David Garcia Studio


Posted in ARCHITECTURE, RESEARCH by davidamadorgarcia on July 20, 2009


Bamboo has been used as a building material for centuries, however traditional methods of construction with bamboo are generally convoluted, and do not take advantage of the inherent structural qualities of the material.
A single culm of madake bamboo can support approximately 1.2 tones of vertical load once fully grown. A bamboo shoot in the right climatic conditions can reach full height of 15 meters in just 30 days. Once bamboo is cut it becomes susceptible to moisture and pests. The biggest challenge in traditional bamboo construction is how to connect the poles to the footings. Nature has already solved this problem with a root system to anchor the plant to the ground.
This investigation tries using the structural possibilities of bamboo whilst it is living. The plant is allowed to grow through a grid floor and roof structure initially held in place with scaffolding. Metal plates are inserted into this grid structure where bamboo ‘columns’ are desired. As the plant matures and increases in girth it grows into the steel ring forming the structural connection to the floor and roof plates.
The project is presently being tested at the Beppu Bamboo Research Center, Japan.


Posted in ARCHITECTURE, COMPETITIONS by davidamadorgarcia on July 19, 2009

As this pavilion will be constructed each summer, we chose to work with elements that could create a different configuration of spaces each time the structure was erected, basing our concept in simplicity and flexibility. We began with a standard sheet of plywood. By stacking these and allowing each element to become a sliding panel, an infinite arrangement of spaces to suite various exhibitions and gatherings could be created.

The location of the panels not only creates interior spaces, but also reflects the inverse space to the outside, inducing a dialogue with the surroundings and defining outdoor areas. The tracking system allows doors to be moved from the centre to the extremity of the roof space, which permits openings all the way along the pavilion as desired.
The interior of the building is not isolated from the elements, although the spacing of the boards ensures that artworks can be locked inside when required. This openness enhances the quality of the pavilion as a contrasting outdoor space in which to view art, from the typology adjacent gallery. Each sliding panel is top hung and has not been fixed to the ground to give the sensation of levitation. Once an exhibition or gathering space has been created, the panels can be locked into position and the pavilion is secured. This concept allows the pavilion to emerge anew each summer, each exhibition and each gathering.


Posted in ARCHITECTURE by davidamadorgarcia on July 19, 2009

This proposal for British Film Institute merges an existing natural park at the edge of Regents Canal in London. Functioning as a gate for the natural park and the researchers artificial landscape, the two cinema screens become hybrids and introduce alternative functions. The smaller and above ground cinema functions as a café with views over the canal during the day. The larger and underground cinema is the main library during the day, allowing for daylight during library hours.
An artificial garden is created to house the research facilities. From an archive for BFI’s microfilm library, to research and study pods covered with grass, pavilions that project films onto trees, underwater mini cinemas and hidden film screens, all recreate archetypical garden elements.


Posted in ARCHITECTURE, COMPETITIONS by davidamadorgarcia on July 19, 2009

The architectural competition for the National Wildflower Centre in Leeds, England, desired an extension to their existing installations, that expressed nature’s mathematical order that is not necessarily immediately apparent in nature, but found upon closer inspection. To test how this building could become an expression of this, Golden Section curves were placed on the site to test the interaction with the available site. From these curves and the site area constraints, the floor plan geometry of the building was derived. A well to collect rainwater was then placed within each of the floor plans. An arch with optimal bearing section was then drawn between the outer curve and the well, and then swept between the two, to create the three dimensional structure of the buildings.

Pragmatically the public and operational areas of the centre are separated into two buildings. Although these two areas are physically distinct from one another, the dialogue between the two forms and paths through the public building invites visitors to view the processes involved in seed production.

It was clear that the desire of the program was to work with non-linear surfaces. Natureʼs geometry is an example of how spaces are developed by surfaces growing into spaces. Sections through plants, reveal pockets created by single surfaces and the separation of layers into cavities. This same concept was overlayed onto the forms of the buildings, to solve the succession of functions under one single roof. Secondary skins were added to each building and pulled away from the outer walls as much as necessary to create spaces for functions that require defined areas. In the public building, the remainder of the area has been kept open to allow maximum flexibility of the space with the minimum of intervention. The classroom areas became floating volumes within the overall structure that define spaces of different sizes.

By choosing this methodology of defining spaces the flow through both buildings is uninterrupted. This is particularly heightened in the operational building where connections from seed sowing all the way through to dispatch have been created as one single path.

The floor plans of the two buildings have been derived from golden section curves. These were placed on the site and the geometry then morphed to fit within the available area. The timber woven-like pattern was generated around the rainwater storage tanks. The use of timber for the structure was selected to show how natural materials can be used in cutting edge ways.

