IAT | Brain Studio | Olson Kundig Architects

At several points in the Brain Studio, the folded steel loft intersects with the concrete perimeter wall, helping to both engage in a dialogue between the two elements and to project some of the interior conditions on to the exterior of the building. The first intersection occurs at the entry door. Directly above the door is a canopy formed from a single sheet of steel. This steel is an extension of the floor of the loft, penetrating through a slot in the concrete wall above the door. This element promotes the notion of a continuous folded plane of steel forming the loft, while also serving a functional role at the entry. In a similar fashion, the landing of the folded steel stair projects through the slot window. This finger of steel cuts through the wall and defines the bottom of the slice in the protective concrete wrapper of the studio. A third example of intersection occurs with the loft’s railing. Although the original sketches show a railing composed of steel folded up from the floor, the final scheme utilizes a steel pipe as a top rail. The pipe runs from exterior wall to exterior wall, projecting through the concrete to the exterior of the building, and serving as an exaggerated joint.


This is an excerpt from Chapter 14 of Introducing Architectural Tectonics. The chapter was co-authored by my former student Suzanne Abell.

Drawing | © Chad Schwartz | The manipulation of the loft.