master of architecture candidate, 2015 | washington university in st. louis | sam fox school of design + visual arts
I love beer and I love architecture. This semester’s studio combines the two in an interesting cross section of two crafts, space making and beer making. This is my first option studio semester. My previous three semester’s studios were part of a required core sequence. It was refreshing to have a choice and have that choice be a clear and easy one.
We’ve spent the first several weeks of the semester researching everything about beer, brewing, and brewery architecture. St. Louis is rich is beer history, but most of that history being Anheuser Busch. After their merger with InBev in 2008, craft beer exploded in St. Louis. The great Mississippi River has played a vital role in the importance of St. Louis and especially in the importance of beer in St. Louis. Studying beer and architecture in St. Louis makes complete sense because we have every scale of brewery here. The home brewers scattered throughout the city, the small micro breweries such as Alpha Brewering and 4Hands (amongst many others), larger micro breweries such as Schlafly and Urban Chestnut, to the largest brewery in the world Anheuser Busch. Being able to study all of these scales in one city is a unique opportunity.
Our research culminated in a large format book, entitled “MISI-ZIIBI BEER.” (Misi-ziibi, is the Algonquin (Native American) word for the Mississippi River, meaning “great river.”) My professor, Derek Hoeferlin, has done extensive research and work relating to the Mississippi River and its relationship to architecture. Exploring the relationship of brewery to water to river is an architectural problem that we as students are going to push the limits of whats possible. The book centered around asking a series of questions, starting with “why beer and why architecture?” It further asked questions of “why process, why water, why form, why brew?” The intention was not to explicitly answer these questions, but to give a sense of what’s possible. Through each of our brewery designs we hope to be addressing these questions and use the research as a tool from which we can push the limits of possibility in brewing and architecture.
Spread from the book “MISI_ZIIBI BEER” exploring the mashing process and relationships to scale from the macro brewery to the home brewery.
We are just beginning our conceptual designs. It’s the hardest part of a project in my opinion but also the most fun. Building models, sketching, thinking, writing all trying to make some sense of the thousands of ideas flowing around in my head. I’m interested in the scale of the home brewer, but I see a problem. There are home brewers scattered throughout the city with various levels of experience, equipment, and knowledge. Most home brewers scour the web for products, answers, and help. Sometimes they get together and brew and exchange ideas. However, I want to make those interactions and sharing of knowledge, equipment, and experience more deliberate. Brining together parts of the process that many forget especially the inputs from agriculture, the river (water), and other people. But also, the outputs back to agriculture, to other people, and to the city. It’s definitely a spatial and design challenge that I’m excited to tackle.
Conceptual model trying to connect agriculture to home brewers, to river, to city
Had the opportunity today to check out Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s new brewing facility with Florian, the head brewmaster and my design studio. #stlbeer (at Urban Chestnut Brewing)
Craft. #studiobrew (at Givens Hall, Washington University in St. Louis)
Sharp. #studiodaniellibeskind (at Crystals)
My third semester of graduate architecture school has come to a close. My design studio the semester was based on self-sufficient, multi-unit housing. The program was to create a one hundred unit residential development that could accommodate varying lifestyles. This was the third of three core design studios before moving into option studios next semester.
I titled my project the “Active Gradient.” A gradient is, “an increase or decrease in the magnitude of a property (e.g., temperature, pressure, or concentration) observed in passing from one point or moment to another.” My project was located at the Shrewsbury terminal of the MetroLink, St. Louis’ light rail system. The below vicinity plan shows the site (orange) bounded by the straight, hard line of the MetroLink infrastructure on the west, the soft, meandering River Des Peres on the east, Landsdowne Ave to the south, and forest to the north. The gradient in this case begins with the highly active MetoLink tracks, the bus terminals, and parking lot and ends with the River Des Peres.
vicinity site plan
The intention of the project was to develop dwellings that created a gradient from the bustling side of the site with the MetroLink to the less active and more relaxing side of the site that included the River Des Peres. The building form arises with a more linear edge along the Metrolink and a more meandering edge along the river. This allows for views up and down the river and along the sites green spaces. The “active gradient” was achieved in the dwellings by placing highly active spaces on the active side such as circulation, kitchen, and eating spaces. The gradient continues through the dwelling to the living spaces that include light wells or interior courtyards. The gradient dissolves with the relaxing and sleeping spaces on the less active side of the dwelling.
section and plan diagrams
The “active gradient” was also emphasized through the use of materials. The active side of the building used perforated, operable panels made from weathering steel providing privacy, shading from sun, and filtering of sound.
rendering - “active” side of building
rendering - active corridor
plan - 3rd floor (of 5) - connection
Unit types are not categorized as one, two, or three bedroom, but rather small, medium, and large. The unit types can be configured in such a way that a “large” could two bedroom unit with two larger bedrooms or a three bedroom unit with one larger bedroom and two smaller bedrooms or three equal sized bedrooms.
plans - unit types
rendering - unit interior
final review presentation boards - 7’ X 18’
final review presentation