Hai Chi

Hai Chi

Saint Louis, MO, US


Peculiar Pairings

Professor: Eric Hoffman

As our globe contracts, cultures commingle, and economies intertwine, architects find themselves representing an increasingly ambiguous Client. Rarely do architects, as professionals, connect with a single individual, or create as an individual in a vacuum. Thus, it is common to balance the needs of many constituents, often with opposing views. This ambiguity holds new opportunities, allowing for increasingly diverse design solutions.

The profession of architecture is currently witnessing a re-emergence of Client partnerships that seem counterintuitive. Imagine an ambiguous Client-type coupled with a divergent program. One current trend: commercial developers partnering with established cultural institutions to co-develop hybrid institutions. In a 2007 article, Greg Briggs of Magnusson Klemenic termed this relationship a "peculiar pairing," one capable of surmounting basic notions of how culture, economy, and lifestyle co-exist, while promoting innovation, an urban presence, and a sustainable model for the non-bilbao generation.

This comprehensive studio investigates the opportunities  afforded by peculiar pairings, in particular the potential of the economies and efficiencies associated with commercial-based developments to co-exist with the particular needs of a cultural institution. The ambiguity (or dis-function) between the two may serve as the true opportunity. As with any sited work, the notion of "place" must be considered, with any serving as an extension of context and local cultural.

Students analyze three distinct sites in St. Louis, with one being identified for development. They have access to top design consultants (specifically experts in code, structural, and envelope) and utilize technology as a means of collaboration. As part of this studio, all students participate in the 2010 ACSA/AISA Steel Design Student Competition open category.

Youtube Link of the Site Analysis:


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Status: School Project
Location: Saint Louis, MO, US