Alexa J. Iverson Architecture Portfolio
PERSONAL STATEMENT “Architecture is not simply a job. It is a lifestyle. It is a way of looking at the world. It is a verb. It is a constant exploration where one looks for and finds inspiration in the world around them, and then applies that inspiration to create something new. And that thing we create is beautiful and makes a difference in the world.” - J. Brantley Hightower What first drew me to architecture and what I have continued to come back to over the years of my studies is architecture’s role in shaping and representing the human experience. Past shelter and necessity, architecture is a means for us to navigate and shape belonging in our ever changing and increasingly global world. It structures how we interact with one another, nature, and the larger world. With this, we as architects not only have the responsibility to innovatively meet the needs of the now but also to imagine how our clients will change and grow in the coming years and how their space will grow with them. As architects we must also engage with the existing conditions of our cities, towns, and countryside. New architecture must deliberately react to and alter its surroundings, respecting the old while providing space for the present and future. In this way architecture is not only the set and structuring of the quotidian or the goals and hopes for the future, but is also the memories and fabric of our pasts that we leave behind, documenting our interests and our hopes. To engage in this continuum of human activity then is to discover the particulars of place, of program, of audience, and of imaginable futures. The projects included in this portfolio engage with important questions about the future of urban food, the adaptability of vernacular forms to modern life, a new structure for learning, a playful material future, and an altered recreation network that stitches together a town previously divided by the industry that built it. email@example.com 651.261.2448
My Master’s Final Project continues this focus, investigating how architecture helps navigate belonging and community in a world of increased mobility and immigration. Striving to understand the role of place and space in the constant changing of culture, I am looking at Toronto’s part in resettling approximately 4,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. It asks the question of how the cultural textures of a particular city can adapt and grow to welcome a refugee population through a variety of architectural interventions. It is this passion for the intersection of architecture, culture, and the human experience that I will bring with me into the profession. While my immediate future after grad school is still open-ended, I hope to continue to grow in my understanding of the role of architecture in our world by working with diverse communities and teams to imagine and construct possible futures. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
CONTENTS WAREHOUSE REVIVAL Fall 2014
MONGOLIAN GER Spring 2014
LEARNED HUMAN SCALE Spring 2015
CONCRETE RAINSCREEN Spring 2015
Ely’s Peak Hike
Spirit Mountain Hike
Ely’s Peak Hike
Tallis Island Bardon’s Peak Hike
LARGE BIKE LOOP
PHASE 1 SMALL BIKE LOOP
WAREHOUSE REVIVAL Minneapolis, Minnesota Fall 2014
Continuation of the street
Highlighting the path and wall
Creating separation between masses
New fitting into existing
N The Aria building occupies a between space mediating between the river and downtown, residential and commercial. Through the study of the history and existing spatial logics of the warehouse along with neighborhood demographics, a program centered around food was developed. The study revealed a subset of three buildings within the Aria that when cut apart, allowed for a ramped continuation of the street through the buildings gaps, connecting food production to retail to consumption along an experiential path.
Production Mechanical Administration Retail & Education Market Spatial organization with production following the baysâ€™ orientation and the supporting mechanical cutting across to establish a secondary logic
Level 3 Level 2 Level 1
geruse is used lens with which toand identify and extrapolate the dwelling dthe best the aslimited resources, crisscrossed over onehow another. Held
water, represented in the floor, hearth frame, fire, grate, and water in the kettle
sether adapted since thejoints turn of the century. This is applied tothe analyze ks and the traditionally structure itself islens withcamels, hinged made out ofmodular, knotted rawhide, the visual walls
respectively. Theplace inclusion of of wood as an element distinguishes the Asianown basica seen in a similar to that the radio. Many families in Ulaanbaatar
surprisingly strong and stable, due in part to the diagonal direction of the wooden lattice sections, known as khana, lashed
elements its most, western counterpart and theright importance on televisionfrom and in if not all, the TV is emphasizes located on the hand ofplaced the altar.
