Another Design Experiment . March 28, 2016

The Kansas Project: Design Charette Week 8

Deep in the Gypsum Hills of South Central Kansas, we are designing and building a weather-centric ranch where people can observe, study and experience the explosive atmosphere of Tornado Alley. The program of The Kansas Project Ranch is continuing to develop, and this week we focused specifically on evolving our design of the cabins.

Shower day

floor plan 2

Public space is oriented to the west for sunset views, and southwest for storm approach, while the private space is oriented to the east for sunrise views and privacy. Into these we have incorporated an indoor-outdoor shower and an indoor-outdoor kitchen, each of which operate on hinged walls that may be opened or closed to the elements.

The overarching goal of the cabin design is to create spaces that enhance the experience of living in the weather, and to enable the user to have control over degrees of exposure. Wall, window and door systems are being designed to enable a wide spectrum of openness or enclosure. This will allow for flexibility and adaptability amidst changing dynamics, whether they be social or atmospheric.

The design continues to become increasingly sensitive to orientations, as well as airflow, precipitation and solar patterns, and these characteristics will be further explored as we work with WindEEE.

Unit Flex Vertical 6

This week, for the first time, we used animation to help illustrate some of our design explorations, including conditions of openness and enclosure, as well as sun angles. As our design becomes increasingly more precise and responsive to actual site conditions, simulations such as these will become valuable tools for design.


Above: June sun study, animation

Above: December sun study, animation

During the upcoming week we will be focusing on the design of the main lodge, the program of which includes an observation tower, a relax and research pavilion, and additional spaces for socializing, study and shelter.

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