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Project 4: Circulation
Yacht Club on the shore of Long Island Sound

"Architecture is surly not the design of space, certainly not the massing or organizing of volumes.
These are auxiliary to the main point which is the organization of procession.
Architecture exists only in time.... The whence and wither is primary.
Now almost secondary is all our ordinary work, our work on forms, our plans, our elevations."
Philip C. Johnson, Perspecta 9/10, (1965)

A newly formed yacht club has asked you to design their club house and facilities on the shore of Long Island Sound. The club specifically wants to take advantage of the views of the sound and the distant Connecticut shore. In addition the Yacht Club holds a yearly, season opening, Commissioning and blessing of the Fleet and Club. This ceremony includes a processional from the road to the water. The following is a list of program function requirements (not spatial requirements which are larger allowing for circulation and spatial interaction):

  1. BUILDING: approx. 3,000 S.F.
    1. Lobby, 100 S.F.
    2. Great Room 800 S.F.
    3. Eating/Seating Area 800 S.F.
    4. Bar area 300 S.F.
    5. Kitchen 300 S.F.
    6. Toilet & Lavatory, 150 S.F. each men and women.
    7. Other functions as needed / required to occupy indoor spaces
  2. DOCK HOUSE, SHOWER & GATE HOUSE (3-D Solids that help form spaces)
  3. DECK: approx. 750 S.F. min.
  4. DOCK: approx. 8' wide x 500 lineal feet min.
  5. OTHER FUNCTIONS (as needed to occupy outdoor spaces): 
    • Playground area
    • Pool
    • Tennis court
    • Barbecue area,
    • Other functions as recommended
    • Do not design the these functions, think of it as an area in a space
  6. PARKING: approx. 10,000 S.F. min.
    • Provide parking for 30 cars. Each space shall be 10' x 20' with an isle of 25 feet. 
    • Do not design the parking lot, think of it as an area in a space.

Concepts and Theory

  • Conceptual goal for Project 4: Circulation
    Make five spaces along a path for both the site and building.  Fit the program functions with in these spaces.  You may add additional functions if you feel they have been left out of the program .  Please do not design a real yacht club.
  • Anthropometric Design:
    Anthropometric design focuses on the physical making and definition of space as it relates to the active participant.  This is not the only starting point in the in the architectural design process but it is the most tangible for novice designers.  There are many other starting points (heuristics) in the architectural design process in addition to an anthropometric one: analogy/metaphor, environmental and contextual, prototypes and typologies, formal stylistic rules (i.e., classical, modernist, deconstruction), etc. 
  • Space Path Concepts:
    1. Circulation (path) prototypes: linear, radial, grid, network, spiral, composite.  Your circulatory pattern should be simple and fit a prototype.  Spatial relationships can be complex.  Never make a complex and convoluted circulatory pattern, it will never function, it is not cost effective and it will usually not meet code requirements. 
    2. Space path relationships: (a) path outside a space, (b) path along the inside edge of a space, (c) path terminating in a space.
    3. Spatial relationships (from last projects): (a) space overlapping a space, (b) space within a space, (c) space abutting a space.
    4. Thresholds of entering and exiting a space along a path should be defined as well as the space itself.
    5. Scale: defining large macro spaces vs. defining the smaller micro thresholds to the space. 
  • Abstracting process:
    1. Diagram: a reductive graphic abstraction representing an idea in one or more systems of a complex entity.  The diagram becomes the game plan for developing the architecture.  In this project the diagram represents space (solid lines) and path (dash dot lines).  Functional areas can be drawn as light lines with in the spaces as abstract objects.
    2. Function: treat function as an abstract object that occupies a space.  If the space is larger that the function then the space works and if it is smaller than the function the space does not work.  Allow for circulation to occur.  Circulation should not disrupt or go through the middle of a function.
    3. Proportion out the functions diagrammatically noting the relative sizes so that the space diagram works and is not a hyperbolic cartoon.
  • Types of function:
    1. Particular function is based on individual preferences.  There is no objective measurement for the solution other than like and dislike.  These functions tend to change constantly and have a high degree of flexibility.
    2. Universal function is based on formulaic criteria and standards such as cost, utility, regulatory criteria and can be measured in terms good, better and best or in some cases right and wrong.
    3. Some universal functions such as toilets, commercial kitchens, showers and lockers, closets, stairs are highly standardized in this project.  They cannot interact with spaces and can be drawn conceptually as solid boxes.
    4. Functions change over time.  Designs that do not allow for functions to evolve over time to meet new program needs will ultimately fail.  Functional requirements are best guesses.  As long as the space is larger than the minimum functional requirement it can be used.  Functions that require more space than the physical space designed will not work.    
    5. Think of a function as a area with the proportions 1:1 to 1:1.5.  Rarely do functions exceed proportions of 1:2.
    6. Never walk through the middle of a function in a space to get to another space; terminate in a function or walk around.
  • Creative process:
    1. Convergent (developing a diagram) and divergent thinking (developing the architecture).
    2. There are other creative processes used in architecture: analogies, means ends fit test, unconstrained and constraint ranking/sorting, conceptual combinations, etc., see heuristics list above.
  • Design methodology (Project 4 will focus on the 2-D Diagram to the 3-D Architecture phase, Project 5 will start with the Idea generation methodology):
    PROBLEM Creative step IDEAS Creative step DIAGRAM 2-D Abstract Creative step ARCHITECTURE 3-D Solution
    Generate heuristic possibilities Divergent Thinking Generate many Ideas & Research Convergent Thinking Graphic Line Drawing Divergent Thinking Three Dimensional Artifact
  • Site Design vs. Building Design:
    1. There is no conceptual difference between the two. 
    2. Both should be thought of as making spaces along a path.
    3. The site design in this problem is less three dimensional than the building design due to the lack of large scale overhead planes to help define spaces.
  • Context and fit:
    1. The site has no contextual anthropometric constraints.
    2. The building is constrained anthropometrically by the site design.
    3. The building can help make and define the site spaces versus being an object in a space.    
  • Layering Strategies for overlapping spaces / two spaces at once:
    1. Over/under, pass under, look over.
    2. Transparency, look through to see beyond.
  • Additional Rules/Constraints:
    1. No symmetrical projects

Presentation & Submission requirements:

Oral presentation using LCD projector and AutoCAD (5-10 min. max) Please have your file loaded on the H drive and several other back alternatives (thumb drive, e-mail)

Printed Submission: 4-6 sheets total with your name on each sheet stapled.  Use viewports in paper space for the following layouts:

A.      Site diagram and 3-D design plan with the diagram layer off (1 sheet)

B.      3-D site views on a second sheet, 3 or 4 views to highlight the site (1-2 sheet)

C.      Building diagram and 3-D design plan with the diagram layer off (1 sheet)

D.      3-D building views on a second sheet, 3 or 4 views to highlight the building (1-2 sheet)

No late submissions accepted, all students must present on the assigned due date. 

Failure to present and submit printouts will result in a zero on the project. 

Peer journals will be required.  The best 3-4 projects (depending on class size) will be noted in your private journals.



Francis Ching, Architecture: Form, Space & Order, Chapter 5, Circulation: Movement Through Space

Site Plan @ 1" = 100':
The site plan is available as "sitep4.dwg" file for AutoCAD R.14, and as "sitep4.dxf" for other CADs.
To download this file, use the left button on the mouse and click on the highlighted file "sitep4.dwg" or "sitep4.dxf". An "Unknown File Type" box will appear. Click the "Save File..." button and save the file to your diskette.