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Architecture Museum: David Costanza

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The design approach for the Architecture Museum was to treat the building as both gallery and display. The initial ambition was to use the building itself to communicate the materials and histories of the discipline of architecture. In doing so, the building becomes an instrument for learning.

In response to the four types of gallery spaces, the building stacks vertically, both material and spatial typologies. The galleries range in the types of objects on display as well as the associated spaces necessary to house those artifacts, from full-scale architectural replicas to scaled models. Those spatial implications are then mapped onto four different material systems and resulting structural grids.

The large full-scale galleries are housed at the top of the building using steel and channel glass on the fourth floor, followed by precast concrete on the third floor, creating large ceiling heights and massive spans. Moving down the building, the second floor is made of mass timber, further reducing the spacing of the members while also increasing their size. The reduced span and ceiling height accommodate scaled models, in a more intimate gallery space. On the ground floor, the shift from timber to stone further reduces the column spacing while creating a nested urban landscape that steps down to create the entrance plaza and museum shop. The digital media gallery is located just below the urban gallery. The subterranean conditions found here are conducive to the light-sensitive forms of display. Finally, the primary auditorium is positioned to negotiate the lowest two floors.

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David Costanza Biography

David Costanza is the director and lead designer of DCS (David Costanza Studio). Through practice and teaching, his research addresses the emerging digital and technical advancements reshaping the discipline. The work aims to establish a dialogue between representation, computational design tools, digital manufacturing, and the innovative use of building materials. David Costanza is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Masters of Architecture with a concentration in Computation and a Master’s of Science in Architecture Building Technology. David Costanza has previously taught at Rice University for four years as the Technology Fellow and is currently teaching in the Department of Architecture at Cornell AAP.

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