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ARC201: How to Design Almost Nothing

In How to Design Almost Nothing, students are asked to choose a descriptive word, then use that word in a series of creative architectural exercises, culminating in a design for a student centre for a site on the University of Toronto campus.

Rama Alwan

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Rama writes: "This is a study building that has a close visual and physical relationship to Varsity Stadium, Woodsworth College, and Cartwright Hall, and is also accessible via numerous footpaths and secondary roads. The fracture lines were inspired by the nearby pathways. These lines were extended on the elevations vertically. For the landscape design, the fractured lines were projected and used as paths and planters. A bridge was added that cuts through the building and connects the Goldring Centre with the stadium. "

(Instructor: Aleris Rodgers)

 

Mark Kongismann

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Mark writes: "A formal language of 'pinching' is used to shape a 16-metre cube at the north end of University of Toronto’s St. George campus. In response to the site, the pinches create circulation through the cube, connecting its busy south and east facades. Adjacent to the building on one side are residences, and, on the other, the Goldring Centre and Varsity Stadium. Designed to accommodate interior study space, this building attempts to occupy the semi-public/private space that exists between."

(Instructor: Brian O'Brian)

 

Anvi Nagpal

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Anvi writes: "The project explores the potential of a basic element — a 'frame,' i.e. an enclosed volume with one transparent (glass) facade. The frame rotates on every floor in synchronization with the site and in the process aligns the program. The nine-square grid has been redefined to capture the overall experience of the building. The columns tend to define the twist of every floor and enhance the sense of space in both the exterior and interior."

(Instructor: Brian O'Brian)

 

Joshua Shen

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Joshua writes: "The concept of this project is 'lifting,' inspired by SANAA's Rolex Learning Centre. By lifting the facade, the barrier between the exterior environment and the building can be removed. Since the site has a wide view, the lifting allows people to get a better view inside the building, thereby integrating the scenery and the learning space and releasing pressure."

(Instructor: Aleris Rodgers)

 

Young-Mi Kim

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Young-Mi writes: "My final project explores overlapping shadows. Through experiments and playing with mirrors and lamps, I learned that shadows overlap when they are cast from different light sources. To distribute sunlight into a series of lights traveling in different directions, heliostats are used. The mirror surrounding the floor is on a slight angle to bounce light up to the centre of the ceiling. There are more mirrors here with various orientations that bounce the light back down. Then these lights are cast over the shadow-casting elements to create shadows that overlap. These overlapping shadows fill the larger gathering spaces."

(Instructor: Jennifer Kudlats)