2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part VI

We are back for installment VI of the Study Architecture Student Showcase! As we delve into this installment, our focus turns towards projects that stand as beacons of sustainability. Each showcased endeavor exemplifies a commitment to thoughtful design, incorporating eco-conscious elements that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also contribute to a harmonious coexistence with the environment.

Imbalance, Prospect NOLA by Andreea Dan, B.Arch ’23
Tulane University | Advisor: Ruben Garcia-Rubio

The proposal focuses on the unification of spaces sectionally, both within the proposal, and with the context of the site the proposal is on. The process for developing the concept began with analysis of the surrounding site, where several public and tourist destinations are located. It was then determined that the proposal would need to unite all these entities in some spatial way. The parti was developed through the massing of a five-level cube in the allowable construction zone. An interior courtyard cut-out was then created. From here, the ground floor was divided into separate volumes with exterior space for fluid movement of the public. The upper floors were then each shifted, offset, and extended purposefully depending on site context in order to create meaningful sectional relationships. This overall massing became the central concept that was then further developed around this concept of multi-level connections. From here, different aspects were then decided upon — environmental considerations were made in the prioritizing of cross ventilation and development of green and blue roofing wherever possible, due to the large abundance of exterior terrace space. Cantilevers and facade elements were utilized in order to allow sun shading from summer sun, which is ideal in the climate conditions. The proposal’s structure was also constantly developed and adjusted in order to allow for extreme cantilevers on each floor, but still keep the structure as light as possible. The proposal consists firstly of a central ring of steel bays that runs through each floor. Then, trusses are attached to this central ring when large cantilevers are present. Then, the beams are extended even further for different lengths of cantilevers. Finally, cables are introduced on certain floors to hang the floor slabs below and allow for a lighter structure. As far as programmatic and circulatory elements go, the proposal moves from more public to more private as levels increase from the ground floor up, and circulation is always central around the interior courtyard of each floor and back to the core elements in either corner of the proposal. As seen on each floor plan, core elements are attached to the egress stair in a linear rectangle in either accessible corner of the project. Apart from the ground level, each plan is similar in layout with the placement of open office spaces both on the interior and the exterior. Finally, the facade of the proposal becomes clear in the project’s elevations, where it can be seen that the entirety of the upper levels have a double-layer facade. The inner layer is composed of double-paned glass that is operable in certain areas. The outer layer is made up by mechanically operable sun-shading louvers that are constructed of copper mesh. These louvers run from floor to ceiling and can be rotated a full 180 degrees to allow for the optimal amount of sun exposure to the interior space.

This project was selected as one the 2023 Metropolis Future100.

Instagram: @rubgarrub

Urban Infill Gallery, Studio, Residence by Irvin Amezola, AAS (Pre-Architecture) ‘23
College of DuPage | Advisor: Mark Pearson

PROGRAM STATEMENT: Located in the River North Gallery District in Chicago, IL, this project challenges students to design a community arts center that will act as a creative hub and arts incubator for the assigned site. The building contains galleries, studio workspace, and a small residential unit to accommodate visiting artists in residence. Successful projects should be sustainable and responsive to the site, context, and natural environment. Students are asked to draw inspiration from selected works of art that are researched at the beginning of the semester. These works of art then become part of the permanent gallery collection for the project. This project challenges students to design in section and consider the modulation of natural daylight as fundamental criteria for the project. Students are also asked to consider programmatic organization, circulation, structure, materiality, and detail. Successful projects are expected to develop innovative design solutions based on a clear design concept.

DESIGN CONCEPT: Inspired by the artwork “Interrelations of Volumes from the Ellipsoid” by Georges Vantongerlo, this project is a cubic composition of overlapping volumes. The cubic forms create spaces and terraces for visitors to appreciate the beauty of the artwork and the city. On the interior these overlapping spaces allow for public spaces to intertwine and be viewed from above and below, creating curiosity for visitors. The project also includes a vertical center atrium that channels natural daylight into the middle of the building, allowing each space to receive light from above.

Instagram: @irvinamezola, @ma_pearson75, @cod_architecture

Portland Museum of Art Expansion and Free Street Art District by Zack Blizard, B.Arch “23
University of Oregon | Advisor: James Tice

This thesis level architectural studio at the University of Oregon was based on an international architectural competition sponsored by the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine for the expansion of its landmark museum designed in 1982 by Harry Cobb of I.M. Pei & Partners. The studio accepted the basic parameters and goals of the competition brief of 2022 for expanded galleries, services, and community space to enhance and unify the existing campus of historic structures and landscape gardens. In addition, students were challenged to expand the program and the site beyond that required by the competition to engage the unique urban setting of the museum in the historic center of city on Congress Square and Free Street. The design challenge, then, was to expand the PMA building and campus and to create an urban art center for the entire city of Portland, enhancing its unique physical and cultural contexts.

The studio focused on urban design, sustainability, community engagement, and use of local materials. The goal was to honor the existing PMA and its unique setting in the city and expand its program and facilities for the larger community.

The design by Zack Blizard, shown here, met these challenges by complementing the existing museum with expanded day-lit galleries and extensive community gardens. These elements are integrated as a series of interconnecting interior and ‘outdoor rooms’ for sculpture and summer performances All exterior spaces, including sunken gardens, are accessible through carefully designed ramps and elevators. The structure is primarily mass timber above the ground level faced with the traditional water-struck brick, a local material of which a large part of the 19th century city was comprised. The existing galleries are expanded on an upper-level gallery designed to respond to solar considerations and take advantage of natural daylighting. Additional community spaces, including classrooms for the nearby Maine College of Art and Design were provided along Free Street to the north along with public shops and restaurant making Free Street and Congress Square and Market a creative hub for the city’s new art center and PMA expansion.

About Time: Redressing the Runway by Triciajane Asuncion, B.Arch ‘23
University of Illinois at Houston  | Advisors: Sheryl Tucker de Vazquez, Ophelia Mantz, & Dr. Leslie Vollrath

About Time: Redressing the Runway breaks down the fourth wall between consumption culture and the global fashion supply chain. Sited in the Brera courtyard arches of Milan, Italy, semi-transparent fabric draped as catenary arches as a runway set design transforms throughout the show to communicate flow, movement, excess, contamination, and suffocation associated with the fashion industry. Generally used as a construction element in fashion, the fabric becomes redefined in the runway show to expose the underbelly of the problematic industry. Created for the intention of desire and spectacle, runway shows encourage consumption and even overconsumption, employing allure to conceal the ugly reality of the industry. The terms, “back of house” and “front of house” are used in this investigation to indicate the fashion production process the everyday consumer does not see, and the point of sale retail environment that the consumer experiences, respectively. The show is divided into three acts to immerse the audience in the fashion production process in its entirety to create awareness of the backstage conditions the everyday consumer doesn’t see. Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project and Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle offers philosophical insight on consumption and commentary on the arch typology as a symbol of the fetishization of commodified goods and experiences. Through draping, stretching, and layering, the fabric is manipulated in a number of ways throughout the runway show, which is transformed with and by a choreography that mirrors the bodily labor of workers. The transformation of fabric explores the material’s spatial and temporal possibilities in the runway, creating moments of tension, movement, and contradiction. Through presenting such issues in a theatrical format that reveals the “back of house” underbelly through a “front of house” runway presentation, the hope is to propose alternative solutions for a more sustainable and ethical practice.

This project won the 2023 Outstanding Thesis Award.

Instagram:@tricxajane, @SherylVazquezarchitecture

Portland Museum of Art Expansion by Brena Daly, B.Arch ‘23
University of Oregon  | Advisors: James Tice

This thesis-level architectural studio at the University of Oregon was based on an international architectural competition sponsored by the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine for the expansion of its landmark museum designed in 1982 by Harry Cobb of I.M. Pei & Partners. The studio accepted the basic parameters and goals of the competition brief of 2022 for expanded galleries, services, and community space to enhance and unify the existing campus of historic structures and landscape gardens. In addition, students were challenged to expand the program and the site beyond that required by the competition to include the entire city block on which the museum is located. The idea is to engage the unique urban setting of the museum in the historic center of the city on Congress Square and Free Street. The design challenge, then, was to expand the PMA building and campus and to create an urban art center for the entire city of Portland, enhancing its unique physical and cultural context. The studio focused on urban design, sustainability, community engagement, and use of local materials. The goal was to honor the existing PMA and its context in the city and expand its program and facilities for the larger community. The design by Brena Daly, shown here, met these challenges by expanding the existing museum with a north-south public arcade that connects with neighboring streets and major program elements. Beyond new galleries for the museum, the project envisions a public garden, performance hall, community ‘maker space’, and community classrooms. The facade was designed to complement Cobb’s arcuated facade of brick, using similar proportions and regulating lines employing local terra cotta. The structure features mass timber, keying into native materials of the region. A roof top restaurant and sculpture terrace overlook the harbor to the south connecting visually and symbolically to the Portland’s historic waterfront.

See you soon for the next series of the Student Showcase!

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part V

Welcome back to another installment of the Study Architecture Showcase. In week 5 we focus on student architecture projects that discuss the innovative ways in which software can redefine traditional approaches and contribute to the creative process.

Color Space: From Image to Object by Aileen Zaldana, B.Arch ’23
Woodbury University | Advisor: Mark Ericson

Color Space: From Image to Object is a project that examines the role of images in Architectural production. It began with a careful study of Josef Alber’s Interaction of Color and translated its methods into a software plugin Rhinoceros 3D™ written in the programming language of Python. The project challenges the dominance of architectural drawing by developing software for producing three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional images. The software uses the properties of color associated with each pixel in an image and user inputs to generate a three-dimensional object. While Architecture continues to prioritize the drawing over all other media, this project proposes the image viable medium for the production of architectural form and space. Furthermore, by centering the work in the production of a software tool to be used by others, the project offers a model for distributed authorship in lieu of the more common model of single authored thesis projects. The software is the thesis project and the images and objects are products of other students, friends and family use of the software tool. Color Space is a collaborative tool for the production of architecture from images. If offers not only an alternative mode production—from image to object—but also an alternative form of authorship.

This project was selected for inclusion in Woodbury’s End of Year exhibition entitle MADE.

Instagram: @_z.a.e.z_, @m_cericson

Digital Endemicity: Localized Characteristics for Architectural Fabrication by Gabriel Garofalo, M.Arch ‘23
Toronto Metropolitan University | Advisor: Prof Vincent Hui and Jason Ramelson

The architectural industry and academia have standardized the use of digital tools. From the drawing of a line, to the fabrication of a wall, all architectural processes are intertwined with digital interpretations. Technology merged with contextual knowledge has the ability to inform future advancements in digital fabrication. As digital tools encompass the architectural industry the direction of implementation is crucial to the future built context and its relationship to its physical environment. The current disconnections between object and place is evident in contemporary digital architecture and parametric design. Endemicity, in this context, refers to specifically localized elements within an environment. This thesis project highlights how future digital technologies and existing endemic elements can be blended into a system of fabricating architecture. Through extensive reflection of meaningful definitions of localized materiality, tools, methods, knowledge and social contexts, conceptual frameworks for extracting, fabricating and assembling have been defined. This in turn results in a digitally endemic process that can be applied to unique environments with differentiating programmatic uses. This process was tested within a brownfield urban site in Hamilton, Ontario. Here data and analysis resulted in the digital design of components and processes for fabricating. The architectural intervention lightly cascades across the uneven terrain and provides an urban connection to the waterfront from the city’s downtown core. Additionally, the digitally fabricated and robotically assembled system is a hub for local creativity, holding performance stages, and creative marketspaces as nodes along the urban pathway. The architectural components and the in-situ construction strive to develop ties with the community and evoke a sense of locality to their built environment. At this turning point in the making of architecture, there exists an ability to guide the use of digital tools to define an architectural character that enhances the built object and the inhabitants relationship to their environment.

