Masters Thesis

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Masters Thesis

  1. 1. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY Miami, Florida MEMWA Memory of Haiti A Haitian Cultural Center A Master’s Project Submitted in partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE By Caroline Joseph April 27th, 2009
  2. 2. This project, completed by Caroline Joseph, and entitled MEMWA, Memory of Haiti: AHaitian Cultural Center has been approved in respect to design quality and intellectualcontent.We have reviewed this Master’s Project and recommend that it be approved.Date of Final Review: April 17th, 2009 __________________________________________ Adam Drisin, Studio Critic __________________________________________ Adam Drisin, Department Chair © Copyright 2009 by Caroline Joseph All rights reserved. ii
  3. 3. “HOW CAN THE SENSES GENRERATE MEMORIES OF AN ETHIC GROUP’S The thesis project will explore the ability of the senses (i.e. sight, hearing, taste, smell, andNATIVE LAND WHEN IMMIGRATED TO AN ADOPTIVE LAND: A CULTURAL touch) to entice, understand and allow for a complete spatial and sensory experience, using CENTER IN LITTLE HAITI, FLORIDA” Haitian vernacular architecture, culture, and custom, as precedents. The programmatic By functions, spatial qualities, and materiality are intended to foster a memory of Haiti, enticing the Caroline Joseph old, and creating new ones. Florida International University, 2009 The design project is a cultural center. It will represent and introduce Haitian culture, Adam Drisin, Major Professor language, and customs for a greater understanding and knowledge, through educational programs, as well as cultural events. The center’s objective is to bring the different Haitian communities closer together, as well as to bridge a gap with other immediate communities present in Miami. iii
  4. 4. TABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER PAGEI. INTRODUCTION……………………….…………………………………………..1- How can the senses foster a constant memory of a distant space?- Method of InvestigationII. RESEARCH…………………………………………………………………………4- Thinking Architecture by Peter Zumthor- The Eyes of the Skin by Juhani Pallasmaa- Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture by Steven Holl- Research ConclusionIII. CASE STUDIES…………………………………………………………………….12- Church of the Light by Tadao Ando- Lovers Fountain by Luis Barragàn- Swiss Pavilion by Peter Zumthor- Rural Haiti by Caroline Joseph- Case Study ConclusionIV. PROJECT SITE AND PROGRAM………………………………………………..27V. PROJECT DOCUMENTATION…..……………………..…………………………36VI. CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………#LIST OF REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………36 iv
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION How can the senses foster a memory of a distant space? Starting in the late 50’s, due to political unrest and economic instability, Haitians have been steadily emigrating to more prosperous countries, such as the United States of America, in hopes for new beginnings and opportunities. Upon reaching and settling in their adopted land, Haitian communities sprawl and recreate their native land’s history, religion, lifestyle, custom, and culture. The typical Haitian immigrant, after settling in an adoptive land, and after recreating bits of his prior surroundings, still longs for his motherland. How can Haitian immigrants feel close to Haiti, miles away? Deeply rooted in the Haitian oral and visual tradition, Haitians assess, most of what they know, see, feel, and imagine through body movements, expressions, and sounds, all processed by the senses, and later embedded or encrusted in memory. For instance, the shouting of a candle vendor on the streets of Haiti, heard for miles up and down the hills by many Haitians during the embargo 1, referred to by a person while recounting an anecdote, will bring the Haitian listener back in this timeframe for a brief moment. Consistently recalling that memory could revive that moment or event, and consequently entice a sense ofFigure 1 I proximity to Haiti. 1. Images of Haiti (also used on cover) I Book: Imagine Ayiti by Rafaelle Castera I Last two images by Claudine St-Rome André. 2. Emigration Map I Diagram: Caroline Joseph 1 Embargo from 1991-1993, resulting from a military coup-d’état. 1
  6. 6. Proposal The program will be composed of a market, a Creole library and teaching Using the lakou 2as a main representation of Haitian culture, referencing to workshop, a traditional arts and crafts gallery with adjoining workshops, a folkloricits spatial qualities, function, and materiality, the design project will consist of the dance studio, a Haitian cooking workshop, and open air courtyards for leisure,aggroupment of several spaces of activities around common open spaces, events and outdoor exhibitions.encompassed by elements of nature (i.e. water, vegetation). The choice of the market emanates from the central function, position, and The prominence of contrasting elements in Haitian culture, lifestyle, importance of the latter within the Haitian community, has a source of food andcustoms and topography will be outlined through four design principles to inform income provision, as well as a place that promotes interaction, and creates anthe different spaces of activities and promote a spatial experience. The first event space of constant activity, in a cacophony of sounds, smells, and colors.principle, concerns the definition of the edge condition between private and public The Creole library and teaching workshop reflects a need for a higher level ofspaces, eliminating the need for intermediate spaces. The second, concerns written and spoken literacy and knowledge of the Haitian Creole language.specifying spatial functions for each activity. The third, concerns the sequential Creole is the true national language of Haiti, spoken by nearly all Haitians butand gradient patterns between spaces filled with light to dark ones. Last, the written by a very few 3. The choice for a traditional arts and crafts gallery andfourth, concerns materiality, and texture. workshop reinforces the artistic spine of the Haitian community. It is an opportunity to showcase the variations that exists within the artistic traditions (i.e.Program pottery, painting, net-making, etc…). The folkloric dance studios, as well as the The programmatic functions of the spaces of activity are not only a cooking workshop, are both, representations of the many facets of the Haitianreference to the main components of Haitian lifestyle but an addition to the culture and its customs. Last, the open air courtyards for leisure, events andexisting