M.Arch I Application Portfolio
Application for architecture graduate programs. Accepted at Yale, Columbia, Penn, and Cornell.
M A RY 61 2 7 A lts c hul CH EN O E N ew Yo rk, N Y 1 002 7 H A RT (81 3) 846 -1 79 1 Thinking Through the Walls A wall can be a metaphor used to describe an obstacle of insurmountable adversity. My wall is also a description of my design process. 2 The back wall of my studio desk, Spring 2009. Contents Welcome inside my walls... 4-9 Eero Saarinenâ€™s Emotional Interlopers 10-17 Fast, Slow, Healthy, Fun 18-21 Lerner Hall Student + City Integration Bubble 22-25 Vessel for a Pair of Salad Tongs 26-31 Choose Your Own Adventure 32-33 Post-Architecture 34-35 Art & Photography 36-39 Travel Drawings 3 4 Eero Saarinenâ€™s Emotional Interlopers Studio Architectural Representation: Abstraction. Barnard College, Fall 2009. Critic Madeline Schwartzman Assignment Research the design approach of a chosen architect. Create a conceptual suitcase to embody the outcome of my findings. 5 Defining Eero Saarinen Modern but not functionalist. Emotional design gestures that coexisted with intense time and motion research. Utopian by way of faith in corporate America. His worldview has always polarized critics and historians... Function Formal Expression = = “...today a good part of the architectural profession, liberated by the computer (or unleashed by it), may well regard Eero’s more spectacular shapes as heroically conceived and inadequately appreciated...” - Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen “To true believers in the (Modernist) canon, Saarinen was something of a traitor. … The TWA terminal was a particularly flagrant violation of the Modern rule that form should express structure.” - Herbert Muschamp Source: Pelkonen, Eeva-Liisa. Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future. p.13 Source: Muschamp, Herbert. “When the Cathedral Turned Black” in Hearts of the city: the selected writings of Herbert Muschamp. p.64 6 Career achievements / Story of betrayal Saarinenâ€™s projects can actually be categorized into three different approaches, ranging from pure function to uninhibited expression. He explored all three strategies simultaneously throughout his career, rendering any singular summation of his work inaccurate. Abstraction Increasing Formal Expresssion IBM Rochester, 1958 Orthogonal modern utility MIT Chapel, 1955 Concealed internal expression TWA Terminal, 1962 External expression 7 Case Study: Miller House Mapping Programmatic model Architect’s original plan Emotional topography Suitcase Map of functional and emotional progammatic elements in the plan. Functional topography In an exemplary instance of Saarinen’s contradictory ideas, his Miller House juxtaposes highenergy areas of family activity with simultaneous functional demands and the organization of its 9-square grid. 8 A three-dimensional study model allowed for the two aspects of the house’s split personality to be investigated in isolation from each other or explored as an integrated whole. The programmatic topographics were similiarly projected onto the form of the suitcase during its design process. Manifested as suitcase Increasing Formal Expresssion Opening sequence begins Functionalist configuration The three segments of the opening sequence of the suitcase correspond with Saarinenâ€™s career stages as an architect attempting increasing levels of expressiveness in his designs. Hybrid of function and internal expression Open emotional expression Removal reveals a handle 9 10 W U N HE F AL TH Y T LO S S FA Fast, Slow, Healthy, Fun Adapting Healthy Food to Capitalist Branding Studio Design I Barnard College, Fall 2010. Critic Joeb Moore Assignment Revive Spanish Harlemâ€™s former La Marqueta green market based on a new business model that will provide neighborhood residents with greater access to healthy food. 11 20% 15% 10% 10% Why does Harlem have twice the obesity rate of my neighborhood? 15% Source: New York City Deparment of Health and Mental Hygiene, “My Community’s Health: Data and Statistics.” 