[MAI]: Media Arts Interchange, DC Northeast


>> back to: arch202: home
"The hybrid nature of the contemporary project alludes to the current simultaneity of realities and categories, relating no longer to harmonious and coherent bodies, but rather to mongrel scenarios made up of structures and identities in parasitic coexistence." [Manuel Gausa, Dictionary of Advanced Architecture]

This final project will focus on developing a new kind of "interchange" for DC Northeast, a new urban hybrid that considers the possibilities of hybridizing / mixing / cross-breeding / joining, previously distinct and separated elements. The urban condition that we have already observed in Washington is one of layering and coexistence of urban fabric and infrastructure. How could one design within this infrastructural fabric? How might one connect to infrastructure? Instead of layering programme, infrastructure and fabric, could one start mixing and recombining the components that make up a building on a site in order to generate new configurations and new ways of understanding and operating within an urban environment?
The site that we will be using to test our hypothesis is located at an infrastructural crossing: next to Union Station and the under-construction infill station on New York and Florida avenues, on the side of a transportation bundle that incorporates Amtrak, Metro, freight, the DC Greyhound bus station, a bike path, a vehicular underpass and the 395 subterranean exit. The corner of K Street and North Capitol is also located at a point of human crossing: there are at least 9 schools within a one block distance of the site, the Greyhound bus station is a popular hub into the city and the railway lines bisect a highly residential side to the East from a commercial area to the West.
You are asked to design a Media Arts Interchange that will transform the simple 'crossing' of all these forces on the site. You are asked to fully engage the flow and movement of people and infrastructure and design an interchange that will invigorate the surrounding area and introduce a series of programmes that are to be used by locals and tourists, residents and visitors, students and businesses: a media arts center that follows the equation:

[MAI] = performance + film screening + workshops + gardens + exhibition space + café

The [MAI] is open 24 hours a day - it is a dynamic building able to choreograph a series of possible scenarios. In the morning, it could be used by visitors and tourists, community groups and school rehearsals. In the afternoon, schools may use the workshop spaces, while the gardens are open to the public and the lecture hall could be open for community meetings. In the evening, dance performances, film screenings and exhibitions could take over the space and by night the building might be given back to the community with a series of night classes and late-night film screenings. What is interior and exterior space is blurred, public and private divisions are erased and the [MAI] transforms into an interchange for people, infrastructure and programme.

Approximate Square Footage:

6 workshops / classrooms /digital labs
dance / film screening / meeting / lecture / performance
exhibition / rehearsal space
café / lobby
storage / administration / WC
garden / circulation



7400 sf +/-

M [03_15_04] PROJECT 03: intro Lecture: Nataly Gattegno [2pm: room 158]
W [03_17_04]    
F [03_19_04] DC FILED TRIP meet 12:30pm Culbreth Theater Parking Lot
M [03_22_04] Pin-up [room 304]
W [03_24_04]   Lecture: Elizabeth Meyer: Inside / Outside [2pm: room 158]
F [03_26_04]   Woltz Symposium
M [03_29_04]    
W [03_31_04]    
F [04_02_04] MIDREVIEW 01 [jury room B]
M [04_05_04]   Lecture: Elizabeth Meyer: Elements of Urban Landscape Infrastructure
[2pm: room 158]
W [04_07_04]    
F [04_09_04]    
M [04_12_04]   TL Medalist Lecture
w [04_14_04] MIDREVIEW 02 [jury room C]
F [04_16_04]   Lecture: Tim Stenson [4pm: room 158]
Rafael Vinoly Lecture
M [04_19_04]    
W [04_21_04]    
F [04_23_04]   DEADLINE PROJECT 03: SUNDAY 04_25_04: 10pm
M [04_26_04] FINAL REVIEW FACULTY WALK - THROUGH: 10am - 12pm
[04_28_04] - [05_07_04] FINAL REVIEW WEEK  
[MAI]>> 01
Rem Koolhaas, Euralille
FOR FRIDAY 3/19/04:

"Hybrid: Something of mixed origin or composition. [Genetics]: The offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock, especially the offspring produced by breeding plants or animals of different varieties, species, or races." [Oxford English Dictionary]

We will now focus on the programmatic dimension of the project keeping in mind the site conditions that you discovered in your analytic models and the discussions that we have had about the possibility for 'hybridizing' the programme that you have been assigned.

