Integrating Structure + Design 

ARCH 573 | Spring 2016

Studio Instructor: Associate Professor Scott Murray
Structures Consultant: Assistant Professor Marci Uihlein 


This studio presents an interdisciplinary educational model in which the subjects of design and structures are linked together through the combining of two graduate-level courses: a design studio, taught by Prof. Scott Murray, and an advanced structures class, taught by Prof. Marci Uihlein. 

The studio explores the potential for integrating structural design as a key conceptual component of an overall architectural design process, emphasizing both experimentation and analysis/verification. The goal of this work is to develop design proposals that are both conceptually and technologically rigorous and which develop students’ abilities to integrate structural and design thinking.

Following initial research and analysis of site, program, and precedents, students in this studio worked on one semester-long design project: a new Aquatic Center sited in San Francisco. The Aquatic Center is an approximately 90,000 square-foot training and competition facility suitable for hosting the Swimming & Diving World Championships. The program includes one Olympic-sized swimming pool (25 x 50m), one diving pool (20 x 25m), and one short-course training pool (25 x 25m), as well as spectator amenities, administrative spaces, and support functions. The project required structural spans in the range of 150 to 400 feet.