Craig Borum – Building Anatomies

Form is what.  Design is how… Design is a circumstantial act; how much money there is available; the site; the client; the extent of knowledge.  Form has nothing to do with circumstantial conditions… It characterizes a harmony of spaces good for a certain activity of man.— Louis I. Kahn

This studio is primarily concerned with the How.

The How sees architecture as a highly choreographed interplay of building systems- material, environmental, mechanical, structural, lighting, fire safety…   The How requires at a minimum a conceptual competency of these systems to develop the architectural proposal beyond the abstract implications of the diagram into the complex material organizations that ultimately produce architectural space.

This studio sought excitement in the ability of design to invent through the direct engagement with highly specified constraints imposed by the circumstantial– climatic conditions, material resources, and constraints of building codes.  In the long struggle to bring a building into the world, these constraints often take on a life of their own, having to address them is often seen as a compromise to the abstract form developed in the early design process.  Yet, at its best, design folds these constraints in to a harmonious whole where these challenges offer a means to an end rather than the end itself.

Students explored integrated approaches to environmental and structural systems, building envelope performance and systems integration as catalysts for design.  Projects were explored through drawings and digital models that described the interrelationships of these various aspects of architectural form and the various forces that differentiate its complex material organization.  Projects embraced these constraints toward the development of comprehensively considered building proposals that were expansive rather than reductive.

The studio was supported by Arch505 “Building Anatomy Systems” taught by Lars Junghans.

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Student Work

Nicole Rusk – “Thermal Tower: Remaking the 20th c. High-Rise”

Thermal Tower explores the use of thermal comfort and heat flow in determining spatial hierarchies and distribution for a high-rise Chicago building, with air flow working as a fluid form mechanism. The base program originates from Rem Koolhaas’ Downtown Athletic Club section. Where Koolhaas’ section is organized following social activity, the project proposes reframing this program to be organized by thermal activity.

Layers of diagrammatic analyses chart the intensity of thermal activity, level of desired natural light intensity, and peak use/peak heat exchange of activities throughout a day to provide a passive high-rise ‘design manual.’ Compatible ventilation adjacencies arranged into intersecting sections create a fragmented core and spatial negatives that lend themselves to thermal mass and structural applications. The ventilation approach reflects the goal of optimizing on passive strategies, with a double façade, solar chimney, and large atrium-structural truss curves working together to support natural air flow within the building. During the summer, the double façade would stay open, but the thermal enclosure would remain closed to maintain warm air circulation outside the envelope. The solar chimney opens during the day to release excess warm air. In the winter, both the solar chimney and double façade are closed, with fans in the solar chimney channels filtering and recirculating warm exhaust air to reduce energy demand.

Through a thermal reinterpretation of the Downtown Athletic Club programming, the tower creates a new paradigm for passive and sustainable design in urban areas.

Jiayang Wang – “Work Space”

This project is a high rise building design, as a part of the Building Anatomies Studio. The studio is focused on exploring integrated approaches to environmental and structural systems, building envelope performance, and building economy as catalysts for design. Projects will be explored through drawings and digital models that describe the interrelationships of these various aspects of architectural form and the various forces that differentiate its complex material organization.
The Downtown Athletic Club, delineated in Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas, is set as the premise of the studio. The rethinking of programs in the Downtown Athletic Club is at the very first place of the studio. Specifically, the Loop Athletic Club is coming from the rearrangement of the programs and then considering spatial articulation, sustainable design, structure and so forth separately in function and uniformly in the entire building design.

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