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Aggregate Modular Culinary School

Studio: Prof. Peters' Comprehensive

Length: 14 Weeks

When: Spring 2014

The goal of this design is to utilize modular construction. The program that is able to be modularized, the teaching kitchen specifically, can be designed once and reproduced all over the building. the elegance of the modular system is evident in the structural and mechanical planning. the entire module can be dependent on one supportive core which can house the MEP and structural elements. The issue with modular design is that not every space can work from the same module. While some of the program can be reproduced, some if it cannot, for example, while a modularized lecture hall can be intriguing, the module actually hinders it, instead of aiding the design process. Because of this, approximately half of the program has to be constructed on site using conventional construction techniques. Because of the separation it provides an innovative idea for the future. if the design was to be repurposed, the modules could be taken off and the building could be reprogrammed for nearly any use. 


The interior space is all oriented around a central core for vertical circulation, however not only human circulation, but airflow. By having an elevated skylight in the middle, it allows a chimney circulation during the summer. This becomes an important part of the design to allow smell circulation from the kitchens to the artery of circulation. This, like the innovative aerogel, serves the culinary school as an advertisement, anyone walking through could smell the delicious food, and because of the fortuitous placement of the admission department, could walk right in and sign up for a class. 


An import of the design process was to build upon the existing site circulation, by sloping surrounding walkway towards the building, circulation through the building is promoted, rather than around the block. Creating these ‘green’ areas also allow the culinary school to grow their own food. Either in the surrounding planters located around the site, or on the roof deck, utilized for seating and planting, providing a view of the city and smells of exquisite culinary delights prepared by the students. 


The facade design becomes an important part of showing the program of the spaces that it holds. The modules utilize a curtain wall system. However this curtain wall system is not only using glass, but the remarkable material, aerogel, the lightest material on the world, it also boasts the highest R-value known to man. The modular curtain wall can appear light, and become an expression of the modular construction, in addition to boasting a unique and insulated façade system. 


The wood panelized system utilizes exposed structural concrete as an expression, with a wood panelized rain screen infilling. The windows fit into the wooden grid, keeping the same proportion as the modular facade, to unite the design, while introducing a different design language. 

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