I am starting to lose track of the weeks, though I guess that is a good sign that I am enjoying myself. This week contained a lot of variety, small tasks for many different projects. I quite enjoy this though, as it gives me an excuse to be nosy and learn a lot about different projects. Another added bonus is that by talking to the people who create the design, you get a behind the scenes look at the nitty-gritty, how and why a client did or did not like an idea, what it is like dealing with a regional building department, talking with contractors and manufacturers, thinking a lot on certain details, such as how high and thick the foundation wall needs to be to address the 100 year flood, etc, and having to take a best guess on color choices when you really do not know what a client wants.
The first part of my week consisted of more work done on the McNichols model. I will show you more pictures later. I may have mentioned this before, but I always kind of thought model building was antiquated in modern architectural offices, but it truly has proved to be a very useful tool for the client, who continually asks us to bring the model to the design meetings. This time we have moved on from the exterior plaza and entrance, and are dealing with the stairs and third floor ceiling. The stairs on the second floor will be restored to their historical proportions, detail, and grandeur. The first floor stairs, however, were in debate until Tuesday afternoon. This was originally the basement of the old Carnegie library, and so it was used exclusively for storage. Therefore, the stairs were never meant to be used with heavy traffic. The three options were to make them simple and up to code, up to code with historical replication, and a completely different twist that allows them to lower the landing and open up the lobby area just off of the current grand main entrance. I modeled these three, and the Denver Arts and Venue people are very open to what we propose, so they chose the completely new option. The new stairs now also need to be completely enclosed, so we are playing around with the idea of surrounding the stairs and the lobby for each floor in fire-rated glazing. This provides protection from fires and noise from events on each level, but still gives you a visual of what occurs on each floor as you move to your desired destination.
The next items I worked on were a continuation of the report for Big Piney Library in Big Piney, Wyoming, more work on our office renovation, and prepping and submitting material for the Colorado Landmark Buildings award for Library 21C in Colorado Springs, CO. Ryan and Dennis returned from the initial Mind-Breaking and Building-Breaking session for Big Piney, so I compiled their results into the report and made several diagrams, explanations, and wordles to help the client visualize the results. For the office renovation I mainly helped move around furniture, and redrew portions of our site and desired parking for Dennis to take to the contractor for pricing. For 21C, I cleaned up and redrew the existing plans in Revit to be ready to submit for the award.
Here are some photos of Library 21C before and after, as well as McNichols: