Friday, March 21, 2008

Site plan:
The green blocks are park settings in the city. The tan blocks are entertainment/informational centers in the city. With Portland being such a pronounced green city, I wanted to bring the park setting into my structure. My narratorium is the combination of these two aspects.
Experiential Study Drawings:
I Think that story telling can be divided into two classifications, sharing and listening.

Sharing side:
Listening side:
Experiential Drawings:

1. Threshold between SW Broadway Ave. and the outdoor auditorium 2. Main Entrance when the other doors are closed
3. Entering the 'sharing' side of the Narratorium
4. Cafe/bar that connects the 'sharing' and 'listening' sides.
5. Outdoor auditorium
6. Indoor auditorium
Narratorium: Final Plans & Sections
Study Models:
With each one of the studies I have the indoor and outdoor auditoriums working with each other. The auditoriums are tucked away in the "back" of the site, away from the street access. Through this process, the outdoor auditorium moved closer to the street but still had the hidden aspect when the doors are closed. A couple things I was working with was trying to screen, or create a filter to the outdoor auditorium. The main challenge was working out how the outdoor auditorium sat on top of the indoor one.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This section was a study of how the main ramp-ways in the narratorium work. I still took this into my final design.
This Section was my original understanding of how auditoriums fit together, and how the building might communicate with SW Broadway Ave.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The proposed site is on the corner of SW Broadway and Madison. The site is currently an existing gated parking lot with a advertisement billboard.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Narratorium: Statement of Intent
a. Main Text

Story forms community. Stories connect individuals. Without the sharing of stories, and human experience, people would have trouble relating to one another. This idea of trading stories seems to have been true since the beginning of human civilization. Neanderthals recorded stories and information through hieroglyphics, and more recent in time Native American tribes use story telling as a way to get across important social issues. Through communication is the only way to gain a community. The intent of my narratorium is that I want to gain a small community feel within a larger community like Portland. I want this building to create an opportunity for a casual storytelling happening as well as a somewhat formal sit-down event. Within these events a selection of recital areas would be needed to tell stories. The narratorium will have a certain flexibility in the recital areas to accommodate large and small groups. This should be a place to commune through the notion of storytelling.
An outdoor space that can be utilized for different reasons seems important to the full design of the building. It would act as a courtyard or a gathering area for the duration of the year. With the site being only a block away from the west park-blocks, I wanted to reply to the site in a similar language. The courtyard is a place where the public would get led into and then disperse from that point, like an outdoor lobby. During the dry seasons, the courtyard will act as an outdoor auditorium. An incorporation of indoor/outdoor opportunities is necessary because this site is in Portland and has high precipitation throughout most of the year. This space should be open to the public for free when there is no show happening. (Maybe free shows would be performed. Or maybe individuals volunteering to tell a story could involve the public.) When there is not a big show happening I see this place as a rich environment to go and eat on one’s lunch break. This outdoor space could possibly get the public more involved because it would spark curiosity for people to walk throughout the narratorium property without paying or going inside. With half of the site having this park-like atmosphere, hopefully it would draw in the community.
Moving inside the narratorium from the street or courtyard, the program brakes up in a more sporadic way. The first choice that one would come across is to either go down into the main building context or up to the more privatized space. Within this division space, the central circulation area splits the two general programs of the narratorium. I split storytelling into two forms: sharing and listening. If one enters the building then they are first introduced to the “sharing” side of the narratorium. This would act as the multipurpose story telling facility. This is more of the community space where several opportunities would arise for people sharing stories. If one were “going to listen” then they would visit the indoor or outdoor recital area to watch a story be performed. This space will be defined as the auditorium setting, which takes up most of the southern side of the building. The transition between the two program sides is captured as a café/bar/lounge, which allows people to mingle in between. The building needs this transition point because sharing and listening could not happen without one another.
There is a relationship between these two sides that could work really well together. After watching a perforance in the listening side one could cross the courtyard or café, and join the sharing side to talk about what they have seen or anything on their mind. Involved in the sharing would be a storytellers’ workshop that would be held in the general dwelling area. The storytellers’ workshop would be open to the general public. The public would hopefully get inspired by a storyteller’s performance and want to learn how to tell an interesting and compelling story. If they do not have much experience in the art of storytelling, then they can take a workshop.
The day-to-day schedule would be somewhere in between a movie theatre and a concert hall. I’m imagining several performances scheduled for one day. For the first half of the day (until 3pm), school groups would come and occupy the narratorium. Then when most of the public are getting of work, the narratorium would be open until 9pm for the general public. At least two or three shows would be going on at the same time. These shows would be intertwined, they would start and stop so that one story if anything is being performed. Then of course, there would be headliners and less popular storytellers. Within that experience, people would be introduced to less popular performers by just meandering to the main show.
The monthly and yearly schedule would be more similar to the concert hall because of the advertisement and preparation for each show. This building is certain to need tech support because of the sound systems that will be involved, and light. Lighting is necessary and maybe some sort of projector for PowerPoint presentations and light shows. I would imagine that the performers would come for a couple weeks to get a dramatic light show with the story. Having the performers come and stay for a few weeks would mean there would need to be a dwelling area. A short term dwelling or lodging seems necessary to get the performers to feel more comfortable in the narratorium. It would be just as easy to assign the performers a hotel room but they would not be as involved in the narratorium community.

