Case Western Medical Library

  • Caption
    Render of Exterior
Related people
Faris Ahmed (designer)
Stephen Turk (studio professor)
Autumn 2017
North and Central America->United States->Ohio->Cleveland->Case Western Reserve University
This was a student project by Faris Ahmed for Stephen Turk's course ARCH 3410 in Autumn 2017.
The project was inspired by Kazimir Malevich’s Architectons and his idea for objectlessness. Its main premise follows the idea that art should not be concerned with the depiction of objects but rather, the feeling or spatiality that is evoked.
The building’s essence results from early studies to create a mesh like a Gestalt Field, based on the fibonacci sequence. This fibonacci mesh covers the whole site and reveals an inherent purpose to the building’s structure and organization. Early on, the fibonacci mesh inherited separate enclaves as a result of a weaving organization. Primarily, this model focuses on the main book stacks separated into four enclaves that organize medical knowledge based on the levels of organization in biology: molecular, cellular, organ, and organ system. This organization follows the fibonacci mesh’s implications of relating the micro to macro given the logarithmic scale increase. The corresponding stack is represented by the scale of the spheres that encircle each enclave. Each sphere encapsulates multiple study carrels and computer work stations. Although the micro stacks are surrounded by smaller study spheres, they decrease in number (following the fibonacci sequence) as you move to to the next stack and consequently the next level of biology such that the organ system stacks feature a single study sphere. This can be seen in plan following the progression counterclockwise.
The library features a small museum that showcases medical instruments, organ models, and a full size transparent human body model called Juno—an organization that correlates micro to macro scale. Straight past the entrance, one can descend down a narrow tube and find the museum. Its series of rooms that transition from the medical instruments to the Juno model, indicate a recapitulation or a primer of the micro to macro relationship depending on whether it is experienced at the start or at the end.
Beyond the organization of information, the movement throughout the building takes on a sub narrative of representing the nervous system. The entrance is located right next to the classrooms, symbolizing the stimulus to retrieve and seek knowledge. Then the slender cones extend to areas where information is stored and processed. It opens up to spheres that hold study carrels and computer workstations— encapsulating biological information processing. Its location around the book stacks constitutes the literal and symbolic storage of information.
Given the studio’s focus on drawing, the drawings are hyper-indexical and saturated with information to imply the pragmatics and translation into a building.
ARCH 3410
Academic Class