The second project of the semester was the design of a 'thickened wall'. I mentioned this project when I put up photos from Exeter Library a few posts back. The program was a partial section of a library with carrels from one to five people and book stacks. We worked again with modules, this time thinking about field conditions, creating systems that could continue past the portion of the library we developed. I began by thinking about a column of light being cut at different angles to create different sized apertures which corresponded to the amount of light required for different occupancy in the carrels. This eventually developed into a spatial module that includes both the carrels and surrounding stacks. The furniture was further developed to create an integration of interior and exterior.
This was one of the tougher two weeks of the semester. I had five different friends visiting from the University of Michigan over their spring break. Needless to say work progressed slowly. If I had the time to really work on this project I would have liked to put more flexibility into the module to respond to different design intentions. I felt like I had pretty limited control over the big picture with the tightness of module I had created.
Much of the conversation at the final review for this project had to do with clarity. Although I can appreciate it, sometimes I wonder how necessary extreme clarity of ideas is within architecture. It seems it might be more enjoyable for a space to perform as intentionally designed without needing to announce its intention; or is all building, at some level, diagram? Is there value in the subtle?