Architecture and environment play an opposite role in most situations. Sometimes, they are not connected and leave a big gap between them. Quite recently, architects and designers have been aware of this matter and tried to suggest the broad ideas over this issue to tighten that “gap”.
This project is one to explore how to deal with this subject. It fundamentally starts with the study of the building site through the figures and ground method. After analyzing the context, the process went on to the design strategy which is to consider the objects and the space as one, meaning that it is not only the usable space to be considered, but also all the trees in the area. Solid and void theory was correspondingly considered to use in the design process when it comes to the 3-dimensional design, to define shape and threshold between in and out (a positive space). In practical terms, materials like glass and reflective ceiling are used to make the building become as boundaryless as possible to visually connect with the nature and make the architecture itself expressively invisible.
At the end of the process, this project could underpin the idea that the architecture is part of the nature and it doesn’t have to be stand out on itself. Instead, while it is built to be practically used, it could also be created to define and value the context around it at the same time.
The project started by diagrammatically analyzing the site using figures and ground method as aforementioned. A figure can be described as object, form, element, or positive shape, while ground is seen as space (Frederick 2007). This process is to see the relationship between objects; which in this case are trees, existing buildings, covered walkway, and the space in-between. Once all the factors had been plotted, the probabilities of how to utilize the space were looked through and finally selected to develop further.
According to Frederick (2007), the space will be called negative space when it’s unshaped after the placement of figures, but when it has a shape, it would be called a positive space. In the contrary, it could be arguably said that the space in between those figures with no shape is not always defined as a negative space. On the other hand, with the design process, some of those objects could be merged into that negative space and become shaped. As the result, this could create a ‘space within space’ and can be seen as one big positive space to work on.
After the positive space being carried out, the process continued to define the threshold between in and out. In basic design theory, it could be defined in many ways by points, lines, planes, etc. (Frederick 2007); which those could also mean both visible and invisible elements. The solid and void theory were then usedto study in 3-dimentional design along with the 2D space planning, in order to shape the flow of the positive space.
The curvy triangular shape was created after the shape of the space. These curves have become walls which create the boundary of the building. Considering that the triangle usually leaves the feeling of a deadend in its sharp corner, which could have a feeling like being trapped and cut out of the environment. Nevertheless, to solve that issue, instead of having those 2 lines joined together as a corner, they were considered as two different planes going in the direction to their coordinate but then stopped before the 5 collision leaving a gap between them to create the sense of continuity to the outside. Once all those walls had been put in its place, the glass material then played their important role to fill up those gaps in order to achieve a see-through effect to visually connect to the nature.
Moreover, apart from the wall planes, according to Ching (2015), the overhead and the base plane will too be considered to complete its volume, which in this project means ceiling and floor. It can be clearly seen that they are in a big area and very noticeable. Subsequently, the reflective material is selected to apply on the ceiling in order to blur the existence of it. Also, the idea behind the floor material was to blend in with context. The printed vinyl floor in green pattern was then designed to metaphorically imply the environment.
Besides the conceptual design, another important thing in architecture is how people inhabit the building because the actual space itself could stimulate people’s behavior as well as manipulate their feeling. So, after studying through behavior of the users, all the functions were then considered and correspondingly put in place where they appropriate. Different types of seating in this project mean different purposes and feels, whether to sit in groups, alone, or for meeting, chilling, etc., the type and size of the furniture will have to correspond to it.
In conclusion, this project could expectedly become another experimental project to prove one of the aspects of architecture that; the architecture is arguably not created to be only neither functionally used nor a monumental objects, it could also define the value of the environment around them as well as could be a medium to tighten the gap between people and the nature.