Architecture & Urban Design III (ARCH 5001)

The studio explored designing a new technologically advanced headquarters building for one of the largest Taiwanese ship building companies. The site sits at the edge of a very industrial, overtly mechanistic shipping channel in Kaohsiung Taiwan. The students were to drop a new structure into this bleak environment that would create a tear in the existing cultural fabric. The new structures would move beyond mere utility and have a positive impact on their micro environments by producing their own power and either cleaning the air and/or the water. It’s important for students to learn to think beyond producing static lifeless shells and envision buildings that will become active participants in the enhancement the natural environment.

The studio explored ideas ranging from typhoon powered structures to researching some of the most cutting edge technologies including euglena power generating systems. One set of students looked at the use of Titanium dioxide to purify the air and raising water in a series of carbon nano-tubes.  A lecture by Dr. Toby Gill from the UK helped give students a push in their chosen directions and introduced new concepts such as the use of graphene membranes to clean sea water. The studio also brought in David Littler from Buro Happold to analyze the proposed structural elements of the designs. The ultimate goal was to aggressively seek out new materials and ideas- to help develop a research based mid-set, and to demonstrate how science can reinforce a far reaching idea instead of being perceived limitation.