2022 Peter Rice Prize: Hangsoo Jeong’s “Upon Concrete: Retrofitting Architecture with Malleability” and “The Next Chapter of Bricks: The Arcadian Model of The American Campus” and “The Other School: Tectonic Reconsiderations on High-Rise”

Visualization of brick interior space

The Next Chapter of Bricks: The Arcadian Model of The American Campus

by Hangsoo Jeong (MArch ’22) — Recipient of the Peter Rice Prize

 

Upon Concrete: Retrofitting Architecture with Malleability

Throughout history, architecture has evolved and advanced in parallel with the technical development of reinforcements. With the innovations of processing and shaping smelted metals and the development of reinforced concrete structural systems, the concrete structure—which could only provide short-span spacing—was reinforced with iron and other metals to achieve a more expansive and porous space. As a result, the strengthened structural system could enable architecture to not only accommodate various scales of programs and occupancies, but also to retain the impartiality between humans, space, and structure.

Concrete structures are gradually becoming underused because of the unadaptability and the oppressive qualities of the material, despite its superior strength and durability. The concrete parking structure in Chicago’s dense urban area provides an opportunity for experimenting with the existing reinforcement techniques for further uses of various programs and occupancies. Based on the computational programming, different reinforcing techniques, such as bracing, buttressing, column jacketing, and cathodic protection, are integrated into a system that can infuse the structure with the capacity to accommodate heterogeneous habitable spaces, holistically upgrading the architectural design.

Retrofitting existing concrete structures with zinc-plated steel reinforcements significantly elevates the structural elements and endows built environments with more flexibility and adaptability.

 

The Next Chapter of Bricks: The Arcadian Model of The American Campus

This project investigates the typological variations of the campus building that employs brick as its primary tectonic and material expression through the design of the Multicultural Center on the Rice University campus. By reconsidering archetypal brick techniques and structures together with contemporary materials, rather than perpetuating the single use of the brick as a unifying stylistic armature for a campus’ identity, the Arcadian model of the American campus provides tectonic possibilities fitting into an evolving campus master plan while fostering collaboration and community.

The similarity often finds expression in an organized body of bricks, not just as uniform materiality, but also the archetypal form of the arch. From plain aperture to colonnade space, the classic arch has been used across many different spatial relationships and communities, dealing with different levels of porosity. Meanwhile, the catenary structure—the same U shape, but upside-down—has also contributed to the porosity of architecture with different materials dealing with tensile force, which has long been regarded as brick’s structural vulnerability.

The U-shape and design motifs address both compression and tension stresses to provide different levels of spatial porosity, and eventually draw connections between different communities conforming to the Arcadian model of the American campus.

 

The Other School: Tectonic Reconsiderations on High-Rise

As a global archipelago of the academic campus, the project proposes a model of a satellite education center for remote learning in a dense urban environment. Based on an investigation into the rules and constraints of the building’s infrastructure typology—services, vertical circulation, structure—the physical and tectonic considerations on high-rise confront the challenges of contemporary and diversified ways of studying/working during and after the pandemic.

Contrary to the typical mid- or high-rise building with a standard tower structure system—central core with curtain wall enclosure—the two rectangular volumes with a shear wall sandwich all the service infrastructures and reposition core spaces in the middle. The two side towers then provide screened interior spaces for independent programs such as lecture halls and living rooms from bottom to top, creating distinct worlds other than the open shared spaces in the middle. By having exposed structure and panel cladding at a different level, the middle rooms either connect or detach to the two side volumes for large public/private uses.