Adaptive Architecture Study

All negative space.

All negative space

This study is inspired by Lina Bo Bardi’s adaptive reuse project, SESC Pompeia Factory. The main factory building is comprised of a large open space ruled only by a rectilinear grid of columns. 



Keith Benes



ARC 502
Spring 2020


3.5-yr. MArch

Within such a framework, an infinite variety of possible floor plans and circulations can be laid out. Such a framework allows for use and program to vary over time — simply through the addition or subtraction of elements laid out within it. The grid is constant. As a building ages and the program evolves and changes, the memory of what was before should persist. The accumulation of subsequent programs, uses, human activities, and memory —layered over decades — gives a building its character, richness, and with each subsequent phase, a stronger ability to persist into the future.

The study is a preliminary exploration as part of a larger studio process in which students extrapolate design concepts from architectural precedents to design a building without an assigned program. After developing the initial form, students are randomly assigned a program by lottery, and then continue to adjust the concept to accommodate the program.