Atlas of Memory: Representation of the invisible in architectural drawing through generative coding by Julia Lopez, M.Arch “23
Arizona State University | Advisor: Elena Rocchi

How do we draw the space of the invisible? This thesis starts to question and investigate the use of speculative architectural representation as an allegorical narrative fiction to reawaken faded memories. Through the use of generative coding, fragments of stories can be used to stimulate the imagination and help us to start to represent the invisible. This will ultimately allow multiple voices to be heard together, even when they represent stories from different times. Memory is not just a recall of past events but it is an active process that shapes our perception of the present. Memory is not a linear narrative but a fragmented and subjective experience. Our memory of physical spaces are not just passive recollections, but active constructions that shape and constitute our sense of self and identity. This project starts to and investigate how coding programs like p5js and touch designer enter and support the representation of architectural drawings and the invisibility of memories by means of stories and finds a new methodology in which generative coding provides a perfect mesh between speculative and the tangible; to make the invisible, visible. Throughout the course of this project the representation of the invisible took on a personal approach as the following study observed and recorded my grandmother’s transition of life and her own unconscious and conscious state, which had been in continual flux for 5 months. During her moments of hallucination, she would take it upon herself to draw and through the use of generative coding I have been able to investigate the overlay of her drawings into the coding program one in which the system is able to measure data points that can now be used to process the representation of the space she was inhabiting; the invisible. This ultimately resulted in an atlas of memories. Her memories.

This project was selected for The Design School Design Excellence Award in Spring 2023

Instagram: @julia.a.lopez

THE EMPHATIC ESCAPE by Chawin Wongsrisoontorn, Sree Vandana Bendalam, and Raymond Du, M.Arch ‘23
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  | Advisor: Yun Kyu Yi

Recently, the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) has been emerging in various artistic fields and professions, including illustration. AI is now not only used for representing designs but also as a generative tool for visual art. OpenAI tools like Stable Diffusion, DALL×E, and Midjourney enable the generation of images without the need for skilled experts. Users can simply input a text that describes the scene or desired characteristics, and the computer generates images that match the description.

These new tools are not only shaking up the visual art domain but also have the potential to impact the future of architecture and architects. The once undeniable domain of creativity for architects no longer exclusively belongs to them. As architects, will we still remain the sole creators of designs? This project is an outcome of research studio that aims to speculate on the future use of AI as design generators and explore the role of architects within this context.

The project utilized Facial Expression Capturing AI to analyze participants’ emotional expressions on morphing geometry and find a form that captures different surveyors’ emotions, which was then used to generate a building form. In order to convey changes in emotions through the building’s facade, the project developed a kinetic facade system that changes its appearance based on the density of occupants in the space. Additionally, a multi-objective optimization method with a machine learning algorithm was employed to determine the size of the kinetic facade system.

This project won second place in the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Design Excellence Awards.

Instagram: ral_isoa, redrum_du, chaawin, i.n.f.i.n.i.t.e_loop

See you next week for the next series of the Student Showcase!

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part IV

Given the current discussions around the built environment, architecture and the effects of war at this time, let’s take a look at the student work that focuses on just that. This week we delve into projects that study the effects of war.

Haven by Naya Aslan, B.Arch ’23
American University in Dubai | Advisor: Abdellatif Qamhaieh, PhD

As a result of the civil war in Syria, many Syrians left the communities they lived in and became internally displaced persons, living in informal camps around Damascus, the capital of Syria. As a result of this displacement and the overall violent events, a sense of loss and disorientation overwhelms these communities. They are also entirely neglected by the regime and live in peripheral areas of the city in run-down, poorly-serviced informal camps.

Haven is a project proposed to reintegrate these communities into the city and re-introducing them to their Syrian heritage. The aim is to restore their national pride and remind them of what it means to be Syrian. The project represents an ambitious design that combines architecture, heritage, and landscape interventions.

This project received the American University in Dubai Senior Showcase – Second Place Award.

Instagram: @naya_aslan, @abdellatifqamhaieh

Seeds of Hope by Narges Abdul Aziz, B.Arch ’23
American University in Dubai | Advisor: Anna Cornaro, PhD

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, has resulted in significant consequences affecting the country’s cultural and national identity while also depriving its citizens of fundamental human rights. The situation raises questions about how the Afghan community residing outside the country can aid the cultural connections beyond the nation’s borders.

The rise of the Afghan community in the UAE can not only help overcome the loss of Afghan culture, identity, and heritage but also connect people of different nationalities through its intertwined culture. Over many centuries, Afghanistan’s culture has been shaped by its neighboring countries and the Middle East region, with influences evident in its language, music, architecture, and hospitality. These cultural traits provide a unique opportunity for people from different countries to explore Afghan culture, find common ground, and establish strong bonds.

This project aims to preserve Afghan culture and heritage while fostering connections among diverse individuals. The UAE’s multiculturalism makes it an ideal location for this initiative. The Afghan community in the UAE can leverage this connection to strengthen cultural ties and create a more unified society based on shared interests and goals.

This project received the American University in Dubai Senior Showcase – Third Place Award.

Instagram: @annacornaro

Olivewood Ties by Samantha Miller, MLA
University of British Columbia | Advisor: Fionn Byrne

Past and present peace negotiations have failed to propel Israelis and Palestinians to coexistence and liberation. These nations have conflicting collective narratives that make it challenging to accept the legitimacy of the other’s right to exist. Furthermore, physical barriers to peace, such as the nearly 800-kilometre separation barrier, erode possibilities for interaction and human connection. This academic endeavor challenges the myth that peace and war are binary and cannot exist simultaneously. Upon the acceptance that the consequences of war are sociocultural and spatial, we can begin navigating a spatial strategy for peace-building. Both groups share a deep-rooted love and respect for the land they call home or dream of one day returning to. Because of this, these communities have enmeshed realities, and their futures are both tied to each other and the land.

Olivewood Ties investigates how landscape can be a peace-building mechanism in the divided context of Israel/Palestine. Presently and historically, trees like the pine and the olive were proxy soldiers, employed in war-fighting, land acquisition, and nation-building. If trees and flora were instead proxy peace-builders, what implications do different landscape design strategies possess and moreover, what opportunities do they offer as a mechanism toward healing and unity?

The three design proposals are framed as ‘stories/counter stories.’ Their sites and stories are chosen due to their proximity to the wall, their history of trees being used as a weapon or nation-building tool, and their opportunity for peace-building or healing at different scales. The proposals offer strategies to find peace within war and heal lands and peoples simultaneously. In this way, we can acknowledge facts on the ground, power imbalances, and traumas and respond to them with empathy. Ultimately, this project aims to reveal the faces of perseverance, the activist groups who unite Israelis and Palestinians, and the trees who bore witness to the tears of suffering and celebration of liberation.

This project received the Dr. John Wesley Neill Prize.

Instagram: @millersami, @fionn_byrne

People, Parts, Production. by Brandon Chin, M.Arch ’23
University of Southern California | Advisor: Lisa Little

The exponentially growing migrant and refugee populations of Iztapalapa, Mexico City requires a new typology strategy and system of parts. Through explorations of human scale, the parts create housing, an educational institution, and healthcare facilities for the displaced. The design intent plays with the placement and orientation of interconnected parts to be mass-produced and mass-customized whole.

The United Nations defines a megacity as a place which has a population of 10 million or more people. Current data shows that Mexico City (CDMX) is ranked 7th in the world with a population of 21.9 million. This geographic location is also a destination place for the forcibly displaced people (refugees) and according to Bloomberg, Mexico received more than 100,000 asylum claims in 2020 – 173% more compared to 2019. More specifically, Iztapalapa – the densest populated suburb in CDMX – is a site of asylum for the displaced and unfortunately possesses slums and homelessness. Iztapalapa is one of sixteen regions in Mexico City and has a population of 1,835,486.

With neighborhoods like Iztapalapa, it can be subject to “high levels of concentration of large numbers of people in specific areas; high levels of consumption and production; uncontrolled development and land-use deterioration due to a lack of effective planning policies; high levels of air pollution due to the excessive use of private vehicles; high demand for water, and a dependency on fossil fuels for energy” (Madero, Morris). While these data points prove to be consistent with megacities across the globe, the problem here is that inhabitants in Iztapalapa lack what many of us have access to – which is housing, healthcare facilities, and education. Leveraging the concept of participatory frameworks and redistribution of resources, the Discrete model will identify a framework to generate a program targeted to building spaces for the displaced to live in, have access to healthcare, and occupy spaces to learn.

This project received the USC Master of Architecture Distinction in Directed Design Research.

Instagram: @b.hart.c, @lisa_k_little

Jeong at the Joint Security Area (JSA) by Lianna Moze and Jason Chavez-Carballo, B.Arch ’23
New York Institute of Technology | Advisor: Dongsei Kim

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea is one of the most militarized areas in the world. Protected from urbanization for the last 70 years, the DMZ has become an involuntary park for flourishing flora and fauna with minimal human intervention and a relic of the Cold War.

“Jeong at the Joint Security Area (JSA)” is located at the center of the conflicted border between North and South Korea. The proposal reimagines this politically tense DMZ as a new cultural center that focuses on the shared history and culture between North and South Korea before its division.

A new relationship between North and South Korea is built over time by building this project in this politically charged space. Programs such as Korean-themed Temple Stay, Farm to Table Restaurant, Culinary School, Theater, and DMZ Museum are utilized to transform existing buildings used for security and meetings at the JSA into spaces that activate shared values and history between the two Koreas. Senses related to eating, conversing, playing, learning, and leisure are amplified to activate the notion of “Jeong” (Korean for meaning “affection,” “attachment,” “love,” or “intimacy) between the people of the two Koreas.

Instagram: @jsc_designs_, @little.lianna_, @jasontaco2,

Changes: Tracing Time by Zeina Lotfy, B.Arch ’23
New York Institute of Technology | Advisor: Dongsei Kim

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea is one of the most militarized areas in the world. Protected from urbanization for the last 70 years, the DMZ has become an involuntary park for flourishing flora and fauna with minimal human intervention and a relic of the Cold War.

“Changes: Tracing Time” is inspired by the rivers and ecological flows that cut across the political border between North and South Korea. It focuses on the constantly changing characteristics of nature and how it can initiate change to the stalemate between North and South Korea. The project is placed directly on the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) at the Joint Security Area (JSA) to transform the human-made political line into an ecologically driven reconciliatory space. Further, the project attempts to project an alternative future amplified by natural processes expressed through water flows and seasonal change.

The project’s trails follow the existing undulating topography of the landscape parallel to the flows of the water and existing buildings. The pathways are weaved with programs such as the gardens inspired by traditional Korean Gardens that encourage the users of the space to engage with the surrounding nature. Native flora and fauna that have symbolic and ritualist significance to both Koreas, such as the Korean Red Pine and persimmon trees, are mediated by the project’s architecture and landscape that aspire to resolve the seventy-year-old conflict and divide.