b. Potent Sentence
Connecting a small community of storytellers to a larger community within the city of Portland.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Charley Chuckwagon's Cowboy Boot
Brainstorming Delta:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Charley Chuckwagon and Patty:
The Dog Walk
Leaving the comfort that is so embodied in one’s home, Charley had to slide on each one of his brown leather cowboy boots. It was an icy midwinter’s day, which abstracted the notion of getting strapped up and ready for cold weather. A popping ember from the open wood-stove leaped out at the toes of his boots. The ember first attacked with a vibrant red then it became saturated with darkness as it reached the floor. Although there are heating units that work in this time, Charley wants to be as self-sustainable as possible. He closes the wood-stove, getting his last breath of hot vapor from the kettle on top. Directly after that sharp sound of clanking metal, a stumbling mess of hair came barreling down the stairs.
“Patty!” Charley calls. The eight-year-old springer spaniel runs up to Charley and fiercely starts sniffing at his boots. Within the simple mindset of a dog, Patty still knows what it means when the cowboy boots go on. It is time to go outside.
Charley felt like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning because his mind was feeling clouded. Hardly ever feeling this way before, he started to get claustrophobic. Charley had built up excitement that was soon to find its way into action.
“I have to be going stir-crazy,” Charley said to Patty. “I work at home, so I’m stuck at home.”
The only time Charley usually gets out of the house is when he lets Patty out to do his daily dog business. Stepping into the world away from his home, Charley, with a burst of that excitement, decided to put one boot in front of the other and keep walking out the door. Coming down onto SW Water St., he started to feel embellished with the modern technologies that our lifestyles consist of. As he looked up into the sky he suddenly felt entangled and suppressed by the canopy of telephone wire. He needed to break free.

Walking down to SW Corbett Ave. and crossing to other side, Charley stood on the freeway overpass. Mt. Hood stood elegantly above East Portland. Even 70 miles away, the mountain brings a powerful presence to Portland.
“I remember why I moved to Portland,” Charley said quickly to Patty as he was gazing at Mt. Hood.
Sometimes the city life got to be too much for Charley. He was born to be a cattle breeder; at least that’s what his father expected. Born and raised in the Great Divide Basin of Wyoming, Charley felt held back, so he moved out of his house as soon as he turned 18. The main thing that held him back was his dad Charles because he hardly let Charley go to school. With visions of being an astronaut or an architect as a little boy, those dreams were shattered by the work he needed to do on the farm. With no high school education, the first thing Charley wanted to do when he got away was get his GED. Trying to make a new life for himself he decided to head west to what he thought was the land of opportunity. Charley didn’t leave Wyoming with much. He roughly had six hundred dollars, which he had been saving up and a quarter tank of gas in rundown Chevy truck that he used sometimes to get around his family’s property.
Heading west, Charley was determined to see the ocean. Once he saw the great blue plain, then he would be satisfied enough to settle down somewhere. Making his way from Great Divide, he had to make a decision when coming to Salt Lake. The lake split the path west to southwest (California) or northwest (Oregon). Charley didn’t want California to make the first impression on him of the west coast because of what he has seen about Los Angeles and Sacramento. He decided to go towards Oregon and from Salt Lake he took I-84 to the Columbia River, which he followed all the way to the ocean. Having to stop through Portland on the way out to the coast, Charley fell in love with the small town feel of the metropolitan area. After seeing the ocean for the first time, Charley still couldn’t get Portland out of his head.
His family still lives on a cattle ranch in the Great Divide Basin and they think their son was lost to the dirty city lifestyle. The closest “large city” to his ranch was Rock Springs in Wyoming. He is happy to have moved out because he was able to get away from his family, but every so often he gets the urge to go back out into the wild. Being a rancher is still in Charley’s blood, he could hog-tie cattle with one hand behind his back. Enlightened by the view of Mt. Hood, Charley kept walking, hoping to find other beautiful occurrences of nature within city limits. The sight of Mt. Hood turned on a switch and made him not feel so wrapped up in electrical wires above him and the traffic whizzing by below him.
“I wish we were up on the mountain right now,” Charley muttered to Patty as Patty was sniffing out the next place to mark his territory.

