What I Have Gained

This project has allowed me to observe numerous things that will stick with me. First and foremost, architecture can be fun if I allow it to be. Secondly, my team got along very well, creating a positive impression on design collaboration for me. Thirdly, design does not always have to be elaborate to be good design. I personally believe the functionality of the space trumps the aesthetics of it, even though we tried to make our final idea as aesthetically pleasing as possible. I also learned that design is not about always getting the design correct the first time…we had to diligently scan through different ideas in our minds that would fit the best for our allotted space. I was also taught where some of the important and useful rooms were in the A&A building (such as the Digital Printing room and the computer labs.) And lastly, I am left with a few new friends that I know I could call or text if I have any questions.

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Final Design

Team 014 continued to collaborate and create a plan for our second entry way while simultaneously creating a functional space for the first level beneath it. We finally agreed on a general idea of what our design would ultimately encompass. We tweaked some things here and there obviously, but we had a general idea.

A few aspects of our new plan:

  1. Carved out the first level all the way up to the main sidewalk
  2. Left a portion of the existing stairs
  3. Designed a slightly elevated staircase to the second level entry
  4. Turned the extra space below into a mini amphitheater with pin-up boarded walls.

Initial Meeting

The Initial Design

Brainstorm Sketch

After the MAX_min competition began, team 014 met in the middle of the atrium. We quickly introduced ourselves, told a couple of jokes, and quickly jumped into the brainstorming step of the process. Jarod grabbed his sketch pad, tossed each of us some paper, and we commenced our “sketch fest.” Ashley read us the guidelines and we came up with a couple of initial designs.

Ashley, our most seasoned architecture student, thought out a rough plan of ramps that would lead to the second level entryway. We soon realized that the plan would not comply with fire codes without a fire exit of some sort for the first floor. Therefore, our team scrapped that plan and continued to brainstorm different designs.

My Sketch

The older students on my team did an awesome job of allowing me to ask questions and provide my input into the design process. I created a rough sketch of my own for the second level entry ramp. I also planned to carve out where the existing stairs are and create a mini courtyard where students can collaborate or study beneath the second floor entry ramp. In order to keep the existing landscaping down the side of the stairs, I planned to install a retaining wall.

I soon found many impracticalities with it:

  • The fire exit would have to go under the main sidewalk
  • There would be no immediate access to the first floor
  • The project would cost too much