Growth House

Tendril Bridge

Multistory Apartment

Morphable Museum

Community Center

The Community Center
by John M. Johansen & Patrick Ford
CODING THE COMMUNITY CENTER (2004)

Projects presented so far have been designed requiring, one, the repetition of that one or only a few codes, to instruct the growth of simpler structures. Coding for the Community Center, however, incorporating numerous building types for numerous functions and human accommodation, would require many. Coordinating many different codes is a greater challenge to any designs involved in molecular engineering.

In designing a community for the future, we can only conjecture how people will conduct themselves in a framework of socio-economic, cultural and demographic conditions (see book, “Etopia” by William Mitchell, Dean of Architecture, MIT.) We may, however, assume that in future, needs, both physical and psychic, will be satisfied, be they food, shelter, conveyance, assembly, solitude, privacy, or conditions to work entertainment, even search for spiritual enlightenment. These basic amenities have suggested to me, if not conventional building types but structures and spaces which in a general way, have distinctly different purposes and character.

To unify such a design to allow a coordinated system of growth, it would be well to adopt a geometry, that which is hexagonal. Since nature itself abounds in geometries, this is to say my design concept is clearly inspired not by machines, but by the living organism.

This project, as do the previous, develops from growth centers, by many. Each center, located on the hexagonal layout, is positioned to supply basic chemical materials for various structures: towers, vast interior spaces, live/work dwelling units, multi-media entertainment studios, and even religious chapels. For supply of these basic building materials in liquid state there must be a distribution system. I propose three or more supply locations feeding a network of alternate choice of channels, as a fail-safe or “redundancy”; control of supplies would involve pumps and valves.

Codes, which would instruct molecules as to what, where and where to build, would be humanly placed. In some places, one code placed in one growth chamber, would produce an isolated structure. However, to grow a number of different, interlocking structures from one growth chamber, it would be necessary to place various codes into separate components in the chamber. Smaller growth chambers could be placed anywhere in the growing structure for growth of any individual architectural design and design, and replaced by another design, interior or exterior, at a later time Stages of Community growth may be noted in the illustrations provided.

The ultimate design decision is that of architectural; expression. This could be, as we say, “abstract," i.e., organically conceived as to functional and structural principle, or as we say, "representational, i.e. aesthetically expressing the processes and spirit of the growth process.