Design
DDF 03 - 09 - 2010

The inspiration for this concept for my design project came from three vastly different pieces of architecture. The Alcazar in Seville, Spain really caught my eye because of the layering of spaces (further explained in my previous studio assignment). Another building, Jubilee Church in Rome, inspired me because of its simple, yet meaningful forum. Also, its white material gave the building a purity that many religious facilities lack. The last building, the Alexandria Library, used a circle as the base for its form on the exterior. On the interior however, this dominating shape was barely noticeable, and worked really well to unify all of the spaces in the building. As can be seen easily in the plan of the building, the circular shape of the building is clearly drawn from the Alexandria Library. The shape of a circle seems to be a peaceful and unifying shape, two values that are important in the Christian faith. The volume, however, is more reminiscent of Jubilee church, being divided in several different portions, emphasizing the sanctuary in both volume and material. The idea is to create a cohesive design accentuating the sanctuary space as the main area of worship, the most important place on the site. The image below shows how the circle is non directional. This means that it is always ďon axisĒ with anyone who is approaching, furthering the characteristic of consistency that is important in both the design and the Christian religion. For the circular shape to be effective, it canít be overpowering. The shape with not be seamless, it will have several areas protruding from the circular shape, but with the same radius and central point. Some of these protrusions could be walls, while others could be a double skin, structural elements, or shading devices. This layering of the exterior shell will also allow the design to achieve a spiral effect- drawing in people from the canal walk. The next step of the design will inevitably involve investigating how all of the required spaces actually work (or donít work) within the confines of the design. It is quite possible that the circular shape may be ideal for my design narrative, but it might not work programmatically. The real challenge will be weighing the options and coming up with a solution that satisfies both.

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