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  • Writer's pictureLingheng Tao

IAAI-P2 #1 Overview & Section Drawing

This blog writes about the Phase 2 of my second year Architecture Studio.

Our project finally asks us to raise a proposal for the Frick Park Environmental Center(I will use FEC as abbr. for convenience). There's a glass panel that requires immediate installment for bird protection.

Before we get into actual designs, we are asked to do some architectural case studies of this building - of course, not limited to bird-related aspects; in fact, we are asked to focus on more architectural elements, space, void, program, circulations, lighting condition etc.

In this project, I worked with another teammate, Inara Kardar. We are asked to prepare a section drawing and a sectional cut model.

  • Create 1 section drawing on 36”x10” sheet at 1/8" or 1/16" = 1’-0” Scale

  • Create 1 physical model at 1/2" or 3/8" =1’-0” Scale

Section Drawing

First Draft

For the section drawings, we iterated through different visual styles and proceed with more realism, literacy, and details.

We start with the following drawings. In these drawing drafts, we proposed to look at some energy strategies that FEC applies. In these drawings, though we wanted to include the solar panels beside the building, all of the activities happening in the middle spaces are omitted. The human scales in the building shows some activities and space usage, but not specific and highly abstracted.

It seems to me there were too much abstractism happening in our drawing, so we tried a different approach - since we wanted to embrace a more detail representation of information, why don't we just push realism to the extreme?

Figure 1. First Render Draft
Figure 2. First Render Draft: Energy Strategies

Second Draft

After a discussion with my teammate, we believed that we can show things like energy strategies with our physical model, so we should focus more on visualization with our drawing - this helped us to decide to crop our image. We decided to omit the solar panels from our view completely, and focus more on visual style. Initially we were trying to depict a more bleak, cold atmosphere of FEC.

Figure 3. Second Render Draft

What is good about this rendering is that, indeed, visually this drawing includes much more details compared than the last version, and they are much more straightforward - by looking at the realistic renderings of the interior it is very easy to tell the functions about each room. Also, we include more context information, like the rotunda, people in the park, activities, etc.

However, there are a large space for us to make improvement. For example, why this choice of weather and mood? Why does the park look so bleak? Why do we want to focus on winter view, is there a specific reason? Also, since we are cropping the solar panels, it is reasonable for us to push on the other side - literally, the other side of the image, we can show more context with this. For the interior spaces, it should be wise for us to pay another visit to FEC for some more investigations on what is happening there.

With all of these concerns, we pushed our draft to the third edition.

Third Draft

In the third version we are adding much more details about the context, and we are focusing on create this super-realistic style of rendering. Different from other groups who are focusing on materials and assemblies, we completely omit these details from our section poche. In this way, we can focus more on the void and space quality.

Figure 4. Third Render Draft

What has been good for this drawing is that, yes we did deliver a good sense of realism. Compared to our first pursuit of abstraction, this is a completely inversed approach, but it looks like we realize our goal to show the experience, and include straightforward information - activities people may do in this park and FEC, the background mountain also gives some geological sense, and the vegetations make distinction between human-managed rotunda on the left and nature-managed forest on the other side.

However, we can still do better - Trees are not same for the left and right, apparently trees are wilder on the right. Also, the poche needs adjustment, because we simply collapsed all the materials and assemblies here, which makes some "walls" look extremely thick. With the awareness of adding these details, we come to the final version.

Final Version
Figure 5. Final Edition
Figure 6. Interior Details

These conclude our process of the section drawing for Phase 2.

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