Contemplation Render1

The structure would be made of alternating wood and glass curved pieces arranged in a stepped pattern to create a peak in the roof. Placed on the vacant roof of the drama building, the space would be an ideal spot for stressed out architecture and art students to go outside and take a break. The space is raised onto of the drama building and there is enough empty space surrounding it that it receives a lot of wind. In consideration of passive solar design, my structure takes into account both heating and cooling strategies. Charlottesville has a relatively mild winters and incredibly humid summers. In order to combat the cold, the canopied side of the building is facing south. In order to keep the building cool in the summer time, the building is equipped with operable windows on either end. Also the funnel shape of the structure lends itself to becoming a wind tunnel, creating a breeze through the space. Also the open floor plan is ideal for a passive solar system.

Besides the goals listed in this assignment, I also wanted my structure to echo the landscape and have a form that was simple, yet tactfully designed. Also, since it would be placed in the arts quad it would have to be architecturally interesting and relate to the existing buildings around the site. Both Campbell Hall and the drama building have escaped the classical style of the rest of UVa and my structure would continue in that direction taking into consideration the green principals taught in the architecture school and the curved façade of the drama building. The entrance would be on the east side of the structure, although you would not have to enter the main space to use the building. The overhang on the south side and built in lounge chairs provide ample seating in the shade and the built in bench on the north side provides permanent seating in the sun or the shade depending on the time of day. When entering the main space, the funneling element of the structure provides the illusion of a bigger space since you enter at the smallest point and the structure grows in both width and height. This strategy brings people into the center of the space and creates a social gathering area towards the end when the space is the largest.

The design of this small sanctuary will heighten sensory awareness by calming the person who enters. I have employed many calming strategies such as shaded outdoor space, cross ventilation, and an overall calming curvilinear design that moves through both the walls and the interior furniture. The operable windows directly across from the door create ventilation to maintain a high air quality. Overall the fluidity of the structure creates a calming feel, as does the site of looking out onto Lambeth field and the colonnade. The glass in between the wood and at either end will provide a lot of natural light for the interior at all angles and at most of the times of the day. The built in furniture of the structure makes the space simple since there will be no moving furniture around. When inside the space, a person will feel calm and relaxed and have time to focus on the interesting shadow pattern or whatever else is on their mind.

For precedents I looked at Le Corbusier’s chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp. As a space for contemplation, I thought that there was incredible use of form and light to create a calming and significant presence. I also looked at the Oribe Tea House by Kengo Kuma in the Mino Ceramics Park in Tajimi, Japan. I found the interior of this example very exciting. The layering and undulating effect seems to constantly transform the space, creating a different feeling and setting depending on your positioning in the space. I wanted my structure to reflect the upward curves and lightness of Le Corbusier’s chapel and the interior inconsistencies of the Oribe Tea House.

Overall the structure would be low energy and low cost to assemble, and very little cost and energy to maintain. The pieces would be prefabricated and the construction would consist of assembling and securing them. The structure would be low cost, low maintenance and would provide a relaxing escape to those studying the in Arts Quad.


Render2 render23 interior render