The ACM Project is a model of a three-story building for an architecture firm. In creating this building, I focused on the main theme: formal style architect office building with clean lines, tall windows and ceilings. The spiral staircase is the main design element using steel steps and simple railings. What inspired me to create this project was my vision of owning my own firm. Camp Architecture at the University of Arizona gave me a lot of inspiration and experience to attempt to build this project.
Design and build took four weeks. It started very slowly as I learned to draw and cut straight lines. At camp, they showed us different buildings at the University of Arizona campus in Tucson. I took some of the elements that I thought looked amazing and incorporated them in my own way. The ceiling of our house is nine feet. For a small building, I thought twelve feet would provide enough light and make the space feel big. Our house has a glass door which is six feet wide. I used that as reference and made the aisles of the building to be six feet wide. I used graphing papers, one square is equivalent to one square foot. With floorplans for the 3 stories, I was excited to start building the model.
First Floor: The Gallery is a large open space intended to display models of projects and artworks. There is a reception area, two conference rooms, business offices, employee's breakroom, bathrooms and locker rooms.
The second floor is for the design and drafting team - open layout surrounded by tall glass windows and wrap around balcony. The drafting tables and work areas are positioned next to the glass windows. A large table in the middle is for collaboration, big space for large design and drafting papers.
The third floor has a formal area for executive office. My favorite space is the enclosed area for creative work. This is my dream work space. It has a drafting table, space for art supplies and wash area to clean up brushes and tools. Computer area, drawers and space to store drawings. The design table in the middle is for large design materials and creating models.
It took a few prototypes before I was able to build the staircase. I wanted to build the three stories separately like a Lego, to be able to access each floor as reference for future projects. The challenge was figuring out how to line up the structure that support each floor while constructing the floors separately. For the look for steel, I painted my wood supplies with iridescent stainless steel acrylic paint. It was hard to achieve the look of tall glass windows, and even more challenging to figure out the glass that cover the gallery since there are no other solid structure to attach the beams. I designed the windows and doors in the back during construction. For my next project, I will definitely take more time for design and drawing.
This was the first time that I had to work on something that took four weeks. It was a really fun project. I actually enjoyed the whole experience very much. Although it took a lot of late nights, it was inspiring to see the model take shape every day. As a first project, this model turned out better than I expected. It was a challenge for me to put my vision into paper. I spent a few days drawing the floorplan but I couldn't come up with a drawing of the structure. I was glad that I decided to build anyway. During construction, the design came to me like putting together a puzzle. After the stairs and the foundation were put together, the rest of the project fell into place. Every trip to the art store gave me ideas as I discovered new materials for the rooms and furnishing. I know that I still have a lot to learn. There are structural elements that will have to wait until college. Maybe I will redesign this in the future. For now, I am proud of The ACM Project.
The ACM Project, July 2016