A formal exploration of a public library

Facade model

A "dirty" grid system is a system that challenges the idea of the grid as a critical representation of an autonomous architecture and embraces a projective speculation on architecture. In this project, a "dirty" grid system is informed by the ever-changing interplay between the solid and void.

The definition of a void is often related to absence, emptiness, nothingness, and degree zero, while solid is defined as presence, concreteness, substanceness, and absoluteness. However, the boundary sometimes blurs when the void is treated as a form of substance when its otherness triggers the richness of imagination and emotions, while the solid is treated as the opposite when its bigness and evenness triggers a field of nothingness. The solid and void both suggest the possibility of being simultaneously present and absent, and both engage in the process of negation. In this regard, the interplay between these two terms, which are both vaguely defined in certain circumstances, suggests a new method that opens up architectural possibilities.

The ambition of this project is to examine a formal operation that oscillates between the ambiguous objective of solid and void. Starting from a platonic volume that is generated through a simple extrusion of the site, a void is carved out by the subtraction of six interlocking volumes, which are independently extruded from surfaces on all sides and exclusively coplanar with one of the others. Subsequently, a monumental object is generated by reversing the volumes of the solid and void. Based on a "checkerboard" grid system, the object is then evenly subdivided into identical modules, and certain modules are subtracted so as to fulfill programmatic demands. The negative area within the previous mass becomes the void to accommodate public spaces, such as the lobby and reading rooms, while the leftover retains its solidity as servant spaces, such as bookshelves and mechanical spaces.

Ground floor plan

Third floor plan

Unfolded facade perspective

Rice Core III Studio
Austin, US, Fall 2017
Instructor: Ajay Manthripragada
Individual project
Cargo Collective 2017 — Frogtown, Los Angeles