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Developing a Conceptual Language

Midterm Portfolio Julio Soriano Arch 102 Spring 2013 - CCSF

“Complexity vs. simplicity” “Communicative vs. mute” “Expressive vs. neutral”

Functionality: A Bridge - Connecting two sides of the gorge Overnight facility - Sleeping room (30 Hikers) - Outdoor covered common area (30-50 hikers) - One private lookout - Secure backpack storage area (200 sf) - Wood storage (200 sf) - Restroom Facility (200 sf) - Overflow area - Helicopter landing path (non for commercial purposes)

My design language communicates a conversation between the site and the structure.

Sketching ideas that create another dimension. One system of rectangular shapes penetrating each other.

Integration of two systems. Curvilinear shapes interacting with geometrical shapes.

Exploration of two different systems: - Geometrical layers - Curvilinear elements

PROS -Three systems were incorporated. -Clean and well crafted 3D model.

CONS - Gesture model doesn’t show unity. -Elements are imposed to each other. -There is not conversation between the elements.

PROS - Model fits perfectly in a 6” by 6” box. - Well crafted abstract model.

CONS - Closed gesture model

Ÿ� geometrical layers distributed to create a curvilinear composition.

The Starry Night Dutch post impressionist Vincent Van Gogh

Richard Serra American minimalistic sculptor and video artist from San Francisco

CONS -My initial response was to build a bridge that will connect both sides.

PROS -Sketching ideas visualized the construction of the model. - I used a monochromatic white paper to develop the first site model.

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How to create a design that will evoke transformation and growth? How to maintain unity between the entrance, the bridge and the overnight structure? How will the structure create a sense of wonder? How to build a structure that will be functional and balanced with the site? Hiker’s questions: What is a bridge? What is there? Why are we here now? What is the purpose of crossing the bridge? Will the hikers experience enlightenment during, before and after crossing the bridge? What determines a hiker’s next journey? How will the design transport the hikers to another dimension? How to define pathways for each hiker to choose before entering the structure?

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What is the meaning of a gorge? What determine a new journey? What are the spatial experiences in a landmark?

The Gorge is cutting through the rocky plain. Temperate and climate (warm days and cool days). The geography is red rock (similar to the American Southwest).  Westerly wind patterns from the lower plateau hit the wall of the high plateau.  Low Humidity due to the dry surfaces. Questions: - What kind of soil is present on both plateaus? - What is the wild life of the gorge? - What is the condensation and precipitation elements of the gorge?   

What is wind? Wind is the movement of air over the surface of the Earth, from areas of high pressure to low pressure. It’s these differences in temperature, together with the rotation of the planet that creates the wind. Wind Erosion By deflation - Lifting and removal of loose sand and dust particles from the surface. By abrasion – Sandblasting action of windblown sand. Westerly winds are prominent in the Southwest of America. Earth’s Dynamic Systems – W. Kenneth Hamblin

Earth’s Dynamic Systems – W. Kenneth Hamblin

PROS - Duality of two geometrical shapes that are side-intersected by two curvilinear elements. - Use of monochromatic paper creates a unified model.

CONS - Small model size makes construction lines hard to see.

PROS - There is conversation between the curvilinear lines and geometrical shapes.

CONS - Lack of new material into the gestures models.

PROS -Learning to use a new material for model construction. -Photographic studies capture the essence of the model.

CONS -Treating wood as paper is not helping the constructed result. - Wood was cut as if it was paper and didn’t respond flexibly.

Pros - The photographic studies yielded complicated after story.

PROS -Wood was better incorporated than previous models. - Planer elements were added.

CONS - Barcodes weren't deleted prior to construction of the model.

PROS - Wood elements are well implemented as a structural unit. - Openings were visual clues for exploration. -The force and play between pentagons is highlighted.

CONS -Metal elements needed better integration.

PROS - Sketches had comprehensive conceptual quality. - Spiral movement was visually central in sketch and model.

CONS - Metal doesn’t reflect complexity. - Spiral was simplified.

PROS - Concentric lines well highlighted in sketch and model. - Exterior line/wall was also faรงade and structural.

CONS - Model has a closed language. - Core line not integrated well.

PROS - Openings were incorporated. - Geometric and Curvilinear systems establish a new form. - Photographic studies expose new gesture model possibilities.

CONS - Monochromatic paper limits the narrative of the model.

PROS - Use of new materials: wire, wood and plastic. - Model expresses complexity by showing surface variations.

CONS - Wire metal is being tortured. - New side openings are needed.

PROS - A central spiral approach was evolved from previous model work.

CONS - There is not unity between the wire, wood and plastic. - Materials lack firmness and resistance to wind.

PROS - Materials are placed in hierarchical relevance. - The geometrical and curvilinear systems are juxtaposed.

CONS - Model is closing onto itself. - Model is self protective and limited to outside influence.

PROS - Abstract model shows a dual expression. - Biomorphic lines penetrate geometrical system.

CONS - Internal circulation elements need to reveal the whole model. - External isn’t dynamic and doesn’t reflect internal movements.

PROS - There is cohesion between the paper and the wooden planer system.

CONS - Size is too small. There will be an increase of 50% on the future gesture models.

PROS - There is order between the planer components. - Transparency is well utilized.

CONS - Using gun glue create a less crafted model construction.

PROS - Model demonstrates an expanding approach, creating areas of space. - Horizontality of the model creates a linear move.

CONS - Curvilinear systems are superficial, not penetrating or covering the frame.

PROS CONS - Frame system is dominating the - Curvilinear plastic element doesn’t curvilinear system. keep the whole model firm. - There is an opportunity for expansion.

PROS - Model successfully demonstrates resistance due to the distribution of wood, wire and paper.

CONS - Curvilinear elements are closing the gesture model.

Below, I am sectioning the edges of the plateaus to initiate an exploration of how structure meets earth.

Here, above, I am looking at the way the wind approaches plateaus and the way the lower plateau digests the wind.

Left: Diagonal cut to enter the gorge to embrace gravity.

Right: Occupying the sky from the high plateau and from the bottom of the gorge to the lower plateau

Left: Occupying the gorge from the lower plateau and into the gorge.

Right: Occupying the sky, earth and the whole gorge.



I made six sections to explore density and the way westerlies (winds) distribute after hitting the lower and higher plateaus.








Using the imprecision of charcoal I was able to get a better sense of the flow of the Westerlies, the way the winds disperse and leave the articulation of the plateaus. Drawing my models connected structure, wind, and plateaus.



Comments Gorge: the conclusion of my research is the gorge. Inevitably the gorge captures and restricts, so building a structure that delimits restraint is the goal. The escape of the Westerlies is the inspiration fed by the culmination of my architectural knowledge gained in this class up to this point: Midterm. Developing a discipline, time management and organizing set of skills helped me to develop my design process.


Earth’s Dynamic Systems – Seventh Edition, W. Kenneth Hamblin and Eric H. Christiansen Voices in the Wind – Alex Whitey National Geographic - Grand Canyon We Rode the Wind – Jane B. Katz Nova – Wind Daniel Libeskind Moray – South America Anasazi – North America Westerlies – Wikipedia

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? Vincent van Gogh

Julio Soriano Arch 102 – Spring 2013 Professor: Andrew Chandler City College of San Francisco

Architecture Studio 102