grou serra architecture

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Arcadian Urbanism II

Instructor Lluís Ortega
Collaboration with Universidad Torcuato di Tella

For the second part of the research, the prototype is applied contextually. The first iteration happens in the city of Chicago in the United States. The operations are here inverted from the first iteration of the prototype, in which porosity determined circulation. Here, we firstly understand how people occupy space – and which space – throughout the city itself, and then apply an architectural solution on a particular in that city, the Merchandise Mart.

These specific conditions were identified and recreated in the primitive model. The arcade – as a system – is versatile enough as an archetype to define several typologies ranging from the plaza to the corridor. As a system, it includes several relational logics that were fundamental to the development of the primitive. Its relationship to programming and circulation are fairly straightforward, and further analysis includes directionality and openness to the outside. The primitive is organized following two integrated grid frameworks. The first one determines porosity, while the other one creates circulation patterns. These two frameworks operate on basic adjustable data elements such as porosity, subdivisions and density.

The application follows a feedback logic that allows the prototype to evolve and proliferate in different ways.

Before any contextual application, the prototype used basic porosity to determine optimal circulation and massing for an ideal in-between condition. This operation is still fairly generic and didn’t focus on any specific typology regarding the architectural space but rather an optimized set of parameters to be followed.

When the prototype was applied to the first case study – merchandise mart – its typological qualities were refined in order to provide a more characterized space. The system not only creates at this point massing and circulation, but also a structurally redundant system of columns that bridges the two and responds to similar parameters. By doing so, the columns now define and differentiate another level of “in-betweeness” within the circulation patterns.

This first attempt at colonizing an existing space remains extremely speculative and generic. The space occupied is so vast, and with so little to work with – spatially, that the prototype multiplies, grows and occupies the space in a chaotic and uncontrolled way.