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arch ++ landscape portfolio

aren edwards





landscapes_ landscape architecture | 2017-2018

the chinese hoax a post-truth investigation | 20__

framework filmic interface | 2015

h | h | h | h 4-H Camp | 2014

kuvio study abroad | 2015

strata sustainability | 2015

fabric built // fabricated work | 2016










7 landscape architecture 2017-2018





community vanderbilt university | 2018 The objective for the landscapes at Vanderbilt was to continue the language of modernity present within the west neighborhood of the campus, while still acknowledging the history of the site. Our efforts have been present through both our reimagined master-plan and the details of the landscapes. The first objective was to revamp the run-down fraternity houses and residential areas. This involved grade changes and planting that would help buffer them from the main axis, and draw attention towards the more historic areas. Our team worked closely with architects, as well as faculty from the university to gain an understanding of what it means to design for the future, and how to do that effectively with a campus set in a thriving downtown area. The project looks to envelope the tradition of the past, project future ideas, while upholding the timeless nature of the present.


historic reference Vanderbilt’s West Neighborhood lacks the collegiate prominence of the East Campus. Through modern designs, and lack of planning, the two lack the cohesiveness sought after by the campus. Our intent was to match the contemporary language of the West Neighborhood while blending in with the older part of the campus, through simple design moves such as nooks for pedestrian activity and more modern fixtures. We also manipulated the grades to draw attention to the main axises of the historic campus.

existing path


grade manipulation

planting boundary


manipulated landscapes The West Neighborhood of the campus consists of three main axises, all of which lead back into the historic part of the campus. The challenge for us was using these main pathways, while breaking up the minor ones into residential halls. This was done through manipulating the grades, creating public space without having it intrude on private areas.







madison square Madison is a neighborhood within Davidson County that is hoping to grow at the pace of Nashville in a sustainable way. We were contracted to design and present a master-plan to the community. This project involved looking at adaptive reuse potentials within the site, as well as looking at what the community might need to transition into a more urban environment. In our proposal, the old town center transitions into a space full of public amenities and spaces with private residential floors above.



Madison Square was a thriving area of Nashville over 20 years ago, but due to the decline in large scale retail over the past few years, the growth has shifted towards downtown. Our master plan involved taking these once populated instances and recreating those on an urban scale through adaptive reuse and reimagined landscaping. The existing retail spaces will be transformed through subtle architectural moves such as removing parts of the interior spaces to create new public plazas, as well as revealing more natural light into the spaces. Hopefully through these urban strategies, Madison can grow towards an urban scale similar to the rest of Nashville, while maintaining its affordability.


nashville, tn This project is a commercial project set within downtown Nashville, overlooking the Cumberland River. The goal for the landscape was to transition people from the business of the evergrowing streetscape, and towards the riverfront. This was done through topological moves and identifying the densities of planting within the space. Moves were made within the hardscape as well with the intent of naturally pulling one from the urban environment into one that felt more natural and serene.





fraternity row



a post-truth investigation

chinese hoax

territory The Spratly Islands have been a widely contested territory over the last couple of years. They draw eyes as both a political and economic spectacle. They are a piece of international waters, while also situated among the worlds largest trading route. Recently, China has begun building their own domain along these reefs, with no clear intentions. The only American view of these islands is through satellite imagery or through Philippine journalism. Each reef claims a natural resource boundary of 12 nautical miles. This lays claim to any potential oil reserve or any supposed trading route that is running through the territory. This site found me through its positioning of boundary as not only a physical line, but rather an artificial claim. The site is an architectural statement in itself, balancing digital and artificial borders with physical trajectories.

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vietnam// natural resource

china // natural resource

philippines // natural resource

malaysia // natural resource




island building eco__logical The artificial islands currently being built in the South China Sea are both unsustainable from economic and ecological points of view. The Chinese government has failed to comply with the UN law, by building their islands artificially. My proposal is to take back economic zones for the Phillipines and other countries throughout the region through a more natural displacement of the reefs. The coral would be taken from beneath Thitu Island which is a Phillipine territory, then dredge the coral out along high points in the reefs to eventually grow and create new economic zones. This would not only create an economic advantage for the other countries in the sea, but it would also add economic value to the reefs, something that has been lost.


