With agendas distilled and Parti in place, the final steps in the design of the Chicago Rowing Club are to finalize the design of the building systems and spatial experiences.  The most successful projects will use the developed Parti to lead the design process for every one of these systems and experiences, allowing the building systems and experiences to fully embody the idea, just as the programmatic organization or site strategies have.


– learn to use your Parti as the primary driver of all building systems and building experiences

– develop and produce plans and sections that investigate and convey space and experience through intelligent and creative use of drawing conventions.

– understand the relationship between building systems and spatial experience.

– develop structural frames and enclosure systems that embody the larger ideas and ideals of a project.



The key systems that should be considered are as follows:


Starting from the ground, develop a building frame that satisfies the complex issues of creating a form, resolving all typical building loads necessary to support the building while still advancing your design agenda as much as necessary to satisfy your larger design intent.

Consider the following as you develop your structural system.

– Does your structural system have a common and/or governing logic for resolving all of the parts in relation to the whole?

– Have you studied alternatives and variations that meet your specific criteria and analyzed their pros and cons?

– Not that is must, but does your structure satisfy a broader agenda?  If so, how?  If not, why not?

– Is your structural system exposed or is it concealed, and what is your process for determining the most appropriate answer to these questions?


Develop an enclosure system or series of enclosures, composed of all necessary parts to control the environmental stability of your Boathouse as well as satisfying the larger design agendas you have established through your Parti.

Remember, envelopes are the primary means of controlling visual and physical access to our buildings as well as energy transmission to and from the spaces we create.  As such, we should consider these primary systems in the development of our enclosures:

Aesthetic – Both from the interior of the building and the exterior of the building, the enclosure system, often in conjunction with the structural system, forms the visual expression of our buildings, and this expression must be considered and developed with intent.  The agenda for the expression should be developed initially from our Parti and realized through the specific use of materials, their connections and compositions.

Thermal – This system embodies the control of energy and moisture through the envelop and includes the primary means of waterproofing and insulating a building, as well as controlling the passage of water vapor.  These elements should form continuous lines of control and protection, and should only be compromised when absolutely necessary to satisfy other, and more important, agendas.

Use – Elements such as doorways and windows facilitate use, circulation and view, and must be manipulated strategically to choreograph a users experience in and through a building, and it, too, should be developed in conjunction with your larger Parti to become one with your overall design agenda.


Working with light, material, boundary, structure, circulation, use, furniture, scale, texture, threshold, etc, you should continue to build on your ideas from the inside out, working in as much detail as possible to fully develop the spaces of your monastery, and perhaps more importantly, the transitions between the spaces.

Thoughts as you develop the material and experiential systems of the building:

–          Is there a particular narrative that can be developed to shape the experiential systems of the project?

–          How can past/future/alternative agendas be folded into the mix using experiential systems?

–          How do decisions regarding structural and enclosure systems affect spatial experiences?


There are no explicit deliverables for this phase of the project.  You should be working towards developing the necessary drawings and models for your final review.  Drawings can and should include any information necessary to convey your process and your broader intent.

The key to successful project development is to be working at multiple scales continuously.  Site scaled drawings and detail scaled drawings should be utilized at all times over the next several weeks.  The same is true for the use of models.  You should be working with both building and site scaled models as well as larger scaled spatial experience models concurrently.



IDEAhaus_4b_Embodiment COMPETITION (space models)



If plans and sections support the development of a design logic and regulating systems for your IDEAhaus in two dimensions, then models allow you to further understand and develop the experiential effect of these systems in three dimensions.

Building a large scale section and spatial model of your IDEAhaus will expand your exploration of  how  various systems can work, in concert, to shape experience (i.e.  spatial sequences, apertures, structures, envelopes, circulation, material qualities, natural and artificial illumination).  You might explore a singular and unified composition, or the  building could have various experiential “states” in response to shifting conditions, like: changes in activity, environment, season, metropolitan context, daylight.

