a floating forum: Boston's performing arts center
with Belinda Tato, Harvard GSD Core3 Studio, 17 Fall
published & exhibited in Platform 11 by Harvard GSD
The floating forum investigates different possible formations of indirect relationships among various programs and usages of space within the given scope. It strives to incorporate distinctive programs, such as the Boston Lyric Opera offices, Berklee School of Music, and performance spaces, into one harmoniously fluid unity.
Limiting the design tools to simple geometries and open/floating floor plans, the project specifically challenges spatial relationships sectionally - exploring ways in which special performing activities can be inserted and openly interact in between the more regularly organized space.
The idea of blurry boundaries (space, geometry, material, visual) is investigated in both the interior experience and from the urban context.
The project aims to become a soft illuminated hub for the night time Boston. Through illuminating the sectionally independent soft boxes, the rather enormous building mass can be broken down into smaller instances of activity concentration and light emission. The building strives to become an impactful presence while retaining a sense of lightness and float.
Performance Space, Offices, Classrooms
Mixed use programmatic requirement including Boston Lyric Opera Offices, Performance Venues, and Berklee School of Music Classrooms
The ambiguous and blurry explorations in models and drawings of programmatic representation is an attempt to break down traditionally heavily segregated spaces. Instead, zones of activities, which then can begin to mix and merge into one another, is explored. The project strives to create indirect (soft) spatial collisions between different kinds of music and art performances.
Structurally, the soft floating 'boxes' are all supported from above, leaving the underside of such volumes open to interaction and creating sectional variation. The auditorium, which is the hardest to be hung from above, is lifted up through the entire upper structural plinth, which contains two trusses.
In the plan organization, the ambition was to create a unified whole with much openness between each independent organizations residing within the building. By making use of an open/floating plan, spatial isolation and connection are controlled through manipulating the proximity of distinct spaces and their respective access spaces. By providing areas for clusters of visitors, the proposed plan can still independently serve three different organizations without sacrificing their openness and connection to each other.
As the project focuses on softness, indirectness, and variations, the facade strives to create different interpretations of the building's presence depending on where it is being viewed from. Though cladded as a dumb box, varying vertical fins angled at 45 degrees not only provide some sunshades but also hides the building mass into a cloud-like blur.
freeing up the underside of the soft box through suspending them from above creates a different and exciting spatial quality for the floors beneath them.