STRETCH: Urban Campus Connector

By:  | October - 29 - 2012

Atmosphere in architecture is the overall presence and impact of the building onto its inhabitants. Atmosphere has always been controlled through form and materiality.

STRETCH:Urban Campus Connector is an architectural expression designed by Mircea Eni at the Illinois Institute of Tehcnology that proves that atmosphere is also dependent on both technique and technology. The materials used today are the same as the ones used a hundred years ago. However with the use of modern machines for craft and assembly, these old materials are able to create new and never before seen atmospheres.

A good example of one simple material achieving new properties through manipulation is the process of lace making. A true lace is made when a thread is looped and twisted or braided to other threads. Lace is created by a string of the same thickness that is manipulated and layered to a point that it becomes a new material; one of various thickness, density and porosity. Thus a simple material achieves complex and intricate qualities.

Similar to lace, STRETCH, explores how atmosphere can be achieved through the manipulation of one simple material: lumber. The proposed structure acts as a connecting tissue for the Columbia College buildings in Downtown Chicago. Nested in a narrow alley, the lace-like structure attaches to the existing buildings forming new circulation opportunities and new social spaces for the urban campus dwellers.

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