Friday, October 2, 2009

Concept Change: Leisure Center

Background of concept change
When I first envisioned the Vitra Design Museum, my first thought was not that it looked like a museum, but rather something else. In brainstorming, I analysed that the first thing I would notice was the obscure roofing. As I tried to interpret it and imagine it in its existence, I began to envision it as a functional skate park with an underground arena or an underground museum (in keeping the current function). However, I also began to see the building to have more meaning and appear to have a purified appearance. So steaming from the design and inspiration of the cross-shaped skylight, I envisioned it as a small church or chapel. As I began to transform it, I found various symbols and reinterpretations for the current design, such fish references and, for its suiting function. As I grew closer and closer to achieving a design, I could not help but feel discontent with my envision. In being a perfectionist with my work, I was content with the design and had progressed greatly with it as it did show high potential, however I felt I was not completely satisfied with what I had settled with.

With more brainstorming and researching along with feedback from friends and family, I gathered that I go back to my initial idea as it wouldn't leave my mind. My aim was to expand on this idea, and therefore I decided to make the desgin a larger scale, encourage more public space and instead of providing space for just skaters, provide space for a wider public, thus making it a leisure center. Timing could also not be anymore perfect, because through my further research, German swimmer, Paul Biedermann most recently preceded World records by Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps.

Understanding the new concept and client, Paul Biedermann
German swimmer, Paul Biedermann, born August 7, 1986, is the current world champion record holder for the 200 and 400m freestyle. He also holds national records for the 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle events. His achievements have preceded records of both Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps. The 6’4” German swimmer was born in Halle an der Saale, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. He is currently ranked #9 in the world.

New design brief and exploring the poster theme
The current world champion swimmer, Paul Biedermann, seeks new training facility.
After the series of unfortunate events following Vitra's collapse, Biedermann has bought the Vitra Design Museum. He plans to transform it into the Biedermann Leisure Centre. As a child, his mother would take him to exhibitions at the Vitra complex and besides the pool, this was where he spent most of his childhood. A fan of the vitra, Biedermann was determined to combine his past with his present, and has hired original architect, Frank Ghery to lend his expertise and help redevelop the site. Some features of the leisure centre include the tranformation of space to include a gym, 25m swimming pool, recreational pool, squash courts, change rooms and possibly a cycle track.
The project proposal will be presented on 3 seperate A1 poster, to demonstrate the new concept.

Site context - Current
Structural changes - Extension of back wall to allow 25m indoor pool
Function - Leisure Centre
Materiality - like Guggenheim, variations of either, concrete, steel, limestone, titanium and glass

To be presented as a newspaper article:
Months after the surprise collapse of the Swiss furniture design company, VITRA, rumours of the abandonment of the famous Vitra Design Museum began to circulate. Owner, Rolf and his seemingly stable company was hardest hit by the most recent recession. And as a result was forced face controversial decisions, such as the closure of the renown Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein., Germany. However, in an unusual turn of events, talks of a revival have been in discussion by Swimmer, Paul Biedermann, in an act of patriotism. Biedermann, a regular to the museum since still a young boy, hopes to help close family friend, Rolf, in returning the lost revenue acquired over the economic recession in Germany. Reports state that he has been in discussion with Rolf on an intended settlement, in which he hopes to turn the Gehry designed building into a leisure center. Whilst nor Paul or Rolf have confirmed any details, plans have recorded to have been circulated amongst the original architect, Frank Gehry and his architectural firm.

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