MARINE RESEARCH LAB

Rhode Island School of Design

 

Project: The Marine Research Laboratory

Site: India Park. Providence, RI

Facilities: Lobby, Laboratories, Resource Area, Offices, Conference Rooms, Tide Pool, Aquarium, Machine Room, Staff area, Parking.

 

Double skinned walls act as membranes, that connect the enclosed spaces continuously thoughout the building. Circulation from one section to another is covered by tensile structures which were tailored to fit the program. The exterior skin of the sections took a particular shape in order to fit the curvature of the tensile structure. Exterior walls are vertical, and the interior walls of each section mark a continuity of flow between itnerior and exterior spaces, tapering in an angle that corresponds to their relationship with the floor plan.

Where the two skins are the furthest from each other, the walls taper away at the top, and then become parallel when both skins meet at the edge of the floor plan. This allows for thresholds to occur where the distance between walls is the highest, and windows to appear when the walls meet vertically.

 

The program's continuity was as important as its representation, so all the documentation was made by drawing continuous curves using a compass and the radiai of each curve. Drawing on tracing paper allowed me to draw on both sides: construction lines on one side, and details and shading on the other.

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