The House of Knowledge
Year: 4th Year 1st Semester
Type: Cultural, Public Space, Housing, Urban
Program: Digital Library, Appartments, Park
Location: 15th and U, Washington, D.C.
Scale: 40,000 sq ft
The House of Knowledge was conceived through an intense focus on the existing urban condtion. Students were given free range to choose a site within the historic and progressive U Street corridor. A corner lot was located with an unoccupied Neo-Classical building sitting adjacent to a vibrant gas station. The House of Knowledge attempts to solve this problem of unfortunate urban adjacencies with an adaptive reuse and addition that maintains the vibrant gas station below. The existing conditions drove the design as the tripartite scheme of the existing building was conversely used in the site plan. A digital library would inhabit the Neo-Classical building while an addition for housing would bridge from the library over the gas station down to the corner park. This unique type of mixed used project needed to establish a connection between the library and the housing, the public and the semi-private. A series of wood models represented these two offset masses (programs). An offset grid based on site conditions slashes through the masses to create space for circulation and structure. This continuous space fused the housing, the library, and the park as a consistant urban condition.