Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dear Adam,


This project is focused on product design by Adam Gregory, a mobile unit that functions as a party hub. This accessory will be complete with kitchen like features and designed in accordance to the client's specific house in downtown Greensboro NC. The house is a 1923 Bungalow, a style that will be incorporated into the product design, especially details such as jointery.

Tip: Design-wise, I think you are on the right track and will do great for product design. Currently, your concept/intent and the use of materials do not have a strong relationship...perhaps this needs more development...such as emphasizing your skill & talent with jointery in relation to this unique product. I would come up with a very strong statement/title that is simple yet descriptive, and is inspiring to others...perhaps this is the "new" kitchen?

Schematics: Dog Kennel Configuration


This is the trapazoidal dog runs configured together to make a large polygonal kennel. Only a portion of the interior will be covered, like the interior dog room and the walkway. In the center, where there is no roof, will be the courtyard. This will help relax the dogs, absorb noise, and filter odors.

Not sure of the practicality of having it half-roofed. Perhaps there is a solution/fix to this that I have not stumbled upon...


"I thought I’d go check out the dog kennels, which is really quite interesting. The shape is functional for its occupants and for the exhaustive volume of dogs. In the center is a courtyard with an open roof exposed to the clear sky. Surrounding this courtyard is my walkway, which is covered to protect me incase it was not such a beautiful day. Continuing my path, I make a complete circle. Between each dog kennel are coniferous trees, to last year round for sound and odor filtration. The sight of trees and the exposed sky is stimulating for the dogs, as a dog cannot resist the outdoors. If I am interested in a dog, I can have an attendant bring the dog into the courtyard where we can have a “meet and greet in the park.”

Schematic: Cat Atrium Interior


Before I list the details of this drawing, I would like to explore the design possibilities of the cat atrium.

Q. There is current argument that shelter animals should each have their own room, inside.
A1. First I would like to remind one that this is a shelter, where operations function primarily from volunteer workers. Because this shelter is no longer owned by the county, is privately owned, the shelter does not receive financial help from the government and therefore must rely on goodwill, donors, and sponsors.

A2. Second, I would like to stress the relationship of an unorganized facility with its nonfunctional design that promotes a poorly maintained & unhealthy facility.

A3. One plus Two equals the Third, having individual rooms for each animal is ideal and luxurious, but simplicity and economical is the primary goal. Also keep in mind by having individual rooms and incorporating the cleaning staff circulation rounds...this could potentially eliminate the ever so important window factor!! Windows could be compromised for storage and clean up space...

Now I am starting to question myself. I'm not sure which is the best answer...individual "cages" that have the opportunity to explore into the atrium jungle with other cats...or individual rooms that house a group of cats?

Perhaps my best solution is to meet with my contact, Dana, at the GCAS and ask her opinion.

To be further investigated...


"I am now inside the cat atrium, and my direct line of sight is a miniature atrium housed with cat trees and toys. The cats seem to be having fun and are highly stimulated with each other and with the view. Looking past the atrium, the view extends to some trees with birdhouses and bird feeders—no wonder the cats are so excited! On a beautiful day like today, the atrium window can be open to the fresh outdoors…and that’s about one inch closer the cats can be to those birds! Beyond the miniature cat atrium and surrounding cages is this textured reed grass wall. An excellent choice of material considering cats love to sink their claws into reeds, and it helps for me too as it absorbs sound and has a nice earthy and farm-like feel of hay mows."

Schematics: Breezeway Connector


"I am going to visit the cat atrium, and through my journey, I am directed through a breezeway. On one side, there is a full wall with an exposed raw cinderblock foundation and extending upward are vertical textured striped cinderblocks, similar to what the facility once was—or still is. Slightly above my head are small square windows with a single grid in each pane, bounded together with a rich striking red cladding that matches the paneled door in front of me as my destination. Guiding me is the same beautiful stained and textured concrete walkway that once inspired me outside at the entry. And to my right is the same beautiful view that had caught my attention, framed by screened in columns. The coordination of inside to outside correspondence reminds me of a park, or as if I am on a farm, where the landscape is so notorious for its tranquilities."

