Fabric of Function

Degree Project: Fall 2011

Washington University in St. Louis

Instructor Kathryn Dean

Fabric of Function contrasts the ordinary, repetitive program of warehouse and office space with an intricate, modular tectonic system. Taking its materiality from other structures near the site, the building is constructed from modules that form an irregular grid that inherently offers greater flexibility as a structural strategy for both parts of the program on the site. The massing articulates the building as an accumulation of pieces, relating itself to the nearby MacArthur bridge. The ground floor warehouse is enclosed by the office space above it in a systemic, fabric-like canopy that responds to light and view.

The program of 30,000 square feet of ground floor warehouse and 40,000 square feet of office space above achieves effectiveness on the site through a modular system that addresses construction, building systems, and environmental factors while reconsidering how rectangular grids are used to achieve efficiency.