Design 6 studio in Philadelphia University focuses on the tectonics of a building, helping students to explore more of how a building is put together and what materials are needed. This technical side of architecture was what led the students' designs in this studio, looking at different building methods, enclosures, and assemblies.
Project One - January 2014
Stretching over 60 miles throughout eastern Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill River Trail is a vital part of the state’s culture. Thousands of people use the trail for travel, exercise, and recreation. Where the trail runs through East Falls in Philadelphia, a Comfort Station is located at the head of Midvale Avenue. The station hangs over the river (so as not to disturb the trail) and connects the pedestrian to necessary comforts, to information on the trail and river, and to the river itself, with a tiered deck that hangs over the water. The Station is capped with a clear, plastic dome, which is illuminated from within at night, creating a beacon and a safe area for the evening traveler.
Project Two - February-March 2014
Based on the critera of the 2013-2014 ACSA/AISC Steel Competition Program, the second project: "challenges architecture students to design a border-crossing station sited on a boundary between two countries. Steel offers great benefits in this endeavor, as it allows for longer spans and more creativity." Students worked with a fellow architecture student and a landscape architecture student.*
In the 1940’s, the British Empire left India, dividing the region into two countires: India and Pakistan. Ever
since, the two countries have fought over who would own the Kashmir region. After repeated changes in the border location, a boundary was decided on in the 1970’s to split the Kashmir region between the two countries. This boundary, called the Line of Control (LoC), may not be an official international border, however, it is still heavily guarded and maintained by both governments. When the LoC was created, it split apart not only land, but the people of the Kashmir region - dividing colleagues, friends, and family. It was not until 2005 that the two sides were reunited with a weekly bus service across the LoC between Srinagar, India and Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. Three years later, this connection grew when governments finally allowed trade to occur under strict regulations two days a week. Both of these crossings occur in a snow melt river gorge at Kaman Aman Setu, also known as the Friendship Bridge.
While tensions remain high between Pakistan and India, the growing connection in the Kashmir region displays a need for a proper border crossing station to maintain security while allowing further kinship of the Kashmir people. The station sits on both sides of the gorge with a bridge connection. The building on either side is composed with reguards to movement and security. Upon approach, the first half of the building is more solid as it holds impounded items and security facilities. Once through the checkpoint, the building reveals an open colonnaded structure housing the customs hall on the main floor while the offices, and the laboratory overlook. Finally a caretaker’s residence and overnight rooms overlook the entire complex from a third floor. Meanwhile, the road passes through several checkpoints before lowering in elevation to cross the lower deck of the bridge. Access to the upper deck is pedestrian only through the building colonade. A covered tensile structure dances across like the mountain peaks surrounding the region, protecting the open Kaman Aman Setu Marketplace. The market was a direct request from the traders of the region, they want to connect with their Kashmir brethren and bring the region back together.
*Please note, this project is also creative property of Rachael Dautrich.
Project Three - March-May 2014
In Center City, Philadelphia, next to the skateboard park Paine’s Park, a train runnel has become disused and the Schuylkill River Trail has stepped in to extend the trail through the tunnel in order to bring both commuters and tourists further into the city while still being able to safely use their bicycles. At the mouth of the tunnel, a bike center is needed – a center for commuters’, tourists’, locals’, and pedestrians’ bicycling needs as well as a spot that caters to the nearby skateboarders.
Taking inspiration from a bicycle helmet, the Paine’s Park Pavilion has been built in a stepping down motion into the hill beside the tunnel with the purpose of providing for many needs. Using the convex/concave properties of a helmet, the Pavilion is made of six pods: three are open and airy while three are closed off and private. In the open sections are the convenience store, the shop, and the offices so that people can look in and out and have immediate access. In the closed off sections are the bathrooms, showers, and lockers, more private, closed-off spaces, used mostly by commuters and locals. Above the hill, three of the pods poke up, bringing a café, a retail space, and a rental shop to the public realm. The other three pods take inspiration from the helmet’s curves and become an extension of the skateboard park by putting ramps up on the rooftops.