dissecting urban space, architecture, cultural meaning and myth through the act of walking (in used shoes) and narration in chinatown/oldtown - portland, oregon



Northwest corner of the building - intersection of SW Broadway and Madison
1. Entrance to the Narratorium. An opening at the end gives a glimpse at the Federal Building. As one rises up the stairs, the body eventually rises up enough to get a glimpse over the wall to the left to further orient one's self in the context of the city. To the right, a marble wall is introduced half way up nd begins to lean away from the hallway to give the sensation of an invitation.
2. After turning the first corner, the body has risen more and more of the context of the city is given. The opening in the wall also allows for sounds and smells from the city to permeate into the entrance sequence.
3. At the second landing, there is a large opening at a scale similar to the human body that allows one to immerse themself in the view towards the bell tower of the church in the Park Blocks.
4. After rounding the back of the back of the second set of stairs, another set of stairs becomes visible as does a glimpse into the buidling through a glazed preforation in the wall. This is the first major hint of the glass and steel light well that penetrates the center of the building. At the first landing above this view is a door that leads into the living area for the resident story tellers.
5. After cresting the final stair set, the rooftop becomes visible. An area for the public and the institution to program as needed. The light well becomes evident and omnipresent.
6. A staircase leads down into the building, alongside the light well.
7. Here, on the third floor, are the living quarters of the resident story tellers,a studio space for a resident artist and a private library for the residents.
8. This is another view of the third floor living quarters. The public has access to the circulation spaces for these areas so that there can be encounters between them that aren't prescribed.
9. After making one's way down to the second floor, there is another corridor that leads further into the building. This corridor as a marble wall, that begins to compress the circulation space giving the visitor a feeling of suspense - this wall is vertically connected to the canted wall in the first portion of the entrance sequence. Although this time, it is providing a different feeling.
10. After the final portion of the entrance sequence, the bottom of the light well is revealed. It illuminates a pit where the act of story telling commences. The light also provides warmth, while the pit provides a space where people sit around, facing each other, telling and listening to stories - like at a campfire.
Section cut through Northwest corner, looking Southeast.

Section cut West to East - left to right - looking North.

Section cut South to North - left to right - looking West.
The blue numbers on the plans correspond to the numbers next to the descriptions of the experiential drawings above.


The Pit

I presented by book/map to the Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood Association this afternoon. They were a really nice group of people. This particular gentleman thanked me for having my main character be a homeless person. He was really cool. He was wearing a beret with a peacock feather that was about 2 feet long and his beard was about the same length. That made me feel good because I already felt a little weird presenting a story about a homeless alcoholic to a group of people that take alot of pride in their neighborhood. I've come to believe that they truely embrace the diversity of their neighborhood. A couple of other people thanked me for gifting them a piece of art for and about Old Town. I had a planned speech written out but as usual with planned speeches (for me), as soon as I started talking, my brain becomes jello and I wing it. I think it went well though.

I worked on some threshold moments tonight. I need to flesh this building out in the next few days. We have 8 more days until finals. Ouch!

Here's a new perspective/collage of the auditorium area...

OK it's 4:23 am, I'm going to bed. It's been a long day.


entrance to the Narratorium

I'm thinking about this idea where a visitor to the Narratorium has to go through a significant series of thresholds to get to the auditorium - just as one would have to hike into the campsite to reach the campfire. As one walks through the forest, glimpses can be found through the trees to orient yourself to where the campfire is. This collage/perspective is at the entrance, starting up the stairs. The "campfire" is not yet visible.
After ascending the stairs, the "campfire" - or light well - is fully visible and a ramp spirals down the side of it. At the bottom is the seating, which is situated in a circular fashion.


sketchbook entries

new splint!

I think I am turning into Darth Vader. How awesome is that?