Fabricated CMU

This semester graduate student Josh Wagensomer has explored the potentials of fabricating custom CMUs that respond to a specific design condition.  The challenge was to design a new film archive in New York adjacent to High Line.  Josh took a unique approach in that film archiving is traditionally a very introverted programmatic feature.  The unique conditions required to archive physical media limits the accessibility the public has to the process.  This project explores how this unique condition can be rethought to create a more engaging space.  The dichotomy of this relationship is explored though the simple juxtaposition of two programmatic events: promenade and safeguard.

The concept of an inside-out vault captures the necessity of security while allowing visual access to activity of archiving.  Therefore, the process of archiving becomes as important as the physical archive.  The process here becomes the Automatic Retrieval System – a computer controlled method of retrieving physical media from high-volume storage units.

Utilizing an iterative process of digital and physical exploration, a concrete screen wall is proposed to divide the public promenade from the Automatic Retrieval System.  The thin concrete units utilize a cable tension lateral bracing system and parametrically determined perforations to control the visual access from the promenade into the archive.

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