Fat facade: Vertical public space
Tankard, Jessica Hope
Master of Architecture
This thesis proposes that the facade of a building, typically seen as a boundary, can become volumetric and inhabited with program. Shanghai's library, currently a sprawling, horizontal megaform, is reconfigured as a thin vertical envelope that attaches to the facade of an existing building. The inner, existing tower uses the efficiency of stacked floor plates for office and book storage, while the facade becomes a cultural interface with the city, bringing porosity and collectivity to the high-rise. The new nested tower typology invigorates Shanghai's crowded city center with an institution that lacks space on the ground plane, while providing a layer of climate control for the tower through a programmed, structural façade. Two latent byproducts of capitalism, skyscrapers and skin systems, are exploited to produce a typology for a high visibility, but low-footprint, institution for the city.
Communication and the arts; China; Architecture