Monday, February 25, 2013

project 3 Design Skills

Along with the architecture studio, we also are taking the design skills class (that also takes place in our studios) twice a week for 80 minutes. today we finished up axonometric drawings of our writers hut, which will be pinned up tomorrow. pics from my iphone 4.
 The axon with immediate site.

exploded axon

Sunday, February 24, 2013

wk 8

sketch models for our villas! Last week we worked on a precedent study for the villas. Our studio paired up with another studio and each pair got assigned to one small home (I got assigned to "Mountain House" by Clark and Menefee Architects. We analyzed the building into diagrams and presented to the class.

This week we are going to be working on our 400 sq ft villas for the poet.
we are required to have: A space for gathering,  a space to cook food in, a space to eat, a space to sleep in, a connection between interior/exterior, a space to bathe, and a space to gather with a small group of friends.

Here are a few sketch models:
 Here I am working with horizontal space to contrast with the tall forest (my site for the villa). The middle space is the space for gathering.
to the right is the bedroom/bath, the left is the kitchen/dining area. the cardboard on the bottom represents the site.
 here I am working with vertical space to unify with the forest.
The glue didn't dry yet... here i am focusing on views.

My prediction for working with such small spaces this term is to understand the value of space, and to use space efficiently. small spaces allows for more awareness of making sure each move to the building has a purpose. Small spaces also allows for creativity and challenge, seeking new ways to use different types of spaces, and merging spaces together.

section drawing for grotto/altana

 Here lies the photos of my process for developing my final grotto/altana section drawing on vellum.
To the left I am thinking about vegetation, and whether the moon would be a good idea or not..
 Here I'm experimenting with my style for the vegetation.
Experimenting with the angle of moonlight into the grotto

 the copic marker looks so much more interesting on trace paper than vellum :(
Here's the final! We had to have some text describing the project:
"Hidden: I stood beneath the moonlight casting shadows like the trees".

I messed up the text the first time so I ended up cutting out the bottom half of the drawing (the outline of the ground) and pasting the vellum on a piece of foam-core.

In the end I was super happy with this project. During pin ups (usually during pin ups for the Design Skills class we get two stickers, green for craft, orange for organization, and we put them by the works we find most fitting) my work was chosen amongst a few others to be shown during lecture. 

Things learned: Gel pen works really well to highlight light spots and to create stars/ moon.
 copic marker looks best on the back side of the vellum.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Midterm Review

This past week we finished our newest edition to the landscape--that is, the writer's hut. It also so happened to be our midterm, hence, midterm review pinups (which happened today)! We got reviewed by advanced students (3rd/4th years? 5th years?) and our TAs. Each student got reviewed twice, only one reviewer each time (20 minutes each), thus much stress and nervousness had been shed.
My god was this a strange project... this hut will most likely be the smallest building we'll ever have to create. It is 64 square ft, thus inhabitable (very thick) walls were the key concept used to house the shelving, seat, extra lounging chair, bed space, and writer's storage space that were required to include in the hut. This one took me quite a while to create... eventually I kind of just winged my final model and incorporated key ideas that have been traveling in my head... which ended up turning out pretty awesome.
 Alas! The final model on a 1/2"=1' scale! The little slits of wood next to this window have now been changed (in my head) to slits of blue glass (to replicate the waves of the ocean). It'll also create a subtle blue glow in the little crevice/perch to the left.
 Here you can see through that window the long floor/bench seating that extends from the inside to the outside of the home. A glass door gives access to the perch hanging over the secret garden incorporated during wk5.
Here is the little crawl space bed area. This is reached through a ladder at the entrance of the hut. The height of this area is only 3.5' (thus crawling around is needed). I strove for youthful/playfulness in the design, however during critique it was thought of as uncomfortable.
Here the window of the desk area faces  the large forest near the back of the land for Ellen (the poet) to attain inspiration from (she mentions trees a lot in her poetry).
 Front view of model. Basic concepts overall:

  • nature imagery/ site connection through views--there are views to the forest, the shore, the lake, the garden, the sky.
  • areas to perch, "unbounded" (either no railings or glass railings)
  • movement (ascension, crawling, sliding) --this was mostly critiqued negatively. Too much was happening in such small quarters..

 These concepts are explained in the presentation board (27"x40"), along with an axonometric drawing (center) which we just learned how to do in the design skills class, plans, sections, elevations. I need to work on line weights and poche for the sections (but mostly I didn't include all that fancy stuff since it was getting to be 3am). Click on the photo to in large if you want more clarity on these concepts.

