M. Arch. 21-23

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m.arch tulane school of architecture karan sharma
karan sharma Tulane
Contact Phone Online Phone Number- +1-504 264 4208 ksharma2@tulane.edu ar.sharmakaran@gmail.com
School of
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Contents 01. sugar roots design + build studio fall 2021 design studio spring 2022 02. integrated studio research studio fall 2022 03. nas gulf research studio software studio- 3ds max + vray fall 2021 05. digital media graduate research assistant fall 2021 04. covenant house glimpses of internship and professional works 06. professional works glimpses of personal and commissioned projects 07. miscellaneous

01. sugar roots

small center design build fall 2021

project year- 2021 area- 1275 sqft typology- pavilion

Project Leads- Emilie Taylor Welty | Jose Cotto

Students- Merrie Afseth | Brianna Baldwin | Le’Bryant Bell | Zach Braaten | Kelsie Donovan | Kareem Elsandouby | Ellen Feringa | Nick George | Ella Jacobs | Connor Little | Mandii Malhotra | Velentina Mancera | Johnathan Michka | Sofia Perrotta Mensi | Malina Pickard | James Poche | Natalie Rendleman | David Rodriguez | Katie Schultz | Karan Sharma | Bruno Soria | Giuliana Vaccarino Gearty | Yao Zhang Staff- Ann Yoachim | Nick Jenisch

Special Mention- Pam Broom | Aron Chang | Eric Lynn | Johann Palacios

Each year Tulane School of Architecture: Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design hosts a community-wide campaign to design+build a product or project for an organization in need. The project for fall 2021 was an outdoor classroom/ pavilion space for “Sugar Roots” an independent farm across the mississippi from New Orleans. The site is vulnerable to flooding due to heavy rainfalls and strong winds. The design intent was to create a multi-functional learning space for school students and visitors to learn about food sovereignty, sustainable farming, and food preparation methods. The project design was developed over presentations and design discussions with the client i.e. Sugar Roots Management team. The design was developed, and built in the fall semester of 2021.

sub-project lead- roof material + build, terrazzo integration in concrete floor, grasshopper development among a group of 24 people my contributions focused on the researching and testing materials for roof and terrazzo, studying the feasibility of earth construction, development of grasshopper scripts for streamlining design choices, on site construction.

Winner of AIA New Orleans 2022 Honor Award for Small Scale Projects

september 2021

design development

24 different designs to 7, from 7 to 2 main ideas and from those all the ideas were consolidated into one scheme.

PUSH to create a social perimeter and optimize building footprint.

SHRINK matching the height of the structure to the context.

SLOPE shed roof helps in optimizing water management strategy.

ELONGATE connecting the educational corridor to the bioswale.

PLATFORM creating the canvas to place the functions on.

ZONE creating brackets to frame the space.

PUSH optimizing bracket sizes.

ASSIGN assigning functions to bracket wall kitchen/ storage wall education wall.

COVER roof protection from weather.

december 2021

material explorations

in addition to designs, I focused on studying and exploring different materials.

cement mixed with glass, terrazzo, paint

paints, different scales of crushed glass, and terrazzo were mixed, scattered, or poured with/on cement. molds of different scales and sizes were used to explore different arrangement strategies and to understand the behavior of the materials.

using these techniques samples of concrete mixes were created which could be used as design elements to brighten the space for kids, include a level of interactivity and “magic” (a word frequently brought up throughout the design process). In addition these elements can be used to convey information about the farm.


material explorations

one of the considerations of choosing the material for the roof was noise during rain and how would that impact the ability of the occupants to participate in an ongoing class during rainfall. A combination of local bamboo, steel, and thatch made was tested to help the stakeholders take an informed decision.

bamboo- shrinks due to high heat, labor intensive construction thatch- easy infestation grounds for mice corrugated polycarbonate was the least noise choice.

galvanized metal corrugated

material explorations

since the design included a functional bioswale a large amount of earth was being extracted from the site. the research included the study of functional use of this earth, and if any rammed could be reused for the project.

Result- the soil composition was difficult to work with using present tools in the department

rammed earth testing mould

a hand operated compressed earth block maker was fabricated to experiment the stability of the blocks.

