2024 Student Showcase Call for Projects

For the last five 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 2024 Fall Student Showcase on Study Architecture’s website and social media.

Submission deadline: July 1, 2024

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.

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part XIII

Welcome to the latest installment of the Study Architecture Student Showcase! In Part XIII, we look at student work that explores identity as a central theme in their designs. From using mapping and tracing to respond to the disconnection within diverse identities in urban cities to using local architectural structures to create a sense of belonging, these projects intentionally address connecting communities and cultures.

Constructing New Narratives to Reveal Diverse Identities in Richmond, BC by Rita Wang, MArch ‘23
Dalhousie University, School of Architecture | Advisors: Aaron Gensler and Erin Wright

With the capitalist expansion of urban cities today, different physical and social forces exist, collaborate, and challenge each other on the land we call home. In Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, where multi-ideologies and diverse ethnicities live, work, play, and grow together, different layers of physical and social landscape encapsulate the disjuncture of people and land, shifting identity through time. Using mapping and tracing as lenses to reveal the city’s diverse layers and living experiences, this thesis aims to uncover the landscape, urban form, individual identity, and collective identity layers embedded in the city’s formality and provide architectural interventions to respond to the disconnection between them. The design proposal implements landscape and architecture as a mediator to reconnect the dispersed landscape and identity in Richmond and construct new narratives to respond to the current identity and spirit of the people and the land.

Multiple forces exist and collaborate in modern cities. These forces can make cities decentralized and scattered, causing social-political disconnection problems such as rural-urban separation and a shift in people’s identities. The land’s topography and morphology control cities in a structural, formation, top-down, and powerful way. In comparison, social forces like identity and collective form the city in a bottom-up experiential method. Richmond is a city where multiple forces are visible and reciprocal. Diverse forces complicate the city when the connections between each layer deviate through time. Using mapping and layering, this research finds the connections between layers of Richmond. It prepares for the unfolding of architectural interventions and activities by revealing, spreading, and responding to the formality and informality of the city. By analyzing the historical formation and the current physical and social separation of the city’s fabric, this thesis develops a method to activate the city. It constructs a new narrative that imposes the essence of the old, brings back the nature of the land, and acknowledges the diverse and inclusive collectives. By applying interventional structures, the design cultivates an urban landscape and architecture to enhance the collective memory, creating placeness in urban and rural areas. It also acts as a test field to extend the definition of community.

This project was awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal.

Acquainted Horizon by Brianda Valerio, B.Arch ‘23
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture | Advisors: Ryosuke Imaeda, Faculty Advisor and Rhett Russo, Final Project Assessment Committee member.

“Why do we only understand horizons as a limit?” In landscape, horizons are treated as a datum that separates the sky and ground. Architecturally, likewise, horizons tend to be a flat surface, whether a slab or wall, that separates a mass into rooms. This project explores alternative horizons as a generator of new spatial qualities.

The project is encompassed by three ideological horizons. One of them is “Phenomenological Horizon”, which Husserl describes as an experience that one can only anticipate when changing perspectives; therefore, it is not real. “Horizon of Self” by Robert Corrington is that which is created unintendedly; hence, mirroring one’s identity.
The last one, developed after studying Gregory Crewdson’s work, is “Acquainted Horizon”. It intentionally forms unclear relationships between participants, as if they are sharing a bench with a stranger. The first horizon questions whether the objects we perceive are real or not, while the second one doubts our existence. The last one grasps the real by implementing irresolvable relationships. In other words, do objects exist? Do we exist? We can only know we all exist by finding strange moments. The program ‘spa’ offers such moments to recognize ourselves.

“I sit by the water, starting to feel that I came to the wrong place. But somehow it feels fine to stay here.”
“The water seems calm and clear, reflections everywhere. This pool is uncertainly deep.”
“People see me from the water, I know they do. The water here is lukewarm”
“I walk between the buildings. They are so close that I can feel their temperatures.”
“I see outside through the slits, just sometimes. Maybe, guiding me to somewhere important.”
“I am hidden in the mist. No one can see me now. I see myself clearly.”
“Diving into the water. I see the sky next to me. The landscape is upside down.”

The project is not to offer mere representations of the theories, but to explore the events that occur between them, allowing us to remain calm, alone, and unknown. In the setting, the feeling of being ‘acquainted’ quietly enfolds us and slowly lets us fade into space.

This project won the Harriet R. Peck Prize Winner, RPI SoA, (the best solution in a Thesis Project in Architecture Design).

Instagram: @briandagissell, @ryoimaeda

A Musical Venue Composing a Symphony of Arts in Architecture by Lucciana Dib, M. Arch ‘23
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik | Advisor: Dr. Victor Takchi

The conception of music is based on cross-cultural beliefs providing an opportunity for people from all social and cultural backgrounds to express themselves through expressive art.

The site‘s characteristics, located in Ras Beirut, are based on five main focal points: the American University of Beirut (educational node), the Riviera Hotel (an iconic and historic/touristic node), Corniche Beirut (Beirut’s thriving linear public space – communal/ social node), and Bliss and Makhoul streets, reflecting the community’s motion and creative spirit while conveying musical significance through its vibrant nightlife.

Thus, the site encounters a dynamic and vibrant context incorporating significant historical landmarks, cultural and educational establishments, as well as socially active commercial spaces reflecting the city’s culture, its identity, and its motion.

Hence, the chosen site represents a musical and cultural node lying between two poles of attraction; a significant educational pole and a golden, historical, and touristic gem.

The general concept is based on reflecting the community’s cultural identity and its creative spirit through a project that conveys musical potential, aiming at accentuating the relationship between the city, the community, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The concept is based on the creation of a musical continuity from Beirut’s cultural and musical street, through a pedestrian axis directed towards Corniche Beirut; the creation of an urban corridor.
The incorporation of an urban corridor causes a significant “plot split” into two entities; one of which is oriented toward the American University of Beirut, the first pole of attraction, whereas the other is oriented towards the Riviera Hotel, the second pole of attraction. Moreover, the installation of an elevated platform at the ground floor level in connection with Corniche Beirut creates an open public plaza with musical potential, enhancing cultural and communal engagement.