The review for the large scale spatial models will be in the form of a DESIGN COMPETITION, to be held in Crown Hall, and judged by a panel of guest jurors and by yourselves. Further details regarding the design competition to follow.


– understand the ways that space activates and engages your senses;

– improve your skills of narratively describing space and experience and criteria;

– further develop modeling skills and craft;

– explore the strengths of designing 3-dimensionally in section;

– continue working iteratively between physical and digital in your process;

– experience a competitive project working environment;

– accelerate your project development.


Using the agendas,  plans, sections and models  developed over the past weeks, choose a portion of your IDEAhaus to demonstrate the spatial experiences of the building.  Models MUST be between ¼”=1’-0” and ½” = 1’-0” scale (with bias towards the larger) and should represent a plus or minus 5000sf portion of your design.  The model MUST be able to fit within a volume of 42”W x 30”D x 48” tall.   The model should be both sectional and spatial, and should capture both interior space, exterior enclosure and the site.


– Does the experience of your building contribute to its use in meaningful ways?

– Does your model capture/embody the primary design logic or concepts for your project?

– Does your design and modeling language embody your concepts and criteria for the design of your building?

– How might a detail be the genesis for discovering an overall concept or strategy for developing the rest of the building?


Design Competition / Friday April 10 2015 / Upper Core

Craft a high-quality physical sectional and spatial model using the parameters provided above to convey the essential and compelling nature of your project.

NOTE: The singular means of presentation suggest that you should exhibit your very highest levels of craft and care.

KULTURHUS_spatial model competition

A few notes about the model competition tomorrow.

The competition will be held tomorrow afternoon, in the lower level of Crown Hall.   Starting at 1:30pm, you will be asked to place your models and pin up your drawings in the locations indicated on the attached document – S14_ARCH 306_Model Competition pin up assignment+.  This document assigns each of you a number (#) (no personal markings or names should occur on your boards as to keep the competition anonymous).  The locations for each number are also noted in the document, and locations will be marked with numbers on post it notes designating the locations for hanging.   Instructions and rules for setting up are simple.  Please pin up or tape up your drawings directly below the Post-it, leaving the Post-it with your designated number exposed.  Models should be placed directly below your drawings, on bases where possible.  Please begin to collect model bases sooner rather than later.  There likely are not enough model bases in Crown Hall for all 120 of us. If not model bases are available, please place your models on the ground.  The jurors will understand.  Please use the proper tape and adhesive dots to pin up. We will be taping up over the top of the glass windows into the library, so please do so respectfully as to not disturb people working in the library.

At 2:30, please convene in lower core.  The competition will be juried by several guest jurors beginning with introductions at that time.  The jurors will be selecting a shortlist of projects for final review (red dot), and you will be asked to participate by awarding winners in three categories for Best Project (green dot), Best Model(blue dot) and Best Drawing/Rendering (yellow dot).

At 3:30-3:45 pm, all projects should be taken down from their locations, and those projects with red dots should re-hang your projects and re-place your models in lower core.  Please remember to also bring your # designation with you so we have record of which projects belong to who.   All of us will reconvene in lower core at 4:15pm, along with the jurors, for final reviewing and awarding of final winners.

Space is tight and models are large, so please work together to get everything on display.

The pin up #’s and locations will be displayed on the doorways of our studios and in Lower Core tomorrow afternoon around 1pm.    If by mistake your name does not appear on this roster, please either contact me by email ( or see me tomorrow for a spot.

After introductions at 2:30, please see your studio professor for the stickers you will use to select the ‘audience’ awards.  You will receive three stickers – a green, a blue and a yellow, and you will be asked to vote for your favorite Project (green dot), Model (blue dot) and Presentation (yellow dot), by placing your stickers clearly on or adjacent to your selections.

After the winners have been announced, it is your responsibility to carefully remove your presentation and models from their displayed locations and return the lower level of Crown Hall back as we found it.

