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Social Space Project_02

Part 1 Project 2003
Isabelle Rowan
Megan Crouse
University of Bath, UK
Faced with a culturally sterile environment and a desire to infiltrate and inhabit a synthetic business landscape, I have hijacked ‘coffee’ as an agent of social action. The project thesis combines the spatial and social properties of drinking ‘coffee’ with the ambiguities of the ‘pseudo public realm’, to generate an architectural language of uncommodified public space.

A double skinned structure was simultaneously modelled from the inside (the ergonomics of conversation) and the outside (patterns of movement) then woven into new and existing spaces, materials and programmes. The surface articulation, while formally complex is spatially simple, creating paths, seating and shelter.

Isabelle Rowan
Megan Crouse

With a push, our students free fall into this non-place. With abundant infrastructure but missing a society, Green Park, Reading is the archetype of the specific-generic dot-com-landschaft. Developed during the online peak, the rolling green artifice and louvered offices await an uncertain future.

All experiments need a catalyst and Isabelle’s insightful choice of coffee is at once cultural, spatial and anthropological. Coffee is on one hand a major player in globalisation and on the other a prop for social interaction. Isabelle disassociated the role of coffee from the commodity, and replaced it with a highly specific and entirely generic architecture. Sublime.


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