The theater’s sloped platform is designed and intended to actively engage urban dwellers, elevating them out of the city on an unprecedented civic platform (connection cityscape – community – sea), whereas the opposing rooftop serves as a mere therapeutic sightseeing area oriented towards the city on one extremity and to the Riviera Hotel and the Mediterranean Sea on its opposing extremity.

Instagram:  @luccianadib, @usekschoolofarchitecture

Unveiling Lost Identities by Qiyang Xu, B.Arch ‘23
Academy of Art University | Advisors: Philip Ra, AIA, Ethen Wood, and Mini Chu

During China’s rapid urbanization, millions of rural villagers migrated into cities while leaving their children behind in the villages. The separation from parents causes many left-behind children to display characteristics that include loneliness, misconduct, and no confidence.

In Zhaoxing village, with the development of tourism, local inhabitants have returned to work in their hometowns. Although the number of left-behind children has declined in recent years, the village is faced with the lack and indifference of traditional cultural education. The sense of identity and belonging of the ethnic group has gradually declined, and the inheritance of unique ethnic culture is also fractured.

The problem of left-behind children is a policy issue, but the underlying reason is the impact of modern civilization on traditional culture, which leads to the local identities being rejected. The design aims to provide children with a warm place, help them regain their lost identities, and give them a sense of belonging to the culture through a new expression of the local architectural structure.

This project won the B.Arch Design Excellence Award.

Instagram: @aauschoolofarchitecture

Infilling the Void Blurring Defined Perceptions to Create Spaces for Undocumented Residents in Transition by Kenta Oye, B. Arch ‘23
Academy of Art University | Advisors: Philip Ra, AIA and Mini Chu

Urban planning in San Francisco has confined ethnic neighborhoods into inhuman urban spaces. Being fourth-generation Japanese-Americans, my ancestors used to inhabit and thrive in the urban environment. But, over the course of several generations, the Japanese community has been displaced and pushed out into the rural areas along the West Coast, mostly farming as a main source of income. San Francisco was the first city the Japanese community migrated to, and at that time, there was a small portion of neighborhoods that allowed this community to find their place in a new country. From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, Chinatown, South Park, and South of Market were the pockets of the city fabric that allowed the Japanese community to call home. But, after the devastating 1906 Earthquake, Chinatown and South Park have managed to maintain their identity as a thriving neighborhood leaving the South of Market site to become Terrain Vague.

Encompassed between 5th, Market, 7th, and Mission streets is where the first Japan town took root in 1900. This 22-acre site consists of two SOMA blocks that were occupied by Irish, Japanese, and Scandinavian immigrant workers and their families. Most of the Japanese-owned buildings populated the alleys which became the vehicle for navigating through the areas of this neighborhood. It became very clear this community was confined within the fabric of the site hidden from the public realm of Market Street. Today, the use of the alleys in this area has been converted to back-of-house accommodations continuing to conceal the identity of what this neighborhood represented and how it contributed to San Francisco. The design agenda aims to re-purpose the intimate streetscapes to reveal the lost layers of the site by activating the fabric of the alleys.

The project site occupies the footprint of an old community center that spans between Market St and Stevenson St. The design opportunity points to a new urban corridor to bridge Market St. and the existing Mint Plaza, activating the fabric of Stevenson St. The building will be a cultural center that borrows characteristics of a museum and immigration center. The programmatic strategy will pair a series of ceramic, wood, and sewing galleries with adjacent workshops intended to blur cultural boundaries by providing spaces to congregate, exchange ideas, and share experiences through the process of making. The gallery component is inspired by the book, The Art of Gaman, which documents a collection of artifacts produced by those forced into the Japanese Internment Camps. This book not only has a deep connection to my and many other Japanese families today, but it also represents the resiliency of a minority community that endured the unbearable with patience and dignity. The act of making was the catharsis that allowed this community to cope with their harsh situation.

This project won the B.Arch Thesis Design Excellence Award.

Identity of the Forgotten: An Urban Park Revitalization That Creates Spaces to Heal, Connect, and Transition to a More Integrated Community by Rocio Duarte, M. Arch ‘23
Catholic University of America | Advisor: Jason Montgomery

Social exclusion and social issues are unresolved at the international level, which motivates studies and alternative solutions to eliminate the accumulated deficit, especially from the most vulnerable populations. This thesis aims to investigate how to address the spatial relationships that exclude and affect the identity of the informal settlements of La Chacarita from the formal city of Asuncion. Through urban revitalization that eliminates social boundaries, this project strives to promote growth, urban connectivity, better community interaction, and opportunities for social integration. The recovery of public space as a common good for the entire population is part of an inter-institutional, interdisciplinary, and participatory community work plan.

This project won the Urban Practice Concentration Award and the Thesis Director’s Award.

Instagram:  @007jmontgomery0888

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

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part XII

Welcome to Part XII of the Study Architecture Student Showcase! This week, the featured student projects invite viewers to reimagine performance centers through a new lens. The following designs use film, sustainable construction, and music to create innovative spaces. As the venue for artistic expression, these performance centers provide opportunities for exploration, inspiration, and celebration. 

Delaminated Ground by Austin James Barcelona, B.Arch ‘23
Woodbury University | Advisors: Aaron Gensler and Erin Wright

Site Location: Governors Island, New York City

“Art makes the familiar strange so that it can be freshly perceived. To do this, it presents its material in unexpected and even outlandish ways: the shock of the new.” —Viktor Shklovsky

This project alludes to spaces of leisure – a park, a field, a golf course – while delaminating the ground plane to offer spaces of diversion initially defamiliarizes the original subject, and thus, distancing it from the observer. It asks one to perceive in the ground for the first time – to fully grasp something that seems routine in hopes to trigger one’s imagination and inspire new ideas. In a time where our world is at our fingertips and with navigational tools and endless algorithms force-feeding us ideas, this project encourages one to get lost and to see the world anew offering a space exploration – celebrating what can happen when we lose ourselves – in a place, in our feelings, or in an experience. These poetic consequences hope to influence our environmental, ethical, emotional, and esthetic prejudices and understandings to create a sense of wonder while one wanders through the delaminated ground. When fully immersed in space, one is encouraged to develop new connotations and celebrate the art of collaboration through discovery and happenstance.

