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Re-thinking boundaries: a library on the edge of Lost Lagoon, Vancouver Schouls, Michelle 1998

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RE-THINKING BOUNDARIES: A LIBRARY ON THE E D G E OF LOST L A G O O N , V A N C O U V E R by MICHELLE S C H O U L S . B . S c , The University of Alberta, 1991 M . S c , The University of Alberta, 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE in THE F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES School of Architecture We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February 1998 © Michelle Schouls, 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of A E J O B t Xfec^TUQJZ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT The intGnt of the thesis is to explore formal and spatial boundaries (and by implication, thresholds) in order to reveal both difference and continuity, both simultaneously and sequentially. The work began with a theoretical investigation into the relationship between the construction of architecture and the construction of cultural scripts of gender. Gender, as divided into the distinct cultural scripts of masculine and feminine, is based on dichotomous thought which can traced back to Greek philosophy. The mind/body split, originating with Plato, underlies a host of others: reason/intuition, justice/compassion, cognition/sensation, culture/nature, public/private, order/chaos, and ultimately, male/female. These pairs, each a cultural construct in itself, are conceived of as binary opposites, in which the former reigns supreme over the latter, rather than as equally valued ends of a continuum. The problem is, therefore, that the construct of gender, based on Platonic dichotomous thought and as such representative of the exclusionary practices of Western culture, is reinforced by architectural discourse and practice which accepts the basis of the construct as a pre-spatial given. I propose that the beginnings of a solution may lie in the rethinking and reconfiguration of the construct of gender from one based on dichotomous thought to one that allows for the possibility of a continuum amongst difference. The problem then becomes the formulation of an architectural language which indeed does not assume dichotomous thought as its basis, but rather holds dichotomy in balance with multiplicity, opposite with continuum, singularity with plurality. The site I have chosen is the triangle of land bounded by Stanley Park and the Lost Lagoon to the north, Chilco Street and Lagoon Drive to the south, Georgia Street to the east, and Stanley Park to the west. The site currently contains a bus loop, a concession stand, the "Nature House" and a public washroom. It is a hinge caught between the edge of the park, the urban grid of the West End apartment blocks, and the traffic corridor of Georgia Street. It spans the border between the city and the park and as such is conducive to the rethinking of the city/park boundary (or dichotomy). A study of the current use patterns of the multiple public's using the place (cyclists, pedestrians, buses, tourists, locals, young, old, male, female etc) revealed the site as a series of striations and boundaries in terms of their physical formal placement in the site and spatial relationships to each other.;A formal investigation resulted in an understanding of the site in terms of a series of platforms and retaining walls -- allowing possibilities for the beginnings of transformations of how boundaries/thresholds establish relationships between things. The program, or the series of overlaid programs, involves the integration of a civic program (a public library) into park program (sea wall and Stanley Park circulation routes, concession stand, the Nature House, public washrooms) as well as city infrastructure (bus loop: road ways, lamp posts, bus wires), again acting as a tool by which boundaries can be rethought. In an overall sense, working with this site and these programs also has led to an attempt to understand the construction of the site/building not only as a mediation between the city and the park, but also as a way to re-imagine the thresholds between architecture, landscape architecture and infrastructure. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS toesite ^ p r o c e s s me p r o j e c t Aerial Photo of Lost Lagoon: site location Photograph: the site and the city Photograph: the site and the park 1 Collage: investigation of the city/park boundary 2 Diagram: analysis of traffic patterns 3 Photo Studies: edges, boundaries, transitions Diagram: striations of infrastructure, formal signifiers, occupants Photo Studies: occupants and activities : 4 Conceptual Models: edges, boundaries, connections, thresholds Models 1 through 5 5 Conceptual Collages: connections, thresholds, relationships, joints Collages 1 and 2 6 Site Plan 7 Site Model: plan view 8 Library Plan Diagram: circulation 9 Site Model: looking west Site Model: looking east Site Model: looking north 10 Site Model Detail: looking north Site Model Detail: looking south .11 South Elevation North Elevation 12 Section AA 13 Section BB Sectional Model: looking east 14 Section CC Sectional Model: looking west 15 Sectional Model: looking south Sectional Model: plan view Sectional Model: looking south-west 16 Interior Perspective: looking south from reading room 17 Interior Perspective: looking east from entry stair 18 iii 2 Collage: investigation of the city/park boundary 3 Diagram: analysis of traffic patterns 4 Photo Studies: edges, boundaries and transit ions Diagram: striations of infrastructure, formal signifiers, and occupants Photo Studies: occupants and activities 5 ^ p r o c e s s 6 Collage 2 C o n c e p t u a l C o l l a g e : connections, thresholds, relationships, and joints 8 Site Model: plan view original 4'-0" x 6'-0" 1" = 20'-0" 9 Diagram: circulation \ f i\ v as Pedestr ians Lagoon Level Pedestr ians City Level Buses ^mmtmm City Level Library Plan: 0»N scale 1/32" = 1'-0" original 2'-0" x 4'-0" 1/8" = 1'-0" Si te M o d e l : view to the west; Georgia St. underpass in foreground, then the Nature House, the library/bus loop, the public washrooms and concession stand Si te M o d e l : view to the east; existing tennis courts in foreground, then the concession stand and public washrooms, the bus loop/library, and the Nature house Si te M o d e l : view to the north from Robson St. along the pedestrian pathway to the library entrance Site Model: view to the south; detail of the library/bus loop/sea wall/garden 16 Sectional Model: view looking south-west Interior Perspective: view looking east from main entry stairs 

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