Schematic: Entry Way


This is a more developed facade of what was posted below.


+Stained concrete pathway: SoyCrete Acid-Alternative
+CMU block wall construction
+CMU textured block finish (original)
+Stained concrete "plaster" walls
+Storefront Aluminum Doors
+Operable windows: awning & double-hung
+Cupolas! Must be inter-designed with windows
+NC friendly trees: drought resistant, easy to grow, easy to maintain, deciduous & coniferous

"Upon approaching the main entry, my eyes take note of my surroundings. I can see a glimpse of a large polygonal building hidden behind deciduous and coniferous trees, filtering dog barks and the accompanying odors. The sight relaxes me, especially the variety of rich dark evergreens, saturated maples of red, green, and yellow leaves, and the white burst of dogwood florals to remind me of our beautiful state of North Carolina. Extending from the polygonal building I see a breezeway, which surely must appreciate the same view of abundant trees, leading my eyes to the main gable front entry. The shape is very simple and completely symmetrical, reminding me of a child’s typical drawing of a house—a farmhouse, at that. The entry fa├žade is supported with exposed cool grey cinderblock walls, alleviated with a light warm brown plastered center, and accented with bright red windows, doors, and cupolas. The exposure to raw materials makes me feel healthy and grounded, especially when I look down to see this beautiful stained and textured concrete walkway that pulls together all materials and sights."

Schematic : Overall Idea


In this rendering, I have assembled my research in an overall idea. The bottom right is the visitor parking. Once parked, the visitor approaches the main entry, which is showcased with a front steep pitched gable. Recessed in the back are the breezeway passages, connecting on the left to the cat atrium and to the left leads into the dog kennel polygon. The overall style is farmhouse, the cupolas above each major area is per ventilation research, all windows are operable, materials must be impervious to moisture as per code: concrete floors, CMU textured wall construction (original), slate alternative roofing, and NC-friendly trees.

Schematic Floor Plan [see post below]


The existing structure is the backward "L" block near the center, with the existing employee parking lot to the far left and the existing driveway along the bottom edge. In the center of the "L" block, I have added what will become the new main lobby/reception/entry for all visitors. Once checked-in, one can choose to go left toward the cat atrium or one can choose to go to the right and enter the dog kennels. Notice the breezeways that connect these spaces...especially the simple geometry as that of functionalists & farmhouses. The key to farmhouse design is simplicity and function, where life thrives from occupants (animals & people) upon its beautiful landscape.

I'm excited to say that I will be using "farmhouse" style and barns as my "concept!"

Footprint : Shape : Geometry : Form


This is perfect for the layout of my schematic process. By selectively incorporating the existing structure & site, and adding to, the dog kennel, cat atrium, and the connecting breezeways--this is it.

Breeze [2] way


This is a great connector piece to divide workers/volunteers and visitor traffic, especially because volunteers may be very dirty or soiled from cleaning kennels.

or

This is a great connector piece to divide & decide per weather conditions. If its nice, walk outside! If its not, walk inside!

"A Child's First [house] Drawing "

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dog Kennel & Run Configuration


I would like to introduce a "new" approach to dog kennels, an idea borrowed from 19th century European Functionalism of horse stables. Because dogs and horses are of the same species, I have continued my research accordingly with consideration of a higher domestic fragility for the dog.

In this model, the shape of the overall run is trapazoidal. The narrow end will be interior and small in size, a place for sleep or relaxation for the dog. On the opposite end, the shape continues to broaden as to maintain the running line for dog activity and increase his or her ever-so-important TERRITORY!

Through my research, I have learned the importance of territory for dogs. A major contributer to stress in such animals is the mental instability of being without territory. Another stress contributer for dogs is the great outdoors. Exposure to sunlight and landscaping is an eager instinct that if considered and exercised, stress levels will reduce...as will bad behaviors such as barking, digging, aggression, etc.