Sound studies were conducted to meticulously design and create three distinct types of spaces on the site: music, painting, and performance areas. The music spaces have been strategically placed underground to optimize acoustic performance. By situating the painting spaces above ground, artists can benefit from abundant natural lighting, fostering an ideal environment for their creative expression. The performance spaces have been integrated into the landscape, submerged within the topography to provide visitors with an immersive theatrical experience that transcends traditional boundaries.

This project was recognized in the Woodbury Thesis Archive (MADE Woodbury Exhibition).

Instagram: @austinbarcelona / @austinbarcelona_archives

Ambivalent Theater by Chris Saour ‘23
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture | Advisors: Ryosuke Imaeda, Faculty Advisor. Rhett Russo, Final Project Assessment Committee Member

We perceive architecture in perspective despite its ubiquity of flat construction. This project reevaluates the relationship between flat and perspective through a series of camerawork and explores architectural anonymity and ambivalence.

The two visual modes are unfolded through an ideological interpretation of fisheye lenses, telephoto lenses, and dolly zooms. Films like Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s The City of Lost Children (1995) use fisheye lenses to warp characters, while photographs like Arne Svenson’s Neighbors and Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression employ telephoto lenses to hide subjects’ identities. Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975), and Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist (1982) dynamically oscillate between them by using dolly zooms. The ideas of anonymity and program are further linked to Michael Mann’s Manhunter (1986), and Walter Gropius’s Total Theater (1927). Rooted in, yet, contrary to three theories of Jacques Rancière, Michel Foucault, and Walter Benjamin, anonymity in this project is redefined as an effect that bestows identity over time and dynamically changes between speaking and unspoken.

The ambiguity of the materiality of the theater, whether concrete, metal, or fabric, is created by the vinyl façade, which inflates and deflates by the heat produced by the audiences and performances. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the building offers the fluctuations of the temperatures between inside and outside, which contributes to the movement of the façade. When it expands, the skin becomes flat in some places while wrinkled in others. When the theater is not operating, the façade deflates and remains loose and flaccid. One can view the building from afar, and perhaps recognize if two auditoriums are operating together or independently by seeing their expressions.

This project is not to produce a spectacular theatrical experience as an urban icon, which for some reason tends to be a common goal of contemporary theaters. Rather, by ideologically understanding the dolly zoom as both orthogonal (flat) and fisheye (indexical), it finds its own architectural significance through the quasi-material change granted by the modulation of the façade between tense and flaccid. The theater, thus, lies in the center of discrete materials, the ambivalence of which yields new aesthetics.

Instagram:@chrissaour, @ryoimaeda

Galveston International Juneteenth Museum by Jermaine Jones, Morgan Lewis, Dominique Lang, Sidpaoda Yougbare, and David Galo, B.Arch ‘23
Prairie View A&M University | Advisor: Huiyi Xu

“Juneteenth Museum” is an iconic symbolic building in the state of Texas and the United States of America. The location of the project is in Galveston, Texas. The building is a place to show the culture of African Americans in the state of Texas. The new museum should be the epicenter for education, preservation, and celebration of Juneteenth nationally and globally. The program is supported by the African American History Council and the Galveston African American Community. The programs include a lobby, exhibition spaces, an auditorium, administration offices, lecture rooms, a gift shop, outdoor exhibitions, equipment rooms, and outdoor parking spaces.

Harvesting Education by Lydia Roberts and Michael Lee, Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies ‘23
Illinois School of Architecture |Advisors: Isabella Hillman and Francisco Javier Rodríguez-Suárez, FAIA

Harvesting Education is a sustainable and cultural architecture design for a primary school in rural Senegal, Africa. This design’s main features are individual garden spaces for each classroom and an expansive courtyard that doubles as a presentation and performance space. The design was created using locally and easily sourced materials, with construction techniques that can be performed by the community. Rooms are naturally ventilated through the use of perforated walls, a lifted roof structure, and carefully placed windows. Each classroom has a number of fabric shading devices connecting to the roof structure. These pieces of fabric provide a location for cultural expression, as well as artwork produced by the students to be displayed.

This project was awarded the 2nd Place Earl Prize, Senior Studios, Illinois School of Architecture.

Instagram: @archatillinois

International Juneteenth Museum by Jarvis Hawkins, B. Arch ‘23
Prairie View A&M University |Advisors: Dr. Rania Labib and Stephen Song

The goal of this project was to design an International Juneteenth Museum in Galveston, Texas.  Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Today, Juneteenth is becoming increasingly recognized as an important part of American history. For African Americans, Juneteenth symbolizes their resilience, perseverance, and the fight for equal rights.

The inspiration for the Juneteenth Museum’s design was drawn from Deniece Williams’ song “Black Butterfly,” and it embodies three fundamental concepts: Union, Freedom, and Reflection. These words were derived from the historical synopsis of Juneteenth, and they form the basis for the museum’s design.

This student’s work is currently exhibited in the Nia Afro-American Gallery in Galveston, Texas, and the TIPHC Gallery in Prairie View A&M University in part of Juneteenth Celebrations.

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

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part XI

Welcome back to another week of the Study Architecture Student Showcase! In Week XI, we highlight student projects that use space as an avenue to create equitable community resources. From neighborhood civic buildings to multi-faceted housing units, this week’s featured projects address bridging societal gaps and emphasize the importance of creating opportunities for social interaction and dialogue between diverse communities. By taking a look at the projects below, you will learn how each student project proposes a space that promotes inclusivity and fosters community connections.

Center for Tolerance by Rebecca Dejenie, B.Arch‘23
The Boston Architectural College | Advisors: Peter Martin and Robert Gillig

This design imagines the Roxbury Crossing station as a free station as it becomes a new node for the city of Boston. The Center for Tolerance is a civic building that would allow different activities from music studios, makerspaces, food court, material exchange library, multi-purpose classrooms, exhibits, offices, studios, therapy clinics, and meditation spaces, to gardens with seats to encourage users to sit and converse with one another. As the site is located on the border of two neighborhoods, it will provide a spatial bridge for people from different backgrounds to come together to heal. This building will be used as a resource for all – especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. This building is a representation of what equity in the built environment can look like.

