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ARCHITECTURE EXPLORATIONS [Alex Lightman] [Alex Lightman]


[Alex Lightman]


STATEMENT OF INTENT

Architecture is artful choices, evoking the potential of spaces to be more than just the sum of their parts. When prepared thoughtfully, this hierarchy can turn tectonics and space into beautiful, dynamic experiences. I grew up around this thoughtfulness. My mother was an interior designer. I remember entertaining myself in the room with her as she drew plans built models, and pulled all-nighters. This hereditary aptitude lay dormant for the most part, except to peek through in the form of Lego imaginations. College came around and I took up architecture for myself. My mother passed along her old drafting board and I felt great pride doing my first hand drawings on the same drafting board that she poured herself into. I enrolled in Portland State University’s 4-year architecture program in the fall of 2006. While there, I was pushed and inspired while designing a range of building types and programs ranging from 50,000 sqft urban school towers to a café suspended under the beloved Hawthorne Bridge. My work has repeatedly been chosen as exemplary at the end of individual studios. I have also had the honor of having my work selected as part of a cross section of the schools abilities during PSU’s quest for accreditation. My greatest memories from studio were the teacher-student bonds and the rapport between like-minded, motivated individuals. The experience I gained as an undergrad has continuously reaffirmed architecture’s intrinsic ability to inspire, understand, and to manipulate human experience as well as provoke cultural progression. I was also eager to capitalize on avenues for exploration in digital media and architectural expression without losing sight of the sketch and its ability to loosely generate ideas.

In the fall of 2009 I was hired at the Portland landscape architecture firm Walker Macy. It has been an honor to work for the firm responsible for such influential public spaces in the Portland area such as Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland State University’s Urban Center, the South Waterfront Park, and the new Ankeny Plaza. Over the past year at Walker Macy, I have used my design and production skills to create presentation materials and aid in the design process. My time at Walker Macy has taught me invaluable organizational skills, to be detail-oriented, and how to be a team player. I am currently employed full-time, and enjoy every day I am pushed to becoming a more complete architect. Learning the ways to integrate buildings into urban fabrics used by professionals has been a huge enhancement to the education I gained at PSU. I have come to appreciate architecture more when an effort has been made to create a sense of place. I share Michael Bell’s belief that “Architects are public intellectuals, crafting forms that allow others to see the world differently and perhaps to live differently.” Architecture can improve society through guiding future initiatives of ideas and built form. Architecture today has the power, through creativity and design, to solve complex problems for many different situations. A masters degree of architecture is an arena for more design experimentation. Surrounding myself with the intense energy that can only be produced where ideas are free to flow, I seek to bolster my own creativity with daring resolution. Furthermore, it is my ultimate goal to benefit from a program where different design pedagogies

and scales can mix to form skills that cannot be compartmentalized. I wish to be an architect who is able to inform design decisions that create a sense of place through a rich background of thoughtfulness, observation, research, experimentation, design innovation, generative computational design, media techniques, and building technologies. Diagramming how function collides with form, I seek to hone my hand in the creation of dynamic and culturally current architecture that is more than the sum of its moments.


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Span Twist Solid Stop Two Glasses Water States Deep Light Walker Macy

House Cafe School Library Apartment Work

[Alex Lightman]


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SPAN TWIST HOUSE

Two existing foundations form the anchors for the span twist house.

A conceptual design for a house located in the west hills, 20 miles outside of Portland. Designed for an older couple interested in music and electronic car fabrication as well as spending time in nature. The sloped site which the couple purchased has two existing structures, and offers vast south views out at the horizon. The couple called for a program with guest bedrooms for older children who visit on holidays, work spaces for their hobbies, and a pool for swimming laps in the morning. Architecture of the house seeks to arrange program into a logical sequence of living. The house expresses this sequence by raising and spanning the two existing foundations. Interiors flow from rest, transition, eating, relaxing, creative, working, and landing spaces while harmonizing with nature. The holistic form’s response to slope, views, seasonal wind direction, and the path of the sun parallels with the sequence of living spaces.

Total house footprint rests on the anchors, connecting them in the simple form of a bar.

