Adam Miller's Blog



“…we had to spend more than four days working on this. But, in reality, not many more”

“‘The Serpentine called us to say, “you have the job”, on 8 February. And for several days we assumed that it was for 2010, as one would. But when we called back they said, “send us the design in four days”, which we didn’t. I mean, we had to spend more than four days working on this.’ But, in reality, not many more.”

Sam Chermayeff, SANAA

I think this brings up an interesting question regarding speed and design quality.  It poses the question of whether more design time equals higher quality design.  The pavilion is a good reference for this because it usually doesn’t incorporate a complex program (such as hospitals or education facilities).  I would like to think that this fast and intense design session allows for a more essential design, rather than incorporating excessive architectural elements.  Rumor or not, Frank Lloyd Wright stated that he drew up the entire Falling Water scheme in a handful of hours.  He had been designing and thinking internally, but never put anything on paper.


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Wall Material Explorations:

In the material development phase, I am looking at the form and materials of the ground wall.  The different options vary in: privacy, isolation, and light quality.  Here are some options that both stem from the work of the furniture designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.  The golden canvas reflects a large amount of light and also reflects the surrounding trees.  The cage acts as a barrier but also allows views out.

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Mid-Review: 10.15.10

Below are some images for my mid-review of the pavilion project.  Through putting my files together, I came up with a title for the project: the Aperture Pavilion.  I think the project is moving along well, though there are some key things that I need to still develop like materiality, ground-level design, and technical details.  Other than overall feedback about the shell of the pavilion, I am hoping that I will get some comments to direct me regarding those topics.


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Schematic Design: Floating Roof

The ‘floating roof’ design utilizes the same structure below but is more focused on the ground level and encloses the structure with a paper thin wall.  This design looks into the themes of dadaism and anti-rationalism that is apparent in the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe.  From afar, the pavilion seems to be supported by the curved wall.  As one enters into the structure it is apparent that the wall is paper thin and obviously not applying any structural support to the wall system.  The structure is hidden within the roof/column form.  The roof/column form contains a large and complex amount of steel to achieve the structure’s cantilever, touching on the concept of anti-rationalism.  I am also interested in the spectrum between function(seen in the surrounding green houses) and art.


These are now the questions I will investigate throughout the remainder of the project.

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Schematic Design: Elevated Platform

The second round of schematic design involved two ideas: an elevated platform and a floating roof.  The elevated platform allows users to study the trees at 12′ above ground level, as most of the trees’ canopies are out of reach from the ground.  Additionally, from the ground level, users are directed to certain views of trees. 

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