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Christopher Cortner | ARCH 3010 | Fall 2015

The line can be constructed, deformed, and reworked in a number of ways. When the traditional line is fragmented into individual modules, it can be connected and jointed to form a reconception. This specific revitalization of the line attempts to understand and illustrate the development and construction of the knot (specifically, the mat knot). The mat knot loops around itself to link beginning to end, connecting practice to support.


The stress knot is an architecture school and library located in Chinatown, New York City. Studies of the knot resulted in complex and rigorous formwork that was to ultimately be unravelled and fragmented once again to form floor plates that overlap simultaneously in section and plan. The floors are then bounded by a thick occupiable frame that allows for the knot to rejoin. Circulation occurs within the frame, linking design studios to the library. The durability of the structural frame allows for the floor plates to exist as a sequence of floating glass boxes, accentuated and supported by colored glass fins, marking the general program of the given space. The introduction of public space eases the transition between the architecture school and the library, allowing for the students and public to interact through spaces that revolve around exhibition, knowledge, and leisure.


The Xin School for Art and Architecture is a colorful, active center that directly responds to light, complexity, and program. The inspiration of the mat knot allows for the creation of intermingling spaces that maintain distinction between them, allowing the inhibitor to be an isolated moment in the entire system.