Brief 2.1: Model Charrette!

Between now and Wednesday, you will be immersed in a formal study charrette which uses a series of physical models (minimum 12 as listed below). The purpose of this charrette is not to arrive at single formal solution to your project. Instead, think of these models as a series of focused studies, each experimenting with a single variable, that help you and your colleagues develop a catalogue of formal “moves” or strategies which could potentially be combined or hybridized in the future. Therefore, you should keep each individual model quite simple, focusing on testing and comparing different approaches. In some cases, you can evaluate these versions against each other and determine which approach is “better”; in other cases, the value of a formal move may depend on circumstances that are currently unknown.

For Wednesday, you are asked to build a minimum of 12 models that address the questions below.


Contextual Response (3 models for Wednesday)

  • What is the scale (vertical and horizontal) of the surrounding urban fabric—what is an appropriate way to break down massing in this neighborhood?
  • How does the building relate to the street level and address pedestrian scale/access?
  • How does the building address or allow key views into, out of, or through the site?

Climate Response (3 models for Wednesday)

  • How can solar access and natural ventilation be maximized through building height, horizontal depth of floor plates, and orientation?
  • How are outdoor spaces and microclimates created by building form? Remember these spaces don’t only exist at ground level.


Typological Response (3 models for Wednesday)

  • How can basic organizational strategies for living units (single-loaded vs. double-loaded vs. point-loaded) drive form?
  • How do different unit types (micro-unit, live/work studio, co-living unit) and combinations affect overall organization and form?

Narrative Response (3 models for Wednesday)

  • How does an institutional narrative? In the words of Ole Scheeren, how does “form follow fiction”?
  • How do different organizational relationships between living, working, making, selling, etc. affect form?


You may gear your formal studies towards either of the site options presented to the studio (choose one). In either case, you should assume that the site measures 200’ east-to-west, and 175’ north-to-south. Your formal studies should be no taller than 75′ at their highest point (it is likely they will never approach this maximum height). Each formal study should include between 100,000-150,000 square foot total area (as a frame of reference, our site is 35,000 sq ft, so a three-story solid block might fulfil the minimum requirements, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

All models should be constructed at 1/64″=1′-0″ (scaled 1/768). While these are in many ways gestural models, they should also be designed and constructed with precision: they should fit cleanly within a 1/64” site model, and reflect critical basic dimensions such as floor-to-floor height and the depth of living units.

The materials and fabrication processes you use for each model are up to you–they may be carved out of wood, 3D printed, stacked from foamcore or foam blocks, cast from plaster, etc.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s