h o m e

        a railway museum
        an old school
a (LOT OF) thresholds

        + a cul de sac
        + a fishing village

        + (to peel) a factory

a line drawing
        + a color drawing

        + a twin drawing  

    ︎ MODEL
        + a section model
        + a real wall
a garbage model
a useless object
        + a useful object



instagram / pinterest 

a railway museum

cca / b.arch / 2017
site: suisun city, ca

instructor: Randolph Ruiz, AAA Architecture, Kristen Sidell, Sidell Pakravan
team: Wilson Fung

This studio seeks to design a new exhibition building for the Western Railway Museum. The new building will display examples from this collection of historic railcars, house exhibits to contextualize their history, and foster an understanding of their technology. Student’s proposal will fit within the museum’s existing campus of storage buildings and provide an appropriate and sustainable climate-controlled display environment. Architecturally, the new exhibition building will likely integrate long span structures with inspiring exhibition spaces.
Not so long ago, trains were a radical and disruptive agent of modernism in the wild frontier of the west. How might a new Western Railway Museum reflect this rich history and stimulate our future thinking about transit, architecture, & urbanism?
In the existing buildings, we were struck by the neutrality of the car barns and train repair shop in contrast to the Spanish Colonial style of the visitor center. The context struck us the most by how the museum is best represented by the devotion of its volunteers rather than the character of its architecture. The vastness of the terrain and the verticality of the wind turbines suggested a phenomenon of endless expansion. The rural landscape and farms provide an incongruous context for an Urban Rail Museum.

Our proposal is situated between the four main buildings. This enhances the visitor’s experience to the entirety of the site: existing buildings, tracks, and the new building. The location allows us to stitch the unique characteristics together and provide a developed narrative. Visitors experience this narrative along the path/ramp/ which presents not only limited to streetcars, but also the history and unique characteristic of the museum itself.
The utilitarian shed, while seemingly performing primarily as a container for the immersive experience of the ramp, actually serves numerous building systems purposes.

For climate control, it shapes and contains the open air space in the museum. For daylighting, it admits even but ample natural light. To do all of above, we developed a simple steel structure and trusses to support a sawtooth roof. All of this is clad in a sophisticated ETFE envelope. The steel structure holds up the shed with sawtooth roof on top. Underneath the truss structure, there is a layer of ETFE sheets that provides diffuse daylight to the open air space.

Together the ETFE and the sawtooth roof creates a large insulation layer to provide heat to the museum. In summer, the adjustable ETFE sheets and window openings allows enough air ventilation to the space as well.

^ study models

^ final model front

^ final model back

^ final model top