Master of Architecture
The following thesis sets out to create an oscillating reading between two types of space: universal and compartmental. In this project, an existing cast-iron building in SoHo, Manhattan, takes on a program of a spa. The cast-iron structure stands in for open plan and the notion of continuity. The building has a total of 8 levels and is defined by an even rhythm of cast iron columns that delineate its perimeter. In contrast, the spa deals with inherently private and compartmental space. Enclosure and separation of unique environments associated with the spa are contrasted with the openness and continuity of the existing building in SoHo. In order to produce a simultaneity of reading, the project utilizes a striated structural system that originates from the logic of the existing building. This layered system incorporates a multitude of readings based on its orientation. From one angle a solid wall blocks the viewer’s perception of the space beyond, providing only a hint of what’s to come through an arched aperture of the snaking hallway; from another angle it produces an unobstructed view of a space that is physically separated from that which the viewer occupies. At all times, the system plays up the repetitive nature of the existing bays producing an enhanced reading of the existing building’s depth. The oscillating perception of a spatial juxtaposition produces a continuous sense of expectation which is interrupted by moments of intrigue. The fluctuation between expectation and intrigue generates a high degree of perceptual awareness in visitors of the spa.