Champaign Art Complex
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor: Bhujon Kang
Studio: Experimental invention of 'Initial Model'
Year: Fall 2018
Site: Champaign, Illinois
The essence of the design was to create quite meditative spaces where guests could have an unhurried and intimate experience of the artwork.
The project is located on a corner plot in downtown Champaign overlooking the Westside Park. The building is designed to take full advantage of its surrounding views and add value to the neighborhood. The building appears to erode as it nears the street as it engages more closely with its setting.
The design methodology tested the interpretations of functional complexity into geometric, topological and volumetric experiments that are precisely systemized and unitized.
The design was born of a diagram of the different programs that populate the ground floor of the building. The programs were then used as ‘seeds’ in a grasshopper script to generate Voronoi cells that form the basic grid of the building. These cells were then modified through surface offsets, extrusions and bending to create ‘tent’ like structures with draped openings to house the artwork. Some of the cells were subtracted from the floor plate to create double height volumes and terraces.
The building has four stories with a spiral staircase housed in its own ‘tent’. There are six ‘tents’ of varying sizes throughout the building. Each of them has a skylight with deep fins to allow diffused light to illuminate the space. An atrium permeates through all the floors.