The Superficial Threshold

Raul Lopes De Menezes, B.Arch '22

ARCH 402A: Architectural Design IV

Gallery: Thresholds of Segregation in Los Angeles

Instructor: J. Yolande Daniels

I explored the idea of the superfluous threshold in architecture. Thresholds are usually spaces or architectural elements that connect different spaces but separate them in the process. Through exploring precedents, I discovered a trend in architecture of threshold spaces that superficially separate spaces using graphics applied to surfaces, as well as forms that add porosity to the different spaces.

I explored this idea in my project by starting with a grid field system. The grid allows for the creation of forms that are offset from each other and curve in ways that guide visitors from one space to another while remaining in this porous field of shapes. Colors on the ground and walls guide visitors throughout the threshold spaces. My threshold typology permeates through the commercial ground level, and the public, communal spaces in each cluster of apartments, as well as the gateway that visitors would use to enter the site.