CASIS Headquarters, Manhattan Design Studio - Yale School of Architecture (2013)
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is a non-profit organization put in charge by NASA to manage the International Space Station. The responsibility of CASIS is to manage the platform for innovation of space-based research and facilitate the accessibility of aerospace technology.
The premise of this studio is to design the CASIS research center and public exhibition as one building situated on the proposed “Vision for an East Side Waterfront” masterplan connecting to the developing East River Park.
CASIS is the intersection between the aerospace engineer and aerospace enthusiast. This project serves to provide office workers as well as the wandering passerby with experiences of scalar shifts which astronauts experience aboard space crafts and space stations. The proposed buildings of the masterplan in the immediate context trump the size of this research center; however, the articulation of the design as an organic object distorts the reading of its scale relative to its adjacencies.
Much like that of an organism, the design is a torus. The lobby, education room, secondary exhibition, and private offices are the organs within. The main exhibition space, the payload control center, and open office space are contained within the cavity, only accessible physically and visually through lacerations in the torus.
The tourist and employee access the building through either entry points along the plaza connecting the waterfront to East 1st St. From the lobby, the circulations split off between the two users. The tourist moves in a loop in plan, passing through the primary exhibition space, the education room, up to the secondary exhibition, and finally back down to the lobby. The worker moves vertically into nodes which stem off the elevator core. At various moments, the tourist and employee will make visual interactions with through the lacerations in the membrane.