75% | plan, structure and materiality

Next Monday is our 75% review.  As we have with our 25% review stages throughout the year, we will swap professors for the review to gain some last minute fresh perspective and also see the work of students outside of your studio.  The primary intent of this final review is to critique the final refinements you have made to your proposal as they relate to the floor plan, the site plan and the material agenda including the structure.

As we have worked from inside to out, we have finally found ourselves faced with the necessity to make very specific proposals for how these buildings stand up and sit on the land.  We must finally compose conventional building systems to arrive at a structure that contains the rich space we have worked hard all semester to achieve.

As has become our practice, we will leave the final details regarding the deliverables for the review up to you, but at a minimum, the following will be required.

Site Plan – On one landscape 11×17, a complete and fully realized siteplan.  Look back to conversations we had last semester to recall all the components of a complete site plan including but not limited to roof plan, shadows, hardscape, landscape/softscape, topography, vehicular/pedestrian paths, figures/activity, etc.  Use this requirement to fully interrogate and design the experience of approaching to the monastery.

Floor Plan – Using the considerations from the plan and section workshops, present a complete and fully detailed floor plan for the monastery. Consider your design for the project, including material, planning or programming concepts, and develop a strategy for most appropriately and completely presenting your proposal for the monastery.  Plan diagrams are no longer acceptable.  Your proposals should be fully detailed descriptions of your intent, your agenda, your objectives and your tactics using drawing conventions that we all know and share.  Your plans should make clear the thresholds between interior and exterior, material shifts, scale, use, etc.

Materiality and Structure – While this requirement is more open ended the intent is not less clear.  For the review you will need to make a fully detailed proposal for both your material agenda AND the structure of your project.   This can be conveyed in any number of ways, but some of the most conventional and useful methods such as detailed larger scale building and wall sections, material axonometric drawings or partis, material palettes, concrete casts, and structural models or study models  should be utilized.

In addition to these any other items may be incorporated into your presentation to assist in the expression and communication of your design intent.

We know that you have a busy week, but we also know that time in the semester is running out, and now three weeks past our midterms, we need to have made significant projects towards the completion of these projects.

Final details on review assignments and locations will follow over the weekend.



Plan and Section Workshop










TOOLS: items needed for the workshop…

  • 11×17 scaled plans of your Monastery
  • 11×17 scaled sections of your Monastery
  • Trace or other large paper for sketching/diagramming
  • Fat black markers/Thin black pens
  • Fat colored markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Other drawing tools you deem necessary

GOAL: Plan and Section drawing development based on success of intense midterm model making efforts through overlay sketching

LENS: to see

  • Structure
  • Circulation (vertical and horizontal)
  • Material(s)

WORK: through a series of trace overlays

  • STEP 1: Sketch your Structural system/parti/logic
  • STEP 2: On a separate trace, sketch your Circulation logic (vertical and horizontal)
  • STEP 3: On a third trace, sketch your Material(s) logic
  • STEP 4: Overlay individual traces to develop patterns and relationships between the systems.
  • STEP 5: Refine plans and sections to accommodate new agendas

ISSUES: to address

Are the plan and sections reinforcing the strengths of your midterm design models?

Are plan and section “talking”?

How does structure reinforce the clarity of your design…or make better?

How can circulation transform from the simple act of moving from one space to another?

Can circulation have multiple agendas?

Can structure have multiple agendas?

What is the role of material? Touch, smell, asthetics, etc.

Is structure inside, outside, or concealed in an assembly?

Part 1 – Intro (2:00-2:30) Lower core.

Part 2 – Overlays (2:30-5:00) each professor may break this portion up as they see fit

Part 3 – discussion (5:00-end of class) In your studio, pin up your overlays and be prepared to discuss the logic and process of your findings.

Part 4 – For Friday, incorporate today’s effort into your plan and section drawings

Tidy Up

One other note.  In this last week before break, let’s endeavor to clean up the studios a bit for a strong push after break.  The mess generated prior to Midterms was awesome – a testament to your investment and energy, but it will also become a burden if we don’t deal with it now.  Let’s edit, document the models and studies that are meaningful to your process, recycle the materials from models that aren’t and generally straighten up.

Let’s make sure to leave the studio clean of debris and trash prior to leaving Friday.

Oh – and if there happens to be any food buried under all that work, let’s discard that as well.  Gotta tell you that the west studio really didn’t smell all that nice last week.

Midterm Reviews

Midterm Reviews are tomorrow and we are looking forward to them.  By now you know the drill, but it probably doesn’t hurt to remind you of a few things.

We’ll review in Upper Core by studios in the same locations we’ve reviewed in previously.  If you need to reference the location of your particular section (I realize this is the first time we’ve done this in the Spring semester), please search one of the prior blog posts.

We are scheduled to begin reviews at 2pm, and we would like to begin promptly at that time.  Think about what it will take to accomplish this and please make the proper arrangements.  Please don’t let yourselves be the reason for starting late.    There are many fewer drawings being reviewed this time around, so ‘pinning up’ should take no time.  Start bringing models upstairs and taping up your presentations at 1:30 so that we are ready to start as soon as the jurors arrive.

And lastly, out of respect for those jurors, and yourselves, get enough rest tonight so that you are prepared to get the most out of tomorrow’s reviews.  Remember that these reviews are for you.  Do what you need to do to make the most of the opportunity.

We can’t wait to see the models.