Haitian community within the chosen location, Little Haiti, a neighborhood exhibitions, reflect the communal use of outdoor and public spaces for a range ofin the city of Miami, within the state of Florida. activities, from an afternoon talk, to carnival festivities.2 3 Lakou’s are compounds mostly found in the rural provinces of Haiti, or in the outskirts of the capital and Creole is spoken by seven million Haitians in the homeland, and about a million living abroad. Nearly, allcities, a direct consequence of an alienation of the voodoo religion. Within the lakou, multiple families live Haitians speak the language, but a small minority of about 10% of the population also speaks French, whichin individual houses around a central open space, generally under the authority of a patriarch and voodoo they have learned either at home or at school. However, even Haitians who master French considerpriest. One of the houses within the compound is reserved to the spirits. Haitian Creole, which they use for most everyday communication, as the symbol of their national identity. 2
  7. 7. Location Method of Investigation Little Haiti, a neighborhood of the City of Miami, houses a growing number The following methods of investigation will be consisted of a series of graphicof the Haitian community within the state of Florida. It’s boundaries are roughly as analysis to inform the programmatic and structural layout of the proposed culturalfollows: to the North by 85th Street, to the West by I-95, to the East by Biscayne center and its ability to foster a constant memory of a distant place through theBoulevard, and to the South by Northeast 36th Street, and the Design District. use of the senses. The cultural center will be located in the vicinities of Little Haiti, towards the I. SENSES a. Identifying strategies for creating architecture for the senses throughsouthwest edge of the Design District. The center will be a gateway to the readings:neighborhood of Little Haiti. It is intended to be an introduction and representation 1. Thinking Architecture by Peter Zumthor;of Haitian culture and customs, respectively, to the other communities of the state 2. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses by Juhani Pallasmaa;of Florida and to the Haitian communities. 3. Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture by Steven Holl. b. Analyze projects that have used the senses has a constant frame to a spatial experience: 1. Church of the Light by Tadao Ando; 2. Lovers Fountain by Luis Barragàn; 3. Swiss Pavilion by Peter Zumthor. II. RURAL HAITI a. Analyze the typical layout of a lakou (family compound) to inform the site’s layout: 1. Map the compounds space layout, and use 2. Analyze the importance of threshold and boundary 3. Analyze the relationship between public and private spaces b. Analyze the typical vernacular architecture to inform texture and light filtration 1. Identify the range of materials used 3
  8. 8. RESEARCH Thinking Architecture by Peter Zumthor Summary A Way of Looking at Things Peter Zumthor begins the chapter with a recollection triggered by looking at a door handle, a childhood memory of his aunt’s house. That particular experience was not yet spatial and was devoid of any architectural meaning. He states, “There was a time when I experienced architecture without thinking about it.” Whenever Zumthor designs a new project, he not only uses his extensive professional knowledge, but also the memories evoked by the materials, which “contain the deepest experience”, for a smoother integration of the design with its environment. The Magic of the Real Zumthor explores the magic that exists in the real; an ordinary object, or a moment in life that can be seen, felt, smelled, heard, or tasted. He recounts an experience (emotions, and sensations) he had while sitting in a loggia facing a square; watching all that was happening around him. Everything from his surroundings moved him, but was there something other than the physical materials? What would happen if the square was removed? Zumthor realized that when the square was removed, the feelings started slowly to dissipate; hence he observed that “[w]ithout the atmosphere of the square, [he] would never have experienced those feelings.” Zumthor also asks himself this question: How canFigure 1 I Thinking Architecture I Diagram: Caroline Joseph the real be applied to architecture? 4
  9. 9. The Light in the Landscape My MemoryLight reflects on surfaces to create new forms; it is in constant tension with Reading about his childhood experience about the door knob at his aunt’sdarkness, and shares spaces with shadow. Zumthor acknowledges the different house, and his procession pass the door feeling the gravel under his feet,properties of light, its intensity, but he is vehemently opposed to the use of reminded me of a similar experience I had during my childhood.artificial lighting; human light. Which rises a question, how much light and/or My image began with the word gravel. It reminded me of my childhooddarkness are needed to sustain life? house in Haiti, on a Sunday afternoon. I was on the balcony, standing in the shade, although it was a cool day, feeling a subtle breeze caress my skin, leaningReport on a warm masonry column, inhaling a dusty air. In one hear, I was listening toPeter Zumthor believes that a design process begins with an image, old or new, music from my radio-cassette, in the other, the surrounding sounds: overhearingregistered through the senses, and stored in memory. Recalled, the image ignites the voices of the few market vendors present, the fragmented stroll, down and upthe spatial experience of that moment in time; the smells, the lighting intensity, the the hill, of a few pedestrian’s feet moving the gravel, and the quiet sound of theair flow, and much more. Zumthor emphasizes on the importance of the image as wind. Across the street, from my house, the school security guard is doing thea whole, without which, any elements taken out of the composition, would have same (listening to music and the surrounding sounds), overlooking the street,been devoid of meaning. He suggests the opposite when translating those sitting atop a ten feet wall.memories to reality, through the use of drawings. The author suggests that one Remembering the simplicity of this décor provide me, a sense of serenity,should draw the prevailing elements or aspects of the image, not the whole and calm. It is one of the many memories I wish to recapture in a space. Thosecomposition at once; the finished product should be divulged gradually. The are the experiences that I wish to use to inform, like Peter Zumthor, the selectioncomposition will inform the choice of architectural elements that will best recall the of materials, the manipulation of sound, temperature change, the sequence ofimage, using several strategies. The most prevailing, concerns the choice of spaces, spaces of friction, the range of scales, and the play of light, to facilitate acomplementary and sensory materials. The result of the design process will recollection of past experiences. Those decisions should in turn be triggered by atranslate memories to a spatial experience that will constantly challenge the sense; in this case it was the sight of a word, gravel. I would like to use this samesenses, ultimately reviving old memories or creating new ones. (Figure 1) process through my master’s design project, Memory of Haiti. 5
