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Cultivating Imperfection: Architecture to be continued…
Presentation Board 1 with program diagrams and project text descriptions
Doug Jackson/ Fall 2011_Winter_Spring 2012/ Arch 481
June 2012
Beijing, Beijing Shi, China
STUDENT'S PROJECT STATEMENT: Beijing, being the cultural and political capital of China, although has a creative population, its architecture has not reflected the creativity. In fact, architecture in the city, especially around the central street, are extremely imposed and purely determined by governmental forces. This project is an attempt to realize a work of architecture where the input and contribution of the people are valued and magnified, and turn architecture into a platform for inhabitants to play along with. The project is a cultural center that spans across Chang’an Street, the grand central street that bisects the city of Beijing. It is situated in close proximity to a myriad of politically significant architecture such as the Imperial Palace, Tian’anmen Square, Hall of People, National Museum, etc. The project is composed of two podiums on north and south sides of Chang’an Street and a three-story bar bridging over the street. The bar consists of user operating side mounted sliding program blocks and top mounted shell systems that allow for the use and experience of the architecture be in constant flux and manipulation in the hands of the users. The façade of the bar is a polyurethane coated spandex skin on metal framing and hydraulic actuators that opens and closes according to the occupancy level of the interior spaces. The opening of the skin then exposes the activities and manipulation of the interior to the street, making the appearance of the building in control of the users as well.
PROFESSOR'S BRIEF: The overarching goal of this thesis class is to formulate, investigate, and ultimately prove new strategies that will enable the discipline of architecture to reinvigorate its physical production, making this production more relevant and captivating to contemporary society at the time scale of a building, and therefore less prone to rapid obsolescence. To this end, this studio will critique architecture’s current practices in relation to both tendencies and interests in contemporary culture as well as the long-term viability of the discipline. Among other things, we will critically examine architecture’s continued emphasis on unilaterally authored monumental form and the various value systems employed by the discipline (novelty, performance, utility, etc.) in order to justify its formal interests—as compared to the larger culture’s increasing heterogeneity as well as its growing interest in customization, content creation and reformulation, and individual authorship. We will also critically consider architecture’s nature as both a discipline and a cultural practice, and discuss how these two seemingly discrepant aspects might be properly reconciled.
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