When the student in this section of ARC351 Design III walked into class on the first day of the semester, they were greeted by a wall of images of the sanctuary spaces of about two dozen small chapels. They were allowed to examine the collage for a short time and then, after drawing names from a hat, each selected a photo that interested them. This image was of their precedent study that would guide their semester’s design work. Project 1 was an analysis of the chapel, focusing on its tectonic makeup and relationship to its context(s). Project 2 then asked the students to design a new intervention within their precedent chapel that would allow a visitor to pause and contemplate or meditate. These interventions were then built at full scale for the final presentation of the project.
Needless to say, most of the students interpreted this as the design of a seat or bench (with a few outliers). Below you will find examples of the precedent study presentations and photos of their resulting intervention design.