Graduate Architecture

Mo Shen and Zoe Cennami

Incandescent Submersion, Kutan Ayata

Spring 2019

Our building blurs the boundary of what is artificial and natural by cultivating unique qualities that become the architectural object of urban wildlife. By constructing these bioluminescent pools, a freediving space, and a luminescent museum, we engage people to undermine their assumptions of the reality of the human land strata and engulf them in a new paradox of underwater experiences that are unfamiliar to our natural strata. Additionally, the glowing water from our building gets distributed throughout the rail park, lighting the space up at night.

Ideas of penetrability are used to create different experiences throughout our building inside and out. The street front has three solid volumes that confront the street while the three other sides have an engaging volumetric play with the inside of the building and the outside environment. Each volume performs differently through texture, spatial qualities, and color creating a clear distinction between the three volumes. 

Additionally, the play of smooth to ruff quality formulates different sensations. The exterior is rough while the inside walls are smooth. As well as the inside water ponds also have this play of smooth exterior to ruff quality playing with different sensations inside the pools and externally in the atrium space.

Geometrically at the start, we developed a type of minimal surface DNA and then moved away from the purity to make a more functional building. There are some moments in the project, mainly in the middle massing, that keep this pure DNA. Overall each mass has a different program and spacial quality which intertwines with each other. This allows for each part to almost be self-supporting on their own but at some points rely on each other for support in which gets uses as a circulation opportunity to connect all three parts into one bigger whole.