Table of Contents1 Case Study - Castelvecchio, Carlo Scarpa5 Case Study - Glass House, Philip Johnson11 Sustainable Design19 10 West Street Project27 Goyescas33 Kolonihavn and the Meaning of Hygge43 MU / Wood49 Pier Museum
Case Study -Castelvecchio, Carlo ScarpaThe Castelvecchio dates back to the medieval timesand was originally a military warehouse that wasmainly used as storage for weapons and munition.Later on, the building became a Venetian MilitaryAcademy. The Castelvecchio endured much turmoil.The late 18th century was a time of anti-Frenchrevolts and was the site for many epoch battles. Fi-nally in 1923, the building ceased to serve a militarypurpose. The Castelvecchio underwent dramaticstructural changes and also received late Gothicand Renaissance decorative elements to its facade.It eventually became the home for many pricelessworks of art. Carlo Scarpa’s job was to oversee therestoration of the building and the installation of theartwork.Carlo Scarpa’s Castelvecchio was the foundation fromwhich I based my entire semester’s work on. Priorto entering the Interior Architecture department backin September 2006, I had very limited experiencewith creating floor plans, sections, and axonometricdrawings. Throughout the semester, I studied anextensive collection of Scarpa’s plans and sketches.I copied many of his drawings to improve upon myown drafting skills. In doing so, my drafting skillshave improved dramatically, which really shows indrawings of my own designs.December 2006
3 4 Upon entering the Interior Architecture department at the Rhode Is- land School of Design, I was instructed on how to properly illustrate floor plans, elevations, and section drawings. I also learned how to use 3-dimensional methods, such as, axonometric and perspec- tive drawings to demonstrate my designs. One important point my professor wanted me to retain is that drafting should not only be something that serves a functional purpose but it should also be viewed as a piece of artwork that is aesthetically pleasing.
Case Study -Glass House, Philip JohnsonDuring the Fall semester of 2006, I learnedhow to properly transpose floor plans,sections, and isometrics using VectorWorks.From that I continued onto Cinema 4D whereI learned how to apply textures to objectsand create lighting situations.Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan,Connecticut and it’s simplistic designseemed like an appropriate example of ar-chitecture to analyze. After doing researchon the structure and studying its plans anddetails, I was able recreate Johnson’s designusing these two programs.December 2006
Sustainable DesignAs concerns increase for the future of the planet’swell being, so has the concerns for promoting a moreeco-friendly lifestyle. Architecture has contributedto this pursuit of a more sustainable future byimplementing green roofing and solar power toconserve on energy and also by reducing wasteproduction during construction. The objective of thisproject is to incorporate these sustainable elementsinto the overall design. The location of the site issituated Chelsea, Manhattan, which is known for itsinordinate number of galleries. The assignment wasto renovate the Anton Kern Gallery, located on 532W 20th Street in New York City, into a seed bank thathouse 1,000 seeds or more. The purpose for a seedbank is to house a collection of seeds with the inten-tion to plant them if at any time a species of plantsare wiped out. The space is also meant to serveas a facility devoted to horticultural research and amuseum that educates the public about plants andthe process of its cultivation.December 2006
New York City vegetation inspired me to transform the space intoa place displaying its natural beauty. I decided to take a morelandscape architectural approach to the site. My intention isto create a public park where people can enjoy the park on theroof terrace and learn about the seed bank located indoors. Inthis park, plants native to the region are allowed to thrive withlittle maintenance. The public would have the opportunity to sitdown and enjoy the charming landscape, maybe even bring alunch or lie down on the grass and stare at the clouds.For this project, I had to deal with sustainability issues. Inmy design I addressed two different forms of sustainability:xeriscaping and water harvesting. I designed a water harvest-ing system on the roof, which will collect rainwater for use inthe building. Rather than using city water for appliances suchas toilets, the rainwater collected in the tank will be used to Okame Cherry Grama Grassreplace the water in the toilets after every flush. The tank holds 14approximately 10,000 gallons of water, which should be enoughwater to sustain the building for at least 10 days without rainfall.Xeriscaping is also another wonderful resource. My design mainfocus features a xeriscape, otherwise known as a green roof.For example, it has the ability to be self-insulating, it reducesrain runoff, and ultimately it reduces heating and air condition-ing bills. The beauty of xeriscaping is that it needs very minimalmaintenance. Plants used for xeriscaping are typically native tothe area and can survive on its own in that specific climate.The main feature in the research facility is a freezer in which theseeds are stored in. The freezer is situated in the center of thefront gallery space. On either sides of the freezer are windowsthrough which the public may view the extensive collection. Inthe back are the laboratories in which the scientists may conducttheir research. Prairie Dropseed Blue Grass
10 West Street ProjectThe Downtown Crossing district of Bostonhas undergone a great deal of renova-tions through the past few years. In somesituations, the original structures on thisstreet, such as the Opera House, havebeen preserved because of its historicalimportance. Others buildings in the areahave been completely stripped down to itsbare minimums where any remnants of theoriginal structure is left behind.On the corner of Washington Street andWest Street in Boston, Massachusetts, is thesite for this next project. The assignmentwas to transform the first floor of the build-ing into a student center that is equippedwith a cafe, a student lounge space, offices,mailroom, and a bookstore. The remainderof the floors above are intended for studentdormitories for Suffolk University.May 2007
