Solarplex: Final Project
    My final result is quite a departure from where it was at the middle of the term.  One of my key principles was the use of the stack effect in my design, which I had already incorporated, and kept much the same.  After a few revisions to the mid-term design, I was feeling that the plan was too rigid and angular in form, and I gradually loosened it up and softened the edges.  Eventually I realized that this building is quite different from others out there in terms of its program and in its use of green building principles, therefore it should stand out as such.  The gradual softening of the edges became an effort to eliminate unnecessary square corners and straight lines, both in plan and elevation.  As the plan became more 'curvaceous', I looked at some buildings and architects known for their non rectilinear plans such as Gaudi and Cardinal.  I also looked at details of certain well known buildings such as the sunshades at the Getty Center and the Glass Dome of the German Reichstag.

View a Powerpoint Presentation about the final project.
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    The overall layout of the building remains much the same, with the office at the back of the site, the exhibition space at the centre, and the cafe on Sherbrooke Street, with the residence on the second floor.  The size of all the spaces increased, however, as they seemed to be too small to serve the functions I desired.  The office has a mezzanine level, which was made possible due to the high roof, giving it a total area of about 1000 sq.ft.  The office and cafe are both contained in circular glazed spaces, shaded by a tall screen on the exterior which automatically follows the sun through the day using photovoltaic cells.  These two spaces also cantilever out beyond the edge of the building below.  This was done to draw further attention to the building.  The cafe (about 1000 sq.ft.) juts out over Sherbrooke Street drawing in curious passers by and giving those inside a fantastic view.  Both cantilevered sections would be supported by a tree-like steel or timber frame structure, representative of the green aspect of the entire project.

    The exhibition space is divided into two, with the main area on the south facade to demonstrate passive solar principles, and a second area that could be used both as exhibition space as well as lecture space when required.  Large water containers would be placed in front of the south windows to collect solar energy, and then could be rolled to a different area of the space at night to dissipate the heat gathered during the day.  The Exhibition and Lecture spaces together make up about 2000 sq.ft.

    The two areas at the top of the plan that are crossed out are the shafts used to take advantage of the stack effect.  These open areas extend to the space below and continue up to ventilation chimneys in the roof, which can be seen in the elevations and on the model.  These shafts also have windows at the top, allowing light into the darker areas of the building.

    The second floor residence is kept simple, with a large living/dining are surrounded by a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.  The residence still has its own entry from the existing building, and has a private outdoor terrace on the west side, and a linear terrace which extends to the main fire exit on the east.

    The building's green aspects include the aforementioned passive solar design and natural ventilation using the stack effect, as well as many other features.  The abundance of windows and proper placement of shading devices allows the building to be daylighted, saving on electricity required for artificial lighting.  In winter, the ventilation could not be natural for obvious reasons, but continuous fresh air would be provided by an air exchanger, which would pull air in via a solar air pre-heater, to improve its efficiency,  The air pre-heater is discreetly located over the first floor exhibition room windows.  The entire roof would be a living roof, covered in either straw or earth on which grass would grow.  Also, the building overlooks a large semi-public park developed on the roof of the building below (best seen in the model photos).  Finally, environmentally friendly materials would be used wherever possible in the construction of the building.

    The plans and some views of the model under construction are below.  Other drawings and views of the completed model will be available soon.




U2 Winter