Citation
Finding Balances in Architecture Projects

Material Information

Title:
Finding Balances in Architecture Projects
Creator:
Witschen, Stacy
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Architectural design ( jstor )
Beaches ( jstor )
Cities ( jstor )
Housing ( jstor )
Labyrinths ( jstor )
Nature ( jstor )
Paradoxes ( jstor )
Parks ( jstor )
Public space ( jstor )
Restaurants ( jstor )
Architectural design
Architecture
Genre:
Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Notes

Abstract:
There are many approaches in starting the design process. When designing, it is very important to keep in mind the paradoxes within nature that, whilst being paradoxes, can find a harmonious balance between them. Finding balances within every realm of architecture can help keep an architectural project stable and sophisticated. Without having one element overpowering or dominating over the rest, it can allow for a symbiotic relationship between the project and context as well as within itself. Balances can be found on multiple scales of the project. Discovering equilibrium among the different components of architecture, from the use of the spaces, the scale of the spaces, the relationships between the intervention and context, can create phenomenological experiences unique to the project. Constructing certain spaces that have a symbiotic relationship with the exaggerated and the rational, with the intervention and the contest, results in successful projects that people can enjoy. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Design; Graduated May 8, 2012 magna cum laude. Major: Architecture
General Note:
Advisor(s): John Maze
General Note:
College/School: College of Design, Construction and Planning

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Stacy Witschen. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Finding Balances in Architectural Projects Creating Balance between Architectural Paradoxes Stacy Witschen Spring 2012

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1 Finding and maintaining a balance is an important criterion in many different aspects of human life. An exaggeration of one over the other creates an imbalance that becomes overly dominant. An imbalanced scale has an exorbitant amount of weight on one side that cannot be to enter your mind. Everything else moment between what you knew before you started and what you are about to learn. 1 Here explains how the process of creating begins with finding the balance. It also describes how architecture is in a constant flux of continuous learning. It begins with previous knowledge and expands from practical application and encourages novel solu tions for projects as you develop them. In architecture, it is important to find the balance: between the natural context and the built space. These balances can be analyzed from both the small and large scale spaces, and are affected by, and create, a phenomenological experience, that affect the social praxis and reaction from society. Contextual Architecture There are many theories that touch on the topic o f contextual architecture. Many architects to this day make it a very important point to focus on how the architectural intervention will sit within the context, both social and environmental. Kenneth Frampton, a 1 Brown, Jody. ArchDaily 9 November 2011. .

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2 historian and architectural theorist, wri emphasizes and refers to the importance of the geographical context of the intervention. Different regions have different needs that require different solutions to different problems. Considering the geogr aphical context allows for innovative solutions to develop because the relevance of one issue may not be the proper answer in another. This counters the argument for 2 The given natural context of a site differs for each area, and so how the balance is obtained is also different. Water front cities have a different read than landlocked cities, and so require a unique approach. How the city interacts with nature creates the relationship that the residents will experience. This principle of designing cities with nature has been prevalent since the part of the urban st tends 3 It relates back to a primal instinctual desire to be close to nature, and learning from nature to design. Large scale balances of natural context and built environment can inde ed affect the individual and social conditions. By analyzing the surrounding context, one can propose site specific and uniquely incorporative architecture. 2 Frampton, Kenneth. "Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance." Architecture Theory since 1968 Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2000. 368. 3 Tafuri, Manfredo. "Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology." Architecture Theory since 1968 Ed. K. Michael Hayes. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2000. 7.

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3 A Balance between Context and Intervention Fin ding relationships between a building and its environment starts with a close analysis of the site. Different factors are analyzed and used to start the design of the project. In Barcelona, we picked a site that was appropriate for our desires. A few thi ngs we looked at were the surrounding beaches and public parks. Using these site characteristics, we developed an appropriate program that fit within the contextual fabric. The hotel we designed followed the basic urban footprint of the surrounding sites so as to not break the rhythm already created from so we maintained the same form as the surrounding blocks. Figure 1 Diagram of immediate site and intervention Stacy Witschen

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4 Staying true to the context of the site, we allowed the patterns to remain uninterrupted. We respected the current site planning while creating a sense of individuality within. Figure 2 We also used the context to create the programmatic sp aces within the hotel. Using the within. These parks related to public spaces that were internalized from the immediate context. We created three prominent public spaces within the hotel: the Lobby/ Beach Park, the Restaurant Park, and the Pool Park. Th e Lobby/Beach Park would allow for the public to enter the hotel for protection from the sun, and also give them access to traverse the main highways to get to the beaches easier and safer. Overall aerial render of hotel and context Stacy Witschen and Arlenne Gil

