CCA

F all 2008:

M.ARCH.STUDIO 1 Hy nes / St einm uller

“The “natural landscape has taken on an artificial patination. Alien materials interrupt the processes of growth and decay. New and evolving features created by man are, to an extent, absorbed by the fluid and yielding nature of our surroundings. What results is a hybrid environment, a utilitarian topography, a sustained artifice.”
from: Smout Allen, “ Augmented Landscapes”.

1.1 site performance - landscape formation When working with a site, architects never start with a blank canvas. Whether designing for an urban site, working within an existing structure, or building in the open landscape, we participate in a process of formation that is already ongoing. The design process – thinking, seeing and making; materiality, structure and spatial definition - enters into dialogue with a multitude of forces at play in any given site. Analysis and invention by the designer work in concert with exhibited qualities and physical behavior of the site, as all of them perform at multiple scales in an act of formation. The claim is that for architects, analysis and formation are inextricably linked as practices. This first exercise is an inquiry into the properties of urban landscapes concerned with the discovery, description and manipulation of their potential. Potential, in this context, refers to techniques, methods and tools inherent in the performance of a site that can be extracted and built into a comprehensive toolkit for design. The studio positions the notion of landscape/site as an artifact that performs physically, optically, and spatially. These formal, material, visual and temporal qualities require you as the designer to test and refine methods of description and analysis that can produce an understanding of the site’s performance. Subsequent design interventions are seen as manipulations of this performance and become a force in the ongoing process of formation. A landscape’s or site’s performance engages a multiplicity of scales: Physical and ephemeral conditions contribute to the definition of edges, thresholds and territories within it’s bounds while the site as a whole performs as a lens, a threshold or a transitional space within the larger context of its surroundings. In order to gain in-depth understanding of these levels of performance, we need to consider threshold, interface, sequence, edge, transition, rhythm, vertical vs. horizontal, recurring systems, visual connections and boundaries, textures, gaps etc. In this first phase of the semester we will be looking at one particular aspect of site performance, the definition of distinct spaces (territories) by spatial mechanisms that create edges or boundaries (thresholds). While these thresholds may be virtual (such as property lines, bus routes or noise patterns) as well as physical (such as fences, grade changes, or overhead wires), we consider them resolutely literal rather than metaphorical or semantic. In exposing their performance through processes of making, we focus on how thresholds operate to create spatial qualities that are observable and specific. These mechanisms constitute a basic toolkit that we can use for manipulating, crafting, and (trans)forming landscape. site(s)_ The mega-site under investigation will be San Francisco’s China Basin, roughly defined by Mission Creek to the north, freeway 280 to the west, 19th Street to the south, and the San Francisco Bay to the east. You will each be working with 3 sites in parallel. Choose 2 from the list of pre-selected sites 1 through 6 on the attached maps and add 1 additional site of your own choice (located within the mega-site). Please note that the boundaries indicated on the maps are approximate and will need to be made precise by your investigation. Consider both the bounded and extended site, physical and visual territories.

CCA
F all 2008:

M.ARCH.STUDIO 1 Hy nes / St einm uller

step 1_ Designate and follow a pathway through each of your sites, identifying territories, spatial definitions and thresholds. Identify micro conditions that are manifestations of macro systems at work in the larger context. Focus on conditions that complicate the flat and quick read of this site (ie: manifested as 3rd or 4th dimension). Use a rigorous method (photographs, notation, sketches or other means of your choosing) to collect information along this pathway and bring it into a form that can be presented in class. Construct three relief models (minimum 1 for each site). Begin with a flat sheet serving as a datum or reference (for the site and the operations in the model) and develop an operational logic for spatial definition through deformation/manipulation of the plane. Consider how the 3 sites being modeled differ critically/operationally: use the models to expose these comparisons/differences. Carefully consider the moves you are making (cutting, folding, scoring, drawing) and the degree of those moves (how tight a fold? how high a bend): how do these decisions relate specifically to the conditions observed on site(s)? Be specific and rigorous. Develop rules for how you work. format_ White museum board or Strathmore board only. Construct a site slice for each site/each path, 8” wide x17” min. long (once complete) Tools for deformation can include hand-cutting or lasercam, bending, folding, texturing, etc. step 2_ Develop a 2-dimensional sequence of sections along a path through each site (min.3 sections per site). These drawings can be based on the planar/relief models of step 1, or on the real site. Use line and tone to further describe the spatial performance of the various 2D, 3D, 4D conditions that make up the site/the artifact. format_ Hand drawing (hardline) or computer. reading_ Burns, Carol. “On Site: Architectural Preoccupations”. In Drawing/Building/Text; Andrea Kahn, ed. Princeton Architectural Press, 1991. schedule_ W 9/3 lecture 1: defining landscape - augmenting site W 9/10 review, step 1 and 2; begin assignment 1.2 F 9/12 lecture 2: thresholds F 9/26 final review

CCA
F all 2008:

M.ARCH.STUDIO 1 Hy nes / St einm uller

CCA
F all 2008:

M.ARCH.STUDIO 1 Hy nes / St einm uller

CCA
F all 2008:

M.ARCH.STUDIO 1 Hy nes / St einm uller

CCA
F all 2008:

M.ARCH.STUDIO 1 Hy nes / St einm uller