Based on a series of drawings and diagrams that charted potential thermal experiences for various users of the Bike/Bus Hub from an earlier post (found here), the following drawings have attempted to ground those ideas in a measured model. Visitors to the center, we imagine, would be able to access a bike share and a bus stop at grade, as well as take a bike underground for secure storage and a shower in the center of campus. In doing so, whether a person waits for the bus or borrows a bike under a canopy of photovoltaics and solar tubes or uses the underground facility, that person will experience a shift from the heat of Charlottesville summer – enabled by the shade of the canopy or the moderation of interior temperatures underground by the cooler temperature of the earth. Further, very stark changes in temperature are allowed through the showers – either through channeling water through the solar tubes of the canopy for hot water (details for which are found below and on Charles’ blog here) or directly through retention ponds to allow for cold water. As a result, the visitor can experience dramatic shifts of temperature in the process of arriving at the center, using it in various ways, and leaving.
However, while the drawings below indicate that we have begun to create some of these thermal conditions, our discussion this evening stressed the fact that only four types of thermal conditions are allowed – the experience of the heat outside the hub in the summer, the drop in radiation provided by the canopy, the relatively cool temperatures allowed by moderating ground temperatures when the bike storage area is used, and the intense hot or cold provided by the showers. Missing are designed transitions or gradients in between these spaces, the attention to the changing area after leaving the shower (which is for now left to the temperature of the rest of the underground space), and the attention to human-specific scale. The design is also overwhelmed by one large thermal area – that of being underground.
More attention to these issues is needed. Although by some measurements the model is relatively developed, it is largely undeveloped in terms of how we intended to design – based on thermal criteria. By this measurement, what we have remains vague, undefined, and – to use an appropriate visual term – somewhat colorless. Gradients and other elements, of course, will occur despite our lack of design intent in this regard, but I must in my next diagrams at least acknowledge their existence – if not learn from that representation how they might be manipulated. There is more to come in this regard.