For this project, I was given a figurative client to work with. His name was James Hemmingway and he was a writer based in Seattle Washington along the Lake Washington Shore. The objective was to design a space for writing production for Mr. Hemmingway that was calm and secluded, but still allowed him to observe his surroundings and be close to nature. I wanted to provide shelter for him without obstructing natural light or the surrounding views.

Specific requests for this project included creating a dynamic 3D composition, exploring skin and structure, exploring sequence and path, and building off previously developed form.

The original form was created by “carving” low and high reliefs into a six inch cube. The abstract result was an interesting exploration of hierarchy as well as figural void.

In order to achieve the above goals, I chose the primary void in the sculptural cube to be Mr. Hemmingway’s primary space in which to write. From there I chose materiality depending on the sensory experience I wanted him to have. For example, long horizontal windows as well as wooden “floating” terraces allow Mr. Hemmingway to take maximum advantage of the scarce sunlight exposure in Seattle. The elevated nature of the structure also allows him to have fantastic views of Lake Washington and to observe the world in a more secluded atmosphere. Lastly, the long trenches, reflecting pool, and greenery in the landscape provide Hemmingway with some distance from urban life and allow him to transition mentally and physically from reality to a space for creativity and imagination.

Project Information

The requirements for this project were as follows. The design intervention must be no larger than 80 feet wide by 160 feet long by 64 feet tall. The project must successfully demonstrate exploration of skin and structure, have a defined primary space for a specified program, demonstrate a clear entry, path, procession, and exit sequence, must include a water feature, and must integrate the structure with the site in a dynamic three dimensional
composition. The constructed model was 10 inches wide, 20 inches long, and 8 inches tall at a ⅛”=1’ scale. The model had to be at an appropriate human scale but was not expected to follow finite realistic restrictions (such as exact topography, stair height, ramp incline, etc.). The project was intended to display all of the above features with an abstract dynamic 3D model. The program for the design intervention was production of writing.

Materials used for the model were to be white museum board, mylar, and basswood dowels. The museum board represented every opaque surface. The mylar and basswood dowel paneling represented translucent surfaces. Transparent surfaces such as windows or sun-roofs were to be left open, free of any material.