To many people, the quad is typically an open grassy area that makes it an ideal spot for meeting up or hanging out. But what makes a quad, well, a quad? Based on that notion, multi-disciplinary research initiative WHAT'S IN launched the latest edition of The Quad competition, which invites architects and designers worldwide to create a site-specific social installation for the 2016 ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) on November 15-17.
Inhabiting a 20’ x 70’ space inside the exhibit hall, the installation will serve as an engaging gathering space for attendees. In designing their proposals, participants had to creatively capture the essence of a quad, and take feasibility and construction costs into account. Last but not least, proposals had to include a prominent display area for WHAT'S IN's latest research findings.
At the end of phase one, six entries were chosen as finalists. In the coming weeks during phase two, the finalists will further develop their initial designs and submit a mockup of a portion of their full design. One proposal will then be crowned the winner this fall, and the designer(s) will receive $5,000 toward the realization of their proposal.
After ABX, the winning installation will travel to different locations in Boston.
Check out the six finalist entries below.
(cover image) Diamond Dancer - Nathan Hume, Andy Kim, Ardon Lee, Abigail Cover | NY, USA
Project description: “The quad becomes filled with dancing figures and shapes to set up series of spaces for interacting and socializing. the dancing figures' color and playful shapes create an alluring oasis within the expo. As people draw closer more of the quad is revealed - colored ground, benches for sitting and sparkling center with people disappearing inside. The scheme constantly unfolds with new views from inside to outside or from kiosk to kiosk. a multitude of small thresholds create different zones for congregating and socializing. The unexpected spaces and relationships between the figures creates a dynamic meeting place.”
Sonoscape – Merge Architects | Boston, USA
Project description: “SONOSCAPE is a destination. In the space of the Quad, you are drawn to the volume out of curiosity—What is it? What does it feel like? What will I do there: read, nap, have a glass of wine, hear a lecture, meet a friend, people-watch, take off those shoes? As a gathering space , just like the town square or the public park, it encourages collective leisure. It invites visitors to tread across its lawn, sit on its edges and perch on its rolling bumps. From the apex it provides a vantage point and a landmark within a large disorienting space. As you circle the Quad, the exposed SONOSCAPE structure is utilized as the armature of display. At the same time, the central expanse provides a moment of visual rest in a conference hall that can be jarring to the senses. In an urban green-space, the presence of SONOSCAPE could be rebuilt with gabions of reclaimed material, planted over and tuned to the geometry of the site. The conceptual goal remains to achieve maximum topographical impact with minimum budget, in a way that is sensitive to the social and communal use of the shared space.”
Folding Paper – KiKi Architects | Tokyo, Japan
Project description: “By stacking up the fabrication makes the structure and it provides the space with shadow. People will find their own comfortable space for reading, chatting or nap just as usual experience in the quad.”
L.A.W.N. - David Emmons | Illinois, USA
Project description: “The concept behind “The L.A.W.N.” is to point out the major aspects that activate a quad, including lounging, act(ion), working, and napping…hence the acronym. In order to build upon these points, our proposal seeks to create a fun and lively space that encourages people to feel like a kid again – taking spontaneous day naps, playing a quick round of putt-putt, engaging in ‘pool’ conversation and gossips, picnicking in the shade of the trees, and so forth.”
Pallet Bench - Leonard Yui, Sahoko Yui | Rhode Island, USA
Project description: “Bench as Landscape: We offer a very large bench to activate public participation. A bench is a universal gathering place, temporary, conjures intimate and semi-private moments, an inviting edge as well as an agreeable border. A bench flexes depending on occasion, weather or event. This project expands the bench to a landscape scale to spur, reflect and share dialog and ideas gathered at the convention.”
Micro Quad - Victoria Michael, Tahlia Woo | Australia
Project description: “To re-imagine, rethink and redesign a large scale urban park that is redefined within the context of a ‘micro-unit’. This strategy aims to choreograph a social playground that encourages vibrancy, playfulness and connectivity within the community. The Micro-Quad expands upon the definition of a ‘micro-unit’ beyond conventional practices. It is here where the common ‘quad’ is inspired by the various design and functionalities of a home. Through the spatial analysis and breakdown of each singular space within a ‘micro-unit’, it is reinterpreted and translated into an outdoor facade by the Micro-Quad.”
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