THIS WHIMSICAL GESTURE WAS ANCHORED IN THE TREES ON THE VERY LUSH CAMPUS THAT INSPIRED THE CREATION OF A VEIL SIMULATING LEAVES FALLING ON THE SURFACE VIA A PATTERN THAT WILL BE SCREENED ON THE PTFE. THE FALLING LEAVES WERE FURTHER CONNECTED TO THE IDEA OF EVOKING FALL AND THE MOMENT WHEN THE SEMESTER BEGINS WHEN STUDENTS ARE POSITIVE AND EXCITED BY A NEW BEGINNING.
AT A FORMAL LEVEL, THIS OCCURS THROUGH THE WAY IN WHICH THE ROOF EXTENDS TOWARDS THE CITY AND OUT OVER THE FIELD. THE STEPS TO THE ENTRANCE PLAZA GRADUALLY DESCEND TO CONNECT TO THE SURROUNDING LANDSCAPE. THE TRUNCATED TRAPEZOIDS ARE SPACED SUCH THAT VISITORS CAN SEE THE PROGRAM UNFOLDING WITHIN.
The trees on the lush campus inspired creating a covering with a pattern that would projects shadows of the leaves throughout the space. The falling leaves were further connected to the idea of evoking Fall and the moment when the semester begins when students are positive and excited by a new beginning. The ultralightweight structure will create new patterns as the sun moves across the surface and, in turn, provide a sense of time passing as one studies in the library.
The roof is defined by both the large figure of the leaf and also by the smaller leaves the make up this figure. The leaf itself comes from a tree that is native to the area – the White Poplar or Alamo Blanco. In some ways, the use of the leaf is intended to create an opportunity to reflect on our relationship to that natural environment and the impact that buildings have on the environment.
In designing the specific surface of the membrane, a wide range of potential patterns were explored. Parametric modeling tools were used to design the geometry of the roof. A physics engine was then used to simulate wind blowing leaves across this surface. Each leaf had a certain number of dots. The process required multiple simulations. This allowed us to achieve a sense of randomness. In this sense, the pattern was designed directly via digital tools that were in turn linked to digital printing technology that ultimately fabricated the membrane.
IN DESIGNING THE SPECIFIC SURFACE OF THE MEMBRANE, A WIDE RANGE OF POTENTIAL PATTERNS WERE EXPLORED. PARAMETRIC MODELING TOOLS WERE USED TO DESIGN THE GEOMETRY OF THE ROOF. A PHYSICS ENGINE WAS THEN USED TO SIMULATE WIND BLOWING LEAVES ACROSS THIS SURFACE.