Associate Professor Raveevarn Choksombatchai and her practice, VeeV Design, have generously donated their time and expertise to the redesign of the Department of Architecture's office in 232 Wurster Hall. In the spirit of Wurster Hall, where the building reflects the material technology and craft of its time, this renovation reveals the true juxtaposition of the glorious past and the material fabrication technology of the present. The office, which houses architecture administration and graduate advising, opened to the public at the beginning of the fall 2013 semester.
The reception area is designed to create an illusion of spaciousness for the department's open office space, despite the fact that space was reduced to give way to two new private offices. The new design emphasizes a very low-profile reception desk that is long enough to clearly define the separation of the reception lobby and the open office area.
With a plywood frame milled via CNC to precise dimensions, the reception desk is wrapped with anodized aluminum sheets as a finish surface. Its front surface, which is back-lit, is perforated to form the partial letters of "ARCH." The reception counter, also fabricated from welded aluminum sheets, forms a lightweight cantilevered surface, extending the entire length of the desk for the display of various publications.
Faculty mailboxes are composed of two large aluminum sheets, laser-cut, folded, and inter-woven to create a repetitive pattern of multiple storage spaces, while strengthening the otherwise thin sheets of metal. The anodized aluminum sheets express their propensities towards lightness against the monolithic dark exposed concrete of the existing wall and waffle slab.
The Department of Architecture would like to thank Prof. Choksombatchai and her assistant, CED alumni Norbert Wong (B.A. Arch, '09), for the time and effort donated to this project.