It was clear that the desire of the program was to work with non-linear surfaces. Nature’s geometry is an example of how spaces are developed by surfaces growing into spaces. If a cut is taken through a flower, pockets that have been created within the structure of the flower to accommodate all the elements necessary for the flower to function and reproduce become apparent. This same concept was overlayed onto the forms derived form the Golden Section curves.

In the public building a second skin was introduced within the main volume and then pulled away from this surface to create spaces for the parts of the program that required defined areas. Other elements of the program are contained within this space in more rigid geometries. The positioning of these volumes in relation to the outer skins the goes on to define spaces within the building whilst maintaining the flexibility of spaces, and flow between them.

The internal walls of the production building have been peeled completely form the outer skin to create pockets to contain the various functions. The flow through this building from seed sowing to dispatch has been carefully considered and all spaces move easily from one to another.

Visitors are invited into this public building through the walled garden. By choosing this entry a strong dialogue is created between the two new buildings and the existing visitors centre and the walled garden of wildflowers. The flow of visitors is then directed out adjacent to the production building where they are invited to walk around the building to learn how seeds are produced, cleaned and packaged.

The building has been devised as a single structure but double clad. This reduces the amount of structural material required for the project whilst ensuring excellent thermal insulation. Each building becomes more opaque to the north where less light intensive functions have been located. The buildings open to the south to allow good solar access. Solar cells would be incorporated into the fabric of the external cladding where appropriate.


Posted in ARCHITECTURE, COMPETITIONS by davidamadorgarcia on July 19, 2009

The history of the skyscraper is inherently linked to that of the elevator. It is interesting to note that although structurally speaking the skyscraper has evolved enormously, it is still a vertical structure, dictated by the elevator, which in its effort to go up, it only meets a dead end. The lack for alternative methods of moving through floors (the elevator’s refusal to bend) has determined the typology of the skyscraper for the last hundred years or so.

This proposal wishes to expand the understanding of high-rises, beyond a high FAR structure, or an extrusion of a plan. The proposal’s main concept is simple: that the idea of moving up in a building can also mean moving to somewhere else in the urban fabric, taking the pedestrians’ relationship to the city as decisive design factor.

The concept converts the traditional structure into a double-ended skyscraper, making it rise and fall again, linking two sites and transforming the structure into a wormhole in the city. As thus, the building also becomes a public transport system, and accessible landscape. The skyscraper could link unconnected sites, or salvage topographic barriers such as rivers, or link different levels with in a city.


Posted in ARCHITECTURE, COMPETITIONS by davidamadorgarcia on July 7, 2008

The competition guidelines called for “An environmental zoo where consideration should be given to a symbiotic environment that includes the activities of humans with animals.” The proposal aimed to enrich both humans and animals by closer contact, while using the same environment.

If the contemporary aim of zoos is to understand how animals and humans can be enriched by each other, then the proximity between animals and people is essential.

This can be done by sharing simple rituals, like eating, resting or training. If these activities are done in the same architectural space, the spatial environment becomes important to both, animals and humans.

Architecture is the perfect language to solve the physical challenges of such a proposal. This has to be understood as a serious undertaking and a way to enrich each other’s social necessities while creating new spaces.

Imagine your self, reading in a cloud of butterflies in the central library, swimming with dolphins in the public pool or eating close to grazing giraffes in a restaurant.


Posted in ARCHITECTURE, BUILDT PROJECTS by davidamadorgarcia on November 20, 2007

Frederiksberg Main Library in the city of Copenhagen, comissioned a “reading lounge” in the main library room. In collaboration with industrial designer Martin Larsen, the solution created a new space, while intergrating the existing structure. Due to the increased use of the internet, the library has become more a book pick up spot and less an archive where the user physically searches for and discovers books. The premise of the project is to create a reading space where user and books meet. Taking advantage of the rigid character of the library as archive, the proposal maintained the frame and format of the book shelves, replacing the books of the niche in question, with a sinuous seating arrangement. This created a frame where the reader becomes the main character, instead of the bookshelves.


Posted in ARCHITECTURE, BUILDT PROJECTS by davidamadorgarcia on July 19, 2007

Close to the Gredos mountain range, bordering a nature reserve in the west of Spain, this summer house was designed under very specific demands by the local authorities, only allowing wooden carpentry, pitched roofs and granite stone facades. The design follows these constraints, and responds to the client’s desire to collect rain water and offer a large area for solar panels. The result was an inverted pitched roof, at angles to allow sun to enter the house in the winter time, and offering shade in the summer, with a large roof surface to the south for solar panels, hidden from view at eye level. Cooling and heating are supplied by a constant 15 degrees Celsius airflow from underground tubes and grey water is stored for irrigation. The project is under construction.