  10. 10. My master’s project is a cultural center. The design aims at triggeringmemories of Haiti, for the Haitian community in the greater city of Miami. I will usespecific elements of Haitian’s customs. For instance, following one of Zumthor’ssix strategies to translate an idea of the real, bare concrete blocks, agedcorrugated metal, and tree branches, are three of the most common materials andcharacteristics found in vernacular house constructions in Haiti, depicting theeffect of time. A complementary use of these materials within the different culturalpavilions surface/skin could trigger its user’s memory, by either seeing, ortouching the latter. Most importantly, the application of these materials could alsomimic the construction methods of those structures. Moreover, in Haitianvernacular architecture, darkness and shadow are an eminent part of the spatialexperience (greatly due to the lack of electricity), whether daylight or moonlight isshed upon that space, consequently, apertures are precisely placed to lit keysurfaces, such as the rough concrete floor where the dining table is placed. Usingthat same idea to highlight a material, or a sequence of spaces with differentintensities of daylight, and even moonlight, could be another approach to enticinga spatial experience, which could in turn trigger a memory. Those are some of the many images that could be translated into anarchitectural experience of space to trigger a memory, following Peter Zumthor’sstrategies. 6
  11. 11. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses by Juhani Pallasmaa Summary The Eyes of the Skin records the evolution and importance of the senses in architecture, from the pre-historical periods, to the present days. Society has evolved from a strictly auditive and tactile dominance, to a sight dependent society. Pallasmaa disproves this accepted theory, and believes that, unconsciously, society has heavily been relying on their tactile sense. He believes all other senses to be extensions of the latter. Furthermore, Pallasmaa, not only believes that the skin is the epitome of the sense of touch, but of all the senses; the senses are a specialization of the skin. The author concludes that societies experience and see the world through the skin, and acknowledging that concept will allow for a complete sensory experience. (Figure 2) Report The Eyes of the Skin, has emphasized the importance of the tactile properties of a space to trigger a sensory experience, and has been useful in prompting an educated choice of material to develop a palette for the proposal. The façade, skin, and interior spaces of the cultural center will be greatly informed by references to traditional use of materials in rural Haitian architecture and other main weaving techniques within Haitian craft traditions, such as weaved wood branches, and woven hat patterns. The selected arrays of patterns and textureFigure 2 I The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture of the Senses I Diagram: Caroline Joseph 7
  12. 12. will inform a sensory experience through the tactile sense, or has Pallasmaasuggests, through the skin. Unfortunately, no other design strategies, provided by the author, such asthe use of shadow, the quietness of silence, the odor of a space, the possibletaste of a material, and proportion of a room, were, in my opinion, a solution toenticing the tactile sense, or the skin. Those aforementioned tools, cater more tothe individual senses (i.e. sight, smell, taste, and hearing), only, when combinedcreate a sensory experience. 8
  13. 13. Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture by Steven Holl Summary Steven Holl in this essay describes how architecture tends to idealize the perception of an object. Through several of his architectural projects he demonstrates how an object perceived using its Real characteristics and properties can allow for a greater architectural experience. A relevant example, described the utopian idea of shadow as a framer of objects, whereas in the Real, it enhances a detail of an object. In order to reach and implement the Real application of perception, he first proposes that one should be conscious of his/herself in space (i.e. above grade, below grade, standing, running, etc.). Second, Holl is adamant that one should distance him/herself from any distraction, mainly technological, but rather rely on his/her senses (i.e. computer, camera, etc.). Only, than can one perceive the Real qualities of perception, which will create a greater experience of architecture. The author goes even further, by exponentially adding the word phenomenology to architectural perception. Holl explains the phenomenology through two phenomena: the physical; the feeling, and the mental; the thought. Steven Holl concludes that a True and Real experience of Architecture is realized, only when the perception triggers a feeling, than promotes a thought process, which results in a full understanding of space, and in turn triggers a greater sensory experience. (Figure 3)Figure 3 I Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture I Diagram: Caroline Joseph 9
  14. 14. ReportSteven Holl has highlighted a constant misjudged aspect of design, the Realperception of a space. The methods of perception applied in a design processtend to distance oneself from a space and idealize a preconceived notion of thelatter. The essay introduces me to the notion of understanding a space, notthrough a computer screen, but through a user’s position within a space.This aspect of the design process should be omnipresent through thedevelopment of the cultural center, given the importance, in amount, of theindividuals, who will experience the space.I was able to define several strategies, through the many examples provided bythe author; one of them was most relevant to the project, it concerned theperception of an architectural space during daytime, and nighttime. Designingprojects, I never thought of the perception of a project at night, and realized thedistinctiveness and contrast of language that exists at those times. As a strategyto this challenge, a greater concentration on the façade weaving techniques couldnot only filter daylight and natural ventilation, but allow for the dissipation of lightfrom within the spaces, or highlight important architectural programs, at night. 10
