Assignment 2: Hybrid (De)construction

IPhone-002-863x1024“Hybrid Precedent Deconstruction”

“A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasurable..”  Louis Kahn


 Analysis, originating from the Greek roots ana-(up) and luein or lyein (loosen), meaning to break up, unloosen or untie, can be defined as follows:

a·nal·y·sis (noun)


– A detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation.

– The process of separating something into its constituent elements.

To begin our design project this semester, we will start with an analytical and representational study of an existing HYBRID buildings and/or space precedents – their program, place, context and experience. We will take apart their complexity into their components so that that their meaning and impact on our life becomes apparent. This dissection is an approach that  is essential to the design process.  In order to create the immeasurable, we must train ourselves to understand and employ measurable means.


– perform thorough research on various unknown and unconventional building typologies

– analyze the program, place, context, function, and architecture of precedent Hybrids

– construct situations (context and history) that warrant hybrid solutions

– critically evaluate and critique hybridization in precedent projects

– explore strategies for dissecting and analysing existing building concepts

– explore graphic representations of program and concept

– develop representational strategies for context, use, material, sequence, and experience

– communicate programmatic complexity and specificity in the context of an annotated drawing set and/or, concept model

–  produce quality through refinement.


With a partner, you are to research the content, context, culture and space of a precedent Hybrid (chosen from the following, and negotiated in your sections with each other and your professor):

1. Baths at Caracalla, Rome, Italy, (AD 216)

2. Fiat Lingotto Factory, Turin, Italy (Giacomo Matte-Trucco, 1923, Renzo Piano)

3. Eames House, Los Angeles, California (Charles and Ray Eames, 1949)

4. Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, (Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, 1979)

5.  A8erna, Amsterdam, Netherlands (NL Architects, 2003)

6. Maritime Youth House, Copenhagen, Denmark (PLOT, 2003)

7.  Seattle Public Library, OMA, 2004

8. Highline, New York, New York, (Field Operations, 2011)

9. Miami Beach Parking Garage,  1111 Lincoln Road,Miami, Florida (Herzog & De Meuron, 2011)

10. Market Hall, Amsterdam, Netherlands (MVRDV, 2014)

11.  Amagerforbraending (waste treatment plant and ski run), Copenhagen, Denmark (BIG architects, 2016)

12. Bryhus Project, Copenhagen, Denmark (OMA, 2018)


1. Read excerpt from ‘Delirious New York – Downtown Athletic Club’.  Select your partner and precedent Hybrid.   Compile and analyze drawings, readings, and historical and contemporary written accounts of the precedent Hybrid.  You will need both orthographic drawings (plans and sections) as well documents that inform your understanding of the social/political/spatial context that surround the project.  The goal here is to understand both the use and context thoroughly.

2.     Deconstruct the concept(s) and uses in the building, and analyze the project as a Hybrid.  Uncover the what components of this project create an the understanding of this building as a hybrid, what are the thresholds of this hybrid, and question the quality of this precedent as a hybrid.  Analyze the use and hybridization of the precedent project and critique its virtue, success, failure.

3.   Draw critical plans/sections/axons/sketches to demonstrate the precedents performance as a Hybrid and its specific use across time and space.  Be creative in your choice of drawing types and styles as the presentation of these drawings must be responsible for communicating the complexity of the Hybrid.

4. Craft a modeling strategy and model to communicate the hybridity of the selected precedent.  This model should express the qualities of the hybrid that drawings can not or do not communicate.

5. Deliver a 5 minute powerpoint presentation of the analysis of the precedent that explains the project as a hybrid (or not).  Use your research, crafted drawings and models to clarify the hybridization and concept, and argue how the project’s context, situation, concept, use and/or performance contributes to it’s hybrid stature.


a.   What are the components that contribute to the hybridity of this project?  Context, environment, concept, use, performance, time, process, material, details, construction, etc.?

b. How did (or does) the cultural context of the precedent project influence the program/use of the Hybrid?

c.    What are the primary, secondary, tertiary (etc) uses, spaces and sequences of the Hybrid?

d. Is this project a hybrid.  Is it more or less successful a hybrid?  Why?

e.   Does it’s understanding as a hybrid come with any limitations or thresholds?

f.   How does the project as a hybrid change or influence it’s context?  Does it change our understanding of space?  Does it change how people act?  Does it make life more efficient?  Does it make our society more thoughtful?