The road was carrying him down the hill as he continued to walk with Patty. Corbett Ave. started to straighten out and he had a good view of Corbett stretching through John’s Landing. As Charley was walking down the sidewalk, Patty pulled the leash and lead Charley down a side path.

He started to feel more comfortable as the canopy shifted from cold wires to lush green. The side path was steep and on the mossy concrete Charley felt like he was going to slip with patty pulling the leash. Patty was only trying to lead the way because he had to do his daily business. Patty popped a squat in the dirt off to the side, and then gave a satisfied look to Charley.

Like a flash flood, a rush of traffic flew by Charley and Patty. The path leads them down onto Macadam Ave., which released a different feeling from the rest of John’s Landing. Macadam being the main road from Lake Oswego to Portland, creates a lot of traffic of people who don’t live in the area. Charley and Patty started to feel intimidated by the fast traffic so they tried to find the quickest way to keep heading down to the river. Following the flow of traffic they started to recognize a business district along Macadam. Trying to get across and away from the main road, Charley decides to turn left at a gas station on Boundary Road. Off of the main road, Charley is able to take Patty off the leash.
Walking down Boundary Road, train tracks leave a clearing and Charley sees shaft like bronze spires.

Looking past the spires, Charley recognized Ross Island. The bare amounts of trees on Ross Island creates a curtain fading Mt. Hood into the glazy white clouded sky.

Charley thought that Ross Island was going to be nothing but a sand bar when the cement company was done with the land. When crossing train tracks the spires seemed to become more uniformed when he saw they were strung together with docks and boats. By the water’s edge, Charley finds a concrete footpath following the contours of the river. With the river having no block for wind, a cold breeze smacked Charley in the face. As he breathed into his nose, a tingling sensation bites at his nose almost making him sneeze.
“Fweeawee!” Charley whistled to Patty, “This way boy.” Charley walks upstream the river. If he didn’t know Portland well enough, it would be hard to recognize which way the current was flowing. Charley walked along the side of the footpath because his boots where too loud when clanking on the concrete. The train tracks changed positions after he crossed them from a precision cut through the apartment complexes to a rude bulging element, which felt to be intrusive while walking the path. As Charley continued to walk upstream, he came upon an arrangement of benches that seemed to be courtesy of the Ross Island Cement Co.

The benches were oversized concrete blocks, slightly set off the footpath on the grassy waterfront. The rough gravel-like texture on the benches was highlighted with the sporadic growth of moss. Attracted to these benches and how they were placed, Charley thought it to be a good place to light a cigarette. Breathing the smoke deep into his lungs, the cigarette seemed to mediate the temperature of the cold weather. Sitting with Patty, the benches created a good viewpoint looking down both directions of the Willamette.
On his continuous quest for nature, Charley keeps walking upstream (away from the City). The Willamette River played with scale, as it gets wider when encompassing the island. It was hard for him to know the real sizes of the houses and buildings across the way. Looking to the east side of the river, Mt. Hood looked like an iceberg floating on the tops of trees and houses.

It would submerge and resurface as Charley walked along side the footpath. Charley passes another private boat dock and a small excuse for a beach where he and Patty used to play fetch.

Charley would stand in the sand, toss a stick or ball into the river for Patty to retrieve, and wonder why an animal feels so compelled to sustain this seemingly endless game.
“Click-clack, click-clack!” Charley’s boots rang out as he was forced to walk back on the concrete path. He was forced back onto the footpath because of a compression of property lines. A running fence and a barrier wall funneled the two of them away from the waters edge. Meeting back up with the train tracks, the footpath began to parallel the rails again.

Charley noticed to the left that the same running fence, which steered him away from the river, also held the Willamette Sailing Club. And looking to the right past the train tracks Charley was reminded of Macadam Ave. Not ready to cross that threshold back into the neighborhoods, he decided to keep going south along the railroad.
Coming upon Willamette Park, nature started to become artificial. The landscape was well-manicured and random groups of strangers drifted around the park as if to pronounce they were getting exercise.

