2a_M Program Mapping

FIRE HOUSE_program mapping

Step 3.   More granular still.  At the scale of the program, the use of a building is revealed and tested.  Spaces are shaped by the activities they house, and their relationships to the site play valuable roles in the quality of the experiences.

At this stage, you understand that the design process must engage real information at a variety of scales.  Zoom in and out.  Establish your criteria for examining the the way space is used in the fire station, and test it against new criteria or data and against the criteria or conclusions you have already drawn from the site.  Layer your analysis upon itself to create rich potentials.

Just as they are within a site, the issues addressed within a program analysis should be viewed as opportunities that must be interpreted, analyzed and modeled. It is critical to see a Program as a set of ‘uses’ and ‘functions’ as opposed to a reductive list of rooms so that their inherent qualities and connections can be revealed and critiqued.  A program analysis should be used to create a catalog of possibilities – think of it as a map of the unknown – as opposed to rules for size and adjacency.  A good program study will transcend those narrow considerations and begin to reveal much broader potentials.

In the same controlled and rigorous manner you have employed thus far, let building strategies and concepts develop authentically, and begin to develop your notions for your design proposals for Engine Company 99.

– Establish methods for sorting building use.    Learn to categorize program in multiple ways, using multiple criteria.
– Learn to see a building program as a list of uses as opposed to a list of spaces, and mine those uses for their potential to become building strategy
– Develop skills for combining site and programmatic criteria into a unified building strategy
– Interrogate the building uses, and identify the key criteria for each, investigating new potentials for adjacencies in the process.
-Clearly document and describe your analysis.

In the coming days, identify, interrogate and categorize the uses of the Fire House using any criteria you are able to establish.  Some of these criteria include but are  not limited to:

-site constraints

Develop attitudes and positions for the relationship of the programmatic uses relative to each other and to the site, and test these positions through mapping, diagramming and modeling.

Develop and test multiple strategies with the objective of developing design concepts or strategies that will drive the development of your projects.

Test your ideas against the site and select the specific portion of the site that you are proposing to build on.

Uncover orders. Invent ordering strategies. With focused analysis of the relationship between activities, uses, and spaces, you will begin to gain insight into possible strategies for ordering program elements across the site. Determine how the programmatic elements relate to one another. Be particular and precise about the nature of their relationship, paying particular attention to the web of inter-relationships. Do elements relate to the human body, are they related to site, are they satisfying operational or functional issues, mechanical, or does a relationship speak to some inherent meaning? What about delight?

Develop models for representational systems that are appropriate to your analyses such as comparative studies, generative matrices, adjacency diagrams, network diagrams (tree,mesh), color coding, mapping and graphing of relationships, narrative sequences.


Due Monday, September 24th
1.   Documentation of your initial programmatic analysis in a form condusive to a group presentation.  11×17 format.   Explorations of your choosing.
2.  (1) 11×17 document documenting your specific site selection with proper diagrams/drawings to illustrate the logic of your selection.

Due Friday, September 28
1.   2D and 3D program analysis of your choosing – specific to your own pursuits, explorations, hypotheses, tests, interests and curiousities.
2.  Document multiple potential building/design/conceptual strategies for the design of the fire house.

additional resources:
1.   Praxis 8.  WORK: Program Primer.  “2 Architects 10 Questions”. Rem Koolhaas + Bernard Tschumi.
2. Opportunistic Architecture.  Lewis Tsurmaki Lewis.  “Tactics for an Opportunistic Architecture”.


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