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Urban Scale SA_Spaces ot Arrival

Architectural Scale DH_ Downtown Housing AB_Artist Building FM_ Fuzzy Monolith

Prototype RC_ Rulled Crossing

The Contextual Unlikely. Design inspired in relevant contextual challenges, yet experimenting into unlikely paths. The work departs from a structured and logical base, interlacing with an instinct-based design sensibility. Meaning is always at the center of aesthetics: simple elegance that communicates. Pushing towards the exploration of the architect as a creator of dynamic systems that are in constant interaction with a broad 2 collection of contextual networks.




Model of intervention on Swamp border

SA. 2018 Thesis Project MIT Location: Cartagena, Colombia Typology: Urban Proposal Advisors: Cristina Parreño and Roi Salgueiro Reader: Marie Law Adams


left: Integral Design of all Swamp next page: Plan South Border

Spaces of Arrival. This project delves into the aqueous terrain where the arrival of people and water coalesce. Specifically, it explores the shifting landscape of the Virgen Swamp, in the coastal city of Cartagena, Colombia, where there is friction between flows of urban occupation and ecological flows. This friction is most noticeable in the 4km south border where urban occupation has taken over a fringe of approximately 80 meters of what used to be water. This water-people relationship is dialectical; urban occupation triggers the swamp to resist with floods, erosion and contamination. The city of Cartagena is full of stories of displacement and contestation with physical manifestations in the border of the swamp. The re-shaping
of the border between water and land has occurred in the form of spontaneous occupation by immigrants and striated interventions led by the city and large private stakeholders in an attempt to solve water-land frictions. This thesis questions the idea of the swamp as a space of unchecked development or hard divisions. Instead, it sees the swamp’s relationship to the urban and ecological as one of gradient and fluidity. In response to the transient nature of the urban arrival threshold, the thesis re-imagines an integrated development plan which brings together different stakeholders, proposing placemaking strategies for a space of displacement. The proposed network of spaces catalyzes community reinforcement and livelihood. Through a systemic approach, different scales and temporalities are explored to propose design strategies that are both incremental and substantial. 5



Location- downtown Sao Pablo

DH. 2017 Studio Project MIT Location: Sao Pau lo, Brazil. Typology: Mixed residential (affordable housing) Instructors: Angelo Bucci and Gabriel Kozlowski


Left: View from lower galleria Right: Ground and typical floor plan


Downtown Housing. Re-imagines the urban separation between public and private space. A residential building interlaced with public program through a thick ground. There are several nodes of connection between residential and collective spaces. The design juxtaposes horizontal planes supporting private spaces and distortions of vertical planes for public and collective spaces. The transformed building complex transverses the entire block, with a thick active interior faรงade with openings up into the vertical collective planes that allow for natural light to fill up the gallery. Occupying the neglected spaces, without demolishing the existing building. By just building 40%. Currently there are 3 buildings connected by a galleria, and the proposal integrates two additional towers in the middle void. The distorted vertical planes are added to the existing buildings for collective spaces.This project creates a permeable city.


Render by night

AB. 2018 Studio Project MIT Location: Boston, USA Typology: Mixed residential Instructors: Andrew Scott and John Klein


Left: First Floor Plan Right: Geometric Operations

Artist Building. A building that houses artists at affordable prices and at the same time is integrated with public space, offering a platform for interaction between the artist and the public. Located in the Boston harbor, an emerging artist district, at the intersection between the harbor walk and a new linear park that is planned by the city government. Public space permeates the building, becoming circulation space which is used as open exhibition and semi-open workshop space. Proposing a productive use of interstitial spaces, such as corridors, lobby, circulation. The project plays with thickening the border between domesticity and public space. Formally, the building is composed of an interplay between mat (public) and slab (residential) typologies. The buildingroposes multi facades with different relationships to urban context, park and water. Interplay between slab and mat typologies are created with same formal logic.


North Elevation

FM. 2015 Studio project SCI-Arc Core II Fall Studio Location: Chicago, Il Typology: Museum Instructors: Darin Johnston, Marcelo Spina, Devin Weiser and Russell Thomsen Group: Sophia NK

Interior agitation

Fuzzy Monolith. Obama Presidential Library presents itself both as a monolith and as a fragmented negative open frame. It reveals itself in the shade of the near coherent mass. The library acts as a transition, between dense city landscape and an open park. A strong icon that could be seen as a barrier or as blending into the cityscape. The project offers a paradox; a Presidential Library that expresses power and portrays transparency. Our aim is to conciliate between a monumental impenetrable monolith and a porous public environment. Visitors enter the building and ascend through the architectural stair, experiencing compression and then release as they arrive into a porous open public space at the top. The third floor acts as a semi-dense transition where the auditorium, gift shop and inside-out cafe are located. The fourth floor is the most porous space with the open gallery highly articulated in the borders, with a dispersion of blocks that represent fragments of the monolith. The private space (storage and offices) is enclosed and solid, holding the building together and compressing the public entrance ascension. We are studying a design cycle that consists of transitions between context, image, geometry, program, and realism. The first shift from the city scape image into the dug-out shades within the mass, is achieved through the dissolution of the monolith. the agitation moves into the mass and into the interior to resolve program.


Building in context Section and plan






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Wire-cut crenellation


Mud Coarsing detail

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RC. Fall 2017 Studio project MIT Option Studio Location: Saudi Arabia Typology: Campus with library, School and Mosque Instructor: Joel Lamere Group: Noora Aljabi and Alexander Kobald


Site Plan Location of Crossings in Campus



Ruled Crossing. The design of the crossings is integrated with the site strategy. The 21 20 22 1 17 7 checkerboard site strategy produces a field from a diptych programming of spaces. These diptychs engage binary agents such as; male/female, regime/academia, public/refuge, citizen/noncitizen. In the field condition, the intersection of the patterns becomes a point of interest.Two axis meet and produce an intersection of programs. These axis’ of division become volumetric through the accommodation of circulation, parking and the mediation of sightlines. Site Diagram The Ruled Crossing deploys crenellation and mud coursing to produce a crossing of two 1-School Plaza separated paths12- Plaza in the context of Saudi Arabia. Different variations of crossings can be created 2-Girl’s School Playground 13- Library Entrance 14- Gardens 3- Makers Space through the stepping of the coursing and the crenellated profiles.Crenellated profiles are created 4- School Plaza 15- Museum Plaza 16- Cafe 5/6- Parking by a wire-cutting technique emanating ruled surfaces, their form relates to the scale of different 17- Shops 7- Pick-up area 8- Library Plaza 18- Sculpture Park actions of the body on 19- Mosque Plazaeither side of the wall. Inspired in crenellation observed in the mud 9- Women’s Cafe 20/21 - Parking 10- Amphitheatre 11- Reading Lawn of Saudi 22- Pick-up Area fortresses Arabia. Crenellation allows people to interact with the wall in diverse ways.

15 Construction Process

Profile for Andrea Baena

Portfolio- Andrea Baena  

THE CONTEXTUAL UNLIKELY Design inspired in relevant contextual challenges, yet experimenting into unlikely paths. The work departs from a st...

Portfolio- Andrea Baena  

THE CONTEXTUAL UNLIKELY Design inspired in relevant contextual challenges, yet experimenting into unlikely paths. The work departs from a st...