Architectural furniture, 2010


This is the second project in ISD. This is introduction for the project that Architectural furniture is an area of practice and study that engages with detail and form-making in intimate spaces designed for small numbers of inhabitants or, in some cases, for a single, specific user. The exploration of architectural furniture encourages us to look at spaces differently, more intimately, poetically. While we study architectural furniture, we inhabit territory steeped in ideas of installation, sculpture, spatial experience, and perhaps even story telling or narrative-making through architecture.

We will begin our exploration of architectural furniture by looking at spaces in which our installations might intervene. Initially we will study the following spaces: colnnade, corridor, portico, stairway, and opening.

Site research

I looked around chelsea college for finding my site. In pimlico area, two different characterised areas lie across Vauxhall bridge road. The west area is for a residential space and the east area is a commercial space. First, I have investigated the residential area. There are lot of interesting place, such as passages between small buildings and open space. However, majority of interesting places tend to belong to residence areas that could not use and access at all. Second, I looked up the commercial space in the east part of Pimlico station. There are many offices and hotels along the river. In addition, there are some public spaces such as gardens, parks, museum and church. Finally, I have found one interesting place that I have gone through this site everyday. It is a Riverside Walk Garden, which is located on the bank of the Thames adjacent to Vauxhall Bridge and Millbank. I am obviously familiar with the Garden. The reason is that I tent to use this garden as a shortcut when I go to college and go back my home. In my idea is that some motivation elements can be figured out that I did not recognise yet in the ordinary environment to me, so that I determined my site.

Site location

The garden has one staircase, fluid shaped terraces, 12 modular wall, 7 chairs and one sculpture that was made by Henry Morre. I found out interesting thing that there is 100mm gap between the staircase and a terrace. Each staircase level is increased differently. I am interested in this space and I have thought that how I develop this space and what meaning staircase has. Even thought, this garden has really valuable, and beautiful scenery, why people do not love this space. I have stared this project with this query.

Riverside Walk Garden; A lovely panorama picture!

Analysis of people

I have been the site for twice a day around 10 morning and evening time. I have observed people who used and went through the garden. However, it was quite not easy to observe people, because people rarely used it. In the morning time, best part of people is joggers. Meanwhile, in the evening time, most of people are commuters who are working in the Milbank area. They tend to use the garden as their way in order to cross the Vauxhall Bridge to station. People using the garden are varied by time. Whenever I visited the site, I have found out same result of observed people.

Design stroy

This video was made in the early stage of the project in order to record my journey. The video
represents my journey from the bed to the college. When I planned this video, I realised that my journey has not been changed, however, different kind of happenings or problems have been intervene in my journey, for example, hearing the strange sound from back side and taking care my safety when I cross the road. This video has two different points of view. First view is black that it does not intervene in my journey, however coloured video could intervene in my journey. This situation offers me to think about it for few seconds.

Idea sketch

Some of sketch model were produced by inspirations from the chosen site.

1. Mechanism from people walking on the stair
2. Making plane of different level
3. Small scale staircase model

Ideas development

I have started to develop my project with beginning idea that object is going to occupy the different level of the staircase. First of all, a rectangular shaped frame needs 3 surfaces, which mean that one step can be extended to other space. A square shaped frame needs 4 surfaces including 2 steps and 2 terraces. Basically, the staircase’s function is link from space to other space, however this idea can change original function. It would be used other way. In addition, I am interested in void space between frames.

I was wondering what the staircase means. I wanted to figure out my own definition about the staircase. One object was created inspired by a staircase shape. However, there is no function. Just starting to play with it.

I was playing with it and brought it to the public space where have square or huge staircase, for example, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly circus so on. I had conversation with people who were interested in my object. I asked them “what do you think about this object?”. They answered me “It looks staircase or bookcase, but there is no board between frame.” In Trafalgar Square, I looked interesting scene that people use staircase with different actions that sitting, standing, and lying. All action, for example, standing, lying, talking, and sitting that I observed can be seen in the architecture and our life. I define that staircase is between architecture and furniture

Experience for viewpoints 2D

Through query about frame from object mentioned previously, I was wondering what kind of images I can get, if some pattern or frames block my sight. Pattern will be obstructed our view. I have though that blocking the sight will give us other sight or new images, because it allows to see particularly angle or view. I created one device that can be changed frames. There is a gap between each frame. Different images can blend and make new patterns by using 4 sheets of basic patterns. It would be employed when I consider people sit on my structure for their view.

1. Device for changing the pattern
2. Example of pattern
3. View from the Vauxhall bridge

Experience for viewpoints 3D

This experiment is extension of previous page experiment. Last page shows 2 dimensional view and frame. On the other hand, this page represents 3 dimensional patterns based on 2 dimensional basic patterns. I am quite interested in this kind of modular space that has same size and shape. Each modular space can be structure or furniture. So, I was trying to find interesting point that how make repeated space. The reason why is that If I find one modular space, every kind of furniture and even structure will be build by using the system.

Most wondering and interesting feature is joint system how to connect each timber. However, when I produced this model, I did not consider about joint. I just glued them together. After making this model, I have started research about joint for wood. Those kinds of joint system are often seen in furniture and Asian architecture.

Wood joint research and studying

I was playing with 1 by 1 sized wood stick and created some objects. Whenever I made them, I was wondering how to put them together. Especially, last page model needs to have intersection joint for putting together from horizon and vertical way. In the first week, I have studied and made common joint, which uses for furniture. This page shows my studying about joint and new design that I could not find this way in the books and other media. My designed joint is for intersection between horizon and vertical direction. Using this joint, every kind of furniture can be created by people who is able to assemble them.

Designed joint

This is my designed joint in order to construct the structure as well as the furniture what we imagine all. The reason why this joint can make all things is that this joint modular system.
Each vertical frame has hole for inserting horizon frame from four different directions. It could be a building or small size chair. I am going to use this joint to design and construct architectural structure that people can use it both inside and outside. I have done lot of research for joint system. 3 dimension of joint could not find at all. Because joint system is for furniture rather than architecture. Furniture does not need have space. I want to change its ideas. Pictures below show how connect them and make one unit. Next page will show whole unit and technical drawing and construction drawing.

1. Intersection joint
2. Order how to assemble them
3. One unit in order to be a structure
4. Construction drawing

Deck chair

My architectural furniture is developing to small structure including public benches. However, this structure is for not only people who use my site but also me. I was thinking, when I go to college, if I bring the chair from structure and have a relax or read some books. Of course, people can use this deck chair from structure, if it is available, for example, when we go to Hyde park, we have to pay to rent a deck chair, however, it is for free for renting it to enjoy time with beautiful scene. The deck chair is part of the structure. It will be hang on the structure. It would be great to hang on the inside wall, because hanging the deck chair can cause block people’s view.

1. Deck chair with orange coloured fabric from speedo swimsuit package (600 x 1200 x 50)
2. Detail images
3. Drawings

Structure development

My architectural furniture has the structure based on my designed joint. My joint system has to have a hexahedron shape, because this joint could not draw a diagonal line. It must have 90-degree angle for each corner. I have played with some cubic in order to shape for the structure. This structure will be placed on the staircase, which is 3000mm long. I have added 7 cubic that were same level. However, it should be on the staircase, level of the structure has been increased by 150mm, which is step’s height. However, between the first row and last row, there is only 500mm corridor. It is not enough size that people can pass through the staircase as well as the structure. I have extended middle row to 1000mm.

1. Diagram representing how to develop the structure
2. Plan and elevation


1/5 scale model