Community Clay-Time

Gabriela Gonzalez, B.Arch '23

ARCH 302B: Architectural Design III

Gallery: Oakwood Community Center

Instructor: Melissa Shin

Here lies an inclusive community center with a wild card with no-age limit: a ceramics studio. This art can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter what stage in life they are in. This large studio spaces allows the community to come together and enjoy time with their families and neighbors. The program is centrally organized about the multi-purpose hall, the heart of the community. This allows for the optimal positioning of the kiln room to maximize the ventilation in the building. The project began with drawing circles on a grid and connecting them to create the form of the building. As the design developed, boxes emerged, sandwiched between the curved concrete slabs. The materials were chosen with the purpose to contradict each other: thick, heavy stone and simple, clear glass run orthogonally across the building. Community centers are places to share, and thus most walls are glass, to share what is happening inside with the neighborhood.

As runners pass by the building, they can see what people are throwing on the wheel. As a retired lawyer leaves their night-class on the Russian language, they can see the ballroom dance class occurring in the multipurpose hall. When an office administrator leaves work, they can see children playing in the park.