Master of Architecture
The identity of a building type is historically, and remains largely, tied to program. Recognizable by functional use, residential, commercial and educational buildings acquire their identity from a concentration of, seemingly, distinct programmatic spaces. This thesis exploits the hybrid building, increasingly typical in contemporary architecture, and the unexpected mixing and sharing of functions to challenge typological identity on the basis of program. Instead, this thesis opposes a mono-functional configuration to propose that the organization of space and the reading of form, working together as an architectural system, can supersede program in the representation of typological identity. The legibility of a building type; therefore, comes from a constructed spatial image: one that is both perceptual and conceptual. This thesis merges four overlapping, but conceptually distinct building types, into a singular hybrid tower: hotel, office, residential apartments, and a continuing education school. Taking advantage of shared programs to yield shared spaces, hybridity allows the physical space of each typological part to be condensed. However, the careful negotiation of separated and shared space produces parts that are interdependent, while seeming independent. The result is an environment that is equally occupied by all four types, yet is dominantly perceived by each. The organization of space, composition of form and orientation of circulation transform a generic Cartesian column grid into a hybrid environment with four readable biases. Each architectural bias constructs a distinct spatial image that is associated with a specific building type, but which overlaps with the other types in shared spaces. The architectural bias allows shared space to become legible as exclusive space. Consequently, the perceptual and conceptual representation of typological identity, which mentally expands the extents occupied by each building type, produces a composite building with four dominant parts.