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Scholar Commons Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Graduate School

4-16-2010

Wayfinding in Architecture Jason Brandon Abrams University of South Florida

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Wayfinding in Architecture by Jason Brandon Abrams A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture School of Architecture and Community Design College of the Arts University of South Florida

Major Professor: Steven A Cooke, M. Arch Vikas Mehta, Ph.D. Chadiphan Hanwisai, M. Arch. Date of Approval: April 16, 2010 Keywords: Wayfinding, Path, Light, Institutional building, Amsterdam © Copyright 2010, Jason Brandon Abrams

Dedication I would like to dedicate this document to my Mom and Dad who have always been there for me mentally and financially and to my Grandmother for all of her love and support.

Acknowledgements throughout this process and also one of my closest friends. I would like to acknowledge my thesis chair Steve Cooke for his guidance and assistance from the beginning to the end of this process. I have learned a lot from him as a professor over the last few years and thank him for his diligence and answering of my questions and concerns as a student and TA.

I would also

like to thank Professor Vikas Mehta because I knew once I selected him as a committee member that he wouldn’t allow me to get away with mediocrity.

He’s straightforward about

what he thinks and is not afraid to call me out when he feels necessary.

And I love that.

Finally, I would like to thank Chaddy for she has

Chaddy

been

my

closest

supporter

I am grateful to you all.

Schematics ............................................................................ 37

Table of Contents

Final Design........................................................................... 45 List of Figures ......................................................................... ii

Conclusion ......................................................................... 54

Abstract .................................................................................... vi

Works Cited ........................................................................... 56

Introduction ............................................................................. 1 Problem ..................................................................................... 3 Proposal .................................................................................... 6 Methodology .......................................................................... 12 Orientation ......................................................................... 17 The Visual Field: Locating Information ................... 20 Determining your path .................................................. 20 Sensory wayfinding ........................................................ 22 Sound ............................................................................... 22 Light.................................................................................. 23 Site Selection ........................................................................ 25 Site Analysis .......................................................................... 28 Program .................................................................................. 31 Preliminary Design Schemes .......................................... 32 i

Figure 1 Northwest aerial from Sandberg Institute building ........................................ 1

Figure 9 Wayfinding designs illustrating the benefits of possible sensory and fundamental wayfinding solutions................. 9

Figure 2 Axonometric drawing of current campus layout ........................................... 2

Figure 10 Site plan indicating bounds of the campus layout for reorganization .......11

Figure 3 Issues associated with Rietveld additions ................................................... 4

Figure 11 Typical faculty path, second .........13

Figure 4 Lack of celebratory entrance ........... 5

Figure 13 Typical faculty path, second .........13

Figure 5 Architectural Implications and possible wayfinding solutions indicated by paths, graphic elements and grand gestures.................................................... 6

Figure 14 Typical faculty path, third.............13

List of Figures

Figure 12 Typical faculty path, third.............13

Figure 15 Typical faculty path, third.............14 Figure 16 Typical faculty path, third.............14

Figure 6 Breakdown of wayfinding elements for each section of the campus showing existing and proposed conditions ..... 7

Figure 17 Graphic wayfinding ......................15 Figure 18 Spatial and graphic wayfinding system used at the Barbican in London ........16

Figure 7 Architectural implications of the redesigned addition and potential wayfinding scheme breakdown .................... 8

Figure 19 5 points of wayfinding .................17 Figure 20 Guggenheim by Frank Lloyd Wright, showcasing the clarity ....................18

Figure 8 Architectural implications of the redesigned addition and potential wayfinding scheme breakdown .................... 9 ii

Figure 21 Circulatory traffic pattern containing graphic, spatial and orientating properties of wayfinding.............19

Figure 31 Macro vegetated points of connection ...............................................30 Figure 32 Macro water and vehicular points of connection ..................................30

Figure 22 Image showing the tactile and visual light qualities contributing to wayfinding ...............................................21

Figure 33 Preliminary design concept 1 ........32 Figure 34 Preliminary design concept 2 ........32

Figure 23 Wayfinding through color and entrance conditions ...................................23

Figure 35 Preliminary design concept 3 ........32

Figure 24 3d aerial of the site within surrounding context ..................................25

Figure 36 Wayfinding possibilities along the exterior and within the interior of the redesigned addition ..........................33

Figure 25 Site plan and existing campus location ....................................................25

Figure 37 Rietveld redesigned approach possibilities ..............................................34

Figure 26 Northeast view of Sandberg Institute building from the street (Fred Roeskstraat) .............................................26

Figure 38 Rietveld conceptual plan development ............................................34

Figure 27 Existing ground floor plan ............27

Figure 39 Rietveld conceptual design scheme 1 .................................................35

Figure 28 Conceptual Diagram of adjacent spatial conditions .........................28

Figure 40 Conceptual design scheme 2 ........35

Figure 29 Pedestrian traffic movement .........29

Figure 41 Evolutionary model 1 ...................37

Figure 30 Vehicular traffic movement ..........29

Figure 42 Evolutionary model 2 ...................37 iii

Figure 57 Proposed Rietveld Second Floor Plan .................................................46

