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Christopher Randall Bartell, LEED AP 7995 Chinquapin Lane Cincinnati, Ohio 45243 513.257.1880


University of Cincinnati Jul. 2008 - Jun. 2012

Master of Architecture Area Thesis Research: Material Spatial Practices University Graduate Scholarship

Wake Forest University Aug. 2004 - May 2008

B.A. Art, History Minor Dean’s List: Fall ’04 - Spring ’08

Activities: IFAC Aug. 2012

Participant International Festival of Art and Construction, was a two week workshop aimed at generating ideas to increase sustainable futures for small rural villages.

SS(S)AID Dec. 2008 - Jun. 2012

Co-President Organized student-interest-driven lectures and workshops for School of Architecture and Interior Design.

LEED Jun. 2010 - Present

Accredited Professional An interest in green building and design led me to obtain LEED accreditation.

Recognition: AFC Feb. 2012

Best in Show Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati’s annual Art as Architecture.

FormZ Joint Study Journal December 2008

Work Cited Work referenced and published within an article by James Eckler entitled “Digital Iteration: Defining a Synthesis between Manual and Digital Craft.”

Wake Forest University May 2005 - May 2007

Permanent Student Art Collection Art purchased by WFU’s Permanent Student Art Collection and Distinction of Merit awarded in the Student Art Show.

Experience: 700 Clinton Springs Jun. 2011 - Aug. 2011 Cincinnati, OH Kohn Pederson Fox Sept. 2010 - Mar. 2011 New York, NY Lightroom Studio Sept. 2009 - Dec. 2009 Atlanta, GA Todd Jersey Architecture Apr. 2009 - Jun. 2009 Berkeley, CA

Designer/Builder/Contractor Kitchen remodel for my professor’s home in Cincinnati, OH. Strategic Planning, Design, Deconstruction, Construction Management, and Construction. Intern Internship with international firm. Worked on SD/DD for a large scale project in Shenzhen, using Rhino and AutoCad. Modeling for HudsonYards in NYC. Intern Internship with a multidisciplinary design firm. Created DD set for a residence, 3-D digital models, film editing, cordination with contractors and engineers. Intern Internship with a green design firm. Created 3-D digital models, presentation material, renderings, site analysis/documentation.

Soteni International Jun. 2007 - Aug. 2007 Nairobi, Kenya

Intern Assessing and meeting needs of sponsored orphans, presenting in rural school on HIV/AIDS prevention, assessing programs and writing detailed reports.


Adobe Illustrator/InDesign/Premier Pro/Photoshop, AutoCAD, Final Cut Pro, Form-Z, Grasshopper, Microsoft Excel/Word/PowerPoint, SketchUp, Photography, Printmaking, Rhinoceros, VectorWorks, and V-Ray

The Objective of this studio was to come to a deeper understanding of cartographic representation. By supplementing the studio with heavy readings from Gisson and drawing technique, this studio transcended its traditional role and became a space for true discussion and idea generation. Through the study of drawings by Corner, Kulper, Hadid and Mehretu, individuals developed their own Methodology, which spoke to personal interests and abilities. Inspired by these thinkers, I developed a personal style of cartography where the paper served as both a record of my research and a generator of potential futures. A series of 5 foot drawings on food consumption, food distribution, and corrosion led to an architectural statement project. This Statement project was concerned with generating a deeper concern for the ways in which food is produced. By siting this project on an abandoned shipyard in NYC, this project directly aimed to interact with the abandoned infrastructure and use these relics to help highlight the corrosion inherent in modern food practices. The phasing of the program became important to ameliorate unfavorable community conditions, as well as local ecologies.


Documentation through drawing was an important part of this studio. By spending the first half of the quarter researching various forms of environmental corrosion, shipping practices in New York and food production, I was able to find both a site and a program that spoke to all of the issues that I wanted to address. I consequently decided to design a hydroponics center on the defunct naval yards in Brooklyn, New York.

NYC Naval Harbor

Site Connections


Distribution Centers

Organic Grocers


Oyster Reefs & Microalgae

Bike Trail & Pedestrian Path


Intensive Hydroponics

Community Gardens

Reclaimed Structures

Farmers’ Markets

Research into American food consumption, shipping practices, and coastal sites led to picking the Brooklyn Naval Yards as my site and an aquaponics center as my primary program. I saw the program as one of the few ways that farming is economically feasible within a city. Additionally, I was fascinated by the post-industrialized aspect of the site as well as the potential to interlace new programs with these relics. A deep study of the site and program convinced me to explore a phasing program which would not only produce a new type of landscape, but also one that would grow with the community. Landscape studies encouraged me to expand the program to include natural ways of energy production, infrastructural elements, educational facilities, and natural processes that remediated the surrounding territory.

