I've just come from a David Adjaye
lecture at the University of Detroit Mercy
. I am quite fond of Adjaye's work, though the lecture didn't live up to expectations. I first heard of Adjaye from his Idea Store in Whitechapel, London. Though this may be one of his more published persuites, I was more drawn to a couple of his other project, Dirty House in Shoreditch, London, and the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway. The Dirty House is an adaptive reuse of an old masonry building. The exterior is dark and the windows on the ground floor have been covered with a mirrored tint. The upper floor hosts a large terrace with a cantilievered roof. At night, the buildings stark exterior is transformed into a beacon of sorts, glowing about the terrace and lower level windows. The Nobel Peace Center is an amazing work which I will not get into here, but I encourage you to explore this at some point.
Moving on, our midterm reviews were a few weeks ago, followed by a much needed spring break. As I mentioned before, our studio is working on a competition this semester, Preservation as Provocation, Re-designing Saarinen's Cranbrook Academy of Art
. We are lucky enough to be only a few miles from the campus, and I have been visiting the site on an almost weekly basis. Below are my design boards for the midterm review. In an effort to prepair for the competition requirements, we were allowed a maximum of 4 20"x20" boards. The boards were made when my project was still in the design phase, but has now moved into development. I welcome any comments or criticism on my project. Please keep in mind that these are not intended to be final renderings or boards, and try to focus comments on the scope of the design.
This is a site plan showing the existing library and museum, as well as studio and administration buildings. The proposed addition will be comprised of two wings, one extending from the existing library to the south, flanking the triton pools, and the other extending from the existing museum to the southeast, bisecting upper and lower grotto lakes, and terminating at the greek theatre.
The library addition will be mostly below grade, folding out of the earth to allow slivers of natural light to enter the building, and creating paths between roof areas and pockets where exiting trees become nodes, or gathering areas.
The library wing will fade into the treeline and create a space of its own beyond the existing promenade. While the building itself has yet to be developed, it will have a long circulation corridor connecting it to the recent Moneo addition to the museum wing.
Above is a view of the proposed circulation corridor. The intent is to pierce the existing area with this new axis, while the library unzips from the earth. This is one of the more understated approaches in the class, but with any luck will prove to be the most successful.