The bar is divided into program blocks in the sequence of living. Form is simply a sum of its parts.

The anchoring program elements are divided into a hierarchy. They are then and rotated to place their weight fully on the anchors.

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Form curves and rotates to seamlessly include program while responding to slope, sun paths, and wind direction.

01 Night Perspective 02 Concept Diagram Edge between programs is softened, creating a holistic form. The sequence of living becomes more than just the sum of its parts.

[Alex Lightman]

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05 Louvers

Skin

Structural Lattice

Spatial Divider

Music Studio

Top Floor

Bottom Floor I-Beam Structure Concrete Base Structural Lattice

Anchors

A steel lattice structure supports the twisting form of the house as it spans one anchor to the other. Inside, a curving timber form multi-tasks by dividing spaces as walls, while connecting them in the form of stairs. The exterior form of the house follows the path of the sun to maximize occupants’ access to natural light and controlled warmth. As per the couple’s desires, sustainable strategies were designed into the house at an early level. To prevent excessive heat gain, a shading strategy involving louver make up the south facade. These louvers closely follow the houses shape while extending and twisting to allow the desired amount of light without blocking views. Where more privacy is desired, the louvers twist and close to become the sheer facade of the house. The house’s curved plan collects northerly summer winds with the concave north facade to be used for passive ventilation. Southerly winter winds are deflected by the convex shape of the south facade.


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Sun Paths

Louvers

Wind Directions

01 Exploded Axonometric 02 Structural Diagram 03 Sustainable Concepts

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The original thinking was to express each program element along the sequence. This just created the parts and took away from the whole. The solution was to move to one, curved, holistic form. The experiece of the sequence would then be taken in fully instead of in pieces.

[Alex Lightman]

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Site Plan Site Model 1st Floor Plan 2nd Floor Plan

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F A G A B C D E F G H I J K L

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Master Bedroom Master Bathroom Glass Bottom Pool Kitchen Family Room Front Door Music studio Garage Electric Car shop Guest Bathroom Reading Nook Guest Bedrooms

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N/S Section E/W Section E/W Section Section Key

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[Alex Lightman]

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South Elevation Living/Kitchen Entry/View Glass Bottom Pool Hall/Stair

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SOLID STOP CAFE The shortest line from A to B is a straight line. The Hawthorne Bridge operates in this manner as the most cyclist (4800 per day), bus (750 per day), and pedestrian traversed bridge in Oregon. When looking to add a cafe to the Hawthorne bridge, I searched for a missing, necessary element. The bridge has only 50’ of clearance and must raise often; on average 10 times a day. When the bridge is raised this beeline movement slams to a stop. In response to this unwanted stop, the once uninterrupted, direct line crumples in on itself. A cafe as prosthesis would be situated at this site to convert this ten minutes of inconvenience into a pleasurable experiences that could last multiple hours. I turned this crumpled line of disrupted movement into habitable space creating a solid stop. The cafe would be suspended under span four, right below the observed halt. This allows maximum access from both directions via ramps so as to have minimal impact on the flow of commuters. Patrons receive unobstructed north and south views, a direct proximity to the Willamette River, and an up close and personal look under the Hawthorne Bridge, previously only possible by boat. The nature of the gesture also works with the truss nature of the Hawthorne Bridge and doesn’t overly contrast against it.

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01 Concept Diagram 02 Context 03 Exterior Perspective


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Early studies consisted of a single gesture announcing the cafe and the condition while, further studies with multiple gestures to bound the form yielded a more dynamic mass. By placing the structure inside the mass and making them one, a progression of concept, program and form could be achieved holistically. Just when the structure has enough volume for one to walk through, a door is placed. The structure gains more volume and slows as it moves closer to the site of disruption. Moving past the espresso bar and counter seating, the form figures itself out and transforms into a cube at its terminus. This cube creates the most volume possible within the cafe and houses the lounge. This mostly glazed cube is positioned on the south side of the bridge to allow for generous amounts of natural light. Program was added parallel to this progression of form. As one moves deeper into the cafe, the program slows. More time is spent deeper inside the cafe, and as a result, the spaces become more comfortable and open. There is more overlap, more repetition, more chance for conversation, and more time for enjoyment.

