Options: New York Docklands Museum and Cultural Center

Located on the East River adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, the site is a threshold site which negotiates the edge condition between solid land, constructed ground (pier), water\’s edge and river. The site offers a sense of boundlessness or range in contrast to the dense urbanity of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The views from the site offer a layered, spatially collapsed, awareness of the complex collage of land, building, urban density, bridge and water. Studio Intentions:In an effort to bring the larger ideas of the project into all realms and scales of design thinking, students will develop a site strategy and a building that is conceptualized to the level of structural design, construction detail, materiality, landscape design and furniture design. The intention is to create a body of design that \”prioritizes the subjective\” by exploring the tectonics and craft of building in a way that supports the direct human experience of the space.Issues of site and its relationship to architecture will be at the center of the studio. There will be an attempt to heighten the awareness of the site. The edge condition between the inside and outside will be explored, as will the overall siting strategy. The studio will also explore ways in which a design can exploit, register and reveal natural processes and phenomena in order to expand the sculptural and spatial into the temporal.Architectural issues related to the presence of light in the project will be at the core of the studio research. Reflectivity, luminosity, direct light versus indirect light, light from above versus light reflected off the water below are all themes to be explored in the studio. Materiality and its relationship to a conscious manipulation of light qualities will also be explored. Program: The building program includes a \”Docklands Museum\” and Community Outreach spaces. Total program area = 50,000 sq. feet. Total land available for construction is 15 acres. The site is much bigger than the program offered so as to accommodate landscape design and thinking into the realm of an architecture studio. Students\’ input on program content for their individual projects will be welcome during the first three weeks of the studio.Process:Building and site design and development throughout the semester, with the following exercises interspersed:- Precedent study: to open the studio to an increased level of discussion and shared knowledge- Site analysis: to provide collective and individual understanding of the place, from which concepts and designs emerge- Wall section development: to explore the materiality of the project and the relationship of the inside to outside- Spatial and perspectival studies: to place direct human experience at the center of the project\’s site and building strategy- Furniture design: to transform the larger ideas of the site strategy and building strategy to a scale that is in direct relationship to the human body- Structural design: to explore the systems that are supporting the building as integral to the larger design ideas of the project.Field Trip:A field trip to New York City with an overnight on Friday and Saturday October 7th and 8th will be a part of the studio. Cost = $60/person for train fare into NYC from our free lodging in Stamford, CT.