Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Deg Studio 3 Project 1 Brief

Centre for Modern Architecture Studies in Southeast Asia
Prerequisite: Architectural Design Studio

Project 1
PRECEDENT STUDIES: Analysing spatial poetics, spatial typologies and programming in architecture (Group work)
3 weeks
15% of final mark

Architectural Design Studio 3 is designed as a series of studio-based exercises leading to the design project for the Eight International Student Design Competition 2010 with the theme ‘A memorial to a Memorable Event: Making Manifest the Memory’ organised by The Commonwealth Associations of Architects (CAA).

[Caption for illustration on original brief document: The sheer scale of loss in the 2004 tsunami is beyond comprehension, and certainly, beyond any type of direct architectural representation. Our proposal for the memorial therefore does not attempt to index the event literally, but rather through abstraction. It is a landform rather than an object, an experience rather than a focal point. It is a space which relates to the mystery and power and dynamics of nature as much as to the human impact of the event.
Tsunami Memorial Centre @ Khao Lak

As part of this, the objective of Project 1 is to identify and analyze functional needs and spatial poetics through precedent studies. The main aim is to analyse and compare 2 selected architectural precedents, (1) commemoration of memories in relation to architecture & landscape; (2) commemoration of memories through built forms and spaces.

Each group of students is to analyse and compare the spatial poetics, spatial typology and programming of the selected precedents. The analysis and comparison of the design approaches for the open landscape and the built spaces will inform the preceding design projects for the remaining semester. Thus, the selection of precedents is should be critical and inspirational.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain different spatial types in architecture, and how they inform spatial use and experience
2. Identify and analyze functional and poetic needs through case studies to inform the design project


In groups of 3-4 students, select 2 precedents for analysis: (1) a memorial architecture that relates to the open landscape and (2) the other which relates to architecture and built spaces. The precedent study should provide the following analysis:

How are the spaces organised or arranged?
How did it inform the way spaces are used, moved through and experienced?
See Francis D.K. Ching’s Form, Space & Order & Purves’ Formal Patterns

PROGRAMMING: What are the breakdown of areas and their functions? How are the spaces related?

What are the design strategies employed to commemorate the memories/event?
How are the spaces articulated in terms of the poetics, sensuality and tactility of architectural spaces?
· Spatial types (how did the spatial typology used influenced the way spaces were experienced?)
· Flow of experience (identify key circulation/journey, and select at least 5 experiential spaces to study). For each space, study the following: Engagement with senses; Manipulation of light and its effects on space (natural & artificial); Texture and materiality; Scale and proportion of spaces (in relation to human)
· Co-relate the plan to one of the most interesting section of your selected building. Study the section and analyse how it is designed. Comment on the relationship between inside/outside, volumes and scale of space, variation and hierarchy of spaces
See Steven Holl’s Questions of Perception: The Phenomenology of Space & Juhani Pallasmaa’s The Eyes of the Skin

Subsequent to your analysis of each precedent, compare the manner in which memories are commemorated in the open landscape and the built spaces

Use diagrams, photos and minimal annotations to illustrate your analysis. The analysis should be presented in a power-point presentation of approximately 20 minutes per group. Submit a soft copy in CD on the day of presentation.

Assessment criteria

Clarity of analysis
Extent & Depth of analysis
Evidence of research in the formulation of analysis
Use of computer programs to prepare for visual presentation
Professionalism & quality of presentation
Ability to work as a team


Published texts
D.K. Ching, F. 1993. Architecture: Form Space and Order (2nd ed.). Van Nostrand Reinhold
· Gregory, Rob. 2008. Key Contemporary Buildings. Laurence King Publishing Ltd, London.
· Holl, Steven. 1994. Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture, eds Steven Holl, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Perez-Gomez, A+U
Pallasmaa, Juhani. 2005. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. John-Wiley and Sons Ltd: Great Britain
Purves, Alexander. 1982. The Persistence of Formal Patterns, in Perspecta, Vol. 19, pp. 138-163

Timeline and Schedule

Week 1

4 Aug Subject Introduction and Project No. 1
Introduction to Project No. 1 & Selection of cases for study
6 Aug Precedent study

Week 2

11 Aug Precedent study

13 Aug Precedent study

Week 3

18 Aug Precedent study

20 Aug Precedent study Submission Project 1 15%

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