Architecture - Honours
Developed throughout Semester 2, the Hall of Democracy, by Ripper Sampson Architecture and Design, is a resolved architectural representation of the illusion of democracy, aimed to better educate users on democratic practices within today’s society. Designed for maximum climate responsiveness and sustainability, the Hall of Democracy combines beauty, monumental scale, sculpture, light, shape, and functionality in a single, mixed – use design.
Democracy in the 21st century is more of an illusion than it is reality. The Hall of Democracy is designed to provide users with services to better educate themselves, and in doing so, allows users to increase their awareness of democratic practices within society to form opinions before action is taken. The building design encourages interaction between city workers and government officials with the public; the exterior façade represents fluctuation and differentiation, concepts that should be engaged and utilized by democracy to support societal change. The floors within the building are connected through bridges and atriums to eliminate hierarchy within the design and encourage interconnectivity, and ease of access. The mirrored glass façade is kaleidoscopic and represents the illusion of democracy through its reflections and rotations.
The building is designed to appear inviting on the outside – with a slight element of mystery and confusion upon entry (to entertain the idea that democracy is more complex under the surface). Spaces within the building are designed to encourage debates, discussions, and learning opportunities to improve our democratic society, however the grand cascade – a utopia/oasis located in the centre of the building – represents, through a combination of materials, light and shadows, movement, and height, the appearance of society if all flawed problems in democracy were solved.
Sophia is passionate about architecture that encourages a connection between people and place. She strives to implement design strategies, such as biophilic design, that enhance the building's spatial quality, thus benefiting the user's experience of the space. Inclusivity and sustainability are also elements which Sophia believes play an important role within architecture and the greater community.