critic: Hernan DIAZ ALONSO with Ivan BERNAL.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Austin SAMSON: This project aims to explore the possibilities of a mid-rise tower with a disrupted center rather than the normal, differentiated top or bottom.
The disruption is created through the bending and twisting of wood planks in order to produce different conditions based on the amount of twisting or bending applied.
The disruption of material into a twisted or looped condition is an attempt to rethink the role of the envelope as a barrier between outside and inside. By creating a twisted or looped condition, where the surface is constantly weaving in and out of itself, the distinction between inside and outside becomes blurred, producing a series of intertwining public and private spaces. Four of these twisted-tower conditions were created and then grouped around a center core.
The program is a standard office tower, wherein normal towers—the bulk of public area—are located in the top and bottom of the tower. Here, the envelope splits and twists at the middle, thus opening the envelope to the outside resulting in the moving of most of the public program to the center of the tower. Program differentiates between the center core and the twisted part of the tower. Down the center, standard floor types occur. In the twisted conditions, two-story cubes along with outdoor floor plates are nestled within the envelope, creating a new coherency between the twisting envelope and the normalized cube condition.
The use of two envelopes explores the technique of de-lamination as a way to create space between two surfaces that are pulled apart.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
AS: Camper Shop, Enric Miralles – Benedetta Tagliabue; Aldo Van Eyck Pavilion; Joseph Walsh Studio, Ireland.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
AS: Reading: Alejandro Zaera-Polo, “The Politics of the Envelope.” Listening: Foo Fighters; Pearl Jam; and Audioslave.
Watching: House and Dexter.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
AS: Aldo Van Eyck, single-surface architecture by Diller Scofidio + Renfro or Foreign Office Architects, and Xefirotarch.
Additional credits and links:
SCI-Arc Robot House Tech’s Curime Batliner and Jake Newsum.