search on to willow rods that have a diameter of an inch or Spring 2014 documentation done by visitors to Ulaanbaatar and Mongolians with
with the meaning the dwelling, ger is also holds Along true, then the inherent placement of theintelevision nearthe thetraditional altar illustrates its
ta, collected with the help of the modern technology of the Internet and its
Investigating urban ger in door, this method limitand the 15 to images. Ulanbaatar, s.ess Finishing this wall Mongolia is thethe doorframe and typicallydoes colorful
erally decorated with designs. The door is the only piece of the ger that is a
towood. technology. Amending this would include travel to Mongolia collect ofconstruction, These split half, to conserve dess made ofrods woodare slats. Thein door consistently faces the to south or
t hand data, which is currently outside the scope of this project. The
theast to shield entry from the bitterone winter winds out of the north. ources, and the crisscrossed over another. Held
ntemporary is investigated in two parts, one that focuses onroof the After the adaptation khana are tied together, completing the circle of the ger, the
aditionally made out of knotted rawhide, the walls
wood Mongolestablished culture. earlier with the introduction of the transistor radio If the in reasoning
s analysis in the ger districts of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, an
derstanding of the thetop urban ger and the urbanpressure ger living are alf a foot from to neutralize the challenges compressivewith outward of the
gns. The door is the only piece of the ger that is a
is with this understanding of the historical and contemporary that fmed. poles.It This system of roofing creates an unencumbered opening that, ger unlike
ood Thetepee, doorallows consistently faces theeasily south or futureslats. is extrapolated. This exploration coalesces investigation of the North American smoke to escape more the using the Venturi
WOMENS Altar Rolled rugs
strictly organized everythingtohas place, reflecting roleform in the whole. importance, eithersoasthat a connection theits larger world or as aits new of leisure. Though this may be interpreted as a necessity for urban nomadic that with nothing A refrigerator is also a common amenity in most ger,living, whichsoalong the gets in the moves andtothe interior doesimages not getthis crowded, the TV, lost denotes a connection an small electrical grid.space In some is also seen placement the tools illustrates facets of of the Mongol culture. in electricaloflighting thatofis daily strungliving through the structure ger. There is Historical the accessible ger is divided into two on halves, east and west. The east is the currently not information the system that supports this,half either its
erior of the ger the other thatoffocuses on theisger’s relation its context, onstructed. Theand crown, a circle bent wood, lifted up ontopoles in the women’s side, where-the clothes, churn, kitchen tools, and foodthewere stored. It Khana joints T. and Faegre form orwall its regulation, the exploration of this is beyond scope of this Figure 9: Khana joint, collapsed, expanded, and able, due inand part the direction ofcontext. the atThrough compassing the categories established withininto the ithistorical here thatmethod. the children and women guests were welcomed and seated. joinery ter of the circle the to roof polesdiagonal are keyed and then lashed the top isproject.
wall doorframe at each crisscross. completes the structure, shethe andA woven door,band typically colorful andtied a about
Storage Figure 20: Interior of Hearth urban ger 1. Storage bags Food bags
Accordingly, the towards west halfpermanence is the men’s side where the storagebut of saddles, This shift is not onlythere seenwas in appliances also in
Figure 14: Organization of the ger. Organization of the traditional gertraditional - T. Faegre
21 This dichotomy thebeds, traditional guns, ropes, and tools.Now the quantity and other size ofherding furnishings. along with the reveals altar and the ger
division tasks in Mongol Historically, the women have been ina may alsoofcontain other large culture. pieces of furniture, including kitchen cabinets, charge of food preparation andAll child rearing whilethe theshift menaway werefrom in charge of table, and in some cases a sink. of these cement transient
herding. altar sitsthe at the head of division in the north, the living andThe illustrate increase in this access to material goodsconnecting in the urban
