A subway ventilation building and a reading room. A series of atmospheres shaped by light. 

Unfamiliar, awe-inspiring spaces result from the union of an infrastructural building and a library. A central sculptural wall contains the ventilation infrastructure; two straight outer walls contain the ventilation wall and demarcate the reading area around it. Sited in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, the project creates a contemplative microcosm within the city. 

Mentored by Gabriel Smith and Thomas Phifer
Cornell University, AAP, Fall 2016 
Morning light, 9am, June.
Afternoon light, 1pm, June.
Sun simulations study the movement of light for each space. Above: 9am - 9pm, June.
A compressed passageway, descending underground, filled with summer morning light. (11am, June)
At other times, this underground descent is tunnel-like in its compression. (10am, June)
Specific light-filled moments illuminate the hallway. Above: Sun simulation, 10am - 12pm, June.
The cavernous sunken space receives low morning light.
A southern light well brings a constant wash of light through the wall, in addition to dramatic direct lighting.
The upper level is the most connected to the sky and light, with its curved walls hiding a curved control room and ventilation shafts. Views are directed to the sky; only a single cut gives the viewer a glimpse of the park and the world outside.
Views out of the building are strictly limited, occurring only in three cuts along the outer wall.
On a monumental scale, the main entrance offers an expansive view of Manhattan, even as one descends deeper into the building.
As a counterpoint, a human-scale cut (formed by the intersection of the curved ventilation wall and the straight outer wall) creates a private alcove, framing the same view of Manhattan on a more intimate scale.
The secondary entrance connects to the park, an opening at the top of the sunken stepped seating. 
The same cut in the outer wall opens the upper level to the outside world, without providing access to it.
Views to the sky are privileged instead.
Initial conceptual sections depict a central deforming object contained by two straight walls. The building is thus a solid that contains another solid, and occupiable interior space is built around (and shaped by) the central void of the ventilation shaft.
Mapping short sections throughout the building illustrate the varied atmospheric and spatial conditions created in the spaces between the two walls. Along both sides of the ventilation wall, the occupiable space varies from infrastructural to human scale.

The wall differentiates space, atmosphere, and program, creating passageways, gathering spaces, private spaces, and light wells.
Final model, cast in 7 sections.
1/32" site model 
Molds for casting
More documentation available here.
These Walls
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These Walls

A subway ventilation building and a reading room. A collage of atmospheres shaped by light instead of function. The subway ventilation building Read More
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