This studio explored how the use of different materials impact the design process and investigated the relationship between program, form and materiality while considering the limitations of structural engineering. To serve this purpose, two ecology exhibition and research centers, built of two different materials, were to be designed on two different sites, one rural and one urban.
The first task of the studio was to design a 20,000-sq.ft. building in a rural context by using wood as the primary material. My design was inspired by the spiral textures and patterns that organically exist in nature. The structure was made to “branch out” both in plan and section and in program, mimicking this recurrent natural pattern.
The spiral translated into a coiled formation of growth and expansion, and reduced the physical separation between public and private while, at the same time, creating unity through this separation. Furthermore, the building angles out, reaching its highest points within its most public areas in a way that alluringly welcomes natural light into the structure—both inside the building into the rooms and outside the building onto the pathways. An abundant distribution of natural light was important to me in terms of creating a space that merged inside and outside by bringing the outside in and letting the inside subtly dissolve it.