In collaboration with RACHEL MUSE

Located on a historic industrial site, and in prime location to connect to both Downtown and to the thriving commercial district of Southside, the Three Rivers Hostel aims to target active youth populations who are coming to experience Pittsburgh's recreational and athletic amenities. Situated contextually between massive historical pieces of infrastructure, raillines and a dilapidated riverfront, the hostel aims to both respond to contextual cues of material and scale, but also seeks to repair pedestrian and public access to the site. These "pedestrian infrastructures" or paths became the main driver for the hostels generation. Regenerating the nearby Three Rivers Heritage Trail bike path, which terminates abruptly the sites East, to pierce through the building; the heart of the edifice becomes a commons space for a nexus of interaction where pedestrians and hostel stays can converge and interact. Other elements include a reinvigorated riverfront with re-adapted kayak port, as well as a proposed connection to Downtown via the hostels roofscape; in which a new pedestrian bridge would be constructed spanning inside the vehicular Liberty Bridge. In this way the hostel truly becomes a nexus of paths which reconnects the heart of the city with the site which has sat quite abandoned for decades. Rich in material, the hostels facade is composed of a wooden slat rain screen and faceted metal sheets. The form of which intends to relate the building parti of paths breaking through the structure by creating frayed openings and giving the appearance of tearing open. Contextually this material aims to weather naturally and gracefully, with the wood grey and metal rust merging with the industrial rich palette present on the site currently. 

BIKE PATH EXPERIENCE

FINAL BUILDING FLOOR PLANS

FINAL SITE MODELS 1/16" 

Presentation highlighting Hostel Context and Program

USER and Relationship To Spaces: The intended user being a more active spirit, we imagined this implication for building weathering, as well as the relationships to more active spaces or connections to the exterior via "heat wave" studies and models to show these relationships more visually. 

USER DIAGRAMS and HEAT STUDIES

PROTOTYPING, FACADE and ASSEMBLY: This project prompt also made teams heavily focus on material prototyping. As such the portion of our building we chose to delve deeper into was the layered facade system of wood and metal that created our unique tearing effect. Time was spent exploring different kinds of wood slat geometries, through drawing and prototyping. Investigation into creating repeatable blocks and mapping them over portions of our building helped in choosing the final slat type we choose to pursue. Our current direction utilizes side lapped wood slats, as well as break formed metal sheets. This system was explored at a variety of scales, from the physical prototypes, to elevation studies, and to detail drawings of the systems construction logic to finally building scale via renderings. Final prototypes were roughly 2'X4' made of plywood and cedar, MDF, and Raw Plasma Cut/Breakformed Steel. 

FACADE ELEVATION STUDY OF SLAT AND METAL FRAY AND TEARING

FACADE ELEVATION STUDY OF SLAT AND METAL FRAY AND TEARING

AXONOMETRIC AND PLAN DETAIL OF METAL MULLION, TAPERED SLAT, and METAL SHEET

AXONOMETRIC AND PLAN DETAIL OF METAL MULLION, TAPERED SLAT, and METAL SHEET

FINAL MATERIAL PROTOTYPES: CEDAR, RUSSIAN WHITE OAK PLYWOOD, MDF, BREAK FORMED RAW STEEL SHEET; 24" x 44" x 2.5" 

PROTOTYPING PROCESSES: PLASMA CUTTING, CNC ROUTING

PROCESS SLAT MAPPING AND TESTING

PROCESS SLAT MAPPING AND TESTING

ORIGINAL PROTOTYPE MATERIAL STUDIES: PLYWOOD, BASSWOOD, BREAKFORMED+SHEARED STEEL: appx 11X17"

PROCESS RECTANGULAR SLAT BLOCK STUDY FOR FACADE

PROCESS RECTANGULAR SLAT BLOCK STUDY FOR FACADE

CONSTRUCTED WALL SECTION: PLESS IMAGE TO SEE FULL VIEW

RIVERFRONT ELEVATION STUDY: WOOD SLAT FRAY

MATERIAL STUDIES: COLLAGE: Moving beyond the facade, we realized that our material system could translate to a variety of conditions on the site proper. In addition collages on larger conditions we wished to visualize, namely the bike experience, commons nexus an rooftop bridge were explored via this method. 

MATERIAL MOMENT STUDIES OF BUILDING AND RIVERFRONT: CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGE VIEW

PROCESS FROM EXPERIMENTS, MODEL AND DRAWING: Towards the beginning of our explorations, we inquired into solidifying the site strategy using models and collage like plan diagrams. These studies show the project in various stags of development, from early conceptual models, models intended to show mapped data, as well as precursor prototype models. 

PERSONAL WORK: SITE ANALYSIS: Before teams were formed to create the hostel project, individuals worked into compiling portions of site analysis. Tasked with environment factors, I generated the following drawings of air pollution, site decibel level, water flow, and wind studies using CFD software. Also I compiled material images and then mapped them onto the site where they were located to give the group a robust material context to begin to grapple with.