Walk Skate Ramp Bike

Stair

Sip

Look

Stare

Sip

Gulp

Sleep

View Sit View SlamSit Sit Sit Sit

View Drink Sit

Drink Watch Sit

Sit

Move Connect Look

Move Step Step Bike Step Step Walk Step Coast Step Step Ride Step Ride Step Step Bike Step Walk Step Step Coast Step Ride Step Step Ride Step

Step Rest Park Lock Walk Walk Room Park Lock Lock

Savor

Unwind

Talk

Visit

Stay

Emergency

Exit

Sit

Stop To Go

Relax

Chill

Rest

Read

Enjoy

Break

Latte Steamer Tea Store Mocha Espresso Cappaccino Machiato Step Shot Dopio Barsita Step Steam Solo Work

Drip Grind Breve

Private Step Step

Park Lock Lock Lock

Open Move Sun Smoke Enter

Bathe

Skip

Bike

Walk Run

Coast Bike

Walk

Brake Walk Walk Land Lounge Cafe Enter Coast Bike Sit For Here Coffee Soothe Taste Open Air Roll Interview Ramp

Slouch

Walk

Skip

Ramp

Move Bike

Bike

Run

Walk Ride Ride Ride Bike

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Bike

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Ride RampWalk Move

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Process Volume/Time Diagram Program Diagram South Elevation

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Section-Bar/Counter Section-Lounge Section-Cafe Model

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05 03 Ramp Bar Counter Lounge Floor Plan

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Possible Sites

TWO GLASSES

Actual Site

A 50,000 sqft glass blowing school located at on the SW corner of SW Broadway and Burnside,the current site of the Mark O. Hatfield building. Facades comment on the dichotomy of the area during the daylight and at night. During the day the site acts as a financial and commercial zone. At night, with its long standing strip club tenant and proximity to the Portland bar scene, the site lights up with night life. The vision was to play up this contrast of night and day, virtue and vice, with a building that has two different facades. Depending on the time of day, the glass facade either reflects glare opaquely or becomes tranparent and creates a lantern effect. Glass blowers tend to work at night when the school will be most transparent to the public. Because of this, colors emanating from the craft will dance on the walls of the school. Stadium seating around the foundry will play up the performance aspect of glass blowing and serve as a teaching venue. Included in the program are classrooms, foundry, a re-source center, pin-up areas, galleries, student studios, and administrative/counseling offices. The whole of the building’s program is set in from the outer glass facade, creating a building within a building. This plays up the concept of duality while allowing people to interact and engage from different levels. The only places where this void is penetrated will be in the student studios and a sculptural stair. Interpretations of bay windows will span the gap to allow operable windows and a reading nook, while the stair serves as a vertical visual element that breaks the horizontal layers.

Mass Transit

Pedestrian

Bicycle

Vehicle

Lane Size

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Site Circulation North Elevation Model Program Diagram

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Dorms Circulation

Restrooms

Classrooms

Hot Shop

Gallery Cafe

Offices

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Night Perspective Day Perspective 6th floor Foundry Student Studio North-South Section

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Model in Site Sketch Study Models Model

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WATER STATES LIBRARY A water library, as I defined it, is a place where one can come to experience and learn from water in all of its forms. Given the freedom to choose my own site, the water library was located in the proposed future Schnitzer campus for the Oregon Health and Science University. The opportunity to build a water library into this greenbelt and all the way to the river was one that had to be taken. This area in SW Portland is between the Marquam and Ross Island bridges and across the river to the west of OMSI. The new Trimet Bridge is also proposed to be located directly to the south of the site adding to the possibilities for growth in this area. The site butts up against a greenbelt and the Willamette River to the east. The placement at the intersection of bike paths, the view corridor, and the waters edge, allowed the presence of the library to be felt outside of its immediate area.

