Stairway to the Stars


Throughout studio and especially during project IV, the usage of light was the essential concept. After analysing Roadsworth’s work, I have been focusing on how I could add light to my assigned site since it is an obscure part of the uni-center. What was interesting about my street artist is that he would add something (by using stencils) onto an existing place and give it his own meaning. He always tried to remain very minimal but very meaningful at the same time. After using light in my midterm project, I decided to investigate the architectural possibilities of light for project IV. I wanted to bring light inside the building but not just in any form. I wanted to keep the style used in project II by potentially using stencils for light. I was interested in how stars gave interesting lighting patterns, similar to how I was using light projection previously. Hence I wanted to incorporate the idea of the night sky to the site.

After numerous attempts to bring light everywhere in the building, I decided to focus uniquely on the stairwell, since it was much easier and it had a lot of space with very low lighting. I wanted to use sunlight as a way of projecting light inside the staircase during the day. After completing my site analysis, I knew that the roof was the sunniest part of the building since, unlike the rest of my site, it had no shades. One way of bringing sunlight inside the building was to create an opening on the roof, especially since the staircase goes all the way up. I created multiple circular opening of different diameters to the roof above the staircase. The goal was to include the idea of stars in the night sky which was done by using stencils for light. These series of openings are covered on top by a pool that is contained with clear glass. Sunlight would go through the water of the pool and the openings before reaching the staircase. This would give to the staircase unique star patterns of light from the openings with wavy patterns inside of them from the water of the pool. At night or during cloudy days, artificial light would be used as a replacement and would come through these holes and inside the stairwell.

Because the south side wall of the staircase is oriented in the opposite direction of the sun, reflective materials (metal) would be used on the top of the east and north walls. This way the light from the openings can be reflected to the south wall. However, the light from the openings doesn’t reach the lower parts of the stairwell. For this I decided to replace the concrete stairs at the very top with glass stairs and insert circular openings for the concrete stairs in the lower parts. Light could go through the glass towards the lower stairs. The reason why I don’t want to put glass stairs everywhere is to give an ascending look: the higher you go inside the stairwell the closer you are to reaching the stars. Stairs would lead all the way to the top giving access to the roof so people can go and sit by the pool.

Final Drawings:

PDF Form: scan0894 scan0895

Documentation and Process Work Images:

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Inhabitation Photos:

Studio Reflection:

After a long semester, I have learned and gained a lot of experience during studio. Starting with the analysis of Roadsworth’s work, which helped me understand how to analyze and appreciate art. At first it wasn’t very clear to me what was the point of analysing a street artist and  its relation with architecture. But as I got to analyze my artist’s work better, I really started to understand and appreciate his work a lot. I really felt that I could relate with Roadsworth’s techniques and themes used. This really helped and inspired me for project II. At first I was very doubtful on how my apparatus could possibly work, but I was determined and spent countless of hours finding the right lens, distance, and materials that would make it work. In the end it paid off and I was really thrill with the results. Project III and IV were the most challenging of all. Incorporating my artists work into an architectural theme has really changed my way of seeing and approaching architecture. It made me appreciate all the different aspects and themes that need to be considered when designing an intervention in architecture. It was frustrating at times, it took a lot of time finding the right ideas and themes, but overall I was very satisfied with my results. Thankfully the prof was very helpful and gave me great advice throughout the semester. Studio made me understand architecture from another perspective. This helped me in understanding and expressing my work much clearly.


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