Get Dirty Over the years, Manhattan has expanded out into its rivers; the financial district has effectively doubled in size as seen in the diagram below. Current dredging practices have destroyed the ecology of the river; this part of the plan calls for New York to rethink how it dredges. Piles of streaming dirt will be placed in the decommissioned dry docks; this dirt will be cleaned through vermiculture and an educational exhibition will be held in order to teach people about healthier ways in which the rivers can be dredged. As the dirt is cleaned, the community will be able to use this dirt to start community gardens. This phase serves as an initial outreach effort to the community, while the other phases are being implemented.

Desalination This part of the phasing plan emphasizes the importance of ‘getting the word out.’ The desalination tower is not just a revolutionary technology, but a beacon which demands attention. Americans need to re-examine the way in which we consume food. For example, foodstuff travels on average 1,500-2,000 miles before it is consumed. We need to start consuming locally produced food. The tower calls out to both Brooklyn residents as well as Manhattanites, demanding attention, calling people to question their stance on food and water conservation.

Oyster Power Oysters are powerful indicators of a healthy ecosystem. Where oysters thrive, so do hundreds of other species. Oysters once covered 25% of NY harbor and were capable of filtering all the harbor’s water in a matter of days. Today, that is not the case. This phase of the plan emphasizes measures that are in harmony with nature; through the introduction of oyster reefs, natural processes of succession over a 50 year period will allow biodiversity.

Connect Four Foot, bus, bike and ferry access to the site are planned in order to increase community connectivity. The B57, B62 and B69 buses run parallel to the site, but the stops are inconvenient to the site. Additionally, the site blocks a current bike trail, causing bikers to circumvent the site. This phase of the plan reenvisions new connections to the city with proposed bus stops and an experiential bike path that runs through the site, amplifying experience and connectivity to the neighborhood. In addition, a ferry stop connecting the site to Manhattan is recommended, as subway stops are not convenient to the site.

Feed the Block Aquaponics is increasingly sustainable and economically profitable. Models in Milwaukee have suggested that an acre of aquaponics can produce 330,000 pounds of fish and vegetables, 200,000 dollars in profit and feed 2,000 people for a year. This phase promotes community outreach and feeding our neighbors. With community aquaponics gardens, we will promote awareness and create equity within the community.

Desalination Proclamation: The Beacon The second phase of the project is to build a desalination tower. This tower will not only serve the practical purpose of desalinating water, but also will serve as a symbolic and educational beacon. Towering above the surrounding buildings, the desalination station will be able to be seen both from Brooklyn and NYC. This view captures how an illuminated tower would be visible at night, calling out to its neighbors and making its presence known, thus opening the door for the dissemination of knowledge and encouraging a local discourse on such issues as sustainability, self-sufficiency, and how these practices can activate the community.

Hydroponics: Hyper-Production The hydroponics center is the fourth phase of this planning scheme. The hydroponics center addresses a number of architectural as well as sustainable issues. The hydroponics center plays with infrastructural interstices, creating a language that speaks to the past, yet is forward looking. The shipping cranes from the site are used as structural support for the new program: the production of vegetables and fish. This method of hydroponics is not only highly sustainable, but also has incredible crop yields and is highly profitable. Within this image we see how the pedestrian path allows for passersby to observe the farming within the building or even moments of repose in the hammocks. Typical hydroponic systems have tilapia in tanks with arugula growing in beds above them. By pumping the water from the fish tanks to the lettuce, a natural filtration and fertilization process occurs, benefiting both animals and plants.

The Emphasis of this studio was to uncover the innate nature of the landscape. Strong axes, offset paths, courtyards, constructed views, and relational cues imbue the site with a particular cadence and movement. Along the axes, there are a number of grand fountains that emphasize terminals, intersections and poetic spaces. These fountains are a celebratory expression of bronze, water, concrete and nature. The poetics of this relationship provided the Methodology for this project. The bronze gutter that bisects the building along this new axis, the board form concrete and the roof that opens to an outdoor room emphasize existing relationships. The Use of these types of materials and relationships fit well with a wellness center. The distinct program allows for a strong directionality within the project and consequentially a material expression that amplifies the building’s connection to the site.

