159_Adrian Wong: Each Piece Not Sold Separately

Adrian Wong

Advisor: Marcelo Spina

Each Piece Not Sold Separately

Through an ensemble of figures, this thesis explores heterogeneous configurations in architecture through a dialectic between new and old, figural and monolithic, post-industrial and rural.

Located on the outskirts of Bologna, this project sits on top of an existing factory with expressive structure reminiscent of Nervi’s Paper Factory in Mantua. The use of primitives provides a diverse collection of figures to contribute to the heavily grided, spatially monotonous factory, while the edges of the factory defines a boundary to contain the new configuration of pieces. Through an estrangement of these elements, this building takes on the town’s post-industrial state of atrophy and hopes to revitalize it with a renewed relevance.

As a recycling museum and green academy, this project is situated on the edge of a heavily industrialized area while adjacent to a national park. This project attempts to mediate the two languages through form and program at different scales. Using a composition of primitive shapes, the massing of the new building takes on the pack-and-stacked quality of the existing factory and its context, and expresses it elevationally. The pieces are composed of both familiar and foreign elements abrupt piling of found shapes within the factory complex, allusion to the pitch of a vernacular sawtooth factory roof, or the abstraction of the forest through etched-metal panels.

Inside, the new form begins to interact with the old factory through various methods of resolution. Some figures retain their outside form, while some begin to cluster and sculpt out new spaces that cut across floors, creating voids and inter-floor circulation.
At lower levels of the old factory, figures resolve themselves into circulation cores that allow one to move through, or gain an understanding of, the spaces above and below them. The use of color at these levels are more indexical - indicating where new shapes intersect with old geometry. 

On upper floors where the configuration of shapes are more autonomous, figures begin to cluster and form their own organizational logic. The way each figure stacks or piles next to another establishes a set of geometric constraints to influence how they are divided. Color on these levels become more expressive, highlighting specific surfaces to call out its distinctive geometry in relation to, or distinguish from its exterior.