Located on the first meridian in Greenwich, this museum will tell the story of time measurement devices as well as the solution to the longitude problem. The programmatic elements integrated with the unique site will provide an opportunity to tell the story of time measurement through the interaction between the architecture and the prime meridian. Conceptual development or site response may independently determine the incredible success or catastrophic failure of the end result.
Aside from the first meridian, a number of historic buildings exist on or near the site, including Sir Christopher Wren's Royal Observatory, and respect must be paid. Farther down from the site, but still very much within the scope of the project are the Queen's House and the Old Royal Naval College.
In addition to the heightened contextual issues, the projected size of the building has a very probable chance to overshadow all the other buildings on the site. The programmatic elements include the primary time gallery, the tertiary longitude solution gallery, a temporary gallery, both an internal auditorium, gift shop, cafe, administration spaces, and standard building support spaces.
Conceptual design and site planning:
Countless hours over the span of several weeks have been spent on conceptual design. A large variety of concepts ranging from simple to complex were produced, covering many pages in my sketchbook. In the end, a simple concept was chosen in conjunction with other subordinate concepts. In addition to simple concepts being more recognizable by visitors, they mold better to the history of time measurement devices, not the concept of time itself, as the studio was advertised as.
A timeline and its patterns with regard to technological advancements of time measurement devices was chosen as the major concept for my scheme, as depicted by the concept diagrams. Site response was another major catalyst for the schematic design. The site is largely a campus type of site, but it is not currently formed as such. As opposed to the vast majority of the studio who simply left the site in disrepair, I addressed the issue of the site by defining its boundaries, creating a large quad in the middle of the site, occupied with the exterior auditorium to help occupy the area.
I began with the idea of a longitudinal gallery traveling perpendicular to the prime meridian, as depicted by this sketch. However, the site did not allow for this as it was too narrow. Furthermore, this orientation did not help the site improve any. After playing around with it further, I decided to go with an oblique angle to the prime meridian so that the visitors may see the prime meridian and their progressive distance to it as they view the gallery. I let one of the existing buildings dictate the angle, as it fit the space I needed well. The vertex between the two dictated a strong element, which was perfect for a tower.
With the location of the primary gallery locked in, I was able to design all the other elements around it. I decided on a concrete element to define an entrance courtyard with the temporary gallery. The other supporting elements spring out from these two primary elements and the office spaces are placed on the lower floor, away from the public spaces. The auditorium naturally sprung out from the building, defining the hardscape.
The presentation panels were designed to reflect my primary design concept. The white background printed on white glossy paper reflects the continuum, of timelines and contains all the technical and informative data, reflected similarly in my design. The black foreground printed on bond paper reflects the events marked on timelines and contains images as would be seen in real life, also reflected similarly in my design.
Spanning nineteen feet, my project was consistently hailed by my reviewers as one of the most clearly presented projects that they have seen. My professor mentioned at the exit interview that my project was one of, if not, the best project in the studio in terms of both architectural design and the presentation.
The software I used was AutoCAD for the plans and sections and Form-Z for the 3d-renderings. I used Adobe Photoshop to superimpose people into the renderings and used Adobe Illustrator to prepare the line work.
Axonometric view. The glass enclosure toward the left of the image is the entrance atrium. The concrete bar running up and down the image contains the temporary galleries while the circular piece jutting out of it contains the cafe and shop. The long glass bridge with wooden boxes contain the primary gallery space, while the cylindrical tower marks the merge between the gallery and the prime meridian, holding the tertiary gallery and outlooks into future technologies. Beyond the cylindrical tower is the vertical circulation along the prime meridian.
These are the conceptual diagrams for my design. The top left diagram shows how the advancement of time measurement technology increases in frequency as time goes along. This is reflected in the increasing frequency of boxes along the suspended main gallery. The bottom left diagram shows the application of the conceptual design into the site which contains the prime meridian. The top middle diagram shows how I plan to give the site more definition. The bottom middle diagram proposes the typical circulation through the site. The top right diagram displays how frequent visitors may visit the temporary galleries only versus people who wish to visit the permanent galleries as well. The bottom right diagram shows a section, displaying the separation between public and private spaces of the museum.
I drew this sketch in an attempt to turn my concepts into a schematic design. This captured the intent of my schematic design, but was altered a bit to fit the site better. In the end, the alteration proved to be better for both the site and the conceptual design.
In this site plan, the bolder lined building with the interior walls visible is my design, as is the semi-circular auditorium. Prior to my design, what was there was a group of rather haphazard trees and brush. With this new site plan, the area is now much more useable.
This is the roof plan from the 3D model I used for my introduction panel. There is a clear line marking the prime meridian and the main gallery shows the concept of the increasing frequency of technological advances.
Sequential Perspective #1. The entrance courtyard.
Sequential Perspective #2. The lobby atrium.
Sequential Perspective #3. The view down the temporary gallery.
Sequential Perspective #4. The view down the main gallery.
Sequential Perspective #5. The vertex between the prime meridian and the main gallery. It houses the gallery for the future of time measuring devices.
Sequential Perspective #6. The view upon exiting the museum from the cylindrical tower. The lower story contains offices and to its right is the auditorium.
This not a sequential perspective, but meet Paul, enjoying a tall beer on the balcony of the Museum of Time's cafe. The glass bridge contains wood clad boxes which is where the primary collection is held. The set of columns that converge with the primary gallery at the cylindrical tower represents the prime meridian.
Looking down the hallway of the offices on the lower floor.
This is the backside of the museum, where the service road comes up to the service and loading area of the museum.
Two of the sections I drew for the final presentation. The upper section runs through the temporary gallery while the lower section runs through the primary gallery.
This is my 19 linear foot presentation that I designed to reflect the fundamental concepts of my building design. The photos below are of me presenting my project to reviewers and a picture of my physical model.