Shift: Alexandria, Virginia

The proposed water taxi terminal rests at a crossroads of movement between the two parks, Oronoco Bay and Founder’s, and the water taxi. The premise of the project was to recreate the social fabric existing along King Street to North Robinson Terminal in Alexandria. Along with the terminal, the possibility of the existing warehouse turning into a naval museum for U.S.S. Olympia was taken into consideration when designing.

The master planning and project were developed based on the connection between the two parks, residents, and how the building would be viewed along the waterfront and road as it sits at the corner of the harbor. 

The continuation of the road using green pavers was a decision to allow easy access transport to and from the water taxi. However, asphalt was too hard of a surface and wouldn’t make the connection between the two parks organic.

This is a material and spatial exploration of a new architectural concept of my current studio project that solidifies the old and the new into another interpretation of defining a stop. I’m striving to create a unique intersection that is worthwhile to stop and seem weightless within its environment. Rather than designing an iconic form to attract the public, it should have a relationship with the whole capacity of Alexandria, the U.S.S Olympia, and the possible museum while pushing the boundaries of context. Therefore unlike previous explorations, this model was used to study the capacity of aluminum or a metallic material at angles and bends to begin a suggestion towards reflection and construction of my building.

This model focused on ascensions, portals, and openings that I’m building on from the previous model to create a unified architectural notion of movement and space. The wall of columns was a suggestion for the construction of the building minimizing the width of the columns and seeing the effect on the overall environment of the building. I was testing out different ways of how light plays off the aluminum and how the pattern of the mesh projects onto the wood panel that represents the floor and pier.

Similar to Lissitzky, the framework of this model follows the notion that it produces movement both in the viewer and myself when looking at specific views giving an incomplete two-dimensional plan, but once shifted it becomes a three-dimensional object in space and time. Certain elements of the model in the X-plane are at the 16th scale, and the Y-plan is at 1/8th scale. However certain elements were not scaled and suggested what the model needed instead of forcing a predetermined idea onto it. It was necessary for the elements to become free of constraint to see the possibilities and ideas that I have and how it continues to give more insight even if certain elements may seem out of place.

What suggestions could replicate and improve the movement and urban fabric of Old Town Alexandria through form, material, sight, and light are all unique criteria that I’m curious about in this conceptual model.

The design uses passive and active cooling to create a comfortable environment. By utilizing the sea breezes from the Potomac River to cool the space, this project consumes less energy and reduces expenditure. Any excess heat will rise leaving through the vent.

Detail Sections

Front Entrance
Glazing Detail