Archinect
Dace Russell

Dace Russell

Milwaukee, WI, US

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CROSS

CROSS brings students of Art and Engineering together around a singular piece of program fundamental to academic buildings; the auditorium. 

An analysis of the site revealed many aspects that could be implemented in designing a building such as this, but I chose to organize it around two key elements.  The first, is a rational grid born from the existing condition of the untouched site.  A sixty four foot module astonishingly resonates with all of the existing buildings the form the boundary of the site.  The alignments were simply uncanny.  This 64’ grid aligned itself with north and south facades of buildings, main circulation arteries for campus, and even described the location of doors and large volumetric changes of its neighbors.  The relationships were so staggering that this grid had to become a part of the proposal. 

The second key analysis that fueled the proposal was a more whimsical matrix.  Here, I examined the conditions of the site if the Kunkle building (a structure set for demolishion) was removed from the site.  How would students use the site if it were free from all obstacles?  Where would they walk?  Where would they stand?  While some of these observations were mere hunches, because we simply cannot prescribe use, they were none-the-less telling in their own way.  An angular matrix was created that suggested ways in which pedestrians would desire to travel.  This matrix was then simplified into six key arteries that would become valuable for decision making in the design process. 

By equating the program of the Engineering students with the rational 64’ grid and aligning the pedestrian matrix with the emotional or whimsical pedagogy of Art students, CROSS was born.

 
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Status: School Project

 
conceptual spread
conceptual spread
second floor: typical floor plan
second floor: typical floor plan
north section: from courtyard
north section: from courtyard
interior courtyard render: connectivity and security
interior courtyard render: connectivity and security
functional studio space: engineering + art students
functional studio space: engineering + art students

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