Apartment for a Visiting Professor

Last system’s class session we were talking about ways to ventilate a building through design. So now I’d like to share my first studio project this semester and show the ways I found to deal with that issue.

In the beginning of this fall semester we were asked to design a small apartment for a visiting professor on the campus of the University of Virginia.  Our potential client was the department of religious study, so we were asked to incorporate a small, non-denominational chapel in the program. The building would be sited somewhere next to the department of reliogious study main Building; Gibson Hall, on the newly-built South Lawn Development project.

Apartment for Mr. And Mrs. Visiting Professors

In this project I was very much interesting in providing the maximum level of comfort to its users, by incorporating some key design elements. I had long conversations with my Studio intructor Michael Petrus on ways this thin glass tube would work best, insulation-wise. The following sectional renderings reveals some of the mechanisms we came up with:

Sectional Rendering of the Building and Immediate context

I believe the most compelling thing is a section that looks closer on the main building structure itself:

Close-up Section; Design by Victor Hugo Azevedo

In the image above, it is noticeable the way I treated the rooftop. I was interested in creating a in-between zone, so that the sun radiation would not touch the building envelope directly. A similar thing happens vertically on the walls; I was trying to avoid creating direct thermal bridges. Every window is composed of two panels of glass in order to create that same air in-between zone. The interior of this building is never directly touching the exterior world. Besides that, I also created a system of movable wood panels in the exterior of the building in order to purposefully block the sunlight. Every window panel is also movable  so there is the potential of opening up the building and access the implied porch that is created between the wood panels and the glass.

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