Cranbrook Wellness Center This project is sited on the Cranbrook Art Academy’s campus, which was originally planned by Eliel Saarinen. The campus is an oasis from Detroit. The plan is laid out in such a way that highlights both the programmatic needs and the poetics of the natural surroundings. As one traverses the Cranbrook campus, one can immediately perceive the beauty of the buildings, sculpture, and nature. Pathways lead to openings which frame sculptures and views; these relationships are particularly palpable with the fountains on the campus. Noticing this, I wanted to highlight this relationship between the concrete fountains, bronze sculptures, water and axial pathways. This was achieved through three specific moves: amplification of the program, amplification materials within the project and the creation of the building along a new axis that reemphasizes the existing relationships.

Yoga Studio

Green Roof

Canted Roof Skylights

Sunscreen Exterior Walls

Board Form Concrete Walls

Library and Resting Rooms

Pools Sauna Reflecting Pool

Plunge Pool Subterranean Baths




While researching various bathing cultures, I found that progression and sequence were key to an enjoyable experience. The Roman Thermae were laid out with strong intention. Researching the traditions of various bathing cultures, I found that progression and sequence were key to an enjoyable experience. The natural qualities of Cranbrook are stunning, and the material language of the buildings is simple and elegant. Forests of oak and evergreen trees surround the campus. As the wellness center is sited on the edge of one of these forests, the building takes advantage of the












natural beauty. The roof of the building lifts to reveal a wall of trees that leave an impression that one is bathing in the wilderness. As an oasis from Detroit, the building also directs you upward to view the clouds during the day and the stars at night.


Amplification Given the unique qualities of the site and the rich potential of bathing culture, this project strives to highlight and amplify these qualities. The primary move of the site is to play on a connection that I found between the primary axes, fountains, and materials. The axes and the pathways on the site are highlighted by bronze statues and concrete fountains. The Wellness Center uses these materials to strengthen site connections.



Board form concrete walls highlight both the material within the building and the directionality of the movement through the building. The unique progression of the program highlights the importance of the DIRECTIONALITY rhythmic sequence with which one moves through the building. Additionally, gutters, louvers and other details that interact with water are made out of bronze, poetically connecting the building to the site. This relationship is best exemplified in the drainage system. The butterfly roof funnels water into a central gutter; this gutter is cast out of bronze and drains to the front of the building. When it rains the water flows through the gutter and into a reflecting pool, acting as a fountain in reverse.

a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. .

Reception Changing Rooms Yoga Studio Plunge Pool Sauna Steam Room Meditation Area Yoga Studio Pool Massage Room Library

l. m. n. o.

Kitchen Dorm Room Residential Suite Storage


m. l. e. k.






e. g. d.

Guest Suite


e. g.

Site conditions



Sky Light

Bronze Gutter

2x8” Wood Members

Woodscreen 1x1” Members Iron Spot Glazed Brick 6X12” Wood Timber

Board Form Concrete

Tilt-up Concrete 4x6” Double Steel Columns 3mm Double Glazing 8” Concrete Foundation

a. b. c. d. e.







Metal Roofing 3” Rigid Insulation 1” Plywood

Bronze Structural Detail

Bronze Sun Screen







Open to Nature This image shows the construction of the west end of the building. As the user moves through the building, the ceiling height increases on the northern side of the building, giving views of the natural surroundings. This celebratory gesture coincides with the last pool and allows bathers to relax in this seemingly outdoor room.

Sedum - Seeds applied at a rate of 1.0 gxm-2. Most suitable Sedums for climate: S. Acre, S. Album, S. Kamtschaticum, S. Ellacombianum, S. Reflexum, S. Spurium.


A. Cernuum, Lanceolata, Ohiensis are three species that thrive on a non-irrigated roof in Michigan.


250mlxm-2 dry sand 10cm growing substrate - 60 % heat expanded slate, 25% sand, 5% aged compost, 10% Michigan Peat

dry sand substrate

The Program for this project is a food collaborative that leverages current infrastructural systems and strengthens the existing food distribution network, by acknowledging local, regional, and global strengths, resulting in an approach that works transversely. While the food industry typically neglects local needs and is often unable to adapt to sites/situations that do not fit their pre-designed model, this project seeks to take these forgotten spaces and Reincorporate them into the urban, suburban, and ex-urban fabric. Through an understanding of the material processes of distribution and its manifestations, this new distribution center will attempt to reproduce spaces that are not only physically advantageous, but also reconnect disenfranchised areas. Consequently, the development of new typologies and systems of thinking became increasingly important. These new Typologies manifested in a new type of distribution center, one that combines ideas such as localization, variations in scale, vertical and horizontal integration, peripheral programs and increased efficiencies. The primary intervention is a distribution center situated in Queensgate, Cincinnati; this center is different from the typical distribution center in terms of location, process, program and integration with the surrounding environment. The secondary program is a series of trailer-containers that transform into grocery stores.