  15. 15. Research Conclusion element or object through the design process will trigger physical and mental My thesis question, explores how the senses can foster a memory of a phenomena, which he defines and explains as the phenomenology ofdistant space. architecture. The author’s analysis of the Real qualities of elements of design In Thinking Architecture, Peter Zumthor’s description of his experiences principle highlighted the importance of the 1:1 scale relationship between userwith memory and his ability to document and use the latter as part of a design and space. Understanding the constant interchange that exists between what isprocess in architecture have been useful in stimulating my thoughts about perceived by the user, and the intention to what should be perceived in a space,strategies to develop my thesis. I am interested in the author’s aim at using the interest the development of the thesis to foster a constant sensory experience,real and subtle aspect of everyday objects, materials, and elements to trigger a that triggers the mind and the body, in an event to stimulate memory.memory. Foremost, Zumthor introduces me to an array of different types oflighting, whether natural or superficial, especially, the moonlight, all, ultimately How can the senses generate memories of an ethnic group’s native landcomplementing the overall experience of a space. when immigrated to an adoptive land? In The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, Juhani Pallasmaa’s The senses can generate memory of a distant space, first, through thetheory on the unconscious prominence of the tactile sense in an environment, implementation of specific elements of the latter, which could later be translatedmoreover, the skin’s ability to register and understand its surroundings before all into design principles, triggering smell, taste, sight, and hearing, second, theother senses, prompted my attention to the importance of materiality in a space. I introduction of materials enticing the tactile sense, to foster a direct spatialam interested in using materials that recall those used in vernacular architecture experience, and last, the application of Real characteristics and qualities of thosein Haiti, which provide me with a great palette of texture, and tactile qualities, aforementioned elements, in order to be perceived conceptually and spatially,which will in turn provoke an urge to touch. respectively, by the mind and body. In Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture, Steven Hollparallel’s the utopian and factual methods of perception of several designprinciples and tools commonly used in architecture using his projects as casestudies. Moreover, the author suggests that the application of Real aspects of an 11
  16. 16. CASE STUDIES The following case studies will graphically analyze how the senses (i.e. sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) (Figure 4) were used as a constant frame to the spatial design of three projects: Church of the Light by Tadao Ando, the Lovers Fountain by Luis Barragàn, and the Swiss Pavilion by Peter Zumthor. (Figure 5)Figure 4 I the senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch) I Sketch: Caroline JosephFigure 5 I 1. Church of the Light, 2. Lovers Fountain, 3. Swiss Pavilion 12
  17. 17. Church of the Light I Osaka, Japan I 1989 I Tadao Ando Church of the Light aims at hiding the structure and gradually leading the user to a specific point: the light, consequently, enticing the sense of sight. The sense of sight is triggered by the user’s procession throughout the project. The latter is defined by two systems, the approach, and the light to dark sequence of spaces.I Sense: Sight I Sketch: Caroline Joseph Approach I hidden from the eye (Figure 6) 1. Nature, a soft boundary, is used to camouflage the structure, allowing for fragmented composition of the latter. 2. The approach to the main entrance of the project is indirect and promotes anticipation for the eye. 3. Unlike the general layout of churches, on the outside, the project does not allow the eye to see the cross first, but rather the ensemble of the project; understanding the whole before the part. On one side, the cross (smaller red dot in Figure 6) is implied by slits in the façade. At the main entrance, its presence is almost not grasped, due to its scale and material finish. The cross is rather small and made out of steel and coated of silver, almost matching the concrete finish of the wall it hangs from.Figure 6 I Church of the Light: Approach Diagram I Sketch: Caroline Joseph 13
  18. 18. Approach I the eye and the cross (Figure 7) 1. Generally, in a church’s façade composition, the cross is the reference point for the eye, and is visible from any point in a city. 2. In Church of the Light, the opposite is true; the structure itself is the reference point. Approach I the eye and the procession journey The procession emphasizes the process of leaving a public and entering a private one. The following five images will detail this movement. (Figure 8) The approach is disorienting and creates a feeling of apprehension for the eye and heightens an expectation about what will follow next. The use of sharp edges, and proximity, make it possible. (Figure 9) (Figure 10) Worshippers are required to enter the site to the North East corner, off a side street (A) via a forecourt (B), which leads to the far corner of theFigure 7 I Church of the Light: Approach Diagram I Sketch: Caroline Joseph church, to the minister’s house (C). From there, the path turns and skips forward into a convoluted ‘S’ movement that takes the user through an opening within the periphery wall of the project (D) and leads on to second opening through the Public Private angled blade wall (E). Worshippers, are then rewarded by the unexpected impact of the trimmed cross within the concrete wall, and light flow outlined by the cross’s carving (F) 4.Figure 8 I Church of the Light: Procession Diagram I Sketch: Caroline Joseph 4 Extract from the book Places of Worship. 14
  19. 19. E D CFigure 9 I Sketch: Caroline Joseph Figure 10 I C + D + E I Sketch: Caroline Joseph A B FFigure 10 I A + B I Sketch: Caroline Joseph Figure 10 I F I Sketch: Caroline Joseph 15
