Cluster in a Nest

East Dist, Tainan City (23°00'15.9"N 120°12'56.2"E)

Year3 3-5.2022

architecture department hall (new extension)

space characteristics in old department hall

The demand for new, expanding learning spaces serving architecture students stimulates an analysis of not only the qualities of using spaces but also our educational program. In this project, emphasis is laid on the interaction within the studio management and between the activities and the different space features. From personal observation, aspects of the program and building composition demonstrate a scarcity of vertical relationships that should be arranged in a sequence from bottom to top.


The immediate experience of the department hall is the variation from indoor spaces to semi-outdoor spaces, the spaces in between and at the end of the outdoors. In order to support various events related to daily design assignments, small lectures, exhibitions and even festivities, the interstitial spaces are the strategy for buffering activities, as shown in the figure-ground diagram. Nevertheless, the ambiguous areas align with only horizontal flow, similar to a volume that is permeated by linear voids at each level. Although they can blur the boundary of defined and undefined areas and enlarge the potential for utilization on the same stories, the lack of a vertical relationship results in an abstract fluidity of vision or sound that is beneficial for conceiving creative ideas.

sequential relationship

The current Architectural Studies Center is one part of the NCKU campus supported by the entire campus administration. The project attempts to break out of a unitary system and establish a new hub for architecture and art on site. Therefore, it is a stable foundation that decides how the new institute can provide grounded facilities and resources for students and faculty, which infers a sequential relationship with hierarchy and linear flow, the discrepancy with the original central management.

an analogy to the system of villages

In reaction to the design concept, the project should find some analogies with the target relationships, such as interstices that evoke vertical interaction and composition of masses and allude to the sequential fluidity. Those characteristics based in the old department spaces suggest similar interaction of the primitive system in village life, which is also an analogy to the lifestyle students have when studying and working in their studios.

a concept projection on natural creature

Observation of the birds' nest's system and principle reorganizes the functions necessary to the study program.

bird nest

Nesting is a behavior that represents the mother's protection of her children by giving them a safe place to live, so does the studio, which is like a “home”, nurturing every creative mind and work. Its conversation with the surrounding is in harmony where the nest often modestly clings to a stable branch of trees, blending itself into the environment. Coincidentally, Nest is a system that conveys a sequential correlation of external factors and inside composition. (As shown by the diagram)

One of the comparisons is the arrangement of building volumes. Volumes are the elements that control the relationship between their surroundings. Despite the academic campus, the brand-new art center also ought to benefit the community in the neighborhood. As a result, the rotation of the ground floor cube welcomes visitors and turns two site corners into a leisure square for the city. As for the change above the second floor, the complexity reflects the studio's life like a micro-city.

Another is how each space manages. To deal with the link that connects each activity, bird nest suggest the bonding among public, students, and teachers.

clusters in a nest - arch institution

Set to be an architecture institution, the redefinition of the original intermediate spaces makes them voids that maintain a balanced proportion with solid areas. The contention also pulls out as many activities in sharing areas as possible to build a vibe-like living space with a strong resemblance between residents. Due to entangled volumes, this condition utilizes the composition of negative spaces like the interstices between interior walls and enclosed surface skin.

From the ground to the second level, duplicate skins shape voids into an organic and arbitrary formation contrasting with the impact facades toward the adjacent areas, distinguishing three layers to leave an invitation route for visitors, parallelling the hierarchy—private and public.

At the third level, an open-roof platform encourages students to accumulate. Also, the spaces are for transformation that deals with the buffering between fully open areas to more confined areas for studios. Cubic elements tilt at specific angles allowing sight penetration and void fusing together through shifting and rotating operations to the complex in five axes. Every tube, inserted into four levels of massing, playing the role of “home”, renders the working places suitable for education and innovation; each story merges with a sharing area that serves as a multi-function space.

diagram drawings