This project was awarded the Best of B. Arch Degree Project 2023.

Dis-Luxury from Luxury: Inequality Brought by Consumerism and Luxury Reimagining by Eduardo A. Caraballo-Arroyo B.Arch ‘23
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico | Advisors: Pedro A. Rosario-Torres, Luis V. Badillo-Lozano & Manuel De Lemos-Zuazaga

In Curitiba, Brazil, an architectural project is reimagining luxury and addressing social division to foster a community that values inclusivity, sustainability, and social equity. By challenging the pursuit of material wealth and status, this project aims to create an inclusive society where individuals feel fulfilled and valued. The project recognizes that luxury is often associated with abundance and comfort but can lead to marginalization, inequality, scarcity, and disconnection within communities. In a capitalist and consumerist society, luxury is marketed as an asset of ease and comfort, perpetuating social divisions and excluding those who cannot afford it. To address this problem, the architectural project seeks to interconnect both ends of the wealth spectrum through spaces that foster communication, action, and self-development.

The objective is to design an urban-social space that combines the rewards and necessities derived from luxury. This space offers physiological resources, developmental opportunities, a sense of belonging, and luxurious experiences, becoming a social equalizer and a support system for the community. By emphasizing the emotions associated with luxury, such as power, confidence, security, and contemplation/enjoyment, the project creates spaces for interactions and community communication. Elements such as small-scale farming, community/cultural integration, open spaces for social and community activities, and emancipatory and cultural educational spaces are included in the program. The project also aims to reduce limitations by embracing degrowth and minimalist systems.

The main strategy revolves around luxury as an emotional reaction. Luxury consumption triggers psychological responses associated with trust, power, contentment, and security. The architectural design incorporates pathways and axes that lead towards focus areas, lifting the first level and creating porous volumes to enhance openness and connection. Strategically positioned openings offer views towards the focus areas, creating voids and spaces that provide experiential and spatial experiences. By implementing this design, the project aims to address luxury inequality, foster social cohesion, and create spaces that promote inclusivity, equal access to resources, and a sense of well-being for all members of society. Through its transformative power, this project challenges conventional notions of luxury and redefines its role in creating a more connected and equitable world.

Instagram: @_eaca23

Kordilyera Vernacular Inspired Interpretive Center in Paradise Hills, San Diego by Greco Cosente, B. Arch ‘23
NewSchool of Architecture and Design |Advisor: Raúl Díaz

With historical and cultural aspects of Paradise Hills being mainly single-family dwellings from the 1950s and its relation to the military, specifically the navy, a demographic group of the Filipino population has emerged throughout the years. Generic designs of suburban parks do not cater to the needs of the current population. In an attempt to advance green space, park designs drawing from culture with the architectural language of pavilions are explored. The project caters to bridging the gap between community park design and Filipino residents through a Kordilyera-inspired Interpretive Center in Paradise Hills, San Diego; A reinstitution of cultural identity for U.S.-born Filipino-Americans.

The project was awarded the Outstanding Design Award – Degree Project.

U Belong: A New Live/Work Housing Prototype by Jada Rezac and Margaret Phillips, M. Arch ‘23
Kansas State University |Advisor: Zhan Chen – Assistant Professor

The current housing crisis in the US challenges architecture to address a critical need while presenting the opportunity to propose new solutions. The studio, titled: In With the New, operates as a laboratory in which to explore innovative possibilities for multi-family living. Students design new models that reframe housing as a multi-faceted domain, able to navigate various scenarios and support diverse communities.

Jada and Margaret’s project responds to the evolving needs of contemporary living by integrating residential units and workspaces. The project uses a calibrated arrangement of U-shaped modules to create new possibilities for both living and working.

The unit clusters maintain a high degree of porosity, which allows more access to natural light and promotes cross ventilation. These considerations enhance human comfort and productivity while presenting an innovative strategy for improving the overall health of its inhabitants.

The relationship between living and working units and their arrangement also seeks to alleviate social isolation. The units are grouped into smaller neighborhoods, fostering familiarity and more meaningful social interactions. Communal spaces within these neighborhoods and intersecting circulation paths also help build a stronger sense of community within a large complex.

The project was nominated for the Nominated for the Heintzelman Prize at Kansas State University.

Instagram: @jadarezac ; @margaret_rose_phillips ; @studiozhan

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

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part X

Welcome back to another week of the Study Architecture Student Showcase! In Week X, we shift our focus to student projects that address the urgent and critical challenges posed by natural disasters. The devastating impact of natural calamities often necessitates innovative and resilient design solutions to ensure the safety and well-being of communities. This week’s featured projects go beyond traditional architectural approaches, presenting thought-provoking concepts that explore resiliency and transformation in the face of adversity.

Resiliency and Transformation in Appalachia by William Robert Clark, M.Arch‘23
University of California, Berkeley | Advisor: René Davids

This past summer, Eastern Kentucky was hit with record breaking rain which caused floods killing dozens of people and destroying millions of dollars of infrastructure and property. While discussion and design around flood resiliency is not new, these events in Central Appalachia create a new opportunity to reimagine the idea of resiliency, and how it applies to some of our smallest and most isolated communities. Drawn from precedents of industrial mining infrastructure, the design seeks to maximize the safety and wellbeing of the community, while minimizing the exposed footprint of the site. The result is a systematic transformation of the landscape and community environment. Ultimately, ‘Resiliency and Transformation in Appalachia’ is meant to be a provocation against longstanding habits of living so that communities can find stability in an extreme environment.

This provocation takes form in a series of towers, which emerge from base of the mountain along the river’s edge. The design challenge of these towers wasn’t the flooding or the extreme topography, it was how to design around the people, and the lives they wish to lead in connection with their landscape. This turned the core driver of the design to minimize the feeling that one is living within a tower. Each unit has its own individual “yard,” and floor plates are suspended by cables, eliminating the use of columns. A series of bridges connect the residential spaces back into the mountain, allowing the forest to meet the tower, and to provide a buffer for the community programs along the ground. The towers are connected by a Hollow (hol-er) Bridge, allowing residents to travers up through the towers, as if they were walking up through the mountain valley to their neighbors. This bridge meets the tower at a common area, which serves a variety of community functions. Along the ground, community spaces are connected by a greenway along the railroad tracks, which serve both pedestrian and commercial use. The towers create a form that is resilient in emergencies, protecting its residents and their spaces, but the design pushes to maintain a way of life, inseparable from the mountains.

