Collaborator: Yutian Wang
The project intends to advocate for Castle of Roccamandolfi as a cultural asset by reoccupying the old building with new uses, and create a sense of place that belongs to its Genius Loci. The uniqueness of hotel residency experience is largely enabled by the aesthetics that castle’s sculptural remnant and Peninsula Italian landscape’s roughness carry out. The articulation and subtleness of architecture then critically conserves the heritage spatially, structurally and programmatically.
The castle resort, at this stand of point, is not a product of commercialized modernity, it is a home destiny with a few living rooms and bedrooms for the tourists to understand the essential beauty of castle of Roccamandolfi as a habitable space, and a destination landmark for the Roccamandolfi village. The new programmatic arrangement carefully examines the original castle construction phasing through history, keeping majority of the existing ground intact and elevating the rooms based on the topographical condition within the castle building footprint.
This new public ground becomes a giant museum that exhibits itself as the most significant showpiece. The new added volume is more of an abstraction of the current castle geometrical condition and inherits a sense of both solidness from the outside and openness from the inside. Great contrast of mass of void is then interpreted into completing the castle form by steel canopy sitting on the concrete wall. A natural fluidity between exterior and interior is implied by the dynamic sunlight and shadow generated by the structure. That continuity of old and new gives an arbitrary proximity between the two materials- stone and concrete, unifying space and time into an art piece.
Collaborator: Yutian Wang
Our project aims to explore how border functions as key element that embraces two contradicted territories into one united entity rather than separates them. By introducing an undulated line that dramatically dances in-between the two countries, a continuously weaving underground wall ties a series of collectively shared open pools and solid individual rooms with round shape geometry which is inherited from the mechanism of traditional Korean bathhouse typology Jimjilbang. By inviting natural sunlight and topographical landscape from above-ground to underground, this form creates multiple crossing-border interstitial conditions that mutually encourages people from both North and South Korea to interact physically.
2015 GSAPP Critic: Michael Bell
The rapid development of solar panel and battery storage technology makes self-generation and storage of electricity possible for American suburb household. This change lead to an overall change of ownership for the energy industry from consuming energy to sharing energy. This change of ownership will result in a new landscape for suburb houses which breaks down the grid of the big companies and chaotic landscape created by a separation of infrastructure ownership. The project images the transformation of suburb houses where architecture and infrastructure are merged together and visions are manipulated to test the boundary between public and private as a result of the energy sharing landscape.
2015 GSAPP Critic: David Benjamin
Inspired by anti-fragile ecosystems in nature such as forest, the project imagines the school as an hyper-natural and adaptive ecosystem that can create diverse and flexible spaces and transform over time to accommodate different educational methods as well as public activities in multiple scales. Three elements are used: the columns, the glass box and the inflatables. The columns are rigid yet porous; the glass boxes are solid yet transparent; the inflatables are soft yet impermeable. The combination of there three elements create an environment that blurs the boundary between inside and outside, public and private, nature and constructed, and this unusual experience encourages students’ curiosity, creativity and collaboration.
2013 GSAPP Critic: Josh Uhl
This project was to design a community center with swimming pools, one auditorium and one cafe inside the Fredercik Douglass Housing area. From site analysis it is showing that compare to typical New York building blocks the site has a distinct separation from its context (street and city), so the idea of this project is to design the building as a stoop-like threshold to reconnect the Douglass Housing with its urban context and create a communal space for the community to share: a giant stoop between the housing community and the city. The strategy is to connect the street level and the housing tower level with several ramps, and place the main programs: the auditorium, the swimming pool and the cafe in-between the paths and sunken below the ground to crest the access level and the view level.
2014 GSAPP Critic: Mario Gooden Collaborator: Bingyu Guan
The project is to design a housing project at a vacant site in Bronx along the Harlem River. It is very challenging site in terms of its accessibility because it is adjacent to a highway at one side, two bridges at two side and the Harlem River at one side. It is a site like a isolated urban island. The strategy we use is to start with a careful study of the site context such as solar analysis, view accessibility analysis and noise analysis. The volume of the building is determined by theses studies. And to re-connect the “island site” with its surroundings, an undulating ground plane is applied to maximum the accessibility and three open public spaces are inserted into the housing volume: one horizontal, one vertical and one diagonal. By using these openings cut away from the building, the project has more diversity of public spaces to be shared by the residents and the building becomes more porous to allow the view to the river and the city.
