This small site on the eastern edge of MACBA's plaza was considered for a youth hostel. We thought the site might also double as a boutique hotel and provide elevation in Barcelona's Old City from which to read the patterns of tourist movement.
RECLAIMING POCHE: We conceptually stacked up the old city’s lost poché on the site, preserving both historic edge and open courtyard at the site’s base. In the making of an iconic 100 meter tower, we felt that this desirable site could support an interesting, interlaced double to the hostel: a boutique, luxury hotel. The hotel provides additional on-site amenities and also helps to economically support the hostel’s ambition of fun travel on the cheap. But even more importantly, there is a new social interlacing as well; one group of travelers is carved from another, and vice versa. These are travelers traditionally separated, but here we allow them to strategically mix. Hostel-goers could extend their stay in Barcelona by working in the
hotel, or acting as a fleet of concierges for the hotel guests.
Rather than conceive of traditional double occupancy rooms, individual sleeping spaces are carved from “hill floors,” supporting flexible (and multiple) patterns of gathering in the hostel. Guests have a strong sense of their individual place in this poché, but the spatial
organization encourages further exploration and mixing.
Caving is another form of adventurous exploration: of wild, voided, and
hidden terrain. Since the dawn of time caves have been explored both
out of necessity (basic and ready-made shelter from the elements or from enemies), and also out of curiosity and wonder. So the condition of the cave is a conceptual parallel for this project. For the traveler faced with the challenges of a new city, a hostel is an opportunity to carve out exciting new space for him/herself. Hostels are accommodations of economy, where basic shelter from the elements can be found. But they can also be wild places of social interaction where new friends are made and creative ideas exchanged.
A hangar is a structural container for airplanes, their accessories, and the staging of a plane’s movement to the airfield. The annual Burning Man Festival is manifested through an idealized temporary city. Like
most idealized city plans, Black Rock City packs qualities of citizenship into a classical geometric figure. But contrary to the traditional and rationalized norms of behavior, morals, and beliefs exemplied through the use of pure forms, the idealized figure of Black Rock City instead contains the activities and products of free expression and self-reliance.
We began with these organizations of structure and citizenship (the arched airplane hangar and the ideal city) and sought to bring them into dialog with INNEROUTER: a fully demountable shade space for Burning Man.
SLOT CANYONS was a winner, with Johnson Schmaling (Milwaukee) and Rockhill & Associates (LeCompton KS) of The Ferrous Park International Artist Housing Competition.
SLOT CANYONS is a hybrid housing type, both prefabricated and highly customized for Ferrous Park, located in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District. The customized components include two strategically placed spatial voids that respond to the orientation of the site and the organization of each unit. The “south slot,” which creates a long wall exposed to southern light, expands the living space to the outdoors in nice weather and connects it to both Locust Street and the sculpture garden. Natural breezes accelerate through this compressed space ventilating the house through an 8’ long operable glass wall and natural light reflects into all spaces. The south-facing canted wall of this space acts as a solar collector through the application of flexible photovoltaic panels. A second “central slot” also accelerates natural ventilation into the center of the house and brings light down into the entry/gallery on the ground floor. This promotes a potential spontaneous (or permanent) transformation of the typical garage space into a more public space, such as a studio or gallery. Rain water from the roof deck is channeled through the central slot and into a pervious ornamental rock garden below that sits between the garage space and the entry/gallery.
In terms of prefabrication, SLOT CANYONS uses a ‘trade-ready’ light gauge steel frame as a highly efficient and cost effective structural system. This lightweight, incredibly strong frame is composed of a high percentage of recycled material and is sheathed with structural insulated panels (SIPS) and finished with sustainable cedar siding and durable factory-painted galvalume metal panel. This skin/structural system works with the slots to allow the relatively small square footage of the house to function flexibly. The house is also planned in a four foot module, allowing for standardized offsite fabrication of kitchens, bathrooms, and storage. The roof garden is a composite of a central, occupiable roof deck and a periphery of “green grid,” a non occupiable, pre-planted modular green roof system.
MARQUEE EVENT received honorable mention in The BCA's Inside Out Competition to redevelop the spaces around the Center, and in particular, reconfigure an entry into the historic Cyclorama space.
Conceptually, the walls of the Cyclorama (which was constructed to exhibit artist Paul Philippoteaux's Battle of Gettysburg) were unwrapped and the event's depiction remapped to the programmed uses of the site. This sixty foot swath of glass mosaic moves visitors from ground to Cyclorama entry at ten feet above the sidewalk. It also creates shady spaces, intimate cafe gathering space, and extends into the street to provide rumble strip announcement of the BCA to passing motorists and bycyclists.
Looking at the Marquee day and night, an LED underbelly communicates announcements of gallery events and illuminates the glass mosaic.
The inhabited Marquee provides an accessible path of travel between the sidewalk and Cyclorama antrance.