Instagram: @robert_clark_arch, @r.davids

Augmented Reality for Emergency Responders by Krunali Shah & Mary Riccio, B.Arch ‘23
New Jersey Institute of Technology  | Advisor: Andrzej Zarzycki

The studio combined advanced building technology and resiliency knowledge with virtual/augmented reality and ubiquitous computing. We showed various aspects and scales of smart designs. The project was a combination of knowledge in the development of building systems and components and the integration of smart technology. The goal was to seamlessly weave ubiquitous environments with many computational devices and systems. It is a testament to adapting our physical space to the modern environment. The purpose of this project is to improve the efficiency of emergency responders by using augmented reality (AR) platforms interfaced with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. By implementing sensors throughout the building, information on occupancy and temperature can be collected. Emergency maps can be placed on each floor as markers to be viewed in 3D using HoloLens/smartphone. These maps will provide information on room temperatures, and occupancy, and can highlight egress/emergency paths from the map’s location. This system aims to ensure safety and decrease emergency response times. The primary focus will be creating a plan to respond to emergency fire incidents. The design intent is to develop an Internet of Things technology that focuses on enhancing the safety of the building occupants and supporting emergency responders. The primary focus will be creating a system to respond to emergency fire incidents. Future adaptations of this system can be used in crises with intruders, shooters, earthquakes, hurricanes, natural disasters, and power outages. Another advancement would be to add the ability to run without any direct electrical power source. Advancing the IoT systems during situations where the sensor stops working, storing the last meaningful communication, and setting up the last will of the device will add a safety net for when the system shuts down. One major component to enhance efficiency is for the device to automatically recognize what room it is in and provide egress through a 3D Augmented Reality model using map image targets.

Instagram: @krunali_shahh, @maryric

Interrogating Boundaries: Miami Lines of Endurance by Alexandra Wise, Maryam Basti, M.Arch ‘23
University of Miami | Advisor: Shawna Meyer

Miami, Florida faces pressing environmental and social challenges that require the city to rapidly adapt to ever-changing conditions like rising sea levels and an increased rate of severe tropical storms. An in-depth understanding of existing edge conditions and the social, environmental, and governmental implications of the US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Storm Risk Management Study was needed to develop a project that serves to fortify the city’s edges while letting nature regain control. An ecotypic response to these challenges, the Brickell Key Disaster Outpost Center and Ferry Terminal breaks the intrusive barriers that disconnect the land from the sea. By dissolving existing hard edges and rebuilding with softer and looser conditions that accept and evolve with the dynamic environmental forces that exist at the site. The elevated building complex prepares for the rising sea and monumental king tides while reducing its footprint in the landscape. The outpost center and ferry terminal provide a haven for those affected by catastrophes by facilitating movement and providing equitable access to disaster relief resources. This project was awarded the Integrated studio Prize.

Instagram: @u_soa, @ateliermey, @maryam.basti, @_alexwise

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

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part IX

Welcome back to the Study Architecture Student Showcase, and a joyful start to the New Year! In this ninth week of the Student Showcase, we’re excited to highlight outstanding projects that delve into the realm of cultural centers and museum design. Our featured projects span diverse locations and tackle unique challenges, each a testament to the creative minds shaping the future of architecture. Join us as we explore the intriguing designs of the following projects. Each project is a unique journey into the intersection of architecture, culture, and community, offering a glimpse into the transformative power of thoughtful design.

Chinatown Cultural Activity Community Center (CCACC) Learn, Create, and Spread! Space by Jessica Ivana, B.Arch‘23
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona | Advisor: Katrin Terstegen

Community centers have always served as a place for locals to engage in independent study and receive support. The proposed Chinatown Cultural Activity Community Center (CCACC) is located on an underdeveloped parking lot on the east side of Chinatown and seeks to activate and expand the cultural values, activities, and character of this part of Chinatown, which currently lacks pedestrian-friendly activities compared to Broadway Street and the rest of the neighborhood.

The CCACC serves as a hub for innovative exploration, offering a comfortable workspace for people of all ages to learn, create, and exchange knowledge and wisdom, regardless of their talents or impairments, whether they are residents or visitors. It fosters a sense of belonging to the community while breaking down the boundaries between arts, culture, and creativity, and aims to act as a medium for people to develop new hobbies or knowledge. On the exterior, the center has a gentle and slightly playful character that blends in with the surrounding buildings but stands out with its white perforated skin, offering a glimpse into the activities and knowledge celebrated within the structure through a composition of aperture sizes.

As an urban response to the through-lot site condition, the volume of the center is elevated, providing porosity and connecting the two streets. At the street level, a grid of arches penetrates through the lower levels, acting as legs or roots that tie the learning community center above and below. In the interior, spaces and structure are more expressive and flexible, providing a variety of activity spaces and spatial experiences. This project was awarded the Senior Project Award at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Culinary Center for Los Angeles by Leo I. Dumonteil Cabanas, B.Arch ‘23
Tulane University  | Advisor: Rubén García Rubio

This new culinary center has the purpose of revitalizing the knowledge of cooking that has been lost in newer generations. Many young adults have evolved to rely on fast food chains as a result of their fast-paced lifestyle. Providing a place where simple knowledge such as cooking can counter this trend. The building itself is an expression of two worlds of architecture. The ground floor is designed by following the parallel strips of the green canvas it is set one. This provides a one-way porosity connecting two ends of a garden. This first level is meant to represent a heavy and solid architecture style which translates into the materiality choices. Moving into the remaining floors the change of atmosphere changes immediately. This isolated box has an architecture reminiscent of Mies van der Rohe. The space is light and airy with almost no existing walls. The program is not set by walls other than by the structure itself allowing for a continuous space to be created. This structure extends into the lateral wings of the box which create two cantilevered ends. These cantilevers then create two public spaces into the outdoors providing shade for the public in LA’s harsh climate. Lastly a set of different topographical offsets are introduced into the landscape. Some may rise while others may sink. These special conditions are then introduced to different gardens that contribute to the growing of crops. These micro topographies also allow the building to express its present as some areas near the building have deeper topography offsets. This mélange of architecture styles allow the public to experience learning in a way that challenges the perspective one has on architecture and culinary.

