ARCH 3010: Pod Hotel
Pod hotels address a number of issues that plague the urban environment. Constructing within a small space while at the same time, maximizing the number of occupants can be challenging. What is even more challenging is designing a building as such without the aid of a computer. This best characterized my experience in Architectural Design I which could be described as a “computer-free studio.” Developing our buildings through hand drawings opened our eyes to a different kind of design process that is often ignored due to the convenience of computers and advanced modeling programs. Starting out, we had to construct a multitude of study models inspired by analogs we had chosen. These models represented pod room organization which then had to be analyzed by hand drawing them. Our class did this for several weeks until we developed a pod room that could be used in our future pod hotel. Our visit to our site in New York City also gave us the opportunity to experience the location through additional sketching and exploration of the highline which would prove to be integral to our designs. The next 8-9 weeks allowed us to develop and design our pod hotels using certain design cues from the pods themselves as well as tonal vignettes that would narrate the approach to our buildings. The overall objective of this hotel was to provide a building that utilized space efficiently, conveyed design cues found within our pod rooms, and possessed some form of integration with the highline. What I had developed was hotel that I believe catered to these objectives in way that I may not have considered if I had used a computer software. I believe it’s always a good idea to revisit the basics of hand drawing and explore different design methods. Technology is important but the human hand is a priceless tool.