After long bus rides, angry Tennesseans, good pizza, and beautiful design, we have returned fromNew York City! In mid September the design/build LAB traveled to NYC for four days to research and study architecture to guide our Fall and Spring projects. The trip included visiting four major works of significance: the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the New York Times Building, the High Line, and the Learning Spring School.
First on our agenda was the Children’s Museum. The key elements the studio discovered and studied were the spatial relationship to children and scaling to accommodate kids. This opened our eyes to a new way to design with a direct emphasis to space and a child’s interaction in “their world.” Students instantly connected this to our School for Autism project.
Early Friday morning, we visited the New York Times Building by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Completed in 2007, the project is a new emblem for NYC and a prime example for adaptability for a space. The building consisted of a grid layout of moveable walls that slide on tracks. Each wall then created a variation of individual spaces such as conference, quiet, 1-on-1 meeting, and office rooms. This adaptability is an important quality that will need to be focused on for our autistic school design.
Saturday we visited the High Line and the Learning Spring School. The High Line contributed heavily to our studies of detail and material. Students were immediately drawn to the intricate interaction of the railroad tracks with the concrete slabs and wood planks. Texture, material, tone, and precision all became questions for the Spring 2013 design/build project.
Finally our last visit was to the Learning Spring School by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects, LLP. This facility is a school designed for students with autism, so it was a great case study for our School for Autism project. Students broke into groups to further analyze and focus on key design questions such as designs for classrooms, material choices, joint details, circulation, programming, light and view, etc. This by far informed us the most for autistic and child design.
For any questions on our post or our extravagant visit to the big apple, just comment! Enjoy!
The design/buildLAB at Virginia Tech is a Project Based Experiential Learning program focused on the research, development and implementation of innovative construction methods and architectural designs. Students collaborate with local communities and industry experts to conceive and realize built architecture projects that are both educational and charitable in nature. The blog is run by design/buildLAB students, who are currently designing and building a pedestrian bridge in Clifton Forge, VA.