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Living-Learning Quarter

September 13, 2012

Overview

As part of the studio, I examined options for a new campus residential building at the University at Buffalo, that was to complement the existing options and provide a more urban living environment close to the academic core on the North campus. The prime goals for the proposal were: Integration—To integrate age groups on some floors and have some floors with only one age group; Inclusion—To provide for inclusion by means of diversity in activities and living types ( 5 types of units); Expression of public life—To reinforce the public streetscape with quieter study spaces at the rear; Views—To have maximum public area oriented towards the lake; Legibility—To maximize visual access, to aid with way finding and awareness of the program. The final design was informed by inputs from focus groups for the post-occupancy evaluation of the existing campus facilities, and also by those from precedents and research literature. The program for the proposal was strengthened by the inclusion of salient features such as a hair salon, a furniture-rental shop, a fresh-foods grocery store, a computer hardware store, space for recreational activities, a greenhouse, and technology labs.

Precedents

Site Analysis

Zoning chronology

Final scheme–Plans

Final scheme–Sections and Elevations

Strategies for maximizing daylight

A major objective of the design was to maximize the intake of daylight into the building, especially, the public zones. The double height lounges at the South and North ends, and the staggered triple height atriums in the middle, help the light penetrate into the interiors, while also evoking a sense of spaciousness and aiding way finding. The glazed roof, covering the greenhouse, brings light into the front atrium and a clerestory lights up the rear atrium, as seen in the transverse section. The section of the duplex apartments occupying the last two floors has also been devised to capture ample daylight.

Final scheme–Views

Goals for the building image

To display the public activities within and become a welcoming beacon at night.
To seek legibility via the elevational treatment.
To distinguish the base levels from the residential floors above.
To express the horizontality of the building.
To emphasize the two corner blocks.
To break the monotony of the facade

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