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Alexis Wolfe Coir Harvard Graduate School of Design, MArch I AP Graduated with Distinction, 2013 University of Michigan TCAUP, BSArch Graduated with Distinction, 2007 Professional Experience: Harvard GSD Career Discovery Studio Instructor Brown University Research Assistant

6/13-7/13 7/11-present

Professor Felipe Correa Design & Publication Team


Harvard GSD Fabrication Lab Graphic Designer


Marble Fairbanks, New York, NY Intern Architect


PLY Architecture, Ann Arbor, MI Junior Designer


Williams Osler Works, Ann Arbor, MI Associate Designer



Arc h i t ec t u r al Rec kon i n g: C h al l en gi n g t h e Au t h or i t y of Ti me +Ins tr uctor : Pres ton Scott Cohen +Option Studio, Har vard GSD +Progr am: Mus eum + Addition

Architectural Reckoning: History, continuity and the construciton of possibility This studio was set up as a kind of architectural game in order to scrutinize the reciprocity between buildings and their context. Students were asked to design an American Beaux-Arts museum before proposing a contemporay addition. Though the two buildings are in different styles by separate “authors,� their organization works in tandem. Each building is incomplete without the other; the architecture only critically engages the history of museum typology when it confronts its framework across time.

Pas de deux: entertwining histories The main logic of this reconcilation is circulation, a key organizing force for the Beaux-Arts. A case-study of Peruzzi’s Palazzo Massimo in Rome reveals the possibilities of linking separate volumes via a single path that switches between corridor and enfilade organization. The museum absorbs this model, allowing entry to the second floor where the geometry of the site forces a schism between the two main wings. The ‘new’ addition then inverts the organizing logic of the ‘original’ museum: the circulation opens the enfilade galleries out to the city, while an aggregation of volumetric ehibition spaces are caught up in the middle. Two different typologies of circulation and exhibition spaces emerge: the slow ramping of the promenade servicing peripheral galleries, contrasted by vertical interior stacking linking together more orthogonal rooms.

Th e a d d it io n . R h y t h mi c c o u n t e r point with the entrapm ent of galleries and i n v e r s i o n o f t h e e n f i l a d e ; t h e traditional m useum unbound

Formal point: Beaux -Arts Design , transformation studies based off of Peruzzi’s Palazzo Massimo

Se c o n d f lo o r p l a n s h o wi n g B e a u x - Arts design with c ontem porar y addition

Pa t h w a y a lo n g i n t e r i o r v o l u me

Top lev el galleries: interior perspectiv e and roof geometr y

Pe r ip h e r a l g al l e r i e s a l o n g p r o me nade

Per for mi n g Ar t s C en t er +Ins tr uctor : Mar iana Ibanez +Core Studio 3, Har vard GSD +Progr am: Per for ming Ar ts C enter +Site: Nor th End, Bos ton, MA

Civic Identity

Along with a handful of other civic institutions, performance centers have historically symbolized the city’s cultural identity. The public spaces typical to concert venues - internal lobby and outdoor plaza - are spaces of spectacle and gathering. Prior to a performance the building opens to the city, and the public-cum-audience passes through a series of thresholds, each removing them one step further from the commotion of city concerns. The architecture must provide a space for spectacle, but not remain passive. It should engender a sense of wonder and excitement in passersby without immediately revealing its entire internal order.

Programmatic Overlay An early concern in the project was that the different programmatic elements within and without the building interact both physically and conceptually. The main programs of the building were conceived as nested voids within a framework; each coexist within the whole, but influence their autonomy through the bulk of their spatial claims.

Tectonic Exchange The tectonic spectacle of the architecture offers promise of a conversation between members of the group, manifesting itself as a series of raked frames that organize interior space and fractures the skin of the building to connect with the exterior public. At night the building’s interior becomes a spectacle for the city.















C ross-section through classrooms and academy rehearsal space

Longitudinal section

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Main lobby C oat check/ Ticket booth/ C oncession Academy Lobby C afe Restaurant Kitchen Loading / Trash

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Scene shop Green room C oncert hall Public plaza/ Outdoor performance 12 C oncert Mezzanine







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Lobby Mezzanine Terrace Theater C oncert H all Mezzanine Staff Area Dressing Rooms Practice Rooms C lassrooms

M a in lo b b y l o o k i n g t o wa r d s t h eater m ezzanine

Mezzanine, looking towards main lobby

D omi n an t Types an d t h e Idea of t h e C i t y: Hou s i n g Bei ji n g +Ins tr uctor : Chr is topher C. M. Lee +Option Studio, Har vard GSD +Progr am: Hous ing +Site: Beijing, China

