- Katie Resnick
- Key / Essential / Unique Design Features that you explored in your project.
My design goals for this project were:
- 60% of the building receives natural light
- A design that enhances its surroundings: natural color palette, mimics the environment
- Use recycled and naturally sourced building materials that are familiar to the environment- lots of wood and natural stone, wooden framing
- Primarily powered by renewable energy that is generated on-site and in a way that is visible to guests
- Re-use grey water and collect rainwater in a way that is visible to guests
Overall, I wanted a building that practiced what it preached, so that the entire site could serve as an exhibit on sustainability, beyond whatever was being featured in the exhibit spaces. This is reflected in my design features. Particularly, in the abundance of windows which allow the guests to always feel connected to the outside and which take advantage of the 360 degree views of the ocean and forrest. Additionally, the rooftop patio allows guest to see solar panels up close and understand how they work practically. I think visually the mix of modern and organic design features (natural wood, greenery, and organic shapes on the patio mixed with crisp edges, glass, and geometric patterns) hi-light the building goals of being a pillar of sustainability and integrating smoothly into the environment.
- Your Big Successes -- what worked very well and what features you're most proud to share as examples to inspire others.
I am really happy with the visual impact of my design. In particular, I think the shading facade on the office wing of the building added a lot to the design. I also really enjoy the organic shape of the patio, and how it is mimicked by the awning. Given that these features face the ocean, I think they do a great job of tying the building in to its surroundings.
I never thought the atrium could be enhanced so much by structural features, But I think the wooden beams and columns give warmth to the space and successfully tie the glass structure in with the rest of the building.
I also really enjoy the rooftop patio because it is not only a pretty outdoor space but it allows guests to see first hand the possibilities of sustainable design in the green roof and in the solar panels which will be affixed to the adjacent roof.
- Your Big Challenges -- what aspects of the project created the biggest challenges and what would you do differently (in hindsight) to avoid or overcome these challenges.
The biggest challenges came from the structural and HVAC systems. While I knew I wanted to use a wood framing system from the beginning, I struggled a lot with executing the structural framing on Revit, and I believe if I could go back and completely re-do the framing now I could create a much cleaner system. That being said, I do still hail the structural framing around the atrium as a success, as it not only supports the building, but also enhances the aesthetics.
For the HVAC system, I wish I had more time to explore more sustainable systems. While I was ultimately able to execute a traditional system using electric air handlers, I wonder what the model would have looked like/how it may have performed had I used a more renewable system.
- Lessons Learned -- what sage words of advice would you share with other students who are embarking on a similar project.
I would encourage future students to start the modules early, and give themselves ample time to ruminate on their goals and strategies for each module, always thinking back to their original project’s identity. I would also encourage them to imagine how the design of their building can reflect their goals not only in practice but also in the core concept of the design. Overall, I would say the most important piece of advice I have is to have fun with this class, and remember not to get bogged down in Revit glitches or misaligned beams, instead focusing on how cool it is that you get to take a concept and mold it into a fully-fledged building in only 10 weeks.