Figure 43 Rietveld entrance conditions. ........38 Figure 44 Information desk ........................39

Figure 58 Proposed Rietveld Third Floor Plan .................................................47

Figure 45 Main staircase ............................40 Figure 46 Cafe ..........................................40

Figure 59 Proposed Rietveld Fourth Floor Plan .................................................47

Figure 47 Green corridor ............................41

Figure 60 Cross-section through Green corridor ....................................................48

Figure 48 Study spaces ..............................41 Figure 49 Wayfinding Light .........................42

Figure 61 Site Section from Fred Roeskestraat to Amstel Canal indicating how spaces contribute to wayfinding in section .....................................................49

Figure 50 Wayfinding discovery spaces ........42 Figure 51 Wayfinding vertical green spaces .....................................................43

Figure 62 Entrance/courtyard view (visitor path) ............................................50

Figure 52 Wayfinding graphic indicators .......43 Figure 53 Wayfinding fire exits ....................44 Figure 54 Wayfinding lecture spaces ............44

Figure 63 Courtyard/exhibition house view (visitor path) .....................................50

Figure 55 Proposed Rietveld Basement Plan .........................................................45

Figure 64 Guest lounge/side entrance view (student path) ...................................51

Figure 56 Proposed Rietveld Ground Floor Plan .................................................46

Figure 65 Second floor landing view (student path) ..........................................51

iv

Figure 66 Green corridor/jury room view (student path) ...................................52 Figure 67 Fashion design view (student path) ..........................................52 Figure 68 Third floor landing view faculty path) .............................................53 Figure 69 Faculty offices view (faculty path) ...........................................53 Figure 70 Final model northwest aerial view................................................54 Figure 71 Final model view from Sandberg deck to courtyard........................54 Figure 72 Final model entrance view ............55

v

Currently,

Wayfinding in Architecture

the

Rietveld

Academie

in

Amsterdam, a design institution of higher

Jason Brandon Abrams

learning, lacks the components necessary to

Abstract

an effective wayfinding system. Once a school that was highly ordered through Bauhaus

In many of today’s modern educational

tradition, it is now spatially segmented and

institutions, architects have designed spaces

disconnected due to added structures, parking

that are disconnected and difficult for users to

and poorly designed exterior spaces. Evidently,

navigate. The underdevelopment of directional

the school’s programmatic relationships are

guides more accurately describes common

issues facilitating the need for a coherent

issues of wayfinding. Wayfinding is a term

solution. It is the goal of this thesis to identify

used

and

these issues and propose a solution organized

orientation within an environmental context.

around a comprehensive wayfinding system for

When accomplished successfully, wayfinding

the school’s campus.

to

describe

user

experience

contains order and simplicity achieved through

From 1967-2003 the institution gained a

five hierarchical components including; point of

total of 4 buildings. Two structures are notably

reference, location of information, determining

known for their wayfinding difficulties. One is

a path to take, maintaining that path, and

the institutions primary addition and the other

access or denial of the path chosen.

an

off-campus

students.

facility,

Obtrusive

housing

paths

of

part-time circulation,

dysfunctional spaces and a lack of signage are vi

a few issues these buildings are experiencing, lending to the need of a redesign. The

best

way

to

accomplish

this

wayfinding task is to incorporate a greater user experience through sensorial qualities, graphic indicators (signage) and spatial hierarchies. Wall textures, ambient light and the effects of sound in volumetric spaces serve as examples of these necessary components.

Additionally,

graphic indicators and spatial hierarchies will collectively

define

choreographing a

spatial

characteristics

sequence

of movements

through the campus reestablishing order by bringing building forms together. Furthermore, the space acquired from removing unnecessary structures will contribute to a well defined communal space along the Rietveld’s exterior producing a link between it and the remaining facilities on site.

vii

rapidly. And the increase in students required

Introduction

more space.

The Rietveld Academie is located in the Netherlands, within the city of Amsterdam. The institution, at this moment, has undergone a number of additions since its original design by modern architect Gerrit Rietveld in the 1960’s. Rietveld’s design was done in classical Bauhaus glass

tradition,

wall

incorporating

facades

and

expansive

straight

line

architectural details. At the time of the school’s completion,

Figure 1 Northwest aerial from Sandberg Institute building

the student body population was less than half of its current’s. The campus, once opened to

In

the public, was made up of one building and a

2003,

Benthem

Crowel

Architects

simple courtyard space that elegantly served

designed a building on the Rietveld campus.

as a ceremonial meeting space for students

This 85,000sqft building, named the Sandberg

prior to entering the structure.

Institute, currently sits 8-stories in height and

passed

however,

the

student

As years body

was designed to house the students studying

grew

fine arts and graphic media. 1

these needed facilities, the once simple design scheme was now deteriorated.

Figure 2 Axonometric drawing of current campus layout

In May of 2009, the Rietveld Academie acquired another building.

This addition was

an off-site facility approximately 12,000sqft in size housing part-time and first year students of the university.

