Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AIA Maine Ideas Competition '09 Submittal

Design Statement

In observing the current state of the waterside facilities at East End Beach, it was first determined that a new site plan was necessary in order to allow future structures and facilities to be developed as neccesary in a manner which would not detract from the site’s prime location adjacent to East End Beach. The proposed site plan was intended to define what were perceived to be suitably occupiable building locations for anything from boat storage to picnic pavilions. The site plan also helped to determine an appropriate scale and location for the main bath house and community center.

Uniting the bulk of the program in one structure for the bath house and community center was a priority in the overall design, as the main building serves as an anchor—physically and visually—for the site. This also provides an economical and efficient means of construction and maintainence for the elements that benefit from such adjacency.

The main building is conceived as an elegantly crafted box, whose aesthetic is derived from its construction and siting. The box is wrapped with wooden slats, which conceal the base of the building—and provide privacy in the locker rooms—facing the land. On the waterside of the box, however, the slats wrap over the top and are open to the bay, providing an airy, semi-covered area that frames the water from within. This area can be used as a semi-enclosed picnic space, or a place to drop boats and equipment for the Parks Department.

The ground floor of the box is punctured by a passageway connecting the parking and boat launches to the beach, and providing a common point of access to the building’s functions. From this passageway, users can access the locker rooms or visit the concessions counter. Between the passage and the open space is a floating stair lobby, around and through which visitors can pass. The stair lobby leads to a community meeting room facing the covered open space as well as the Parks Department offices.

The building is designed to function efficiently and flexibly, but more importantly to serve as a built element worthy of its location and providing a structure suitable to the community of Portland.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

BDA to Compete in AIA Maine Ideas Competition

The Big Dog Atelier has announced its intent to compete in the AIA Maine Ideas Competition '09 for the design of community waterside facilities at East End Beach in Portland, Maine. Over the course of the project, BDA will try and post as much process work as possible prior to the final entry on November 4, 2009. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition Submittal

Design Statement

Inspired by the industrial urban fabric of the surrounding context, our design attempts to utilize and elaborate upon the most significant structure of the industrial period: the factory.

Informed by the many abandoned factories reclaimed as artists' spaces, our proposal allows users to customize the space in a manner which is most suitable to their art or craft within the open framework of a fixed, but minimal structure. The intention of our design is to provide a pragmatic, yet beautiful structural framework, around which flow open spaces populated with movable units, termed Flex Pods, creating an infinitely flexible, dynamic space. This openness not only allows for dynamism, but also encourages openness and collaboration among artists, and with the public.

In the same language as the Flex Pods, is the large main Gallery, which houses the bar, and also serves as the entry point through which the public can begin a journey through the art factory floors, and then through the courtyard and to the water.

To provide a static counterpoint to the dynamism of the art factory, two concrete circulation and mechanical cores were added to the structure. The inverse location of the circulation cores serve to create a series of larger spatial conditions on each floor.

The building was sited along 5th Street because of the potential for future development, which we felt would likely occur there rather than along Smith Street due to the existence of the above-ground subway lines. The site plan aims to continue the tension between the public and the canal, which cannot be touched due to extensive pollution, and the site, which now can be seen only through holes in a fence. Thus, the site is left overgrown with native grasses, except for paths connecting the building and Smith Street with the water. Like the wire screen surrounding the art factory and courtyard, a linear grove separates the street from the site, both obscuring the contents within and inviting further investigation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BDA to Compete in Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

The Big Dog Atelier has announced its intent to compete in the Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition sponsored by suckerPUNCH. More details to follow soon...

Photos courtesy of suckerPUNCH