Heliotropic Feast Shelter

This full scale design-build project was one of eight six-person shelters constructed on campus to host a “feast” for second years in the School of Architecture. Our team responded to the project with a “heliotropic” folded form that uses the dynamic interplay of light and shadow to mark the passage of time.

The shelter’s surfaces were designed in such a way that the semi-symmetrical form always had one face oriented towards the sun with a corresponding projection surface on the interior of the shelter. Different times of day correspond with very distinct lighting conditions meant to evoke and intensify the kinds of experiences associated with each meal. In the morning, the shelter’s apertures project against the structural ribs producing a soft, diffuse light. In the afternoon, light pours through the apertures and projects onto the tables, marking the passage of time as the squares move across the surface. Warm evening light is largely obscured by the steep grade of the amphitheater directly to the west but projects through the 2” openings between each panel, producing a soft orange glow.

Construction Sequence