North & East walls c. cutting into the South wall d. making cells out of the vapour barrier, for the South wall e. Roof system 2nd iteration f. Roof system Vapour Barrier pneumatic g. making and inflating the pneumatic (vapour barrier) h. detail: anchor at pneumatic connection with water tube i. detail: anchor. swivels and adjust to wind and rain patterns

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MAKING: DESIGNING AND ASSEMBLING THE COMPONENTS OF THE ROOF SYSTEM The vapour barrier roof “blanket” filters water to the walls through acrylic pvc tubes threaded through acrylic anchors. The anchors fix the roof blanket to the original black box roof sheathing. The anchors can rise and rotate according to the forces of the wind pushing on the pneuma. Their reconfigurations make apparent a wind topogrpahy streaming around the black box structure. The acrylic anchors also support lighting systems to illuminate the blanket in the dark. They are also fitted to deliver air into the blanket, air which is pumped by inhabitants in the black box, on a device installed in the west wall (see following pages for details). The pneuma system is made with nichrome wire technology and similar technologies learned during the Remedios Terrarium installation, March 2008. q t p s

IMAGES: a. 72” X 96” vapour barrier blanket prep for heat welding b. nichrome wire heat weld station c. heat weld test - cut through seal d. tool for the heat weld: temperature meter and vapour barrier e. examples of heat weld test for anchor points on roof blanket f. option two for heat welding anchors points on roof blanket g. detail: heat weld test, teflon paper and heat weld probe h. detail: sealed anchor point i. laser vut template: acylic anchor components (18X24” sheet) j. laser cut template: acylic anchor components (18X24” sheet) k. laser cut template: acrylic anchor components (18X24” sheet) l. laser cut pieces, anchors before assembly m. anchors for carrying water from the roof to the walls (10 in total) n. anchors for illuminating the roof o. detail: roof anchor with pvc tube clip p. detail: assembling acrlic air feeding clip stage one q. detail: air feeding clip stage two r. detail: air feeding clip stage three s. detail: welded anchor point afer pneuma inflation t. detail: anchor clip with pvc tube fitted into pneuma roof system. r

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EAST AND WEST WALL INTERVENTIONS: STEAM WALL AND PLUMBING & ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS As in the Fall term’s final project, action in the wall is perceived and responds to events both inside and outside.

IMAGES: a. sketches for North and East wall violations/transformation b. Detail: steam machine copper tube exiting the North wall and returning back inside. Acrylic clips, located along the one of the two daturm lines are added wherever an intrusion into the wall has taken place.

Any form of intervention is felt by observers on either side of the wall. The wall, no longer a simple barrier between inside and outside actually engages the interaction of observers of either side, transforming their presence into a proactive role. With every intervention, the solutions (be in the steam machine, the air pump, the water filled pvc tubes, etc....) highten our sense of the increasing back and forth, outside and inside, relationship engaged by the now opened wall.

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n IMAGES: a. steam machine installation b. revealing the infrastructure wall behind the North wall interior’s sheathing c. steam machine manufacturing d. detail: copper tubes passing through the vapour barrier e. detail: electrical passing through the vapour barrier f. detail: pvc tube carrying water from the roof blanket to the steam machine g. detail: electrical and plumbing passing through the north wall central stud h. sketch: east wall intervention i. inside the east wall, cutting the vapour barrier away j. drawing for new east “steam” wall cell system k. testing the vapour barrier inflated with steam l. “desteamed” vapour barrier test m. east “steam” wall cell design and manufacturing set-up n. copper tubes passing through the east “steam” wall o. detail: clips and copper tube p. gathering condesation in the east “steam” wall q. acrylic pressure valves for the east “steam” wall. one per cell systen o

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IMAGES: a. “spreadsheet” lisiting catagories and amounts of clips required for the construction b. laser cut sheet with pieces for air pump (west wall) and door hanging system c. laser cut template for various cell clips

CELLS’ CLIPS INVENTORY AND LASER CUTTING. LASER CUTS TO PUMP CONNECTION AND WALL HANGING SYSTEM TOO.

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n SOUTH WALL PLANT CELL SYSTEM IMAGES: a. initial sketches and of south wall exterior facade and section b. south wall elevation after the violation. pvc tubes connect interior plant cells to roof system above (not yet in place) c. interior view of plant cells after they are first hung d. template for making the plant cell system out of the South wall vapout barrier e. first iteration of plant cell - curved bottoms not successful f. second iteration of plant cell - pointy bottoms successful g. deatil: plant cell to pvc tube acrylic clip h. detail: pvc tube pass through vapout barrier clip. i. detail: vapour barrier plant cell j. detaik: pvc tube exiting exterior wall at JAR building datum. Acylic clips placed along this line k. detail: heat welding back together the vaious layers of vapour barrier l. detail: pvc tube passing through vapour barrier acryic clip m. detail: each of the five different plant cells suystains a dofferent specie of algae n. same detail as above.

RESEARCH BIBLIOGRAPHY: Architecture of Observatories

CRIT NOTES: TAKEN BY RANDY WONG.....

Greg http://www.jantarmantar.org/ Jantar Mantar: The Astronomical Obseevatories of Jai Singh II http://www.stevenholl.com/project-detail.php?id=66&worldmap=true Sun Slice House, Steven Holl Architects Parallel Spaces/Architecture within Walls http://www.gregorschneider.de/ Gregor Schneider Point Douglas T http://www.pointdouglas.com/index.php?categoryid=1 Point Douglas dot com Cells and Pneumatics http://topologicalmedialab.net/joomla/main/index.php Topological Media Lab, Montreal, Quebec http://www.pneumata.net/ Pneuma, Peter Hasdell & Patrick Harrop Each wall was made to fit a different characterist Interaction outside relates to the inside N G T P N G N G What is the role of architecture role is to enhance when arch is not solving problems he’s a problem maker every step he takes opens a new problem the problems you make are real problems I used to structure to teach and understand the behaviours This is your test lab, how does it fold out forms that are generated by the way I solve exploded wall is a proportion , a way to re-inhabit Next part to take result of the lab What are the implications what do you hope to find by steaming the wall You must take the consequences to a conclusion The problem with the body of work is that it takes a long period of time. Long process of observation T T G T T G R T T P T what about the specifics, what are you learning Curiouse on why you didn’t heat water from the sun Intended to uses the roof for batteries You can get a Parabolic mirror, colour of the building absorbs heat How does it adapt to summer Doors are open do you hammer the wedges to adjust relates to the foundation as it sinks Likes how you are working at a real scale, every student should at one point of time work at this scale roof has developed the most the roof is only the beginning, develop w/ the idea of engaging the barriers, project outwards feels the project feels arbitrary, not everything is rigorously registered.