Lara Zoë Steiner
Tube Bank PennDesign Studio Spring 2016 Critic: Nate Hume In Collaboration with Judith Vasquez
On one side Tube Bank is a regular bank branch where every day transactions occur, while on the other it is a public park. Similarly to how the program of Tube Bank can be seen on two levels, so too can the architecture and design elements. The two programs interfere with each other and create conflicting moments where the public must interact with the private operations of the bank. The conflicting two programs are expressed in the architecture through a series of glitches and slippages. Using shape and form as the first design parameters of the overall architecture mass, the project flickers between hard and soft edges. Each edge is treated as either a soft corner that bends back into itself to hide the program, or a hard edge that is cut off to reveal the program. From the exterior, the building appears as homogeneous mass. However, as you enter the various parts become visually differentiated and express the glitches within. The mass is created through a series of tubes which twist, turn, and fold according to a set of spatial rules. The interference between the interior and the exterior is marked by the flattering of the tubes as they collide with an imaginary container. The building separates itself into three primary masses. Each mass is differentiated by program and then reconnected by the public areas. The primary shape of the project is circular, based on the shape of a vault door. The circular shape is created from a bend in the tube. As the tubes distort themselves, they create a series of glitches within the continuity of the space. The new resultant spaces are odd in size and shape. As normalization of the spaces occur in order to reenter the program of bank into the project, these spaces become even more anomalous.
Site plan
Tube Bank gets its form from the manipulation of multiple tubes, intersecting and twisting. The nature of the tubes is such that any bed of fold resulting in the tube meeting itself, deforms the tube to impact its interior and exterior form. In order to created an architectural language from the tubes, a set of rules where created outlining how the tube behaves.
Tube Diagrams
Catalogue of Rules
a tube must extend a minimum of 1.5 times its radius before it starts turning after the initial turn, there is no minimum length the tube must extend before turning again If a tube presses up again itself, the resulting cross section will change accordingly a tube may extend a maximum of 2/3 vertically of the horizontal extrusion a tube may double up only once before having to turn if a third horizontal extrusion is desired, the tube must move backwards of forwards in the z-direction
Ground floor plan
3rd level plan
The interior of the building is guided by the tube manipulations. As the tubes twist and fold, irregular and unique spaces are created. While each space is separate from the next, it also connects to the surrounding spaces by the pushing of one surface on another. Each space retains the integrity of the tube cross section- a circle, but it also expresses the tube manipulate through bulges and dips in the space. The interior spaces all glitch between the perfect circular geometry of the tube and the distortion of the tube. The closed spaces become the private offices and rooms in the bank, while the open spaces become the public areas. At times these spaces become large areas, at others they become smaller mezzanines where people can observe what's going on in other spaces. As the tubes go through a second pass of transformation to normalize the space for use, awkward spaces are left. These spaces are them utilized as mechanical and electrical spaces.
Powder -print model exploring the interior connection of the tubes
Section A
Section B
While the overall exterior of the project is differentiated through its shape and form, it appears homogeneous through the application of color to the facade. The facade is created from a series of metal colored tiles and ceramic frits on the windows. The tiles and frits work together to create bands of colors over the facade connecting the tubes vertically. From a flat elevation, the bands resemble vertical stripes on a building. The bands flatten the tubes, thus subverting their curvilinearity and causes the facade to be perceived flat and rectangular. However, as you move around the building the bands distort and separate to create masses of colors instead of bands. The masses of color distinguish parts of the building from others. This makes the tubes’ three-dimensionality stand out and bulge in and out from the flat base line that the bands had initially created.
Close up of model frits
Elevation A- straight up view showing the bands of colors Elevation B- tuned view showing the bands breaking up-part
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