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Chelsea Highline Urban Farm

Fall 2017

ARCH303 / McGill University

Instructor: Vedanta Balbahadur

chapter i

The scanned object is an abandoned fire extinguisher found in the hallway of School of Architecture. While examining it, I found particular interest in its side view, which suggests an optical illusion of the connection of broken piece. Therefore, I took the side view of the object, made a series of transformation, and used the product of these few moves as a basic element for the generation of the pattern.

The pattern is a result of deforming the shape of the basic element layer by layer. Each repetitive elements on the same layer are completely identical and it's clear to see the pattern is getting less and less dense as you move up the canvas. From the pattern, a distinct shape was abstracted and simplified for later three dimensional model building. In Rhino, a series of experimentation was made with the simplified line drawing. Finally, a design was created by extruding, curving and mirroring the curve. Because of the nature of the original curve and the transformation made, the 3D object has a distinct feature of multi-folded skin that suggests interesting spatial quality and a unique experience for potential users.

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chapter iI

The design of the first chapter suggests a unique spatial quality introduced by the folded skin with multiple layers. Taking inspirations from it, I abstracted two inter-connecting loops as the starting point for the final project design, in which I wish to preserve this unique spatial experience. The design is resulted from inter-locking two loops, one being solid and becomes floors on the west side; the other being void in the centre and become elliptical walkways on the east side overhanging on the High Line. By intersecting two loops, an in-between space is suggested in the middle and becomes frame for the city-scape and sky when people walk under the loops. The space in between the double skin facade will be planted with vegetables in the hydroponics system. Therefore, with little care and less dependent on the weather conditions. These vegetables will strive, thus, wrapping the building with a stripe of nature. The double-skin parametric facade of the building is calculated based on the sun radiation on the building to preserve heat an maximize energy efficiency. A building is a living organism.

Instead of having landscape defend the waning ideal of some untouched wilderness prone to relentless human aggression, this project proposes a reversal, where nature would simply become an integral part and expression of the topology of the contemporary city.

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