School Gallery Canopy Installation

SPITZER SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK
HARLEM, NEW YORK, NY

Advanced Computing Fall 2015
Duration: 6 Weeks
Collaborators: Alex LaFerla & Milton Naula
Critics: Jonathan Scelsa

For this project, we were to design a canopy installation for the ground floor gallery space of the Spitzer
School of Architecture at City College of New York based on a geometry given to us. Our given geometry
was the hyperbolic paraboloid.

Our goal was to utilize the hyperbolic paraboloid’s natural shape for structure, light, and sound within the
canopy space, and to make the physical units capable of being assembled by anyone to assist with the
fabrication process. The overall scheme features 4 inverted hyperbolic paraboloid passages that lead to a
larger, hyperbolic paraboloid assembly space. The 4 passages serve as galleries and critique spaces alike.
The natural negative gaussian curvature of the form helps it to be self structural. Thus, once constructed,
the canopies stand on their own without any secondary posts or ties. The coffering of each unit is used to
bounce the sounds and amplify noise within the spaces for critiques, lectures, etc. The varying size openings
are intended to allow different levels of natural light into the spaces.

Each unit was designed to be laser cut from museum board, or a material of similar malleability, and
attached together using brass paper fasteners. This simplifies fabrication of the units and assembly of the
canopy for the workers constructing it.

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