Colgate EALL (2)

Design work on the remodel of the Colgate East Asian Language Laboratory is getting closer to the finish line. I thought I’d share some sketches I’ve come up with for the space, though keep in mind this is not completely finalized as of yet.

The space consists of a pair of small rooms linked by a hallway, and along the hallway are faculty offices. The first space I worked on was the Japanese room, occupying a relatively small niche of space. From the hallway, the entry to the space is indicated by a small hanging panel, reminiscent of a ranma:

I’ve applied some ‘plant on’ posts, and nageshi, with a form of wainscot on the wall which looks similar to a exterior wall treatment seen on many Japanese structures.

Upon crossing under the ranma, a turn to the left gives a view of the alcove, with tokonoma (right) and toko-waki (left):

The benches are unusual for a Japanese traditional space of course, but in this situation the people coming into the space and sitting will be wearing, as per usual in the west, their street shoes and won’t be parking themselves on tatami on the floor. So, some compromise was needed to make the alcove work with a sitting viewer, in a rather cramped space. The department head, who is Japanese, was pleased with the arrangement.

There are three simple benches and a small table with splayed legs. The benches can be pulled out of the way to reveal sliding doors under the alcove, where items for display in the alcove and on the chigai-dana (staggered shelves) will be stored.

Heading the other way down the hall, bring the viewer to the ‘Chinese’ room, which, like the Japanese space, is an area defined by a hanging piece of joined woodwork:

In the room proper is an insert window frame with a lattice echoing that of the one at the room’s entry:

It is likely that some changes may yet be made to this lattice so that it conforms better with the existing sash window mullions to the rear. Possibly the entry hanging lattice might receive a backing solid wood panel as well. As it is, we’ve been through several design iterations with the lattice arrangement, of which, of course, there are innumerable possible variations.

Turning the corner of the Chinese room and one sees a small table with a set of Chinese-style chairs, along with a bumped-out section with a framework with re-entrant corners, which will serve as a window to a series of interchangeable images behind:

The design phase is drawing near to a conclusion, it would appear, so I am probably about 6~8 weeks out from getting started on fabrication, which will need to be scheduled in with the other cabinet build with which I am currently occupied.

That’s it for this juncture, thanks for visiting! Post 3 is next in this series.

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