Ultimately, the school’s

desire was to house the students on-campus; however,

due

budgeting Unfortunately,

to

issues while

spatial

constraints

and

could

not.

institution

added

they the

2

The

Problem

complexities

at

the

institution were primarily caused by one major addition made to the school approximately ten

Over the course of four decades, the

years after its conception. An 8,000sqft glass

institution became increasingly troublesome

structure was the first addition made to the

spatially. An additional structure was added,

Rietveld campus in 1976 that housed students

on-site parking was incorporated and poorly

studying

articulated exterior spaces were presented. All

woodwork,

glasswork.

of which caused habitation issues and user

Along

metalwork,

with

this

and

architectural

proposal, the hired architect designed a small

orientation difficulties. While these structures

exhibition house approximately 400sqft for

fit the programmatic elements needed, they

displaying student work. This addition, while it

contributed to a fragmented campus of isolated

wasn’t

bodies causing a break in the site’s continuity.

the

last,

was

problematic

due

to

misleading circulatory systems, lack of signage

The difficulties mentioned are some of

and uninhabitable exteriors spaces. While the

the leading contributors to poor wayfinding.

Rietveld

Wayfinding is a term used to describe user

design

utilizes

a

double-loaded

corridor for circulation, the latter proposals,

experience and their perception within an

unconventionally, utilize three.

environmental context and when mishandled lead to disorientation and confusion.

wayfinding

The first path

connected into the Rietveld design’s circulation

And at

made sense, while the other two paths, for no

the Rietveld Academie, wayfinding stands-out

apparent reason, situated themselves within

as one of the core issues of universities layout.

the space that was intended for student work. 3

These same paths disguised themselves as they abruptly terminated at spaces that most users did not utilize or they took people to a bay of unmarked doors with no clear indicators stating their use. Figure 3 diagrammatically, shows how this condition comes together.

Figure 4 Factors contributing to the lack of wayfinding and design consistency to Rietveld

While the interior of the school proves disconcerting, the primary addition’s exteriors are

equally

troublesome.

The

second

architectural proposal, a small exhibition house mentioned

Figure 3 Issues associated with Rietveld additions

earlier,

contains

an

eastern

entrance (rear) yet is approached from the west side of the structure (front).

This

problematic configuration becomes increasingly 4

irritating for visitors due to a lack of signage.

these major programmatic components into a

Furthermore, the deficiency of visual aids and

succinct organizational layout for the campus

the inept use of circulatory space creates a

will greatly improve the institutions wayfinding

series of dead zones where storage items are

difficulties.

kept and potential on-lookers to the exhibition house refrain from viewing.

The irony of this

spatial absurdity is that before the exhibition house was added the space was once a large portion of the original courtyard design serving as a hierarchical meeting space of the campus. Clearly,

these

troublesome

additions

lack

clarity and are in need of a practical scheme that

successfully

contributes

to

a

concise

solution. Figure 4 Lack of celebratory entrance

It is the goal of this thesis to strengthen the lack of wayfinding within the school by redesigning the early additions made to the Rietveld building while incorporating it with a large enough net square footage to house its current student body at its remote location with the student body on-campus.

Unifying 5

Proposal The redesign of the institution’s first building will require a minimum of 8,000sqft for

the

existing

addition

to

space

12,000sqft

being for

occupied the

in

students

currently located at the off-campus facility bringing the net square footage needed to approximately 20,000. The execution of this wayfinding design scheme will incorporate the primary components of any successful system which

include

indicators

sensorial

and

qualities,

changes

in

graphic spatial

characteristics. These elements are shown in a wayfinding scheme in Figure 5.

Figure 5 Architectural Implications and possible wayfinding solutions indicated by paths, graphic elements and grand gestures

6

The goal for this design is to rejuvenate the interconnectedness of the campus through its communal spaces and circulatory systems. In

order

to

accomplish

this

task,

the

wayfinding system will need to be broken down. First, from the moment someone enters the campus to the time they approach the Amstel Canal, all need to be composed to maintain

order

in

the

wayfinding.

The

entrance conditions need to communicate to a visitor that they are crossing the threshold of the institution.

Figure 6 Breakdown of wayfinding elements for each section of the campus showing existing and proposed conditions

This primary threshold is key

to a visitor’s initial perception of the wayfinding system established. The second system integration for a concise

wayfinding

saolution

will

reestablishing a communal courtyard.

tactile surfaces. Once executed, this portion of

be

the site will aid in reuniting the space between

The

the Rietveld design and the Sandberg Institute.

communal courtyard will need to be defined as

The

it originally was using vegetated features and

tertiary

system

needed

to

reestablish the current lack of order is through a proposed redesigned. This redesign will serve 7

as the most important aspect of the wayfinding scheme. This portion of the design will need to incorporate a simplified circulatory path that effectively uses graphic indicators (signage) to aid in the movement of its users. Additionally,

the

methods

used

for

accomplishing the interior’s wayfinding will be to use light qualities that guide users through the building intuitively as it takes them from one space to the next.

Subsequently, tactile

wall qualities will help users understand where they are.

