Monday, July 7, 2014

KADK - Maternity Center

This semester I studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. We worked on two projects, the first a community center adaptive reuse building, and the second a maternity clinic. The site is located two blocks from Islands Brygge harbor front, one of the busiest public spaces in the city on a sunny summer day. It is a vacant triangle plot, covered in grass, and surrounded by nondescript buildings.

Site panorama photograph

The program called for a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, where the mother and family can be educated about the process and act of giving birth. Rooms for group classes and space for over night family stays is included. My concept for the building is to provide a sheltered and protected space through the building form itself. The body (red) is embedded in the earth (grey and brown), and then exposed to the sky and light in a particular way.  I made this image to convey the idea. 

Concept image

Concept sketch - building embedded in the landscape

Study model - triangle site with landscape and building

Using the landscape as a restorative and healing presence became very important to the building concept.  Every interior space has an adjacent outdoor space specifically designed for its purpose.

Site plan / landscape plan

East elevation and plan

Section through movement classroom

Birthing room with basin

I thoroughly enjoyed designing this project. The program was fascinating and the most unique I have been able to work on. This semester I have been working on my UW thesis as well as my KADK studio projects. Working on these projects side by side has been very rewarding, the work is richer and more layered. This time abroad has allowed me to compare what I have learned at home with what I am learning here, and given me the chance to formulate an opinion on what I believe good architecture and design is. It has given me a frame of reference, and let me see clearer who I am and who I want to be. 

It is a very lucky thing, what I have had the opportunity to do. I feel grateful everyday, for my family, my friends new and old, and for the support that encouraged me to take a risk. Here is to always learning, and always pushing forward. 

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