Saturday, December 20, 2014

first portfolio

Woa, I finally got up the courage and time to make a portfolio! It is a lot more readable through a downloadable pdf format, but this is a pretty good site, unless anyone out there has any better suggestions of where to publish my portfolio, this will suffice!

I also was able to go back to a couple projects from first year and update them! It's pretty neat to apply some new skills to old projects and see how they look all vamped up.

This winter break has been quite productive. Here's a link to the old website that I've been trying to keep updated, although it's not as glamorous as my portfolio work.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Oh joy to the world.

Here is the winery I created this term in studio. I've realized I need to start focussing on the technical aspects of architecture, past the concept. I'm stronger at understanding and forming a convincing idea, but lacking the ability to conceive the built details. I'd like to also start to integrate information learned through classes such as Human Context into the projects. Ideas such as way finding, designing towards the human scale, identification, personalization, etc should all be integrated into my projects.

Firstly, I decided to place the vehicular traffic to the backside of the building so that the views are unobstructed for the visitor and workers. The traffic also slowly dwindles as one progresses towards the parking lot (larger trucks exit, then visitor vehicles exit). I had also played with level changes, as the program needed the outdoor production at least 4 feet higher than the indoor production. The site is placed on a hill, so I was able to design around the topographic lines to work with the hill and integrate level change. There are two experiences for the visitor. 1. the touring route, which is ramped downwards (to the right of the barrel cellar). This pathway leads the visitor to the entrance of the cellar which is about four feet below grade of the main production level. The visitor is then brought back up via ramp to the entrance of the production space, and then they can travel back to the top of the barrel cellar where the parking lot is. The second route would be considered the "relaxation route". This route starts over the barrel cellar, where the visitor is lead to a view. They stand over the barrel cellar where they can look into the cellar through skylights. They can also look into the production space. A bridge then leads the visitor into the hospitality building which holds the tasting room, office, bathrooms and kitchen. The visitor can then exit through the back and go towards the tasting pavilion which we worked on a bit in the beginning of the term. The ideas of having a "lifted" visitor route and a "sunken" working/tour route was one idea that separated the functions of the site. This was further emphasized by using wood for the lifted path, and brick for the sunken path. For building material, I wanted to use heavy stone throughout the site. The north and south sides of all the buildings are stone, so that through plan you can see that there is a consistency in the parallel walls. The west and east walls are more open, most likely glass. Thus, one can peer through all the buildings from east to west. Much of the material in this project drove the aesthetic of the project. Thus bulky stone influenced the design of the roof. I liked the idea of having heavy forms shape the building. The roof is thus a heavy looking form that "floats" above the space. The north and south ends of the roof are skylights so that when one is inside the building looking up, there are skylights on the sides and a heavy floating form above. This is shown in the production section. The heavy stone also drove the aesthetic of the facade. I treated the facade as a volume with voids punched out. I looked at some precedents that do very similar things such as the Ronchamp chapel or these buildings. The windows are lined with metal and then metal protrudes outwards ranging from 1-2 feet. This created black thin volumes coming out of the stone facade. In the tasting room, these windows could be sat in.

 I was critiqued on needing to understand the stone material further-how does the stone work around the window form, how are they designed for the construction? Again, needing to work on the technicality. I was also critiqued on needing to develop the site further so that there are thresholds for the visitor-how does one travel from the parking lot to the sidewalk to the entrances of the building? How could this be done through landscape? The site needed more detail, and that the site plan looked too conceptual. The perspective also was a bit skewed-the people in the foreground needs the same line of vision as the people in the background. Right now, since this is not so, it looks like there is a slope in the perspectives. Overall, the perspectives should have displayed more of the strong ideas of my project. Overall my concepts were strong, but I need to understand how to use finer scale details to develop the concept into a human scale experience.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Advanced media final assignment

Here is the final design for the media project (a study pavilion on campus). I would like to create a simple wood structure that creates two types of spaces. The taller entrance leads to a space high enough to sit under and read a book or lounge with some room above the head. The second entrance is lower, a shelter purely for napping and lying under. The roof is made for students to crawl and sit on top, a place to perch and rest in good weather. I chose to use a simple tongue and groove joint to connect the wooden pieces of the pavilion. However, in reality the pavilion is much more complex because the shapes twist to
form a much more curvy shape. It is not a purely geometrical form.

