In our Intro to Architecture studio class (ARS 283) we were assigned to propose our design for of the entrance to one possible location for the new Design Thinking space. Before we can begin to think of design elements for a new space we need to understand the existing space that we are proposing to manipulating. Though a spatial analysis exercise we can see who moves through and around the existing space, how and how often the space is used. Not only is movement analyzed but existing design elements of the surrounding buildings are looked at to see what features are most prominent and how those will affect or be affected by a new structure. For this specific location the most significant building is Scott Gym which will be directly above the Design Thinking space.
In my analysis I included a circulation diagram which shows that a main axis on campus is the pathway that leads to the front entrance of Scott Gym. Not only is this the most trafficked path in this region of campus it is the most diverse too because students, staff, faculty and non-Smith affiliated visitors all travel here. Behind Scott Gym is a lesser traveled road that is mostly used by residents of the surrounding houses or Facility Management staff members. Based on this information it seems most logical to try and tap into the main axis that leads to Scott Gym from the rest of campus. Through design of not only the entrance but the path that leads to it I will try to direct movement from that path into the new Design Thinking space.
I also looked at the windows and door that are on the east facing facade of Scott Gym and saw much repetition and lines of datum. I don’t think the repetition of the windows will impact my design much, but the datum they create makes a foundation of spaces and lines that almost create a grid that I could work in. If levels of this new entrance line up with levels of the gym that is adjacent to it the overall visual experience of both structures will be more pleasing.
While designing additions to campus we must remember that we are not building on a blank canvas. We are working with space that already has an identity and through our design we need to change this identity and the way it is seen and used by the campus/general public. For this reason, spatial analysis diagrams are a crucial beginning step in the design process.