A Tale of Two Levels

Two-level outdoor seating

[ A ink line drawing, for me this one one of many concept sketches of the area. ]

Possible solution for some student seating between two apartment buildings for upper level and graduate students. The newer apartments off to the left are about 4.0ft higher than the existing apartments to the right.

The Task

I was asked to come up with a way for students to collect and get together, and at the same time not make one large space, but a upper and lower level for smaller groups to congregate. I’m also assuming they did not want one large blast of flat level surface.

To answer the question, no I do not know what the square footages are yet. I would like to see the upper level be about 1/3rd larger than the lower. Why?

I’m not sure. It’s just that in every sketch I drew where the upper was slightly larger the drawings looked better.

Looking at the two level patio, head-on

[ I thought I’d give this a try, looking straight on into the two-levels. ]

The above is obviously a real minimalist attempt at a landscape study for this space. The more I look at it the “rawer” it looks. Just stripped right down to the specifics.

I would guess that I/we would never use this as a presentation drawing(by itself) but it’s good enough for me to show a client and say, “Hey, here’s what I’m thinking, what do you think”?

If it were to become a presentation drawing it would need to show the apartments in the background, and I would need to throw some color on the page. For me . . . that wold also mean fewer ink lines.

Away they Went

I gave the 2 drawings along with a couple of even rougher sketches/studies to the contractor to show to the client. Will these need fleshed out?

I don’t know, not even sure if they’ll think this is in the right direction, but it’s a good start to the communication.


Addendum: The top sketch was done on a sheet of copy paper-from a stack of copy paper on the clipboard. I had reached a point where I was stuck on this concept. So I got up, grabbed the clipboard and a cup of coffee and went out and sat in the backyard . . . drawing away . . . trying to find an idea or two to put together for this two-level plaza.

The lower drawing was scribbled done in the moleskine a day or two earlier, also away from the desk/drawing table.

So I guess I am trying to say . . .

if you’re STUCK

Get off your ass, out of your comfy everyday workspace, and go find another space, another environment, another sensory experience.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


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