"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood…" Daniel Burnham

Posts tagged “Urban Spaces

Judson University Charrette

In my Christian Worldview and Architecture class we were asked to conduct a visioning charrette for the university.  One of my group’s goals was to reclaim the quad that was lost with the construction of the new architecture building here at Judson University.  In a space alongside this quad I worked on designing a 100’ x 100’ area that could provide an example of a way to organize the space to best suit the student community in multiple locations around campus.

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Changing Urban Space

Throughout the semester I have focused on the way that two buildings, a train station and a church, relate to public space.   Through the development of my buildings I have thought through the optimal way for the urban environment to respond.  This post is an understanding of those musings. 

If you remember back to my earlier urban plan there was a plaza created in front of the train station which extended into the space along the nave of the church.  One of the challenges of this irregular urban plan was correctly defining the square to provide an understanding that the church was, in fact, the primary building on that square but the relation of the train station to the church was flipped in fact so the train station became the primary building.

To achieve this I broke down the large square into pieces, each building, or in a singular case group of buildings, was given its own portion of the urban plan.  Through this understanding it enables the organization of the spaces in relation to each other.  One of the downfalls of the plan below is the void that the street creates in between the square of the church and the train station retail square, also for understanding the plan below is drawn in the style of a nolli diagram, which expresses the public spaces within the buildings, as well as, the public spaces in the urban fabric. 

Through this I looked into the possibility of creating a formal square for the church within the boundaries of the street through the organization of elements on the corners.  This enables the existing space planned for beside the church to become a formal garden entry into the ancillary spaces within the church. 

 Finally you can see three sketch perspectives dealing with the idea of framing along my streets in order to further emphasize the importance of both the church and the train station in my design.  As usual comments and questions are invited. 

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Detail Wall Section

Through the process of working on the redesign of my church I spent time working on the structure of both buildings.  In the understanding of this structure several things changed on the way the elevations were composed as well as the interior as a whole.  These drawings are still in progress but I wanted to give an understanding of what I was working on.  The drawings below are 1’ = ¾” which means the drawings are approximately 30 inches tall.  After Critique Friday these drawings will be better detailed and give a clear understanding of the way that the structure will work.

The first drawing is a section cutting through the nave of the church looking toward the east and the apse.  The second image is a in process section of the train station.  Which is taken through the rear train shed. 


Update of the Church Project

I apologize for the amount of time that it has been since my post following the midterm critique two weeks ago.  Since then, one week of spring break and one week of classes have passed.   Spring break I spent working on a redesign of the church which is the primary purpose of this post. 

At the post critique review I sighted several challenges with the past design of my church which included: dealing with the programmatic challenges, and considering the opportunity to fill up the entire depth of the site with my building.  Through these changes it was important to constantly keep a view of the building and the siting of the building as it related to the community.    

Through these changes you can see that I redesigned the way that the church interacts with the streetscape by pulling a portico forward with ionic columns supporting it.  That columnar grid then expresses the opportunity to relate through the entire length of the church in the column center lines which run along the edge of the nave.  I took the opportunity to place side aisles along the church, which as you can see through the section enable the opportunity to light the nave through clerestory windows.

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Midterm Critique: Triumphs…Failures…Progress?

This last Friday we spent in critique at the Graham foundation in the northern historic residential district of Chicago.  Through the help of Thomas Norman Rajkovich and Allyson Vincent we had constructive critiques of our projects.  Even though we spent a long day presenting and exploring options within the eight different projects within our studio, it is always challenging to come out with an entirely positive outlook pertaining to the in-depth look at your project by professionals.

T’s F’s and P’s of the Church:

Triumphs:  Overall great urban plan and the relationship between the train station and church.  And that the building work well to create a sense of community.

Failures:  Through the critique one element about my project that was made clear was the need for a concise and adequate program.   This has been something I have been struggling to gain a cohesive understanding of my project as a whole with it due to the fact that I was not able to work for a specific client.  Through this understanding there were things that were lacking in the project pertaining to egress and facilities.  Another thing that was talked about was the siting of the building.  The casting a professional eye on the project thought that it would be more ideal to push the building back on the site and elongate the nave, this elongation creates a better entry sequence into the church as well as provides for the specific programmatic needs of the project.

