Rice School of Architecture Mini-Charrette Competition

Team Members: Lara Hansmann, Sarah Lumelsky, Ilya Rakhlin, Michael Robinson, Hannah Wang

Ribbon flows through Coffeehouse as one continuous surface, rising and falling throughout the room to direct circulation and organize space, undulating as both path and furniture. Although the path does delineate a sequence for the ordering of coffee, no restrictive boundaries or one-directional linear experiences are enforced, rather by dropping to the ground the installation maintains openness and free flow of movement. As a smooth system, Ribbon attempts to serve and enhance the existing space as well as daily operations, considering factors such as time and efficiency as well as aesthetics, signage, and inhabitation.

There are four conditions present with four varying heights: path, counter, bar, and coffee table. The coffee table provides a singular moment of termination at the culmination of the sequence fostering social engagement in the central space.

Ribbon facilitates the daily flux of Coffeehouse through structured flexibility. During busy hours it offers clear, direct paths, for a quick in-and-out experience when desired, while always supporting a variety of seating options.

The installation is composed of a thin sheet metal surface, which with wear acquires an identity through daily use. When the path lifts up, a thickened underbelly of wood planks is revealed. The two materials twist and turn together, highlighting the inversions that occur where top and bottom flip to accommodate changes in direction.

Flowing through Coffeehouse, Ribbon collapses line, space, and furniture.
© Lara Hansmann 2020