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Nathan Barnhart

Nathan Barnhart

Brooklyn, NY, US

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exterior perspective
exterior perspective
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workshop in Vals

Studio Professor: Gion Caminada

Studio Theme: “Experiencing space through thinking and acting: Designing in Context”

The task of this semester was to carefully observe the conditions of an assigned site in the village of Vals, and to design a structure that is sensitive to those conditions. I was assigned to observe the street known as “Gassa”, and to design a workshop for a site presently occupied by a very old and dilapidated barn. To present the observations of our assigned site, we were to continually refine a written “Place Description”, in order to capture the essence of this place. We were asked to develop design rules for this location based on this description - rules which would allow one to design a building that harmonizes with the existing built fabric of the village.

PLACE DESCRIPTION: a dense row of buildings on the south side of “Gassa” and an open line of buildings on the north side defines the “Gassa”, which climbs away from the center of the village. The contrast between the open and closed sides of the “Gassa” characterizes it, and differentiates it from the other streets in the village.

 

RULES:

  1. Minimum setback from the street: 1.5 meters;
  2. Structure should be embedded in the site, and perceived as growing out of the ground;
  3. Organic material such as gravel and grass should be used as a transition between the site and the street - a concrete or stone entrance step for the building would be acceptable.

In addition to complying with these rules, the project proposes strengthening the characteristic density of the village by occupying more of the site than the existing structure. The multistory workshop is constructed of a masonry exterior and timber interior, with a roof that is pitched diagonal to the volume, sloping down from one corner to the other. The positioning of windows, an open interior structure, and the materialization of interior space are intended to form a well-lit, flexible and spacious workspace.

 
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Status: School Project
Location: Vals, CH

 
interior perspective
interior perspective
plans
plans
sections
sections
elevations
elevations
site plan
site plan

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