Result- the blocks were unsuccessful

Soil type- Clay
Surface Level Soil
Below Surface Level Soil
Soil type- Sandy loam

watch our studio journey here!

grasshopper definition and construction


02. integrated studio spring 2022

Design studio- office building on Poydras

Professors- Nick Marshall

1000 Poydras is situated at the edge of the warehouse district, just under a mile from the Mississippi River. Near the former music and cultural hub, are theaters, live music, tourist centers. The area has seen unprecedented growth in the last 60 years and is a modern melange of local workforce, tourist activity, along-with a high traffic multi-modal pedestrian thruway.

The design brief was to develop an office space for a tech. company moving to Poydras st, New Orleans, and a first floor retail space for local businesses. The design had to be designed within the city guidelines (on site water retention), and the building codes. In addition to codes, facades, HVAC systems, and structural systems were researched on and integrated in the design.


site analysis

site location 5 min, 10 min, 15 min understanding the location, contextual elements, means of transportation, and climate.



massing courtyards, private courtyards

pedestrian movements

11 a very hands on process building concept
protecting the context pedestrian circulation raising the plinth access ramps and landscape visual connection between street and retail/restaurant cross-ventilation with visual connection to the context. office complex with an inviting plaza and views from office onto the courtyard and the street. site circulation

site strategies

underground rainwater storage

double heighted plaza

balcony spaces

raised terraces

entry portals

internal vertical circulation

interior|Exterior visual connection

landscaped plaza and balconies

13 Toilet Reception Core Core GYM Co nf erence Staircase 1st floor plan 2nd floor plan 3rd floor plan Commercial Fron Commercial Fron Commercial Trash Room Water Retentio Plaza Co mmercial Fr on t P ublic Bathroom Core Receptio n Congregation Space/ Corridor Core Storage Elec re Terrace Librar y Reading Space Te rrac e Toile Co nf erence Reception Core Core
program layout

facade design

types of facade sections standard facadebetween structural grid offsetting the facade from the structure facade extrudes further out on 3,4,5 floor level punching out windows pushing the facade in and out for balcony spaces
15 2 2 3 3 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Callout A 1 2 3 Section Elevation Detail 1 Karan Sharma | Nick Marshall Studio | ARCH 6032 detail 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Callout A 1 2 3 Section Elevation Detail 1 Karan Sharma | Nick Marshall Studio | ARCH 6032 9 9 12 11 13 14 8 7 6 5 4 4 10 3 2 1 Callout A 1 2 3 Section Elevation Detail 3 Detail 2 Detail 1 Karan Sharma | Nick Marshall Studio | ARCH 6032 detail 3 section plan F F facade details
16 floor plans 1st floor plan 2nd 3rd 4th 5th

interior lux analysis

the location of shading devices, glazing systems, furniture layout, etc. were carefully considered and iterated using lighting analysis to achieve an optimum level of daylight within the interiors of the building. multiple analysis were done and window locations and sizes were optimized to find the right balance of natural lighting, heat gains, and views from the interior spaces.

solar gain analysis view access analysis

03. nas gulf research studio

fall 2022

The research studio attempts at answering and testing strategies for the Gulf Coast Region for the year 2100. The studio goal was to conduct research on Ecology, Water, Energy, and Urban Models in teams of three. Based on the research each student came up with questions and attempted to answer those questions for the remaining 4 weeks of studio.

my project- towards horizontality; selective re-purposing of rig infrastructure to support gulf coast fishing cultures focuses on the fisheries of the gulf coast and the preservation of the local ecosystems. In the wake of climate change and the general acceptance of new forms of energy, we can move away from the reliance on the oil and gas industry. The existing oil and gas infrastructure can thus be re-purposed to create and maintain artificial fish reefs, offer a space of refuge and congregation for fishermen, and provide emergency shelter during hurricanes and storms. An area spanning from Cocodrie to 50 miles south in the Gulf of Mexico is examined to test the feasibility of re-purposing the existing oil rig infrastructure. The design aims to create spaces that improve the safety of the fishermen, cultivate areas of fish concentration, and provide opportunities for the restoration of the Gulf coast.

