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Studio Shift, Santa Monica, United States

Friday 25 Mar 2011

The golden triangle

Studio Shift by Studio Shift in Santa Monica, United States
Studio Shift by Studio Shift in Santa Monica, United States Studio Shift by Studio Shift in Santa Monica, United States Studio Shift by Studio Shift in Santa Monica, United States Studio Shift by Studio Shift in Santa Monica, United States Studio Shift by Studio Shift in Santa Monica, United States
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29/03/11 BARIE FEZ-BARRINGTEN, North Fort Myers
A corridor enclosed by walls implies adjacent rooms, a beginning and end to the corridor - and in the case of a multi story building - connecting stairs and elevators serve as ambulatories (transfers and connections). The space limited by horizontal and vertical planes in the context of a school carries over into adjacent spaces. Bound and limited spaces characterized by a matrix of connected spaces of varying or equal volumes collectively form a beehive-like metaphor or interrelated and connected “cells”. Multiple horizontal planes forming building floors when stacked become a “high-rise” whereas adjacent vertical planes separated by volumes can become a shopping center. The program for buildings with multiple areas such as hotels, schools, shopping centers, offices, apartments and prisons, is basically conditioned by a core of vertical and horizontal transportation, utility links and service areas supporting apartments, guest rooms, class rooms, shops, cells etc. Owner -occupied, specialty buildings differ uniquely in their uses, functions, occupants, adjacencies, pedestrian and vehicular access and each begets a singular and paired transfer as regards the condition of structure, utility and support systems. The ideals of such a structure will influence the scale of the operation and the segregation of differing types and classes of operations from administration, executive, staff, patients, guests, workers, etc.
As’ live’ (people and furniture) and ‘dead’ (structure and fixed building materials) loads are transferred from the top of a structure to be resisted by the ground and its foundation, so are all the other components of design. That is, they invisibly, subtly and inherently exude their meanings and implications.
They do so by their own physical properties and designers’ perceptions of those properties. In fact, it is in the reckoning of those elements and properties that control of the metaphor manifests. While they do inform one another’s conditions and operations, ideals and goals transfer (the synonym for metaphor) from one to another while the ideal is the repository for the commonality between the other three (housing the ideals of “efficiency”, “grandeur”, “plain vanilla”, “values” etc.). The ideal is the characteristic of bravery in the Richard the Lionheart metaphor and is the value people bring to the creation of the structure which determines its scale, selection of materials, structural, mechanical and electrical systems, etc. It is easy to see how operations would transfer to structure influencing its volume shape and form permuted by an ideal toward some overall goal; goal being typified by the ultimate function of the structure (residence, hospital, office, factory, school, etc.).
Goals transfer to operations identifying the functions, circulation, adjacencies and connections between one and another discrete function. Equally metaphoric is determining the way function transfers from one to another determining their relative proximity, connection and location to each other. The sub-goals transfer to the operations and the ideals their volume and magnitude. The operations condition the selection of materials for the horizontal and vertical planes. Even each material itself has a transfer value (R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry, where “R’ is the resistance to heat flow). Under uniform conditions it is the ratio of the temperature difference across an insulator and the heat flux (heat flow per unit area) as defined by ASHRAE [American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers]. Knowing the R-value of any given material aids in their selection based on the goal of the operation and ideals: to retain heat, cold and moisture; to reflect sunlight and radiate heat; building codes, industry standards, local codes and ordinances, condition, site selection and the structure’s relationship to its context. These also affect the location and choice of windows, doors, openings and protection from extreme weather and other natural conditions such as hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. Metaphors of corridors, rooms, vertical and horizontal access and traffic compose the metaphor determining its form, structural system and selection of materials. (Oakridge)
Just as the hanging of furs and skins on cut branches transferred to the log cabin, so the European models of the country house, the finca, the hacienda and the vernacular transferred to the frontier shack, workshop, cabin or colonial mansion. Similarly, the same process applies in the case of the factory and the office. This development saw the visual extrapolation from a one-storey structure to a multi-storey version complete with elevators, plumbing and air-conditioning shafts and stacks. The replication of floors is not a metaphor but it is analogous of the lift-inspired move to develop higher and higher structures. The lift became the medium for the skyscraper because without it few buildings if any would have risen much above 100’ and our cities wouldn’t have developed in the way that they have. This development might be considered as a classic case of the tail (the utilities) wagging the dog (the building). These structures – may differ in volume, space and scale but they reflect a broad array of goals, which transfer from one to the other. Conditioned by zoning, city ordinances and statutes, they form a complex matrix of metaphors able to make their commonalities and differences in the context of areas, sub-area, nodes (known as cities), neighborhoods and blocks.
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Award Entry

Three key projects exemplify Studio Shift's progressive design 

Studio Shift approach each project with the belief that architecture has the ability to enhance individual and collective experience and quality of life. They have committed their practice to finding progressive methods and strategies for creating expressive and inventive spaces that effectively serve their clients' needs.

As is evident in their work samples, the solution to each design problem originates with the client's programme and the specificities of site. They begin without preconceived notions of form and rather allow it to evolve through a process of design where sustainability is considered inherent in good architecture.

In Studio Shift's honourable mention-winning project for the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, the client desired a building that provided a truly public experience while simultaneously satisfying the needs of a world-class research facility. After thorough analysis of environmental conditions and building requirements, Studio Shift developed the form of the building to accommodate a variety of public experiences while taking advantage of opportunities to develop energy production and conservation systems alongside innovative programmatic arrangements.

In meeting the strict government construction budget requirements, the project illustrates the potential for innovative architecture that redefines the current model of a research facility. The project won an honourable mention award in the 2nd stage of a Taiwan Government sponsored design competition and is not planned for construction.

Two additional projects illustrate the architects' strategy for creating architecture and public space that seeks to create a memorable urban and architectural experience through form, space and material invention. Their tower for the Miyi Cultural Center is one component in their masterplan for the region, where the building is an active participant in the cleansing of the polluted Anning River. Their South Lake Retail Center project finds inspiration in the local materials and massing of its mountainous site. Both projects have been put on hold indefinitely.

Studio Shift

More projects by this architect

South Lake Retail Center

Anning River Aquatic Recreation Center

Reinventing Cities

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