Housing: New Monument for Beijing The city of Beijing has undergone radical transformation throughout the past fifty years, and a wave of recent building projects is transmuting the spatially paradigmatic nature of the city itself. New housing is especially needed as the capital modernizes, but market economics ignores the region’s historical richness and offer high-rise towers in place of the traditional hutong neighborhoods. These massive new complexes are completely alien to the city’s organizational and symbolic principles and are rigid schemes that cannot support Beijing’s culture. A deficiency in adequate housing is synonymous with failure for the city itself, for as Aldo Rossi stated, “the residential intimately bound up with the city’s evolution and nature, and is itself constituted of parts, which in turn summarize the city’s image.” Located at the terminus of the arterial north-south axis, this project proposes a return to the deep structure of Beijing as a methodology towards understanding the city’s morphology, and argues that the fundamental concept of the city can be defined in relating the private to the common.

Framework for the Common: Public, Private and Political Space in the City Rossi’s Gallaretese housing project collapses distinct typologies (residential and the street) into a single structure analogous to the city. In response to Beijing’s history, proposed residences align around large collective courtyards. In turn, their structural organization orders the public space above. Multiple typologies (the courtyard, the plinth and the promenade) combine, allowing diverse relationships between different inhabitants of the city. The project scale rivals that of Tian’anmen Square, but instead of a monumental plaza under surveillance there is a raised plinth perforated by trees, anonymous entities of private life puncturing the public realm. This new spatial paradigm on the termination of Beijing’s hierarchical axis becomes a platform for political discussion by belonging to multiple forces within the city: public and private; marketplace and monument; the spectacular and familiar.

Beijing north-south ax is showing project at southern terminus

abov e: project diagram, an anony mous Tian’anmen Square left: Rossi Gallaretese, structural inv ersion






Ty pical courty ard

Ur b a n L e ve l, s h o wi n g t h e ma i n u rban entranc e to the north and train stati on for the ex isting rail to the south-west

The sc ale of the c entral c ourtyard responds to urban pressures ex erted on the site and creates a “city within a city �

A n e w t y p e o f l i v i n g : s e c t i o n t h r ough units, raised plinth and c om m unal c ourty ard

C o m m u n a l c o u r t y a r d s s e r v i c e i n d ividual residenc es and form al c irc ulation nodes, whose structure supports a shared plinth abov e.

Th e c o u r t y a r d i s b o t h t h e s y mb o l ic and organizational typology of China’s capital city.

T h i s t r a d i t i o n a l typology c an absorb the sc ale of c ontemporar y Beijing, and offers a new civ ic relationship between residents and the city.





GSD M as t er ’s T h es i s : Arc h i t ec t u re’ s Sh adow: Repres en t at i on i n t h e D i gi t al Age +Advis or : Elizabeth Whittaker

Architecture: DEVICE and PROCESS This thesis probes the question of what it means to “represent” in the digital age. The relationship between representation and architecture is simultaneously generic and specific; we have at our disposal a set of conventions (developed through history) to communicate intent. Representation is also concerned with our society’s understanding of reality; it provides us with a meaningful way to converse with, manipulate, and challenge interpretations of the world. Our own era, marked by the advent of the digital, finds itself questioning the inherently architectural issues of scale, memory, and confrontation.

inst a l l a t i o n c o n s t r u c t i o n

The final installation breaks with the ready-made image and engages the purposeful ambiguity of architectural representation. Confrontation with representation (both mental and physical) becomes architecture through the condensation of space, material and time. It emerges as the mechanism, the semi-structured matrix that allows us to confront the nature of certain realities. With no apparent beginning or end, immediate purposefulness is suspended in favor of multivalency. Ubiquitous architectural moments quite familiar to us—the stair, the corridor, the room, the threshold—are each confirmed, presented and thickened by their representation.

C oncept diagram: the non-linear ex perience ( after Georges Perec )

THE MATRIX: a possible narrative

ENTRY The construction refigures an everyday classroom beyond recognition. Drawn into the room by a video installation, the participant chooses between two paths: a doorway into the central space, or a tight corridor to the left. Compelled by slits of light shining through a drawing, he turns left.

CORRIDOR > ROOM Turning around the CORRIDOR wall, the actor drifts inward. The innermost space is also the most overwhelming: a barrage of sound, projection, reflection, shadows, models and drawings where the scale and media of the four walls collide.

