The second iteration of the FSD series had the aim of testing out new fabrication techniques and a workflow that was entirely parametric with no “dumb” modeling used. The final designed result of the showpiece is made from the internal play of the geometry that composes it, something like surface-point-surface. That means no function whatsoever, only a form that can be translated from digital to physical.
With a project like this the connections are the main design challenge. Instead of using custom connectors, holes were placed where the main pieces intersect and tied together with zip ties. Doing this reduced the amount of individual pieces that had to be cut and made it possible to increase the intensity of the subdivision throughout. This means that instead of 1000+ pieces only 400 are drawn, and only 250 were put together.
These drawings are the result of a geometric configuration that aims to make an endless aperiodic field of stuff that is at once moving and static, yet contained within a flat image.
Breaking down how its system emerged would probably ruin the fun. This project does not have a hidden, latent meaning embedded within, in fact the process that generated it can even be considered "dumb," the potency is in the framed result and the act of looking and describing it, flattening a drawing that contains spatial geometry was a strategy in stressing the act of observing. Looking closer, the whole has a consistent language that describes both the moving and static portions. Patterns emerge and dissolve in the whole, everything is connected to the whole and the connections are made apparent only through following the individual volumes, moment to moment. The aim is to bring an observer deep into the storm through the juxtaposition of visually describable or calm, and indescribable or uneasy space. The whole mass (not the drawing) cannot be spatially diagrammed or mapped out in the mind as the eyes move around they forget the last moment and focus on the present, potentially caught in perpetual observation.
Sonoma Fields | Sonoma Green is conceptually driven by the multitude of programmatic types that the project required. The given site has two environmental conditions: an open portion that is surrounded by views in the distance, and an enclosed portion that is surrounded by vegetation along two creeks. A primary strategy is to translate these contrasting site conditions into programmatic relationships. More public programs like restaurant, kitchen, multipurpose, are placed on the open side of the site, and a more private program like the temporary housing is placed on the enclosed section of the site. This approach places the entire complex along the green of the creek where it acts as a dividing line between the two conditions. The market hall, being a space that is not part of any of the two extremes, becomes a bridge that connects all the other programs. Because of this it is treated like a separate piece of geometry that floats on top, underneath, and through other masses, so the conceptual bridge between programs becomes a literal bridge structure.
Structure, enclosure, material, and the relationship to ground are also designed to reflect and highlight the two found site conditions. Open, public program is grounded half way in the earth to reflect the flatness of the fields of farmland that surround them, where private, enclosed program is made light and suspended from the ground to create a tree-like quality that connects them to the surrounding green. Structure and enclosure support the contrasting conditions where the ground based masses are heavy, with load bearing walls and a minimum amount of glazing. Tree-like masses are made light by a separation of structure and enclosure systems which gives them a tectonic density. With a focus on concrete as a primary material, the light to heavy spectrum of concrete is used to highlight our strategy. Fine precast concrete is used as a finish for light skin, and more “brutal” cast-in-place concrete with a grain etched into it is used for heave masses and their skin.
What makes a structure habitable? Scale, material, light, enclosure, activity. This site-less structure becomes habitable through a haphazard arrangement of lines and the voids they produce as they make connections. Their scale does not suggest a beginning or an end so the result is a moment captured in order to be visualized and presented. Material becomes monotonous to highlight tectonics of form and not tectonics of material. Light is made possible by porosity of voids and their relation to the scale. The same strategy creates enclosure, where the only thing that separates the environment of interior from exterior is size of components. Redundancy removes the need for fixed program and activities.
Ultimately it’s hard to say which one came first, form or habitability. Did strategies for habitability result in a formal organization, or did diagrammatically found form produce habitability regardless of scale, material, light, enclosure or activity?
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