Instagram: @zeina.designs,

See you next week for the next series of the Student Showcase!

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part III

This week the 2023 Student Showcase takes a broad look at buildings and parks on university campuses. We look at a couple of design build projects completed by architecture students as well as adaptive reuse designs and new builds that aim to evolve architectural education curriculum through wellness and sustainability. Shifting gears slightly we also feature a video game that inspires architecture learning, after all campus should be a space that encourages enjoyment while learning.

We hope you enjoy this week’s collection of student work and come back next week for a new installment.

Commensalis by Dakota Witte and Dylan Moyano, B.Arch ’23
Washington State University | Advisor: Vahid Vahdat

Commensalism is a biological relationship between two organisms in which one benefits while the other derives neither a benefit nor harm. Here at Washington State University, creating relationships amongst the design disciplines is challenging at the very least. Students are expected to become masters of their own curriculum, however in design, we are also expected to share knowledge with our cousin disciplines. This ideology has become a greater necessity as miscommunications between designers and builders create complications in the design process. The origin of these obstacles can be attributed to our academic backgrounds. A lack of communication can be attributed to the traditional academic architecture practiced amongst universities.

Our goal in this project was to innovate this narrative and create both a physical and psychologically alternative to the educational practice of design. We set out to create a commensalism between design disciplines and the academic system. Our site was located on the South end of WSU’s campus. As a prime location, we began creating an academic building for both engineers and architects. The unfamiliar organism’s veins stretch and pull through the natural scenery. Initially seeming like something out of the Twilight Zone, further innovation within our environment gives a drastic alternative to the organism as it begins to create flower beds and public benches that surround the structure. Exterior cladding of our structure uses traditional red brick to pay respect to the surrounding architecture of campus.

We felt it was important to iterate that our intentions are not to change higher education itself, but rather change the systems we have been using for hundreds of years. To show this, the organism has begun to encompass the exterior of the structure changing its shape as it begins spreading throughout campus. The interior of Commensalis creates a mix of both public and private spaces with a heavy emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. This first level is home to a large museum space meant to display the projects of various students. The second and third levels of the structure also hold multiple public and private seating areas to encourage a variety of study methods.

Instagram: @dakota.witte, @dgm.design2022, @3rdscript

ArchiLounge by Neroly Mora, Daniel Gribben, Michael Anzalone, Kayla Dawson, Kianna Ladue, Julia Dorr, Abby Lumpkin, Nate Simpson, Lauren Trippiedi, Charles Vasas, Joe Walsh, Serene Martens, M.Arch ’23 and B.S. Arch ’23
Norwich University | Advisor: Tolya Stonorov

Our typical SoA+A design build program has an outward, community focus – this is based on our belief that architecture can help people through providing solutions to society’s problems. This year, however, I was able to teach a design build studio that had a special opportunity to look inwards and focus on our own SoA+A community.

The ArchiLounge design build studio focused on the design and fabrication of the student lounge in Chaplin Hall as well as an overall look on how we could bring our current branding into the building. The studio reimagined and redefined what was needed and proposed an innovative, material rich, dynamic solution. This began with an outreach effort to the entire SoA+A community to determine what program the space should encompass. As part of the lounge, the studio incorporated a memorial to Donovan Kurt, a beloved architecture student who tragically passed in 2022.

The studio’s main focus was on investigating and redesigning the student lounge in Chaplin. This began by understanding how to draw as builts, a tool used in most architecture offices. We conducted a model-focused precedent study and a Surface + Joint study with an emphasis on digital fabrication, both in terms of the joint and overall spaces. We worked with our digital fabrication tools: 3D Printers, CNC router and laser cutters and a CNC router workshop was taught after our initial research. The bulk of the studio involved a heavy investigation into materiality and making. We poured concrete, worked with fabric, wood and metal. While each student had an area of study and is developing expertise, it was my intention that each student contribute to all aspects of the project through group discussions. In order for these group discussions to be successful it was imperative that the studio have an atmosphere of open dialogue. While we discussed and critiqued ideas, we made sure that we were not excluding people from contributing to this process. Working across the table was also an opportunity for all of the studio to learn more about how we all solve problems. I worked many hours outside of studio to try to ensure a successful group environment. This studio had the most cohesive group dynamic that I have experienced in my 11 years of teaching.

The design build process is a ground breaking pedagogy that encourages students to problem solve, think together, and make real design innovations in the field. Students learned that their drawings had real meaning and tangible implications. The studio had extensive community engagement as we worked with the SoA+A students, faculty and staff. Community-focused work in design build studios consistently demonstrates that holding community activism as a goal, yields a rich student experience as a result. I believe that this impact is two-fold: 1) students gain confidence because they are entrusted to design and build a real project and thereby achieve results outside of their comfort zone and 2) they are able to see concretely how their own work can help the community.

Through the design build experience, students shape a personal, more inclusive, definition of the architectural process and its tangible social and economic impacts. Working with the team of 12 architecture students was fantastic, but also challenging. The students were consistently motivated and worked cohesively to produce a beautiful building. Students repeatedly described these design build courses as some of the most valuable of their architecture education.

Instagram: @eaglewolf_14, @_juliadorr_, @abbylmpkn, @stonorovworkshoparchitects, @norwichdesignbuild

Voiland College Student Center by Chenlu Zhang and Luke Nye, B.S. Arch ’23
Washington State University | Advisor: Vahid Vahdat

In this project, we used a variety of software to build a workflow (rhino, revit, enscape, photoshop, to ensure a high level of finished product quality in a limited time.

The link between creativity and schooling has always been a difficult relationship to explain. In the fields of architecture, engineering, and creation, a heavy amount of creativity is required. Creativity requires boundaries to be broken and order not to interfere, which is a direct counter to that of modern education. As a result of the inherit divide between these elements of education and creativity, “Discrete Rectagular” replicates this relationship in the physical structure.

A cavity-shaped, complex organic structure is present next to solid traditional interior rooms. This cavity shape represents creativity as the solid routine structures represent the order that is required in education. For the spaces to work well together, we decided that the organic shape should hold most of the lounging area required in this site while the traditional rooms should be responsible for the more practical uses of the building. This division of labor further defines the relationship between creativity and order. To not disrupt the shape of the entire site, we modified the existing architectural topologies which in turn influence the structure giving it it’s shape. The loadbearing columns at the base of the organic structure are connected to the structure which displaces the overall weight. A lightweight steel was used for the skin (scaffolding with curtain wall glass) of the building which increases the sense of breathing.

The conventional practice of introducing the outdoor environment is not adopted, but the shell through its transparency is used to release the interior space of the whole building giving a spectacle to engage with. Furthermore, the main entrance is equipped with a similar organic shape to continue this spectacle and desire to be inside. The whole building is made of white light material and metallic material so that its square volume floats in place and disappears. The organic structure is heavily used for lounging as we want to challenge the existing academic architecture typology but not change it completely. Hence we chose to use this alternative style.

Instagram: @clzpurplem, @3rdscript

KCAI DoARC by Jessie Grieser, Kendall Hartley, Halima Moore and Abriana Wilson, B.S. Design, ’23
University of Nebraska-Lincoln | Advisor: Peter Olshavsky, Ph.D.

If education involves “values made flesh,” then what values will be incarnate by the year 2050? To think through the entanglements of this question, third year architecture students were asked to design of a Department of Architecture (DoARC) building on the Kansas City Art Institute campus in Kansas City, MO. This effort started from the basis that design education is changing. Our architectural lives, and the education that prepares us to live them well, should aim at our being someone and not just acting professionally.

This 30,000 sq. ft. project, rethought architectural education through curriculum, pedagogy, and the agency of architecture. This new project on the famed arts campus was approached through wellness in connection with sustainable systems. The department was divided into four and one-half levels to support the programmatic needs of its social life. The east and west edges of the building were rounded to create unique campus spatial conditions and maximize view across the Kansas City arts district. The layering of program enables students, faculty and staff to have quality light and in views on three sides. Subtractive gestures on the building’s face to create exterior green spaces and sheltered entrance conditions. Entrances were placed on campus side (facing the quad) and public side (facing Nelson-Atkins Museum) on two different levels to respond to the existing site’s ten foot east-west slope. The facade was develop with white brick to connect to the existing masonry on campus, while the long southern face used glazing and metal paneling to control atmospheric lighting, prevailing winds for natural ventilation, and manage solar heat gain to reduce energy consumption. The external landscape was developed to establish a new social place on a campus that was lacking quality outdoor spaces. Permeable pavers, bio-swales, and native plantings helped managed run-off from the sloped quad while creating a quality natural environment in which student could occupy on the southern end of the intimate arts campus.

Instagram: @jess_grieser, @kendallhartley_, @polshavsky

Cultural Kitchen by Emily Pressprich, Austin Bass, Brandon Garza, Caitlin Truong, David Alvarez, Ian Green, Taylor Sanville, Ivan Cherniske, Kana Takagi, Maddie Crane, Marianne Fitzwilliam, Morocco Branting, Pamela Aymar, Patrick Norton, Radha Iyer and Yessenia Islas, M. Arch ’23
University of Washington | Advisor: Steve Badanes, Jake LaBarre and Miriam Gee

Designed and built by 16 students in the spring quarter of 2023, the World Cultural Kitchen is a gathering and cooking space for visitors, volunteers, and student workers at the UW farm, a 1.5 acre urban farm and educational center on the University of Washington campus. The Cultural Kitchen will be used for cooking and farming demos by the UW Farm, celebrations that are hosted at the adjacent Center for Urban Horticulture, and as a unique meeting place for visitors to the nearby walking trails of the Union Bay Nature area.

The design is a consensus-based group project, working with both graduate and undergraduate architecture students (2 of which are construction management double majors) to create a beautiful and durable structure to meet the needs of the client within an 11 week quarter. After refining a loose program, the class presents their schematic design to the client and then works to develop a construction document set which incorporates client feedback that is appropriate for a tight budget and even tighter construction schedule. By week five, they are building and testing project elements, developing their construction skills, and refining details to preassemble the project elements in studio. The final weeks of the studio involve project layout, site prep, reassembly, and finally a celebratory ribbon cutting as the project gets turned over to the client.

Instagram: @emilypressprich, @aust1n_bass, @caitlinche, @ivancherniske, @crane_maddie, @morocco.branting, @pameaymar, @patrick_norton, @jacoblabarre, @build_lightly, @co.everything, @NeighborhoodDesignBuildStudio

Bubble Rumble by Kathy Bi, Clytie Mak, Tien Pham and Yuzhou Wang, M.Arch ’23
University of California, Los Angeles | Advisor: Feghali Yara

Bubble Rumble is an educational platform-game that draws inspiration from Archigram’s Seaside Bubbles and City Pop aesthetics. Players ascend platforms, progressing from daytime to nighttime, encountering architectural and artistic moments. Trigger questions provide architectural knowledge, emphasizing learning through play. Bespoke tiles, derived from Archigram’s iconic imagery, give Bubble Rumble a distinctive visual language.

Drawing inspiration from Archigram’s groundbreaking designs, we have developed a set of distinctive tiles that add a visually captivating and unique element to our game. These tiles play a pivotal role in the gameplay experience, and comprehending their functionality is essential for fully immersing oneself in the enjoyment of the game.

