Culinary Architecture May17


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Culinary Architecture

Students analyzed the site by way of a video called Capitol Hill // Time.

Our class’s first year of architecture school is wrapping up with a studio led by Alex Anderson and Brian McLaren.  The class revolves around the design of a joined culinary school and daily market on the corner of E. Pike St. and Broadway, a stone’s throw from the heart of Capitol Hill. The area, known for its alternative lifestyle and culture, may face the rise of name brand storefronts and indistinguishable sprawl. Thus, this quarter’s project not only challenges students to address a complex program, but also to respond to the rapidly evolving demographics of Capitol Hill.

Site analysis began logistically with line drawings, photographs, and historical context. Once the data was digested, the site was interpreted intuitively with collages of our choice, and with the aid of the exercise each student began to develop a deep-rooted feel for the site and its context. Once the actual program was announced, Brian and Alex told us to go eat. And did we eat! Students flocked to restaurants, cooked at home, or visited friends for potlucks. Needless to say it was one of the best weekends all quarter. Each of us did a restaurant analysis, documenting the experience of eating. With no boundaries, students chose whichever media and format they wanted to work with, which was liberating and beneficial to our thinking process.

Students have some fun while doing measurements on site. Photo courtesy of Ann Tseng.

The studio then visited the Seattle Culinary Academy at the SCCC and was given a lively, informative tour by Dean Linda Chauncey. After exploring a real-life culinary school and analyzing how restaurants work, students interpreted the program with another collage. Media exploration was continued as we produced rough models at 1/16” scale, translating core ideas about the site and program into building concepts, never forgetting our initial collage interpretations. With help and encouragement from the ever-enthusiastic Brian and Alex, the studio visited the wood and metal shop and started to work with more expressive materials. For most of us, it was our first time in the shop, making way for an intriguing learning process. Models for midterm review were constructed with a richer palette, and it was gratifying to not have a scrap of cardboard in sight.

Dean Chauncey takes the studio through the Seattle Culinary Academy’s restaurant for fine dining, mentioning the use of sustainable materials such as bamboo. Photo courtesy of Ann Tseng.

Pin-up of program interpretation collages in studio. Photo courtesy of Ann Tseng.

Hope Luquette takes advantage of the flexibility of steel in her mid-review model, which stands out in its simplicity and exposed connections. Photo courtesy of John Stamets.

Lipeipei Sun uses a wider range of materials in her mid-review model while also working with plexiglass to achieve different levels of transparency. Photo courtesy of John Stamets.

Now that final reviews are looming, the studio takes a break from model-making and focuses on line drawings and refining building designs. With the sun shining every day, we could not have wished for more devoted and understanding instructors than Brian and Alex. Also, who wouldn’t want to labor over the configuration of markets, kitchens, and restaurants? Whenever there’s food involved, we’re good.

Feature image courtesy of Yezi Dai.

Written by Ann Fu, BA in Architectural Studies Candidate 2013, and Kyle Francis, BA in Architectural Studies Candidate 2013

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