Good luck on the home stretch and can’t wait to see the work tomorrow!

Spring Break_Experience / Materiality


Enjoy your Spring Break.  Clear your minds and take a breath.  Change gears but don’t disengage.  Often your best design thinking comes with distance.


– record and measure (as if Perec were studying material) your Spring Break through the variety of scales and textures of the materials you experience.

– construct a series of scenarios (a narrative of experiences from occupants points of view) about the ambiance (spaces. sequences), materiality) of your Kulturhus via a series of hand-made renderings

– to learn to use images as a design tool (rather than an after-the-fact presentation tool) – you could develop the images first and shape the project to deliver that experience.



Explore a minimum of 5 spaces and sequences of your Kulturhus through hand sketching.  Produce a minimum of 5 hand drawn perspective renderings that document the primary spaces, sequences, transitions and/or thresholds of your Kulturhus.


Document your thoughts about the materiality and scale of material textures that could potentially exist in and around your Kulturhus through your daily encounters with materiality over Spring Break.  Use your digital cameras and phones to document materials, materiality, scale and texture.  Focus on the details of your material experiences.  Examine material textures and scales.  Zoom in to the scale of the material and its affect on your experience.


Due Monday, March 24th.


Scan and reproduce (5) hand drawn perspective renderings on individual 8 ½” x 11” pages.  Pin-up and prepare to discuss on Monday at the start of class.


Curate your material documentation and compile your imagery into a single organized presentation. Size and format of your choosing. Pin-up and prepare to discuss on Monday at the start of class.

Assignment 4: Space, Time, Body, Approach

“The rhizome is altogether different, a map and not a tracing. Make a map, not a tracing. The orchid does not reproduce the tracing of the wasp; it forms a map with the wasp, in a rhizome. What distinguishes the map from the tracing is that it is entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real. The map does not reproduce an unconscious closed in upon itself; it constructs the unconscious. It fosters connections between fields, the removal of blockages on bodies without organs, the maximum opening of bodies without organs onto a plane of consistency. It is itself a part of the rhizome. The map is open and connectable in all of its dimensions; it is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification. It can be torn, reversed, adapted to any kind of mounting, reworked by an individual, group, or social formation. It can be drawn on a wall, conceived of as a work of art, constructed as a political action or as a meditation. Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple entryways; in this sense, the burrow is an animal rhizome, and sometimes maintains a clear distinction between the line of flight as passageway and storage or living strata (cf. the muskrat). A map has multiple entryways, as opposed to the tracing, which always comes back “to the same.” The map has to do with performance, whereas the tracing always involves an alleged “competence.”” – G.Deleuze/F.Guattari

Amidst this fragment from the Introduction Rhizome section of philosophers Gilles Deleuze + Felix Guattari’s book Milles Plateaux are a myriad of important critical questions. Here the map is not one of representation but of construction. The map constructed In this way is also a facilitator for construction, and one that is “entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real”.

To begin the final design of the bath house you are asked to “Make a map, not a tracing”. More specifically you are asked to construct a mapping of the site’s most essential characteristics that will underpin the direction of your project.  This will require you to experience the site and to translate that experience into a construction.


  • Space – This mapping must encompass some portion of the space beyond the boundaries of the park through to a proposed siting of your future bath house. Contained within this space is the physical approach to the site. In addition to the environmental and material conditions, the sites topography is of utmost importance to the spatial mapping.
  • Time – This mapping must explicitly engage with the measure(s) of temporality which make space experiential.
  • Body – This mapping must elucidate the relativity of the body to the space and time of the site.  It is the body which concretizes the abstract condition into physical experience.

In a medium, and at a scale, appropriate to the mapping you construct, combine section, plan, and experiential data into a single assemblage.  All constructions are expected to be presented at level of craft comparable to the precedent drawings.  In some respects the methodologies of this mapping are analogous to the precedent study only with site as subject.