Timber at Heart

Nada Khalaf, Mariam Jacob
American University of Sharjah, College of Architecture, art and Design, Sharjah
Spojené arabské emiráty

Idea projektu

“Timber at Heart” is located adjacent to the Queensborough Bridge in Queens, NY. A historical terracotta factory exists on the site and is incorporated into the project. A major goal on this site is to connect the pedestrian from the street to the riverfront, both visually and in terms of movement. It is also important to note that it aims to have a dialogue with two main elements in the context: the adjacent bridge and the historical factory.

Popis projektu

The functions included within the project are a day-care facility, a sports center, an auditorium as well as residential apartments. The private functions are elevated in comparison to the public along the central axis. In terms of the massing of the residential towers, they are orientated in such a manner to maximize views to the Manhattan skyline as well as creating a parallel relationship to the adjacent bridge both in terms of height and horizontality.
Regarding the housing units, a module integrates four different sizes of units (of different quantities based on client requirements), and subtractions occur in the module where a unit is not needed. These subtractions act as communal terrace spaces that allows for planting mini-gardens and bring the community into a lively shared space. Each housing unit type (excluding the micro-unit) has a double-height space and windows on opposite sides of the apartment that utilize natural light as well as cross ventilation.
The placement of the macro modules in the apartments are based on the program distribution requirements provided by the client, which allows for subtractions that act as communal terrace spaces for the residents. Each housing module type excluding the micro apartment, also has double height spaces allowing for cross ventilation as well as views to both sides of the residential tower. The North facades are left bare to allow maximum light in, whereas the South-West and South-East facades utilize protruding frames around windows to control vertical summer sunlight (and keep heat at bay) and maximize horizontal winter sun (for added warmth).

Technické informace

This project emulates the concrete jungle that New York personifies and represents it in a strategic way with a play on concealing and revealing. Instead of manifesting the project entirely in timber, we managed to create a procession in which the exterior is perceived as industrial and stereotomic using concrete and steel. The overall structure revolves around concrete being the external frame and cores for fire protection while the interior structure is made up of CLT Panels and Glulam Beams or trusses. The timber interiors create an element of surprise and a warm, homelike feeling for the occupants.
Furthermore, the brick exterior of the historic terracotta building is symbolically continued with the negative pattern of brick, transition from stereotomic to tectonic, from old to new. This is manifested in the wall housing the enclosed children’s courtyard in the day-care facility. It shelters them into a safe space while filtering light (as shown in the rendered perspective).

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