Progress:  This week I plan to, while entering my project on the computer to continue work in AutoCAD and Revit, work on further understanding the critiques and come up with some solutions for some of the projects that they saw.  First I plan to do more research on trying to either look at existing churches, new or old, to create a more adequate program to fit the needs of the church.  Secondly I plan to elongate the nave and create a better sense of egress into the building; this elongation will most likely cause drastic changes to the west elevation of the church.  Through this elongation I will push the building toward the rear setback and box out around the apse of the church to provide a room for the priest preparation as well as a sacristy which will be the location that the sacraments will be prepared.  Through moving the church back on the site and the elongation of the nave I hope there will still be some room for a small plaza in front of the church itself that relates to the northern grand plaza and the train station.

T’s F’s and P’s of the train station:

(Due to the size of the drawings for the train station I will have to scan them another time and get them up here. )

Triumphs: The overall form of the train station was a sensible arrangement and overall siting was good with the way that it was organized to the larger public plaza. 

Failures: one of the biggest things that were talked about was the continuing engagement to the structure of the building and how that reads through the programmatic spaces within and around the building.  Those critiquing advised to work on the clarity of the three separate structural systems: the trabeated system of the great hall, the wall based system of the flanking wings and the trabeated iron or steel system of the train shed.

Progress:   Through the clarification of structure it will help me enable the clarity of the program through the elements which I already have in place.  I have looked at several precedents on how to resolve the integration of metal with masonry which I plan to document later.  Over all the trainstation needs simpler adjustments than does the church.

Through Spring break I plan to work out some of these kinks in the problems that I am having and keep pushing hard toward the final.  As always comments, questions, and critiques are always appreciated. 

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Hello My Friend We Meet Again

Because of an in-house critique yesterday, the last week has been spent pushing in working on a range of drawings for both buildings.  The understanding of this critique was to spend time with fellow graduate candidates, seniors, and professors talking about some of the issues pertaining each of our specific projects. 

Overall, I believe that this critique was very helpful in answering some of the questions that I had been struggling through working with Dr. Miller my design professor.  Probably the most interesting comment that I needed to field through the critique was one by a fellow student who entertained the idea that the dome on my building looked like a WWI German Helmet with a spike in it.  What do you think?

Through the comic interlude in this comment we spend some time trying to resolve the understanding of the dome and the way that the structure was able to relate to the dome.  One of the challenges with the dome was that it felt too heavy which meant that it would become something that would become resolved through a more massive structure under the dome at the crossing.  Also the idea was thrown out to push it towards the idea of a wooden dome which would slightly change the proportions of the dome and enable it to appear lighter and have less of an impact on the structure through the crossing.

Switching over to the train station I was subjected to a long conversation pertaining to the structure which I still am slightly confused about.  The challenge with the train station is the expression of the structure on the front of the building which shows the idea of a ridge that runs parallel to the front of the building as seen in precedents like the Kansas City Union Station in Kansas City, as well as, the Washington D.C. Union Station.  I will post pictures from this discussion as well as some solutions on how to solve it. 

Finally part of this critique dealt with backing out from the idea of building design back into context to enable an ability to understand the way that the two buildings relate according to their context.  As you can see there is a public square that I have created in front of the train station which is on axis with the public square of the Church.  Originally I was seeking to get a better connection with the two public square and somehow enable the connection of the squares to read as one.  I may look into this Idea by eliminating the trees between the two squares as well as creating a change in the material of the street to match the squares rather than the access of the street.  Below is the current plan.

It is in high hopes that in the next couple days I will be able to expand the understanding of these challenges, as well as, show some progress on rising above them.

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Keeping the Wheels Rolling

For my thesis project, I have taken the responsibility of two buildings, the first a church and the second a train station the following is initial drawings of the train station.  I will continue to work back and forth between the two projects till the end of the semester along with this work I will also begin looking at the larger context of the two buildings and how they relate to each other in the master plan which I developed last semester.  More images of this urban relationship to come.

The images below are, from top to bottom, The principle elevation which is accessed off of a public square (Sketch elevation and drafted elevation), The side elevation which faces a secondary street, this enables the ability to access station directly from the street in a Kiss and Ride fashion (Sketch elevation and drafted elevation), Finally the rear elevation shows the development of the train shed through interpretation between the classical forms of architecture and modern materials (Sketch elevation and drafted elevation).

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Don’t Let the Sound of Your Own Wheels Drive You Crazy

     Almost a month into the semester already and it seems to be flying by.  Finally able to get a moments rest after digging out from the storm that has been affectionately called the blizzard of 2011.  18 or so inches of snow + 50 mph winds + lightning = a Good time and a full day off of school.

     But here I am showing you some of my most recent sketches and catching you all up to where I am at.  This post will be a string of rapid posts hoping to catch you up with my process.

     Attached to this message are the principle elevation and plan of my Church which is placed on a square across the street from the train station.

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