Michael Burton

Michael Burton

San Francisco, CA, US


Cone Expansion

This studio's goal was to generate a studio brief that would have led to our designed museum expansion. The assumption being that an architectural project is merely one manifestation of a specific architectural question and that the work of the design project itself is to determine what that question could be. When the question or architectural proposal is discovered, the designer can reapproach the project with new knowledge of what needs to be addressed. Presented with a museum expansion, this studio engaged this approach to architectural design. Here is the brief generated from my project: 

Choose a non-orthogonal platonic form.
Propagate the form connecting to one of the presented museums so as to create a singular interior space from the propagation of the piece. This piece become the expansion’s unit and should be utilized as much as possible to create separate interior spaces, gathering spaces, entries, cores, and circulation. In its propagation, the module may scale uniformly, intersect, rotate, stack, trim, etc. in order to create a singular whole. The distribution may follow several strategies of clustering, gradient transition and transformation, seriality, stacking, etc. but there must be a logic behind the distribution and transformation of the original unit. Take advantage of the intersections of the propagated module to create connections and allow its geometry to dictate the placement and creation of architecture. Floors, stairs, walls and structure must remain intimately connected to the original geometry of the piece. The interior created by the composition should allow for a continuous passage throughout the building. The addition may showcase one type of formal behavior, allowing that behavior to scale appropriately for different formal or programmatic requirements. It may also demonstrate several different types of spaces and the transition between them. The distribution of these parts must also relate back to the form of the chosen museum. Creating the formal connection between the existing museum’s form and the potentially alien platonic form is crucial for a successful composition.

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Status: School Project
Location: Providence, RI, US
My Role: Designer