Queensgate Distribution Center This map depicts Queensgate, an industrial district in Cincinnati, Ohio, during three periods of time: 1918, 2012 and a potential future. The historic markings are denoted by the warm colors on the map. They tell a distant, but interesting story about the district. In the Early 1900s, Queensgate was integrated with the central business district of Cincinnati. The district hosted industrial facilities, residential living quarters, rail lines, and a plethora of commercial businesses, including a large produce market. Due to zoning restrictions, the area is currently zoned for industrial activity. Zoning restrictions allowed for the district to thrive for a while, but since industry left the area, Queensgate has been in decline. The black and white aerial views show the current state of Queensgate: industrial buildings, large empty tracts of land and raw material storage. While Queensgate is adjacent to the heart of Cincinnati, it does not connect with the city. This project attempts to breathe life back into the Queensgate district by reconnecting the district to the city and the river. By situating itself within Queensgate, Cincinnati, this distribution center is able to take advantage of a number of site-specific transportation networks that converge on the site. This site is uniquely located near highway infrastructure, the Ohio River and a number of rail lines. Proximity to a number of transportation networks allows for this distribution center to take advantage of various economies of scale -- tractor-trailers, small trucks, barges, and railroad cars.

Disconnected City

Parallel Programs


Existing Structures

Rural Typology


New Typologies

Queensgate has been separated from the rest of the city by highways. This inaccessibility, combined with the decline of industry has left the area to slowly die. Through the siting of a distribution center and public amenities, this project aims to re-program the area and imbue the site with a sense of purpose.

As designers, we must question the typical, the banal and actively work against systems that produce undesirable conditions. For if we are unwilling to reconsider these questions and challenge these systems, we will be subjected to an increasingly disfigured landscape.

+ Combining programs

Urban Typology

Existing Transportation

Existing Infrastructure

Existing Problems

Economies of Scale


Closing the Gap

While distribution centers typically only interface with semi-tractor-trailers, this distribution center interfaces with trucks, trains, barges and pedestrians, creating new economies which operate on a variety of scales. This allows for more profitable and sustainable distribution practices.

Past models of food distribution are non-responsive to the urban environment, but this project proposes a new paradigm. Infrastructure typically only provides one service, but this project builds on the existing infrastructure in order to make it responsive to multiple urban needs.

The current model of food distribution rejects certain neighborhoods due to economic or structural problems with the area, leaving these places “food deserts.� This project proposes a mobile grocery store that slowly becomes permanent in these undeserved neighborhoods.

Alternative Transportation

New Paradigm

Proposed Solutions

Drosscapes While Queensgate used to be seamlessly integrated into Cincinnati’s downtown, it currently is cut off from the life of the city. This project aims to imbue the Queensgate area with a sense of purpose and reconnect Cincinnati to its waterfront. Through a combination of soft infrastructure and public amenities, this project aims to create infrastructure that is about more than functionality and starts to address the human element.


Distribution Center The automated distribution center will create new spatial configurations within the distribution center. In addition to the automated quality of this distribution center, the program will also incorporate a number of parallel programs. Integration of rail and barges into the process will allow for the center to operate at various economies of scale. By situating itself within Queensgate, Cincinnati, this distribution center is able to take advantage of a number of site-specific transportation networks that converge on the site. This site is uniquely located near highway infrastructure, the Ohio River and a number of rail lines. Proximity to a number of transportation networks allows for this distribution center to operate on a number of levels and take advantage of various economies of scale. While distribution centers typically only interface with tractor-trailers, this distribution center will be able to interface with tractor-trailers, small trucks, barges, and railroad cars.


Distribution Center By situating itself within Queensgate, Cincinnati, this distribution center is able to take advantage of a number of site-specific transportation networks that converge on the site: highways, the Ohio River and a number of rail lines. Proximity to a number of transportation networks allows for this distribution center to operate on a number of scales and take advantage of various economies. While distribution centers typically only interface with tractor-trailers, this distribution center will be able to interface with tractor-trailers, small trucks, barges, and railroad cars.

Semi Semi-tractor trailers are the main way in which food is currently distributed and still will play an integral role in this distribution center.

Barge The dock on the Ohio River will allow for intermodal shipping and bulk items to be incorporated into distribution practices.

Train A rail line runs parallel to the site; this will connect the distribution center to bulk distributors and allow for increased efficiencies.


Infrastructural Interstices By acknowledging the importance of place and a need to connect to the natural landscape, stronger relationships can be forged. This site will engage with the river, highway structures and the under-utilized rail lines in Cincinnati. In doing so, this project has the power to become one of the permanent and enduring elements of the city. This image shows how a highway overpass could be transformed into an inhabitable urban space/informal market.