Getting turned-off by the amount of people in the park, Charley decided to dig back into the neighborhood. Giving up on his quest for natural seclusion, he and Patty maneuvered their way to Macadam Ave. when passing the main automobile entrance for Willamette Park. Charley recognized he was on SW Nebraska St. because he saw the Fulton Pub down the way. Crossing the disturbance that was Macadam, Charley’s mouth started to water at the thought of a pint of fresh Nebraskan Bitter from the pub.

The Fulton Pub has always been a place that Charley enjoyed going. It had a rich history back in the prohibition. One might think that Charley was a historian because of how well he knew the history behind the pub. People say you forget things when you’re drunk, but Charley had a steel trap attached to his head and could repeat the history to whoever asked of it. Tying up Patty outside, Charley steps into the pub and sits at the bar.
“Hey Charley, how ‘bout a brew on the house,” said a warm blissful voice from across the bar.
“You always know how to wrangle me in Joyce,” Charley said with a grin. Joyce handed him the brisk overflowing glass, but before he could even take a sip Joyce asked him to tell about the history of Fulton to a newcomer. Without any contest, he stood up and walked over to a man looking to be in his 60s or 70s wearing a sweater-vest that was one size too small enhancing his large belly. With a curious tone, the older man asked Charley. “Hey sonny, I was just wondering why the Fulton Pub was a McMenamins historical site.”
Like reading from a textbook, Charley rehearsed his speech to the man. “The Fulton Pub dates back to 1926, when it was a Prohibition-era hangout serving home-cooked meals, pinball games, stogies, candy, and ice cream. Speculation says that during Prohibition the pub might even have provided patrons the odd pint o' beer as an unadvertised special. What is certain is that when the prohibition against strong drink did end in America, it wasn't long before the present-day Fulton location became a beer parlor. After switching a few ownerships, the Fulton was renovated and opened by McMenamins on Cinco de Mayo in 1988. This is also the birthplace of Nebraskan bitter ale.”
“Wow, Well thanks sir,” said the man, “Do you work here?”
“Not any more, but I did work at this pub when I was going through college… and I’ve been hooked on this beer every since,” responded Charley.
“That history reminded me of some times when I was about your age. Let me buy you a drink… Charley was it,” the older man uttered back.
Charley nodded and the man said, “My name is Hennery, but people call me Heen.”
Charley and Heen traded stories for a while. A few beers and a hamburger down, Charley felt bad for Patty waiting outside. Breaking up the conversation, Charley said sharply, “Alright Heen. I’m going to get out of here. My dog is looking lonesome.”
Walking back outside, Charley’s eyes slowly adjusted to the afternoon light as he untied Patty’s leash from the parking sign.

Charley said to Patty, “All right boy, let’s get back home.” Satisfied with a full stomach he thought walking back through the neighborhood didn’t sound so bad. Leaving the pub he continued to journey away from the river. Looking up the hillside, Charley noticed how it looked very peaceful from his perspective. The freeway and Barbur Blvd. were tucked away in the mass of trees. Making his way up to Corbett, a modern looking apartment complex attracted his eye. The building used a variety of materials to represent its exterior. On the polished-wood-floor looking façade, a noticeable break of vertical plain was protruding the top corner.
Following along the 43-bus line, Charley and Patty passed a grade school campus where Charley used to play baseball with a few friends during the summer. Traveling through this neighborhood was like traveling through time for Charley because many of houses were still around from the 1930’s. He started to get a strange feeling of déjà vu as he remembered back to how he would drive down Corbett to work almost every day.

Charley felt comfortable because he was not so caught up in the Macadam traffic. Venturing up the hill, Patty started to sniff out his usual marking spots just to make sure no other animal tried to claim his territory. Walking back across the freeway, the Corbett Bridge created a gateway from John’s Landing to Lair Hill. The two neighborhoods were at one time interwoven with each other but got divided by Interstate 5. Like the Willamette River separating the East and West sides of Portland, I-5 creates a similar situation for the two neighborhoods.
Satisfaction reached Charley’s body when he returned to his home on the corner of good old Water and Seymour. He was happy that he made his outdoor occurrence turned into a larger walk for Patty to release energy. Stepping back into the house, a warm brushed across Charley’s face. Patty fell to the floor with a dramatically large exhale.
“I think I’m going to take your lead boy.” Charley said to Patty, as he laid on his couch a couple feet from Patty and closed his eye and took a nap.