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Anastasia Laurenzi Work


Architectural Design Principles Integrated Building Systems I Excessive Values [excerpt] Degree Project - Final Thesis

SELECTED PROFESSIONAL WORK (as intern at buildingstudio 2003-2006) Pinstripe [2004-2011] Courtyard for CIGI Tree house Installations

Architectural Design Principles

A Place For Books

To hive - to gather, to shelter, to store or lay away for future use [to live together, to move together]. To hive off - to set apart from a group. Layer built upon layer becomes dense to create space from the whole by extracting, peeling the layers down. The concept of a hive inspired a construction, out of planar material, and an understanding of how ‘movement through’ and ‘placement of’ could allow passage of light.

RISD Studio, Spring 2007

A full-scale construction of the bookshelf for a gallery installation show containing sketchbook paintings of Mexico.

Integrated Building Systems I

Proposed Intervention

A proposal in the reconstruction of a house in Providence, Rhode Island. The foundation had deteriorated and jeopardized the integrity of the structure of the house. The owner had constructed a new foundation and planned to live on the top two floors and rent the ground level. Our proposal was to continue with his work but to add another element to the reconstruction.

RISD Studio, Spring 2008

The new proposal calls to raise the house a few feet on poured foundation and open up the floor to ceiling height in the attic for a livable space. A new way of bringing in light is utilized from above as well as along the sides of the house. By using the old horizontal lath as a guide, the wall becomes usable for storage as well as a place for windows. The idea of the horizontal lath is continued on the outside as a louvre for the windows.

A study model exposed the existing timber frame structure with a new basement expansion. A sectional model was constructed to study the new proposal for an extended roof and ribbon window at the roof pitch.

Excessive Values Studio

Part Two

From Weybosset to Westminster/Eddy to Union streets in Providence, Rhode Island, a study revealed residual spaces during the years of rebuilding. At one time, the entire block was connected through the interior as an early arcade/department store where passage through was allowed from Weybosset to Westminster streets as well as Eddy to Union. Through the study of the site’s history and observation of spaces once-connected, the construction of a new movement through is proposed. What is the intention of the “connection”? In searching for the open space, the + becomes a realization that things make space. There is not space without things of consequence.

CHANGE IN PASSAGE THROUGH TIME TheTHE change in passage through time e g








d c b



[a] outdoor privately public space [b] loss of building-parking lot [c] loss of building-empty lot (studio site for project) [d/e/g] residual spaces [f ] interior passage inside to inside RISD Studio, Spring 2008


Residual openingsRESIDUAL as a [re]connection spaces OPENINGSof AS‘through’ A [RE]CONNECTION OF ‘THROUGH’ SPACES

j f h

Primary andAND secondary streets STREETS PRIMARY SECONDARY


“Interior passage” “INTERIOR PASSAGE” INSIDEand AND BETWEEN BUILDINGS Inside between buildings

k l




A building burned creates a new relationship A BUILDING BURNED CREATES A NEW RELATIONSHIP AMONGitsITS SURROUNDINGS among surroundings

[a] outdoor privately public space [b] loss of building-parking lot [c] los of building-empty lot [d/e/g] residual spaces [f ] interior passage inside to inside [h] interior passage outside to outside [i] interior passage between buildings enclosed [k] outdoor public space [l] interior passage between buildings not enclosed



As the wall opens, lines cross through. The thickness inside of the wall opens and line becomes plane. Spreading open, the volumes hold the placement of the wall(s). The value determined is an open space and by opening what is between the walls - a seam; the + becomes a thickening or thinning. The wall is not just a border or boundary but an action. The wall can separate or join. The enclosure is due to a relationship.


Built above a floodplain on the Buffalo River, southwest of Nashville, Tennessee. This is to be a second house for a family of four. The considerations were a hot and humid climate and how to build an affordable house that could breathe. [This project was the first at buildingstudio where I worked on site analysis, initial design and preliminary construction drawings before attending graduate school.]

Professional work as intern for buildingstudio, 2005-2006

Courtyard for CIGI

A site specific project for the Inner Courtyard within the new Balsillie School at The Center For International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, designed by KPMB Architects. This courtyard includes a circular Terrazzo bench surrounded by Mara and Hope Bay stone inlays, a galvanized steel column, a copper electroplated aluminum knee wall with a single Terrazzo seating element as well as all landscaping. Project includes all aspects of the 118’ x 145’ area, to be completed in Fall 2011.

