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alyssa llanos selected works


About me: Graduated June 2012 B. Arch, Minor in Sustainable Environments Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Studied and lived in Rome, Italy from August 2010-December 2010. Has traveled around Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, & Mexico. Along with studying abroad in Rome, Italy for the Fall Semester in 2010, I have worked with construction management, architectural engineering, and landscape architecture students during Winter Quarter 2011 in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary studio. I also participated in a landscape architecture studio designing and packaging construction documents during Spring Quarter 2011. I am passionate about architecture, interior design, art, photography, fashion and sports.


second year: a poet’s retreat third year: boston city hall: part 1 & 2 audi design center metous studio: international skyscraper competition fourth year: studio rome fifth year (senior thesis): homeless shelter/teen center and skatepark

table of contents


FALL 08Before knowing what the final project might be, a series of steps were first performed. Three related objects were chosen then hand-drawn to learn different drawing techniques. The objects’ voids were then plaster-cast and then cast into a bigger plaster field. The intention was to capture the relationship between the objects and relate them to a bigger architectural picture. This project started developing a deeper meaning when it became a poet’s retreat. Now the challenge was working the retreat in the previously established site with the placement of the walls.


a poet’s retreat A poem was chosen as a foundation for the cutouts and meaning. The poem was appropriately about the meaning of peace. The cutouts maximize views while keeping the more private spaces intimate and quiet.


FALL 09- WINTER 10(partnered with Alex Nash) Boston City Hall is a heavy, commanding, brutal building with many possibilities. It was architecturally explored through section to reveal the complexity that it had to offer underneath its heavy exterior. Boston City Hall was broken up and re imagined as Boston Film Festival. Simultaneously, architecture itself was explored through the interesting, alternative media of film. Overall, the project sought to break up the huge, unmanageable scale through fragments which were more understandable.


boston city hall The second quarter into this project brought on new challenges and more focus was paid to certain details used the previous quarter.


boston city hall Instead of basing the project on this idea of fragmentation or fragments, more attention was paid to the experience of the moviegoer. Most of the time was put into the site and trying to make the previously unsuccessful massive plaza more activated and alive. This was to become a place for the people which was the original intention. The focused then shifted to the movement around the theaters and letting people enter and exit by taking different paths. It would become about the interaction and pace around the atrium and lobby spaces. People would be able to see different things going on inside and outside of the space, and be curious to discover more and experience it for themselves. This should enhance the experience of the film festival and the ideas between the movies and the spaces work simultaneously together in harmony.


SPRING 10The automotive-themed quarter, ended with a advanced automotive design center for the company of our choice. The cladding concept was derived from the idea of an x-ray. The private vs. public programs in the design center allow for opaque and transparent spaces. The building skin is a translucent poly carbonate double skin on the Santa Monica Street facade with a glass curtain wall attached to most of the building. In the more private design spaces, a concrete finish is applied. The facade is pushed and pulled to connect the design, office, and public spaces, also revealing the interior program.


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metous studio: barrio de los paracaidistas

SPRING 10 As part the team for the of the 2010 Mock Firms Skyscraper Challenge, I helped build and design the physical model for the competition. As a part of Metous Studio, a young mock firm of ten undergraduate architecture students, we worked under the guidance of head partners Anthony Stahl and David Lee. The Barrio de los Paracaidistas is a fresh and dynamic housing project for Mexico City. This approach reconfigures the traditional Mexican street as an open-air high-rise. More information can be found on various websites such as: archdaily.com and designboom.com.


Campo de’ Fiori Mega-Mall

FALL 10My semester in Rome, Italy included nine projects and weekly blog posts. Most projects were completed over a two-week period. The final project was based off of a series of designs worked on by two previous students. The top left image is a figure ground map of my first investigation of one of eighteen sections of Rome. Our class researched the Nolli Map, then compared, and compiled ten different analysis maps of the existing conditions. After switching maps with another student at random, the next task was to make a dramatic intervention that would make an impact in that area of Rome (bottom left).


After switching one more time, our final project took on expanding the translation we were given (opposite page, bottom right). Continuing with the idea of a skyscraper, all-inclusive mall located at the former Campo de’Fiori, the focus shifted to the interaction between the tourists and the citizens and their experiences while traveling along the stairs and throughout the mega-mall. To see all of my work from Rome, with more detailed descriptions, please visit: http://didascalo.com/allanos/.

studio rome

From left-right: section perspective, vignettes, stair perspective, examples.


