Qatar University College of Engineering Department of Architecture and Urban PlanningArchitectural Design 3 Spring 2011 Studio Notes April 10, 2011 Dr. Yasser Mahgoub
Introduction• As a result of my discussions with students during our design studio today, several issues came to my attention that they need some clarification.• The Design Process• Human Sciences• Sustainability Rating Systems (QSAS)
Project• The project is to design a community center in a public park.• It is a gathering place for all faculty members of all ages and genders.• The client provides the project brief and the architect looks for the “fit” between Need, Context and Form … The project Concept.
Community Center• How to bring people of all ages and genders to the building?• What image of building attracts them?• What functions should be provided to encourage them to come to the building?
1- Need• The Need (function, uses or activities) is provided by the client and “verified” by the architect.• The Need is translated into a “Program” that contains names of functions, required “net areas” and specifications.
1.1. Program• The architect should also recognize the addition of areas for corridors, walls, services, etc., called “non- assigned” areas, to find the “Gross area” of the functions and project.• The average of “Net to Gross” area ratio is 60%. It can be more or less according to the building type, functions, required image, luxury, and feasibility.
1.2. Program analysis• The architect then starts to “analyze” the program in terms of functions’ relationships and proximity.
1.2. Program analysis• The next step is to study the relationships using the “bubble diagram” technique.• The Bubble diagram provides an image of relationships between functions regardless of their size according to location only.• The lines between the bubbles represent magnitude of relationship.• It is very important to start the bubble diagram by an entrance arrow.
1.2. Program analysis• The shapes of the functions sizes are placed over the bubble diagram to create a relationship diagram according to sizes and locations.• The next step will require completion of site analysis stage. This is when we place the relationship diagram on the site according to site analysis.
1.3. Human Sciences• Our understanding of people helps us design successful buildings for them. Human Sciences include Psychology (individual), Sociology (groups), ), Behavior (individual and groups), Anthropology (culture) and History (civilization).• “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.” -Winston Churchill, 28 October 1943
1.3. Human Sciences• It is very important to realize that buildings are not neutral “containers” but they affect peoples existence, being and dwelling.• That’s why our responsibility as architects is tremendous because our products affect people, society and culture.• For example, a classroom shape and arrangement affects students, teachers and education of future generations.
2- Site• Site study is another important stage that should be conducted “in parallel” with the Need study and program analysis.• We have to consider the “physical” as well as the “human” site characteristics.• PEOPLE should be our first and foremost concern when designing projects.• After all we are a service profession that provides artifacts used by people.
2.1. Site characteristics• As we discussed before, site characteristics include location, size, dimension, shape, topography, soil conditions, etc. The context include climatic conditions (Macro and Micro) , surrounding streets, buildings and vegetation.• Climatic conditions include temperature (ranges [min, max and average]), sun (sun path and angles), wind (direction, frequency, quality), humidity (frequency), and precipitations (rain).
2.1. Site characteristics• While sun, wind and precipitation have known solutions, yet humidity is a unique characteristic of this region that needs to be considered carefully.• There are traditional climatic solutions that we can learn from; courtyards, wind catchers (badjeer), thick walls, small windows, etc.• Also, building shape and configuration can play an important role in solving many climatic conditions.
2.2. Site analysis• Site analysis includes analysis of topography and site shape and dimensions to investigate how would they affect the building configuration.• Our understanding of Survey and Soil conditions (Civil courses!) helps us determine the appropriate solutions for the site.
2.2. Site analysis• Building configuration affects cost, performance and image.• We can achieve the same area using different configurations and shapes. Yet the perimeter length will be different and hence exposure to climatic conditions and cost.• Site analysis will also consider access (vehicular and pedestrian), views (from and to), surrounding buildings (style, color, materials) etc.
3. Concept• Now the Concept! The most difficult step in the design process.• Program and Site analysis provide us with information, considerations and conditions that affect our design decisions.• The Concept provides the holistic idea that brings the program and the site together.• Sources of concepts can be from nature, technology, culture, literature, art, site, program, etc.. It can be pragmatic (direct) or abstract (indirect).
3. Concept• The concept will provide solution to program requirements, site conditions and human aspirations.• The building will be seen by the society (indirect users) most of the time and be used by direct users part of the time.• Architecture is Exterior Form and Interior Space.• It will provide and image, landmark and place.
3. Concept• The project is like a cup that contains juice!• The cup is the site while the juice is the program .• The concept gives shape and appearance to the “cup” and a taste of the “juice”. • Our study of examples “precedence” is very critical at the stage of concept generation. They provide us with ideas and solutions that we can learn from.
4. QSAS• All projects should work according to a sustainability strategy.• For this project we select to study QSAS (Qatar Sustainability Assessment System) to apply on this project.• To achieve sustainability, projects should work from day one on applying sustainability strategies.• It is too late to achieve sustainability after the design and construction is finished.