2015 Kenya Collaborators: Weishun Xu, Zunheng Lai
Located inside Mathere slum in Nairobi, Kenya, this project is a reconstruction of an elementary school with 115 students. The design focuses on creating flexible spaces that can be shared by the whole community. On the ground floor, a large open space with steps is created with movable partitions that can be used for multi-functional programs such as classroom, movie theater, church or auditorium. The second floor consists of four classrooms for different years. The roof is a butterfly structure to collect rainfall. Bamboo as an environmental-friendly local material is used largely in this project. The bamboo tube screens and bamboo strip windows give a natural looking of the building as well as creating light and air penetration to the inside to increase natural lighting and ventilation.
2016 GSAPP Critics: Julian Rose and Garrett Ricciard
Every year, an amount of land equals to 8 time total area of Central Park is created at the Yellow River Delta region due to the sedimentation process. This causes a constant horizontal movement of the coastline in the region towards the ocean. At the same time, a vertical grow of land is constructing as a result of the rapid urbanization at the site. This project converges the horizontal and vertical movements at the same space by using flexible structures that can grow overtime together with the site and the changing program to form a layered urbanism. During this process of changing program, the structure from the previous program will remain and be transformed in a sustainable way to accommodate the new program. The project balances the growth between natural movements and artificial development. It is a project in between nature and city.
2014 GSAPP Critic: Amale Andraos
The aim of this project is to design a tech bank that combines the technological resources of local digital companies and manufactures together with the research
ability of local academic institutions and financial institutions which focus on the development of a future banking system. The idea is to test the variated ways new technology can be used to improve the banking experience and how new spatial relationships can be generated. Three Tech spaces are inserted into the volume of the working spaces, creating an interaction between the normal working spaces and the emerging technologies for the future and how they can merge together to create the further of banking experience both visually and physically.
The Mirror Tower is an interactive art installation. Here, vision is the catalyst. By using reflective surfaces facing different directions, the viewers can experience a rich visual sensation of the winter landscape at The Beaches that blurs the physical boundaries between sky and ground, land and water, ego and environment.
The installation is composed of a total of 512 identical reflective modules (8 x 16 x 4 sides) inserted into timber frames. Each module is consist of a wood block with one 600 oblique surface and a mirror glued to the oblique surface. The module can then be inserted into the timber frame in 4 different ways: up, down, left and right. As a result, different modules will face different directions and reflect specific views creating a mix view of the beach. The installation will become a popular photo spot for social media (#winterstation #mirrortower).
After the event, the installation can be relocated to conduct optical research and develop more design iterations. Or, each reflective module can be recollected and give to donators as a gift.
2016 Collaborator: Ran Wei
This project is inspired by the experience of living in the mountain where nature surrounds the living space and defines how we live. In the modern age, the most precious place to live in is nature, and Chongqing as the city of mountains provide the opportunity for the residents to experience the city and the mountain, and technology and the nature at the same time. To provide such spaces, waving surfaces are introduced in between the loft space as a way to introduce nature into everyday life. On top of the surface is the outdoor green space with trees and gardens; beneath the surface is the indoor environment with a variety of programs to share, and the waving surface weaves the programs and the natural environment, which creates the experience of living in the mountain with nature surrounding you.
2012 Collaborator: Ran Wei
This cultural complex is located at the corner of Xixi Wetland region in Hangzhou. The challenge is to preserve the unique natural environment while creating an inspiring built environment for visitors to experience the culture and history of Xixi Wetland and Hangzhou. The strategy is to create an open ground level for minimum occupation of wetland and use overhead bridges to connect each unit. In this way, the circulation is clear and flexible, and by using double-glazed glass for facade, the view of Xixi wetland is accessible at any corner of the complex.
2016 GSAPP Collaborators:
James Brillon, Mengze Chen, Arianna Deane, Mira De Avila-Shin, Bingyu Guan, Benjamin Hochberg, Coco Ke Shi, Christopher Tomasetti, Taiwei Wang, Angela Yang, Zhengyang “Echo” Yue
Mark Bearak, Jordan Meerdink
Commissioned by the non-profit organization Figment, 12 students from GSAPP Columbia designed and built a tree house on the governor’s island named FELIX. Our design intent is to have FELIX become the seed for a new type of treehouse, which can grow for the next 5 years by aggregating over the landscape, creating a dynamic playscape for everyone to enjoy. Taking inspiration from the nature, we propose a flexible modular system based upon standard wood members which are eco- friendly, reusable and mass produced. The pavilion is designed as an accessible installation by nature, of nature, and for nature.
Photo Credit: Songkai Liu