MAGMA
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MAGMA

by sraji2 on 31 May 2019

This thesis project concerns the design of a new school museum, to preserve, provide and promote. The preservation of the history, Architecture, and culture of Oakland is the primary goal of this museum. Providing spaces and opportunities for artist, students, and art-lovers to Promote the artistic nature of Oakland.

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Update - 31 May 2019

Project overview

The project of MAGMA concerns the design of a new school museum located in the 3400 Broadway Oakland CA.  This project focuses on the adaptive reuse of the 5 stories Saw Mill Building in combination with one story historic Honda Dealership in its adjacency. Designing a School Museum in this space will include, outdoor/ indoor exhibits, restaurants/cafe, and workshop exhibition classes.

The ultimate expression of this project will be an attempt to bridge the gap between local artists and the general public. This project will also feature, extreme perspectives, to argue that the desirable sense of place is one that celebrates the connections between urban and interior spaces. 

This thesis project tries to symbolize the existing site and building's natural heritage to create a dynamic motivation for not only students and local artists to engage and unify in one space and promote their talents. 

Vicinity context

 Consistent with the neighborhood historic identity as Auto Row, the predominant land use in the area is automotive sales and service related uses (e.g., automobile dealerships, car rental retailers, repair service garages, etc.). However, Since 2009 there has been massive development happening by the city of Oakland in this area to change the neighborhood footprint.  

The project of MAGMA located in a very critical triangular zone that can improve the vicinity context by creating a central hub for the neighborhood. 

Concept Strategy 

One of the main challenges of this project was to merge and connect two different building in one function. The project needed an internal and Exterior focal point. Something that binds the two building together.  

One strategy to successfully introduce a foreign object to an existing structure, element or ecosystem is to make the design decisions as if the new element was evolved and shaped in that structure. 

The Saw Mill building historically had a tower back in the 1960s. Bringing back a symbolic element of the former tower and using the juxtaposition of the site allowed this project to be interpreted as a Volcano.  


The conceptual diagram

The volcano activity causes a dramatic decay in the Saw Mill building that the result would be the connecting structure. 

Sustainable strategy 

1- Using a natural Ventilation system 2- Replacing the existing windows to operable system windows for more open interior space and natural light 3-  Rainwater collectors on the roof garden and 4- Solar panel system on the roof for more energy efficiency 

All the spaces are defined to be transparent and flexible in relation to each other. Right as entering the Lobby space, open auditorium space, Cafe, Restaurant, and bar area are visible. This gives the visitor the freedom of choice to be drawn to any of the spaces using their senses. 

Open auditorium space is a highly active open space in the heart of the museum. A critical location with high traffic of people and visitors on one hand and its relation to the cafe seating area, on the other hand, creates a good opportunity for exhibiting a performing art while passing, seating or having a meal in the restaurant. 

Main Entrance  

It is an interactive space with outdoor exhibition water feature and open auditorium.  

Open Auditorium 

Cafe, Restaurant and Bar 

The second floor

This space is an exhibition space having access to the roof garden exhibition. The sculptural structure is an iconic element that connects the 2nd floor and above to the south building rooftop. 

The intention was to create a central element that functions as a connecting system between the two buildings and as well as creating a focal point for all the areas. 


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