Architecture as Inhabited Bridge: A New Museum/Bridge for Indianapolis 

ARCH 573 | Spring 2017
Associate Professor Scott Murray


Our primary design project presents a unique challenge: adding a new museum building to the campus of the Indianapolis Museum of Art on a site that spans across an existing canal. This project requires the designer to rethink the relationship of buildings to the ground and to water in developing a creative response to this unusual site.

This studio focuses on how two primary architectural elements—structure and envelope—can work together to create unique experiences of space and light in a high-performance public building.

In creating a space for people to interact with art, we will be designing long-span structural systems which will shape the project and its spaces, providing a link from one side of the canal to the other, integrated with custom enclosure systems that modulate natural light and views. This studio explores the potential for integrating structural and envelope systems as key conceptual drivers of architectural design, emphasizing both experimentation and analysis/verification. We will be asking questions such as: can structure and envelope transcend function? What is the relationship of structure and skin to space and light, and therefore to spatial experience? How can the designer balance demands of the technical as well as cultural performance required of architecture? The goal of this work is to develop a design process that creatively integrates issues related to site, program, structure, and envelope, resulting in design proposals that are both conceptually and technologically advanced.

Assistant Professor Marci S. Uihlein serves as a structural consultant for the studio, participating in pin-ups and design reviews, and guest reviewers for midterm and final presentation also include visiting architects and structural engineers.