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5 The Restaurant Park included a 5 story tall space that included a main restaurant and dining area, as well as shops. The space between the restaurant and the shops was used to provid e interior relaxation spaces where one could sit and enjoy the views of the park on one side and the beach on the other. The views towards the beach and parks were highlighted in the public spaces to allow the general public to enjoy scenic views from the interior. restaurant was a tall space, with the kitchen of the restaurant taking up 3 stories and the restaurant taking up the top 2 floors. The shops occupied the other end of the space. The shops were also 2 stories tall, allowing for more room for shopping and selling. Certain areas of the shops also allowed for scenic views towards the beach. The in between space was opened up for the atrium that travels all the way through the entire hotel. The perimeter of the atrium created lounge space for Figure 3 Render of Restaurant Park Stacy Witschen

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6 people to sit and relax whilst din ing and shopping. The Pool Park was situa ted at the very view of the entire context, beaches and parks. It gave a dynamic city view that people were able to experience at both day and night. The pool incorporated the water feature that was heavily domina nt in the site into the hotel. The Pool Park also incorporated a bar to permit activities and use of the space at night. Figure 4 The balance between context and intervention, or natural and built environment, draws on discovering how it affects the phenomenology of the space. Experiences based on sensory feelings are an important detail in the regional fabric. When relating to the balance between natural landscapes and built intervention s, t here are moments when the space is experienced differently because of attention to materials, textures, light, and events. Render of Pool Park Stacy Witschen

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7 Various uses of space, in addition to the scale of space, also work in conjunction with each other. The balance between spaces for public versus private functions creates a hierarchical scheme on both the large and small scale. Creating the grand, public spaces as well as the intimate, private spaces becomes a dynamic relationship that can also be experienced in numerous w ays. The balance between these two oppositional spaces forms a harmonious link that ties the project together. Within an architectural project, it gives a sense of scale ranging from the interaction of something small, such as the door handle, all the wa y to its linkages to the urban fabric. The hotel also addressed the issue of balance in the interior organization. The proportion of the private spaces versus the public spaces was heavily addressed. The private hotel rooms were organized along the per imeter edges of the hotel This gave the rooms a view of the beach and parks as well. View towards beach and parks View towards parks View towards beach View towards beach and parks Figure 5 Floor Plan Stacy Witschen and Arlenne Gil

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8 The hotel design was inclusive of both finding a balance between the natural world and the built environment, and also of finding a balance between the public and private spaces within the building. The hotel incorporated multiple levels of the surrounding natural environments, while maintaining a balanced proportion of public spaces versus private spaces. Finding Balance within the Bigger Scale Another project that attempts to find a balance between both the natural world and built world is the housing complex project in Rome, Italy. Located by the Parco della Musica in the Via Flaminia district, there are lots of unique characteristics to disco ver. Our analysis of the area showed there were multiple areas of public art and recreational interests. There were various museums of caliber, and large numbers of recreational areas, including numerous tennis courts and basketball arenas. The site was also directly related to the Tiber River. Because of the extreme proximity to the river, it was very important to take context into serious consideration due to flood levels. Taking this into account, the design took the approach of creating a plinth above the flood plain. This opened up the space underneath the plinth for Figure 6 Diagram showing contextual interest areas Stacy Witschen

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9 temporary uses due to the nature of the possibility of flood, while keeping the more permanent spaces above the plinth fo r security. Figure 7 Using the natural environment as an aid, we also decided to use the river as a main feature of the complex. The site also was situated in the middle of the Ponte della Musica bridge. Using these two main components, we used the context to form the main i deas and plans for the complex. Figure 8 Figure 10 Figure 9 Figure 11 Figure 12 Framing the bridge Elaina Berkowitz Making way to the river Elaina Berkowitz Shifting for light Elaina Berkowitz Perforating plinth for light Elaina Berkowitz Introducing program and concept of spectacle/reflection to develop space Elaina Berkowitz Sectional qualities showing plinth levels Stacy Witschen

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10 This project ranges from the urban scale to the internal workings. The complex engages the city of Rome on both street front and river front. Figure 13 Circulation to move from the street down to the river was a heavy influence in the design. Activating the river edge to encourage people to actively participate and use the river and the river e dge were key factors in the design. The main circulation started at the street edge and weaved its way through the housing towers down towards the ends to filter down to the river. Site Plan of Complex regarding street and river edge Stacy Witschen