 First sketch model at 1/4" scale. kind of stuck with a square and got super bored of it quickly.
Here is a very torn up pieceof my ideas. the angled wall to open up the space. As you can see, this wall is quite thick, 2' thick.

 Here are a few pictures of the mini 1/8" model placed on the landscape.
 Here you can see the secret garden better, below the hut.

Alas! everything all set up and ready for review! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


 just some better photos of the sketch models I did for the grotto altana project.

end of wk 5

the walled secret garden and overlook
Although this week was beyond tiring, we made our first landscape contour models! Very exciting things. I also ended up realizing how much time they take...
this landscape is about 4 feet long. We all have the same site plan and required trees, the rest is up to our studio professor to decide what we can/can't do with the site. Our assignment was to create a landscape for a poet.

the terrace
 Lucky for me, our professor encourages creativity so not only do we get to do whatever we want with the site (cutting into it), I got to choose my own poet instead of the list suggested.
Mine is for Ellen Breaux, whom was a mentor for me during the last year of high school.
Anyway she's super adventurous and exciting so I focused the site to be open to exploration and fun.

 Elements required for site:
space for writing
water element
space for camping
secret garden
grove of decorative trees (such as cherry tree) to create colorful contrast

To the left shows the river/gorge/ canyon I carved into the landscape. there's an island inside.
 front view with the dock. entrance is lined by tall bushed and shrubs to clearly guide one up the slope. or to the left one could access to the island by walked along side the river. steps attach the island to the main land.

 the bridge connecting the camping area to the overlook/garden area
 the camping area. steps are made of large rocks. the feeling of hiking in the mountains. the cherry grove surrounds the trail up to the camping area.
 Arial  view of the terrace/fire hearth/overlook
All of it..

p.s... I finally used a real camera 

Monday, February 4, 2013

wk 4/5

Wk 4 we split into groups and focused on a certain garden style. My group was assigned to Persian garden. We analyzed the "generalife" garden in Granada, Spain. it is pretty awesome! We placed our analyses onto 3 24"x36" boards and presented to the class. We are now assigned to a garden project. With the material we learned from the garden studies from wk 4, we are now to apply our garden studies into our own garden. We were first to pick inspiration from the colors of the 4 seasons. We wrote haikus along with the images (garden is made for a poet). I chose watercolor:

I "in frame cut" these images (sorry, again on iphone 4) and then instagrammed them.

wk 3

 Again, sorry for the iphone 4 photos... hopefully I'll remember my camera one day and perhaps quality will be nicer, and overall visual appeal.

here's the final model I ended up with for our "grotto/altana" project. Grotto, meaning closed, dark space, and altana meaning high, perched space. Grotto may refer to caves, altana is an italian building, usually rooftop terraces, etc.

we were given a site plan, the house being the tall figure in the back. we were to create  64 sq/ft grotto and altana spaces in the yard, and we could cut into the site if we wished (I ended up not..). we were to experiment and play with material (concrete and wood).

my concept was to create a "tree house" like space. I originally had a tree in place of the concrete steps. the second balcony (the
 lower one) was connected to the tree. The grotto originally was placed higher up on the ground, but in reality it'd be physically impossible (especially since originally I wanted concrete up there instead of wood). The lattice hangs over the altana space to provide shade, and also frames the view of the ocean (which the site faces) and the  mountains (south east, to the right of the image). i'm imagining there to be growth on and around the lattice so eventually the altana will be enclosed (partially) by a plant barrier. i didn't want to place railings on the porch portion of the grotto, I wanted the feeling of sublimity and pure exposure to nature however that seemed a bit risky and unrealistic. I did not place windows in the grotto in order to keep that dark, enclosed feeling. upon entering, you open a solid door and experience this tunnel like space, in which you cannot quite sense where you are. when you pop out onto the porch, you are suddenly exposed to your surroundings--a deep contrast from seconds before.

lattice and steps to the altana. also my new mouse in the background! just for all those autocad assignments...

above are the three sketch models/ ideas for the final. I combined the first and third one.

to the left is what we are currently working on, a section drawing of the grotto/altana (currently I'm typing in wk 5, projects sometimes overlap weeks). This is for the design skills course, in which we are experimenting with shadow, line weights, texture, etc. We are also to consider vegetation. a final of this will be completed next week. This is just an idea. I tried uploading the image in a horizontal format, of course I couldn't get it to work.