University of Chicago

Collaboration/ Esra Durkan
Instructor/ Heather Flood

The Chicago Institute project emphasized the dialectic between form and structure, empathetic to material and the spatial consequence of a modular system. Derived from a formal study, the module was a variance on the pointed arch, and groin vaulting systems. The moments that interested my partner and I, was the fluidity and disconnectedness of the space between the modules, the simultaneous dividing effect, and the diversity of figures produced with varying arrangements of the Module. Out of the precedent of studies (Right), overlaid “figures” served as an analytical tool in multiple ways to organize and describe the project, structurally, programmatic and materially.

Structurally our interests in keeping the spaces fluid and figurative, leading us to create a taxonomy in order to evaluate stable micro modules. Instances where instability occurred an overlaying of line, disfigurement, or hybridization in the form of columns or stilts, would produce a stable structural vault or shells. The stacking of these objects produced macro modules where the intersections would be resolved, in similar method, to get the forces to the ground.

Programmatically, the building composes itself from alternating patterns of A block (30x30) and B block(10x30). The A blocks, contain the academic programs (Classrooms, Labs, ect) weaving and intersecting the main space (the vivarium). The B modules, splice in and address the pragmatics of circulation (elevators stairs and bathrooms) and the site, emphasizing and manifesting as public space such as: the pier and corridors; cutting through the site from the grade change on the north end to the waterfront on the South.