Instagram: @feghali.yara

Humb.LED by Trenton Scott, B.Arch ’23
Tuskegee University | Advisor: Roderick Fluker and Dr. Carla Jackson Bell

The design proposal seeks to strengthen community-university relations by developing a public park which links two existing sites significant to each: Tuskegee University campus stadium and a Tuskegee community park and recreational center. Both facilities are enhanced and expanded architecturally and promote sports participation and fitness in bringing together members of each community. The shared spatial programming also provides opportunities for the university to strengthen its recruitment pipeline locally and community engagement for students and faculty.

Instagram: @carla_jackson_bell


Head Heart Hands by Tyler Littes, B.Arch ’23
Tuskegee University | Advisor: Roderick Fluker and Dr. Carla Jackson Bell

The project explores the aesthetic implications for a new campus living learning center in the context of the existing historic district of Tuskegee University. Space, program, and material use combine to form an inviting and comforting living environment for students – allowing them to feel empowered to achieve their full educational potential. Symbolically the project employs the themes of head, heart, and hand in addressing student needs, and linking to Tuskegee’s founding, the campus, and the teaching philosophy of Booker T. Washington.

Instagram: @carla_jackson_bell

PASSAGE by Gabriel Valdez, B.Arch ’23
The University of Texas at Austin | Advisor: Nichole Wiedemann

Inspired by the latent potential of old alleys throughout the increasingly dense West Campus, the design introduces another alley, an informal and lively pedestrian passage, that unites a range of people and programs. The strategy helps to resituate a longstanding religious institution, who owns the property, and introduce student living and services. While the base is shaped by mixed-use and church functions creating a public sphere, the residential towers are shaped by views and light. Suggestive of the larger pedestrian network in the neighborhood, the PASSAGE creates a social landscape through intermingling and movement.

Instagram: @nicholewiedemann

Lighthouse Christian Study Center by Alyssa Lee, M.Arch ’23
California Baptist University | Advisor: Dr. Matthew Niermann

The Lighthouse Christian Study Center is on a college campus acting as a beacon of light and hope within its community. The beacon draws faithful people into the unified structure to experience transcendence through the use of light. The Center contains three primary live, study, and worship spaces.

Each significant space displays organized connectivity within a unified form. The gleaming exterior is complemented by an outdoor plaza, cafe, and prayer garden support student life and vibrancy. The post and lintel structure incorporates sun-shading twisting vertically oriented louvers along tall glazed facades. The dynamism of each aluminum louver gives a sense of movement to those passing by and through the building, with further liveliness provided by the varying effect of daylight through the vertical strokes of the facade.

Instagram: @cbuarch

Stay tuned for the next installment of 2023 Student Showcase!

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part I

Welcome back to the Study Architecture Student Showcase fall series!

We put out a call over the summer for student work and received a record number of submissions – thank you to everyone who participated. With the Fall semester in full gear, we are excited to share the most outstanding projects with you over the next few months. To give you an insight into what it is like to study architecture, we will take a closer look at student thesis and capstone work from 2023.

Throughout the Student Showcase series, we will feature work from recent graduates of ACSA member schools from across the globe. These projects will highlight an array of topics and explorations, ranging from building designs focused on women empowerment or climate change to research on biomaterials and much more. Tune in every week for a new installment focused on a specific topic.

This week we take a look at projects that are aimed at combatting the issue of flooding, which we are seeing rise in frequency across the globe. In the last few weeks alone, we have seen extreme examples of just how damaging floods can be. The work below focus on how we can improve the flood protection process.

Urban Flooding Reuse for Addis Ababa (Ethopia) by Michael Clifton, B.Arch ’23
Tulane University | Advisor: Ruben Garcia-Rubio

The Urban Flooding Reuse Proposal is intended to create a way for residents of the river meander to live with and reuse flood water for their own benefit. This is a response to a high population of Addis Ababa’s (Ethiopia) residents living in highly vulnerable areas to flooding and a high amount of housing being built from weaker materials like mud and wood. These two problems that exist in the city lead to dangerous living conditions with flooding in a city that experiences plenty of rain and flooding yearly—and is projected to see much more in the future due to climate change.

The proposal tackles other problems as well such as cleaning polluted water and creating public space in the city, while restructuring at-risk housing. The city has problems with pollution due to poor drainage and sewerage systems, and the amount of green space is far below the World Health Organization standard.
The proposal uses a system of channels that serve as pathways for water to travel from parcel to parcel while also being slow mobility pathways for pedestrians. The system for flow of water includes inputs from the Upper Kebena River, and introduces three different types of parcels for different treatment of water. The first being retention pools which hold water at the first stop in the system. The retention pools also include some natural vegetation for slight cleaning at this point. The second parcels are cleaning parcels, which have more natural vegetation and help clean water through the use of bioswales. The third type of parcels are for reuse of water and mostly come in the form of urban agriculture while also providing spaces for recreation and leisure throughout the river meander. The reuse parcels are spaces that create a public environment for pedestrians and can help create jobs through farming. The new housing buildings can have shops on the ground floor as well to help keep the informal economy alive in this area. Runoff water from the city is cleaned through the use of underground water deposits which will help with solid waste filtration and chemical cleaning before water from the streets enters the system. The proposal also includes bridges and ramps to help pedestrians cross the river and more extreme terrain on the north side of the river meander, creating a better connection from the city to the river.

This project was selected by the Oslo Triennale.

Instagram: @rubgarrub

Creative Triggering by Christine Chen, Meichen Duan, Ji Hyun Hwang, Jing Kang, Hong Ke, Wanshan Li, Zhe Li, Xinru Liu, Hoi Yau Lo, Ankita Mallick, Weixuan Wang, Ruijie Zhang, Wenhao Zhang, M. Arch ’23
University of Melbourne | Advisor: Justyna Karakiewicz & Theo Blankley

This studio takes the site of Australia’s largest major urban regeneration project – located at Melbourne, Fishermans Bend – which is over 480 hectares of land directly adjacent to the CBD. We propose the future of the precinct in light of ecological, environmental, structural and social changes across staged developments into the next century.

The Fishermans Bend precinct has its challenges. Much of it is threatened by flooding. A significant portion of the land is heavily contaminated by previous industrial users. We have learned that the quick fixes we often employ are based on misinterpreting symptoms for causes as we try to address current problems. We can observe that our quick interventions distract us from doing the deeper work needed that might lead to a better world for the planet, for all species and the environment, rather than just for the electorate.

By 2025, the Stage 1 will be completed and will feature large scale facilities for advanced manufacturing, fabrication, testing and prototyping with large scale collaborators such as the University of Melbourne, Boeing, Tesla, and others. By 2050, the Victorian Government proposes there will be 80,000 residents and employment for up to 80,000 people. Looking forward, we know that by 2100, much of Fishermans Bend could be under water, even under the most moderate predictions for sea level rises. We know that most of the surface soil is toxic. This combination of toxic land and flooding does not suggest that this is suitable place to live.

Combining Slow, Medium and Fast approaches, the propositions are illustrated by small, medium and large projects. These include two urban infrastructure strategies, and eight architectural projects.The works shown here illustrates an incremental development, with Stage 1 in 2025-2030, Stage 2 in 2030-2050, and Stage 3 in 2050-2100. Students worked collaboratively and developed programs and outcomes that interconnected and linked with each other – as evidenced in the final panels showing relationships between proposals and how one project may ‘trigger’ another.

Instagram: @msdsocial,, @theoblankley, @meichend_, @lohoiyau, @ankitamallick,

BQE Hydrology Hub by Emma Mangels, B.Arch ’23
New York Institute of Technology | Advisor: Evan Shieh

The re-imagination of the Gowanus Canal aims to address the environmental and hydrological issues facing the Gowanus Canal at the local scale and the surrounding neighborhoods of Brooklyn at the borough scale. The Gowanus Canal and the surrounding neighborhood of Red Hook has been a highly-contested area due to the status of the waterway being declared a superfund site. As well as flooding occurring on the shoreline and also in-land which can be traced back to the out-dated combined sewer outflow system or CSO feeding into the canal.

To address this issue, a “Hydrology Hub” will be created at the crossing of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) at the local scale to clean water in an efficient manner and reduce in-land flooding as well as making the water filtration process visible to the community. The hub will allow for people to follow the newly designed circular system of water filtration that uses both natural and man-made processes. The filtration circulation will bring the person down to the canal level where a walkable park will take over the current hard-edge of the canal. In order to protect the new in-land system, the borough scale will include the implementation of a soft shoreline to slow erosion and provide habitats for flora and fauna, creating a “kit of parts” to foster an environmentally resilient community while also placing an emphasis on circular systems of water.

Instagram: @mangels.arch, @ev07

Island Revitalization by Kelly Zheng, B.Arch ’23
New York Institute of Technology | Advisor: Farzana Gandhi

Coney Island is a peninsula that sits in the southern part of New York City. The site is a smaller scale of NYC that demonstrates the environmental problems that the city faces. It is an area full of residential structures and commercial businesses.

Coney Island suffers from bad air quality, urban heat, flooding, and poor water management, causing bad living quality and health risks. These issues should not be understood and treated separately. They are all part of a reciprocal ecosystem where one problem typically worsens another.

It is essential to develop a holistic and comprehensive integrated solution that makes Coney Island more livable today and far into the future. The proposal is inspired by such solutions found around the world and at multiple scales from masterplan to kiosks.

Coney Island was originally a collection of islands and shifting sand, with inlets connecting the islands during low tide periods. In the late 1700s, the sand-shifting movements closed the inlets, so the residents filled in the space and connected the islands into one whole island. Coney Island Creek was the water body that separated Coney Island from the mainland. Over time, the island expanded due to natural and manmade activities such as sand shifting or landfilling.

The proposal reintroduces the creek, forming additional routes for water flow. Additional canals will be integrated, dividing the island into 3 mini-islands. This development isolates the island’s midsection, the portion that will be most likely affected by flooding. The isolation prevents water overflow from entering the surrounding inland areas. The middle mini-island will be redeveloped as an amusement island, and be designed as a sponge park to absorb flooding or overflowing water.

Recreational areas and water management systems are incorporated into the islands, rapidly expanding the amount of green and blue to decrease the environmental risks. Real-time visual notifications and warning systems are integrated into the streets, using lights, sounds, and kiosks to educate people about environmental factors and give alerts for safety threats. The strategies and real-time data systems work together to build a stronger, low-vulnerable community for citizens and visitors.

Instagram: @kellyzhangarch

Replacement by Zoe Holiday, B.Arts ’23
Savannah College of Art and Design | Advisor: Gordon Nicholson

Replacement is a Community Center located in Wilmington Island, GA. The site is nestled between an elementary school, a fire station, and two churches. A walking path alongside a main road accessing the site encourages pedestrian and vehicular engagement. The proposed community center – Replacement – will do just that by superimposing a new structure of CMU while maintaining the existing concrete structure. The main concrete columns will be inverted to create void where there was once a solid. The exterior faces of the new structure take shape from the radii of the trees defining the current landscape.

The building’s approach to water was integral to the form of the roof and interior courtyard. The two form a connected system of water collection through phytoremediation, water retention, and overflow channels that are capable of managing storm water and flooding. Replacement aims to become a shelter and everyday hub for the Wilmington Island community.