20% Analysis Fast and slow food brands project divergent imagery... Slow Food Branding • Natural colors • Detailed shapes • Delicate lines Fast Food Branding Calm, refined, contemplative. Designed to channel sophistication. Bright colors Bold, thick shapes Curved lines Designed to grab attention. Fast food conceptually associates with fun, while healthy food associates with slow. 116th St. 110th St. 12 Supermarket Fast food 3rd Ave. Park Ave. Broadway Fast food’s brand advantage leads it to out-compete healthier options, limiting their availability in Harlem. Lexington Ave. Applied to local site Response Is it possible to reconcile fast food’s advantage in the Darwinian game of economic survival with our society’s moral imperative to provide healthy food to those who need it most? if fast = fun, and slow = healthy, ...then can fast + slow = healthy + fun? New marketing strategy Re-present healthy food under more accessible fast and fun branding. CURRENT FAST FOOD MODEL Fun Branding Fun Branding NEW MODEL Healthy food Unhealthy Food Healthy food CURRENT SLOW FOOD MODEL Slow branding 13 Performative transformation Normative condition Could healthy food's image be reinvented by placing activities associated with fast and slow food into novel new relationships with each other? t. S 116th , Fast Normative condition Fast Slow Fun Healthy Index of selected potential interactions that could be enabled by programmatic overlaps. salad bar + adjacent slide dining + play area Dialectic l ercia m Com Fast and slow, sited Existing fast and slow uses are already present near the site. 14 ntial t. S 115th ide , Res Slow “Fast” and “fun” programs such as take-out are placed on the north commercial end of the site. Slower programs such as dining reside by residential 115th street. The two programs mesh together in mid-block, breeding interaction. Exterior view of the commercial facade, looking south. Final design Wrapping fast and fun around healthy and slow. Fast and slow programs manifest into two distinct spatial zones. A sculptural public facade contains zones for play and shopping, while the orthogonal dining room blends in with its residential neighbors. As with the program, these forms are most often found mixing together. Elevation looking east. 15 16 Interior perspective Cross Sections Residential Neighborhood Commercial Area Site plan 17 18 Lerner Hall Student + City Integration Bubble Studio Architectural Representation: Perception. Barnard College, Spring 2009. Critic Madeline Schwartzman Assignment Analyze Bernard Tschumiâ€™s Lerner Hall campus center. Design an inhabitable installation in response to the building. 19 Process Lerner Hallâ€™s masonry facade along Broadway acts as a filter separating street activity from internal student spaces. Where architect Bernard Tschumi once cited the 1968 student uprisings as a progressive influence, his facade perpetuates normative campus fortifications against the Other. Could greater transparency help integrate Lerner? Design development through analytical sketches and study models. 20 Design Result A glass-enclosed bubble projecting out from Lernerâ€™s wall visually connects students to the outdoor urban realm while preserving the physical and acoustic separation necessary for focused study. The design simultaneously acknowledges the general public by transforming into a bench at the moment where its structural supports meet the sidewalk. Design synthesis Entry procession Section cut 21 Vessel for a pair of Salad Tongs Studio Introduction to Architecture, Cornell University Summer College 2007. Critics Henry Richardson and Vincent Mulcahy. Assignment Analyze an overlooked everyday tool. Design a vessel to contain both the object and its newly-revealed parti. 22 Embodiment of forces An external force compresses the handle of the tongs. The force is transferred via a mechanical linkage... ...which in turn enables the front end of the tongs to compress another external object. The compressed becomes the compressor. 23 Analytical Process After analyzing the basic dimensions and movement of the tongs, I became intrigued by their shifting spatial enclosure. The analysis began with observation. Measured drawings documented my findings. Design Process Areas of pressure and tension during the toolâ€™s operation. 24 Drawing recording the toolâ€™s movement through the course of its operation. The space enclosed by the tongs shifts as the tool is used. Initial sketches from life helped me get to know my tongs. Study models 25 26 Choose Your Own Adventure Reconciling Chinatownâ€™s improvisational local culture with the standardized Manhattan grid. Studio Design II Barnard College, Spring 2011. Critic Irina Verona Assignment Design a new transit hub and library for Chinatown, based on an analysis of New York Cityâ€™s transportation networks. 27 Standardized and local urban narratives There are multiple different ways to perceive the same city. Bus tours Walking tours Large bus companies ferry crowds of passengers along preset routes between landmark destinations. Corporate capitalism has established a single standardized description of the city. Organized by individuals and small businesses to experience specific local neighborhoods within the city at a slower human scale. Tours are often themed in response to customersâ€™ individual fascinations, creating a web of alternate narratives as diverse as the city itself. ONBOARD CITYSIGHTS GRAY LINE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING GRAVEYARDS STATUE OF LIBERTY TIMES SQUARE ROCKEFELLER CENTER W.T.C. SITE CIVIL WAR ERA 9/11 TOUR LITERARY HAUNTS OF HARLEM WALL ST. GREENWICH VILLAGE SOHO CHINATOWN UNITED NATIONS CHRYSLER BLDG Range and divesity of available bus tours (left) and walking tours (right). 