My sophomore year of college I was accepted into the architecture honors program and at the end of our second semester our final project dealt wi… Read More
My sophomore year of college I was accepted into the architecture honors program and at the end of our second semester our final project dealt with desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas. This is real project happening now where the state has funded an effort to desegregate their state with some 70 to 80 million dollars. For the project parameters were given the choice of 3 types of Magnet school, that were from k-3 of which were, Performance Arts, Science and Art. I myself choose to construct an Art Magnet School. These are the explanations of why I did and how I created my magnet school the way I did.
Form- I choose to do an art magnet school because I thought it would be the best way to show desegregation because of its roots in natural elements that come together to create a beautiful entity. I believe the children’s most powerful characteristic is their imagination. When I was thinking of my form I started with generic forms that would relate to kids experiences but then I thought about their imaginations and I came up with arbitrary shapes and put them together. When I finished my drawing I performed a little experiment and I actually went around the studio asking people what they saw in the picture not as a building but as a form. I got answers from fire, to shark teeth, to flowers, all the way to the chopped up mango. I performed this experiment to see how people’s imaginations worked and I found the more abstract an object is, it leads to individual thoughts and in children when they would come to school every day they would each see the magnet school in their own ways which promotes individuality and non-generic thoughts, which is related to integration by individual examination of their surroundings and not wide spread generic beliefs and views.
Plan- For my plan I wanted a shape that represented art and I thought of the brain primarily the right hemisphere which is typically considered the artistic side of the brain where our visuals, creativity and imagination come from. I thought what is a better masterpiece that the brain to replicate in plan, specifically the artistic right hemisphere.
Circulation- In the brain are located neurons that act as a super highway that connects all of the areas in the brain, and without these neurons the brain could not function. The reason I choose a closed loop hallway around the main floor is to replicate the function of the neuron super highway. Each area of the brain in plan is represented by a subject that directly relates to that areas function, such as the music room which is located where the cerebellum in a brain would be located. The cerebellum is the brains primary source of motor skills, balance, and coordination which are three main components of playing an instrument. The math and speech classes are located near the frontal lobe which control speech and problem solving, the main art room is located at the parietal lobe, which controls comprehension, and visuals. The administration area is located at the brain stem which is the administrator of all processes that take place within the brain, and the auditorium is located at the temporal lobe which is the central meeting point where mass information is processed in quantities.
The brain is laid out in this specific order because the right process must be completed before processed by another area to completely understand each instance. I researched the typical curriculum from k-3 grade and placed these grade into the loop by what was being taught each year. Also by a level of independence from closest to entrance to farthest starting with of kindergarten. From my research I read I understood that kindergarten is where children learn about simple primary functions that are needed to begin the process of further learning. The frontal lobe is where the primary functions and preliminary processes of the brain take place and it is also the area of initiation which all directly relate to the growing from and infant to a child that takes place in kindergarten, and it is also located closest to the entrance. In first grade the curriculum consists of visual learning and comprehension and because of this the classrooms are located in both the occipital lobe and parietal lobe which control differentiation and visual comprehension. The first grade classrooms are located a little further distance from the entrance than kindergarten to further encourage independence. The second and third grade classroom are located a story above to substantially escalate the level of independence in the students. The second grade and third grade curriculums consist of advance problem solving and comprehension and the bringing together of these skills and applying them to everyday activities and taught more advance in third grade. The frontal and temporal lobes are areas in which problem solving and ideas of application take place which are directly related to the second and third grade curriculums.
Interior- The interior of my building takes the idea of the brain ever further. Each grade is located in a quad and these quads act as neurons in a brain. Neurons are where knowledge is collected and then transmitted throughout the brain. At the center of each quad a light fixtures that acts as the epicenter and smaller spherical light fixtures arbitrarily cascade through the halls acting as the electrical signals that are transmitted between each quad. On the floor the stem pattern in replicated as the causeways for the electrical signals. The entire idea of the right hemisphere in plan mostly the Neurons represent desegregation through the coming together of many different ideals and working together for a common purpose and advancement.
Materials- My last concept which is the main aspect of this project is the integration of materials. Through my study of materials I looked into opposite materials. Not just by façade but also structurally and invoked senses. I came up with some typical materials and compared them to each other to see how they were different from and also related to each other. I found that glass is opposite to steel because of structural integrities and its facades where glass is non-load bearing and transparent where steel is thick load bearing and opaque. I found that concrete is opposite to wood through fire ratings and natural senses and last brick is opposite to metal paneling through natural and manmade material, brick is bearing paneling is not and surface textures where brick is naturally rough and dull and metal paneling is typically smooth and reflective. From there I created wall assemblies that would represent the opposite materials working together in unison. I then took it one step further to relate the wall assemblies to each other by façade and structural characteristics. Through this I came up with the material path that would be applied to my façade that would best depict desegregation. From the corners of the front of the magnet school the materials cascade to the center where they all come together to create a single wall assembly of all materials working together in complete unison. The colors also have a very influential meaning to them. Little rock has a commission dedicated to the racial and cultural desegregation and they came up with a color scheme that represented their goal through these schools their building. “The colors of the scheme are red, which signifies conflict which fades to purple, which reflects the awakening of the possibilities for resolution. Finally, the hues blend to the point of calmness and final resolution by shades of blue.” That is where my color scheme comes from. Read Less