spring studio in florence + a week-long architecture workshop

Noah + Art

For spring semester of 4th year architecture studio we are dividing up into groups and I will do my first group project. It is strange that I have not done a group project considering the fact that we will forever be working with our colleagues in architecture firms. I am paired up with two other guys. Noah goes to Cal Poly SLO, with me, and I have enjoyed and/or suffered through many of the same studios as him. Our other partner, Art, goes to Cal Poly Pomona. From the past semester, I have noticed that the SLO kids have been trained to approach architecture in a much more theoretical way; we design around the experience of the building and the spaces created inside. SLO’s sister school, Pomona, takes a more practical approach; the structural design is perfect and design is taken from geometry, over experience.

After a few weeks of working with them, I feel like the three of us balance each other out. I am always thinking of my experience inside the building and I am working towards a practical function. Noah is braver with his forms and will force our group to do some more abstract designs. Art questions all of our designs and is the middle-man, the guiding force, between Noah and me.

This semester, we will spend the total 12 weeks on a gastronomy center in Florence. This complex is to house food markets, promote the understanding of food process, and encourage people to learn about other food cultures. I think this will be a very fun project. Possible food tasting?

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27 February to 02 March 2012

Chao, Me, and Art.

For the above dates, CSU Firenze had a workshop with a school in Milan. The Domus Academy students are working towards a Masters in “Urban Vision and Architectural Design.” It was an interesting experience to work with these older students. Each Florence group was given one Domus student. Chao is from North China and he was such a nice guy. He studied Landscape Architecture in China and is really enjoying studying in Milan. Chao was so talented when it came to site analysis and keeping us architecture students on the right track!

For the weeklong workshop, we were challenged with a transportation hub near Florence’s airport. We carefully studied the traffic patterns and surrounding site to develop a concept for a new train station, shopping area, and transit options into Florence’s ancient center.

In the end, our professors were very happy with our design. They had almost no critiques and were very impressed how we were able to reflect the current city fabric within the plan and flow of our site! An excellent review!

(^) Circulation on the site and an exploded axo.

(^) The Money Shot: this an aerial view of the site to show its context and relationship between the traffic paths.