After 10 weeks of collaboration, frustration, and most importantly insightful thinking, I am happy to share the final presentation of my exhibit space centered in Ruhnu, Estonia. Before I get to the video presentation, I wanted to share some general understandings from my journey of concept to creation:
- Key / Essential / Unique Design Features:
Perhaps my biggest design goal here, outside of the nuances of figuring out efficient geothermal properties, was creating a building that reflects the classic style of old Estonia, while also creating a modern spin on it. The overall design and materials used runs parallel to that of Estonia's "Vana Tallinn" otherwise known as the old capital. The two towers that accentuate my exhibit gallery are very similar to the renaissance era tower walls spread out throughout the city. I also used a combination of stone for my exterior walls, wood shingles for the roofing, and a wood interior to give it that classic Tallinn feel. To cap it off, I introduced multiple curtain wall systems to provide plenty of natural light but also to give it the modern spin I originally intended for.
- Your Big Successes -- what worked very well and what features you're most proud to share as examples to inspire others.
I feel as though my lobby/atrium space came out well and clean. The amount of natural light and fluidity between the office and meeting spaces worked out better than how I originally thought it would. Similarly, I took a good deal of effort in thinking about the thermal resistance of my materials and the positioning of walls, windows, and building orientation. With the climate of Estonia being rather frigid, but dry and warm in the summer, I needed materials with high R-values and good insulation. I feel as though my benchmark comparison is sufficiently low and reflects this energy I put into designing a fairly sustainable building. Lastly, in looking at my goals from the beginning of the year, I am proud to say that most of them had been fulfilled. *Note: for more on this review my goals from the second design journal entry below.
- 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 overall biggest challenge I had to face in the construction of this project was applying everything I was learning to what I was creating. As a prospective architectural design major, and being a sophomore, I don't know a whole much about the design process apart from the actual architectural model. Going through this process and learning the nuances of the structural, mechanical, and plumbing fixtures made it incredibly difficult to stay on track with my original design intentions and goals. Now that I have a much better idea of what I'm doing, it is easier to overcome these issues in the future, but really the only way to avoid them completely is simply to build experience in the field and further my knowledge.
- Lessons Learned -- what sage words of advice would you share with other students who are embarking on a similar project.
There is one that really comes to mind, and that is to plan ahead. Not only keeping in mind your design aspirations, but to also account for the other components to a building model. By this, I mean I had to backtrack and fix many aspects of my original architectural model to allow for my structural, mechanical, and plumbing fixtures to fit into my final presentation. Even with all of my backtracking, there are still many changes in my design I would make to allow for maximum efficiency.