MArch Studio 2011-12

Studio Objectives: Our unit has attempted to develop tools and strategies for information based synthesis. Where historically Modernism has handled complex issues through a technique of splitting and cutting, so creating smaller and easier to handle sub-sets, we feel that the strategy of cutting up has lost its effectiveness and is in fact doing more damage than good. It undermines coherence; it undermines therefore the essence of good design. In our view it was therefore important to focus on the synthesis of environmental structural and architectural aspects all in one simple solution.

Methodologies: Our focus has been to design an environmental skin for a sports-venue with a site in Guangzhou that was capable of doing two or three things at the same time. The site was located on Guangzhou New central axis. Student could choose from two options; to design a new ice-hockey stadium (5000 seats), or to develop a new stadium roof for the existing football stadium.

After some typological analysis we did a form finding workshop based on the strategy of the hanging model. For this workshop and our reviews we were joined by a structural and environmental engineer of Buro Happold as well as several architects that together advised on the development of the projects.

We started off developing a generic roof skin, which was later investigated in the particular context of this sports-venue. For this sports-venue we developed both the environmental and spatial ambitions as well as the programmatic requirements. Climatic aspect played a role as well as structural design, functionality and aesthetics.