Final Problem

What you have done in the last three assignments has been to explore a variety of methods to relate your given program to the site, and to take a conceptual/architectural position to answer the following questions:

1-How does my interpretation redefine the national public library in terms of mission, program, and form?

2-How do I define the library’ urban form and the relationship between city and site? i.e- the approach experience to the building from different corners, the way your reconstructed ground shape this experience, the way the library+landscape architectural presence deals with different sides of context, the interaction between indoor/outdoor public space…

3- How does my proposed architecture PERFORM? And How does the architecture of the library and site enable exchanges on the civic, infrastructural and informational levels?

These conceptual questions have produced schemes you have considered, but sometimes rejected- even before completely making them- for a variety of reasons. This is something you will continue to do for the remainder of you careers as designers: process. You are identifying which possibilities support your intentions, and you are allowing the lessons learned as a consequence to re-inform and shape those same intentions.

As we move on towards the mid-review, I encourage revisiting this excerpt from the syllabus,
The project’s mission is to rethink the future of the library as an institution of knowledge, a national monument and a public cultural space with an advanced exploration of the various technologies and systems that enables it. focus on the intersection of both media and material, with a special emphasis on the performative aspects of architecture.  
In addition to organizational and spatial strategies (the library program), look carefully at the mediation of flows, light, sound, and the environment. The intent is to update the concept of the library and to call on architecture to play a new active role between the electronic, the physical, and the social.
Your project should re-conceptualize the library as a “mini-city” with integrative propositions for:
site and urban form,
program and organization,
structure and envelop,
building technologies and systems

Consider this excerpt from an article about Rem Koolhaas and his office OMA in the New Yorker magazine:
Most firms make models for presentation purposes only. At OMA, models – quickly whittled from foam – are the one primary medium through which a design’s intelligence is tested. “We never submit ideas, even jokes, to the laugh test,” he told me. “The only test is the intelligence test.” After rigorously researching a clients needs, Koolhaas and his staff generate possibilities for complementary form, sometimes producing more than thirty designs before identifying the smartest one – which, to Koolhaas, “is usually the most beautiful one as well”.

You are at the point where your designs have begun to inform you as to what is more intelligent. In order for you to re-inform them, it is now essential for you to make them more intelligent.

For this reason, each of you will simultaneously revise and integrate the following criteria with each other:
1- manifesto.
2- program and organization strategy (+final areas)
3- site and urban form strategy
4. Architectural language and building tectonics.

your approach must deal with all these dimensions. In the mid-review, you are required to present diagrams and models that answer the conceptual questions and address the above aspects. In addition to that, you will focus on your graphics and models as the only way to represent a good project. 




Special Session

15 Nov
Desk Crit Concept (Model+Diagrams)
17 Nov
Desk Crit Concept (Model+Diagrams)
18 Nov
Workshop Concept Diagrams
22 Nov
Independence Holiday
24 Nov
Desk Crit         Plans + Sections
25 Nov
29 Nov
Pin Up 1
01 Dec
Experience Image/Collage
03 Dec
06 Dec
Plans Sections Model Collage
08 Dec
Lecture: Building Systems

09 Dec

13 Dec
Desk Crits
Revised Plans + Sectional Model 1/50 + Systems Diagrams
15 Dec
Desk Crits
Revised Plans + Sectional Model 1/50 + Systems Diagrams
16 Dec

20 Dec
Review        Building Systems & Sectional Model
22 Dec
Desk Crit       Lecture
23 Dec

27 Dec
Christmas Holiday
29 Dec
Christmas Holiday
30 Dec
Christmas Holiday
03 Jan
Christmas Holiday
05 Jan
Christmas Holiday
06 Jan
Christmas Holiday
10 Jan
Desk Crit
Tectonics Model
12 Jan
Desk Crit
Tectonics Model
13 Jan

17 Jan
Desk Crit
19 Jan
Desk Crit
End of Classes
20 Jan

24 Jan
Dry Run 1
26 Jan
Dry Run 2
27 Jan

Mid Review Requirements
1. Concept Diagrams
2. Project Drawings
o 1/500 Site Plan Showing the Landscape and larger context
o 1/250 plans
o 1/250 sections (With context, levels and surrounding roads/bldgs)

3. Models
o all previous models
o 1/250 detailed building model .
o 1/500 urban model ( to fit in site model).

4. Perspectives, Collages


Assignment 3: Urban Strategies/ Urban Concept

Based on you site and programmatic analysis, you will come up with up to 10 distinct interventions for the site.
Your urban intervention should base on a site intention identified by a keyword, a design action/verb that translates this keyword into urban massing, and a physical model.

the urban intervention should rethink existing relationships  on the site and project new ones. It must address the site conditions and how you locate your program on site.

