Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cirque Progress Post

It has been awhile since I last posted...maybe because I decided to drop out of school to join the circus (kidding!). However the experiences from today’s field trip did really give me a good sense of what the training area entails and how certain spaces are utilized. We’re so used to watching shows like Cirque du Soleil as audiences from the theatre performance setting that it is often difficult to imagine what goes on behind the scenes and what the acrobatic training space is really like. So my design is based off of the values that Cirque du Soleil carries within its program. Based on my research, Cirque du Soleil is heavily involved in water management within their buildings and also chooses to use water in many of their individual shows and programs. The founder of Cirque, Guy Laliberté, also started a foundation called the One Drop foundation which aims to provide access to clean water for countries all over the world. Through the success of Cirque du Monde, performers use circus, visual and multimedia arts along with folklore, popular theatre, music and dance to encourage change in communities. In addition to raising awareness of water-related issues by entertaining and educating, ONE DROP works side by side with local partners to improve living conditions of disadvantaged communities through access and responsible use of natural resources, especially water.

As a result of this, I envisioned my building design to have a very fluid form, replicating the movements of water. There are obviously many programmatic issues that need to be revised as well as further design changes. I’ve based the programming of my building from what I perceived to be most important in Cirque values: Change, Creativity, and Community. Thus, most community spaces such as the cafe, the lobby, outdoor area etc, are in a central/atrium like space that connects the other spaces where change and creativity happen.
Here are some following sketches so far...

For my component design I wanted to design my envelope to replicate a water movement but at the same time allow it to be utilized for certain functions such as shading or ventilation. With these ideas in mind, I wanted to implement windows as part as a large glazing system that would pivot in a perpendicular direction to the facade of the building. The pivoting windows would be rippled glass of some sort and would create subtle shadows of moving water within the interior spaces during the day. During the night, the rippled glass would create blurred impressions from the human movements inside the training space which would give the effect of movements in water. Due to the fact that these windows would pivot and therefore are operable, it allows for ventilation which would pass through the training space and exit from operable windows in the roof.

The trouble i’m having is designing the component with a facade system that would give the appropriate effect i’m looking for, yet at the same time I don’t want the facade to be entirely saturated with these rippled glass windows. Still lots to figure out...time is running out =(.

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