What initially inspired my design was the plumbing andventilation work that weaved in and out of the structure.In my concept, I wanted to emphasize the high demandfor technology and other necessary systems required tomeet codes. But at the same time, I wanted to cherishthe unique beauty of the original structure. In essence,I wanted the elegance of the old structure to coexist withthe technologies of the present without either overpower-ing the other.On the first floor, I have divided the space into twoseparate areas: the quiet and the loud side. The loudside consists of two sections. First is the cafe, which issituated next to the Washington Street entrance in orderto take advantage of the heavy flow of pedestrian trafficthat populates that street in particular. Second is thestudent recreational space which provides students withpool tables and a ping pong table. The quiet side iswhere the mail room, offices and student lounge space islocated. Here, students may unwind and check their mail 22without having to exit the building. The mail room itself isa tall translucent rectangular prism that spans from floorto ceiling. It acts as a suggested separation between thetwo sides of the floor. In the lounge space, studentshave the ability to access the internet on computers thatare mounted on translucent columns. These columnsform two rows which are meant to separate the loungespace from the flow of traffic coming in and out of theelevators.On the mezzanine level is the bookstore, which seen inthe plan, is floating diagonally across the space. Thereare two staircases that lead to the bookstore. At thetop are doorways, which allows the bookstore to beclosed independently from the rest of the building. In thedetail and section drawings, the design of the bookstorebecomes more clear. Its unique shape is inspired by theplumbing and ventilation systems running through theoriginal structure.
Goyescas“Goyescas” is a Spanish opera inspired bythe paintings of Francisco Goya. The musicwas composed by Enrique Grandos and thelibretto was written by Fernardo Periquet.The opera tells three interweaving lovestories about Goya and his lover, and theromances between the characters in hispaintings. Together, these stories reveal theconsequences of distancing ourselves fromthe ones we love with the world created byour own fantasies.Brown University Opera Production, a stu-dent run group, chose me to design, build,and run their spring production of “Goyes-cas”. After studying specific paintings byGoya, I collected my findings and incorpo-rated them into three different sets for eachof the three Tableaus. The entire operaitself is set in Madrid, Spain and portraysthe events of one day.April 2007
KOLONIHAVENand the Meaning of HyggeIn going along with this semester’s theme ofpromoting a cultural breathing hole, I want tobring back the essence of the “good ol’ days” byexploring a creative interpretation of allotments inCopenhagen. An allotment, or “kolonihaven”, is oneof Denmark’s oldest cultural traditions, occupantscommonly being of the elderly generation. It is acustom for the houses residing on these allotmentsto be constructed using discarded or rejected itemsfound on street curbs or trash disposals. This ideaof reusing found objects brings in a sustainablequality to the project, which led to the concept ofincorporating retired generations of S-togs, ortrain cars. These train cars would act as modularstructures that may be renovated into habitablefacilities that can easily be transported to the siteand placed onto the desired location.The program would be situated within RyvangenNaturpark. The property itself is a nature park thatappears to be undisturbed for decades and showssome remnants of the German military base thatonce resided in these parts back in World War II.The site is also conveniently located within walkingdistance from the Ryparken Train Station.I would like to preserve as much of the park’s natu-ral qualities as possible. My idea is to work aroundthe park’s uneven terrain, I will work with it byincorporating allotments into the present landscapewhile also taking advantage of the surroundingresources.June 2008
Background: An increase of job opportunities in Copenhagen towards the end Placing these modular homes in the park opens it up to many social pos- of the 1800s caused citizens to flock to the city center seeking sibilities, not just for the elderly, but also for the younger generations. The residence. To accommodate the massive migration, 5-story main goal for this project is to transform the park into a more social breath- apartment buildings were erected throughout the city. Many of ing hole where people from all generations may congregate and enjoy each those who moved to the city came from more rural areas of the other’s company. I envision families and elderly folks coming together at country, bringing with them knowledge of how to cultivate the the park to indulge in summer activities, such as eating delicious food, play- earth and to be self-sufficient. With this knowledge, along with ing games or tending their gardens. By night, people may converse around the desire to regain a bit of the country that they lost because a warm bonfire sipping chamomile to playing music and dancing. of the move, citizens would purchase or rent a small piece of land on which they would plant a garden. And thus the first A challenge that this project presents is trying to create a coherent urban allotments were born. plan that will move with the landscape and interact with its surroundings while also taking into consideration the functional and esthetic needs of the Most allotments were typically situated within walking or biking client. But to achieve a successful urban plan means uniting two ideas that distance from a person’s home, or were relatively close to a has been eloquently put in a text by Ruth Easton from the book titled The train station. Over the summers, Danes would often prefer to Spirit of Copenhagen.35 live on their allotments because of the beautiful, warm weather. 