For each scheme, you should have:
a physical model ( 1/500 scale) showing topography of your reconstructed ground.
diagram(s) that narrates the intention and design verb process. ( excellent diagrams shown in previous post, Boston City Hall project)

Tips/ hints:
-rethink existing sectional relationships ( see boston city hall proposal 2 section)
-attenuate negative features of your site by " antidote" design actions (see proposal 1 for example)
-rethink the approach sequences to the site though different green public space/building massing scenarios.
-maximize a good feature of the site ( a good view/panoramic that already exists, an open space...)
-rethink how program adapts to site
-identify critical spaces, lines and planes that form enclosure and thresholds on an important site section and plan. add platforms and vertical lines that create desired enclosures and thresholds on site. then add spaces as appropriate, completing your proposed sequence of spaces in a physical model.
- make comparative program studies  in 3d( put all program area on one floor in site, then on two floors, three floors, 10 floors, 20 floors). compare the different masses that could come up and what it means in terms of open space left.


(click HERE to download autocad file)

This exercise aims to combine site analysis with networks analysis, asking that you consider ‘ the site’ as the nexus of dynamic visible and invisible flows, rather than just a physical place.

1-Visit the location as soon as possible, and start documenting.

2-Peel away the physical, social, and virtual layers of the site in order to yield an exhaustive 'survey' and reading of the site. Look at ecological, infrastructural, social, topographical, transportation, information networks.
-Historic Development of the Site
-Environmental Factors: Prevailing Winds, Solar Exposure, Orientation, Major natural features of site.
-Access: vehicular and pedestrian access and flows during the day & night
-Views: views to and from the site
-Topography: Level change within the site/ adjacent plots.
-Different architectural typologies of the main street: entrances, open spaces, historic type, heights
-Character of the site and relationship with adjacent plots.

3-Pay attention to:
-Built form, Appropriated spaces, Social rituals, Signs, Movements & rhythms, Public Spaces, Residual Spaces
-The different demographic groups you encounter there presently and those you expect to accommodate when the library becomes functional.
-The site in time: daily movements and rituals of the area (day /night, workday/weekend…)

4-methodologies for your analysis:
-Develop an anatomical understanding of the site through the use of lateral and longitudinal sections to examine the relationship of the site to the city
-Trace paths and trajectories of people, commerce, activities, objects, trash that are taking place on the site and next to it. Draw the places of intersection and overlaps formed by the crossing of two or more paths. What are the dynamic or static relationships inherent in these nodes? Examine the conditions of boundary, circulation, and stoppage existing in the x, y, and z coordinates.
-Zoom in and out. Shift your scales of perception from a Google earth flyover to a pedestrian experience. Do the relationships of solid and void change with this shifting perception? How does a representation of scale inform spatial and social hierarchies present in the given context?
Draw. Measure. Photograph. Approach the site in a car, then on feet. Draw its major axis to major urban and natural landscape
-Come up with a list of constraints and opportunities for your site.

5-Required techniques and media:
Notated Sketches, Axonometeric drawings, Photoshop collages, Video stills, Perspectival studies, catalogues, models.

Eventually, you need to depict the emergence of one selected parameter, represent its dynamic system, and effective ly codify it in your architectural analysis. Due Date: October 20.


In groups of two
1. Investigate the crisis of the public library in the internet age from at least 5 sources. Analyse, debate and extract preliminary key ideas 
2. research the programmatic and spatial requirements of a traditional public library
3. study one of the following projects in terms of exchanges between users, programmatic elements and site flows. You need to diagram the three mentionned specifities of the project.

Centre Pompidou, France by Richard Rogers
Bibliotheca Alexandria, Egypt
Bibliotheque Nationale by Dominique Perrault
Phoenix Central Library
Vancouver Central Library- Safdie Architects
Seattle Public Library- OMA
Jussieu Public Library- OMA
Utrecht University Library- Wiel Arets
Sendai Mediatheque- Toyo Ito
State Library Berlin- Hans Sharoun
Exeter Library, Louis Kahn
Tama Art University Library,Toyo Ito

4. Based on your analysis, present a program proposal for the National Public Library,
This proposal should be innovative and speculative that rethinks the traditional performance of a library in the age of information. 
It should be presented in series of diagrams showing new relationships between users and programmatic elements.