In my last blog post analyzing the space and planning my design, I was thinking of the following questions:
- How will I make the entrance inviting for faculty, students, and visitors?
- How can the entrance encourage people to occupy the Design Thinking space and the area surrounding it?
- How will the design fit in and compliment the buildings around it?
- How can the design incorporate natural elements?
- What would the entrance look like in the day and at night?
- The Campus Guide: Smith College (2007): “No single style or aesthetic dominates Smith’s architecture; its houses and halls are united in their diversity and eclecticism, animated by a commitment to design that is right for its time and resilient to the test of time”– How can the Design Thinking entrance’s design incorporate elements that are ‘right’ for this time?
Taking everything into account, this is what I came up with:
My objective was to design an inviting, modern, and accessible entrance space that would compliment other Smith buildings (particularly the Health Center and the Gym in close proximity). I was inspired by Scott Gym’s repetitious windows and brickwork, the Campus Center’s modern look and transparency, Olin’s unification of old and new design, the Schacht Health Center’s use of white framing and glass windows, and Ford’s high ceiling, atrium space, and stairways.
Description of design elements and the space itself:
Since the entrance space was narrow, I wanted to build upward and make the most out of the space provided. The building stands right up against the southeast corner of Scott Gym, allowing people in the gym to look out and into the Design Thinking building outside. A ramp at the entrance makes it accessible to everyone. It comprises of two levels– the ground level, and second level balcony/gallery/study space. A high ceiling/atrium and plenty of empty wall space will allow faculty and students to transform the building into an exhibition to show off their work. Seating and tables encourage students to occupy the space. Glass stairs and an elevator encased in a glass shaft unite both levels. A grand stairwell descends into the Design Thinking Space below ground.
Looking into the entrance space from Scott Gym:
Exterior view from Belmont Avenue:
Rough rendered Rhino model: