Public Distillery
Harvard Graduate School of Design 
Cambridge, 2022
Instructor: Emmett Zeifman

An integral step in transitioning from design to building is the de-velopment of poché, which starts from drawn abstractions of thick-ness to become articulated as discrete parts. Architects design and build systemically through the summation and ordering of these elements. In a project’s early stages, poché is the gap between the formulation of ideas and their formal synthesis; in buildings, it is quite literally the cavity that holds architecture’s hidden elements. The conceptual drivers for what constitutes this thickened zone have varied throughout history. In the 15th century, shading poché rendered space; in the 19th century Beaux Arts school, watercol-or-filled contours signified material cuts and hidden service spaces; and in the 1970s, historian Alan Colquhoun described poché as architecture’s “secondary spaces.” These representational techniques evinced architecture’s physical, metaphysical, and virtual divides.

As referred to by Mark Pimlott, “public interiors” are spatially contained environments which are experienced as belonging to the public sphere. In this project, poché is conceived of as the “third space”: a public interior. Public program becomes housed in between the walls of the distillery, absorbing the leftover spaces. Additionally, an insertion of a large, circular courtyard produces an open cavity for gathering and rest.