ROOM/STAIR > THRESHOLD A figural element slinks up from the floor and disappears through a doorway abutting the STAIR wall. Our participant decides to squeeze through this opening. On the otherside, he turns around to see a distorted reflection of himself standing in the classroom. This is the THRESHOLD wall, protecting the autonomy of the installation by throwing the outside back at itself.

THRESHOLD > ROOM Skirting the mirrored THRESHOLD wall, the actor slips around an arm to find himself in a secluded space. The wall in front of him is blank save for lit openings; this is the ROOM wall. Through a reveal he glimpses a view of the inner space; the original frontal image is now oblique and stretched almost beyond recognition.

10'-6" 18 risers @ 7"

10'-6" 18 risers @ 7"

10'-6" 18 risers @ 7"

10'-6" 18 risers @ 7"

10'-6" 18 risers @ 7"

10'-6" 18 risers @ 7"

LEVEL 13 ELEV 131'-3"

LEVEL 12 ELEV 120'-9"

LEVEL 11 ELEV 110'-3"

LEVEL 10 ELEV 99'-9"

LEVEL 09 ELEV 89'-3"

LEVEL 08 ELEV 78'-9"


Gal l er y: M at er i al Exper i en c e +Ins tr uctor : Julie Lar s en +Studio 1, UofM Taubman College +Progr am: C omic book galler y +Site: Ann Ar bor. MI

Site + Program Urban Infill The site is a small alley in Ann Arbor off of Liberty Street, the main passage between student-dominated State Street and downtown’s Main Street. Liberty hangs in a strange balance between the two worlds, a stretch of second-hand record stores, specialty video shops and ethnic food joints bridging Big Ten psychosis and posh hippie boutiques.

Comic Gallery The program of the urban infill is a gallery displaying artwork from comic strips and graphic novels, with workspace provided for an artist-in-residence. The building performs as both workshop and display space, with the primary intention of raising critical awareness of this rapidly expanding pop-art form.

Lo n g it u d in a l n o r t h - s o u t h s e c t i o n through Liberty S treet

Joe Sacco, Ashley Wood, Marjane Satrap i

System Juxtaposition

Site Approach

Frame progression studies of a Japanese manga (graphic novel) led to a formal strategy for the gallery. Two systems are defined and juxtaposed, their interaction a method of dealing with the awkward geometry of the site.

The gallery inhabits a void created by surrounding context. Bold slabs define the exterior walls and main entrance while a forest of slim structural columns inhabits the middle. Their interaction fractures the center of the building, the resultant spatial and atmopsheric quality a welcoming change from the surrounding storefronts.

Th e M e r m a id D i a r i e s , R u mi k o Ta kahashi

Material Experience All building elements respond to the interaction between the two systems, including structure, circulation and program. Gallery space keeps towards the front and rear, where natural light and floor slabs are more controlled. Circulation and social spaces group towards the center, where structural columns break through the floor and ceiling slabs. This fractured space forms the heart of the building, like a clearing in the woods.

ground floor plan

sec ond floor plan

third floor plan

Re a r e n t r a n c e , l o o k i n g t o wa r d s f rac ture

Main s treet entrance, looking towards fracture

Her bar i u m: Sh i ft i n g Exper i en c es +Ins tr uctor : Jon D is brow +Studio 2, UofM Taubman College +Progr am: Her bar ium +Site: Gallup Par k, Ann Ar bor, MI

Building Landscape This project provides a new herbarium complex for the University of Michigan’s growing collection of preserved botanical specimens. The proposed site is a wooded hill overlooking the Huron river in Ann Arbor’s Gallup Park. Small tangles of berry trees and switchgrass blanket the southern exposure. Knotted pine trees cling to the top, while the northern base is clothed in a wood of deciduous trees. Proposed architecture responds to the texture of the site. Cues are taken from materials, the play of light, topography, wind, and seasonal precipitation. The herbarium is a container of landscaped interiors, itself a massive entry point to the site unfurling behind.





s e c t i o n s : s it e t e x t u r e s

H u r on R ive r A n n A r b or

L a k e O nt a ri o De tr o i t

Site strategy

Unfolding Paths The massive collection is split: the two monoliths sit at the foot of the hill, sentries guarding entry their dead specimens and the woods beyond. A path skirts the edge of the herbarium and carves into the hillside, pausing at the top before plunging into earth once again. It follows the natural contours of the site, disturbing as little wildlife as possible. The researcher inside the herbarium works in the filtered light of the cavernous collection area while the visitor explores auxiliary buildings under the soft shadow of tall trees.

mo d e l: g r o u n d f l o o r, s e c o n d f l o o r

north-south section

Field c lassroom looking south

Looking north along path from herbarium









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Parking Entr y path Reception/lobby C lassroom/ auditorium C ollection entr y Dark room Laborator y