Professional work with Fleischner Studio, 2010 to Present (In Construction)

Tree house

‘On the stairs of the trees we mount’ Claude Hartmann, Nocturnes

Consider two islands. The investigation for my graduate thesis work began with the experience of standing at the edge of the land, and with the water between us, a house stood in my place on the other side. (From the desire to be where the other is, an understanding of one’s place is realized.) Taking the constructed drawing from my thesis and placing the new plan inside of the island house, the structure split apart the house, making the floors uneven with each other. The views brought in the surrounding trees. By removing the roof and leaving only the walls to enclose, the house once again was placed on the ground, this time with the tree within. A further investigation has led to a new construction of the house from the desire to be where one is as well as beyond. To be in the tree without touching it.

Professional work, 2011 (In Construction)

Installations Parts Seen Within The Background Of The Whole | Ewing Gallery, University Of Tennessee


Light Enfolded Into Sky, Enfolded Into Water, Enfolded Into Glass | Art Museum Of The University Of Memphis 2005 [as an intern at buildingstudio] The Reflection Completes | mFAC001 show, Medicine Factory


Catching The Wind | Tillinghast Farm, Rhode Island

2007 a Shadow of Time | Providence Art Windows, Rhode Island


Light Enfolded Into Sky, Enfolded Into Water, Enfolded Into Glass

Concentrating on the dualities found in built work, the two installations with buildingstudio addressed how we build in the world. The relationship between materials was responsive to the space inside each gallery. This became a narrative of earth (ground) and air (water).

Parts Seen Within The Background Of The Whole

An intuitive response to a proposed environment. This figurative mapping of the force of the wind delineated measured points of change in the tide.

Catching The Wind

At the points in each bay, in the basement of an old medicine factory where the light bulbs connected to the ceiling, an electrical cord was run vertically to one inch from the floor. A new grid was constructed as a reflection of the ceiling. At the opposite corner of the stair, a new wall was constructed. The projection of the stair, drawn from the perspective of the point standing on the last step (coming down), presented a correct perspective from one point in the room, at the moment one steps onto the floor. The bulbs along the floor light the way to the new wall, only to show that the drawing is not the same when face to face with it.

The Reflection Completes

The movement of time is observed through the seasonal shifting of light and shadow. Light bulbs are the material vessel, stationed to register the order of the sun’s daily geometric path as light travels inside of, or projects through them. The field of bulbs within the window becomes a spatial registration of light and light’s memory of time. As the changes of time move through the field, new intervals of light and dark are revealed. a Shadow of Time

Anastasia Laurenzi Constructive Slippages A Thesis

to make layers, as if they were a steadiness of days or to render time and stand outside the horizontal rush of it, for a moment to have the sensation of standing outside the greenish rush of it some vertical gesture then, the way that anger or despair can rip a life apart some wound of color -Robert Haas

CONTENTS Thesis statement Abstract


A Study of Five Precedents A Study of Passing Through Overlaps in Red The Narrative

Constructed Digital A Love Of Beginnings Degree Project Probe Film A Film Of The Back And Forthing [in the corridor to stair]

A shift in perspective (a back and forth-ing) actuates the in-between, the place where I stand, the blind spot of the construction. To be in the place where intention leads, a present progression, a looking back presents a new past (future). To look back is to look to. As these overlaps occur, there is an all-at-once which is recognized. A place, upon crossing a threshold, opens/closes. A threshold [any place or point of entering or beginning] is not just an entry from light to dark (fullness to void) but a constructed experience (a crossing over). But how to construct a threshold, a space of memory that negotiates the self... Intention in perspective is the coming from and going to. It is the relationship of a subject to aspects of itself and to others as a whole - a simultaneous unfolding and becoming. By depicting spatial relationships on a flat surface through perspective - in the movement through the perceiver constructs the space. The crossing of this threshold is different for each person. No two feel or see the same thing-a wrinkle. In this active perception, memory guides perspective. It blurs as a long exposure. With the body as scale and intention to construct the space in a shifting through time, this would change how the threshold is crossed, how light moves through, bringing memory to solidity. In the looking back, reflection finishes, completes. The flattening of past to future not only projects the present, but the revealed is opened. In an orthographic way it allows the understanding of the photographic to move into the space constructed. To search for the other (to explore the intention) is to know one’s place.

Constructive Slippages As if an understanding of two islands... to stand on one and look to the other is the realization of coming from and going to - disorientation/[re]orientation. To understand looking back without touching the other in this the knowing of one’s place is revealed.

a wrinkle - the diagonal To search for the other is to know one’s place.

back and forth In the overlap, the in-between is found. The empty unknown - the blindspot.

