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November 29, 2011 / mandyhyj

Assignment 5


My site for my final project is 28th street 10th avenue, New York City. The purpose of the project is to build a mix-used office building for Freitag, which is a Swiss bag company. Programs include workshop, retail space, offices, meeting room, etc. I started this assignment by analyzing the natural condition of the site. By overlaying solar diagrams and prevailing wind diagram on top of the site plan, I realized that the major problem of the site is the the pre-existing building in the site blocks most of the southern light to my building.

Site plan

Sun path in the summer

Sun path in the winter

The prevailing wind in the winter is longitudinal to my building, and transverse in the summer. And again, the summer trans-pass wind is blocked by the high residential building right next to my building.

Prevailing wind in 12 months

Prevailing wind in the winter

Prevailing wind in the summer

Besides the natural system of the site, there is also a system consisting of human activities. In my site, there is a pre-existing building. The function of the old building is residential and commercial. The bottom floor of the existing building is now a small gourmet  store. By studying the surrounding blocks, I learned that there is very few places in the neighborhood that could provide the same service. So this exiting gourmet store is important to people’s life in the surround neighborhood, though itself is fairly small and the building weathered over the years. I’m going to keep this element of gourmet and grocery store in my new building due to its importance in the larger human activity system.

Building Sections

Besides the specific requirements of the client (visibility, vertical connectivity, etc.), my main task is to overcome the physical constrain of the site which is lack of southern light, and also to incorporate an old commercial and residential mixed-used building into a new building system.

Here are my longitudinal and transverse building sections.

Transverse Section

To tackle the problem of light, i used skylight to capture winter sunlight with small solar altitude, and I used translucent material on the roof  to capture steep summer daylight. The relative private part (office, meeting room, studio) of the building is heated by an indoor gulf stream system.

Longitudinal building section

As shown in the diagram, the private part occupies the old building space. A new layer of wall is inserted into the old exterior wall. The apertures on the old “skin” are kept the same.

Main strategies

The cafe is 5 feet below street level, and two sides of the cafe are make of glass wall. This is to allow greater amount of sunlight going into the cafe.

There is a chimney going through spaces which require better ventilation. These spaces are kitchen of the cafe, bathroom and pantry. The existing windows on the old “skin” line up with the natural prevailing wind direction, further facilitating the chimney effect.

Extrusion of the upper level provides shading for the outdoor space on the west side of the building. At the same time, the specific angle is just big enough to allow desired winter sunlight to come in.

As mentioned earlier, the office area in the old part is separated (both functionally and structurally) from the rest of the building. An interior gulf stream is set up by a hot heating plate on the meeting room level and  a cold cooing plate on the studio level. The floor could be heated by embedded heating tubes in the calling/floor. A detailed diagram is shown in a section later. The cooling plate could be a small pond or an artificially cooled plate.

Room Section

Section of the retail space

This is a detailed section of the retail/exhibition space on the west side. The client wants the building to be highly visible to the pedestrians. So most part of the building is made of transparent material. The use of transparent material allows natural lighting during the day(normal store hours). However the east-west orientation poses a problem of strong west sunlight in the afternoon. I made the roof extruding out to provide shading. Also the banners and advertisements could be hung on the side glass walls both to block undesired light coming from changing directions due to change of season, and to increase publicity of the brand.

The outdoor stair is designed to provide a place to view the Highline from above. I used concrete as the main material and layered wood on top. The concrete is to better retain heat since it’s a good thermal mass; the wood is to mediate the extreme temperature conditions so that human comfort is increased. During the winter the wood surface would not be as cold as a concrete surface and wood also would not be as hot as concrete under extreme heat.

Wall Section


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