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01 Context Plan 02 Stair Perspective

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Program Given

The original vision for a water library was one that featured a heavily experiential environment. Having almost half of the total square footage devoted to experiential spaces allows visitors to touch, get wet, and have fun with water. Along with the experiential rooms there would be an educational lecture hall with seating for 200, a gallery featuring works of art about water, a living machine, and a cafe. Secondly there are spaces allocated for a store, administrative offices, meeting rooms, and restrooms. In order for the water library to accomplish these goals It was decided to spread these three types of water experiences across three small building instead of one large one. Although the liquid state of water comes quickest to mind, it is not the only way we experience water. We also encounter water in its gaseous and solid state. To effectively pull people from the campus to the library and further beyond to the rivers edge a series of public parks and water features were used. These would be traversed down the slope as steps. The library will appropriate two planned parks in the Schnitzer campus solid and liquid block respectively as well as a propose a new park to go along with the gaseous building.

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f 27 Experiential sq 00 10 ft Education q s 0 t 60 sqf Gallery 00 ft 5 Living Machine sq 0 40 ft Cafe sq 0 ft 30 Admin. q s 0 t 30 sqf Meeting 0 30 Store 6100 SqFt Net Area

Program Development Experiential Experiential Experiential Lecture Gallery Gallery Gallery Living Machine Cafe Admin. Admin. Admin. Meeting Store

ft sq 0 ft 90 q s 0 ft 90 sq 0 ft 0 9 sq 00 t 10 sqf 0 ft 20 sq 0 ft 20 q s 0 ft 20 q s 0 ft 20 sq 0 ft 0 4 sq 0 10 sqft 0 ft 10 sq 0 ft 30 sq 0 ft 30 sq 0 30

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A/B Solid C/D Liquid E/F Gas Water Library Arch

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Park Stairs

Designs were predominantly explored in the 3d modeling program Rhino. Building geometries were to be influenced by the state of water they were refering to as well as the park they were connecting to. Orthogonal blocks for ice, Angular ripples for water, and curved transparencies for gas.

Concrete Roofs

Steel I-Beam Roof Structure

Glazing Structure

Window Glazing

Window Glazing Glazing Structure Steel Walls

Concrete Pad Reinforced Concrete Columns

Steel I-Beam Floor Structure Pylons

Reinforced Tilt-Up Concrete Walls

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Slab On Grade Concrete Floors

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01 Process 02 Exploded Axonometric 03 Exploded Axonometric

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The roof stairs lead to the lobby of the water building. This path of travel intersects the secondary entrance on the south facade at the administrative desk. The “ripples� of previous designs carries through as a mesh sunscreen. Stairs further down lead to the living machine and a tunnel that takes visitors to the solid building. The main entrance to the library is on top of the liquid block. The user would descend through a roof that is completely covered in water.

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North/South Section South Path Entry Reflective Pool Lecture Hall

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DEEP LIGHT Competition winning design for two, three, and four bedroom apartments aimed at Portland State University Students. Original plans given at the start of the competition had shotgun style layouts with little natural light or spatial flow. To break this, bedrooms took priority and were placed on the walls with windows. This organization, dovetailed with the use of garage doors instead of regular bedroom doors, allowed natural light to penetrate deep into the units. Occupants are bathed in light in their rooms and, if they leave their door open, the light follows them into the public spaces further

inside the unit. With garage doors fully opened, a wall is essentially removed, and the interior transforms into a spacious, open layout. Design won the juried vote and the people’s choice. 01

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01 Axonometric 02 Interior Perspective 03 Two Bedroom plan

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WALKER MACY This work was completed while I was employed at Walker Macy, a landscape architecture firm in Portland, Oregon. Sample work from projects represents various levels of completion from proposals, studies, client meetings and final drawings. All presented work is done in collaboration with colleagues in the workplace or with collaborating architects and consultants. The UW Bothell and WSU Vet. Med. projects incorporate models from THA Architecture and SRG Partnership respectively.

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Shade Structure Model, W. Sacramento Model Detail Story Garden, Portland, Oregon Site Plan


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WSU Bothell [THA] WSU Vet Med [SRG] Polk AFRC [BBL] UC Riverside

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[ATLightman@gmail.com]

Previous Works  

Alex Lightman Portland State University 2007-2010