sides and receiving the light “Eye of Heaven” midday. It is beside environment. The form thatfrom thesethefurnishings and at other mass-produced embly, materiality, meaning, gathering, and of the the ger low into slope three two Bed Bed ct andthe sunlight to winter better penetrate the space. In north. the winter rom bitter winds offurnishing the This undergraduate honorsout thesis seeks to investigate Table the altar ontake the also men’sshowcase side where the place honorpersonal is located. The doorgoods. of the products a shift awayoffrom handcrafted AlexA Iverson the place the from ger inthe contemporary andleaks future emestemporality/permanence, aggregation, and spiritual that uires the scraping ofof snow roof to prevent whenmeaninginterior heats Stove ger holds the other side of the dividing line, where on the women’s side was the Plastic stools and other manufactured products use highly refined material together, completing the its circle of theuse ger, roof Mongolia by analyzing traditional andthe meaning ompt for further inquiry. a discussion thesetothemes, 16 using Figure 10: Assembly thepoor. ger22takes about anreveal and this as a lens withpressure whichofhelps ts thequestions snow. Due to theunderstanding ger’s shape,Following increased wind better position This to the patriarchy of the to servants andofthe available ofdue advancing technologies andseems chemical processes. Though Refrigerator hour. to discuss the ways the ger has adapted to modern circle of bent wood, is lifted up on poles in the Mongol culturemuch as well itsthe hierarchy ofofseating position, the further aggerated contrasting futures of the convenient, this furniture, like addition canvas to the exterior of the 17 ger are formed as a means of beginning to traditional of the walls break wind hor the structure to the ground. and increasingly urban life.The As curvature the traditional Sink Figureinto9:theKhana joint, collapsed, expanded, and dwelling of the region, almost identical in form to space is seated the more important they are goods in the allow community. ger, breaks theone tradition of hand-crafting. Handcrafted the user to plore these questions. Accordingly, the rolewinds of thistoinvestigation is ultimately joinery method. of poles are keyed it and then lashed at the top 13 oothly andthe the truncated conical roofrelationship allows over the structure, yurt, the into ger and its withsweep Mongolian Kitchen cabinets follow the process from raw material to final product something that is missing 11 cultureofisthe explored an analysis of questions that documentnomadic the adaptation ger thusthrough far and identify salient Figure 21: Organization of the urban ger. Assembly of Crown the ger and - T. Faegre Organization of the urban ger Figure 3: assembly of the yurt. its customary relationships with place and spacein new furniture, once again showcasing a further separation from nature. A woven band completes the structure, tied a about socialinhabitance constructs and worldviews, rrant moremaking, researchtraditional on the current of this traditional vernacular Though the furnishing of the ger adapted over time in to a similar place to that of the radio. Many families in has Ulaanbaatar ownto aaccept new For additional photographs of urban ger in and how these have changed toseen adapt urban living. Ulaanbaatar on which this illustration draws see neutralize the compressive outward pressure of the technologies and increased material property, the organization of these pieces has m and its future. Appendix. television the TV is located on the right hand of the7altar. As one of few nomadic architecture forms and that in hasmost, if not all,changed very little. As in the traditional ger, each piece’s place is determined by fing creates an unencumbered opening that, adapted to modern life, a study of the ger mayunlike offer its function. The introduction altar still holds the head of thetransistor ger, opposite radio the door, splitting the reasoning established earlier with the of the a deeper understanding of the If relationship between 21 nomadic people and their architecture. Further, ows smoke to escape more easily using the Venturi it may provide additional insightholds on thetrue, role of the the placement of the television near the altar illustrates its then vernacular, particularly in urban settings, and how a penetrate the space. theover winter loweither slope dwelling form can In adapt time tothe remain versatile importance, as a connection to the larger world or as a new form of leisure. and culturally relevant.
from the roof to prevent leaks when interiorisheats A refrigerator also a common amenity in most urban ger, which along with the
10: Assembly of the takes this about an seen TV, helps denotes connectionFigure to an electrical grid. In somegerimages is also ger’s shape, increased wind pressure toabetter hour.
Figure 20: Interior of urban ger 1.
Earth Figure 11: Mandala of the ger’s traditional
relationship with the universe. Cultural impliCations of the ger
Ger Hearth Square Brazier Four Corners of the Earth Earth Ger The ger’s11: traditional relationship the universe Hearth Square Figure Mandala of the ger’swith traditional
relationship with the universe. Brazier
Four Corners of the Earth Earth Figure 11: Mandala of the ger’s traditional relationship with the universe.
12 in&an 13: Ger Figure gathering aulGer gather in an aul.
