Mills Studio Statement
Progressive mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems make both modern life and a modern aesthetic possible. The integration of this infrastructure into the architecture has the opportunity to contribute to the architectural aesthetic in two opposing ways: exposing the infrastructure can express a particular viewpoint about our significant relationship to infrastructure and actively contribute to the building’s aesthetic; or hiding the infrastructure, also expressing a particular viewpoint about our interaction with infrastructure, passively contributes to the aesthetic by disappearing and providing no distraction. The DTS Project House attempts to reconcile these two viewpoints by strategically making you aware of infrastructure’s existence and significance, but seeing the entire building as an integrated system that the MEP infrastructure is part of. The mechanical, plumbing, and electrical infrastructures are simultaneously discrete individual parts and part of a larger community. The way these systems are integrated contributes to the visual and experiential aesthetic but is not the aesthetic.
MEP Engineering has to necessarily integrate with almost all other disciplines from Structural Engineering to Interior Design to Acoustics to Low Voltage to Sustainability. The mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems all physically and functionally intersect with the work of these other disciplines. This is especially true in the DTS Project House where the structure is exposed and few walls exist for inserting these systems. Thus, in order that the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical infrastructure positively impact the building’s visual and experiential aesthetic, their installation has to be thoroughly considered and documented as part of the architectural design process. But, along with this planning we must be sufficiently flexible in the design and construction process to take advantage of the advancements in technology that are occurring just over the course of the timeline for the design and construction of the DTS Project House.
Similar to many of the disciplines integrated into the architecture of the DTS Project House, MEP Engineering is grounded in science and guided by establishing benchmarks and applying data driven scientifically informed solutions. But data and science are only sufficient to provide solutions to easily articulated problems. But architecture and the DTS Project House are more than innovative problem solving. Values, not science determine and prioritize benchmarks and establish the agenda to which the MEP Engineering is to be applied. Imagination applied to science is required to address the unarticulated needs that must be addressed for the MEP engineering to reinforce, clarify, and make tactile the architectural intent, which is the goal for integration of any and all disciplines.
MEP Engineer Statement