Article 121 // Regime of Islands 1.

An island is a naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide.


Except as provided for in paragraph 3, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of an island are determined in ac cordance with the provisions of this Convention applicable to other land territory.


Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.


eco_digital camoflauge

Agl >>

regional displacement

coral >>

micro // architectures Themes of post truth culture tend to revolve around the larger impact of smaller moments. That same phenomenon is the driving force behind the conflict of the South China Sea. The islands themselves only quantify small habitable areas, but their economic impacts are felt much further due to the impact of potential oil and trading routes. The architecture proposed plays along with these micro_architectures in hopes of pushing their impact in a way that is more economically valuable for the land and the coral itself, while still maintaining a bit of secrecy due to the hostility of the region. Cloud seeding was seen as a way of creating an atmospheric ambiguity of what the project was doing, while the beneath the surface of the water, coral can be mined and displaced with the hopes of not only adding economic value to the reefs, but also the nations competing with China’s actions in the sea.




atmospheric drone 1.0



oceanic drone 2.0


speed horiz. The Land Channel 01 __ The first channel moves at the speed of


natural growth. This is the channel where territory is created and boundaries are created. This is a transactional speed, creating new economic and political territory.

The Machine Channel 02 __ The second channel works at the speed of the drone and the information which it processes. Submarine cables run along Thitu towards Subi, opening potential access points for digital territory.

The Worker


Channel 03 __ The worker addresses the architecture at the speed of the vehicle. A channel formed under the tide continues the secrecy of such a disputed site.







Digital The building works as a both a planned and a sectional system, moving through microarchitectures. The micro-architectures are present from a satellite view in the screen in which they are viewed, considering the effect that physical spaces may have on our digital (only) perception.

Mechanical The mechanical moments within the building are arguably the most important to the function of the space. Falling somewhere between fiction and science, these spaces work on their own to form real world implications that have human interaction and impact.

Ecological The coral and the land beneath the architecture is displaced to not only form a more economic territory for the countries in the South China Sea, but this sort of displacement also adds to the value of the coral reefs, something that our global culture has long ignored for humanitarian reasons.





filmic interface | 2015


MOTION Knoxville, TN Knoxville ran off the tracks. Each morning I wake up to the sound of freights hurdling over steel rails. The site ran adjacent to this movement, allowing for hopeful integration to this motion the city thrives on. We were to design an event space. The project began as a study of the unfamiliar. Driving along patched roads and exploring abandonments allowed for new imaginations. Each day, I’d go out and find a new piece of Knoxville that I found interesting or peculiar and we would model these spaces. After modeling the spaces, we created a catalog, from the catalog we had potentials. The potentials were ways of looking at the buildings and asking questions. There was no definitive answer to any question. A door that might open to a three story drop was not seen as anything more than a new potential of how to move through a space. Graphically each drawing I worked on was meant to portray movement along with the disposition of the spatial elements.









steadicam We looked at several typologies when it came to structure. After choosing the barrel vault structure, I reverted back to the sort of mapping done early in the project, looking at different potentials of movement. From here, I overlayed the vault geometries onto the different maps that quantified movement through a barrel vaulted space and could then form a geogetry. The final mapping led to changes in level and scale. The idea of the steadicam was the driving force behind the rail system. I wanted to create this sort of continuous shot in a new way; one that was manipulated more by how the structure moves rather than how the people move. Making new connections between frames creates new types of spaces.


filmic Film became the way for me to represent the dialogue between the real and artificial movements in the space. Projections shot across the side of the trains to the north, while rails of their own made their way into the canopy of the structure. These eventual geometries combined with the dialogue between the real and artificial motion, made way for a new type of film production center and venue. A rail system would run from the ceiling and thicken up at parts to create the actual structure of the venue. This rail system would also allow for cameras to run along them so the structure of the space could then begin to form the film itself.








