translucent realities

translucent realities:                                                                                                      glass materiality as spacial device

term | FALL 2012

critic | Troy Schaum

school | Rice University


site | Governor’s Island NY

program | Greenhouse, Exhibition, Retail

A 24/7/365 glass enclosed landscape creates a light and climate constant interior as the exterior changes seasonally and sporadically with weather. A facetted glass wall challenges the relationship of the interior and exterior by providing moments of pure transparency to read the landscapes as continuous through the building, moments of reflection mirror the surrounding landscape or the interior program, moments of fritting distort views in and out of the space, and moments of layering glass can clarify, distort, or blur these effects.

The folds not only give the angles for reflection, distortion, and transparency in the glass curtain but also give opportunity to occupy the edge in a programmatic way as well as uniquely experiencing the two separate spaces.

Giving ground to these curtained spaces is a redefining of the geometry for the island using the basis of the wandering path and scalar changes proposed by west 8. In this version, the geometry is regularized to become systematic and replicable in redevelopment zones. The building containing park finds itself at the landscape scale. The faceting of the wall as well as the screen on the second level hide elements that would reveal the project at the building scale. On the second level are spaces for views back to the city through a clear transparent lens but also distorted lenses of colored glass, cast glass, and transitioning glass.