Hybrid is a design project for a new building for the School of Architecture of Washington University in St Louis. The main idea for the project was to fuse the limits between building and landscape. While many projects have dealt with that idea through buildings that emerge out of the ground, hybrid follows a different and maybe paradoxical approach. The building is elevated leaving the ground plane largely open.
The design process begun with a study of all the possible movement routes that the site has to accommodate. Movement between the existing buildings and the entry points through the site. All the routes were created as straight lines that directly connect each point with each other. Then those lines are entered into a computer simulation where the start to self-organize by attracting each other. Consequently the lines start to create assemblies by coming together at some points and getting away from each other at other points. Several tests are carried on using different parameters. The results are evaluated according the amount of deviation from the optimal paths (the straight lines) and the open spaces (spaces where no routes are going through) that they leave. One final configuration of the paths is chosen through that process.
Consequently, those paths are used in order to ‘eat away’ parts of the ground floors of what would have been a typical solid building in the site. That way the first landscape element is created: The ground that is largely below the building and is formed by the movement routes. Then a second landscape is created, this time in the center of the two upper floors of the building. Having direct access through a ramp at the higher corner of the site this new ‘landscape’ is hidden inside the building. Conventional distinctions usually made between building and landscape are challenged: Artificial or natural, rigid or fluid, on display or hidden, private or public, work or leisure.
Finally, the outer elevations of the building are covered with a diamond pattern, where the four sides of the diamond are extruded at different lengths accommodating each time different shading requirements.

design:object-e / Dimitris Gourdoukis
publications:— in Panel Layout for Competition v.2 (Seoul: DAMDI Publishing Co., 2016)
— in Architect’s Notebook (Seoul: DAMDI Publishing Co., 2013)
— in Process (Seoul: DAMDI Publishing Co., 2013)
— in DIDI_Design Ideas Dictionary (Seoul: DAMDI Publishing Co., 2013)
Hybrid*Dimitris Gourdoukis