  20. 20. Light to Dark I sight sequence (Figure 11) The continuous lighting sequence from light to dark spaces, heightens the anticipation, and feeds the eye with a curiosity to see more.Figure 11 I Church of the Light: Light to Dark Diagram I Sketch: Caroline JosephFigure 12 I Church of the Light I Book: El Croquis, Tadao Ando I Website: www.flickr.com 16
  21. 21. Lovers Fountain I Mexico City, Mexico I 1964 I Luis Barragàn Lovers Fountain aims at exploring an exterior space through fragments of the latter and sounds, consequently enticing the sense of hearing and sight. The sense of hearing is triggered by the sounds of water emerging from scuppers, and the resonance of stone and sand pavement. The sense of sight is triggered by the use of brightly colored and long walls that are juxtaposed to visually frame the landscape, and by the use of the reflective surfaces of pools of water which inform and enrich a surrealist space.I Sense: Sight and Hearing I Sketch: Caroline Joseph Hearing I sound (Figure 13) 1. The sound of falling water is heard, before it is seen; it is a node to the project. 2. The intensity of sound amplifies has one gets closer, allowing for an anticipation for the eye. 3. Upon reaching the destination, hearing is rewarded with the source of the sound, and furthermore, the sense of sight, allows for a complete understanding of the composition.Figure 13 I Lovers Fountain: Approach Diagram-Hearing I Diagram: Caroline Joseph 17
  22. 22. Sight I frame, wall, color, reflection (Figure 14) To better grasp the different elements used to entice sight, the following diagrams, will analyze each element individually. 1. One wall with color, the other without, the eye will most likely see the A B colored one first, thus focusing on a part of the composition. (A) 2. Both walls are colored, the eyes focuses on the whole composition.(B) 3. Both walls are colored but a portion of it is framed or highlighted, the eye will immediately be directed to the space created by that boundary.(C) 4. Both walls are colored, and one more element is added: water. Water with its reflective and refracting properties, augments the scale of the walls and C D the color intensity, therefore giving greater importance to the wall.(D) 5. Combining those different elements, entice the eye to focus first on the framed portion of the composition, enhancing the space it creates, second, E the wall, registering its color, and height, and third the reflective and refractive of the water pool, highlighting its importance to the project, butFigure 14 I Lovers Fountain: Approach Diagram- Sight I Diagram: Caroline Joseph first and foremost, amplifying the scale of the project.(E)Figure 15 I Lovers Fountain I Book: Barragàn: the Complete Works 18
  23. 23. Swiss Pavilion I Expo 2000 I Hanover, Germany I 2000 I Peter Zumthor The Swiss Pavilion, is not only a timber labyrinth, but a labyrinth of the senses; the project is intended to appeal to all them, sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Different methods are used to achieve a unique spatial experience. Senses I sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing 1. The sense of sight is triggered by an array of varying slits within theI Senses: Sight, Smell, Hearing, Taste, and Touch I Sketch: Caroline Joseph stacked timbers, and the circulation and concentration pattern among the stacks, favoring different intensities of light filtration (A), visual interaction (B) (the walls are both opaque and permeable: as one walks down the path, alongside the timbers, they seem solid and directive (1), but looking straight at them, the slits transfer edited versions of individual’s bodies (2)) and scale (C). (Figure 16) 2. The sense of smell is enticed physically by the ever changing aromas of the wood timbers, and programmatically by the implementation of foodFigure 16 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I A I Diagram: Caroline Joseph points. (Figure 17) 3. The sense of taste is programmatically triggered by the placement of food and drink nodes. (Figure 18) 4. The sense of touch, heighten by the tactile qualities of timber.(Figure19) 5. The sense of hearing is triggered by then natural music of rain water pouring on the galvanized gutters which form the roof, the introduction of live performances of musical instruments, among other sounds.Figure 16 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I B (1) I Diagram: Caroline Joseph (Figure 20) 19
  24. 24. Figure 16 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I B (2) I Diagram: Caroline Joseph Figure 18 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I Diagram: Caroline JosephFigure 16 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I C I Diagram: Caroline Joseph Figure 19 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I Diagram: Caroline JosephFigure 17 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I Diagram: Caroline Joseph Figure 20 I Swiss Pavilion: How the senses are triggered? I Diagram: Caroline Joseph 20
  25. 25. Figure 21 I Swiss Pavilion I Book: Architecture in Switzerland I Website: www.flickr.com 21
  26. 26. Rural Haiti I 2008 I Caroline Joseph The graphic analysis of rural Haiti through specific elements, such as the Lakou and the materiality of vernacular architecture, will later be translated and introduced into the design development of the proposed cultural center, to inform the programmatic, spatial layout and façade palette. Lakou The alienation of the voodoo religion 5 after the proclamation of Haiti’s independence from the French colons on January 1st, 1804, probably beginning during the slavery period, propelled the emergence of the Lakou. Consequently to the alienation of the voodoo, and the need to congregate, originally hidden from the colons through inaccessible routes during slavery, the lakou’s were, and still are, essentially found on the outskirts of the capital, cities, and largely in the rural provinces 6. 5 In an effort to escape the hardships of the colony, and foremost, slavery, plantation slaves and fleeing slaves, called marrons, clandestinely regrouped, and attempted to reunite with their cultural and religious traditions, one of them concerned the practice of voodoo rituals. For the slave, it was a method of survival to recall their African identity, their sense of community and individuality. The aggroupments and foremost, the practice of the voodoo religion persisted, despite the suppression from the colons through the Black Code which, among other laws, obliged all slaves to be baptized catholic, promoted the separation and mixing of different ethnic groups scattered on different plantations, andSketch: Caroline Joseph required the banning of assembly. The application of those laws was believed to promote obedience from the slaves. The alienation persisted even after the independence of Haiti. The religion was and is believed to be a cult devoted to debauchery, satanic, and superstitious endeavors, among many others, by the different sit of governments, and the Catholic Church. (Les Mystères du Vaudou by Laënnec Hurbon, p.21-31,33-43, 48- 49,51-57) 6 Ibid p.101 22
