Hinman Research Building Courtyard Installation

W. Jude LeBlanc, Architect, Associate Professor, lead instructor
Scott Marble, Architect, Chair of the School of Architecture
Jake Tompkins, Industrial Designer, Director of Digital Fabrication Laboratory
Russell Gentry, Associate Professor, Engineer

Spring 2017
Sharod L. Bryant, Alexandria M. Davis, Josep Lluis Buades Duran, Roberto Sebastian Bucheli Miranda, Aliza P. Gray, Charles Y. Kim, Paul Petromichelis, Claudia Tansey, Matthew P. Singleton, Nicole Schmeider, Yifeng Sun, Vincent D. Yee

Fall 2017
Abaan Ali, Roberto Sebastian Bucheli Miranda, Rachel d. Cloyd, Bennett M. Crawford, William C. Freeman, Ke Fan, Charles Y. Kim, Matthew P. Singleton, Claudia Tansey, Benjamin A Tasistro-Hart, Aron Weber, Justin Wilson

Spring 2018, ARCH 4833-ARCH 8833
Abaan Ali, Roberto Sebastian Bucheli Miranda, Simon Clopton, Bennett M. Crawford, Sweta Dabir, Charles Y. Kim, Hyung Kim, Enrique Maradiaga, Spencer G. Pursley

The School of Architecture also wishes to thank and acknowledge:
Georgia Tech Facilities Management: Howard Wertheimer, Jason Gregory, Kimberly Wilson, Scott Jones

Structural Engineer: Uzun + Case:
Jim Case, Phillip Hatcher

Architect of Record: Archiplan Design Group, Inc., Tony Kim
Steel Fabricator for Pavilion: SteelFab Inc.
Steel Erector for Pavilion: TDR Contractors, LLC
Excavation & Foundation Contractor: Greater Georgia Concrete, LLC
General Contractor Supervision: Gilbane Building Company
Electrical Contractor: WJ Griffen Electric
Steel Fabricator for Wall: Formations Studio

Authors’ description:

The goal of this intervention was to enlarge the use of a collegiate courtyard as a place of varied pedagogical and social functions.  This project is sited at the courtyard of the Hinman Research Building designed by P. M. Heffernan and renovated by office dA. The solution encompasses three elements imbued with movement: a pavilion experienced in parallax, a steel veneer pin-up wall that creates a moiré effect, and seating that levitates, lifting users above existing steps.  Parallax, moiré, and levitation occur at varying degrees in all three instances. In this DESIGN/BUILD workshop/studio students and faculty, in multidisciplinary teams worked from a conceptual proposition to a fully built artifact. (At this moment the project is 95% complete, less lighting and planting. Both to be installed within the month).

Materially, the pavilion consists of bamboo, a foundation/planter, and steel columns and roof.  Spatially, this structure continues the axis and several datums of the basilica-like interior. Functionally, the structure provides shade to this hardscape garden.  Programmatically, in clarifying the courtyard as an outdoor room it extends the interior to the outdoors. Formally, the result is a horizontal steel carpet that, though static, appears to float.  Structurally, the pavilion seeks, as did Office dA to, “complement, not compete with the pedagogical clarity of Hinman’s early modernist composite steel/masonry construction”. Visually, the pavilion not only extends the interior axis of the studio, it provides a focus to arrest it.

The second part of the project is a steel veneer wall with magnets that functions as seating and as pin-up space. The moiré effect produced in the wall has its corollary in the parallax of the bamboo stalks and vertical structural elements at the pavilion.

This seating component, as the two preceding garden follies, pavilion and wall, seeks to invoke the quality of levitation or floating. As opposed to fixed theater seating, this stair seating changes over time, leaving traces of the particular social groupings last configured.

Things may move but often they may only appear to move–as a windswept tree on a calm day at the beach, or the recursive spiral of a seashell, or a curtain that has been pulled back to allow a view.

All three elements foreground motion in relation to space.  The chairs levitate. A kinesthetic quality is present in the pin-up wall in. A moiré effect is discerned when the viewer moves, the parallel lines of two flat surfaces creating a cinema-like illusion of motion.  This visual/spatial quality in a nominally two-dimensional surface is present at the pavilion in three dimensions through parallax.

The desire is that these formal and relatively small-scale metaphors might be reflected in the larger life of the project.  The designers’ hope is that these commodious additions to the courtyard will promote a density of use.  And that this in turn, will lead to the discovery and invention of increased program possibilities that may change and grow positively over time.

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