W 11 Sep              Project assigned – select precedent and project partner

F 13 Sep               Lecture: Precedent Research

                                First research compiled_Initial template for analysis developed

M 16 Sep               First draft of an annotated conceptual section/plan/axon

W 18 Sep               Workshop: Conceptual Modeling

                                 First draft of precedent model due

F 20 Sep                Final drawings and models in progress – printed at delivery size for pre-final review

M 23 Sep               Final presentations and review


1 – 11×17 comparative analysis document (template to be created per studio)

1 – scaled annotated section, plan, axon or other drawing indicating program/use1 – conceptual model representing the specific Hybridization

1 – 5 min. presentation to be delivered as a projected presentation that poignantly explains the hybrid qualifications of the project

Note: the HYBRIDIZED use should be the primary organizing factor for each drawing and model.

additional resources:

-Pamphlet Architecture Hybrid Building (1985), Joseph Fenton, Princeton Architectural Press [pdf excerpt from instructors]

– Delirious New York, Definitive Instability: The Downtown Athletic Club [pdf excerpt from instructors]  (

– “This Is Hybrid (English and Spanish Edition): Aurora Fernández Per, Javier Mozas, Javier Arpa: a+t ediciones (January 1, 2011

Assignment 4a: Parti

Rex Architecture, Parti Diagrams
Rex Architecture, Parti Diagrams

A Parti,from the French Prendre parti meaning “to make a decision”, is often referred to as the big idea, and is the chief organizing thought or decision behind an architect’s design presented in the form of a basic diagram, model  and / or a simple statement.

A lead donor has just come forward and the Lincoln Park Rowing Club is expanding the program for their new boathouse project on the Ravenswood site on the North Branch of the Chicago River.  The new facility will now incorporate considerably more program including administration space, training space and social/gathering space in addition to the boat bay program you have become familar with.  On the same site, and working from your substantial base of knowledge about the Club, the site and the sport,  you are to design a new boathouse for the club starting with the investigation of their increased program and the integration of a program strategy with your existing site strategies.


  • develop the ability to analyze a building program against a specific set of 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 an ability to combine site and programmatic criteria into a unified building strategy
  • quickly sort program
  • learn to develop partis that convey organizational intent and objectives

Start by analyzing the new and expanded program.  Using criteria of your own choosing, or using several of the criteria listed below, analyze the programmatic uses of the space.  By answering basic questions about each space as you look at them through the following lenses, you can begin to develop spatial and organizational preconceptions for each of the uses/spaces.

  • Light:What is the quality of light in the space.  Is it direct, indirect, natural, artificial?
  • Climate: Is the space hot, warm, cool, cold?  Is it naturally ventilated or mechanically controlled?
  • Hygiene: Is the space highly controlled hygienically, moderately controlled or uncontrolled?
  • Inside/Outside:  Does the use of the space demand it be interior or could it be exterior? What uses/activities/ spaces could become transitional zones between inside and outside?
  • Public/Private: Does the use require that the space be private or public, and are there opportunities for programmatic elements that could be a hybrid?
  • Hierarchy: What are the primary/secondary/tertiary areas and infrastructures?
  • Access: How are spaces accessed? Which program requires what kind of access?
  • Adjacency: What relationships does each use have with one another?
  • Schedule: What are the time frames for use of the programmatic element?
  • Acoustics: What is the sound/noise profile for each use-space? Loud? Quiet? Echoey? Lively?
  • Views In which programmatic spaces are views relevant? What is the purpose of those views?
  • Finish:What is the quality of the different finishes in the space?

Next, just as you did while developing site strategies for the boat bay, generate several potential organizational diagrams, partis, that express a combined programmatic and site strategy for the development of the boathouse.  Partis can take the form of diagrams, models, sketches, photos or statements.

max (4) 11×17 sheets that describe your final strategy as a clear step by step process, from analysis to ‘big idea’ (parti).

program – download here (F11 A305 Boathouse Program)

Massing and volume studies

Drawing heavily on the site analysis and programming work, the next project phase will be to explore the possibilities for organizing 60,000 ft2 of covered space with the various exterior programs across the 177,000 ft2 of available site. At this point all the program and site factors will come into play, but still without straining for “design” or “architecture”.

This phase is open to radical exploration, but demanding rigor and complete mastery of the site and program. So you’ll need to be both irrational and a hard-nosed realist at the same time. While the three previous phases were mostly self-contained, this project phase will require that you synthesize the information developed so far into a cohesive strategy for occupying the site.

Part one: generate five different schemes for arranging the program and the attendant massing(s) and volume(s) on the site.
Part two: select three of the above and develop them further.
Part three: select one of the above and develop to a high resolution for the final presentation.

Studies are to be conducted in 3D physical models at appropriate scales. Drawings will, of course, support the studies but critiques and the review will use the physical models.

Friday 1 October at 1:50.