  27. 27. Another aspect of the alienation was anonymity; the lakou looks and functions as a residential compound, mimicking the surrounding dwellings of the village or community 7. A lakou’s boundary is often not outlined but consciously known by the surrounding community. However, when clotured, its delineation is commonly outlined by weaved tree branches, or leaves, spike bushes, or shrubs, or simplyFigure 22 I Typical Lakou Layout I Diagram: Caroline Joseph outlined by a concentration of trees, or any natural element, such as a water point. Access to a lakou, rooted in Haitian culture, requires the visitor to ask permission to enter the property, highlighting the importance of threshold and edge, as well as the transition from public to private spaces. (Figure 22) Passed the ‘fence’, an open central space welcomes the visitor, whatever the purpose of the visit; he/she will be oriented toward a seating space, often located under a tree, the compound’s node. Access to the different dwellings of the compound, considered private spaces, are reserved to the immediate family, or again, upon asking permission. (Figure 22) The lakou, in essence, is a family compound, comprised of several dwellings, called kay in Creole, scattered around a central open space, where a great amount of the everyday life activity occurs. It generally has a minimum ofFigure 23 I Typical Kay I Photographer: Claudine St Rome Andre I Website: www.flickr.com four dwellings. Among them, one of the houses is solely reserved to the voodoo cult; it is referred to as the ounfò (temple). Often, proximately to the ounfò, 7 Rites et Secrets du Vaudou by Amar Hamdani, p.52 23
  28. 28. and/or in the open central space of the compound, an agroupment of trees or a single tree is dedicated to the cult, arbres-reposoir 8. (Figure 22) Generally, the single-story houses follow a similar rectangular narrow layout, usually with a front porch, mainly catering to a specific function: sleeping; the spaces are generally subdivided among bedrooms. In other cases, they are comprised of two main spaces, separated by a wall: the bedroom, and theFigure 24 I Kay Typical Room Layout and Entrance I Diagram: Caroline Joseph kitchen. The living room, in either case, happens in the central courtyard. Oriented perpendicularly to a road or path, it is entered through double doors, from a porch sheltered by the projecting gable roof, along its short side. This gable-end is often closed in to form a large storage shelf, accessible from the front room of the house. The floor under both house and porch are raised, in an attempt to shelter from flood. While the houses often have side doors to the outside, the main circulation happens from front to back, passing through any intervening rooms. (Figure 23+24)Figure 25 I Typical Open and Closed Ounfò I Book: Voodoo: Visions and Voices of Haiti The ounfò is different; it is usually a square open and covered space (peristil), with a column at its center (poto mitan). Commonly, it is an enclosed space, surrounded by many rooms; some of them are called kay mistè, and others djevo. Contrastingly to the peristil, accessible to all, they are both very private spaces, accessible only by the voodoo priests and the initiated. The second, however, is almost always, kept closed, and devoid of light. Both rooms, 8Figure 26 I Ounfò Typical Layout I Diagram: Caroline Joseph The voodoo religion aims at encompassing all elements of the universe, associating the vegetal to the mineral, the animal, and the human kind. The importance given to the natural elements is deeply rooted in the belief that they are gateways and portal to the spirits to access earth. (Ibid, p.57) 24
  29. 29. 9 respectively, serve the purpose to venerate a spirit, and initiate the candidates. (Figure 25+26) Vernacular Rural Architecture The rural landscape of Haiti is largely dominated by houses varying in style from one region to another, depending on the materials found in the surroundings and economic abilities of the owners. In the dry and treeless regions of the country, houses are constructed out of rocksFigure 27 I Typical Kay Facade I Sketch: Caroline Joseph or wattle, and daub with mud or lime exteriors. Contrastingly, in temperate areas, houses are made from the easily hewn native palm; and still in other areas, particularly in the south, houses are made of Hispaniola pine and local hardwoods. If the owner can afford it, the outside of a house is painted in an array of pastel colors. Mystic symbols are often painted on the walls, and the awnings are fringed with colorful hand-carved trimming. The varying construction methods are all surmounted by a hip or gable roof of palm thatch, or increasingly, galvanized steel. 10(Figure27+28)Figure 28 I Typical Façade Material I Website: www.flickr.com 9 Ibid p. 52-58 10 Extracted from The Popular Architecture of Haiti by Anthony Hart Fisher, John Vlach 25
  30. 30. Case Study Conclusion space of the Lakou, were everyday activities occur. Translating these Graphically analyzing the different case studies, has allowed me to better characteristics onto modern architecture, could cater to designing a multi-purposegrasp the notion and variety of means that can be used and applied into designing public space, and having a single programmatic element standout from the rest,a space that fosters a sensory experience. through the use of materiality, or spatial function. Another important aspect of the The first portion of the case studies concerned the analysis of several Lakou, concerns the delineation of public and private spaces, using softprojects that have used the senses as a framing guideline to the design of a boundaries, nature, at its main entrance, and using doors, or porches at itsspatial experience. dwellings. Furthermore, there is a clear definition of the function of each spaceThroughout all three chosen projects, Church of Light, Lovers Fountain, and the within the compound, whether it is private, or public. Defining those moments ofSwiss Pavilion, the use of the wall has a prominent directing, framing, and friction, or transition, and specific program