Gridlock

It was decided that the project would be called “Gridlock.” It follows the entire east side of the building and provides an attractive and functional solution to the boring entryway. The lock provides access directly to the second floor by way of a ramp and bridge as well as incorporating various trash receptacles, seating areas, bike racks, planters, and display areas. It brings interest to an otherwise visually lacking area. Side View AfterFront View AfterOverhead Layout of GridlockGridlock

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Our Plan For the Space

On Friday afternoon, the project was announced. We then met up with our team to determine how we wanted to approach this task.

As we met to discuss the plan to revitalize the eastern entrance to the building, we first decided the main issues that needed to be addressed. These include the unusable space by the stairs that is covered in ivy, the large alcove with no purpose, and the fact that you have to go down a set of stairs to get inside the building where you can go upstairs. It was also decided that our group wanted to give the space areas to showcase art and give social areas for students to gather as well as designing attractive and functional objects such as trash and recycling receptacles, bike racks, benches, and bulletin boards to beautify the space while making it more functional.

Our team concluded that we wanted to work in a grid pattern with various ‘blocks’ around to meet the needs of the space. The blocks will be 2.5′ squares of various heights depending on their function, strung together to make one continuous strip throughout the space outside the building. The strip isn’t one straight line but a series of segments strung together to make a wall reminiscent of the old computer game snake. While from the top it looks like an old game, from the side you can see the varying heights of the wall as they shift to meet the needs of the space. As the wall nears the entrance, it is transformed into an awning over the doorway with varying depth. On the southern side of the entrance, there is a ramp leading up to a bridge over the lower doorway and creating a new entrance on the second floor to address the issue of going downstairs just to go inside and come back upstairs.

The wall is designed of wooden slats made of dark oak that will be durable and and versatile as well as contrast with the light color of the building.

How it Looked Before the Project

This is a view of the building from the east before the project.

Here is a blueprint for the area that is being redesigned.

This is a cross-section side view of the entrance to the building.

Redesigning the Entry

This project is a part of the MAX_minimum competition.  The objective of this project is to redesign the east entrance of the Art & Architecture Building.  Its purpose is to maximize the use of space in that area in order to activate it in a useful way.  Our team planned to activate the unused spaces in a way that would be useful for many students both now and in the future.  Other objectives include showcasing talents and artistic works as well as providing access to the second floor of the building while giving more social spaces in which students can gather.  The overall goal is to bring the attention of students passing by to the building and surrounding area and make it an area that will be useful for everyone.