crossville, tn | 2015

h | h | h | h

4-H CAMP Crossville, TN The lodge is a planned escape. It’s a change of setting. Lodges are not the moment before moving to another place, but a destination. Most lodging experiences happen in groups. Escape in the traditional sense is harder to find in this setting. Lodging brings retreat in a sense that there are no outside worries. What is happening is there. Unease turns into comfort. The word induces affiliated memories. The mind is subjected to moments out in nature. Typically the location and exterior qualities are remembered more so than the spatial boundaries of the lodge. The experience of a lodge is dictated greatly by time. Due to the amount of outdoor activity, lodges can take on many different roles throughout seasonal changes..




fracture Throughout the history of the site and much of Appalachia, deforestation has been a problem. This has led to a lower distribution of local flora, forcing wildlife to evacuate the area. The University of Tennessee Agriculture Department has begun to plant different species of Appalachian plants along the site in hopes of restoring the area to the density it once had. The current tree line is shown to the right with the varying tree densities throughout the site being shown above. With the 4H Camp’s strong focus on agriculture, the goal is to preserve the efforts currently being made to restore this area. The site is not only fractured by the removal and deforestation of the area but is also broken up into areas defined by periods of time. The most northern section of the site is currently used for agricultural experimentation. South of that lies the 4H camp and the historic remains of the World War II POW camp. Within the remains of the POW camp lies our current site. The site, though currently defined by a chimney stack and hospital once used by the prisoners of war, is isolated enough to serve its own piece of historical significance.



.03 // sound Sound radiates throughout the central axis of the site. While this plaza type space creates a sense of community, it is also meant to reveal moments of the natural landscape. The plaza is made from a concrete with a local crab orchard aggregate, and the landscaping around the gulley is meant to revive the native wildlife.

.02 // sight The lodging space is the final moment of retreat. The walls outside of the lodges are meant to lead one through other sensory moments with the final stop leading your view outward from the camp.

.01 // taste + smell The client’s initally wanted an overall masterplan that allowed for public spaces as well as private lodging. The dining and recreational spaces are at the entry of the site to create seperation from those lodging, while also creating evoking initial senses.






living The intention of the original design was to have the forms mimic the surrounding site, one that is fractured and broken up by layers of time, while retaining a sense of removal and seclusion.

utility the utility spaces are towards the entry of the room, and though they are secondary spaces, they still work within the integral separations of the space. rest Resting may mean a place to sleep or a place to just simply relax and enjoy the escape of outside issues. Displacement seems to be the most important feature. This is the moment of being removed.






Helsinki, FI | 2015


PATTERN HELSINKI, FI The tendency to rush looms when traveling. Running towards the picture, reaching towards the camera. Experiences are shared through frames without expressing how the moment was found. The temperature, the smell, the relief upon sitting at a park are moments forgotten by the tourist. After visiting a place for a while, a routine is adopted. Views hold

the same significance as they do for a local. The moments in between become more important. The students of the Finland program are constantly rushing. This is a place for them to create a routine and remember the smaller moments of traveling. The path into the site works as the spine. Walls break from it forming their own paths. Entering along a concrete wall, the piece draws one through the site as it molds into moments of rest. These moments are elongated through the obstruction of the walls. The walls work as aid for slowing down and allow one to better preserve the memories from the day. The concrete casts the periods of slowness through the day through subtractive transformations. This broken path becomes the framework between the memories of the day. Throughout the summer, students adopt a routine of moving through the site as they do through the day. The project nutures this adopting of routines and gives importance to the everyday experiences.



kuvio // path site

In Finland, seasons dictate whether or not the sun will make an appearance. The summer of visiting Finland was strictly daylight. Time slipped. We found ourselves constantly checking our devices only to be surprised each time. This project intends to add significance to those moments and slow the Finnish day for the traveler. Each moment along the sections is represented by a writing that recalls a moment that correlates with the perspective drawing. The drawings are intended to place the viewer in the space and are layered in a way that represents the memory of the space rather than simply the physicality.



