Authors : Jennifer Marckx and Juan Salazar

University : Cal-Poly Pomona

Status : BArch, 2013

Advisor : Sarah Lorenzen

Title : Live : Make

Initially in our research of the Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, we discovered that nearly 10% of the district’s surface area is made up of vacant lots, compared to 5% of the district’s public open space. We see this series of vacant spaces as an opportunity to create a walking open-air museum in Over-the-Rhine.

This walkable arts district would be the result of an innovative collaboration between new artists/architects and fabricators.A network of transformable gallery spaces around the Over-the-Rhine district will engage the public and create an experimental platform for artists and designers interested in using newly developing digital fabrication techniques that may not be available elsewhere. Our hope is that the Industrial Arts Center Building will be the starter project and catalyst for a larger urban transformation.

The need for open collaboration and social interaction dictated the building’s interior form. A stretched void carved in the center of the building will house the fabrication program. This void, in its final stages, takes the form of an inclining ribbon that snakes from the ground level to the top level of the building.

A stretched void carved in the center of the building will house the fabrication program. This void, in its final stages, takes the form of an inclining ribbon that snakes from the ground level to the top level of the building.

This ramp creates a physical connection among all of the spaces in the building and also offers viewing points from above and below, to allow observation of the artists and fabricators.

The ramp also encourages “makers” to observe and interact with one another as they walk up and down the shop floors. The result is a ramp that scissors upward, to allow for each fabrication studio’s spatial requirements, also for maximum interaction between the primary users (artist and fabricator).

The buildings gateway(s) or access points are emphasized in a formal gesture;  large depressions organically  transitioning from the the roof plane down to the ground level. A large atrium space serves as a physical cue and main entry for the public, which is visible from the main blvd because of its adjacent orientation.

The Two other depressions mark connections in the building’s interior and exterior program  indicate an additional public entry and exit that connects to retail space, light industrial studios and open outdoor fabrication space

The placement and spatial configuration of the housing portion of the mixed-use building initially began by placing the units near the outermost walls, allowing the proper amount of daylight to penetrate the units. This was accomplished by first assigning each unit the same square footage and spacing them based on an existing 20’ by 16’ grid. Subsequently, depending on the route of the fabrication ramp, each unit reacts in two different ways: either sliced back or expanded outward as the ramp snakes between the two housing bands. The result is a housing organization that is influenced and engaged by the needs of the fabrication process while also providing a range of unit sizes.

The provision of a perforated skin became appropriate to allow light into the fabrication and artist studios that lie within the center band of the building. Instead of relying on light passing through from the perimeter of the structure into the center, the open ramp allows daylight to pierce the space as it naturally illuminates the public space.

The composition of the roof panels were dependent on allowing a variable lighting-strategy that can grow toward the main atrium, while also extending outward to reach the additional public entry and exit. The result is hexagonal paneling system of order, that is meant to adapt to any surface on the roof. It utilizes extended-hexagonal shells in order to adjust translucency and lighting quality of the interior.