Light/Materiality/Threshold: A Community Boathouse for Martha’s Vineyard

Site:Located on the west shore of Vineyard Haven Harbor, the community boathouse site negotiates the edge condition between land and water, including a rocky beach and a dock area. The site gradually slopes to the harbor and offers a layered and horizontally attenuated awareness of the landscape. The curve of the Vineyard in the middle ground and the sliver of Cape Cod in the distance, combined with the immediate presence of the small beach collapse together to create a complex layering. Land, water, land, water, land and sky weave together. The island is a glacial deposit which is slowly eroding back into the sea on its south side. The boathouse\’s site location is on the northern rocky edge of the Vineyard.Studio Intentions: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 reflected off the water below are all themes to be explored in the studio. Materiality and its relationship to a conscious manipulation of light qualities will also be explored. In addition, 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 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 also 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.Program:The building program will include a boat community room which houses exhibitions and community events, a restaurant, summer camp space, office space, lockers and changing areas, restrooms, boat storage, gear storage, boat launch area, boat wash area and dock. Exterior spaces for land instruction, beach activities and tetherball will also be considered. Total program area = 20,000 sq. feet. Students\’ input on program content for their individual projects will be welcome during the first three weeks of the studio.Process:Building 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 Monday, September 20th will be a part of the studio. Cost = $60/person for bus fare to the Vineyard.