Left to Right: Toshiki Niimi, Mitch Marowak, Kajal Patel, Sarah Whiting (Dean of Rice School of Architecture), Yoseph Daniel Maguire, Geneva Vest, Eric Hsu, Ethan Chan.

The Team.

(In alphabetical order)

Andrew Bertics    | Junior | Architecture

Ethan Chan           | Senior | Architecture

Eric J. Hsu             | Senior | Architecture

Yoseph Maguire   | Junior | Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mitch Marowak    | Senior | Architecture

Toshiki Niimi       | Senior | Architecture

Kajal J. Patel        | Senior | Architecture

Geneva Vest         | Senior | Sociology

The Space.

Located directly outside Fondren Library’s new reading room, the site sits at a bottleneck between the south colleges and the academic quad. By reconsidering the habits of indoor learning and preserving unique site conditions, we sought to create an environment to catalyze new forms of learning. In our initial visits to the site, we were fascinated by the tree canopy and found that using hammocks – which float of the ground – could celebrate the natural site’s sense of enclosure. Our design is a field of poles that is connected by a network of hammocks. The poles have two types of connections, allowing hammocks to pivot into a total of 729 configurations. This degree of freedom dissolves hard ownership of the space and accommodates both individuals and groups. This student manipulation of the layout will yield new and unexpected relationships between hammocks, providing a refreshing new take on outdoor learning and revitalizing an underused space on campus.