This sheet shows my exploration of the shapes for the roof panels. My professor had also wanted me to experiment with color, so I created an option that has a mix of blue and yellow and clear triangles. I imagine the material to be thin and translucent so that sun may filter through and reflect onto the ground and the people sitting inside.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

advanced media study pavilion draft

learning some functions in grasshopper such as 3dmorph, which is used in this image. I am conceptually designing a study pavilion for a lawn on campus. To the left are connection options, relating to specific material.

great tutorials that have kept me alive in this class

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Winery mid review and some mediocre photos.

I apologize for the mostly blurry photos.

Here's the conceptual site plan I had used for the first few weeks of the term to organize the buildings of the winery. We will be designing a hospitality building to hold the tasting room, an office and professional kitchen. Additionally, the site plan includes a bunkhouse for workers, a production facility, part of it being outdoor and five feet above grade, a barrel cellar and a dry goods storage.

 I want the building to be staggering up the hill so that the views to the south and west are unobstructed. The right most building is the production facility, the barrel cellar and the dry goods storage. This area is tucked into the earth, and protrudes out of the slope. The hospitality building sits to the left, and subtly protrudes out of the slope. The bunkhouse to the far left sits on the slope at grade level. Thus, the buildings slowly rise out of the slope as one travels further to the left.
 Here is my refined site plan with massing. The buildings do not protrude out of the ground as dramatically as I had anticipated. Vehicle traffic is hidden to the backside of the buildings, and the pedestrian traffic remains at the front side of the building to take advantage of the views.
 My reviewer suggested I redesign the hospitality building so that the kitchen does not open to the public. He had also discouraged the linearity of the plan, and would have liked to see more "spatial structure". The building seemed to be too form based. Similarly he had thought my buildings were too object oriented and needed to integrate with the site more. The client had also reviewed my building, and suggested I allow more viewing opportunity for transportation vehicles, as most of the road would be hidden behind the production building. He had wanted his workers to enjoy the view as well, as
much of the production process involves transporting the grapes between the outdoor and indoor production spaces.

Here is a section model of the tasting room. My primary material would be masonry. I want to take advantage of the thickness of masonry to create interesting voids in the facade, and to shape the views for the visitors.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Winery project: tasting pavilion

 This term I am designing a winery for EIEO & Company. The client will be looking at our ideas, however the studio project will remain conceptual as most of our designs will be over budget. The tasting pavilion is a small structure located by a spring, which leads to a man made pond. It is shaded by two large trees. We were to design a small space that includes some sort of water element.

 My design focuses on the views of the winery. I want to use heavy masonry to shape the space of the pavilion. I blocked the views of the north side of the pavilion, as the views mainly are focused to the west, and south. The east side faces the hospitality and production buildings. The visitor enters at the east side and is compressed into a small space in which he chooses either to continue into the large gathering space to the left, or the viewing balcony.
 Here is my conceptual model of the heavy masonry walls piercing through a wooden platform

 I had wanted to create a relationship between wood and masonry by  "sandwiching" the material -wood for the roof, masonry in the middle, and wood for the flooring. During the critique, my professor had suggested to work on the roof form to keep the building cohesive.  He had suggested for the roof to interact with the masonry in a similar manner as the wood does, that is, the piercing action of slicing into the masonry. The roof is an open structure, so that the existing trees provide the primary shading.
The viewing balcony was created to block heavy southern sunlight from entering into the gathering space. The walls here are to create filtered light, and an opportunity to separate private spaces with larger public spaces.
My water feature is a small reflection pool located near the entrance (you can see a small bit of it where the piece bends). I cut small perforations into the masonry so that when light filters through the holes, the reflections will cast onto the water. This idea was inspired from the Stone Museum in Japan.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Structures class project 1

This past week we have been studying how structure can form space. Students were to design a market hall using specific support, span and brace material as well as a circulation layout. I was given a symmetrical perpendicular axis, timber for span and masonry for support and brace. We were assigned to create large spaces for primary circulation, medium spaces for venders  and small spaces using the material to define space. To do so, I separated space by creating different sized archways beneath the truss. The small spaces are used as separate, private circulation areas or storage opportunity.

