critic: Elena MANFERDINI.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Alex BLUGERMAN & Smita LUKOSE: Our exploration in contextualism of this mixed-used project is through the plaza. It acts as the most important contributor of the building’s relation to the immediate urban environment.
The plaza creates a bridge through the site between the two major intersections. This connection is exaggerated by raising the buildings and lowering the pedestrian path. The office and hotel buildings span across the plaza, and by applying the same texture as the plaza on their undersides, they define the upper boundary of the public zone.
The windows are defined through planes projected from the major bordering streets onto the masses. This causes the windows to register as regular from the street-facing facades, but irregular on those facades facing the plaza. The transition from a square to streaked window coincides with the circulation from the bordering streets to within the site, visually drawing visitors into the plaza.
Each building is given its own surface texture, projection plane, and window type. These differences give each building its own iconicity, but the common articulation of faceted massing, scale, and building material allow them to register as a set. The program within each of these buildings is distributed according to window type: small private spaces behind square figural windows, and large/public spaces along strip windows.
Lines from the windows on the surface are projected inward, and intersected to create the primary divisions of interior space. The heart of this object becomes circulation, and is articulated as an echo of the plaza within each building.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
AB & SL: N/A.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
AB & SL: Reading: Stan Allen, “The Digital Complex” and Andrew Zago, “Real What?”
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
AB & SL: Snohetta, Zago Architecture, and Atelier Manferdini.