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THE BENDS

Design IV - Spring 2021

The Bends is a proposed community boathouse located in Ithaca, NY at the mouth of the Cayuga Inlet. The project is ultimately  a study on form through material, embracing and reinterpreting the ritual of wooden boat building. Through this concept, wood becomes the primary basis of exploration, in site, architecture, and program. Initial studies sited peeled surfaces within a grove of trees. These surfaces were divided into, three, each focusing on a separate program, but were centered around a central tree, creating a harmonious balance around the material basis of the project. The ends of the surfaces were folded into A-Frames, thus creating seemingly simple bending translations between regular and organic forms. The three buildings are as follows: a boat-building workshop, a public multi-use facility with a cafe, training center, and locker-rooms, and a boathouse for storing boats docks. Structurally, a system of rigid frames mimics the structure of boats, with repeated members that change angle progressively to account for the subtle change of angle in the bent roof seen in all three buildings. To stabalize the frames, inclined columns stretch outwards, holding every space open with no interior columns and embedding structural expression into the spatial and  conceptual basis of the project. The three open structures read more as excavated pavilions, which conceal a seperate realm between the gently peeled roofs and the ground.

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