← Back to the Portfolio
  • Caitlin Alev
  • Committee: Rene Davids | Renee Chow
  • water + the city

LIQUID COLOR focuses on the complex relationship between color, water, and light. If used in conjunction, this trio of elements forms a compound system that has immense potential for architectural skin. While the façade has traditionally been static in its use of color and material, the building’s interior functions and surrounding context have continued to evolve over time. A flexible system of color and water would allow architecture to resituate itself within this variable environment, transforming the skin into a dynamic two-way interface.

This thesis explores how a secondary skin system can craft a new relationship between the interior and exterior of an existing building. This system exploits the material properties of water in order to create visual effects like reflection, refraction, diffusion, and distortion. These effects have a dual purpose: to bring color and light into the otherwise dark, monotonous rooms, and to mediate the disjunction between the stylized Tudor Revival library and its vibrant Temescal community. The new skin system stands in stark contrast to the existing façade, which is heavy, decorative, closed, and opaque. On the other hand, the generic modular grid of the new system creates flexibility and allows it to remain open to multiple readings. The new system also encourages transparency through the façade, and the visual properties of water give the scaffolding system a feeling of lightness and ephemerality.