28 GREAT GATSBY TOUR EXTREME CHOCOLATE PIZZA TOUR BROADWAY HIP-HOP TOUR ART DECO BROOKLYN BEER CRAWL JEWISH GANGSTERS OF THE L.E.S HAMILTON V.S. BURR FINANCIAL CRISIS TOUR ASIAN VEGETERIAN FOOD LGBT HISTORY AYN RAND TOUR LABOR HISTORY LUXURY CHOCOLATE SEX IN THE CITY TOUR Chinatown’s local story Still from an analytical animation produced in collaboration with Beatrix Carroll. Unofficial urbanism This neighborhood’s culture innately resists another type of master narrative – Manhattan’s street grid. Locals hawk seafood on the sidewalks, cover historic buildings in Chinese characters, and share their roads with Chinatown evolves Past Present Future? Buildings constructed on sites defined by the Manhattan grid. Current residents build additions on top of pre-existing buildings. The grid and its subsequent layers of modification could become inseparably intertwined. 29 A new coexistence Chinatown’s culture could not have been in further opposition to the requirements of my own studio assignment; my program was to create an archive preserving documents from the 1811 Commissioner’s Plan for the Manhattan street grid. My proposal seeks to retain a space for local community life within the context of the institutional archive. The library program follows the grid of the street to create a glass wrapper of book stacks. At the same time, spaces for local commercial and community use occupy the voids between the orthogonal grid in a decentralized network of nodes and pathways. The open nature of the atrium, and the diversity of its programming, work to position disparate types of users into a state of mutual awareness. Travel by book TRAVEL BY BOOK Travel by foot Travel by eye Travel by tour TRAVEL BY TOUR TRAVEL BY TOUR TRAVEL BY FOOT Section showing the building’s relationship to its context. 30 PLAN: LEVEL 1 Sectional perspective Plans PLAN: LEVEL 3 PLAN: LEVEL 2 STACKS STACKS STACKS STACKS KITCHEN KITCHEN VIEWING ROOM VIEWING ROOM Level 1 ground floor Level 3 Level 5 KITCHEN VIEWING ROOM Level 7 rooftop 31 Post-Architecture A social experiment in spatial awareness Course Curating Architecture Barnard College, Fall 2010. Critic Luke Bulman Assignment Develop a conceptual exhibit for the Diana Center 4th floor gallery space. My design attempted to respond to the inherent conditions of this site... Credit: My wall installation idea was part of a larger exhibit collectively designed with my classmates: Andrew Altamirano, John Buonocore, Julia Burgi, Beatrix Carroll, David Coplon, Skylar Cozen, Moira Cunningham, Yi Ren, Carlos Valencia, Rolando Rodriguez, Rian Rooney, and Flora Vassar. 32 Architects Weiss/Manfredi designed my campus's recently-completed Diana student center to include a glass view corridor, intended to allow students on different floors of the building to visually connect. In real-world usage, nobody looks up. My exhibit aims to raise awareness about the existence of the view corridor, and by extension about the overlooked presence of architecture in general, by denying access to it. Me and my classmates spent four hours covering the wall of the gallery in Post-It Notes. Under construction. View from Level 1 looking up to the exhibit on Level 4. 33 34 Art & Photography Suburban Gothic Personal, Summer 2010. Investigation into the potential for the everyday suburban landscape where I live to also be capable of producing experiential affects. Selections from a series. Lerner in Flight Personal, Spring 2009. Slices A.P. Studio Art, 2007. Abstract exploration of intersecting matter. 35 Travel Drawings My efforts to perceive the world around me will be a never-ending journey. All drawings produced on-site. 36 Versailles Drawing in Paris, Parsons School of Design, Summer 2010. Instructor: Madeline Schwartzman Nanstein Castle Savannah, Georgia Personal, 2009. Interior Passage, Chaco Canyon Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. Personal, 2011. Landstuhl, Germany Personal, 2008. Cรกdiz, Spain Personal, 2008. 37 Sectional Sketch, Chaco Canyon Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. Personal, 2011. 38 Villa Savoye I Poissy, France. Personal, 2008. Exterior, Chaco Canyon Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. Personal, 2011. Richards Medical Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Personal, 2007. Villa Savoye II Drawing in Paris, Parsons School of Design, Summer 2010. Instructor: Madeline Schwartzman 39