(campus design)
This project stemmed from an interest in the subterranean: in the roots of trees like the ones that would be uprooted to build on this site, in the fungal networks that facilitate communication between such trees, in the burrowing animals, and in the sparsity of natural light. All of this, of course, is also a spatial exploration of a world that lies below our feet at all times but is rarely acknowledged. In utilizing subterranean spaces in my design as both a poetic gesture and a response to spatial challenges within the given site, my aim was not to take control of that world, but to settle into it and to learn from it.
Without mimicking the exact look or function of any singular part of our underworld, I found a logic in the organically axial branching that occurs within many subterranean systems -- once again drawing on roots and animal tunnels. Abstracting this, I developed a criss-crossed axial pathway that grew into my structures. The nestled underground spaces are formed by filleting the axial vertices, the academic building sprouts tangentially to a line originating from the curve of the northern underground space, and the circulation path can be traced by mirroring the structural axes. Within the residential spaces, the vertically alternating windows and wooden panels also act as a nod to trunks of a forest, and (inside) to the shadows they cast on the forest floor, drawing attention to the ground. ​​​​​​​

Ultimately, my aim was for this space to facilitate the kind of natural logic, communication and resourcefulness that defines untouched subterranean spaces.


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