In the modern world where someone on the opposite side of the earth is o Earth This pattern continues within the form of the traditional ger with the square phone call away, the need for face-to-face contact is lessened. Followin 17: Mandala of the urban hearth andFigure the circle of the brazier. In its ger’s representation of the larger universe, relationship with the universe. logic, this alteration in the level of enclosure can be seen as a shift away the interior imbued with meaning, becoming a sacred universe in itself. thus pressing itisto the ground. established in the first mandela where squares and circles alternate. Though personal relationships formed with direct surrounds, promoting relation With this understanding of the universe, the way individual gerthe traditionally While serving as a practical dwelling form for the climate andfirst pastoral with the transition from hearth to stove, this change alters shift occurred and interests that can span the globe. With the fence, the ger becomes a gather together continues to the follow the logicgerofalso the manifests mandala. and Goldstein notes Fence nomadic lifestyle for centuries, traditional symbolizes ger’s relation to the greater world instead of the organization of the ger’s o Ger more insular dwelling, though because of advances in communicative techn “[l]iving in a vastofempty land, is surprising that families will often pitch StoveitThis thethat nomads’ perception the world. can be expressed through universe.a mandala It illustrates a barrier between the ger and the world that has this isolation may not be visible in human relationships. 19 their gerpressing close together.” Traditional values pattern. community, 18 where circles and square in oneMongolian another inculture an alternating thus it to are theinscribed ground. previously existed. Though this barrier is most likely a development that form Moreover, along with a shift in relation to the larger world, this fenci making gatheringisaunderstood part of the natural rhythm of life. At times the year when Here the universe as a square, within which isthe theofclimate circle ofand the with ideas ofthe landownership, While serving a practical pastoral it may also reflect changes in societal val Fouras Corners of thedwelling Earth form foralong of land also impacts how the ger gathers, creating a shift in the comm gathering occurs, multiple ger come together to the form a semi-circle known as an Earth. Within this circle is acenturies, square that expresses four corners ofmodern the Earth. In the world where someone on the opposite side of the earth is on nomadic lifestyle for manifests and symbolizes Earth the traditional ger also universe. Traditionally in the rural setting, family or close friends would g aul. The opening in this semi-circle, much like the door to the ger, traditionally This pattern continues within the with formtheofuniverse the traditional ger with call the away, squarethe need for face-to-face contact is lessened. Following phone urban ger’s relationship the The nomads’ perception theurban world. mandalaanother circle within the four corners of the togetherthrough in an aul,a creating Figure 17: Mandala ofofthe ger’s This can be expressed faces south. Subsequently, with a similar shape and opening location to the with universe. hearth andrelationship the circle of thethe brazier. In its representation of the larger logic, thisuniverse, alteration in the level of enclosure can be seen as a shift away fr 18 be read as a universe of community. In th that mentionedpattern. earlier can where circles and square are inscribed in one another in anasalternating individual ger, the aul may also be interpreted as another representation of the the interior is imbued with meaning, becoming a sacred universe in itself. personal relationships formed with direct surrounds, promoting relationsh people may or may Here the universe is understood as a square, within which is the circlenot of know the their neighbors, illustrating a drastic chan Earth. Atthis thisunderstanding scale the representation is focused on individual the earth asgera traditionally community of With of the universe, the way and interests that can span the globe. With the fence, the ger becomes a m community that is also visible in how the ger gathers. While multiple ge Earth.individual Within this circle is a square that expresses the four corners of the Earth. smaller, parts illustrating a communal universe that sits between gather together continues to follow the logic of the mandala.more Goldstein notesthe though because of advances in communicative technol insular dwelling, gather in an aul within one compound, they are divided from their neighbo This pattern continues within form of thefamilies traditional ger pitch with the square universes ofinthea vast world and the ger.it isthe that “[l]iving empty land, surprising that often thiswill isolation may not be visible in human relationships. a wall. Thus their gathering looks more like plant cells, where each “cel the universe of ger,brazier. the Mongolian formInofits therepresentation space and its community, relation to its universe, 19 the andtogether.” the circle of the of the larger theirhearth gerInclose Traditional culture values Moreover, along with a shift in relation to the larger world, this fencing clearly demarcated boundaries. These boundaries raise questions about how context has inherent meaning. For the Mongols, theAt roof traditionally is theinsky the gathering interior isa part imbued meaning, becoming a sacred universe itself. making of thewith natural rhythm of life. times the year ofofland also when impacts how the ger gathers, creating a shift in the commu where community gathers in these ger districts. with the central hole in the roof through which light enters representing the sun, gathering occurs, multiple ger come together to form a the semi-circle known asger antraditionally With this understanding of the universe, way individual universe. Traditionally in the rural setting, family or close friends would gat Besides changes in gathering, the interior of the ger has also continu 20 referred to in Faegre’s text as the “Eye of Heaven”. Since the ger faces the aul. TheGathering opening in this semi-circle, much like door the ger,always traditionally together in anGoldstein aul, creating another circle within the four corners of the ea ger’s Figureof 18urban & 19: Aerialtoof follow ger district Khoroo gather together continues thethe logic of2tothe mandala. notes adapt. In addition to changes in floor material and altar use seen in bot and sketch abstracting concept of urban same direction, sunlight moves through the space of each ger the same way, faces south. gathering. Subsequently, with a similar shape and opening to the earlier can be read as a universe of community. In the thatlocation as mentioned that “[l]iving in a vast empty land, it is surprising that families will often pitch rural and urban settings, there are multiple changes that are unique t marking the time of day on the interior of the dwelling. The “Eye of Heaven” is individual ger, the aul may also be interpreted as another representation of the people may or may not know their neighbors, illustrating a drastic change stationary ger. Another shift in communication, the broad use of the TV, c their ger close together.”19 Traditional Mongolian culture values community, 20 Earth. At this scale the representation is focused on the earth as a community community thatofis also visible in how the ger gathers. While multiple ger m
making gathering a part of the natural rhythm of life. At times of the year when
smaller, individual parts illustrating a communal universe that sits between gather in an aulthe within one compound, they are divided from their neighbor
gathering occurs, multiple ger come together to form a semi-circle known as an
universes of the world and the ger.