Instagram: @rubgarrub

Allegro by Ryan Call, B.S.Arch ‘23
Texas Tech University Huckabee College of Architecture | Advisor: Erin Hunt

Inspired by the cultural and climatic conditions of Lubbock, as well as the Llano Estacado region at large. Allegro fills a niche within the musical scene, providing a place for up-and-coming artists to live and perform in the heart of the arts district downtown. Programmatically, this space provides practice rooms, community multi-use spaces, a recreational area, and part-time housing units for musicians to live and perfect their craft. The form of Allegro is a repeated figure, stacked, mirrored, and rotated, opening in the center as a point of gathering and passage for the downtown area. ​ The façade is wrapped in a kinetic screen to provide solar shading in the warmer months and opens for more sunlight in the colder months. The screen is made up of a single unit, divided into nine smaller units mimicking the sublet undulations of the land. Each block was created through computational design and digital fabrication using clay 3D printing. Allegro explores the possibilities of clay as a dynamic building unit that performs both for efficiency and visual effect while functioning as a place of community for Lubbock.​

What’s in a Monolith? by Peter Rosa, B.Arch ‘23
Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)| Advisor: Russell Thomsen

“The simplicity of the architectural monolith does not aim at abstraction, nor does it share the minimalist aspiration to non-referential object hood. Rather, it seeks to maximize the expressive potential of common architectonic configurations by condensing their figurative allusions into one eloquent gesture.” — Rodolfo Machado, Monolithic Architecture. The thesis interest lies in exploring the idea of what Machado posits as the expressive potential of the architectural monolith. It questions how the role of architectural monolith differs across various expressions and how these can begin to reframe our understanding of the contemporary architectural monolith.

In wanting to expand our definition of what a monolith can be, I began to think of a monolith as one of many kinds, each of these lending itself to a multitude of expressions with their own behaviors. By establishing a set of monolithic behaviors and deploying these across different scales, orientations, and material expressions; the thesis argues against a rigid definition of monolithicity and presents various in an attempt to subvert the conventional notions of monolithicity while simultaneously expanding upon the lexicon of work that informed it.

This proposal for the Museum of the Twentieth Century in Berlin is comprised of shrouded monolith with figures that become subsumed and embedded within it becoming a catalog of monolithic expressions. In its context, the proposal reframes the spatial experience of the museum by deploying a range of monolithic expressions each with their own spatial consequences.

Instagram: @rntarch

Blackness in Architecture: A Library and Cultural Center in Gary, IN by Miranda Cuozzo, B.Arch ‘23
University of Notre Dame | Advisor: Sean Patrick Nohelty

Architecture is shaped by group identity, which, in turn, is shaped by architecture. This interdependent process is what allows a culture to develop its own architectural character. Unfortunately, constant oppression has denied African Americans the freedom to fully participate in this process. This gap in American architecture contributes to the continued dehumanization of African Americans and their culture, and is a gap that can be filled by developing architecture that truly expresses the beauty and depth of African American people. Through the design of a Library and Cultural Center in the heart of the often forgotten city of Gary, Indiana, this project explores what architecture that intentionally represents and embodies Black American culture looks like and is ultimately about affirming Black people’s humanity. Throughout the completion of this project, I was often forced to defend the notion that Black Americans had a culture distinct from that of other Western people, events that further proved the necessity of this work. While this may seem like a minor oversight, the inability to see a people’s culture and heritage is an inability to see their full humanness. Architecture and culture go hand in hand, and by developing architecture that speaks to the Black American experience, I hope to fill a gap in the American architectural tradition and to contribute to a broader understanding and acceptance of Black American culture that will one day render the questioning of Black humanity obsolete.

This project was awarded the Noel Blank Design Award.

Instagram: @rando_studios

Re-Encanto by Emir Taheri, B.Arch ‘23
NewSchool of Architecture and Design | Advisor: Daniela Deutsch

Encanto, once a semi-rural district, has experienced a decline in recent years. Our urban studies have identified the Imperial Avenue corridor as a prime location for redevelopment, with its rundown infrastructure and low occupancy. The presence of the South Chollas Valley hills and canyons further adds potential for commercial revitalization. Our project aims to capitalize on these opportunities by creating a central hub area focused on an Afrofuturism museum. The Afrofuturism museum will serve as a dynamic space, showcasing the intersection of black culture with science fiction, fantasy, and technology. By providing a unique platform for exploring the rich history and creativity of black communities, the museum will promote cultural appreciation and understanding. To enhance the overall experience, the surrounding area will be thoughtfully designed with public art displays, interactive installations, and green spaces. These elements will encourage exploration, interaction with the environment, and cultural exchange. Through this transformative project, Encanto will regain its vibrancy, becoming a catalyst for cultural enrichment and inspiration.

Instagram: @rhythmarch

Catholic University of America | Advisor: Jason Montgomery

This thesis demonstrates how architecture can be a catalyst for regenerative growth through the holistic design of community development projects that co-evolve with natural systems over time. The Regenerative Development & Tourism Center in Chiweta, Malawi is a phased development project that serves as a community resource, educational hub, and restorative tourism destination. The center’s multi-purpose programming provides economic, educational, and experiential benefits to its various stakeholders. Construction with zero-kilometer materials and operation through closed-loop systems produces positive environmental impacts. The campus is a prototype for development in rural communities that addresses issues on local, regional, national, and international levels. The center in Chiweta is site-sensitive in responding to the physical and climatic conditions, celebrating the local community’s agricultural lifestyle, and contributing to Malawi’s national development and tourism goals.

This project was nominated for Super Jury.

Instagram: masonreinhart_, 007jmontgomery0888

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

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part VIII

Tune in for week VIII of the student showcase. This week we feature student projects focused on the theme of safety, demonstrating thoughtful responses to diverse challenges. Check out the student work below!

