ARC 501a: ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN STUDIO
with John Blood

"US Custom and Border Protection Detector Dog Training Facility"

Responding to an assigned sponsor, precedent, structure, and tectonic operation, this project takes as its concept the idea that a drawing is an artifact up for interpretation. As such, Zaha Hadid’s conceptual diagram is flipped, inverted, and denatured to create a new starting point for this project. What was, for Zaha, a solid body floating over the ground is now, for this project, a vertical fissure, or chasm. Incorporating this idea of a rift with the sponsor, Homeland Security, two distinct portions of the project are created and given differing levels of classification (or public access). Furthermore, using the concept of a mast and stay as a structural system, steel cables act as both structure and visual impediment (in order to reinforce the aforementioned notions of classification). Additionally, floor levels are offset and floor the shifting structure creates a variable cavern in the middle of the infill project. As a result of these offset floors and shifting structures, floor slabs overlap and create small enclosures between the two sides, creating another scale of enclosure in the project.