Figure 7 Architectural implications of the redesigned addition and potential wayfinding scheme breakdown

8

Figure 8 Architectural implications of the redesigned addition and potential wayfinding scheme breakdown

Figure 9 Wayfinding designs illustrating the benefits of possible sensory and fundamental wayfinding solutions

9

The final element in a concise wayfinding

organizational layout, giving a strong order

scheme will be the transition from the interior

back to its master plan. Secondly, this would

of the project to the Amstel Canal. This part of

mean one concise movement of how users

the scheme will serve as a secondary exterior

should traverse through spaces as they were

space in order to maintain the hierarchical

intended.

importance

being

plan would unite the students at its current off-

The goal of this portion of the

site location with its existing student body on-

established.

of

the

communal

court

design is to maintain its natural qualities as

And third, this condensed school

campus.

designing a “space” could prove to be an

On a smaller scale, a concise wayfinding

overabundance of exterior areas of habitation.

scheme

Due to its unique condition near the

would

mean

reworking

a

poorly

constructed series of additions to the school

canal, a programmatic spatial element will

creating

however, need to be generated.

This could

eliminating multiple paths of circulation, abrupt

possibly be articulating trees to denote a

dead ends and impractical placement of doors

procession to the waterway or a path in the

and openings.

landscape

graphic information that clearly denotes where

containing

pockets

of

habitable

spaces.

strong

spatial

layouts

while

It would also mean creating

users are going and how to find specific

The completion and execution of this

information regarding their destination.

And

wayfinding system would do a lot for this

finally, a clear system would bring back the

institution on many levels.

communal courtyard that will serve as the

On a broader

scheme, it would mean simplifying its current

hierarchical meeting space it once was. 10

Figure 10 Site plan indicating bounds of the campus layout for reorganization

11

Methodology

own

system

that

clearly

establishes

directionality on the way to their destination. In establishing the needed wayfinding

In order to accomplish this task, we shall

system mentioned, the primary goal is to use

consider the users that will be here at the

Light as the hierarchical element to guide

institution.

people. Through the use of light, users would

students and visitors. By acknowledging these

be guided by its varying degrees of luminosity.

groups and designing schemes around them,

Paths

we can be sure to optimally use wayfinding to

that

end

with

brighter

light

would

represent the more necessary spaces a large

These

users

consist

of

faulty,

its highest potential.

collection of visitors would need to encounter.

Before looking into the users in more

And for spaces along the path with moderate

detail, we will first get a better understanding

levels of illumination, they would indicate that

of what wayfinding is and how it can attribute

such a path is for a limited number of users.

to well designed space for these entities

Through an implementation of 5 key wayfinding elements, mentioned later, that would correspond to one another in order to inform the characteristic of the spaces an inhabitant would experience. It is important to note that one component alone cannot develop the experience for all. Each entity needs their 12

Figure 11 Typical faculty path, second floor Figure 13 Typical faculty path, second floor

Figure 14 Typical faculty path, third floor

Figure 12 Typical faculty path, third floor

13

Figure 15 Typical faculty path, third floor

Figure 16 Typical faculty path, third floor

14

For many of us wayfinding is something

Wayfinding

we use everyday yet rarely realize it. Humans, In order to more effectively understand

by nature, are creatures of habit. And in our

what wayfinding we shall take a closer look at

habits perform routine tasks that aid in our

its purpose and what it takes for it to be used

daily needs while simplifying our lives.

effectively. Wayfinding

is

commonly

used

in

architecture referring to user orientation and the selection of a path to travel.

Modern

additions to the term now encompass a series of architectural design elements that aid in orientation. Coined in the early sixties by Kevin Lynch, he defined wayfinding as,”a consistent use and organization of definite sensory cues from the external environment”. Later to be expounded

upon

by

environmental

Figure 17 Graphic wayfinding

psychologist Romedi Passini, wayfinding began to include graphic communication that affects its spatial relationships, tactile elements and provision for users with special-needs. 15

of wayfinding. Here is another example, have you ever entered a building in search of directional information to help you locate your destination? Yet again, you were an advocate of

wayfinding

because

you

were

seeking

information that would aid in your spatial orientation. Wayfinding

and

its

benefits

can

summed up into 5 points simple points: 1. Orientation 2. Locating Information

Figure 18 Spatial and graphic wayfinding system used at the Barbican in London

3. Determining your Path 4. Keeping the Path 5. Access or Denial

For instance, have you ever parked in a location that was either well shaded or near an element (such as a palm tree or street lamp) in order to help you locate your car on your way out? Well, whether you realized it or not, you just utilized wayfinding. And the element that you parked under or next aided in your sense of awareness and orientation: the primary rule 16

be

Orientation Orientation is a term used involving directional awareness.

When we think of

orientation we typically think of ourselves in relation

to

other

bodies

or

objects,

and

rightfully so. Architecturally, when we describe orientation we illustrate it from the experience of the user and how they orient themselves in relation to others.

More clearly, orientation

can be understood as a point of reference. For instance, the Guggenheim by architect Frank Lloyd

Wright

orientation

is

and

a

key

point

of

example

of

both

reference.

Its

spherical shape emphasizing the circulatory path of the building with its large open volume through the center is a means by which visitors to the museum can orient themselves. Figure 19 5 points of wayfinding

Wayfinding orientation is ultimately a spatial condition intimately linked to the 17

arrangement of an areas layout. While spatial layouts in wayfinding are defined by certain characteristics,

such

circulation

organization,

and

communication architectural

provides and

effective wayfinding.