Design Media Project 1

This term I am taking a digital media class focusing on Grasshopper and paneling tools for Rhino5. We started out the class by creating light screens by folding and cutting paper. I played with color and used both card stock and vellum paper. The circular screen was made using grasshopper point attractor to make the subtle variation of elliptical shape.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Guggenheim Helsinki

This past month I've been working with a visiting Fulbright scholar on his Guggenheim Helsinki design competition project. It was interesting to see his process of work and pacing as I have only been exposed to the structured process of studio.

It was cool to see Max reaching out to several students and professors to contribute to the design process. We worked with a landscape designer and some professors were able to give us weekly reviews for the schematic phase. I liked to see how I could fit into the process being a second year student.

I first worked on the schematic design, diagrammatically laying out where programmatic spaces could be. At the stage I began working, the basic form and concept had been developed. Thus, I had a form to work with and placed spaces where it seemed most ideal. Max was happy with what I produced, and we worked off these designs for the first review session. Like studio, after review we had a lot to fix and work around, and several large schematic design issues that needed further developing and revisiting.

Max introduced me to ArchiCAD which is a really great program, very user friendly and quick to learn. Using this program, I got to design the wood patterns of the roof deck. Here, Max emphasized the importance of having reasons for every design move, such as having all the panels running in the same logic. Using the same program, I also got to edit some floor plans, and organize the furniture layout. The floor plans were a really great learning task for me. Max used the concept of regulating lines to keep walls and spaces visually organized. Where needed, dotted lines were used to aesthetically show the use of regulating lines. The floor plan contains several irregular shapes and odd angles, thus using the regulating lines kept the floor plan clean and logical. The use of furniture to express spaces also enhanced the floor plan, which I had not done in my previous studio assignments. A trick Max showed me to develop spaces was to firstly draw the circulation of the room, and then organize the walls around the circulation path. This way of design simplified the process for me, as keeping a strong circulation provided a decent starting point.

The design in general was a good concept of blending the city fabric with nature, providing public spaces, acknowledging the city fabric while introducing modern form. These large concepts I had integrated in studio, however it was interesting to see how these concepts are developed and recognized in a large project such as this.

Throughout the process, Max had also assigned me various tasks such as thumbnails for board layout, Photoshop-ing diagrams, facade design, researching building costs, etc. I was introduced to working with a team, sharing tasks and design ideas, etc.

It was interesting to see that Max had begun with a form. The past couple projects I had done a similar way of design, beginning with form and filling in the space. I had originally thought this to be a weak way of designing because of the limitations the form may exhibit, however, it was refreshing to see a completed, well designed project using this method. I still would like to learn how to develop spaces by both creating form while also allowing the interior spaces to form the exterior.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Much belated final review material.

As I said previously, what seems to be months ago, I have finally had time to post some of the final material of my last studio in the spring.



This school focuses on creating a connection between the wildflower hill at the top right of the site to the open grass field at the bottom left of the site. This is done by creating two buildings enclosing a pathway, the meadow, that connects these two natural elements. The meadow becomes a private outdoor field for students to explore, play and learn in. The classrooms become versatile spaces, arranged to be large or small with the use of a chalkboard dividing wall between a cluster of two classrooms. Every cluster shares an open area for group work or reading space. The abstract steel tree begins on the first floor of the school where the interior playground is located. It then travels upward through the next two floors, creating lofty play spaces for children to socialize with each other. The building to the left hosts the public activities of the school, such as the auditorium, gym, administration office and cafeteria. The building to the right holds the classrooms, library and media room, art room and music room. I kept the main circulation of the building to be along the edges of the meadow.

