Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Museum Design Development for One Seneca Tower

Museum Design Development for One Seneca Tower

This week’s 3x30 One Seneca Tower group meeting focused on developing our design for the building museum within the two story spaces on the second floors of the tower and adjacent building. During our discussion, we refined our schematic design of the boutique clothing stores, brainstormed several rain screen systems for the façade of both the tower and adjacent building, and refined the museum layout to include secure areas.

Refining the boutique store designs

Updates to our Revit model from last week’s design discussion included adjusting interior wall locations, adding the existing exterior columns, and adding the exterior beams to the lower multi-story building. With these exterior components in place, our discussion today focused on locating entrances and designating areas to display clothing along the exterior façade.

This discussion lead to a fast brainstorming session to come up with an idea for a rain screen system that would be installed in front of the curtain walls. We came up with a pattern where solid panels would be removed to reveal the curtain wall and clothing on display. These openings would change in their locations both vertically and horizontally to frame each of the clothing on display. We also decided that this rain screen system would be a terracotta system with simple framing that will attach to the existing exterior concrete columns and beams for support. We’ll develop the colors, patterns, and design in the coming weeks.

Refining the museum design

After we finished our brainstorming session on the façade, we moved into a discussion about the schematic design of the museum that’ll be located within the two story space on the 2nd floor of both the tower and multi-story building. The initial design located the reception desk slightly east of the bridge connector between the tower and the multi-story building. This would allow visitors taking the elevators from the lower floor to immediately enter the museum and pay for tickets at the reception counter.

However, the museum also includes the space outside of the east wing of the multi-story building. So we decided to move and enlarge the reception desk so that it would be aligned to the center of the elevator corridor and the center of the bridge connector. This would allow visitors coming from either the tower or the east wing elevators to be directed to the reception area.

Then, we realized that we had to deal with two issues; locating lockable doors at the elevators and bridge connector for security and finding an area for bathrooms. So we reviewed the existing drawings of the east wing and found that there are existing bathrooms on the east side of the elevators in the museum. So we decided to move these bathrooms to the opposite side of the elevators and place them on both sides of a central corridor that would connect directly to the reception area. At the end of this corridor, we’ll have a secure curtain wall door that locks after hours. We’ll do the same at the transition between the tower and the bridge.

Lastly, we decided to maintain the two story space in the tower, bridge, and the reception area of the museum. We’ll provide a glass elevator and open staircase that will be designed into the reception desk and bring people to the second floor where a bridge will connect the vertical circulation to the east wing of the museum. There will be an area that allows people to sit or stand and watch people in the two story reception space and a series of rooms full of artwork in the east wing.

Next Steps

As we continue moving forward with this theoretical project, we’re starting to come up with a new exterior system that relates to the programs inside of both the tower and the multi-story building. In the upcoming week, our focus is to develop and finalize the luxury condominium designs with interior layouts, furniture, and ceiling lights, develop the interior designs and display areas of the luxury fashion boutiques, and finish the schematic design of the museum. We have a good feeling that we’ll be on track to finishing our theoretical proposal for One Seneca Tower by the end of November.

Thank you for reading and following our progress on this project! Stay tuned for more in the upcoming week!


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