– Columbia University GSAPP Fall 2009 - Hernan Diaz Alonso, Critic
If architecture can be defined as the creation of form to manipulate spatial conditions, this project began without the explicit intention of space-making. In other words, this work explores the notion of form following aesthetics or autonomous form.
The exercise began with the creation of three cells, or proto-forms, which each exhibited a consistent hierarchy of topological conditions, such as protruding nodules, clear membranes, and red organ-like bodies. By creating a similar set of features in each cell, a system of formal relationships was established without addressing functionalism. Once programmatic requirements were introduced to this system, the project became a veterinary clinic powered by energy-producing bacteria. The bacteria uses the carcasses of destroyed animals to feed itself. The red elements act as decomposition chambers which are connected through a network of tubes to the yellow structural pieces. Housed in each yellow structural piece are energy storage batteries, taking the form of a red organ-like objects.
The overall massing strategy of the project is dependent on the void between the two adjascent buildings. It uses the existing grid of the facade and floorplates as departure points for growth.
By repeating the three cells at multiple scales throughout the structure, the initial formal system remains evident even as it reaches a level of increasing resolution and detail.