My first reviewer would have liked me to organize the functions of the building better, especially the circulation. More specifically, he had not liked the placement of the preschool and kindergarten rooms which are placed on the first level of the right hand building. For one to access this area, one would have to go through the entrance corridor, then enter the second building, then walk down the stairs to the preschool/kindergarten rooms. He had also noted that the procession from the parking lot to the class rooms may be to difficult, as one must open three doors to reach the lobby of the classroom building. This reviewer also thought to rethink the material of the building, as it currently resembles a bunker like building. The material I had aimed to render was a light brick color. This reviewer also noted how much of the classrooms only have one window, and placing light coming in from two sides of the room would be more preferable. He had also wanted me to open the public facade more.

My second reviewer suggested to create the facade based off the tectonics of the building form, or the limitations of the form. A facade could also be done by the solar geometry, or thinking of the spaces of the edges of the building, both interior and exterior. The reviewer also suggested to keep the entrance lobby open, instead of enclosed. This was an interesting idea as it would create three buildings, not two. It would also create a nice exterior courtyard entrance, and would also solve the issue of traveling through three doors to get to the classrooms.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

SW Oregon AIA Energy Trust Seminar

I decided to attend an event hosted by the AIA in Eugene. It turned out to be pretty interesting, as it covered some current passive house strategies. The "Kiln" Apartments designed by GBD Architects (one of the first multifamily projects to pursue the passive house standard in Oregon) were used as a case study, and was presented by David Posada, sustainability manager of GBD Architects.

Some history: The Passive House movement originated from Germany, and uses strategies that are passive in nature, most importantly air tightness and active ventilation. The first passive house in the U.S. was done in Urbana Champagne, Illinois in 2005. It was designed after the first passive house in Germany in 1990.

Kiln Apartments: a mixed use (commercial on bottom floor), multifamily passive house. Designed by GBD, completed in June 2014. To perform as a passive house, this building uses continuous insulation, continuous air barrier, premium/high performance windows, balances solar gain to shade, balances active ventilation with heat recovery, minimizes heating and cooling using ventilation ducts, uses efficient appliances and lighting, and is thermal bridge free.
Heat loss occurs mostly from ventilation, while heat gain occurs from heating.
Walls could be done in two ways, the first would be double studded, or stud and foam done in which 2x2 posts sit at the ends of the bottom plate, and 2x4 studs are offset in order for insulation to be continuous in the wall. It appears similar to this. The windows are all airtight, and pay close attention to the U-value, the heat gain, and the thermal bridging. The air tightness of these windows are 6ACH (air changes) at 50 pascals. A typical "energy star" home would have about 3-5 ACH. The "tilt turn" windows were used for this building, and, according to the architect sitting beside me, the most energy efficient window type. These triple pane, wooden windows were produced by "HH Windows" in Seattle (UV= .12 and .13, SHGC .56 South facing, SHGC= .25 North, East, West facing). Exterior cladding was used to protect the wood from moisture. The architects also built a mockup window to test the performance (they also used a blower door to test the air tightness of the building). The architects also used fluid applied air barriers from "Prosoco".
The Kiln apartments have lots of corner units which was interesting as a design perspective, as it provides maximum view potential for the units (this was done by using somewhat of an L shape).
Some lessons learned from the architects:
1. Skin to volume ratio for the project: 4.9 vs 7.9
(exterior envelope vs interior volume)
2. Orientation: Broad side at North and South, minimal glazing at East and West
3. Insulating ground floor is important (lots of heat lost to the ground). It is generally best to pay attention to window selection, insulating the roof, heat recovery ventilation systems, and exterior wall insulation.
Image taken from GBD website.

These are some pretty basic notes, but it was really great to see some of the strategies learned in class being applied to real world projects.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

a quote from ARCH CONTEXT slides.

 in the midst of studying for my final, I thought this quote was interesting..
Laws control our lives, and they are designed to preserve a model
of society based on values learned from mythology. Only after reimagining our myths can we coherently remodel our lives, and hope to keep our society in a realistic relationship to what is actual.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Final Review Spring 2014

 Alas! Final review is over (better images of work and explanation of work will be uploaded soon).