1.01 We flew in over the country side towards Helsinki. Fields of dandelions distance locals from the austere gloom of the Finnish winter. The unbroken land and succession of birch trees imagined a fractured Finnish landscape, usually drawn in towards a body of water. We move quickly through the terminal,not yet touching Finnish ground. Our bags hum behind us, breaking only for the grout between the eggshell colored tiles. We make it through customs, following signs that motion us through corrugated metal tunnel s into the cold northern scenery.


2.01 The white wood siding voids the abiding forest. Boards cast a seasonal reminder at all points of the day. Exterior lighting is non-existent. Time presents itself with each meal. Sentimental reminders of my grandmother’s Swedish cooking finds itself in the dressed lingonberries. We share these stories over a fire built as the sky finally dims. We eat again, this time without coffee. Every component of this place seems interminable and boundless. The lake gives the impression of an ocean and even the camp blends with the innumerable white faces of the birch trees. An endlessness gapped only by the walks back to the dining hall and mid-day sauna beers.

69 2.02

3.01 We moved through the wall. A boundary once leaving West Germany stuck in time is passed through every day. Gunshots turned to graffiti, oppression turned to expression. Germans pass the wall without questioning. A revered icon turned into routine. The wall still hits me as profound, a concrete framework cast to divide a country and preserve history. Stories were underneath the yellow and red paint. Each day these stories were shed as we made memories of our own. After a week of staying in East Berlin, it became a tourist attraction. We looked past it to see if our favorite beer garden was crowded or if the S-bahn was nearing.

70 3.02

3.03 Finland ignores the western hours. Liquor stores closing before fast food restaurants can open. The only darkness I get is from closing my eyes. The corner window above my pillow reminds me where I am. The sun peeks through the blinds throughout the night. The curtains blow in the coastal winds. My sleep has grown dependent on a screen, distracting from the light above me with a light in front of me. Finally my mind fades. The world seems poised, waiting for my return. I wake up to the same light, scattered along the same white walls.

71 4.01

documentation nakkila, fi The first half of our trip in Finland was spent traveling around the country and exploring the rural architecture. We spent our nights in saunas and our days documenting and building fires. Each day we came away with new stories that were later told over cooking food. On this trip, we measured a church by Erkki Huttunen and a parish center designed by Juha Leiviska in 1970. We spent three days in Nakkila, Finland learning the design process in a backward state. Upon returning to Helsinki, we would begin to draft and build models that represented our measurements to an exact quality. The work is now featured in the Museum of Finnish Architecture. We were also asked to document our experiences through photography, with these images below, shaping our projects at the end of the summer.





sustainability | 2015


sustain knoxville, tn The project began with a very diverse program : sustainability classrooms, a gallery, a restaurant, a design studio, a library, and an office space. With that we had to choose one main objective to focus on, which we made the transitions of the landscape through the space. Our main objective was creating a space that reflected the local material and landscape on the exterior and carried that through the spaces. The materiality includes a pigmented concrete mixed from a Tennessee Marble aggregate. The North wing slopes into the ground to the east in hopes of continuing a park area that runs along the main pedestrian street in downtown Knoxville, while the South wing holds a glass facade that continues a relation to the city. The ramp also allows the second floor to hold an elevated courtyard and secondary public spaces. Angled concrete walls run through the spaces as a way of defining level changes within the space. These level changes happen at all heights including the roof which then slopes to drain into cisterns on both the east and west sides of the site. The intention of the project is to make us aware of our own landscapes throught these architectural moments while also nurturing it.