[MAI] = performance + film screening + workshops + gardens + exhibition space + café

You are asked to generate an 18" x 24" collage of the possible ways that you could hybridize the programme of the [MAI]. Work by collaging, overlaying, superimposing images, textures, text, site information in order to generate an abstract drawing / image that represents you ideas about the programme. This is an abstract drawing that works with the adjacencies, overlaps and possible combinations of programme - it is NOT dependent on square footage requirements.

[MAI]>> 02
FOR MONDAY 3/22/04:

"Urban densities and evolving building techniques have affected the mixing of functions, pilling one atop the another, defying critics who contend that a building should 'look like what it is." [Steven Holl]

You have now visited the site, explored certain elements that interest you and hopefully come to certain conclusions about the qualities of the site that you would like to focus on and explore.

1. Generate an 11" x 17" abstract model at 1/32" = 1' that explores your observations and tries to conceptualize in model form your ideas about the area and the specific location. This is an abstract model very different to your previous one. In this case you are zoomed into the site and the immediate area surrounding it and you are asked to model a thesis / an idea about the site.
2. Develop your ideas in a drawing that explores your thesis about the site and the area. Work in plan, section, axon - anyway you think you can best express and develop your ideas. Work in an 11" x 17" format, in the computer, by hand, or both.

[MAI]>> 03
Stan Allen, Logistical Activities Zone Manual
1. Work on producing at least 4 diagrams [ex: site, hybrid programme, layering, structure etc.]. Make your selection wisely - the diagrams you produce should be used to explain your project and one of them should be representative of your thesis. These are diagrams that you will use for your review, so carefully work into them.
2. Write a 200 word thesis and work on an 11" x 17" drawing / image that combines this piece of text with a series of images/ drawings representing your idea.


[For Friday, April 2nd, 2pm, jury room B]

1. Site plan @ 1/32" = 1'
2. Site model @ 1/32" = 1'
3. Plans @ 1/16" = 1'
4. Sections @ 1/16" = 1': at least four sections through your proposal - make sure you show the tracks and the scale of the surrounding buildings.
5. Axonometric @ 1/16" = 1': make sure you show the tracks and the surrounding buildings.
6. 4 Diagrams [ex: site relationships, hybrid programme, structure etc]
7. Written thesis: an 11" x 17" drawing with image and text
8. Site analysis + process models + process drawings / collages

We will be joined by Beth Meyer. I will send you a review order on Thursday - please make sure you are pinned up by 2pm.

[MAI]>> 04
Stan Allen, Korean American Museum of art, Los Angeles, 1995
FRIDAY 4/09/04 [in studio exercise]:

"Are cities still necessary? Do we still need the paraphernalia of a metropolis to house the executive function of a capital city? This leads us to the proposition that the whole city may be contained in a single building." [Archigram, Plug-In City]

Work on two drawings that represents the way in which your proposal connects to the larger systems that we investigated in the first project and revealed in the second project. These are drawings that ask you to explore the connectivity and interdependence of your design within the larger context of the city of Washington DC and potentially the eastern United States. Select systems that are representative of your approach: green space / power / infrastructure / demographics are a couple examples, you should however venture further.
Develop two drawings that explore these relationships - one at the scale of the Northeast corridor and one at the scale of the city of DC. Use the GIS data available to you on Olmsted / Projects / 202_DC_Materials - each drawing should be approximately 11" x 17" in size.
Print and leave the two drawings on your desk for me to collect at the end of studio.

FOR MONDAY 4/11/04:
We will be working towards our midreview requirements for Wednesday and going up in scale. Work towards a 1/16" scale model and a 1/8" section through your proposal. Keep in mind that the increase in scale implies an increase in detail! You will need to work into your drawing and model in order to bring it to up to the larger scale. Remember to always show the surrounding context and the way in which your design keys into it.

[MAI]>> 05
[For Wednesday, April 14th, 2pm, jury room C]

1. Site plan @ 1/32" = 1'
2. Site model @ 1/32" = 1'
3. Plans @ 1/16" = 1'
4. Sections @ 1/8" = 1': make sure you show the tracks and the scale of the surrounding buildings.
5. Axonometric @ 1/16" = 1': make sure you show the tracks and the surrounding buildings.
6. Interior perspective: computer generated or hand drawn. Explore materials, the human scale, transparency etc.
7. 4 Diagrams [ex: site relationships, hybrid programme, structure, texture / material etc]
8. Written thesis: an 11" x 17" drawing with image and text
9. Site analysis + process models + process drawings / collages + infrastructure studies

We will be joined by John Quale. I will send you a review order on Tuesday - please make sure you are pinned up by 2pm.