Architectural Design +
Research Collaborative

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OENOTEL, 2nd Year Undergraduate Design Studio, Fall 2008, Cornell University Department of Architecture
Studio Instructor: Dana Cupkova

The focus of this project was to explore and experiment with non-standard variations on hotel typology, while programmatically incorporating wine tasting and the promotion of wine production from the Finger Lakes region. The City of Ithaca is an appropriate place for such an experiment, as the needs for hotel accommodation vary drastically according to the season and academic calendar. This enables us to question the fluctuating organizational balance between private habitation and public use of the hotel spaces. The goal was to challenge the normative character of the hotel type, while exploiting its repetitive typological constraints. Hotels are highly repetitive building models, often resulting in developer defined and economy driven solutions. Very little attention is directed towards any site specificity and temporal use as potent agents to drive internal and external organization and programmatic hybridization - despite our desire for variation, we accept a need for repetition as a viable material and economic solution to the reality of building construction. In contrast, this studio sought to understand modularity as a malleable organizational method which can generate a greater systemic responsiveness to any deviation from the standard type and allows one to speculate about alternative models for temporary habitation, which could support public urban spaces for the community at large.