The Shape of Water
Indoor Swimming Pool in East Harlem
The exercise of this semester is to design an indoor swimming pool in East Harlem.
Students will explore, from concepts to construction details, and at a varies scales, this
particular program in an urban site, with special focus on the surrounding environment.
Students will learn how to integrate multiple systems in an architectural project.
They will study how these systems must be integrated in an overall concept, and how they
can be represented and communicated by separating different bodies of information and
addressing different scales. The emphasis of the design process is on the comprehensive
negotiation between the conceptual and the material worlds.
The semester will elaborate on the integration of material systems and the consideration of
construction methods within the design process. The most crucial element of investigation is
the interrelationship of program, structure/tectonics, MEP systems, environmental
stewardship and the material formations that shape a building’s experiential space and
surfaces. Life safety, egress and ADA requirements will be addressed within the conceptual
Architectural Design is a complex matter, in which multiple factors and considerations have
to be unified to make an artifact. Many of a building’s inherent qualities are based on the
knowledge and masterful application of the “endoscopic” composition of its elements and
layers. The understanding of how a building is put together is thus a mandatory skill to have
in order to create architecture.
The particular coordination that creates a building’s anatomic conditions, including the
integration of its technical systems, its structure and its assembly, its operation, and its layers
of materials, is crucial to realize an artifact in the way it was imagined.
These “material considerations” must thus be applied so that they inform the design process.
The representation of the project will be organized in a “Design Development” set of
drawings, in which different families of scales relate to one another and explain the project by
zooming-in and -out between spatial and material conditions.