Mesa Refuge by Joy Christensen and Megan Sun, BA in Architectural Design ‘23
University of Washington  | Advisor: Elizabeth Golden

The Iglesia Cristiana El Buen Pastor is located in Mesa, Arizona, a suburb of about 500,000 inhabitants east of Phoenix. Each week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—the federal law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing immigration laws in the United States—transports groups of asylees to the church as a temporary measure while arrangements are made for travel to a final destination. At the church, guests can take a shower, change into clean clothes, and eat a meal before the next phase of their journey. Asylum seekers typically come from a variety of countries and backgrounds and may have experienced persecution, violence, or other threats in their homeland. Many arrive to the U.S. after a long and difficult journey, often having fled their homes with only a few belongings.

The Mesa Refuge will shelter the asylees on the church campus. The program contains short term housing for individuals and families (between twenty to forty people ) as well additional shower and restroom facilities. When not in use, the building will be used as a multipurpose room for the congregation. The church has a very limited budget and there is a need to build economically as well as sustainably.

Our proposal focuses on the privacy of the asylum seekers and their connection to nature through views to planted areas around the building and filtered daylight that fills the main spaces. A strategy of layered walls and masonry screens promotes natural ventilation and provides a sense of protection without feeling fully enclosed. Colorful murals cover benches and the wall facing the main entry to the church, welcoming guests and inviting them into their new home.

Instagram: @megan.sun, @joy_architecture, @elidorata,

Urban Living Room by Zoe Qiaoyu Zheng, B.Arch ‘23
Academy of Art University  | Advisor: Sameena Sitabkhan

Naturally, we tend to keep a certain distance when interacting with other people, especially during the post-pandemic era. The Urban Living Room aims to bring neighborhood life into public space while creating blurred boundaries that create conditions of privacy. The design introduces public programs like cafes, shops, galleries, and varied open spaces which blend traditional library and private spaces with adjacent buildings. Formal moves respond to natural light, wind, and views, but also create opportunities to block visual contact with adjacent residences and provide private programmed spaces for users.

The building was divided into two parts connected by a bridge providing flexible circulation. By utilizing different material patterns to guide visitors through the space, the design enriches relationships with neighbors. Originally the site featured the natural environment, so the building is elevated for people to enjoy the natural vegetation on different levels. Visitors are welcome to celebrate their time here and the architecture creates invisible boundaries to protect their personal space as needed. This Urban Living Room is not just a library or another public space for people to hang out; the proposal also provides opportunities for people to safely interact in personally acceptable proximities.

This project was awarded the B.Arch Thesis Design Excellence Award at the Academy of Art University.

Instagram: @aauschoolofarchitecture

Where Density and Desire Meet by Rita Momika, M.Arch ‘23
Arizona State University  | Advisor: Claudio Vekstein

In Phoenix Arizona spreads in the art district of what is named Roosevelt Row, an approximate 3,000 feet long street where the multifunctional businesses take advantage of using the district for portraying their own voices and talents.

In light of the global movements calling for more inclusivity, it is crucial for spaces like Roosevelt Row to ensure that everyone feels safe and welcomed. This means taking active steps to address any discrimination or harassment that may occur within the community. Creating safe and inclusive environments require a commitment to creating microcosmic monuments of different social issues that are a safe space for conversation and alignment between people.

A program that spans 2,000 feet long, an infrastructure capable to contain multiple activities and functions. An architectural base, a steel system able to put up with changes through time as well as establish relations between the public and the private. The structures become the skeleton, the connection, and the network of systems throughout the dynamic street.

By actively promoting diversity and inclusion, Roosevelt Row alleyways begin to foster spaces with a sense of belonging for people from historically oppressed communities, such as people of color, women, indigenous people and immigrants. By valuing and respecting the diversity of voices within the community, Roosevelt Row can help to foster a culture of inclusivity and create a more equitable future for all.

New York Institute of Technology  | Advisor: Farzana Gandhi

In 2022, the U.S./Mexico border witnessed a significant influx of migrants, reaching a staggering total of 2 million encounters. Among this population, approximately 30,000 individuals seeking asylum have been granted admission this year. However, those whose asylum claims are rejected or pending face the challenging circumstances of residing in makeshift tent cities located along the border ports of Mexico. Even for those who are admitted, overcrowded centers, tents, and cities lacking plans for economic development and social integration pose additional hardships. One proposed intervention after the migrants’ arrival at the border involves the relocation of these refugee and asylum-seeking populations to declining urban areas like St. Louis, Missouri. This strategic relocation would include the implementation of a transitional housing typology that encompasses co-living spaces, shared working environments, and public amenities. Another intervention aimed at fostering cultural integration and combating xenophobia entails establishing an exchange center within St. Louis. This center would offer diverse programs designed to cater to the needs of both the incoming and existing populations residing in the city.

This project was awarded the faculty thesis award at NYIT.

Morgan State University  | Advisor: Carlos A. Reimers

How can architecture mitigate the affiliation of young adults with street gang violence in local under-served communities?

Low-income environments, limited parental involvement, peer pressure, and low self-esteem are all factors impacting under-served communities in Baltimore. The social unrest and crime can draw youth into joining gangs and violent behavior because of how dominant they are and the lack of safe spaces to redirect the attention of young people to engage in constructive activities and personal growth. Young adults can benefit from having access to proper amenities and mentorships that can impact their choices later on in their adulthood. This thesis addresses this issue, creating a youth center in a landmark location of social unrest in the city of Baltimore.

Instagram: @swagboy__kevin, @reimerscarlos

Living in Thresholds by Darren Petrucci, M.Arch ‘23
Arizona State University  | Advisor: Claudio Vekstein

The theory of feminist architecture contends that we need to rediscover the spatial relationships that have defined modern architecture. Coming from a matriarchal family in Venezuela, I wanted to explore if the ramifications of my upbringing (a matriarchial structure) were influenced by the neighborhood environment in which we lived. This project hopes to examine the concepts of public and private spheres within which we live, through the analysis of case studies, and to explore the impact of the transition between these spaces. It is these transitions, or the combination of them, that introduce architectural conditions that lead to more caring housing communities.

