Jen Maigret – Crew Boathouse on the Huron River

This course focuses on the social and physical contexts in which we build, how people perceive the built environment in relationship to existing circumstances, and how outdoor spaces relate to built forms. The work to be undertaken includes both analysis of existing examples and synthesis incorporating the many dimensions of architectural environments in design. The course explores these ideas through the design of a building of modest scale and complexity. This course will focus on developing the following skill sets:

  • Students will learn how to understand existing topographic conditions and how to propose alterations (cut / fill) that contribute to the design of a site and a building’s relationship.
  • Students will learn how to analyze environmental conditions (light, climate, water levels along the edge of a river) and will demonstrate this understanding in a building proposal that provides natural light, seasonal flexibility of climate controlled spaces and sensitive siting along a river’s edge.
  • Students will learn how to study examples of similar buildings relative to how each example is sited, programmatically organized, spatially organized and constructed.
  • Students will learn how to develop design proposals with a given program (rowing center / crew boathouse) and will demonstrate this understanding at three scales in drawing form.

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Student Work

Clare Coburn – “Kinderskull Cove”

The sport of rowing promotes teamwork and physical activity, however, can be associated with elitism. In response to this, the approach to the boathouse focuses on enabling access to rowing at a young age. The boathouse integrates kindersculls (small, single person boats navigable by youth) by positioning a pool and separate launching dock to provide a protected space for children to learn to row.

This project designs space for the circulation in the park to move up and across the building’s roof, and allows people to look inside and see boats suspended from the building’s structure. This spatial integration of the experience of rowers and non-rowers ultimately fosters community building along the riverfront.

Kay Wright – “Boathouse atmospherics”

site: Bandemer Park 42.2998o N, 83.7436o W Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

task: to design a rowing center/boathouse on the Huron River, with attention to programmatic, site, recreational, cultural and spatial constraints and opportunities of the project.

intent: to recognize the physical intensity of the sport of rowing; to bring the experience of the energies of water to the community; to create architectures of temperature, and utilize design to accentuate the atmospheres which exist between them.

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