Design Inspirations & Big Feature Ideas: Alessandro Kerr

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Alessandro Kerr
Linked Student
Journal Entry For
Module 1 - Design Inspirations & Big Feature Ideas
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Jan 14, 2022 8:01 PM
Last Edited
Jan 24, 2022 1:58 AM

Design Project Check-In: Design Inspirations & Big Feature Ideas

When exploring the idea of a Sustainable Built Environment Learning and Exhibition Center, the building design should emulate the concepts it teaches. To me, this includes aspects such as optimizing site features, water conservation, sustainable materials, incorporating net-zero initiatives, and passive day-lighting (skylights, building orientation, window design, etc). While all of these elements may not be included in my final building design, creating goals at the beginning of the design process sets targets to strive for.

With respect to optimizing site features, I think this can span across several realms. Firstly, the building should have a form that is complementary to its surroundings. Constructing a building into the side of a hill can have natural cooling benefits through the thermal capacity of the soil. Second, the building should impact the natural environment as little as possible, especially in a building that showcases sustainability efforts. Site footprint and disruption are key aspects to consider, alongside mitigating natural erosion of the slope. Lastly, I think the building should be oriented parallel to the slope it sits on to allow for the largest viewing area from the exhibition space. My inspiration for these ideas comes from buildings like the RD House:

RD House, Dominican Republic


In terms of the building form, I envision a modern structure that is made out of wood framing with a concrete foundation. Using a natural, renewable material makes sense for the purpose of this building, and also provides an atmosphere that feels more in tune with nature. Inspiration for this idea came from the Aspen Art Museum:

Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado


The Aspen Art Museum is an innovative building for many reasons. It includes a wood veneer facade, a wooden structure, and roof trusses, and water recycling. The entire building allows for natural light, and includes several skylights in the roof. I plan for my building to use similar structural elements, although I am planning to have a more transparent facade to allow for unobstructed views.

Lastly, I plan to either incorporate a green roof or solar panels, depending on the chosen form of the building. I think this is a functional addition for the building, and is in line with the sustainability theme. I gained inspiration for this through the new addition of the Canadian Canoe Museum that is being built in Ontario. This museum not only emulates the idea of a usable green roof that I want to incorporate, but also includes wooden structural framing. In addition, I like the large atrium space with a large curtain wall of windows in this museum:

Canadian Canoe Museum, Peterborough, Canada


Moving forward, I plan to continue thinking about elements I want to incorporate in my final project for the Sustainable Built Environment Learning and Exhibition Center. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback!