A series of projects within the design studios assigned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture Faculty that ranges from housing units to urban revival. This series of Projects seek to reimagine the possibilities that art and architetcure can co-exist and how function and form can become one.
Form follows function and vice-versa has been an ongoing issue in the practice of architecture and doesn’t seem to be resolved in the near future. But what if these two attributes could coexist together and create an architecture that has been forgotten about. In today’s society we as architects strive on creating architecture that invents new materials and precise mathematical forms but we are losing sight of how architecture was conceived. Craft in architecture has been lost and needs to have resurgence within the complexity of design today. The essential meaning in craft and architecture lies in the nature of the connections a building or space creates-both internally, between its constituent parts, and externally, through its relationship to its place. In craft we don’t know it but the profile is critical to every design. It is in which the profile becomes alive. It becomes a body of infinite possibilities that can be controlled, or become free to propagate. The architecture embodies this notion and becomes the space that occupies these articulated conditions, solving social political and cultural issues.
PROJECTED [TRANS]SCAPES / SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
FINAL PROJECT / 5TH YEAR
Our design strives to defy critiques, to bring both together to create an elegant yet sophisticated piece of architecture and to have it revive a culturally rich city. The V&A at Dundee’s measure of high performance is relative to its specific constraints, requirements, and goals. Within the ideas of form and function we focused on five categories; reflection, integration, performance, functionality and cultural influence. Reflective glass is used to showcase the River Tay and the surrounding area while reducing thermal loads and interior glare. The angle at which the building is constructed prevents sunlight from reflecting into neighboring buildings. The idea behind using a different type of glass on the bottom layer serves as a visual technique to make the building stand out and look like it is effortlessly floating on the river. Within the building, centralized cores places all program to the perimeter of the building for direct day lighting and optimal 360 degree viewing/ showcasing purposes. This setup also optimizes space for gallery use and layout. To have continuity with the structure, we split each floor level so that everyone within the space would be able to visually interact with each process of design to see what is going on, the idea is to never be disconnected. The main street axis is preserved for viewing purpose and to create continuity within the exterior/interior design. The fourth floor is stretched to accommodate needs of each of the five gallery spaces along with skylights to naturally light circulation space and to allow natural lighting for the galleries. By shrinking the base, we allow for only the required program at grade which allows us to generate public space on the exterior extending the union street axis and its cultural fabric back into the city. The resulting shape is a combination of maximizing daylight penetration and optimized sun response. The building is self-shading in the summer that reflects light deep into the building. In the winter low sun angles allows for direct sunlight straight through the building. The building is a reflection of the culture and hard work that is put into Scottish design. During the day, the building reflects the surrounding area to pay homage to a great nation. At night, the building showcases the intricate output of designs that are presented at the V&A. It is the heart of the city and becomes the “jewel” or symbol of the design of Dundee, Scotland. By avoiding convention and persistently searching for responses specific to these particular demands, an unexpected and iconographic building emerges that is the embodiment of performance, not a symbol of excess.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM / DUNDEE, SCOTLAND
DESIGN DEVELOPEMENT / SPRING 2013
PORPHYRITIC ENERGY / BARRE, VERMONT
LYCEUM COMPETITION / FALL 2011
When analyzing the granite at the quarry site, one can view the spectacular physical features granite possesses. Its slices and brakes from the embodied energy that created it lead to a delineation of motion and direction giving them a curious quality of natural beauty. It is a symbol of the strength and hard work that the workers gave to the quarry. To be one with the earth is not a statement that is taken lightly in this project. When digging deep into the geological structure of granite, its embodied energy is condensed and seeks to break out. The essence of this design was to give tangible expression to the process or “porphyritic crystallization” that created granite. The process is caused by the nucleation of crystal sites and their growth within a liquid magma. When a rock cools too quickly the liquid freezes into a solid glass, or crystalline groundmass. Often vapor loss from a magma chamber will cause a porphyritic texture. By taking this crystalized structure and infusing it with the embodied energy, this design takes that embodied energy and crystalizes it into forms that give spatial order to program and circulation. The landscape is used as an interactive architectural piece that leads one into the quarry by digging into the site at its edges. One subliminally feels a sense of moving vigorously into the ground. Descending into the quarry walls, one becomes gradually intertwined with the surrounding void of the quarry and the steep vertical structure of its igneous stone. The exploitation of embodied energy and porphyritic structure in conjunction with program reveals motion and expansion, through a series of vertical corridors that leads one to an unprecedented experience of delight and wonder.
MEASURING STICK MOTION / MT. LEBANON, NY
DESIGN STUDIO 3 / FALL 2010
In this project we were asked to pick an artifact from the Shaker culture and diagram its geometric, performativity and ergonomic manners to understand the use of that specific piece and to get to know a little about the Shaker lifestyle. The shakers believed in Simplicity in form and function. As the device and it’s motion literally becomes the structure, it’s simplicity and directionality is not only represented on the outside but as well on the inside and is a reflection of the Shaker style. This design incorporates a cafe/ library, storage space and most importantly a lecture hall that overlooks the Shaker complex in Mt. Lebanon, New York that is preserved by the historical organization of upstate New York.
COMPOUND REIMAGING / ACCRA, GHANA
DESIGN STUDIO 6 / SPRING 2012
“If interscalar perforations are integrated at the building envelope in relation to incident airflow patterns, then conditions of airflow, humidity and temperature can be modified to provide human comfort and will also effect the social urbanization of the site.”
5 33’N Latitude / 0 15’W Longitude
Population: 1.8 Million
Land Area: 77 sq. miles
Density: 1019 persons/sq. km.
Social context of Accra has grown significantly and over the last decade, this specific area has become the heart of a vibrant informal economy and the site for many new urban heritage and art rehabilitation efforts. The views of old and new Accra are spectacular, and as the schematic design team we wanted to preserve them. The relative humidity is very high throughout the year [60-90% decreases mid-day and then increases as midnight approaches] in this area. Temperature ranges from 23-35 Celsius. Due to the tempurature flux, Accra has low diernal swings. In the surrounding area, housing typologies range from multi-story housing to flats. 44% are single single story detached, .4% are multi-story detached, 31% are flat style compounds and 10% are flat style semi-detached. Multiple ownership is also very popular within the area. We wanted to change the style of compund living and merge it with ecological performance. With the Adinkra historical patterns we wanted to infuse old culture with new, performative architecture.
SCHOLAR HOUSING / TROY, NEW YORK
DESIGN STUDIO 4 / SPRING 2011
In the final stages of this second year studio project, as a class, we were asked to create a 24 scholar housing complex that housed both long-term and short-term scholars studying in the city of Troy, New York. By compiling all previous work, from the canonical case study’s diagrammatic models to a new knowledge of apartment style building, This design becomes a complex that twists, turns and flows within itself framing its picturesque views and creating a sleek and intriguing structure appealing to all visiting and observing scholars. After further studies of environmental systems and weather data analysis from Weathertool and Ecotect, A series of diagrams became critical to the process of understanding the buulding more, which included egress as well as bringing forth my concept of this hierarchial shading effect that lets in complete shade, little shade and no shade around the complex exterior and interior. A series of diagrams that illustrate geometrical formation, wind path and fenestration formation helped to further investigate my concept and created a better understanding of what I was trying to accomplish