To begin we must understand that how we live extends past the boundaries of our house and encompasses how we move throughout the home, neighborhood, and city. The majority of housing developments undermine spontaneous social safety nets and contribute to the loss of community cohesion; it’s usually removed from the city center, thereby alienating already socio-economically vulnerable people from city resources. The single-family prototype does not address the diverse members of society — single mothers/fathers, seniors, young professionals, single women, LTBQ+, multigenerational families, etc. To create a community of care is to meet all the needs of a person (physical, emotional, health, and safety). This happens when we re-evaluate housing, based on our existence, as multi-dimensional and design our spaces to redefine the “social” aspects of housing, where the collective experience of community creates a natural threshold identity between the public and the private.

The articulation of the project applied these ideas of thresholds to an existing site in Phoenix, AZ. The restructuring and rezoning of the site allowed for the implementation of differing degrees of housing densities brought together by public urban spaces that served the community. The articulated bands became the varying housing typologies that allow for the agglomeration of different combinations of families to inhabit; while the “voids” became a place to maintain a sense of openness to the immediate and greater community. These public spaces became the extension of the house and blurred the concept of public and private.

Instagram: @paolavalentinaaa

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

2023 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part VII

Welcome to week VII of the showcase. This week we feature student projects on furniture design and projects that use innovative materials. Check out the student work below!

The Moth: The Contemporary Comfort Chair by Alondra Pulido, M.Arch ‘23
University of Washington  | Advisor: Rick Mohler

The Moth lounge chair combines modern striking shapes with a flexible form factor that adapts to all body types. Its design offers an unexpected seating experience, capturing the unconventional elegance and beauty of a moth. This lounge chair combines steel and wood to create a contemporary piece that ensures durability and comfort.

The lounge chair’s flexible quality is attributed to its steel rod base that is welded together to form a continuous loop structure. This steel framework supports a cantilever seat and adds a playful element to the overall seating experience. The chair’s back and seat are defined by four laminated walnut panels, evenly spaced apart and gently sloping toward the center for enhanced comfort. These panels are affixed to the steel structure using black delrin standoffs, creating a floating feeling and highlighting the contrast of wood and steel materials. This striking contrast is further enhanced by the framework, which mirrors the sharp angles on the backside and underside of the wooden panels.

The walnut veneers used in the chair are sourced from a single walnut slab, which was processed and milled in the student fabrication lab. The steel components are also bent, welded, and blackened in the same space. This ensured a cohesive production process in which the interaction between materials informed each other, resulting in the final product.

Instagram: @alondrapul, @swithycofurniture, @mohler.rick

DK22 by Dominic Kaufer, M.Arch ‘23
University of Washington  | Advisor: Rick Mohler

In this studio we were taught Danish furniture design principles and encouraged to consider those principles in our designs. I was particularly interested in the principle of minimalism, which I interpreted as using the least amount of material and “moves” necessary for a given idea to work well.

This chair is the result of a handful of prototypes using steel and felt, built over the span of a ten-week quarter. The design strives for apparent simplicity, with motifs taken from single-line drawings and tattoos. While the frame appears to be a single bent piece of round steel rod, it is actually four pieces in total – two sides and two stretchers. Concealed joints were turned on the lathe and are held together with small, allen head set screws. The steel frame was treated with a mixture of beeswax and boiled linseed oil to minimize rust and wear. The sling is 1/4” thick f7 industrial felt and is attached to itself around the stretchers with hammered copper rivets.

This chair would not have been possible without the help of my classmates and instructors. Special thanks to the instructors – Erling, Kimo, and Steve – for their help and insight throughout design and construction. I would also like to thank the UW Fabrication Lab staff – Rae, Jack, and Brian – for their help in turning this idea into something tangible (and sit-able)!

Instagram: @kominicdaufer, @swithycofurniture, @mohler.rick

Recovering Surface Addict by Kevin Cendejas, M.Arch ‘23
Cranbrook Academy of Art  | Advisor: Gretchen Wilkins

Recovering Surface Addict is a fabricated surface of encounter and mixture; configuring and reconfiguring relations between body, space, craft, color, and light. The surface consists of seventy-eight unique aluminum panels unified by a color gradient while also disrupting the glow of fluorescent fuchsia through each panel incision and bend. Neither wall nor window, the surface possesses qualities of both by mediating between inside and outside, and between separation, connection and interaction. Folds in the metal panels produce a dense yet floating surface in which light and color might be sensed as material and fabric through dynamically changing hues and shades. The luminous surface is textured by plays of light, sensitive to shifting weather conditions outside which become absorbed by and dispersed across the surface. The experience of mediated color and light on the surfaces produces an environment that changes through movement, proximity and time. Observers become accomplices to the layered temporal and sensory effects of the surfaces in real time and space.

Instagram: @kevin.cendejas, @grtnwilkins

Footwear to Facades by Shaun Rankin, M.Arch ‘23
University of Southern California  | Advisor: Alvin Huang

Tectonics in architecture is the integration of structure and construction, implementing technical aspects, detail, and cultural and aesthetic qualities. It involves both the process of making architecture and the product of that process, elevated to an art form. I examined the relationship between architecture and footwear through an aesthetic and tectonic lens. I critically analyzed the process of creating footwear art and how it is derived. Through specific techniques of footwear design, such as stitching, weaving, and branding, I aim to develop new ways to generate architecture. By using these techniques, I hope to encourage the discipline to design and think more creatively about how we enclose our spaces, develop spatial relationships, and consider materials. This perspective raises the question of whether architecture can be temporary or even switched out daily, much like a pair of shoes.

This project was awarded the USC Master of Architecture Distinction in Directed Design Research and the A+D Museum Design Awards In School Category.

Instagram: @shaunrankin_, @ryantylermartinez 

deadstock by Christopher Torres, M.Arch ‘23
Lawrence Technological University  | Advisor: Masataka Yoshikawa

Deadstock refers to merchandise that’s never been sold. The project challenges itself to accumulate different merchandise to evolve itself into a structure that keeps evolving and producing deadstock in the form of architecture and spatial construct.

This project was awarded the Dean’s Award at Lawrence Technological University

Instagram: @creesetoepair

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

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!