Spring 2014

This year's Sound Building studio will focus on the design and development of a facility that combines two typically unassociated recreational activities; roller skating and bowling. Both functions are associated with established building typologies that are ripe candidates for redefinition and reinvention.

The site will be located adjacent to both the urban context of downtown Austin and the natural context of the Austin creek and river system. The project seeks to create a public and social place that engages and energizes the pedestrian experience of downtown through the introduction of varieties of activities and experiences. This project is not only about refining and fulfilling programmatic requirements, but also enhancing the experience of the city through engaging the body in space, and expressing the relationship of site and building spatially, materially, and tectonically.

Through research, you will learn about the site and architectural precedents with the hope that a thorough investigation of these issues will inspire alternative production processes and generate unconventional design solutions. Important aspects to explore in the design of this facility will include spatial relationships, structural systems, daylighting strategies, indoor/outdoor relationships, and issues of accessibility, assembly and materiality among many others. Based on energy-efficient construction and to remain in keeping with Austin's reputation as a progressive community, the design should not be limited to envelope and structure, but extend to an energy concept that makes maximum use of renewable resources with a precise understanding of their relationship to Austin's unique micro-climate . The goal is to develop a building with aesthetic and tectonic qualities that are reflected in its structural efficiency, functionality, and energy performance.