FALL 11- SPRING 12The issue: What is “home” for the homeless? It is estimated that 1.6 million youth are homeless each year in the United States. Approximately 200,000 youth each year live permanently on the street and 5,000 teenagers are buried each year in unmarked graves either because they are unidentified or unclaimed1. Despite a gradual decline in homelessness nationally, San Diego County’s homeless population is still growing. An annual count conducted by San Diego’s Regional Task Force on the Homeless found 8,500 people sleeping on the streets or in shelters across the county this year. That number is about 600 more people than task force volunteers counted in 20092. Unlike past generations, today‘s homeless, especially in urban areas, are younger, better educated, and have more stable employment histories. Now is the time to move past the stereotypical idea of a homeless person: white male, middle-aged, alcoholic and/or drug addict with mentalhealth problems, begging for money on the streets. The contemporary homeless person today is difficult to detect because of their diversity and invisibility. The issue is not that we ignore them, but rather that we decide to see past them. Today’s homelessness as a whole is a result of primarily economic and political rather than personal factors. However, what may begin as a result of personal factors for most homeless youth can eventually turn into more permanent situations due to the lack of resources. It is society’s unwillingness to provide and guarantee adequate shelter that forces people to live on the streets. Every day 13 kids die on the streets of America Little attention has been paid to the homeless child. Runways, throwaways, street youth, and emancipated minors need an effective and safe learning and growing environment. They need a place that provides shelter, help, hope and love. Teenagers desperately need alternative living solutions where they can learn to become independent and productive members of society and understand the importance of making better decisions for their future. Life on the streets is often difficult, dangerous, and associated with multiple health problems. As only teenagers, homeless youth are still developing psychologically, cognitively, and physically and may make choices that are not in the best interest of their health. Even when simple nutritional deficits in a child’s diet are identified, the shelters that are often a refuge for most of these children are rarely able to provide the necessary nutritional supplements. 1 in 7 homeless children have moderate to severe health conditions The dense urban environment of downtown San Diego encompasses a large youth population and provides a central hub for homeless youth. This setting provides new opportunities and allows this proposed homeless shelter the ability to focus on the needs of youth between the ages of 13-18. These kids do not only need a roof over their heads, but they also need a sense of community, safety, food, health care, education, counseling, and physical fitness. This is more than a homeless shelter; it is a means of staying out of trouble between school and home, it is a place to interact and learn from others in similar situations, it is a place for kids to be kids and to lessen the burdens of life off their shoulders. 1 Calvert, Kyla, “San Diego’s Homeless Population Growing | KPBS.org,” http://www.kpbs.org. 2 “Understanding the Health Care Needs of Homeless Youth,” http://bphc.hrsa.gov.


32% of teens attempt suicide as a result of their depression or other mental illness These kids are part of the future. By making a difference in a teenager’s life now, it could make the difference between them deciding to commit suicide or go to college, between committing crimes or leading productive, happy lives. These are tough economic times, and families are doing anything they can to stay afloat and stay together. As hard as some try, living on the streets can become a reality all too quickly. This proposal for a more holistic homeless shelter could become a prototype for major urban areas. This proposed shelter could provide teenagers a better chance at succeeding in life and moving past the obstacles they currently face. Every homeless person has their own unique story and homeless youth especially need an outlet to recover and eventually thrive on their own. A youth homeless center focused on healing the whole teenager may provide the appropriate solution that can help lost and desperate youth reconnect with society while hoping they might gain the ability and strength to live on their own.

homeless youth ages 13-18 runaways throwaways abandoned street youth emancipated minors Site: San Diego, CA 6,363 urban homeless 5,193 single adults (81%) 2,472 families (39%) 377 youth alone at any given time + runaways

senior thesis

Empowering & Supporting:


site plan

east elevation

bird’s eye view


street perspective heading north on kettner blvd.

senior thesis

section perspective


After realizing the skatepark idea at the end of winter quarter, I wanted to take that concept further so the building form and landscape played off of each other. This design maximized the southern light by orienting the building in an eastwest direction. With cantilevering the building and bringing the quarter pipe ramp into the building, the basic form was changed for the better.


senior thesis


Thank you for your time! Contact Information: 619-517-3748 alyssallanos@cox.net


Alyssa Llanos Architecture Portfolio