Figure 20 Guggenheim by Frank showcasing the clarity of orientation

Lloyd

Wright,

18

as

graphic

content,

form,

environmental

the

additional,

essentials

for

mapping

process

characteristic. characteristics

is

And that

an

areas

unless

the

separate

spatial

area

them

has from

surrounding spaces, creating this mental map becomes

challenging.

have

tendency

a

Fortunately,

to

group

people

these

spatial

qualities into zones. Destination zones allow us to

break-down

environments

complex into

buildings

image

and

mapping

compartments. If, for instance, someone were to look for a new pair of ‘Nike up-tempos’ in a Figure 21 Circulatory traffic pattern containing graphic, spatial and orientating properties of wayfinding

complex downtown facility, that person will probably first indentify the shopping area as their first destination zone distinguishing itself

When in complex settings, people try to

from other major destination zones such as

find their way by understanding what their surroundings organization.

contain

and

its

method

of

People begin by forming a

the

strongest

organizers

for

destination

zone

recreational. is

of

a

This

higher

major

ordering

contributing factors toward spatial wayfinding.

by finding elements for the user to identify. of

or

decision, therefore making it one of the largest

mental map. This mental map must first begin One

institutional

Next, this person would assume to look for a

this

sub-zone 19

that

groups

clothing

together.

Destination

zones

are

therefore

an

which the moment a person spends fixated on

embodiment of multiple large scale and smaller

an object is only for tenths of seconds where it

scale zones that work together to first identify

is retained in a short-term memory bank until

itself as the major point of origin and then

it is needed to retained longer. (Wayfinding

down to the specifics of the final destination..

People Signs Architecture 34) Because people generally don’t have time to fixate on any particular object for an extended period of

The Visual Field: Locating Information

time, they tend to ignore information that is poorly designed and wrongly placed.

One of the joys of reading is being able to sit attentively focused on one word as it

Determining your path

follows the other. The perception of what we read moves from these words to sentences,

Since our years as adolescence, we do

then to paragraphs and so on. Unfortunately, our

visual

field

when

“reading”

our

not like being told what to do and where to go.

environment isn’t like that. And our perception

This

of environmental conditions is based on our

wayfinding options.

intuitive ability to scan our visual field to gain

freedom of doing as we choose where options

and retain information. People, while walking

are given to us and we are open to select

about have a innate ability to scan their visual

amongst them.

field only picking out objects of interest, in 20

is

no

different

when

considering

As people, we enjoy the

Successful wayfinding systems do just this.

In order for someone to freely utilize

information given to them they must be given information

through

multiple

fashions.

Signage and directories are only a single facet of wayfinding and are often too direct if not at all. Telling people a one directional path limits their user experience and spatial discovery. Successful signage, in architecture, is never abrasive or obtrusive.

It lends itself to the

canvas of the wall to be utilized only when called upon by the user.

Its beauty is truly

Figure 22 Image showing the tactile and visual light qualities contributing to wayfinding

seen when the design of the characters and articulation of the forms are so inherently integrated with the design of the building that if not looking for it, it can be missed. Alternate ways we determine our path using wayfinding systems is through its spatial definition as mentioned earlier and through qualities that involve the senses. 21

ambulance/fire/police sirens) are largely based

Sensory wayfinding

on sound and its movement through space. However, for our large population these sounds

Sound

serve as excellent warning cues. Regardless of our head position, sounds are still perceived.

Our second most used sensory ability in wayfinding is probably our hearing.

Therefore

While

to our perception of space.

due to the unreliability of the source, the to

perceive

characteristics

is

reliable.

hearing

Our

still

environmental

apparent is

also

and

fairly

useful

in

indentifying the depth and distance of an object.

Imagine crossing a busy street not

being able to hear traffic as it passes or the sound of workers within a close range of yourself.

This feeling can be very unsettling

for many, especially to those who are hearing impaired. Safety may be a major concern for the impaired and unfortunately many of our emergency

warning

signals

(fire

ourselves

with

the

soundscape of our built environment is crucial

sound sources in wayfinding are often reduced ability

concerning

alarms, 22

definition, yet it does define what and when we are capable of doing an activity.

Light is the

transformer of space. It is the one element in architecture that is ever changing.

“As with

good architecture, good lighting, illuminates, clarifies, stimulates.

Bad lighting, like bad

architecture, dazzles, confuses and produces weariness.” Light in Architecture Light in wayfinding is equally important as signage or spatial layouts because it is the one element that architecture relies on to give Figure 23 conditions

Wayfinding

through

color

and

entrance

it life. Light can tell us where we must travel depending on the way it cuts through a form or bends around a wall.

Its warmth is inviting.

When one emerges from a place of darkness

Light “Architecture is the wise correct and

and into the light, one may now know where it

magnificent play of volumes collected together

was once inhibited. Light is the voiceless tour

under the light.” Le Corbusier Light is the

guide.

element architecture cannot live without. It

how it moves as it changes throughout the

gives architecture form, space, visibility and

day.

habitation.