The place where I stand. To see in a new way. The all-at-once.


a [re]collection to retain and revive [facts] to memorize - to commit to writing, a mental collection


the act of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind, an understanding, insight, intuition, discernment a taking to perceive is to obtain or to gather to take entirely


the entrance or beginning point of something the point at which a stimulus is just strong enough to be perceived or produce a response


a line or crease formed by shrinking or contraction of a smooth substance a clever trick


the state of existing in space before the eye to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance the state of one’s ideas

Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, 1988

A Study Of Five Precedents New Diagrams in Red

The difference of living between the walls and inside the wall. The open space is a created residual of the placement of the walls.

The house as threshold. A passage that does not promise the return but focuses more on the in and through. The only looking back is the monitor at the picture window out - to show you where you are not. (The mirror between the door and the window.)

A stair to an opening above reveals one’s place.

Aires Mateus

Diller + Scofidio

Aldo Rossi

House in Brejos de Azeitao, Sutbal, Portugal

Slow House

Monument to the Resistance at Cuneo

Site Determines Movement

A Turning Inside-Out (like a sleeve).

The idea of the bridge as a middle, a mediator, a connection, and an in-between of the places coming from and going to. In the crossover, an open space is created as the inside of the two towers.

The site is reflected to the community. The idea of self is projected out and seen through various perspectives of the city.

Aldo Rossi

Kazuyo Sejima & Associates

Bridge at Bellinzona

Police Box at Chofu Station

To Live Between Two Walls. The private space “floats� above, while the walls and ceiling do not touch.

A Study Of Passing Through

To begin the initial investigation, a camera obscura was constructed. The place of site is a corridor and the stair it leads to in the school of architecture. In the ‘looking to’, the perspective seen through a constructed camera obscura is drawn. Then, turning to the place of ‘coming from’, the perspective seen is recorded onto the first drawing. From these drawings, the plan is redrawn to include both perspectives as one. Where you are going changes where you came from. In constructing the drawing from paper for the first time, using the drawing as a template, the walls in three dimensions are in the oblique. This begins a new understanding of spatial construction and the meaning of its consequences. The construction of the drawing on paper brings the two dimensional into a physical three dimensions. However, it is still a drawing. With this construction, there is the ability to turn the oblique and see the other side. With these investigations, a construction begins to look at the relationship of plan to section. A study of transparency through thickness of space. A thickness in terms of density; density as exposure; exposure as duration of light. Light as a material. In its materiality, light plays with opaqueness, translucency, and transparency. What are the consequences of each?

The model of corridor to stair sits on a rotating plate that is attached to an arm that attaches to the wall and also rotates. This allows movement of the construction to reference the drawings on either side and to understand the changing of light throughout from inside to outside. The rotation of the arm from the wall also refers to the rotation on paper of plan to elevation to oblique to plan again, and new perspectives are created.

Overlaps in Red

New plan over Old in Corridor and Stair

Wall Diagrams

Looking To

Looking Back

Looking To

Through the conncection of plan to elevation, a new wall in the oblique is drawn.

Back and Forth

Again, in the oblique, the space between is drawn and a folding of the new wall reveals an opening.

Looking Back

By treating the elevation (a doubling of its scale) as section and cut through itself, the diagonaal appears and is drawn to become the director of the new looking to.

Overlaps in Red Cones of Vision

The Narrative

As one begins to pass through the corridor, it slowly rises vertically along with the horizontal movement. Along one side is a translucent wall and on the other is a wall that is opaque. With each step, light and shadow pass through as a momentary glimpse of the outside reveals that there is something beyond. A translucent wall cuts the corridor. What has been seen is out of reach. The only way to progress is to turn away.

The corridor now becomes stair and leads up along an opaque wall. Along the other side, the wall is translucent and emerges to prohibit the view of the rest of the stair but allows light and shadow again to give the understanding of the other side. At the edge of this ‘between-wall’, a sharp turn (in the diagonal cast of the section) leads up and through a breaking of the wall in two. In this splitting, the view is of above and/or below but not ahead. Only when the stair ends does the place of going to come into view [from above now looking down]. This is the place where one came from. The place[ment] has changed and the once-was (looking back) is now a place of looking to. There has been a rotation to meet the diagonal of the past progression. In this transition through time, movement through the walls reflects a shift in memory as intention changes perception.

The wall, given its worth through the study of time, is absolved of the burden of its history. The opening of the wall determines the space in-between. The projection of an open space, a once-stair, receives this burden and it is dissolved-a remission.

Anastasia Laurenzi | MArch, Rhode Island School of Design | 2009

Anastasia Laurenzi . Work  

Portfolio of Work

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