Spectacle, by definition, requires spectators. Our design creates a space where the spectators themselves become part of the spectacle. Students seated and spectating will become an agent to instill curiosity and to draw passers by into the space, from both outside and inside, simply by being there. The design accomplishes this by drawing on existing building forms and conditions to create a gathering/viewing space suitable for an open classroom, theatre, or general seating space. In order to connect the space with the rest of the campus, the main seating element on either side of the central stairway is modeled after the amphitheater seats found outside the Alumni Memorial Building and across from Hodges Library. The water element on the north side of the space echoes the existing ivy, acts to usher people into the space and further encourage them to sit and enjoy the spectacle.
A secondary staircase offers entrance to the second floor while providing definition and recognition to the negative space adjacent to the existing glassed in staircase.
This year definitely got started off with a bang. The site for this year’s competition is the east entrance to the building. Our team immediately got to sketching and brain storming-addressing issues like circulation, recreation, water features, landscaping, etc. Although many of our ideas were initially very different from one another, we all agreed on the incorporation of a water feature of some kind. They are appealing aesthetically, but also have a soothing affect acoustically. In a building where everyone eats stress for breakfast, creating an area for de-stressing was a necessity.
Another key element that was deemed necessary was more social space. In a building that is designed for total collaboration and socialization among students, faculty, and staff, the exterior spaces of the building do little to relate. The atrium allows people to sit and talk with one another while eating a bagel or waiting on a class, the stairs cause everyone to get to know each other relatively quickly, and the open layout of our studio spaces creates very little privacy. Why shouldn’t this building have the same scheme externally? We sought to create a space where even non-smokers would want to go outside just to catch up with a friend or take a break from studio.