Nature Retreat//AU 14
This is the introductory studio in the undergraduate architecture program. The focus of the studio is on spatial and structural ordering systems in the landscape. The studio will help develop an awareness and practice of architectural design as an activity based on observation, inquiry, and communication.
The studio is based on a site within Discovery Park in Seattle. Drawing upon the ecological functions and spatial characteristics of one of three sites at Discovery Park, students will design a field lab for high school students. There will be three labs, each with a different field of study: flora and fauna at the transition of forest and meadow, the observation of life in the skies, between meadow and bluff, and the study of life at the water’s edge.
Throughout the year, the field labs will host high school students in groups of 16 for lab sessions during the day. Once a month, each lab will house 8 students for week-long stays. The structures will provide camping-level accommodation. The enclosed spaces will be unheated and naturally ventilated; they will offer shelter from rain and wind while retaining a strong indoor-outdoor connection. The “skin” of the structure should respond to the climate and seasons, allowing the students maximum amount of connection to the exterior in good weather, while also offering refuge when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Each field lab will support its particular mission with absolute respect for the health and integrity of the land and biome.