advisor: Vivian MITSOGIANNI
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Patrick MACASAET (SUPERSCALE): This project considers and explores how contaminations of “other” typologies can assist in re-inventing programmatic organisation and spatial arrangements.
The project investigates how particular strategies of making, influenced by type, can generate new propositions for learning environments and the library. As a testing ground, a generated “what-if” scenario proposes RMIT’s first civic-academic library and merges the three existing city libraries. This project emphasizes the informal side of academic life, not as residual but as a central feature of universities. Current discussions about learning environments describe the main task of the universities’ existence is to bring people together and allow for cross-fertilization of minds; a push for learning through collaboration, conversation and communication. Thus, the project embraces the collaborative and the informal as the heroic spaces for learning—viewing learning as a social experience and envisioning a speculative library as a highly charged collaborative and informal learning environment, intensifying its communal and social dimension.
The project has focused and carried out a series of investigations, both generative and manual processes, in analyzing and looking at the spatial and programmatic arrangements of the library as a learning environment.
Focusing in more bustling and highly charged social types, the project focused in the stock exchange and specifically the open outcry trading floor. The tests have concentrated in conceptualizing the trading floor as the primary social and collaborative space. Its spatial arrangement highlights a voluminous and stadium-like quality capable of creating a concentrated and intense gathering area. Instead of visualising the library as an open place and flexible space, the experiments have involved the exaggeration of the stock exchange’s trading floor as an organizational and formal strategy with the intent of creating an internal topography for learning with continuous visual links, merging circulation with the learning and hybrid spaces the library will provide.
Trading floors are generally located within one level of a typical office block; hence, the project has focused in the generic atrium office type as a container. The process re-imagines the central atrium office: not as a massive single void but rather as more of a multiplied and shredded network of academic and civic spaces affecting the re-distribution and adjacencies of program.
The final outcome and experiment was not the product of a singular experiment. Experiments were choreographed and re-choreographed with minor or major variations in order to open new possibilities for formal, organizational and spatial strategies for a highly collaborative learning environment.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
PM: Vivian Mitsogianni, Serie Architects, and Aldo Rossi.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
PM: Reading: Typological Urbanism: Projective Cities; Christopher C. M. Lee and Sam Jacoby, eds., Typological Formations: Renewable Building Types and the City; Christopher C. M. Lee, Sam Jacoby, and Laurence Liauw, Working in Series; Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City; and Vivian Mitsogianni’s PHD “White Noise PANORAMA: Process-Based Architectural Design.” Watching: C. M. Lee at the AA on “Working in Series Towards an Operative Theory of Type”; Ben van Berkel’s lecture at Rice University.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
PM: Serie Architects, IwamotoScott, and Dus Architects.
Additional credits or links:
Thank you to the following for their feedback during mid-semester and final presentations: Vivian Mitsogianni, Peter Corrigan, Sussan Massey, Brendan Jones, Martin Musiatowicz, Paul Dash, and Mark Raggatt.
Awards and accolades for “You’re My Type” include: winner of RMIT Architecture Graduate prize, Anne Butler Memorial Prize 2011; peer-selected graduate prize, Leon Van Schaik Award 2011; short-listed for the AIA Combined University Graduate Prize 2011.