When multiple runs are configured together, a polygonal kennel is completed. This will allow for an "interior" courtyard in the center of the polygon for dog exercise and "meet & greet time in the park" with potential adoptees. Walkways will line the perimeter of both the interior and exterior contours of the polygon.

For system and material code research, dog surfaces have to be impervious to moisture. Therefore, I will incorporate radiant floor heating so that fluids can dry quickly, helping control sanitary standards. Radiant floor heating is the system of choice for animals and humans, as the thermal comfort from ground up is undeniable!

Individual drains are also highly recommended, instead of trench drains. Individual drains keep wastes separated from another's waste, preventing disease and illness transmission.

Breezeway Connector


Per each threshold of sequence of space, I have proposed to have an extended connector piece that will function for a variety of well-being purposes. First, I hope to have this connector piece feel like a breezeway, where fresh air & plant life landscaping will relax tensions from the anxieties of the adoption field. Second, such introductions and opportunities of fresh air & landscaping will improve indoor air quality. In conjunction, designed use of air flow and landscaping can help relax tensions & anxieties by improved air quality, promoting better moods with a healthy atmosphere.

For materials and code, impervious surfaces are required per the Animal Welfare Act. Because this area has the potential to be either a "sealed" interior space or an "open" interior space, I wonder what my options are:

If the breezeway is interior, than I must have impervious surfaces. I have researched either concrete or porcelain tiles to be the best of choice. Porcelain and ceramic are essentially the same thing, porcelain being of commercial ratings and performance. Concrete is concrete, but fun applications are available to enhance appearance and feel. Whatever the choice of surface, radiant floor heating will be applied for comfort and sanitation (fluids will dry up, preventing unwanted transmission of disease & etc). Large operable windows can help bring the outdoors in, achieving the hopes of an open breezeway, as expressed below.

If the breezeway is an open breezeway to the outdoors, than I wonder if the materials can be porous? This would make logical sense since natural materials, such as limestone or brick, absorb water and nutrients. Cleaning can be achieved through pressure washing, and also, the benefit of sun exposure to limestone is a natural disinfectant--perfect! Having an open breezeway would require thought to inconvenient weather conditions, such as precipitation--which can be moderately controlled with an overhead roof and radiant floor heating. Grates will also have to be incorporated to prevent puddling. Also, threshold transitions from this open breezeway to "sealed" interiors (cat atrium or lobby) can create drafts if not cohesively planned/designed. Drafts kill. Although the emotion and feel of an open breezeway would be more desirable, practicality may not be in favour...

Cat Atrium


I have been exploring the many possible configurations for the cat zone. Currently, cats are caged in two separate rooms 24/7. I will propose to change this, creating an area for healthy cats to play and interact within a "jungle" setting--like, cat trees, vertical elements, and other features that stimulate feline characteristics.

Another possibility for the jungle, only in this model, the atrium is dominating in size and scale. Group interaction and playtime will prevail per the opportunity. Alternatively, this configuration can be adjusted per size and scale so that individual cages and the jungle area are equally balanced.

For materials and code per the Animal Welfare Act, surfaces have to be impervious to moisture. Currently, my material of choice is porcelain. Porcelain is a commercial grade tile that comes in a variety of finishes, textures, and colors. Grouts can be impervious by using sandless grout or a 1:1 epoxy grout--highly recommended. For acoustical control and cat preference, I'd like to incorporate some natural materials like reeds or coir--cat scratch heaven! This material looks promising, as such grasses are unable to absorb are highly resistant. I could use this on walls or on cat trees! Longevity and sanitation are issues for such a high volume of cats, can oils from cats' nails be harmful? If so, this material could be applied to intangible surfaces like the ceiling or high walls.

Cat Atrium


I have been exploring the many possible configurations for the cat zone. Currently, cats are caged in two separate rooms 24/7. I will propose to change this, creating an area for healthy cats to play and interact within a "jungle" setting--like, cat trees, vertical elements, and other features that stimulate feline characteristics. In this sketch model, the individual cages are in the back with the jungle in the front.