Author : Forrest Walker Whitmore

University : Woodbury School of Architecture

Status : BArch, 2015

Advisor : Marcel Sanchez-Prieto

Title : Compression Boundary

While contemporary practice focuses on the arbitrary manipulation of exterior surfaces to create ‘exuberant’ buildings, the compression boundary utilizes density, hatching and the axonometric representation to alter volumetric architecture within simple forms. Computational design technologies negate the intrinsic potential of traditional architectural drawing techniques. Although these techniques have the connotation of merely being surface-based, the overlay and density of the hatching determines the aura, depth, light, resolution and structure of space.

The compression boundary was developed while researching the effects that expansionism had on cities and their colonias: resilient communities of minorities which thrive in silence, subsumed into the city at large. The boundary defined the colonia’s scope and directionality, fragmentation and compression of space.

In architectural terms, the boundary was treated as a simple form, bound by its extents. Subtle moves all occurred within this boundary. The scope and directionality of space was divided into two horizontal axes and one vertical axis. The fragmentation of space was based upon the amount of structural retention and volumetric density. The axonometric representation was essential to exploring these concepts further at varying angles. Efficiency was key to the development of this thesis. In order to maintain a steady workflow, I created both digital jigs (Grasshopper + Revit + Rhino) and analog jigs. Digital tools were all used as a method of creating a line, just as a pen is used to do the same on paper.

Interview

S//A : What’s the most important aspect of this project that we should be aware of?
Forrest Walker Whitmore_ The most important aspect of this project is the absence of color and texture, as well as, how something as simple as hatching can define aura, depth, light, resolution and structure. Color and texture are often used irresponsibly; conveying a false sense of comprehension and accomplishment.

S//A : What other fields outside of architecture interest you?
FWW_ Electrical engineering, physics and computer science.

S//A : Most important thing you learned in architecture school?
FWW_ 1) Know and acknowledge your capabilities. 2) Know and acknowledge your current limitations. 3) Surpass them progressively. 4) As your capabilities expand, new limitations arise. 5) Know and acknowledge.

S//A : Describe your dream project
FWW_ My dream project consists of a passionate design team, an interesting problem and an outstanding solution.