Water Wise Wrapper by Debdeep Dam, M.Arch ’23
University of Southern California | Advisor: Lisa Little

California and the world at large have been facing tumultuous weather patterns. Respite from long-term drought comes in the form of devastating floods.

Throughout history, humans have had a symbiotic relationship with natural sources of water; often carrying both cultural and spiritual significance. Unfortunately, modern city-making has been oriented toward over-engineered city planning because modern cities have had access to uncontested water resources without regard to ecosystems or context. The modern city treats stormwater as a nuisance; something to be drained away out of sight even though water scarcity has become so real an issue that architectural systems that try to mitigate this by having systems in place for water conservation, collection, cleaning, and reuse should be adopted by all buildings.

With the increasing commodification of clean potable water and gross exploitation of this natural resource, it has become imperative to explore options for democratically using, storing, and distributing this natural resource.

“Water-Wise Wrapper attempts to bring this crucial subject to the forefront of urban living while advocating for a system that can leverage the vast vertical landscapes of the modern city and act like a sponge: absorbing or releasing water when needed and releasing it when required. This thesis proposes a system that physically stores and releases water while also acting as a visual representation of the scarcity of this vital resource.

This project won the USC Master of Architecture Innovation in Directed Design Research Award. In recognition of the most outstanding graduate final degree project illustrating technological innovation and advancement.

Instagram: @debdeepdam, @lisa_k_little

Hydro-Urbanism: A Walkable, Coastal Neighborhood Designed to Withstand Flooding and Use Water as A Design Asset by Zachary Faza, M.Arch ’23
Florida Agricultural And Mechancial University | Advisor: Kyle Spence

Located on the low-lying, sandy peninsula of Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Florida, is a coastal city that has much at risk from hurricanes and heavy rainfall events. No Florida county has more buildings and more value at risk in Category 1 storms.

When a severe storm impacts a coastal city, high winds build up and push the water from the sea over the land. This is called storm surge, and it can cause devastating damage like that seen during 2022 Category 4 Hurricane Ian impacting this region of the State.

Zachary’s design-research investigative thesis presents research on existing case studies of aesthetically pleasing, multi-beneficial flood infrastructure that benefits society beyond flood control. This project applied intuitive thought to produce a design proposal for a walkable, 40-acre master-planned development that integrates flood-adaption infrastructure as aesthetic and recreational features.

The proposed master planned development orients around a central pond serving as a water retention feature and encloses two public park islands. This pond connects to a site-wide network of waterways and bioswales (naturally filtering landscape features) designed to absorb, filter, and store stormwater runoff from neighborhood roads.

Around the pond are several distinct built areas, each with latent design exploration. The primary regions built around the pond include a Canal-Front residential area that has elevated structures that looks inwards onto tree-lined canal parks, the Waterside Shops mixed-use shopping center with a grocery store, waterfront commercial spaces, and apartments, and the public Forest Park that spans two islands within the central pond and forms the spine of the development’s pedestrian and bicycle circulation network.

Zack’s project is a design exercise demonstrating that flood adaptation measures can be an aesthetically pleasing part of a holistic urban design solution that mitigates damage from floods and storms and creates vibrant, profitable commercial, public, and residential areas.

This project won the FAMU Three-Minute Thesis First-Place Award

Come back next week for Part II!

2023 Student Showcase Call for Projects

For the last four years, Study Architecture has put out a call to architecture school faculty from around the world to nominate graduating students whose work exemplifies excellence in architectural education. This year, we invite you to submit your student’s most impressive work to be featured in the 2023 Fall Student Showcase on Study Architecture’s website and social media.

Submission deadline: July 7, 2023

Click here to be directed to a Google form where you can nominate your students and submit their work.

We hope by sharing a glimpse into what architecture students create while in school, more students will begin to take an interest in the architecture field and potentially apply to a program that appeals to them. Architecture is a broad field and we are excited to highlight the many unique aspects of design that are submitted.

Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part XII

For the final installment of the 2022 Student Showcase series we focus on five student projects that take a closer look at historic preservation. We begin in Beirut, a city rich in history, that has seen a range of disasters over the decades and remains in dire need of restoring its heritage sites. Then a look at a church in Wisconsin, a building on a university campus and to a museum in Spain where historic preservation allows us the opportunity to glance into the past.

Incase you missed past installments, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X and Part XI.

Rebuilding After Disaster: Beirut’s Heritage Houses by Gabrielle Kalouche, M.Arch ’22
University of Cincinnati | Advisor: Elizabeth Riorden

Heritage is always at risk when developers and advocates tear down and replace structures for their own profit and commercial purposes. Preserving sites and their history has become more popular and has been gaining a foothold in movements across the world. The appropriation of the intervention on historic sites has become a subject prone to criticism from the polarities of conservative to more liberal heritage conservationists.

In Beirut, Lebanon, a city that has been rebuilt several times throughout history and now faces the need of intervention after sustaining severe damages from the 2020 Port Blast, the debate is a sensitive subject. The efforts to rebuild following the Civil War (1975 – 1990) are criticized for the demolition of historic structures and gentrification. What lesson can be learned and applied to the current situation of Beirut and its few remaining heritage structures?

This thesis aims to approach the subject of rebuilding after the Port Blast by using methods of adaptive reuse to preserve the history and memories embedded in the structures while bringing new life and purpose to their post-blast conditions.

Instagram: @gabriellekalouche, @daapsaid, @edmitchell1909

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help by Natalie Pratt, B.Arch ’22
University of Notre Dame | Advisor: Sean Patrick Nohelty, AIA

Nestled in the farm fields of northern Wisconsin lies a simple church known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. The site of the one approved Marian apparition in the United States, the small church on site has been quickly outgrown since the approval of the apparition in 2011. This student design project seeks to create a place of pilgrimage, similar to Fatima or Lourdes, in order to preserve and celebrate the sacredness of the site, allowing for the growing number of pilgrims. As dreamed by the local bishop, the design project introduces a large pilgrimage church, large enough to hold nearly 2,000 pilgrims, along with a convent to house the sisters who help to run the shrine.

The vision for the site includes a processional pilgrimage route leading up the hill to the church, meditation trails through the woods, a visitor center and gift shop, and a votive chapel at the location of the apparition as the most sacred and secluded place of prayer on the site. Inspired by the history of the site, the architecture takes cues from Baltic Gothic architecture of Belgium and the local brick Gothic church architecture built by immigrants.. The brick is the cream-colored brick for which Milwaukee is so well known and which is very common on the Western side of Lake Michigan. Given the farms which serve as context, the design seeks to preserve the simplicity and humbleness of the site on which Our Lady appeared, while still allowing it to bring wonder to pilgrims, like a piece of Heaven among the fields.

The church is placed at the highest point on the site, across the river from the entrance, as is the apparition chapel, providing a sense of sacredness to both locations, as the pilgrim crosses the water to access the buildings. This also provides the path of procession, so important to pilgrimages. The church itself has two towers, symbolic of the two trees between which Our Lady appeared, with steps leading into the sanctuary raising the guest into the heavenly interior, a traditional Latin cross form, filled with the light from the stained glass windows.

Twisting Intersectionality: A Design Methodology Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Form-Finding and Phenotypic Diversification by Wesley Gonzalez-Colon, Sakshi Sharma and Soham Dongre, M.Arch ’22
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Advisor: Yun Kyu Yi

The project provided an Extension to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (MCA). The site faces Michigan Lake, which is distant from the existing building. The view from the area towards Michigan Lake is partially unobstructed and connects visually towards the East direction. The site is rectangular, measuring 30 meters by 50 meters, and oriented north/south, having its longest elevations facing the MCA and Lake Shore Park. Overall, the site is surrounded by tall buildings, which cast a shadow, making the new building proposal less than the overall scale. Several challenges, including circulation, daylighting, accessibility, views, scale, and thermal performance, were considered through design and evaluation criteria. The challenges allowed the generation of a parametric design to evaluate architectural aesthetics, daylighting and thermal performance, accessibility, and views to achieve a proposal aiming to attend to different aspects of these.

The project uses a parametric design method to explore multi-objective optimization (MOO) to define a form based on measurable criteria. Two MOO were designed for the test: form-finding and envelope system diversification. The main challenge when optimizing was computational time and load to run various simulation tools to calculate complex form generation. Thus, the design methodology incorporates Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to reduce and simplify the simulation execution. In the final stage, image recognition was used to select the solution closest to personal preference. The project’s most significant contribution was integrating different simulation tools in the design process and using image recognizing to find design preferences and support the design selection process.

Instagram:, @sakshiisharmaaa, @sohamdongre

Brutal Intentions: Transforming Brutalism & The Case for Crosley Tower by Anna Hargan, M.Arch ’22
University of Cincinnati | Advisor: Elizabeth Riorden & Michael McInturf

Demolition is everywhere. Brutalist architecture and associated buildings are endangered, with many of these structures facing demolition worldwide. Given society’s push to achieve a more sustainable future, we can no longer rely on demolition to get rid of our problems. Some in the architectural industry have chosen to address this issue through methods of transformation and adaptive reuse an attempt to preserve and alter previously unpopular, aging identities. By understanding the concepts of value, permanence, obsolescence, and preservation, innovative design solutions can challenge the widespread endangerment of buildings. Brutalism is slowly gaining popularity after a large period of distaste. However, a timely response is needed in order to prevent the end of this controversial, unique, and historical style.

In the case for Crosley Tower, a concrete high rise associated with Brutalism, on the University of Cincinnati’s campus in Cincinnati, Ohio, demolition is soon approaching. Innovative methods of transformation, preservation, and demolition will alter the structures identity and provide hybridized solutions that challenge its unique existence. A matrix of iterations involving constraints of addition, subtraction, and combinations of both provides a selection of four designs to be iterated on a more detailed level. These four project proposals both meet and challenge the physical and metaphysical nature of Crosley Tower in order to realize potentials hindered by traditional, uninventive demolition.

Instagram: @annak_hargan, @daapsaid, @mcinturf.architects

Wall, Hall, Dust & Rust: Prado’s Critical Zone by Nur Esin Karaosman, B.Arch ’22
Southern California Institute of Architecture | Advisor: Maxi Spina

This is a project of speculative preservation. In the contemporary world, there is a problem of preservation beyond the maintenance of material conditions. There is an even more enigmatic problem of preserving the images we associate with history. Representations, constructed social meanings, and intellectual categories are ultimately the most valuable things to concern. It is as much an optical problem as it is a material one. In reverse, this project starts with looking at the walls, as how they appear to us today: Through their visible bodies, without their constructed meanings, with hyper-attention, through the lens of imaging technologies. This thesis looks at the preservation in highly controlled historic environments, where what we see and how things appear to us are tried to be preserved, through the light of today’s scanning technology. The competition call to expand the Prado Museum becomes where this thesis locates itself. This thesis considers the wall as the critical zone, the thickness, which is hard to understand, which is far from equilibrium, which is fragile and unknown; to create new zones in the highly controlled environment of Madrid, Spain. These zones become the spaces where we stitch the fragments of the existing surfaces that we have been occupying, back together again; with engaging both their physical decay, but also with another kind of decay, which happens virtually. The design of the extension is treated in this project as an unusual kind of collage problem.

With this seamless collage, in the historically charged site of the Prado, Spain; what we see, and the images are no longer preserved, but their scanned bodies and resolutions are used to create a new synthesis in order to generate multiple meanings, alternative histories, and speculations for future physical, virtual, and material realities.

