exterior render 1.jpg

Living Grid

LIVING GRID

STUDENT DORMITORY & FOOTBALL FIELD FACILITIES

housing |sports |pre-fabrication | forth-year spring studio |15 weeks

studio professor: Gerard Damiani

individual project


exterior rendering

This project is to design a new dormitory and redesign the football field and its related facilities in Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. This campus contains one architectural piece, Richard King Mellon Hall, designed by the architect, Mies Van der Rohe, who had consistent design strategies in a great number architectural pieces in his career, which is his “obsession“ with grids. In this project, the goal is to reinterpret the grid and integrated with the design of student housing and sports facilities after a half century later of Mies’ piece constructed on this campus.


The design strategy is to have the housing unit flow the grid while the communal programs including the football field facilities to “break“ the grid. The intention of making the housing unit and communal space have two different formal languages is about expressing how independent students are in their living space and how their lives converge in the communal space. The regularness enable the construction efficiency of the housing units, which are prefabricated with hollow steel structure and could be stacked on top of the communal space on the ground and first floor. Therefore, the sequence of the space is designed from the most private program to the most post program, from the unit to small shared space on each floor, to the larger communal space on the ground and first floor, to the elevated seating area for the football field, and finally to the football field. Also the formal language used in the communal programs are a series of diagonal entrances and exits on different levels to achieve this idea of breaking the grid. They are also emphasized by the color orange to indicate the level of activity in these communal and circulation space.


Another strategy this project emphasize is the idea of “street“, the chosen location for the housing towers are on the side the most important pedestrian boulevard on campus, while the football field and its facilities are on the other side of this boulevard. The design of elevated enclosed bridges on both sides intends to bring the street space more dynamic plan-wise and section-wise.

The facade of the residential towers are made of brick veneer, and special diagonal patterns are used for the middle communal space on each floor, while the ground and first floor communal space has more transparent facade including glass curtain walls.


The regularness enable the construction efficiency of the housing units, which are prefabricated with hollow steel structure and could be stacked on top of the communal space on the ground and first floor. Therefore, the sequence of the space is designed from the most private program to the most post program, from the unit to small shared space on each floor, to the larger communal space on the ground and first floor, to the elevated seating area for the football field, and finally to the football field. Also the formal language used in the communal programs are a series of diagonal entrances and exits on different levels to achieve this idea of breaking the grid. They are also emphasized by the color orange to indicate the level of activity in these communal and circulation space.