Category Archives: Architecture Portfolio

My professional architecture work.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

My Hometown Library

To kickoff the final semester of my 3rd year in architecture school they had students draw plans and perspectives of the a library they fondly remember. I drew the Englewood Public Library.

A plan and section.

1

 

Perspectives of the interior and exterior, most notably the children’s reading room which had a claw-foot bathtub full of pillows and scaled down shelving.

2

Elevations of the approach.

3

 

It was a remarkable space with an African art gallery and a grand circular staircase leading to the adult stacks which was  arranged around the atrium and allowed for a huge amount natural light to penetrate every corner. 

Teamwork: Philips Pavilion Case Study

To give students a better grasp on novel structures, case studies were assigned before the final project of fall semester, second year. They were to be group assignments, the first time students had faced the task of working together. Only one week was allowed. The following work was completed in cooperation with classmate Danielle Richter. Both a board and a book were required.

All

The Book

To end the presentation there was  a surprise for our classmates. A projection of the video that had been projected onto the walls of the pavilion. Music by Edgar Varese. Electronic music had never before been played for a large audience, and this kind of experimental film, which would come to shape the minds of artists such as David Lynch, shocked and amazed visitors during the six months it played as it did the class.

Exploring Nature’s Role

For the final project of the first year, students were given a program for a Writer’s Retreat to be designed on a fictional plot in the Catskills region of New York State. The process began with group research. Topography was provided; students were required to populate the plot with flora.

Initial

The Catskills region is an American bastion of old growth forest; it’s safe to assume many trees on the site would be full grown. Below are the five most common trees, along with their average full grown trunk thickness, heights, canopy widths,and approximate canopy shape. A percentage of the trees were estimated to be saplings and middle aged, reflected in plan and section by scaling full grown trees 75% and 50% respectively.

Trees

Because so many of the trees are deciduous, there is a stark contrast between the summer and winter landscapes of the site. How wind effects the site changes not only with direction, but by a reduction in coverage by the trees.

Wind and Canopies

After the research phase, students were given an open ended prompt to design something architectural for the Writer’s Retreat. Exploring the shapes in the diagrammatic plan of canopies became a source of inspiration. It illustrates where clearings would be. What if the pattern of solid versus void in the canopies were translated and made more tangible? Instead of any sort of building, a device to guide the guests through the retreat while enhancing a creative state of mind could be vastly more significant than a room or dinning hall.

Laying a grid over an outline of the diagrammatic canopies binds the shapes into workable units. Using two differently scaled grids creates both intricate and bold blocks.

Process

To increase visual interest the fence system will be be comprised of the above modular units. Each block  can be inverted between solid and void; rotation reduces repetition. 16 blocks will provide sufficient differentiation.

12 Blocks-2

Further exploration into the hilly terrain rendered an abstraction of the map. Below, each tag indicates the distance over which a grade change of five feet occurs. Slopes of 1:20 or less are ignored.  The finished product color codes the various slopes and indicates paths of least resistance.Slope Diag

In order to grasp where the paths will be, a site plan is required,  to derive a site plan, an affinities diagram was created. The units should be within reach of each other and be placed sited with equality in mind. They should also be centrally located. The library must have access to the enclosed courtyard, as should the dining hall. The seminar space shouldn’t be far, but has little need for adjacency to anything.

Affinities

Fences will line the clearings, indicated by the black arcs. Openings will be intermittent. Paths connecting the clearings will also be lines with the fences, indicated by the tan lines. The individual rooms are generously spaced around clearings to allow for maximal privacy. The washrooms are roughly in the center. Communal activities are grouped at the head of the lake to capitalize on views of the water. The enclosed courtyard could be used for eating or reading, and so serves as a bridge. To enhance the analogy of learning as a journey, the seminar space lies at the end of the longest path.

Site Plan

The guided pathways will foster a greater level of interaction between writers, increasing chance encounters. Those desiring solitude are able to walk outside of the paths. As light streams through the trees, the blocks will cast beautiful shadows, and create privacy. These walls give direction and  serve as meaningful containers of program.

 

 

First Year, First Semester, Week 3

The first three projects of my first semester curriculum took place within the parameters of a 10′ cube. For the last of these charretts students were prompted to design a living space. Lacking time and a definitive direction, I sought out the world of math and derivation based geometry. The adoption of a grid became the basis of a building block hierarchy. Instead of the square, a grid of rectangles, 1:3 in proportion, provided an interesting unit. From this unit derivations were constructed in order to create more complex building blocks.

Print

Scaled, the 1:3 rectangle was given dimensions of 1 by 3 units in order to establish physical limitations.

Print

The first set of derivations was put in place to generate a species list.

 1) Each construction block of 1:3 rectangles must be formed from a multiple of 3 units; 3, 6, or 9.
2) Each construction block  must be planar.
3) Units may only be joined at like sides (short to short; long to long).
4) No building block may exceed 6″ in any direction.
5) Only one change of direction is permitted, allowing for 4 and 6 sided geometries.

This leaves us with the following possibilities.

Species List

The next set of derivations was put in place to ensure the most effective construction blocks are chosen and to reduce the number of choices.

6) To ensure structural integrity the smallest allowed dimension must be greater than a single unit.

Print

7) Pieces with equal or near equal sides will be more versatile.

Print Print Living Cube Reconstruction

With a variety of pieces selected the question of assembly can be addressed. Each piece may only have one use.

8) The floors of the dwelling should have the greatest area; S.
9) To support the floors a piece with the greatest length will be needed in order to allow for comfortable ceiling heights; H.
10) The remaining pieces will form exterior and interior walls;K and A respectively.

Below is one possible interpenetration.

Each floor slab occupies half of the floor; they alternate to allow a person to change levels with relative ease. There is a high wall placed at the end of each level change to prevent falling. Short walls are placed in the interior along the edges. In order for the soaring structure to come to an end a sort-of roof creates a boxy period, enclosing the atrium. Though the finished product is a far stretch from all code compliance we were free to imagine a location and client, within reason. Exercise may be required to experience the space but it does beg to be explored…