Instagram: @esinkaraosman @maxispina

We hope you have enjoyed this series of student work. We will put out a call for submissions for the 2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase in the coming weeks, stay tuned!


Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part XI

Welcome back to the Study Architecture Student Showcase, Part XI, our second to last installment in the series. This week we take a look at student work that redefines housing and public space. Mixed use neighborhoods are in high demand these days with urban living reaching new heights. Finding unique ways to utilize public space is a major draw for many residents. Let’s take a look at some of the potential projects students brought to the forefront.

Incase you missed past installments, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX and Part X.

The Four Freedom Foundation by Komal Acharya, M.Arch ’22
New Jersey Institute of Technology | Advisor: Michael Zdepski

The Four Freedom Foundation design builds off of the site context and inspirations taken from around the site. The design of the structure coming out of the building nods to the Smallpox Hospital Ruins that is south of the site. Along with that, the design uses this frame to repurpose the existing park, south of the site to let the park extend into the Foundation and into the frames where the park is formed into outdoor rooms that can be transformed to serve as public galleries. The outdoor room formed by Louis Khan in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedom State Park was taken as inspiration for forming public spaces all around the site that the Foundation will be able to use to host events or open galleries.

The building form was influenced by holding the Four Freedom Galleries up in the air and elevating it to be the highest point on the site to give it the importance it serves to the Foundation, with other public programs more grounded onto the site on East and West, such as the library and cafe that allows for clear and easy access to the public passing through the site. The frame extending over the street on both sides of the pedestrian pathway creates a threshold for the foundation while inviting the visitors into the space. The public circulation and Hall are located on the street on the north side of the site for easy access while keeping the south side of the site more open to nature.

Some of the main aims of the design are to form more public spaces on Roosevelt Island that any visitors would be able to enjoy while providing spaces for the foundation to make the site their own space by providing private exterior terraces and Galleries separated and elevated from everything else, letting it create hierarchy without detaching the Foundation from the public. This will allow the visitors to be more curious about the Foundation and the Galleries and will encourage them to enjoy the space as well as interact with the Foundation.

Instagram: @komal_acharya, @njit_hillier

Mosaic Art Cabin by Seth Bartholomew, Devin Boyd, Alex Bradke, Emily Brinkerhoff, Cole Chivers, Riley Felicetty, Stacey Garner, Christ Jacob Goure, Foster Gunter, Haley Hamel, Bailey Hayes, Gavin Jones, Gracie Kimbrell, Cody Marino, Jordan Merritt, Josh Mwatibo, Jack North, Ty O’Neal, Whitley Procell, Morgan Provost, Preston Remy, Olivia Roger, Brandon Shows, Laila Steward, Katelyn Watts, Will Whatley, and Katie Young, B.Arch ’22
Louisiana Tech University | Advisor: Brad Deal and Robert Brooks

This project is the collaborative work of third year architecture students in Louisiana Tech University’s Design Build studio. The project program involves the adaptive reuse of an existing CMU structure as an arts and crafts space made from reclaimed materials at a summer camp for children with special needs. Our design task was to highlight the immersive experiences, creative expression, the joy of making and the timeless tradition of summer camp arts and crafts for children with chronic Illnesses and disabilities. Drawing from a recent master plan, the project transforms an unused 600sf CMU cabin, and integrates with expanded camp roads and walkways. The nature of the users and creative program led the team to an accessible, inclusive, and direct “mosaic” concept. Directly associated with timeless creative work, mosaics begin as humble cast aside pieces, but when assembled, it celebrates diversity. Individuality and collaboration become assets, reminding us that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The floor plan, furniture, and storage solutions prioritize flexibility and utility, while a continuous mosaic spectrum of color ties the interior and exterior spaces together through decorative light screens and cabinetry. A detached bathroom provides privacy, and a breezeway, while generous fenestration allows for logical circulation and ample north light.   The steel trusses and playful columns of the folded shed roof structure are fabricated from reclaimed oil and gas drilling materials. 1000 sf of reclaimed lumber, including formwork used in the project, create a complimentary mosaic of natural textures on the ceiling and bathroom wet wall.   At night the color spectrum radiates out reminding campers of their time there and creating a unique beacon in the wooded landscape, adding to the magic and memory of this special place and community.

Instagram: @arch335, @seth.bartholomew, @emily_brinkerhoff, @rileyfel012, @foster.3dm, @josh_tibo, @jackwnorth, @whitleygp, @morgan_provost, @_willwhatley_

Empowering Cultural Identity Through Architecture: A New Waterfront Development for Jacksonville, Florida by Keyur Patel, M.Arch ’22
University of Florida | Advisor: Vandana Baweja and Martha Kohen

Jacksonville is one of the largest cities in Northeast Florida and was established on the St. Johns River. During the 18th century, the city experienced an industrial boom, which made it a leading center of the railroad, construction, lumber, and maritime industries. During this period, many African Americans migrated to areas of Jacksonville, including the neighborhoods of LaVilla, Sugar Hill, and Brooklyn. This contributed to the development of LaVilla, as a thriving African American community, often referred to as the “Harlem of the South.” However, the construction of Interstate 95, then the Jacksonville Expressway, and the reorganization of the railroad industry, along with urban renewal programs caused historic neighborhoods like LaVilla and Brooklyn to decline. Downtown Jacksonville still bears the scars of these systematic urban deteriorations.

This project will study the relationship of the city with Jacksonville Landing “the major urban epicenter”, which can attract people towards the heart of the city. Moreover, this study will explore the possibility of connecting LaVilla to the riverfront and Jacksonville landing. Additionally, the project will suggest ways to develop the Jacksonville Downtown waterfront to encourage African American participation with cultural activities, as well as social equity and justice initiatives. The program will address various activities related to Jacksonville cultural, music, art, education, and community engagement.

Incorporating Physical Experimentation into Creative AI-Assisted Design Space Exploration (myCOhabitat) by Yagmur Akyuz, Luisa Giffoni and Matt Craven, B.Arch ’22
Florida Atlantic University | Advisor: Shermeen Yousif

In light of ongoing research on artificial intelligence (AI) strategies for architecture, this work suggests a novel way, a proof of concept, for developing a viable design workflow structure. The proposed design framework, represented in a workflow prototype, exhibits the exploration of incorporating various connection strategies of several deep learning models, as well as the created feasible rules guiding the workflow structure.
The project was expanded to investigate how an AI-driven design workflow might be elevated when backed by a series of physical experiments for dataset augmentation and evaluation, as well as to inform the process.

To demonstrate the integration of physical (material research) and artificial (a combination of neural networks) experimentation into a design workflow, a test-case application was carried out. The goal is to find innovative approaches to widen the design space and allow for creative experimentation. This prototype workflow, when followed, allows designers to develop a flexible open-ended design process that supports encoding design goals and augments agency in a human-machine partnership. The findings of the study demonstrate that a carefully crafted design process with diverse AI models integrated to solve many design goals can achieve wider exploration beyond the designers’ capabilities.

Instagram: @luisagiffoni_, @shermeenyousif

The Rotten Home by Ahzin Nam, B.Arch ’22
The Cooper Union | Advisor: Lydia Kallipoliti

Contrary to the narratives of novel myco-materials, we are already living with fungi, in a dynamic symbiosis. They live on walls, in walls, on us, and in us. The black spots against the white walls, the territorial marks of black molds, become the visual sign of health hazard, making the image of a rotten home. Alien organisms and the forces of wind and water expose the skeleton, decay the skin, and parasitically grow on cellulosic structures. Pests and unknown illnesses loom in the dark and damp spaces. The precarity and unpredictability made a rotten home a space that is no longer safe for us.

Before we haphazardly transfer the toxicity around us from our homes to landfills, soil, water, and back to our blood, we need a new approach to peeling off the toxic skin. And for the process, we must revisit the organisms that we were planning to scrub, melt, and kill off in the first place. As the previous arrays of petri dish (Section B) shows, our buildings are already composed of organisms.

Mycelium sequester lead ions during their growth by binding lead ion to their body and removing the toxins from their immediate environments. A variety of species of fungi, such as Pleurotus, Aspergillus, Trichoderma have proven to be effective in the removal of heavy metal in marine environment, wastewater, and on land. The mycoremediation process has been used along the horizontal plane in or above the ground level, but we could reimagine the process of vertically rotating the plane of remediation, curing the toxic skin of the buildings that we occupy.

Instagram: @lydiakallipoliti, @thecooperunion

The Whole as the Part: An Analysis on the Arrangement of Permanent Supportive Housing Neighborhoods by Maggie Martin, BEnvD
Texas A&M University | Advisor: James Michael Tate

There is evidence of a lack of architectural design in the arrangement of permanent supportive housing (PSH) neighborhoods. Though there is no question that PSH neighborhoods have been beneficial, the primary question lies in what steps can be taken to improve the overall arrangement of the communities. Research began with an in-depth analysis on the arrangement of four diverse PSH communities. Commonalities were identified through each aspect of the projects, both good and bad. Qualities were then displayed in a series of analytical drawings at each scale of the projects from city to individual unit. Additionally, four analogical drawings were created to playfully draw a line from site plans to the mundane arrangement of objects within the home.

While researching, it became clear that though motivations in the designs are pure, they can fundamentally miss the mark and result in inefficient designs for the city and the residents of the communities. This led to an effort to develop accessible and understandable information pertaining to crucial aspects in designing a successful housing community, a toolkit was developed to fulfill this purpose. With the consideration of the elements and strategies proposed, these communities can be designed as both programmatic and aesthetic. The goal of this research is not to prove one model better than another, but rather to uncover general elements of design which should be considered when arranging any supportive housing model.

Since the completion of this project, it has been published through the Texas A&M Oaktrust library system, and selected for the cover of the Texas A&M student research publication Explorations Volume 13, with an article to accompany it. In addition, it was selected to be displayed as part of the Texas A&M College of Architecture Fresh Visions exhibit in 2021, as well as presented at the 36th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, Texas A&M research poster session, and University of Texas research poster session. Furthermore, this research has contributed to recent advances on a supportive housing project in Bryan, Texas with the non-profit organization The REACH Project.

Instagram: @maggiemartinarch, @t8projects

The Desert Oasis Downtown Apartments / Synthesizing the Suburban and Urban (Urban Housing ARC302, 2022S) by Noah Roth, B.Arch ’22
The University of Arizona | Advisor: Eduardo Guerrero

The Desert Oasis combines the urban and suburban environments, creating a unique living opportunity in downtown Tucson. Large units with exterior space situated in the heart of downtown allow for ample living space normally affiliated with suburban living, while still being in an extremely urban location. For those that want a more urban way of life, there are smaller units available, allowing for multiple groups of people to find their optimal living situation. This project is a SYNTHESIS of suburban and urban that creates EQUITY and fosters COMMUNITY.

Instagram: @noah_roth_architecture, @crossingcitylimits

Come back next week for the final installment of the Study Architecture Student Showcase series!

Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part X

For Part X of the Study Architecture Student Showcase, we take a look at projects that focus on cultural and research spaces. From government research facilities to recreational spaces for music and exhibits, these projects all share a common idea that architecture can be multifaceted; serving a genuine need while also engaging the community and visitors with information and history to create a rich experience.

Incase you missed past installments, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII and Part IX.

