Session: Fall 2020
Instructors: Marianne Holbert, Jade Polizzi, Alicja Hudson, Brandon Anderson, Ali Beach
This second-year Fundamentals of Architecture studio provides a base for architectural design and introduces key issues in design decision-making. It focuses on the languages of design and traditional and emerging methods of visualizing architectural ideas and spatial explorations. This course focused on three central themes:
1) Building an architectural narrative.
2) Purposeful space design.
3) The power of light to probe the interplay of pragmatics and poetics in architecture.
The course's central project involved the design and siting of a small retreat structure/cabin conceived as an instrument to support the withdrawal from the stresses or pressures of everyday life. A retreat can be distinguished from a traditional dwelling by its need to provide an escape from daily life, and it is typically occupied on a temporary or short-term basis. In this project, students were asked to design a meaningful space to retreat to reflect, to observe, to be, to dream, to think, to compose . . . The volume was to be conceived with a linked sequence of events of inhabitation, creating a meaningful program of being, acting, and thinking.
Each student became both the architect and client for a peer. Students worked with their clients to discover their memories, their definition of retreat, explore their dreams and work with them to translate these abstract ideas and qualities into an architectural space. The structures are no more than 200 square feet and sited to optimize environmental conditions, including passive solar illumination with a given kit of parts. The retreat could strategically amplify or suppress some of the conventions which would constrain the ordinary house.