The charge for this project was to replace the subway entrance located at Harvard Square. The primary focus was on creating preserving the historic landmarks on the site, while providing an efficient, yet enjoyable experience that eschews the dark and confusing nature typically associated with subways.
A sweeping design language comprised of reinforced concrete components was employed, with each component serving as one stair tread. Commuters enter through a large sweeping volume on the southern edge of the Square, and are given two descent opportunities; a more direct stairway that aims directly towards the turnstiles, or a leisurely sweeping stairway that wraps around the elevator shafts and overlooks the underground environment.
Along the northern edge of the Square sits a light well that comprises the turnstiles and clearly denotes commuters’ necessitated direction of travel. The entry way and light well project delicately above the ground plane, offering public seating to students, shoppers, and street performers.
Center for Collaborative Dance & the Arts
The site for this project is located in Boston's busy theater district. Given the lack of public spaces in the immediate area, the decision was made to provide the public with a unique space that provides both shelter from the elements and a convenient thoroughfare through the gridded city.
To best capitalize on publicly available real estate, the entire dance studio was raised above the ground plane while parking was diverted underground. The resulting space provides both open and covered resting spaces with views of the cars moving into and atop the ground plane.
One enters the dance studio by means of a grand staircase that wraps over the ticket booth and with each turn directs one's attention towards the glass elevators, nutrition bar, and finally an unobstructed view down Washington Street towards the sports bar.
One moves through the studio by means of a network of flying bridges that provide glimpses of the public life occurring beneath the building. The deeper one passes through the building, the more vantage points from above are granted. Depending on environmental conditions, public usage from each observed angle is subject to change as people move into and out of cover.
By providing this flexible public environment, the space attracts the performers’ audience while the architecture constantly reminds the performers of who their efforts will be judged and received by. The dance studio spaces themselves also call attention to the public space below. The floors have been dropped, allowing for panoramic views from waist-height down, extending the performers into the public realm, while remaining appropriately separated from distractions as is demanded of any professional institution.
Frick Park Eco Hostel
While developing this project, I sought to define a separation between the public and private functions of the park and hostel, while using the programmatic elements of each to inform the counterpart. I turned to a set of elements that subdivide the site: a linear circulation grid flanked by enclosed sleeping pods and separated from the park by a concrete retaining wall.
These three elements follow a rhythmic system, but are disrupted in select areas to frame views or direct one’s attention to different spatial zones within the project. This idea is further explored by a series of adjustable screen walls along the south façade of the circulation grid, that modify the interior lighting conditions. I also focused on providing hostel residents with a plethora of outdoor zones. Each sleeping pod is related to a unique area, either a deck over the river or a private courtyard opposite the pod.
While the riverside courtyards are afforded privacy by the circulation grid, the opposing examples are protected from park visitors by a trellis system. The trellis additionally acts as a passive climate control tactic; deciduous foliage provides shade during the hot summers, and allows warming sunlight to enter the courtyards during the colder months.
East Liberty Mercantile Concourse
This project called for groups of two to design a market hall to be placed within the quickly revitalizing Pittsburgh neighborhood of East Liberty. To best cope with the triangular site plan, skeletal steel frame structures were quickly abandoned in favor of a saddle structure supported by three arches and a network of stay cables to prevent swaying in the wind. A glass curtain wall system was suspended beneath the arches, allowing for an extremely airy environment free of perceptual obstruction to the exterior streetscape.
The southern façade, meanwhile, extends inwards, accommodating an outdoor mercantile space. While outdoors, the saddle structure provides cover from the rain, allowing the space to be useable even in poor weather conditions. Furthermore, the angle of the undercut was chosen to allow the low-angle winter sun to provide maximum solar gain to the unconditioned mercantile space. In the summer, the overhang blocks out the higher-angled sunlight, allowing for the outdoor and interior mercantile zones to be shaded and passively cooled.
Inside the building, an effort was made to maintain a perceptual connection between the primary programmatic elements. The café, market hall, and community room, while on different planes, are all open to each other. The community room enjoys a privileged placement overlooking the market hall and creating a greater sense of connection within the community of East Liberty.