The Carve: A Center for Urban Ecology by Mark Davis and Maya Mulé, BS. Arch ’22
University of Maryland | Advisor: Michael Ezban

The Carve is a public and private research facility for the study of urban ecologies. The design strategy includes carving as a means of creating engaging indoor and outdoor at an urban site. The Carve is sited adjacent to the Georgetown Reservoir in Washington DC.

The building is an angled L-shaped massing that is carved into two masses by a new public Discovery Trail, which links the lowland of the site to the dramatic peak of the berm of the reservoir. The main gallery of the building is elevated above the ground, and visitors can look through apertures in the floor to a constructed wetland that flows beneath the public space.

The site and building are interconnected to create an engaging promenade throughout the site. Along the trail, which takes on many forms and spatial configurations as it engages the topography of the site, is signage that educates visitors regarding historical and contemporary urban ecologies and site histories.

EQUIVALENT VOLUMES “The Flattening of hierarchy” by Lingjia Wang and Yunbin Wang, B.Arch ’22
Southern California Institute of Architecture | Advisor: Kristy Balliet

The thesis advocates for equivalent volumes that flatten the hierarchy of civic and cultural spaces. In this project, designed volumes interact and negotiate boundaries, diminishing individual qualities in favor of combined characteristics and configurations. The project is a Philharmonic Hall located in Prague. As part of a larger development, the site, a new cultural center located along the Vltava River, extends the cultural and historic center while connecting to existing and new transportation infrastructure. The project lands in between these conditions and offers significant opportunities to test the thesis, including internal program and urban planning. By having three off-centered massing and figural plazas, it creates more edges for the city to interface with different programs.

A philharmonic program tends to center the primary volume (Hall), while support volumes (foyers, backstage, etc) fill in the gaps. In this project, a series of figured volumes and surfaces are coordinated and balanced to define the building as well as the civic plaza. To the City of Prague, it as a whole, is a support system that connects the past, present, and future.

Instagram: @yun_bw,@adammmmn_wang, @conescubes

Delaminating the Real: Unpacking the physical expression of ideology in government buildings by Lawrence Boyer, B.Arch ’22
Syracuse University | Advisor: Lawrence Chua

Delaminating the Real is an investigation of the ways that national governments use architecture as a tool of national identity, narrative, and the dissemination of ideology. Using case studies of Skopje, North Macedonia, and Washington, DC, this thesis uncovers a genealogy of the use of classicism in government buildings and the ways in which ornament has been adapted and appropriated throughout historic regimes to different (or similar) ends.

Both Washington and Skopje share their use of primarily two internationally recognized architectural styles: Brutalism and Classicism. While these styles are used in a way to claim national identity, these styles are used and recognized across the globe and carry complex meanings and heritage accumulated throughout their uses in different contexts. The interest of these governments in the appearance of their cities results in the privileging of aesthetic appearances to express national identity to an international audience; these choices create architectural tension between universal recognition and regional idiom.

This project asks questions such as: “Why is Moses on the pediment of the Supreme Court?”, “Is a Doric column still a Doric column if it’s proportions are wrong and it’s made of plaster on steel substructure?”, or “Why are most government buildings white when the buildings they imitate were polychromatic?”

Using photography, collage, drawing, diagramming, and model-making, the project found that regimes rely on classical vocabulary in image only and not in structure. Recognizable architectural forms allow governments to communicate power across countries, ideologies, and regimes. The result reveals that authoritarian and liberal regimes often use the same vocabulary and as a result, that they share more in common than they might care to admit.

Shape Shift by Heff Jin, B.Arch ’22
Southern California Institute of Architecture | Advisor: Maxi Spina

The thesis explores the idea of making circulation space excessive in a bureaucratic building, challenges the remnant of history in which bureaucratic building has always been about efficiency, and falls back as a background in the urban space. The project is developed based on the New Salzburg town hall competition, which asks to demonstrate a new possibility of government and public relationship. Hohensalzburg is an icon of the institutional building at Salzburg. It represents the remnant relationship of the public and government. With very restricted accessibility, a fortress lifted and isolated from the ground and stood still in the background of the cityscape. And the project tries to count-er those qualities.

Projects like Netherland Embassy by OMA, Vitrahaus by Herzog de Meuron, Cabrillo Marine museum by Frank Ghery, Jewish museum by Daniel Lebskin are versions of this discussion. By introducing extra circulation spaces to allow more public spaces, more accessibilities, and more interactions between the government and the public and instead of falling into the city’s background, becoming a flatform of the city to create an integrated relationship, not segregated surveillance.

Instagram: @heff_jin, @rntarchitects

Sisyphus’ Theater: LATTC Construction Lab: and Recreation Center, an eternal exhibition of labor by Noah Mora, B.Arch ’22
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona | Advisor: Robert Alexander

The project is a concoction of private-educational and public amenities consisting of a precast concrete fabrication lab, public plaza, and recreation space. The precast fabrication lab not only serves LATTC’s demand for an intensified fabrication pedagogy, but it also serves the project’s more ambitious agenda: the design of a never-ending building. This project, in concept, will never be truly complete and aims to be a never-ending theater of architectural events, a building that is perpetually reconfiguring itself while educating others in the process. Because of its visibility and role as a project that is continuously building itself, the project acts as a theater that hosts present and future architectural events, the cast and crew being the students of LATTC, the audience being the people of Southeast Los Angeles. Its “incompleteness” is its means of remaining timeless while refraining from becoming site-less.

Situated in Historic Downtown, a district in Los Angeles neighboring Downtown and University Park, the project will still bear the responsibility of responding to its context amidst the backdrop of a rapidly evolving city. While high rises continue to infiltrate Downtown LA’s skyline, the project will undergo an evolution of its own while remaining tethered to its site and contextual obligations. Located across the street from LATTC’s Northeast corner, the ground floor acts as the anchor to the project’s site and serves as a physical and figurative foundation for generations of students to design and build upon. The ambition of this project is to be flexible enough to the extent that the project will never have one set identity.

Instagram: @noahmora_ , @rbrtalxandr

Introvert Architecture by Jack Hache, M.Arch ’22
Toronto Metropolitan University | Advisor: Colin Ripley, Scott Sorli, Carlo Parente

The rise of the modern world of capital produced and exploited the paradigm of the extrovert as an essential characteristic of the modern man. In architecture, contemporary practice embodies its own extrovert ideal. Buildings have become extroverted in line with a late phase of capitalism that is focused on global communication and the power of the image. In contrast, an Introvert Architecture resists monumentalization and the reduction to a mere image. Comparable to the introverted man, Introvert Architecture is built from character and contemplation. It is rooted in deep introspective theory, desiring to produce rational, well-organized spaces that are inherently tied to the fundamental relationships that architecture has with context and occupants. This thesis aims to distinguish an Introvert Architecture from the extrovert ideal and illustrate the properties of Introvert Architecture in the genuine process of building making.

Collectively, the concepts and theories developed throughout this thesis are used to build an Introvert Architecture Equation. This equation acts as the conceptual synopsis for an Introvert Architecture. The design project, the Allan Gardens Temporary Exhibition Museum (The Museum), attempts to illustrate the equation’s application to architecture and the process of building making. The Museum considers an architecture that is not created from a desire for monumentation or recognition, but rather, uses its relationships to site, context, and occupants as the governing body for the architecture. The building is born from its context and its relationships with the act of an exhibition. Collectively, the Introvert Architecture Equation, and the Allan Gardens Temporary Collections Museum design project, attempt to demonstrate the power of non-extroverted architecture, the Introvert Architecture.

Instagram: @jack_hache

The Adaptive Reuse of Parking Garages: Increasing Vitality in Urban Centers by Janeth Boza, M.Arch ’22
University of Florida CityLab-Orlando | Advisor: Lisa Huang and Frank Bosworth

This research develops a design framework for adaptive reuse of parking garages and proposes guidelines for redevelopment to create diverse public spaces that promote connectivity within the urban fabric and improve urban vitality.

Historically, the evolution and innovations of automobile technology have changed the urban fabric and pedestrian activity in the cities. Current research with driverless and ownerless cars will inevitably impact real estate, land use, and especially parking facilities. This paradigm shift in personal mobility will result in fewer individually owned vehicles and reduce demand for parking in the future. In the United States, two to eight parking spaces are constructed for every privately-owned car (Meyboom 2019). Driverless technology may reduce the need to one space per car, freeing up much valuable urban space.

When comparing parking facility types, surface parking is the easiest to repurpose. Parking structures are a significant challenge since they are concrete or steel multistory constructions. They are distributed across a city’s urban core and contribute to the volumetric form of the city fabric.

If parking garages were not needed, the easy solution would be to demolish them. This is, in some cases, the economical solution but not the most sustainable one; it is essential to consider the energy costs of demolition pollutants, landfill waste, and carbon emissions. Adaptive reuse of existing parking structures will extend the productive life span of the buildings and reduce environmental impact by conserving resources and avoiding the large, embodied carbon production in new construction. These parking garages provide substantial building structures that can be the foundation for a new type of public use building. What is the potential of these parking spaces and garages in redefining the urban environment?

Empty parking garages are incompatible with dynamic city living and self-driving potentially induces more urban sprawl and supports longer commutes: thus decreasing activity and live-ability in cities. This research will develop strategies for repurposing these structures to increase attractiveness, and connectivity in the urban centers of medium-sized cities.

Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part IX

Welcome back to Part IX of the Study Architecture Student Showcase! This week we focus on production systems in the built environment and how architects can reimagine those infrastructure systems to improve not just our economy but also the climate crisis. As we consider how to improve our rail systems, meet a nationwide housing demand and address the issues globalization has created around the globe, this week’s contributors shed light on solutions and areas that need our attention.

Incase you missed past installments, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII and Part VIII.

Post-Industrial Landscapes: Amplifying Existing Food Systems in Chicago’s Chinatown by Juanita Li, M.Arch ’22
University of Maryland | Advisor: Brittany Williams

Cities have long grappled with how to feed their populations. Globalization allowed cities to supply food and grow beyond ecological limits. During Industrialization, global networks expanded in capacity with the advent of rail, eroding a city’s tie to surrounding agricultural land. Rail was the genesis of Chicago’s expansion into a major urban center. When the rail system was elevated, rail lines and yards spanning many city blocks scarred and carved the city. One neighborhood bounded and constrained by active and remnant rail structures is Chinatown.

This project proposes a contextual response for a productive, post-industrial urban site, drawn from an historical review of Chicago’s rail history, Chinatown’s identity, and a typological food system analysis. Food is central to Chinatown’s identity as a destination, since food generates economic activity as a raw and crafted, cultural good. The neighborhood is food rich despite high poverty rates. Chinatown’s immediate spatial context is constrained by active rail lines, idle container yards, and major expressways, obstructing neighborhood growth.

An idled rail container storage yard severs Chinatown. Extending for over 3 city blocks within Chinatown, this 18-foot-high concrete embankment sees active commuter rail activity. The low-rise residential area to the east has no visibility of the low- and mid-rise mixed-use area to the west. Viaducts through the embankment are 445 ft long tunnels, creating a further spatial separation. The challenging edge and tunnel conditions emphasize the spatial separation and require design solutions that soften and blur the division. The proportions of the site do not suggest that a rails-to-trails proposal is a viable solution.

