Biophilia has always bloomed within my work and in my home, but I also have a specific intimacy with modern applications. In this project, I achieved a certain harmony that joined the organic elements with the inorganic (Synthetic/Man-Made). All spaces within the building were researched in detail in order to provide the optimal experience for users. I wanted to create a simple design that allowed occupants to way find for themselves and have new positive experiences that would change their perception of sustainability.
THE SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION CENTRE. A sustainability consultant that I know was trying to get Humber river hospital to incorporate this new advanced technology, but they have never seen it before, or rather, seen it in action. The consultants had to take the hospital directors to the Earth Rangers headquarters and have the CEO stand in an enthalpy wheel. The CEO ended up loving the product, even though he was very unsure about it at first. They had to experience it, by seeing, touching, and feeling it in order to accept it. It isn’t until people see, touch, and feel technologies that they accept them. It ultimately de-risks the product substantially due to the uncertainty factor of knowledge and understanding of how the product works. Homeowners may be resistant to new “high tech” products, so these positive experiences are necessary for people to explore and learn about new technologies and possibilities. First impressions in new spaces always decide whether or not a client will never forget it or regret it.
Sustainability often is coined with the term "Going Green" and in this case, I chose to perceive green living as organic. Although in our world we rely on several synthetic, man-made materials, we can combine the organic and synthetic forms in order to create an organic space. The forms located at the bottom of the page are conceptual ideas of different interior volumes I can use for the space. Whether they are larger or smaller in size, the basic forms have been visualized and can be manipulated further to complement the overall design. The conceptual parti diagrams and the operative design forms work together to express organic form throughout the space while maintaining rectilinear integrity in the space delineation. The Floors and Ceiling elements work together to illustrate the organic flow of the space. The Parti diagram displays heavier line weights to differentiate between the partition walls, and the lighter line weights to show the ceiling and floor elements. This is the representation of Form and Function.
Due to our 10,000 square feet design constraint, I have masked out the areas where back-of-house operations will be taking place. This includes office spaces, storage, and maintenance. This gave me the opportunity to focus mainly on the user experience and how circulation will follow through the space. The main unique areas that will attract customers and clients are labeled numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5. These are the showrooms that display sustainable products in a tangible and understandable way with physical models and real-time effects in labels 2 - 4. It also contains 3-Dimensional visualizations with immersive technology in label 5.
The building section located at the top left displays several sustainable attributes that affect the space. Skylights that let in natural sunlight also have the ability to harness rainwater. The thermal chimneys and windows allow for space cooling. We first start in the reception area. Occupants are given the choice to venture into the showroom spaces or the interactive hallway. The reception area, interactive hallways, and showroom spaces are directly adjacent for simple wayfinding for the occupants. The interactive hallway provides digital technology for families to engage and enjoy. The showrooms display several exterior, lighting, heating, and cooling technologies for occupants to learn about and experience. The space has been designed in accordance with the OBC, with mobile, hearing, and visual accessibility as the top priorities.
The Reception Area is the first impression of the space. By serving a small sanitized cafe area with coffee and packaged treats, it is an excellent ice breaker for the occupants. With a spacious entry area off to the side, occupants are able to decide for themselves whether or not they need to go to the reception area. It ultimately gives them a sense of empowerment and confidence for the journey ahead. The Demonstration Area is an event space for sustainable manufacturers to attend and explain their materials and products for potential future business. With a partnership with Humber College and other design schools, this space can be a place for networking with industry professionals and students/homeowners. The Public Space is the end of the journey that encourages people to relax and soak in the rich amount of information they receive. The interval green wall provides natural acoustics accompanied by the carpet tile floor to separate the walking space from the lounging space. The natural skylights, however, have a double purpose. The skylight first has the ability to allow ample amounts of natural lighting into the space. Second, the rain harvesting tool allows rainwater to be collected and preserved for water closet flushing.