functions within the proposed culturalfiltrating element, broaden my notion and purpose of a wall. Contrarily to my center, could be the translated design solution.definition of the latter as a solid, prominent, and structural boundary and edge, the Exploring the typical materials used in vernacular architecture within the ruralwall was portrayed as transparent, and light, allowing for a constant flow of vision provinces of Haiti, has allowed for an array of techniques to choose from, but theand perception. most interesting, relies in the timber and palm tree leaf weaving constructionThe projects also, used the complete abilities and properties of natural elements, method. The qualities of this method of construction, could allow for a variety ofmainly, light, and water, to frame, highlight, and complement the intent of the natural light filtration density, as well as air filtration. Another function couldoverall composition. emanate, from the visual and tactile qualities that are provided by the material’s The second portion of the case studies concerned the analysis of the texture.typical family compound, the Lakou, and the different materials used in vernaculararchitecture, within the rural provinces of Haiti, to inform site and program layout,as well as façade design.In a traditional Lakou, importance is not given to the general dwellings it iscomprised of, but to the spirits temple house, ounfò, and the communal open 26
  31. 31. PROJECT SITE AND PROGRAM Ideal Site Referencing to the origins and beginnings of the Lakou 11, and focusing on the purpose of the cultural center to represent the Haitian community, as well as introduce the Haitian culture, and customs to neighboring communities within the state of Florida, the ideal site will be located in the vicinities of Little Haiti 12. (Figure 29) The cultural center will be a gateway to Little Haiti; the chosen site should be a threshold and a defining point of entry to the Haitian community. In order to visually and conceptually grasp that transition, the site will have to be adjacent to an existing, and highly frequented center of activity, in the outskirts of the community’s boundary, contrasting with the slower activity paste of Little Haiti. Further on, the site should be easily accessible through pedestrian and vehicularFigure 29 I Ideal Site: Possible Site Location: Edges of Little Haiti I Diagram: Caroline Joseph means, respectively, requiring the adjacency of a bus route, wide sidewalks, and side streets with slower vehicular traffic, the proximity of a highway, a major avenue, and parking amenities. Focusing on the pedestrian accessibility of the project, the chosen site should also be adjacent to an already pedestrian community, with existing pedestrian friendly infrastructures, to facilitate a constant traffic flow. In relation to the proposed program of the cultural center which will include the teaching, making, displaying, and selling of Haitian artifacts, the site 11 The beginnings of the Lakou were a direct response to the alienation of the voodoo religion. The latter caused the anonymity, and seclusion of the Lakou’s mainly in rural provinces and outskirts of the capital and villages. (Les Mystères du Vaudou by Laënnec Hurbon, p.101) 12 th Little Haiti’s boundaries are as follows: to the North by 85 Street, to the West by I-95, to the East by thFigure 30 I Ideal Location and Ideal Site I Diagram: Caroline Joseph Biscayne Boulevard, and to the South by Northeast 36 Street, and the Design District. 27
  32. 32. should be near a center that already caters to a group of users, ranging from the art savvy to the community resident. Additionally, the proximity of an educational facility, and/or community center, as well as the proximity to other Haitian centers, could promote a programmatic interchange. (Figure 30) Site: N Miami Avenue and 40st Street, Miami, FL 33137 The chosen site for the proposed cultural center is located in the periphery of Little Haiti, and within the vicinity of the West edge of the Design District of Miami, an art and leisure activity center, and North of Midtown Miami, a newFigure 31 I Site Possible Location I Diagram: Caroline Joseph commercial and residential urban development. (Figure 31) Both aforementioned centers of activity favor pedestrian activity, house, and welcome a wide range of users, from the tourist, to the resident. Furthermore, the already existing centers of activity provide ample parking amenities. The site is an empty lot, outlined by a major avenue, North Miami, and secondary streets, NE 40th and NE 41st street. Its position, and location alongside North Miami Avenue 13, highlights the contrasting urban fabric of the Design District to the residential suburbs of Little Haiti, favoring the threshold aspect of the proposal. (Figure 32, 33, 34, 35, 36) Major road accesses frame the site’s location: to the South by I-195, to the EastFigure 32 I Site Possible Location Zoom I Diagram: Caroline Joseph by I-95, and to the West by Biscayne Boulevard (US-1). (Figure 29) 13 The North-South axis of the North Miami Avenue is the meridian that divides the street grid of Miami and Miami-Dade County into East and West. 28
  33. 33. Figure 33 I Possible Site Selection along North Miami Ave I Diagram: Caroline Joseph Figure 35 I Chosen Site Zoom I Diagram: Caroline Joseph I Image: Google EarthFigure 34 I Chosen Site I Diagram: Caroline Joseph I Image: Google Earth Figure 36 I Chosen Site Lot Size I Drawing: Caroline Joseph 29
  34. 34. Figure 37 I Street Elevations I Diagrams + Images: Caroline Joseph I Map: Google Earth 30
  35. 35. Program The cultural center will be comprised ideally of five pavilion-like programmatic components: a market, a Creole library and teaching workshop, a traditional arts and crafts gallery with adjoining workshops, a folkloric dance studio, a Haitian cooking workshop, and open air courtyards for leisure, events and outdoor exhibitions. The characteristics of each program will reference to elements of the Haitian culture, providing each with a distinct spatial identity.Figure 38 I Precedent: Haitian Market Spatial Layout I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph Open Air Market I 3000 sqf’ The Haitian street markets blur the functional boundary of street edge to the pedestrian walkways; often, the street is the market. The layout of the market highlights the direct relationship that occurs between the buyer and vendor. It is the immediacy and ability of the crowd to flux and reflux within a given space that will inform the programmatic function of the market square. (Figure 38) The market square, intended to welcome an average, and constant crowd (minimum of 10 people at a time, excluding the vendors) will be an open space, consisting of several halls, separated in two categories: the dry halls and the food halls, regrouping a variety of displayed spices, condiments, etc. Access to the market, should allow for multiple entry and exit points. Once in the square, as in the Haitian street market, the circulation pattern will be maze-like, allowing theFigure 39 I Proposed Market Spatial Quality I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph buyer or visitor, to freely explore every corner of the market. (Figure 39) 31
