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November 29, 2011 / bjh3ev

Assignment 05: Applying Systems Principles in Design

My final studio project for the semester is the design of a POD hotel adjacent to the High Line Park in New York City (specifically sited at the corner of 14th St. and 10th Ave.). To give a brief description, the organization of my building follows the archetype of a combination apartment and retail space, with the upper floors devoted to the PODs, and the lower to public gathering spaces and a restaurant.

The projects in my studio were developed in tonal storyboards, which forced us to think early on about surface qualities, the effect of light and shadows, and the feel of our building’s priority over the logistics. This is an early iteration of that process, and it shows my goal for light within the building–separating spaces based on the light quality, so controlling it to be more present in the lower public floors than above, etc.

In the following diagram, I’ve explored the light exposure, shown by yellow arrows, in the summer and winter months–with summer sunlight directly accessing the the exterior courtyard space between the POD bands, and winter sunlight reaching into the lower floors and heating the large public space. The areas that need to be welcoming and receive the most natural light are highlighted in pale yellow, while the private PODs are shaded gray and need less direct light.

In the summer months, hot wind approaches from the southwest, and will primarily be blocked by the South wall of the building, although the heat that this adds will have to be diffused up through the courtyard exterior space. In the winter, the wind comes from the northwest and will filter up and through the building, providing ventilation.

At a small scale, these diagrams show how one POD in the hotel would receive light. The only direct exposure to the sun is through the spaces in between the wall bands, so there would always be a compelling juxtaposition of light and shadow within–that would need to be supplemented by artificial light above the sink and the desk. The bed receives no direct light in the evening (this diagram shows the sunlight coming from direct South). The thickened walls of the POD, with their selective openings achieve the desired goal of creating interesting light patterns–and since the POD rooms will be primarily occupied at night, their supplementary artificial light sources are expected, not undesirable.

The POD units will receive sunlight in all seasons, but due to the drastic differences in the angle of the sun in the summer and winter, the most direct sunlight will be experienced in the winter months–which combined with the thermal mass of the concrete walls will help in naturally increasing the temperature of the POD.

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