Archive for the ‘small spaces’ tag

Quad Space: Building a Thesis Project

quad_space-1

The typical architecture-school final thesis project tends to start as a theoretical written document, laying out a students individual thoughts and concepts on a particular architectural topic – which then evolves into a ‘paper architecture’ project, designed by the student and explained in drawings, diagrams, models, and maybe some animations.

Quad Space – the M-Arch thesis project of University at Buffalo students Michael-John Bailie, Paul Dudowski, Ernest Ng H.H., and Dan Stripp – is, as you can see, no ‘typical’ thesis project. Rather than leave the project on paper, the four students decided to test their ideas in the real world – through a fairly drastic/awesome renovation of a 400 SF 1850’s Buffalo home. From the team:

Quad Space is an insertion of an architectural academic exercise as a full-scale constructed exploration to spatially and structurally manipulate and define the division of four spaces within a 400 sqf house.

quad_space-2

Project background, via Quad Space:

This thesis re-evaluates the operations of architectural exercises within the academia and its role and relationship with the social, communal and economic environment that it is based in. This thesis project will critically investigates the process of establishing an academic architectural research project as a full scale construction insertion in the city of Buffalo, through the physical manipulation and conversion of a derelict house into a habitable space.

This collaborative thesis project is strengthened and necessitated by the nature, scale and logistics of a full scale architectural construction exercise involving coordination, compromises and negotiations by four individuals, while also being challenged and contorted by the conventions of the academia and its definition of a thesis work as a purely individual exercise.

This thesis project operates within the space of two current economic situations: the first being the stagnant and derelict economic landscape of Buffalo’s domestic environment in which the insertion of this academic project, self-motivated and independently funded by architectural students/ designers/ builders/ owners creates a sense of iconography and raise awareness for innovative attitudes towards the re-considering the banal within such an urban landscape.

The second  being that of the typical American view of domesticity, which the thesis acknowledges and provokes by challenging the perception of conventionally extensive spatial needs within the ideal American home and domestic landscape, by re-defining and re-interpreting conventional building codes requirements for minimal living.

quad_space-4

The 4 students bought the existing structure for $6,500 at auction, and subsequently gutted the building and tore down an addition to prep for their project. The total cost of the renovation/redesign is estimated at $32,000 – with donations from a number of local construction-related companies.

quad_space-6

From a programmatic standpoint, the project takes the existing 400 SF home and inserts 4 volumes [seen in diagram above] into the space – creating 4 private living spaces. Each of these inserted volumes pushes through the existing home, becoming visible on the exterior as a uniquely defined space. The interstitial space remaining between these insertions will then function as communal space, such as kitchen, bath, and living room. Check the Quad Space blog for some great photos of the process of cutting the existing facades and roof, then sliding the newly created volumes through from the inside – pretty sick.

quad_space-5

Now, I know what you’re thinking – you want to see the finished product. AMNP has already arranged to stay in contact with one of the team members, and I look forward to bringing readers images of the completed project when the team wraps everything up – possibly with some of their thoughts on the process of collaborating on a thesis, actually building an academic project like this, and reactions to the completed structure. For those of you in NYC, the project will also be exhibited in September [images, obviously] as part of “Arch Schools: Visions of the Future”, an annual exhibition at the Center for Architecture.

Head over to the Quad Space blog for more images and information on the project, and process photos documenting the construction.

.:Buffalo News article on Quad Space->

::info, images and quoted text courtesy of the Quad Space team::

Posted: July 16th, 2009
at 5:34pm by orangemenace

Tagged with , , , , , ,


Categories: architecture,housing,interiors,featured ninjas,student,adaptive reuse,theory

Comments: No comments


URBIA: For Small Apts in Big Cities

obra_0601_2g_img_3935_rev_slide.jpg

OBRA Architects was kind enough to share images of their URBIA Furniture System for Small Apts in Big Cities project, completed in 2007 and winner of a 2008 ID Annual Design Review Award.

Our Furniture Expansion System for Small Apartments in Big Cities, is designed for such lifestyles of minimal materiality—even if it is lopsided since these types tend to accumulate large book or shoe collections, vices that one day suddenly surprise with unexpected demands for additional room.

The project, designed for people OBRA deems ‘urban nomads’, is meant to address the needs of urbanites with small apartments who “fancy perpetual pedestrian investigations and as little time spent at home as
possible”. OBRA proposes that their system serves the function of providing simple space definition, storage, and the ability to travel with these nomadic city dwellers as they move over time.

obra_0601_2e_img_3892_rev_slide.jpg

The system is made up of hollow wood panels and cabinets – constructed offsite with CNC milled 1/2″ ash plywood -  which are a maximum of 2×8 feet to ensure that the system can be transported through standard doorways, hallways, and elevator cabs. The system can be assembled vertically or horizontally – giving the ability to create partitions in a space, and/or create loft floors in space with adequate height – and has the potential for “endless reconfiguration” due to its modular nature.

obra_0601_2e_img_4064_rev_slide.jpg

In today’s urban housing market mostly universally characterized by unimaginative and ill-conceived spaces dressed-up as luxurious by the inclusion of a few expensive materials, URBIA proposes a luxury of conception implicit in the harmony of its modular coordination. The proposed system is open-ended in nature, allowing for site modifications and the addition of custom elements that can give specificity to the whole, but it also provides, unlike traditional sheet-rock based interior construction, a built-in rhythm of articulation based on a Fibonacci series that makes proportional mistakes difficult and beauty almost automatic.

obra_0601_2e_img_3977_rev_slide.jpg

A very interesting concept, it reminds me a lot of the work of Dan Hisel, AMNP featured Ninja of the Month – in particular, his ‘Z-Box’ projects [1 & 2]. The idea to transform rented or temporary living space with a modular, portable, reconfigurable, inhabitable furniture system is incredible – and I especially like the uniform material, which allows personal possessions and furniture to accentuate the spaces. It would be particularly interesting if you didn’t have to pack up your posessions when you moved – if the system was really potable storage, that was arranged into an inhabitable system. Get a new place? Just close up the cabinets and shelves still filled with your stuff [maybe bubble-wrap fragile objects, but thats it] and be on your way. Not sure that that is feasible, really – but it’d be pretty dope.

obra_0601_2g_img_3946_rev_slide.jpg

obra_0601_2g_img_3962_rev_slide.jpg

linedrawing_2g_slide.jpg

[Image: wire-frame drawing of assembly system]

::See more photos – and the ones featured here, but in larger format – here, at AMNP’s Flickr page::

::all images, info + quoted text courtesy of OBRA Architects::

Posted: June 26th, 2009
at 12:55pm by orangemenace

Tagged with , , ,


Categories: architecture,housing,interiors,furniture

Comments: 2 comments