Outstanding Architecture and Design Thesis Award

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Civic Forum — The Headquarters Design of Municipal Art Society

OA - 1132
Cornell University / cn China
1 members
Yang Zhao

Project type:

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) is a nonprofit, membership-based organization in NYC that encourages thoughtful planning and urban design across the city to preserve history, culture, and neighborhoods. The chairman of MAS proposed that this project should include offices, classrooms, a library, a café, an exhibition hall, as well as the public forum, which is the most important function. Through various strategies, all the different programs were able to be arranged from the most public café at the half underground to the most private office on the fourth floor, creating several public spaces that seamlessly connect to the site and are fully open to the citizens of NYC.

By using parametric software to simulate and optimize the thermal insulation materials, window areas, glass materials and shading area, the daily comfort throughout the year has been mostly concentrated in the comfort zone to save energy tremendously. The sizes and density of the hollows on metal panels of the shades are tested, to ensure proper natural lighting for the maximum number of hours and also provide a perfect display for projection at night.

For the interior, the sunken cafe adopts the same pavement as the outdoor, showing an underground street style; the public forum and the library share the double-height space, and are displayed on the front facade; the office is separated from other public spaces to form a quieter space; finally, the public rooftop garden visually connects with the south side park and the High Line Park.

In terms of landscape, the pavements are used to form a strong orientation, encouraging people to visit the building from the park. From outdoor to indoor, from underground to rooftop, it is full of various public activities, which conforms to the fundamental aim of MAS to make their headquarters an urban living room.

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