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  • Tanner Chee

  • Ecological Symbiosis- Mutualistic Interfaces Between The Built and The Natural Environment

    Interior Design (MFA), Lighting Design (MFA)

    Advising
    This thesis proposes the creation of the Urban Ecology Center, which uses oysters as a paradigm to show the ways in which we have damaged our environment. This center becomes a part of the ecology itself, not only educating visitors about oysters but turning oysters into a natural filtration system to clean water. As the architecture cascades down into the harbor, the interior creates symbiotic relationships between different levels. These levels are split up into zones that evoke the euphotic, disphotic, and aphotic zones of the ocean. Design elements recreate the light phenomena that happen within each zone. Building programs include a submerged observation level, an ecological library, an auditorium, an exhibition, office spaces, and demonstration labs. Varied coffers are used to enhance chiaroscuro; additive and subtractive ceilings filter visitors programmatically throughout the space and carve out the interior to respond to the programs happening below. Outdoor terraces lead down to the water, which extends from within the structure to create an accessible coffered landscape. The landscape changes with its distributions as the interior ceilings to create various pools, paths, and seating. Meanwhile the underwater area turns into an interior ecosystem, providing a habitat for oysters that can be observed from the lower level. The interior of the building simulates the properties of the oyster, creating a habitat of filtration and agglomeration that demonstrates how we can live in symbiotic relationships with the ecosystem.
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