a wall. Thus their gathering looks more like plant cells, where each “cell”
aul. The opening in this semi-circle, much like the door to the ger, traditionally In the universe of the ger, the form of the space and its relation to its
clearly demarcated boundaries. These boundaries raise questions about how
faces with a similar shape and opening tointhe context hassouth. inherentSubsequently, meaning. For the Mongols, the roof traditionally is thelocation sky gathers where community these ger districts.
ger, in thetheaul may also be interpreted asrepresenting anotherBesides representation the withindividual the central hole roof through which light enters the changes sun, in of gathering, the interior of the ger has also continued
LEARNED HUMAN SCALE Minneapolis, Minnesota Spring 2015
Role of school in bridging class and community
N Through an exploration of the needs of autistic learners, a dialogue of shifting scales emerged; namely between the feelings of refuge, prospect, and exposure. These spatial typologies provided a variety of settings for students, including safe environments that facilitate learning and more challenging environments for the application of that learning. By studying the existing site conditions, including topography and vegetation, a framework for spatial qualities and relational scales was developed. This resulted in the structure itself becoming a gradient between public and private communal spaces.
Gradient of refuge to prospect
Concept of refuge - prospect - exposure
Gradient of paths from comfortable to challenging
Challenge of path in relation to lenth and change in height
Energy of the site
Gradient from refuge to exposure
Borders created by gradients, suggesting program
Massing of program
CONCRETE RAINSCREEN Partner: Kathleen Bond Spring 2015
Through the perceived austere medium of concrete, we sought to create both a visually interesting and functional rainscreen. Moving away from the industrial feeling of the material, my partner and I experimented with formwork that animates and highlights concreteâ€™s inherent tactile quality. From this exploration, we developed a formwork of balloons filled with varying amounts of air and water, and began to play with the depth of the indent. This variation in this depth controls how the faĂ§ade channels water and dries as well as how the screen is projected to age, with softening of edges and development of a patina.
Process of formwork and pour
Duluth, Minnesota Fall 2015 Partners: Sarah Sularz + Chris Hutton
Snowmobile Trail Restoration
Spirit Mountain Hike
Tallis Island Bardonâ€™s Peak Hike
LARGE BIKE LOOP
Indian Point/ Kingsbury Bay Four Bike Rental Stations in Canal Park / Downtown East
PHASE 1 SMALL BIKE LOOP
SLRC Proposed Amenity
ea ve .
Proposed Bike Infrastructure Proposed Water Trail
e.Proposed Amenity - Phase 1 ustrial av
nn ys id
SLRC Proposed Trail Connection
Proposed Trail Phase 1
Proposed Trail Phase 2 Proposed Trail Garden
Proposed Amenity - Phase 2
Our proposed system includes an outlook on the ridge as a base for hikers, bikers, skiers, and snowmobilers; a new entry and transit hub in Hwy 23; and an estuary landing as the ecological learning and equipment rental hub. Through this proposal we seek to strengthen Duluthâ€™s goal of making the St. Louis River Estuary a national water trail by addressing gaps in public water access and education with a design proposal that can be replicated across the estuary.
The WestDuluth TrailStitch focuses on the town of Riverside in Duluth and the recreational networks that currently flow past it. When imagining a future for this historic company town, we focused on a new recreational corridor that links ridge to river and trails to town to strengthen the existing recreation economy and allow for a re-emergence of community space on the river.
Overlook of St. Louis River Estuary
Transit hub at hwy 23
N Plan of Riverside Landing
standing seam metal roof hvac for ventilation air and condensation control glulam girder 24” depth
curtain wall glulam column 10-1/2” sqaure light shelf steel horizontal shading
reinf. concrete footing 4” rigid insulation