Architects’ Week is a longstanding tradition of the Tulane School of Architecture as a weeklong, design and build, group project. It is a unique occasion for students to work not only with a proven designer, but also with fellow students. The exact form that it takes varies from year to year. In 2010, A-Week groups created information kiosks for New Orleans. The year before was an exploration in rethinking the bench. This year the project brief was a bit different. The project brief, images and descriptions of each student project and the winning design after the break.
Instead of using the program to prescribe an end result, we gave the students a starting point. The groups were asked to create an installation based on sensory interaction. We also asked that the designs considered green options, and that they could be contained within a footprint of 64 square feet and a volume of 1,000 cubic feet. The groups were then allotted $350 each and sent to work.
This year 8 groups competed. Together they represented over 100 students. While professors are asked to refrain from giving input, Jing Liu and her associates, all representing the firm Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu, was kind enough to visit and act as a design consultant. With an almost unprecedented level of commitment and some fantastic help, all of the teams crossed the finish line in time for their final review.
Group 1: Led by Nels Erickson and Arthur Ostrowski, with the support of Alex Westfall, Allison Powell, Allison Schiller, Austin Frankel, Jack Waterman, Laura Dilorio, Marybeth Luster, Mike Murray, Nick Gervasi and Sean Fisher.
Reaction Thresholds attempts to define ambiguous spatial boundaries by unconventional sensory input. In this case, the tree canopy is highlighted by connecting the overhead structure of the branches to a built path on the ground. The path is suspended in segments using a strong fishing wire, which helps to dissolve any visual indication at the vertical plane. This diffused connection leads to a soft rustling of the branches whenever someone transverses the bridge.
Group 2: Led by Sophie Dardant and Sam Levin, with the support of Mike Welsh, Paul Jarboe, Ellen Hailey, Jade Jiambutr, Kevin Michniok, Mark Stauning, Kayleigh Bruentrup, Heather Tischler, Ana Teran, Libby Creim, Chris Wells, and Katherine Allen.
The American consumer culture left in its wake overflowing landfills that ushered in concerns over sustainability. The Home Wrecker emphasizes these issues by utilizing once-desirable furniture. Despite the unconventional context, the viewer still recognizes the generic American living room. The installation then provokes the viewer to create their own deconstructed room by sliding each pallet, resembling the children’s tile game. During the time the project was up, students and community members were found lounging, studying, eating and enjoying the transformative properties of the space.
Group 3: Led by Ian O’Cain and Brian Sulley, with the support of Guan Wang, Tyler Guidroz, Marcus Allen, Katherine Delacy, Audry Flynn, Michael Kirschner, CJ Gassam, Roland Solinski, Kristen Korndoerfer, Wanhao Cui, Caroline Meyer, and Mira Asher.
Against the corner of two sidewalks, further pathways emerge through the movement of college students cutting across space. This project intends to both direct and interrupt this flow with canvas forms. As more people happen through the area and activate it by leaving drawings and notes, the white sails morph to take on a different guise, one that is heavily influenced by the artistic whims of the Tulane population.
Group 4: WINNING DESIGN: Led by Yueqi Li and Eric Baumgartner, with the support of Amelia Steelman, William Bradock, Chris Baker, Frank Xiong, James Ball, Jennifer Wickham, Kevin Franklin, Lexi Tammer, Robbie Mosby, Spencer Knight and Will Nemitoff.
Utilizing more than 17,000 straws the team strung together a blurry architectural space that engages touch, sound, and sight. Twelve panels form two constantly moving curtain walls and create fluidity of space in between. The transparency and weightlessness of the installation allows itself to play with sun, wind, and light conditions. The ephemeral project does not take any static visual, acoustical, or sensual form. Instead, the dematerialization of straws, characterized by porosity and local interconnectivity, creates a form defined by intricate intervals, repetitions, and seriality.
Group 5: Led by Jason Levy and Alexandra Bojarski-Stauffer, with the support of Zachary Sarandos, Brad Rohman, Alia Soomro, Devin Reynolds, Liz Kovacevic, John Coyle, Madison Baker, Dennis Palmadessu, Tayson Ng, Akeem Martin, Zach Kauffmann and Lucces Velle.
The Tube Haus looked to explore experiences of sounds and visuals. The form, conceived as a 12 sided truncated cone, created an enclosed space embellished with recycled cardboard tubes held in place by more than 1,300 permeated holes. The interiors of the cylinders were painted three glossy colors, while the structure was painted a matte black to create a stark contrast against the bright pinholes, which framed views of the outside world. The tubes also acted as amplifiers projecting sound outward, which created a paradox between the implied privacy of form and the realized transparency of verbal communication. At night the visual experience reverses when solar lights are activated, causing the structure to perform like a colorful beacon on the quad.
Group 6: FINALIST: Led by Nick Cusimano and Rianna Bennett, with the support of Jack Garbutt, Adrianne Gaudet, Zarith Pineda, Alfia White, Chris Dunn, Kathryn Callander, Erick Blankenbarer, Anne Alise Haskell, John Nelson, Kevin Schmitt, Kyle Ryan, Christine Foley, and Adam Chernoff.
Being tasked with creating a sensory experience from recycled materials, the shipping pallet was adopted as a construction module. The intent was to create a dynamic form from a static module. The fluid shape creates pockets of occupiable space such as benches and shelves. The form is also traversable. Sod and flowers are planted within the pallets to establish the form as an extension of the landscape. The installation works to heighten all senses by altering the visitor’s equilibrium. Traversing the pallet divorces visitors from the ground plane and results in the experiences of joy and apprehension.
Group 7: FINALIST: Led by Andrew Graham and Xiaoyun Li, with the support of Sanaa Shaikh, Charles Weimer, Olivia Pontiff, Alison Rodberg, Ann Ascherman, David Campanella, Allie Shabouk, Chris Berends, and Megan Webb.
The intent was to create space out of recycled materials that engaged the senses of touch and sight through an intimate animation of the environment and of space. The group chose a location with a quiet bench overlooking the quad. The overhanging branch of the tree was used to structurally support the intervention. The surface was modeled in Rhino to help approximate dimensions and regions of structure. Each bottle was rinsed out and cleaned, the cap was painted, and the container filled with colored water corresponding to a gradient. The density of the bottle and the intensity of the colors formed a visual that started as a bright, contrasting red behind the bench and rose into a blue shade that melted into the sky and gestured towards the quad.
Group 8: Led by Cassandra Gibbs and Justin Siragusa, with the support of Justin Park, Cameron Ringness, Ayo Alao, Will Trakas, Lindsey Kiefer, Noah Conlay, Casey Bemis, Matt Skoda, Dave Namaky, Rebecca Bradley, Libby Creim, and Isabelle Miller.
This project placed emphasis on the lives of glass bottles and a recycling process. The main element, the Crash Tower, hosts a weight that can be hoisted up through a pulley system and then dropped below to a bottle. The smashed remains then filters through the hole into the storage base. Visually, the base seems to overflow onto the path, which is formed by shaping the broken pieces. Protected by a metal mesh, it is possible for a person to walk down it, feeling the parts crunch further beneath them. Afterward, the glass pieces were then given to the local glass studio as raw material.
Winning Project: Group 4 | Finalists: Group 6 + Group 7