Thesis Pages Blurb


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Senior Thesis Project, Winner of the Dean\'s List "Best in Show" Award

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Thesis Pages Blurb

  1. 1. ta bl e of c ont ent s 3 / thesis statement / explanation of concept 4 / research analysis 6 / zones 7 / floor plans 8 / exterior skin 9 / first floor - pedestrian walkway 10 / lobby / ramps 12 / interior elevation 14 / floor three - studios 15 / floor three - video gallery 16 / floor three - transitional bridge 17 / floor three - performance space 18 / presentation banner
  2. 2. This project was the recipient of the 2007 Harrington College of Design’s Dean’s List “Best in Show” Award
  3. 3. t h e si s The broad spectrum of movement qualities ranging from pedestrian to professional, is expressed throughout the architectural and design components of this Contempo- rary Dance performance, and training center. Historically, conventional performance spaces function to present the trained and refined movement of a performer to a static and observing audience. The movement of users in-between the various zones within the space - pedestrian, professional and interstitial - acknowledges, as well as de-constructs the hierarchy of movement qualities typically found in a performance center 3
  4. 4. research analysis Multiple disciplines of performance and art are studied as a means to formulate the concept Plate 1 Plate 2 Plate 1: The Theater of the Bauhaus: Oskar Schlemmer The essays of Bauhaus Theater director, Oskar Schlemmer explored the human figure and its relationship to space. Several of his drawings (seen in the analysis to the right) illustrate the transformative potential of human movement. From here is where I began to hypothesize about movement in terms of a continuum Plate 2: Photographs of Muybridge The work of English photographer Edward Muybridge illustrates various sequences of movement which I later use as tool to prove my hypothesis, as well as develop a visual vocabulary that is refer- enced throughout the space Plate 3: Research Analysis This document was created as a graphic representation of my research. The idea of pedestrian and performance movement has been established, and ideas about how to implement these concepts architecturally are beginning to formulate. Plate 3 4
  5. 5. visual vocabulary information gleaned from the research analysis informs the creation of a continuum In order to determine a visual distinction between pedestrian and performance style movement, photographs showing various movement series were compared, one demonstrating very simple, pedestrian movement (Plate 1), the other, a complex dance sequence (Plate 2). To distinguish the difference between the two, red lines were traced over the core and limbs of the subjects bod- ies, resulting in a clear, graphic representation of both movement styles. The result of the line pattern extracted from the pedestrian movement series in Plate 1, is quite regular, simple, and Plate 1 non-stylized. In contrast, the line pattern created by the dance movement sequence in Plate 2 is complex, dynamic, and stylized. On the graphic below (Plate 3), both results are placed on either end of the movement con- tinuum with an interstitial or transformational zone in between. The continuum informs the placement of programmatic zones in the space, while the visual vocabulary created by the line patterns influence the design of architectural and design elements Plate 2 qualities of movement continuum pedestrian ( interstitial ) professional simple complex non-stylized stylized Plate 3 5
  6. 6. zones several programmatic zones are created to express the movement continuum. interior elevation exterior elevation plan 6
  7. 7. floor plans plans reflect programmatic zones established by diagram floorplan floorplan (w/zones color coded) floor one floor two floor three 7
  8. 8. exterior skin an architectural expression of the movement continuum, the exterior skin’s facade highlights the movement of its users The third level, representing the most refined and sophisticated movement on the continuum A semi-translucent poly-car- is also the most technologically bonate material along with sophisticated of the three lev- strategic lighting on the walls els. Pixilated, abstract video (to of the second floor dance stu- avoid a commercial appearance) dios allow the silhouettes of project a dancer’s movement practicing students to be seen across the length and width of from the outside the building. the third floor. These streaming Silhouettes, ephemeral by images contribute to one of the nature, capture movement main design objectives; to use that falls within the transfor- human movement as a means to mational or interstitial range create a facade that appears to of the movement continuum be in constant motion A translucent pedestrian walkway leading to the main entrance estab- lishes the first floor as the pedestrian zone. Enveloped in a translucent “glass box”, those within have the opportu- nity to observe pedestrian movement on the outside while simultaneously be observed as the pedestrian com- ponent of the facades three zones. 8
  9. 9. first floor - pedestrian walkway translucent on both elevations, the pedestrian walkway and provides both an “urban stage” as well as observation space for pedestrian movement. you are here > The purpose of the pedestrian walkway is both function- al as well as instrumental in the architectural expression of the movement continuum. The existing building for this proposed space stands at the corner of Madison and State Street in downtown Chicago. A highly traveled block by both professionals and tourists, traffic patterns show that many already cut through this existing space (currently retail) for shelter in extreme weather conditions. The pedestrian walkway as proposed, maintains this function. Conceptually, this space establishes the “pedestrian zone” on the exterior and interior elevations of the building (see diagram above). Those inside the walkway, are able observe the everyday, pedestrian movement of people in an urban setting. and visa versa. In a sense, to be observed as a pedestrian repositions them into the role of the performer. This challenges the conventional notion that only trained, professional movement is de- serving of an audience in a performance setting 9
  10. 10. lobby/ramp the interior elevation expresses the typical hierarchy of movement types (pedestrian/intersti- tial/performance) however, a structural stair/ramp system allows users to move freely inbe- tween levels, deconstructing the segregation of movement types visually and programmatically Left: Diagram illustrating placement of zones on the interior elevation Below: Conceptual sketch of ramp/stair 10
  11. 11. pedestrian pedestrian simple / non-stylized / rhythmic / even complex / stylized / dynamic / angular The graphic extracted from the reference photographs (see page 5) inform the design of the sculptural stair/ ramp. From the first to second floor, the freqency of risers, standing areas, and depth of treads is repeti- tive and rhythmic. From the second to the third floor, steel components extending from the underside of each tread become increasingly obtuse, producing an angular and dynamic form. The result embodies the Top: Conceptual sketch visual vocabulary of the movement continuum, while of stair with glass riser functionally, it allows users to travel freely throughout Below: View of ramp/ the space, and between zones. stair from first floor 11
  12. 12. interior elevation view of interior skin and sculptural ramp; both expressions of movement continuum 12
  13. 13. The three level interior elevation expresses the hierarchy established by the movement continuum, however the stair/ramp breaks it down enabling users to move freely in between 13
  14. 14. floor two - studios semi-transparent poly-carbonate walls in the practice studios allow the silhouettes of dancers in practice to be observed. The murky silhouettes embody the interstitial realm between seen and unseen, and pedestrian and performance movement < you are here Right: Conceptual rendering of studios and public observation space Far Right: Additional circula- tion space along the perimeter of the building promotes light penetration and encourages the use of public space 14
  15. 15. floor three - video gallery space The full scope of the movement continuum is experienced by the physical journey us- ers take through each zone to reach the entrance of the main performance space you are here > A great deal of celebrated Modern and Contemporary Dance performances have had the benefit of taking place after the development of the film. Projected onto a series of partitions (their shape influenced by the continuum), users now have the opportunity to view them. Not only does this provide a function for the space when a performance is not happening, but it also serves as an educational tool, giving histor- ical context to a current performance 15
  16. 16. floor three - transitional bridge a glass bridge serves as the interstitial, or transitional space between the pedes- trian and performance zones (see plan view). Users can watch others make the transition from the realm of pedestrian movement to that of performance. Above: View of bridge in balsawood model Above Right: Diagram illustrates placement of zones in plan, specifically the convergence of all three at the transi- tional bridge Right: Subtle, streaming images of silhouettes displaying movement associated with performance are projected onto the glass; wrapping around, and across the glass bridge. Metaphorically, this intertwines both ends of the movement continuum. - the spectator (pedestrian), and performer (professional). 16
  17. 17. performance space mirroring the movement continuum, ceiling components progressively become more angular and dynamic as you move towards the stage Plate 1: movement continuum diagram qualities of movement continuum Plate 2: visual vocabulary used throughout the space reflects the transformation pedestrian ( interstitial ) professional the human body makes in between the two ends of the movement spectrum. Pho- simple complex tographs of various movement sequences provided a way in which to illustrate this concept Plate 3: diagram illustrating the placement and shape of ceiling components in the non-stylized stylized main performance space. Not only do the components gradually change in shape to reflect the continuum, but also mirror the typical type of movement occurring Plate 1 below; pedestrian (spectators) and professional (performers) Plate 2 Plate 3 17
  18. 18. presentation banner original presentation of content th e thes i thesis h The wide spectrum of movement qualities including everyday pedestrian movement, the trained movement of the dancer, as well as the transfor- performance interstitial pedestrian mation that takes place in between is expressed in the architecture and design of this contemporary dance performance and training center qualities of movement continuum pedestrian ( interstitial ) professional simple complex non-stylized stylized silhouettes of dancers in practice are seen through the exterior walls of the studios - The shadow of a body embodies the interstitial realm between seen and unseen, and pedestrian and performance movement programatic stacking plan interior progression parti - elevation interior progression parti - plan 18
  19. 19. con con The movement of individuals in between various zones - pedestrian, professional and interstitial - defines as well as deconstruct the hierarchy of movement qualities typically found in a performance center glass walkway to main performance space transparent tube transports users from pedestrian and interstitial zones into performance screening gallery the main performance space projected video of dance wraps around glass walkway lines of pedestrian and performance movement diagram expressed in ceiling pedestrian and performance movement can be viewed simultaneously - graphics give visual cue as to what will be seen in main shape of ceiling modules becomes more dynamic and irregular as they progress towards the stage performance space 19