Natural

light

itself

needs

no 23

It can illuminate openings, describe It can tell us the importance of taking

one path versus another, all while providing light and safety.

24

south side of the site is a fairly large yet

Site Selection The

underutilized road (Fred Roeskstraat) that

site

for

the

approximately 270’X470’.

academy

is

On it are three

buildings (four additions in all), including its northern most building designed in 1966 by the famous Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld. This

building

is

utilized

by

the

design

departments on campus and stands at 70’ in height.

The adjacent building, just south of

Figure 24 3d aerial of the site within surrounding context

the Rietveld design, the Sandberg Institute, is the newest wing built in 2003 to house the fine arts departments. Just north of the Rietveld campus is the Amstel Canal that is joined by its larger entity the Amstel River that runs through the city of Amsterdam. Like all major canals and bodies of water throughout the city, foliage lines the edges adding to the city’s character.

On the Figure 25 Site plan and existing campus location

25

provides access to the site.

Heading west on

this street will take you to one of Amsterdam’s largest

roads

that

encompasses

the

city:

Amstelveensweg. While this road relies heavily on automobile traffic, pedestrian access is still a major asset to this street. On the east side of the site is a small office complex approximately two stories high. The adjacent building west of Figure 26 Northeast view of Sandberg Institute building from the street (Fred Roeskstraat)

the campus is Loyens and Loeff, a large commercial complex eight stories high that

periodicals and reference novels ranging from

shares a portion of the Rietveld site due to a

graphic design to jewelry. On the Institute’s

land acquisition back in 2003. Indicated in

south side, is an expansive glass façade that

figure 27, the existing Rietveld floor plan

the school utilizes as a transitional space

contains a double loaded corridor with major

before entering the library.

amenities including, the café and model shop

members of the student body take use of this

on opposing ends of the facility. The Sandberg Institute,

designed

by

Benthem

Occasionally,

space to house small scale projects before

Crowel

presenting them publically to their peers. The

Architects shows an open plan on the north

benefit of using this space is the greater

side used to house the school’s library. There, students have access to a large collection of 26

amount of room to display their work and the presence of the southern sunlight.

Figure 27 Existing ground floor plan

27

Site Analysis

Figure 28 Conceptual Diagram of adjacent spatial conditions

28

Analysis of the site began at an early stage

in

the

design

process.

A

strong

understanding of where visitors to the site were

coming

from

was

crucial,

therefore

pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns were studied. The largest contributor to pedestrian and

vehicular

Amstelveensweg.

traffic

came

from

Indicated in figures 31 and

32 as the street running north to south, it

Figure 29 Pedestrian traffic movement

serves as the greatest manmade connector to the heart of the city. This major metropolitan road is considered Amsterdam’s largest street as it forms a ring around the city.

The

greatest benefit of this road is the ability for its users to travel around the outskirts of the city while still remaining in close proximity to all major public amenities. Other major connectors the site contains are a large collection of green spaces along with major and minor canals used to delineate

Figure 30 Vehicular traffic movement

29

them. Within the city itself all major and most minor canals are lined by a row of trees generating a strong continuity to the area. This major site feature serves as one of the greatest existing wayfinding conditions found in Amsterdam. Following these green lines of foliage to their ends will take followers to select public spaces in some areas and open pastures in others.

Nevertheless, following

Figure 31 Macro vegetated points of connection

therow of tree lines will always return people to the city’s major pedestrian areas.

Figure 32 connection

30

Macro

water

and

vehicular

points

of

DOG-time student studios……………….(approx 7,000sqft collectively) Foundation year studios…………………..(approx 2,000sqft collectively) Lounge…………………………………(approx 800sqft) Jury Rooms………………………..(approx 700sqft) Faculty Rooms…………………..(approx 500sqft) Temporary Gallery……………..(approx 1,000)

Program The Rietveld Academie is made up of over 900 students in which the facility’s program calls for a total of 90,000 sqft that includes the existing 70,000sqft design by Gerrit Rietveld.

Net Sqft……………….(approx 12,000sqft)

The other 20,000sqft encompass a redesign of

Gross Net sqft………approx 87,900sqst)

the east wing (approx. 8,000sqft) while the remaining square footage (approx 12,000sqft) will be used to

house students currently

housed off-campus.

East wing redesign Program: Glass Shop w/ studio…….(approx 2,500sqft) Metal Shop w/ studio…….(approx 2,500sqft) Wood Shop w/ studio…….(approx 2,500sqft) Loading bay…………………….(approx 700sqft) Net Sqft…………………………….(approx 8,200sqft) Rietveld Addition requirements: 31

Preliminary Design Schemes

Figure 33 Preliminary design concept 1

Figure 35 Preliminary design concept 3

In

these

conceptual

development

schemes, the goal was to create, in a single snapshot, a series of wayfinding systems that when used collectively, reinforce the notion of movement and effectively communicate to users the 5 points of wayfinding.

Moreover,

these design schemes were used to identify how the addition could connect itself to the Rietveld Academie and what characteristics the

Figure 34 Preliminary design concept 2

forms would take on once established. 32

Figure

36

Wayfinding

possibilities

along

the

exterior

33

and

within

the

interior

of

the

redesigned

addition

In

Figure

established.

