As practitioners of a truly inescapable art form, architects have a certain obligation to consider the ways in which a structure interacts with both its private and public users. With the work in this portfolio, I aimed to re-imagine existing designs, both formulaic and site-specific, that are problematic in the way they connect with the public. In adapting these designs, I intended to create spaces that would be both visually compelling and more approachable for the average user.
I began this portfolio by designing each project to focus on a single, straightforward public realm design principle. The project in Images 1-2 considers the idea of permeability, which is a crucial facet of public space design. The structure, while solid and closed at the top, opens up towards the ground level to create a porous environment for its users. The project in Images 3-4 deals with intimacy through scale and form. The black triangular canopy and the dark shadows that mirror those same forms foster a sense of envelopment, making the space feel more human in scale and more protective in form. The project in Images 5-6 integrates public and private space in an office complex by breaking up the tower into smaller sections and allowing the public to permeate upper plazas. The mesh wiring adds physical context to these spaces, converting what is at once a large and menacing space into one that appears more human and inviting. The final two projects employ many of these design techniques to transform previously private (a museum/library in Images 7-9) or unusable (an elevated subway line in Images 10-12) places into welcoming and open public areas. They both use agglomerations of many small elements to engender humanistic qualities and diminish scale, while opening up the periphery to invite public users inward.
AP Portfolio Score:5
Rationale for Score
The student has created a series of works that represent visually compelling public spaces.
In this concentration section:
- The student’s consideration of public and private space is unmistakably and coherently integrated in every piece.
- There is convincing evidence of informed decision making and discovery with material use and exploration of occupied and unoccupied spaces (image 1,2,7,8,9,10, and 11). The student wrote, “I aimed to re-imagine existing designs, both formulaic and site-specific, that are problematic in the way they connect with the public.”
- The work clearly demonstrates an original vision as well as innovative ideas and risk taking. Moving beyond “straight forward public realm design” the student plans for “opening up the periphery to invite public users inward” (image 5, 6,7,9,10,11, and 12).
- Each image shows a thorough understanding and effective application of 3-D design principles. Repetitions and rhythms of lines and shapes move the viewer through the space in an evocative way. Contrasting organic and inorganic shapes add variety in a compelling manner.
- The work is technically excellent; simple materials are used effectively to express ideas, and the work clearly demonstrates expertise with construction skills and design.