Extending Chinatown’s robust food system becomes an opportunity to amplify the existing conditions, provide needed green space and economic opportunities, and create additional points of connection for the neighborhood outside of its boundaries. An 18-foot-high concrete, idled rail container yard spanning three-and-a-half city blocks is transformed into a place where Chinese food culture cultivates community and connection through its craft and consumption. The solution preserves the industrial and cultural identity of the site, maintains active rail, and can serve as a model for a diverse urban food system at multiple scales.

A Fabrication Process: Form from Assembly and Material Culture by Erin M. Paul, M.Arch ’22
Hampton University | Advisor: Carmina Sanchez-del-Valle & Marci Turner

If we put aside building types and formal styles, to consider the material culture and the ways in which we make, we will encounter forms that break with the traditional. Those that we impose now respond to a perception of a world preserved by rules that maintain a kind of aesthetic stasis. In architecture, designing for the materials and for construction, will deliver forms that will be more representative of who we are, than if we work by imposing them. Materials, ways of building, and the conditions of the digital can generate new forms.

This research is driven by the exploration of form through small scale physical models. The study models varied depending on the size of the base used to generate form – the site. Forms were also determined by the dimensions and qualities of modeling materials and their joints.

The research plan consisted of three phases. The first “Methods of Building” explored the structure for form. 2D and 3D grids and meshes were used to define boundaries. The second “Material Value” investigated shaping materials using gravity, applied loads, tension and compression, in both wet and dry conditions. The third “Contextual Domains” transposed a selection of the physical forms created into the digital adding scale and mass, and defining architectural components.

The design research made it possible to “see” gaps found in the representation of building components and their assembly into wholes. We make intricate drawings and struggle to translate them into the buildable. There is a disconnection between what we illustrate, and what is actually built. The research made tangible that what seems as very simple physical form, when transposed into the digital, becomes extremely complex and geometrized. Also, new forms appear. Building “know how” connects assembly possibilities to material potential. Form is always affected by the qualities of material.

SNAP! homes by Simon Needham, B.Arch ’22
University of Cincinnati | Advisor: Whitney Hamaker

SNAP! homes reimagines the Case Study house as a catalogue of precast modular systems of home components that ship on-site in addition to a mobile pod system which snaps to host structures and moves among sites. 3 options are given, allowing for a range of lifestyle choices for the consumer at varying scales. The whole proposal is streamlined with a website that users can order their home from.

The H-01 and H-02 homes are constructed from multiple precast concrete modules sandwiching a layer of insulation. Each module encases a programmatic element that the user may purchase or omit from their home. After the modules are chosen, users may swap the layout orientation of the modules, creating customized living spaces tailored to the user’s preference. Once the modules are chosen, the user picks the interior partition wall colors, adding another layer to the customization of the home. After the home is ordered, it is trucked to site and assembled quickly, as all of the interior elements have already been installed. The H-01 and H-02 homes range from just over 400 sq. ft. up to 1750 sq. ft.

The P-01 option from the SNAP! homes catalogue is the host module and mobile pod. The host module is again formed from precast concrete modules. This will contain the necessities for living (not found in the mobile pod) such as access to water, electric, bathrooms, a kitchen, and living area. This structure gives the ability for 6 pods to be hosted at once by easily snapping them into place. The mobile pod contains the user’s sleep and work spaces with ample personal storage in the thick wall. The exterior is clad in corrugated metal, while the interior walls contain CNC-milled sanded plywood panels that aid in dampening sound from the exterior. This allows for a peaceful interior as a quiet space is necessary for work sessions and sleeping. With the mobile pod, the user may choose to move their pod to a new host location as they please, not getting tied down to the same scenery or setting.

Instagram: @needham_arch, @daapsaid

Make Fashion Make Sense by Adriana G. González, B.Arch ’22
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico | Advisor: Pedro A. Rosario and Juan Emmanuelli

Fast fashion consumption has led to companies making new items more frequently, which has proven to lead to a higher percentage of discarded clothes accumulated in landfills, making the fashion industry the second largest polluter in the world. The approach of the industry to today’s increasing amount of consumption has weakened its own sustainability.

Therefore, the goal was to create a production network through a program that covers all the stages of the life of a garment (from design, to fabrication, to retail, to recycling the materials, and so on). This way, a circular cycle is created to reduce the costs of importation, and the amount of waste generated, to promote local sustainable clothing, and to enable accessibility to all spectrums of consumers.

The project, located along New York’s Garment District, consists of eight floors that showcase each phase with framed extrusions that are visible from its exterior. Its visitors start the journey with a display area that demonstrates through art the reality of the fashion industry. A level dedicated to retail follows. The third floor has a double-height runway area, which is the main focus of the East elevation with its lit up space being front and center for the pedestrians to admire the show from afar. An open activity area on the fourth floor creates a transition between the public levels below and the private ones that commence from that point on. The fifth floor has the fabrication/manufacturing area with another double-height open space for the workers to be comfortable and receive a considerable amount of natural light. The remaining floors are used for research, processing, educational and administrative purposes. Transformed into an outdoor area, the roof includes extensive gardens and solar panels placed to create smaller roofed spaces at the top. Lastly, a perforated mesh envelope clothes the structure with a weaving-like pattern. With buildings like this, hopefully a safer and healthier setting is generated for the fashion industry to make sense.

EVERYDAYLAND: Living within Disney’s Chemical Spectacle by Rocio Crosetto Brizzio, M.Arch ’22
Columbia University | Advisor: Mark Wasiuta

Chemicals and spectacle are indivisible elements in Disney World. Despite the persistent image of “purity” and “cleanliness” that Disney projects, it depends on and adds to the chemical components that shape contemporary life. Disney is part of our chemical modernity.

So, what if instead of hiding its chemicals, we render them visible?
Then, what would it be like to actually live within Disney’s fireworks? To be consciously part of that chemical experience?

Everydayland is a housing project at the center of Magic Kingdom, at Disney World Florida. It is a tower for long-term life at the center of Disney’s entertainment.

Everydayland rearranges Disney’s fireworks, so that they become a crucial component of everyday life, and through this it exposes their chemical condition and its presence in our culture.

By associating the fireworks with the castle, Disney makes chemical entertainment a fantasy, like Tinkerbell’s magic dust. Everydayland Tower both allows Disney fans to live this fantasy by literally making the castle a home. But at the same time it also shifts the chemical dimension of the fireworks from the world of fantasy into the real world – so it provides a fantasy and “de-fantasizes” at the same time.

Everydayland is formed by 5 main elements:

1- The Castle is Everydayland’s Lobby.
2- The Roller Coaster is its Real Estate best-selling machine.
3- The Atrium is a high-rise attraction
4- The Facade is the new fireworks launching site
5- The Domestic Life is completely immersed in the fireworks’ spectacle.

Fireworks, chemical entertainment, toxicity, fantasies, utopias, dystopias, bodies and materials configure a complex network in which Everydayland emerges as a radical way of living that acknowledges that chemicals and toxicity are part of our life – and they keep us entertained.

The dream to live in “the happiest place on earth” is now possible. If fantasy becomes real, would it still be fantastic?

Instagram: @rocrosetto, @balsa.crosetto.piazzi

Grids as a foundation by Jing-Ying Su, M.Arch ’22
Cranbrook Academy of Art | Advisor: Gretchen Wilkins

The grids: a set of horizontal and vertical lines. “The Grid Book” tells the story of the evolution of each grid from the handmade brick through the ethereal Internet in the language of a generalist to modernist boxes of architecture. The persistence of grids demonstrates that once a grid is invented, it never disappears.

Grids are the foundation of our understanding. We identify things in the world by building a line between me and the object. When things start to get complicated, the grid becomes a network that recognizes myself and various objects. The moment people realize the existence of the grid triggers our desire to understand.

In my project, I built a subtle grid in nature. The grid system in nature is unimportant to the viewers, but the project questions this unimportance by constructing a subtle grid foundation to reveal the uncertain relationship between nature and human existence. During the observation, the viewers disassociate with themselves, wandering in the grids as the mediator to arise their awareness of the movement of shadows, the reflection of sunlight, and the sound of wind. We exist in that moment. The hereness.

Instagram: @su780213, @grtnwilkins

Laves Twist by Gelmira Gourgel, Peiyao Guo, Allissa Gonga, and Chase Gasser, B.Arch ’22
University of Cincinnati | Advisor: Christoph Klemmnt

The Laves Twist is a bipartite capstone project which explores and researches the possibilities of the grid-based design by computational algorithms and its prospects of allowing for the repetition of componential geometries. (I) Using the Plesiohedron Laves Grid, which is a cluster of the 17-sided module that by a 4-rotational gesture allows for its multiplication and growth in all 17 directions, creating infinite possibilities on its aggregational exercises. Further, through the voxelization of the Laves Grid, the Laves Twist was born. In which translates to the elaboration of a precast concrete component that was derived within the 17-sided module. As a result, the generation of the growing structure entity. (II) Thus, with this connection system created using the Laves grid technology, each team member was to proceed to the next part individually to explore this connection system within different architectural programmatic exercises. With the Laves Twist connection system + the problem of how to infer its application to different programs, algorithms were developed to explore the potential of the system in the creation of whole structures, façade systems, architecture interventions, and cite climatic impact. Opening thought for growing entities grid systems as a design architectural medium.

The Laves Twist team won the Director’s Choice Award at the University of Cincinnati School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning’s DAAPWorks 2022 showcase under the B.S. Architecture Group Project category (’-choice). It was also displayed in the Reed Gallery Director’s Choice Award 2022 Summer Exhibition. (more of the Laves Twist project in this video)

Instagram: @gourartch, @chaseg25, @gpei.yao, @alissa_gonda, @orproject

Data, Interstellar & Romance / The BIO-TECH Facility in the Universe in 2069 by Man Shu, M.Arch ’22
Southern California Institute of Architecture | Advisor: Damjan Jovanovic

In 1969, humans landed on the moon for the first time. In 2069, humans established the first BIO-TECH facility that simulates the cosmos’s environment, preparing for their colonization of other planets in the universe. This BIO-TECH facility is no longer a conventional building on the earth. It is a scientific center for data collection, processing, and research. It is a process of translating data into cultural artifacts of architecture.

Scientists collected data on the earth and brought them to other planets, storing them in the innumerable Bio-Module units, which were densely distributed on the façade of the building. Data is of great importance for humans. It includes the entire history of human beings for richness, diversity, variety, and ability to express cultures, languages, places, times, customs, methods, processes, and every other element of our ecosystem and civilizations. The future of architecture is to give sensibility to a multitude of voices and data, often invisible or underrepresented and yet crucial for our global survival. These Bio-Module Units are also the decomposed structure of the double-layer enclosure, which are considered as shields to protect the interior living space from the harsh environment of other planets. Also, The program of a BIOTECH building will represent the interconnected interests of multiple stakeholders. As a building for research and laboratories, where individuals with similar infrastructural needs convene, it will be programmed as a negotiation place for various points of view.

We should consider what kind of habitat we want to live in on other planets in the future 2069. We no longer want to live in cold building machines which are everywhere on today’s earth. We are humans. We have hearts, alive hearts, beating hearts, warm hearts. We can feel the fragrance of flowers, the beauty of diamonds, and the coldness of stones and metals. Our hearts fear death and yearn for freedom, love, and romance. That’s what makes us different from machines, robots, AI, etc. Therefore, the future habitat on the other planets we will live in should be filled with emotion and romance instead of cold machines.

Instagram: @sookie_man_shu, @d4mjan

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