36 It thus became necessary to build overnight accommodations The real city was – and always should be – the result of the indissociable directly onto the allotment. They would usually construct small union of what the ancient Romans called the ‘Urbs’ (the material compo- homes by reusing found materials such as old shipping crates. nents of the city) and ‘Civitas’ (the community of the citizens). Today, houses are sometimes prefabricated and equipped with more amenities. Due to flourishing city development, many If this essential relationship between the physical and the social environ- allotments were forced to either relocated or be demolished. ment is not assured, the city degenerates into monofunctional zones Often times, houses were either small enough to be placed on devoid of any vitality, a fragmentation of the city engendering deep social the back of a truck and moved or were capable of being easily fractures. disassembled and reconstructed at another site. Plants, too, were also relocated along with the house. The common denominator of these urban perversions is the lack of har- mony between the two elements of urban life: Urbs and civitas. A modern The invention of the automobile resulted in the need to make French term evokes this twin nature of the city, URBANITÉ (URBINITY), more roads and widen the existing ones, which forced owners to defined as: The art of creating the city and the art of living in the city. relocate their homes. Allotments soon became close neighbors to busy city streets or train tracks. Growing any sort of fruits or vegetables became unhealthy and unsafe due to the amount of pollution being introduced into the air and soil.
MU / WoodIn traditional Chinese culture wood is described asthe “fifth element”, one that bridges the animateand inanimate world. In the modern world wood andwooden composites are seen as a great source ofrenewable building material. They can effectivelyreplace the more energy intensive materials of steeland concrete if properly designed and engineered,even in large span and high rise construction, andthey have excellent earthquake resistant properties.Wood’s place as a traditional building materialin China has been largely replaced by reinforcedconcrete slab and column construction. Attempts arebeginning made to reintroduce wood as an environ-mentally renewable material for construction one thathas both aesthetic and structural possibilities.December 2008
The site is situated on the southern furthest point of Zhong Shan Lu and is considered the oldest part of the street. This area shows evidence of once being a lively active street full of restaurants, venders, and other commercial spaces. Now all but one public space has been evicted or relocated due to recent development plans. Buildings in this area range between one to three stories high. They are old and falling apart in some ways. The organization of this neighborhood has a very irregular plan as opposed to more recent development where buildings form a grid pattern. I became fascinated by how the rooftops in this area creates its own unique roofscape. Due to the differentiating heights of the buildings, the area evokes a sense of mystery, wisdom, and an ancestral presence. The program is meant to revitalize and resurrect the street by repopulating the area. Creating more housing and integrating some restaurant/commercial space would revive the street’s density while also coexisting seamlessly with the surrounding45 area. 46
Pier MuseumFor this project in question, located at theend of Fifth Avenue leading to South Beach,is a “Pier Museum” which pointing out tosea, will stand as a “horizontal monument”to all the immigrants (particularly the Cubanimmigrants) who have arrived on theseshores in search of a better future.The parameters for this project was todesign a structure that must extend off ofMiami Beach more than 100 meters andmust house a museum in which the personaleffects, souvenirs, and photos, belongingto the new generation of immigrants, willbe exhibited – those who came to the cityof Miami from the 1950s to the 1980sin search of their own personal Americandream.May 2009
The program of this Pier Museum includes a lobby, temporary and permanent exhibition space, a casual and dark auditorium, a library, a cafeteria, a ball- room space, miscellanies space and storage, and a boardwalk that surrounds the perimeter of the entire structure. My design starts from the Fifth Avenue and extends approximately 200 meters into the sea.51 My inspiration stemmed from two sources. First was from my research on 52 Cuban immigration itself. The trip from Cuba to the shores of Miami is a treacherous journey, one that involves many obstacles, changes in environ- ment, and is never a straight path. Second were the crashing waves and current of the ocean. I integrated these concepts into my design by creating a repetitious pattern of windows alternating between areas allowing for more natural light to areas of darkness where natural lighting would be harmful to the exhibition spaces. Throughout the structure “voids” where patrons have the opportunity to move between interior and exterior spaces. The overall purpose of this building is to capture a sense of the journey, of the past, and of the hardships. The museum should teach visitors about the history of migrations. At the same time the multipurpose space and the boardwalk that surrounds the museum are opportunities for visitors to also make their own history.