Material Process



Distribution is a perfect example of a material process. In any exchange, there is a spatial barrier between producer and consumer, and a material process must connect the two. The way in which this material process is deployed results in a specific articulation of the space.

As distribution channels move more toward the periphery, city dwellers are becoming increasingly disconnected from the food that they consume. This disconnect is not only exacerbated by the fact that the current model of food production and distribution is increasingly privatized, industrial and global in nature, but the lack of an integrated food distribution network has led to systemic problems within the urban core.

Food deserts, vanishing public space, inarticulate buildings and inequitable distribution of resources define the current landscape. While the current condition is undesirable, this thesis explores the idea that, by changing the forces that deploy food distribution, one can effectively augment the landscape to better suit social imperatives.

Lower Price Hill population: low access: low income: w/o vehicle:

4733 100 54 47

Elmwood population: low access: low income: w/o vehicle:

3652 100 16 25

Price Hill population: low access: low income: w/o vehicle:

1071 100 31

norwood population: low access: low income: w/o vehicle:

2943 100 39 36

West Price Hill population: low access: low income: w/o vehicle:


2180 100 54 47

Lower Price Hill Phasing Plan While most grocery stores are unwilling to invest in neighborhoods such as Lower Price Hill, this project allows for the phasing of a small market. The market starts out as just a pop-up store inside of a semi-tractor trailer, and as the community becomes more invested in the market, it becomes more permanent.

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3


Mobile Grocery When the tractor trailer is parked on the site, the space functions like a grocery store and when the truck is gone, it serves as a community gathering space. The more permanent the market becomes, the more it becomes a community asset, taking on additional programs.

Grating Down Acts as Platform

Grating Up Acts as Wall

Assembly Storage

Ipe Walnut


Perforated copper

Raked Concrete

Grasshoppin’ The purpose of this class was to further our knowledge of Rhino, Grasshopper, and Powermill software, while engaging in formal exercises and eventually the production of a parametric system. The result was the production of a frame and insert which could be multiplied indefinitely. Surface Morph, Attractor and Aggregation Scripts were employed in order to manipulate surfaces and create milling patterns. The resulting object/ information was then taken into Powermill for programming. Using a CNC Router, the designs were routed out into Baltic Birch Plywood.



base unit


Lightin’ This lamp explores the possibility of transforming food into an architectural element. As water evaporates from cooked spaghetti, the individual strands contract and harden into unique forms. Layering these strands produced an enigmatic form that is rich in texture. A layer of white fire resitant spray paint was applied in order to contrast the organic form and provide a fire resistant coating.

Lightroom is a multidisciplinary architecture studio with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia and a studio in San Luis, Brazil. The primary focus is modern sustainable residential and commercial architecture. The studio also has experience in design interiors, landscape architecture, branding, websites and graphic design projects.

While this project is situated in the Historic MAK district of Atlanta, the clients wanted a modern house. This presented us with a unique design problem. By constructing a guest house in the front, we were able to hide the more modern living quarters that the clients desired.

a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h.

Porch Playroom Outdoor Shower Master Suite Bedroom Bedroom Kitchen Carport










a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h.

Master Bedroom

Guest House

Carport Storage Sun Room Hallway Glass connector Library Guest Room Porch









15 18 15

9 9

12 10

16 17



5 10

7 8

2 4



13 1


14 1

1. Porch 2. Sitting Room 3. Office/Library

4. Outdoor Shower 5. Master Bath 6. Master Closet

7. Master Bedroom 8. Corridor 9. Closet

10. Bedroom 11. Bathroom 12. Kitchen

13. Dining Room 14. Living Room 15. Storage

16. Mudroom 17. Powder room 18. Carport

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is one of the world’s preeminent architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients in both the public and private sectors. Operating as one firm with six global offices. I worked on two projects under Marianne Kwok: One Shenzhen Bay in Shenzhen, China and the Hudson Yards in NYC. All images were part of a continuous work flow with Ellen Chen, Shi Zhou, and John Winkler.


Working with Ellen Chen on the design of this elevated promenade, we produced an integrated design approach which played with the waffle slab structure and a diamond pattern. Three-D prints, Rhinoceros and AutoCad were the main methods for this design process. While at KPF I also worked on Hudson Yards, the largest development project in NYC at the moment. Models were built with Christina St. John and Awad Architects. Rendering by D-BOX.

Thank you! Christopher Randall Bartell, LEED AP 7995 Chinquapin Lane Cincinnati, Ohio 45243 513.257.1880

2013 Portfolio  

Academic and Professional