  36. 36. Creole library and teaching workshop I 4000 sqf’ The typical rural school in Haiti is a one-room space subdivided into a maximum of three classes, depending on the amount of space provided. In those spaces, rarely divided by walls, and commonly by bed sheets, classes often happen simultaneously. In other instances, classes are taught outdoors. (Figure 40) The Creole library will be comprised of three, five-student workshop classes to learn Creole, and as the name suggest, it will also be comprised of a library,Figure 40 I Precedent: School Spatial Layout I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph aiming at concentrating a range of Haitian Creole literature, musical, photography, and cinematography records, for the purpose of research, and learning. The Creole library and workshops will be comprised of spaces were the edges between outdoor and indoor spaces will gradually dissipate, depending on the natural light density needed within that space. The pavilion will also reflect the ability of the rural Haitian school to modulate the space to cater to ever-changing needs, for instance, through the use of movable partitions. (Figure 41)Figure 41 I Proposed Library and Workshop Spatial quality I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph 32
  37. 37. Traditional Arts and Crafts Gallery and Workshops I 5,000 sqf’ The precedent for the organization of the gallery and workshops are the typical layout, display, and relationship that exists between the “making” and the “display” area of the Art street shops, outlining the street edges of Haiti. (Figure42) The Arts and Crafts pavilion will be an avenue for known Haitian artist, as well as upcoming artist to introduce, display, and teach their mediums through several workshops to the general public. It will be a venue where the Haitian and otherFigure 42 I Precedent: Haitian Art Street Shops I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph communities can learn or be reminded of an aspect of Haitian culture through its art. Referring to the importance of display spaces, the programmatic layout will translate this notion, through the introduction of an array of exhibition spaces, varying dimension, and function. Furthermore, the program, will also respond to the relationship between the “making” spaces, and the “display” spaces, for instance, the programmatic differences could delineated by materiality, or spatial layout, using the “display” spaces as nodes to the “making” spaces, the workshops and artist studios. (Figure 43)Figure 43 I Proposed Relationship that could exist between the “making” and the “display” spaces IDiagrams: Caroline Joseph 33
  38. 38. Folkloric dance studio and Haitian cooking workshop I 1500 sqf’ In a response to the importance and clear definition of the private and public spaces within the rural family compound of the religious temple, Ounfò, the spiritual pavilion, will, contrastingly, allow for the interchange of private and public spaces. (Figure 44) The folkloric dance studio and the Haitian cooking workshop, in essence will be blurring the edge of the inside and outside: It is a space for visual interaction. It is semi-open and semi-enclosed, and can cater, to both, a group, and an individual.Figure 44 I Precedent: Ounfò I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph However, similarly to the religious precedent, nature will be a constant guideline to designing the space; for example, the pavilion could be open to the sky at some instances, enticing moments of pause, and contemplation for the individual. (Figure 45)Figure 45 I Proposed Visual Relationship I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph 34
  39. 39. Open air Courtyard I 5000 sqf’ As in rural provinces of Haiti, the central open air public spaces will be the epitome center for an array of activities. Although, its purpose will be greatly determined by its user, it will connect the other four previously mentioned components of the program, cater to outdoor events, and be home to the large exhibition pieces of the cultural center. (Figure 46)Figure 46 I Precedent: Central Piazza I Diagrams: Caroline JosephFigure 46 I Proposed Courtyard Spatial Relationship I Diagrams: Caroline Joseph 35
  40. 40. PROJECT DOCUMENTATIONFigure 47 I Site Location and Plan IThe chosen site is located in Miami Florida, in the vicinities of Little Haiti, West of the Design District and North of Midtown Miami. 36
  41. 41. Figure 48 I Element Analysis IAn analysis of several key elements of the Haitian lifestyle and culture, inform the different programmatic functions, spatial layout, material and texture applications.The first analysis concerned the interweaving of void and fill spaces created by merchants on a busy market day. The second, referencing to the traditional craft of hat making, concerned the different type of weaving techniques thatcould inform light filtration into spaces, by tightening, or loosening the weaving of materials. The third, using a covered market as a reference, shows the importance of the central space within a cluster of parts; an activity becomes anode to a space. The fourth analysis looks at the negative spaces created by a stack of dry condiments bags as a precedent for visual and structural support. The fifth, references to the construction method of rural architecture, whichused a layering system of dry, wet, and natural materials. The last, concerns, the different conditions and cluster possible about a center. 37
  42. 42. Figure 49 I Spatial Layout IIn order to inform the program tic functions and layout of the cultural center, the “lakou”, was used as a reference to introduce with the idea of centrality, the edge definition of private and public spaces, as well as the specificity of spatialfunctions. The spatial layout also responds to the chosen site conditions, through the positions of the programmatic functions. For example, the “Art” wing is positioned along the same Art axis as in the Design District. 38

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