University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign
critic: Brennan BUCK.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Nicholas Emmanuel MARIAKIS: Climate change exists as one of the fundamental challenges facing the future of planet Earth.
While rising sea levels pose threats of catastrophic flooding, greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide pose threats to the planet’s supply of air. Additionally, acid rain, along with ozone depletion, are serious concerns, and this climate research and testing facility intends to help ameliorate the planet’s current path of environmental degradation.
Set in one of Mexico City’s major parks, the Bosque de Chapultepec, this project also aims to engender public use of both the landscape as well as the architecture itself. The tectonic formation of the project is predicated upon a methodological stacking logic of modular geometric units which grow to articulate the whole. Such expansion of the parts creates tumbled, multi-orientations—in both internal and external conditions—with the intention of cultivating spatial and tectonic variety (and complexity) in both plan as well as section. Channels, embedded in the modules, create linear arrays of fenestration. Nested within the internal volumes are five, glass, testing chambers, which proceed from a hierarchically arranged, central cluster of research and office spaces.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
NEM: Mansilla+Tuñón, Museo De Cantabria; Richard Neutra, Kaufman House; Frank Gehry, Winton Guest House; FreelandBuck, Disaster Prevention Center; and Basilica di San Vitale.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
NEM: Reading: Sylvia Lavin; Ali Rahim and Hina Jamelle; Aaron Betsky; Sean Lally; Robert Venturi; and 1st Peter. Listening to: Phantogram, Voices; Broods, Evergreen; Kye Kye, Fantasize; You + Me, Rose Ave; City & Colour, The Hurry and the Harm; Johnny Cash, American V; John Mark McMillan, Borderland; and Tycho, DCFC. “Watching”: Glue Society, God’s Eye View; Rudolph Schindler, Schindler-Chase House; Gehry Partners, Walt Disney Concert Hall; Neil Denari; and Sou Fujimoto.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
NEM: Michael Maltzan; Neil Denari; Gehry Partners; Hume Coover Studio; FreelandBuck; and Joel Sanders.