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Dark Matters

Critic: Andrew Colopy - Rice University
Prompt: NASA Academic Research Center
Location: Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

 

Dark Matters

Program / NASA Student Research Center
Location / Houston, TX - Johnson Space Center
Featured / Rice Architecture
Collaborator / JP Jackson

NASA as an institution lacks an architectural identify reflective of its larger cultural ambitions.  Dark Matters exploits the tension between edge and curve by engaging a diagram of deformation. Enabled by the fixities of deformation, the original figure is paired with its opposite, producing an inverse sectional relationship.  The resultant object is both singular and stacked, denying visually tangible relationships, but allowing for perceptible understood allegiances.  Varying planimetric types are linked sectionally through the stepped occupation of part to whole.  The logic of deformation persists to the surface, realizing a curvature that places the envelope en pointe. The envelope operates to heighten the coupling of figures and promote the overall reading of the building form as both singular and stacked, ingraining each surface with a movement and directionality.  The logic of application produces a super texture that employs a type of bookmatching, creating linkages at moments of connection and evoking an implied, albeit false continuity.  The envelope works to embed the building with a gravity, propelling publics and generating a new image of lift and otherworldly exploration for NASA.

Studio Critic: Andrew Colopy

Figure Matrix The fixities of the diagram exploits the tension between edge and curve.

Figure Matrix
The fixities of the diagram exploits the tension between edge and curve.

Diagram of Deformation The figure is paired with it’s inverse and linked.

Diagram of Deformation
The figure is paired with it’s inverse and linked.

Keegan Hebert Dark Matters Model
En Pointe The building is placed en pointe, allow for a for a more dynamic exchange with the ground and enabling a more active public interface.

En Pointe
The building is placed en pointe, allow for a for a more dynamic exchange with the ground and enabling a more active public interface.

Stepped The building’s underside is programmed with small exhibits and seating. The ground level site loop encourages the public to venture through this otherworldly space as a means of traversing the site. Varying planimetric types are linked in section.

Stepped
The building’s underside is programmed with small exhibits and seating. The ground level site loop encourages the public to venture through this otherworldly space as a means of traversing the site. Varying planimetric types are linked in section.

Public Circuit The logic of application produces a super texture that employs a type of bookmatching, creating linkages at moments of connection and evoking an implied, albeit false continuity.

Public Circuit
The logic of application produces a super texture that employs a type of bookmatching, creating linkages at moments of connection and evoking an implied, albeit false continuity.

Keegan Hebert Dark Matters Panel Mold
Stepped Occupation Varying planimetric types are linked sectionally through the stepped occupation of part to whole.

Stepped Occupation
Varying planimetric types are linked sectionally through the stepped occupation of part to whole.

Stepped Tabs lead and curves follow. Vertical structure, dubbed “tabs”, accept two story concrete beams concealed within the poche.

Stepped
Tabs lead and curves follow. Vertical structure, dubbed “tabs”, accept two story concrete beams concealed within the poche.

Level 01 - Island Plan The ground floor lifts to a central platform that disperses public program sectionally below. This subdivision produces pavilions in section allowing for direct access to adjacent program with the exception of the cafe where the connection remains purely visual.

Level 01 - Island Plan
The ground floor lifts to a central platform that disperses public program sectionally below. This subdivision produces pavilions in section allowing for direct access to adjacent program with the exception of the cafe where the connection remains purely visual.

Level 03 - Circuit Plan The circuit plan registers the moment of coupling and acknowledges both figures in its composition. Layers of laminar poche absorb vertical circulation, MEP functions, spray booths, and provides a pocket for rooftop equipment on Level 4.

Level 03 - Circuit Plan
The circuit plan registers the moment of coupling and acknowledges both figures in its composition. Layers of laminar poche absorb vertical circulation, MEP functions, spray booths, and provides a pocket for rooftop equipment on Level 4.

Public Circuit The occupation of the buildings underside objectifies the building and reveals the public entrance. The building is entered from below, dramatizing an otherwise banal act of ascension.

Public Circuit
The occupation of the buildings underside objectifies the building and reveals the public entrance. The building is entered from below, dramatizing an otherwise banal act of ascension.

Elevator as Objectified Center The elevator is always present and provides a moment of contrast adjacent to an inert rocket.

Elevator as Objectified Center
The elevator is always present and provides a moment of contrast adjacent to an inert rocket.

Laminar Poche Layers of laminar poche orechstrate a dynamic interior experience. Light penetrates the poche through the dimpled panels.

Laminar Poche
Layers of laminar poche orechstrate a dynamic interior experience. Light penetrates the poche through the dimpled panels.