Center for the Arts, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Site:Located on a rolling landscape within the White Oak tree canopy of Martha\’s Vineyard\’s Menemsha Hills, the site offers a sense of spatial complexity and mystery. The space of the site is layered and spatially collapsed. Complex figure/ground and solid/void relationships create a labyrinthine spatiality of \”hide and reveal\” to which the designer working on the site can respond.Studio Intentions:In an effort to bring the larger ideas of the project into all realms and scales of design thinking, students will develop a site strategy and a building that is conceptualized to the level of structural design, construction detail, materiality, landscape design and furniture design. The intention is to create a body of design that \”prioritizes the subjective\” by exploring the tectonics and craft of building in a way that supports the direct human experience of the space.Issues of site and its relationship to architecture will be at the center of the studio. There will be an attempt to heighten the awareness of the site. The edge condition between the inside and outside will be explored, as will the overall siting strategy. The studio will also explore ways in which a design can exploit, register and reveal natural processes and phenomena in order to expand the sculptural and spatial into the temporal.Architectural issues related to the presence of light in the project will be at the core of the studio research. Reflectivity, luminosity, direct light versus indirect light, light from above versus light through vertical surfaces are all themes to be explored in the studio. Materiality and its relationship to a conscious manipulation of light qualities will also be explored. Program: The building program includes: painting, sculpture, dance, music and writing workshop spaces, a visitor\’s center/exhibition space, administration space, and housing for 24 visiting artists and 5 master artists. The total program area = 30,000 SF. The program size is kept small so that the student can achieve a level of thinking in the studio which includes the construction detail and its relationship to the whole. Total land available for construction is 10 acres. This studio will welcome landscape design and thinking into the realm of an architectural studio. Process:Building and site design and development throughout the semester, with the following exercises interspersed:-Precedent study: to open the studio to an increased level of discussion and shared knowledge-Site analysis: to provide collective and individual understanding of the place, from which concepts and designs emerge-Wall section development: to explore the materiality of the project and the relationship of the inside to outside-Spatial and perspectival studies: to place direct human experience at the center of the project\’s site and building strategy-Furniture design: to transform the larger ideas of the site strategy and building strategy to a scale that is in direct relationship to the human body-Structural design: to explore the systems that are supporting the building as integral to the larger design ideas of the project.Field Trip:A field trip to Martha\’s Vineyard with an overnight on Friday Sept 29th will be a part of the studio. Cost = $60/person for roundtrip bus/ferry fare to Martha\’s Vineyard.