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11 The program consists of elements that would either relate to the concept for crew and rowing teams, studios for boat making and design, shopping areas, and schools for f the design include the housing, the gallery for displays, public pause spaces, and water gardens. These are various moments within the project that people would have a chance to encounter as they maneuver through the complex from the street to the rive r. The complex maintains a unique relationship between types and uses of spaces internally. There are spaces within that open up to the public and encourage use of the space. These spaces are situated towards the ends of the complex, leaving the framing of the bridge to the housing towers in the middle. The housing towers are a more private space, used for and by the residents of the complex, whereas the other exterior spaces are used for and by the general public. Experiencing functions of space from two different ends of the spectrum also draws on the phenomenological aspects of architecture. Intimate, private spaces are designed to be spaces closely related to the individual scale, and careful deliberation is taken to choose materials and light that affects the space for the individual to use. Relating architecture and design on the human scale makes the space more comfortable for the occupant. On the other hand, larger scale spaces on a macro scale may have a grander feel in which the individual w ould feel miniscule and little. At the same time, though, there are details within the larger scale that break it down to make it more relatable to the human scale. These details help foster and evoke emotive responses when a person experiences architectu re. Having both the large gesture and the smaller details facilitates phenomenological encounters with architecture.

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12 A balance happens with at least two juxtaposing ideas. Bernard Tschumi, an architect and theorist, writes extensively about the paradoxes of architecture. One paradox he focuses on 4 Essentially, architecture is composed of both juxt aposing ideas: that of the rational, constructed elements and that of the sensory, experiential elements. The Pyramid, relating to the rational aspect of architecture, follows very mathematical reasoning, and displaces the subject from the object. It has mind, as a dematerialized or conceptual discipline, with its linguistic or morphological 5 The Pyramid represents that which is strictly reasoned and thought out, with no regar ds to the subject or experiential quality of space. It takes on a rational, gridded structure on the experience of space as well as on the relationship betw 6 It takes on the more sensual and emotive characteristics. Starting in the twentieth century, space came to be Raumempfindung theory, whereby space is to be 7 This concept of architecture having the ability to invoke strong poignant feelings is a driving argument supporting the power and effects of architecture. The Labyrinth symbolizes all that is irrat ional, radical, and sensual about architecture, drawing upon phenomenology and sensory elements. These two paradoxical concepts are thought of throughout the whole design process, 4 Tschumi, Bernard. "The Architectural Paradox." Architecture Theory since 1968 Ed. K. Michael Hayes. Cambridge, 2000. 214. 5 Ibid. 218. 6 Ibid. 218. 7 Ibid. 223

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13 and finding the balance between the rational pyramid and the irrational lab yrinth creates moments and projects that are powerful and successful. hotel project in Barcelona, Spain, the structure of the hotel provides for a logical and rati onal In the housing complex in Rome, Italy, the overall planning of the spaces is derived from a pyramidal structure and rationale, while the moments within the space take on the labyrinth trait. Concluding the Balances Each project should take on the role that would be beneficial to both nature and mankind. Finding yet creates usable and en joyable spaces for people is something that should be approached and achieved. These balances occur on multiple scales. As shown, it can occur on the individual building level, as well as the complex of buildings level. Architecture and design as a whole is about finding the balance between paradoxes and juxtaposing ideas. There are many aspects that are taught in the academic world about the juxtaposing components of d esign, from hierarchy of space to programmatic manipulations of interior and exterior spaces. Some important balances that architecture relies on are balances between the natural context and the built environment, the balances between uses of space such a s private and public, and the balances between the theoretical aspects of the Pyramid and the Labyrinth. Each of these balances can be related to

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14 various scales of space, in both small and large scale, the individual and urban scale. Relating these balanc es to phenomenology can show relationships between emotions and experiences and design of spaces. The balance between nature and built environment is evident on both individual and urban scales, and can also produce phenomenological responses to those spa ces. The balance between uses of space, such as private versus public, can also be seen in small and large scale, and likewise create experiences as well as shape society. The balance between the Pyramid and Labyrinth is applicable on both micro and macr o scales of space, and also shows how it engages the phenomenological senses when experiencing the spaces. The balances architecture seeks to find and create assist with the harmonious relationships between architecture and experience. Without balance, s ituations can become predominantly overpowering and overwhelming, hindering an experience that would allow a person to engage in both extremes. With balance, architecture becomes elevated with its relationship to phenomenological experiences on both the individual and urban scales.

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15 Works Cited Brown, Jody. ArchDaily 9 November 2011. 22 November 2011. . Frampton, Kenneth. "Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance." Architecture Theory since 1968 Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2000. 365, 368. Tafuri, Manfredo. "Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology." Architecture Theor y since 1968 Ed. K. Michael Hayes. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2000. 7, 11 Tschumi, Bernard. "The Architectural Paradox." Architecture Theory since 1968 Ed. K. Michael Hayes. Cambridge, 2000. 214, 216, 218, 223, 225, 227 Table of Figures Figure 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 3 Figure 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 4 Figure 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 5 Figure 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 6 Figure 5 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 7 Figure 6 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 Figure 7 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 9 Figure 8 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 9 Figure 9 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 9 Figure 10 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 9 Figure 11 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 9 Figure 12 9 Figure 13 10