Geoffrey Sorrell

Geoffrey Sorrell

Los Angeles, CA, US


One-Two Punch

The One-Two Punch is a two part strategy for producing an open and dynamic spatial relationship between the interior of an institutional building and the surrounding external space of the city.  The thesis recognizes that the exterior space of the city and the interior space of architecture, while inherently separate, are both rich with public activity, built form, and colorful environments. Their physical separation, while necessary, often produces closed, enstatic spaces that work counter to a building with a public identity. Therefore, the thesis lays claim that an institutional building in the city can and should be ecstatic, it must reach outwards into the city, and it must allow the city to reach inwards in order to foster an appropriate relationship between the institution and the inhabitants of the city at large.  

The project, a satellite community college building in the South of Market district in San Francisco, begins with the degree zero condition; i.e. a singular enclosed volume. As a prevalent architectural model, the degree zero produces no spatial overlap with the surrounding city remaining perfectly hermetic. It is therefore considered inadequate for an institution such as the community college whose vitality relies on being ingrained in the city.  And so the degree zero is leveraged to render its counter form legible.

Like the most effective yet basic boxing technique, the one-two punch, this thesis manipulates the degree zero to produce simultaneous extension and withdrawal creating an oscillating relationship between two conditions; the inward city and the ecstatic building. The combination of the two create a dynamic public space along both facades and inward across the section; extending the activity of the users into the city, while receiving the activity of the city into the building. The resulting building embodies the mission of the community college as a vital institution embedded in the life of the city.

Read more

Status: School Project
Location: San Francisco, US
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Advisor:Ron Witte