Ground Floor Plan



second floor

third floor


The ground floor of the space is actually not the only one that is open to the public, nor is it the only one with a landscape element. The second floor continues the park from market street above ground level and creates a landscaped space between the cafe and library elements.The angled walls are where we looked to create the bigger moves within the design. On the exterior, the main angled wall catches water and drops it into the cistern while also being the main point of circulation through the space. Interior uses of the wall are mainly for display and also circulation pieces. The angle carries through the main stair as it illuminates from above through translucent glass, while also creating an interior garden in the gallery space.

elevated views towards landscape

green-roof drainage

ramped park

elevated classroom and walkway


view towards stairs and classrooms

view back towards entry

view through gallery


entry The entry to the space is by far the most significant point of the project. This moment works as not only a divide between the interior and exterior, but also between private and public spaces. While the first floor is very much a part of the public, the second floor continues the public space that already exists and translates it above the street level. This ramp is leveled off in spots in hopes of holding tents for the farmers market or even just being a nice place to rest. The interior, which is set back falls into a space that is for learning about the local environment and lets local researchers and artists place their work there for the public.


wrapping details


A screen wraps around the building to work not only as a piece of solar shading, but also as display piece and separation between public and private spaces. The screen becomes a billboard for sustainability as the design studio posts its work on the large glass street facade. Again, local materials are used for this.The reclaimed red oak from the Smoky Mountains helps ease the transition to the colder, reddish concrete.




built and fabricated works


super digital // ultra physical


The above project was an attempt to translate several different techniques across both physical and digital platforms. The piece was first made using grasshopper and monolith softwares to produce the splint form. Then new grasshopper techniques were performed on the same geometries to create new physical potentials. The geometries were then put through multiple material environments, such as wood, steel, and even rubber bands. This material environment required a type of procedure that effectively required both digital and physical platforms.

splinted outer shell

dispatched frame

attractor point field





cnc foam


cnc milled profile


vacuum form profile into splint


cnc vacuum formed piece


waterjet steel


copper and rubberband binding

copper and rubberband structure

interior perforations

91 steel plating

GREEN OAK [re]visited Green Oak was a semester long, EPA funded, research project that dealt with the use of uncured wood for building purposes. Every day, we would prototype, coming up with ideas that dealt with details such as metal fasteners and overall structural grids . The picture below is a potential pavilion using the grid shell structure that used the moisture of the wood as a benefit of bending and strengthening the material. This was also meant to be done on a prefabricated platform. The moisture of the wood not only allows for more strength, but it also allows for an easily prefabricated sort of gridshell, that could even further drive the costs down in the building market. Many other projects were explored throughout the semester. Most of these focused on new types of joinery and re-imagining how wooden structures go together.



final module


jig for bending wood

steam box


We tried multiple different ways of bending the green oak. Our first attempt relied solely on physical force, a jig, and time. We furthered this research by trying steambending which is a simple heating process that allows flexibility in the wood for short periods of time. This was a much easier piece to design with and it achieved the pre-fab, scalable module that we were pursuing.


DIA_FRAME envelope Another exploration with Green Oak was imagining how the wood could be used in a wall assembly. This was difficult, because we had to allow the moisture to be released from the wood while still creating some sort of barrier that could protect from exterior vapors. We also had to be thoughtful of how the wood would shrink as it dried, and how that could affect the overall structure. With these issues, we decided on a wall that would be able to breathe. We used landscaping fabric to allow the wood to dry, while still catching unwanted moisture contents. We also attached the wall separately from the structure. This allowed it to be tightened overtime through stainless steal threaded rods as the wood shrank over time.


joinery new typologies Metal joinery was a large part of the project as well. Our group often worked as a task force effort, pushing the limits of the material, while the other partnering group spent time trying to implement the successful connections or moments that we had created. The joint that I focused on the most was the four way joint that we created. This joint focused primarily on a new type of column and beam system that had yet to be explored with the material. The design was simple, yet we hoped to add a little bit of character and strength to such a raw material.

water-jet cut 12 gauge steel

process drawing of joint

final placement into the oak




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