Structural Abstraction


Sonia Iyer, B.Arch ’23


SP. 20


Instructor: Alex Maymind

This project began with somewhat of an abstraction of the idea of a classroom through the form of a latticed scaffolding, which was then extended throughout the structure to create the rest of the kindergarten. The wooden studs make up the primary framework of the scaffolding, and follows the grid of the building’s original steel beams and girders to both work within the existing structural system and interrupt it at several instances to compete for dominance. The primary function of these studs is hold hold up a series of platforms, which are made of various materials sourced from our investigations, such as kitchen tile, perforated metal, and triangulated fabric. Additionally, wide-flange steel beam fragments function as a system within the wooden system, serving as circulatory members by being climbable as ladders and crawlable as bridges in order to get from classroom to classroom and platform to platform. In the classrooms, platforms can either be climbed on top of or under to create different experiences and spatial effects, but in other parts of the building, such as the offices and bathrooms, these platforms designate areas to be walled off and enclosed beneath them in order to create private space. The flexible gathering space is completely devoid of any scaffolding or platform elements so as not to prescribe any one particular program or arrangement to the space, and is instead filled with construction site materials that make up the rest of the building so the space can be customized and items can be put together in whatever configuration is needed.


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