This study investigates the solid/void conditions that exist within the work of such artist as Donald Judd, and how the spatial qualities that emerge from such examinations can be applied to working structures. This project’s program is an elementary school in Brooklyn Heights, New York. The concept driving the design emerged from the investigation of a particular Donald Judd piece entitled, “Untitled 1968”. In this piece Judd, captures a sense of intrigue of material lightness and suspension. Through the use of light and space, he created a colored medium that evokes an almost tactile quality drawing you into the center of the sculpture to examine the levitating mass.
This idea of the suspended core or “nucleus” became the driving force of the project. Elementary schools in general are arranged in a very linear fashion, designating certain levels for certain grades. This project aims to break the mold and reconnect the entire student body via the core of the building which becomes a central circulatory system of ideas, vision, knowledge, and technology. By creating a permeable circulatory library that stretches vertically in the center of the building each classroom orbits this core at a slightly different elevation. This multitude of floor plates creates visual corridors, connecting students beyond their immediate grade, thus encouraging cross collaboration between students and teachers of all ages and grade levels.
The façade of the building was meant to subtly filter light into the classrooms while maintaining an inward focus and draw toward the nucleus, the library, of the building.