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C ollection Open office Priv ate office Faculty lounge Librar y Greenhouse





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Addi t i on al Wor k +Per for mance D omains : Ins tallation +Ur ban Study: Lafayette Par k +Animation: Hilber s eimer recons idered

DESTABILIZING EVERYDAY SPACE GSD: Performance Domains Critic: Panagiotis Michalatos Two projected patterns, a vortex and expanding rectangle, respond to different stimuli of sound and movement through space. A familiar route to most students at the GSD is transformed into a destabilizing spatial experience: a lycra surface deformed by undulating strips becomes strangely fluid as the projection passes over it. The space takes on an uncanny appearance, perceptually elongating and and altering and otherwise quotidian service corridor. One translation responds to a soundtrack playing in the space, while the other grows increasingly aggitated as people move through the corridor.

Alexis Coir/Alex Shelley/Sophia Chang

LAFAYETTE PARK: LANDSCAPE IN FLUX GSD: Urban Study Critics: Felipe Correa, Miho Mazereeuw

In this work, landscape and transportation infrastructure replace architecture as the spatial and organizational means through which urban order is constructed. - Charles Waldheim Lafayatte park offered Detroit a new model for residential urban living when it was constructed in the 1960’s. The history of Mies van der Rohe and Ludwig Hilberseimer’s project is also illustrative of the tumultuous series of events that accelerated the city’s infamous decline. Playing the role of both culprit and foil to Detroit’s socioeconomic collapse, Lafayette Park’s past narrative adds an important layer of understanding to this mid-century modernist icon.

La f a y e t t e P ar k : s u b u r b a n e n c l a v es within an urban c ontext

Landscape in flux : project analy sis and contex tual timeline

HILBERSEIMER ANIMATION GSD: Immersive Environments Critic: Chris Hoxie This project reimagines Hilberseimer’s Grosssdat through motion. Source material included the architect’s published drawings and abstract paintings by the artist Davringhausen, Hilberseimer’s contemporary. In particular, the animation investigates the disparate scalar relationships between urban form (the modern city) and the architectural unit (the individual). Alexis Coir/Blair Cranston/Michael Jen

Trac k i n g s h o t o f i n t e r i o r u n i t s

Still from opening scene: tracking across urban scale

St ill f r o m b ed r o o m; f i n a l s c e n e panning ac ross the c ity

Wor k Sampl es +PLY Architecture, Ann Ar bor MI +Mar ble Fair banks , NYC + A Line in the Andes , C ambr idge MA

PLY Architecture Ann Arbor, MI Park House / Ply Studio The Park House exploited local zoning regulations to attach a second residential unit off an existing historic site. Role: Exterior facade installation, interior millwork construction and installation, and presentation drawings.

S ec tion through existing house and studio addition ov er car park

Ad d i t i o n e n t r y, o f f b a c k p o r c h o f existing house

Addition interio r

Addition from street

Marble Fairbanks New York, NY MoMA Flatform The Museum of Modern Art commissioned Flatform for the show “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling.� Flatform is a panel system whose two interconnecting tabs are parametrically linked and can be assembled without external fasteners. The design responds specifically to the relationship between the hand and construction in an increasingly digital world. Role: Off-site construction, on-site installation and coordination, deconstruction coordination.

Final installation

O n- site assem bly

Interlocking tab detai l

Marble Fairbanks Queens, NY Glen Oaks Branch Library Glen Oaks Branch Library is a new 18,000 sf building in Queens, NY. Role: Translation of 2D drawings into BIM interface; conflict-resolution. This entailed working with multiple systems in a fairly intricate building. Inevitable conflicts arose when modeling that had be analyzed and resolved. Specific BIM worksets included: ceiling geometry, structure, landscape/greenroof construction, interior partitions.

G r o u n d f l o o r p l an

BIM modeling and conflict-resolution design i n landscape and basement ceiling geometr y

secti o n thro ugh ce l l ar; rotated skyl i ghts

Rendering: Marble Fairbanks

A Line in the Andes Publication Edited by Felipe Correa Part of the South America Project (SAP), this publication focuses on the morphology of Quito, Ecuador, from historic city core to its currently developing metropolitan infrastructure. Role: Part of publication design and production team. Personally responsible for chapter on historic core, including research, development and finalization of multi-layered drawing depicting Quito’s historic center.

2013 Portfolio  
2013 Portfolio  

Architectural portfolio including student work from University of Michigan TCAUP, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and professional experi...