The Barrels

Esmeralda Aceituno, B.Arch '23


ARCH 302B: Architectural Design III

Gallery: Oakwood Community Center

Instructor: Melissa Shin

My project consists of barrel vaults of varying sizes that are cut and rotated to create intersections among the program pieces. After extensive research of the site, I found that gentrification is a huge issue facing the Oakwood Community. Recently, a wealth tycoon bought the site of a local church and intends to turn it into a multi-million dollar mansion. This church has been an essential space to the community, offering a place where individuals can come together and experience the community as a whole. For this reason, the wildcard program I chose for my building is a non-denominational worship center, which will help fill the void once the existing Oakwood church is demolished. This wildcard program is placed on the main axis of the site along the busiest street, offering prime access to the space.

The curves of the barrel vaults meet together to create clashes along all sides of the project. The large glazed sides of the vaults offer optimal lighting across all seasons and transparency throughout the project. The hard shell exterior is clad with a diamond-shaped metal paneling system, which contrasts with the soft shell interior that is clad with softwood. This play between hard and soft offers the users different experiences between the interior and exterior of the project.

The barrel vaults are split down the center to allow for safe circulation between the busy street and the park. This axis is open to the sky and contains drought tolerant foliage and trees native to Oakwood. The interior structure extends outward into this courtyard space to offer a sense of enclosure while surrounded by nature.


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