Matthew Z Huber | Design Thinking

Food Kitchen

Date: Spring 2011

This project won an honorable mention in the Stewardson Competition, a 10 day design exercise open to students graduating from a school of architecture in the state of Pennsylvania. The prompt asked for a Soup Kitchen/Homeless Shelter with "exemplary" wood detailing.

Hex Wall

Positioned at the precipice between a prominent university with its accompanied develepments, and a low income neighborhood, the project must contend with conflicting desires to engage the public, as a welcoming community center, bridging the two distinct urban environments, while at the same time, to offer privacy and humility to shelter inhabitants. The building is intended to promote the political agency of its users by acting as a safe place to make connections, one that is neither isolated nor paralyzingly open. The primary programmatic massing strategy resonates from 2. Shade Structure A system of filigree, curtain-like wooden shade structures protect the southern facade from excessive heat gain and reduce solar glare. Though, they primarily function as phenomenological elements, creating a blurred and layered spatial experience at the boundary of the building, shielding the building’s inhabitants from voyeuristic surveillance. the courtyard dormitory type prevelant on campus. The introverted public atrium space on the interior shelters those seeking refuge from direct surveiled view, presenting a space in between the public and the private, where informal gathering and connection can occur. The large dinning area extends the atrium to an outdoor garden and provides a townsquare like atmosphere. These public spaces act as connective tissue uniting a neighboring public library, the campus, and an adjacent, bustling, commercial avenue. The envelope system reinforces the conceptual tension between the public and the private by thickening the perceptual barrier between the outside and inside. The atrium and dining room offer a blurred space, a filtered space where one can be immersed in social discourse, while feeling protected and at home, surrounded by a diaphonous, billowing, curtain-like wooden screen. It is in this space that community meetings, vocational classes, and other sessions can be held.