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University of Pennsylvania: Master of Architecture

ARCH502: Design Studio II

Instructor: Danielle Willems

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Parallel Divergence moves away from the established understanding of the library through dense frameworks that both construct and reduce its form, presenting physical manifestations of the resilience of the library.  The conflict of the typology of the library in our times, along with the uncertainty of its future role, is represented via the use of strict part-to-whole relations. Its resilience exists in its ability to adapt, extending its definition to form new paradigms of typology and function. Uncertainty plays a major role in this polemic. A dense array of self-similar pieces create a composition in which the piece becomes obscured, and the whole takes on a new meaning, unbeknownst to the initial components. Much like an unfinished sculpture, Parallel divergence aims to bear a resemblance to the traditional library, yet it lies unfinished. The building begins in a solid state, representing the firm ground the library has held throughout history. Speculation, however, begins to chip away at this fabric, revealing an intricate inner structure that blurs what is known and what is indefinite. 

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