41

the

first

scheme

is

Indicators demonstrate not only

the quality of light but also the texture of the walls, the entrance and exit conditions as well as the degree of habitation that would be used to simulate the 5 points of wayfinding. The goal of this first scheme was to demonstrate in one model how multiple wayfinding ideas come together to create a single solution and how

Figure 37 Rietveld redesigned approach possibilities

within that solution, each wayfinding element can be used independent of the others to aid in a user’s movement. In figure 43, an advanced level drawing, the idea was to give a more accurate visual of what

a

user

would

encounter

as

they

approached the Academie from the street edge.

The biggest gesture of this rendering

was its architectural implications denoted by a single path, overhead planes and grand Figure 38 Rietveld conceptual plan development

34

entrance features.

In figures 46 and 47 this

architectural condition can be seen clearer. In

the

figures

mentioned

previously,

special note should be made of the removal of the original addition and exhibition house. These newer conceptual developments connote an architectural attachment that adheres itself to the southern façade and is pulled through to the

northern

face.

Additionally,

these

schemes denote a renewed presence to the

Figure 39 Rietveld conceptual design scheme 1

courtyard. Indicated by the three central trees found in the images, the courtyard now serves as a passive meeting space for students before transitioning into the Rietveld building. In figure 47, the distinguished orange path is used to represent the intended path that a visitor would travel upon arrival. From the edge of the street, users would first be guided by the ground condition that if walked on, would take them through the campus and Figure 40 Conceptual design scheme 2

out to the water’s edge. Once experienced, 35

users would return through which they came in

In the conceptual scheme shown in

order to experience the interior of the building.

figure 48, the proposal was to establish a

Once inside, the users would be greeted with

cadence

bamboo and a large esplanade to shelter them

vegetation in order to create a seamless

from exterior conditions, as indicated in figure

transition from the site’s entrance to the

46.

interior of the redesigned proposal.

After breaking the threshold of the

within

the

arrangement

of

the

After

entrance, users would then encounter the

further review and critique, the consensus was

single most path-orienting element within the

to maintain the movement of users through

interior of the building: the green corridor.

vegetation,

Conceptually

speaking,

the

green

much

like

the

previous

conceptual iteration, use it to allow a greater

corridor was envisioned as a hallway that

transition out to the canal.

would contain a naturally planted material running from the basement up through the roof.

but

Once visited, this element would serve

as a placeholder for users to determine where they are in relation to the building.

36

Schematics As

the

schematic

phase

began

the

development of the building form took shape. The design called for three main architectural components to component

take

envisioned

place. was

The primary to

create

a Figure 41 Evolutionary model 1

juxtaposition between the original Rietveld design and the new addition. In the adjacent figures, this condition can be understood more clearly. Additionally, the design also called for establishing a greater connection between the proposed condition and the Sandberg Institute through articulation of the courtyard. Elongated walls were used to generate

continuity

while

expressing

alignments of major elements. Figure 42 Evolutionary model 2

37

Figure 43 Rietveld entrance conditions.

38

Figure 44 Information desk

39

As a result of the fore mentioned design schemes, the building now attained a method of guiding visitors through the site. By this stage in the design process the building forms were finalizing and a breakdown of different wayfinding elements were being established. Once broken down, an individualized wayfinding scheme was created. Upon review Figure 45 Main staircase

of the schemes it was inherent that each user of Rietveld Academie would need their own wayfinding. The down

into

wayfinding three

proposal

major

students and visitors.

was

groups:

broken faculty,

The reasoning for the

three different paths was to accommodate the different user destinations. visitor,

more

administrative

For instance, a

likely

needs

to

offices,

jury

rooms

find

the

or

the

auditorium. Therefore, a set path would need

Figure 46 Cafe

40

to be generated in order for them to find their way. Each one of these user groups have set paths designed to aid in their journey. Along the way, each entity will encounter additional wayfinding elements to lead them. Figure xx is an indicator of this claim. The graphics displayed reference the room allocation while the green space running through the center of the structure showcases the

building’s

Furthermore,

the

largest-orienting archetypes

used

Figure 47 Green corridor

feature. in

the

project also play a major role in the user’s wayfinding.

Wall textures, ceiling conditions

and floor plane materials serve as contributors in specifically delineating pathway choices. High order schemes such as spatial adjacencies will also serve as a wayfinding contributor telling someone using it that similar spaces can be found at alternate locations. Figure 48 Study spaces

Light, the highest ordered scheme of all, 41

is used to guide users more intuitively.

The

goal was to use natural light found at the terminus of each path to take inhabitants from one space to the next.

Louis Kahn once

claimed that, “…light is the source of all being…” and as such, its presence within this project is felt once someone transitions from the beginning to the end. The next hierarchical wayfinding element Figure 49 Wayfinding Light

designed were a series of spaces that people found through discovery. Due to the nature of wayfinding, often times it becomes too direct offering minimal effort by the user. By creating these discovery spaces, people now have a passive system in place that they will aid in their destination location but will do it through intuition and observation. The goal of these spaces is for students, faculty and visitors to find each other creating

opportunities,

architecturally,

for Figure 50 Wayfinding discovery spaces

informal dialogue. Once found, these spaces 42

amount of surfaces they are used on and would be used more frequently by the entities

limiting the amount of text when being used.

that encounter its location. Other wayfinding elements

used

include

vertical

vegetation,

graphic indicators and fire exit illumination. Of these spatial positioning devices mentioned, graphic indicators are the sole contributor to a traditional wayfinding. Graphic indicators or signage, as it’s better known, refers to images, text, icons or symbols that are used to denote space or information

about

an

area.