Students- Connor Little | Merrie Afseth | Leah Bohatch | Megan Spoor | Elise Macey | Kosta Sevic | Allisonn Slomski | Ryan Harnish | Chelsea Kilgore | Brianna Baldwin | Karan Sharma | Terri Bullard Research studio- exploring gulf coast climate futures Professors- Liz camuti | Margarita jover
20 understanding the existing issues

small scale

creating community cultivation shelters from selective repurposing of oil rigs. the shelters can be used during storms to shelter oysters and fish. *shelters can be provided along the coast to supplement various oyster and fish farmers.

medium scale

fishing community centers can be constructed using selective materials from re-purposed oil rigs. the centers act as hubs for fishermen to congregate, rest and recover, take shelter during storms, and attain emergency medical services. the shelters can be fitted with community freezers or fishermen to store their catch in. the centers also provide a docking and charging space for modern electric boats. the space can also act as a hub for recreational fishermen to congregate with professionals. *the community centers can be located every 10 miles before the barrier islands, the actual number can be decided upon with fishing community engagement.

large scale

the group of decommissioned oil rigs as a system can be designed to provide shelters for professional and recreational fishermen, tourist attractions, artificial reefs, and provide jobs for the oil rig workers. *existing navigation channels to be avoided.

small scale

selective re-purposing of rig infrastructure can provide infrastructure for fishing communities in the deeper gulf coast. the spaces provide shelter to people and fish. act as hubs for the community, emergency medical support, evacuation centers during storms, and charging and repair stations for electric boats. *the selection of oil rigs can be based on the status of lease, and in coordination with the oil company. policies can be made to mandate the donation of oil rigs.

selecting the test sites

drill bits deconstructing an oil rig

drilling and oil pipes

metal sheets

structural sections

construction material


three configurations

a typical pipe
reef trees
a typical pipe to reef tree
a typical drill bit to reef ball a typical drill bit reef ball
reef balls

oil platforms

existing oil rig platform

adding reef trees and reef balls

as time progresses

reinforcing the oil platform reef

28 reef walls
making a reef sushi roll

Adaptive fishing industry

the adaptive fishing industry aims to counteract the detrimental effects of oil and chemical industries on the fishing community and ecology, by providing resilient infrastructure and technologies. These interventions will help improve fishing efficiency, provide a safer environment to work in, and improve fish population and health.

existing conditions


selective re-purposing


04. covenant house

fall 2021

graduate research assistantship

Design Lead- Cordula Roser Gray

Staff- Nick Jenisch | Ann Yoachim | Emilie Taylor Welty | Jose Cotto

Students- Karan Sharma | Nicholas George

“For youth facing homelessness and trafficking, the decision to walk through our front door represents a new chapter in their lives.” - Covenant House

For 33 years, COVENANT HOUSE NEW ORLEANS (CHNOLA) has served and advocated for youth and young families experiencing homelessness, human trafficking, and exploitation. Emergency crisis intervention and safe shelter is provided to all youth ages 22 and under. CHNOLA offers extensive residential care and comprehensive services. The overarching goal of CHNOLA’s professional services is to help youth achieve housing stability, heal from past trauma, tap into their innate resilience, and hone their skills to forge new pathways to independence and successful living.

The Care Center Lobby is in need of re-envisioning to optimize the utilization of the current space and adapt to the evolving needs of staff and residents. The lobby welcomes young people at all hours as they take first steps to overcome the serious challenges of homelessness or human trafficking. The staff answers to calls from young people seeking help and ensures that those arriving for intake are met with compassion and respect in a welcoming atmosphere. Upon entering the building, visitors and future residents often wait to meet with staff for intake, case management or other needs in the sitting area before being directed towards other areas of the building. The project involved documentation, analysis, re-design, re-representation of the existing lobby and office spaces of the covenant house.

34 05. digital media fall 2021
Prof. Adam Modesitt

06. professional works

glimpses of professional works

Revit | Rhino+Grasshopper | Autocad | V-ray | 3ds Max | Unreal Engine | Twinmotion | Good old hand drafting

boutique hotel drawing set

professional renderings completed project- serendipity arts festival 2021

view analysis for designed locker rooms and bathrooms in a public recreation facility.


lighting location optimization using lighting analysis completed project- jain residence. facade design using grasshopper + python

07. miscellaneous

glimpses of personal and commissioned projects

travel sketches, paintings

computer animations and renderings
furniture fabrication


arm explorations -scripting cyclical tasks-
wood fabrication | furniture design | metal fabrication | 3d-print | robotic arm | model making



43 thank

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