JWE 02 - 19 - 2010

The numerous places and spaces we've experienced up to date on this tour have given me a lot of inspiration to draw from for my own design experiments. In this design exercise geared towards my hometown project, a community and arts center in Brownsburg, Indiana, I explored the idea of creating a central sculptural piece for a public green space that could work as a way finding device/landmark, as well as a performance building. In particular, I looked to the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy for the way it uses a tower like structure with narrative to mark the center of the plaza as well as to divide a large open space into four smaller spaces. It also marks the end of three main avenues that terminate at its base. I also drew inspiration from the triangular grid of the the smaller streets of Madrid, Spain. The triangulation presented good opportunities for outdoor plaza spaces where two streets on the grid came to a point on the triangle. I was also inspired by the solar shading devices from Masdar city and how they were able to open and close depending on the time of day, changing the feel of the public space they inhabit. Finally, I looked to the Frenchs' gift of friendship to Egypt, a large tower that is intended to symbolize the lotus flower for inspiration on form. Thumbnail sketches of the principles derived from these places can be seen in the botttom image. The form resulting from a fusing of these ideas took a hexigonal base, as six triangles wrap around and come to a point at a central tower. The tower has a central core at its highest point with three outer layers that are able to peal down the structure to hang over public seating for lawn performances during the day and can then be raised back up along the central core to allow people to view the stars at night (like in Masdar city). Bike and pedestrian lanes meet the structure at each corner of the hexigon, terminating at the tower like the avenues do at the obelisk in Rome. The Hexigonal form also divides the green space around the structure into six smaller spaces within the one large space. The top image shows a birds eye view as well as a elevation of the tower. It also shows some diagramatical imagery dealing with the reasoning behind the building's form.

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