When

Figure 51 Wayfinding vertical green spaces

used

effectively, graphic indicators can communicate to someone a large amount of information quickly and efficiently.

However, due to its

simplicity,

often

signage

is

overused

in

institutions and building complexes to the point where

they

lack

order

and

hierarchy.

Therefore, the goal was to use these graphic displays more eloquently by minimizing the Figure 52 Wayfinding graphic indicators

43

Figure 5 below describes how the approach to which these graphic indicators are used.

Figure 53 Wayfinding fire exits

Figure 54 Wayfinding lecture spaces

44

finally, undulating ceiling planes delineate the path for faculty members to use.

Final Design The

final

design

for

the

Rietveld

Academie is displayed in images 62-72. They were designed as a series of views that demonstrate the spatial characteristics of the proposed additions and how they relate to the existing conditions. Following the images from left to right will showcase how the spaces are perceived when walking through the building. development

of

the

archetypes

Further mentioned

earlier, have now been given a relationship to each user group.

The floor plane, when

finished with a wood decking, represents the path for visitors to.

Next, concrete wall

textures are used to denote the architectural feature for students utilizing the facility.

And Figure 55 Proposed Rietveld Basement Plan

45

Figure 57 Proposed Rietveld Second Floor Plan

Figure 56 Proposed Rietveld Ground Floor Plan

46

Figure 58 Proposed Rietveld Third Floor Plan

Figure 59 Proposed Rietveld Fourth Floor Plan

47

Figure 60 Cross-section through Green Corridor

48

Figure 61 Site Section from Fred Roeskestraat to Amstel Canal indicating how spaces contribute to wayfinding in section

49

Figure 62 Entrance/courtyard view (visitor path)

Figure 63 Courtyard/exhibition house view (visitor path)

50

Figure 64 Guest lounge/side entrance view (student path)

Figure 65 Second floor landing view (student path)

51

Figure 67 Fashion design view (student path)

Figure 66 Green corridor/jury room view (student path)

52

Figure 68 Third floor landing view (faculty path)

Figure 69 Faculty offices view (faculty path)

53

Conclusion The final design is shown in figures 7072.

Architecturally, only a few changes were

made yet they added to a greater sense of perception when inside the building.

The

auditorium, once located on the west wing of the Rietveld design from earlier iterations, has now been relocated just above the main Figure 70 Final model northwest aerial view

entrance to be a clearer indicator from both the interior and the exterior of the hierarchical space within the structure.

Figure 71 Final model view from Sandberg deck to courtyard

54

Figure 72 Final model entrance view

55

Hollis, Richard. Swiss Graphic Design : The

Works Cited

Origins and Growth of an International Style 1920-1965. New York: Yale UP, 2006.

Area. New York: Phaidon P.

Leslie, Jeremy, and Lewis Blackwell. Issues New

Breaking Designer's Block : 301 Graphic Design

Magazine Design. Corte Madera: Gingko P

Solutions. New York: Rockport, 2004.

Inc, 2000.

Drew, Ned, and Paul Sternberger. By Its Cover.

Perry, Michael. Over and Over : A Catalog of Hand

New York: Princeton Architectural P, 2005

Drawn

Eldridge, Kiki. 1000 Bags, Tags and Labels :

Drawn

Graphic Design and the Built Environment. 4th ed.

Research.

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"SignWeb

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Princeton

Patterns.

New

York:

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Architectural P, 2008.

Informedesign.

Informedesign.umn.edu.

York:

Perry, Michael. Over and Over : A Catalog of Hand

New York: Rockport, 2006. 1.

New

Architectural P, 2008.

Distinctive Designs for Every Industry.

Vol.

Patterns.

|

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Is

SignWeb | April 24, 2009. 24 Apr. 2009

2009



/id/1433/>.

ws/may_v01-p.pdf>.

Smock, William. The Bauhaus Ideal: Then and

Herriott, Luke. The Designer's Packaging Bible :

Now. Chicago: Academy Chicago, 2004. 3-

Creative Solutions for Outstanding Design.

20.

Switzerland: RotoVision SA, 2007. 56

The Picture Book : Contemporary Illustration.

Wilde, Richard, and Judith Wilde. Visual Literacy

Grand Rapids: Laurence King, 2006.

:

The Picture Book : Contemporary Illustration.

Minneapolis:

Watson-

Guptill Publications, Incorporated. Vaccarino,

Rossana.

Roberto

Burle

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to

Graphic

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Grand Rapids: Laurence King, 2006. Director's

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Landscapes Reflected, Landscape Views 3. New York: Princeton Architectural P, 2000.

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Wayfinding in Architecture - Scholar Commons - University of South

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