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ACADEMIC

PORTFOLIO


Benjamin W. Littell

2010:

Drexel University, 2010 Bachelor of Architecture Summa Cum Laude; 3.94

Professional Involvement: American Institute of Architecture Students

Honors & Awards: Henry Adams Medal

Intern Development Program

Top-Ranked Architecture Student

Senior Achievement Award Top-Ranked Student in Academic College

2008:

Thesis Finalist David Slott Scholarship for Academic Achievement

2007:

Work & Volunteer Experience: Francis Cauffman Architects July 2006 - Present Habitat for Humanity March 2010

K.W. Riddle Memorial Scholarship for Campus Involvement

2004:

Chapter President - 2007 Chapter Treasurer - 2006

Dr. James Alexander Scholarship Anthony J. Drexel Presidential Scholarship 2004-2010

Drexel Experiencing Architecture Program June-July 2006 WTW Architects June-September, 2005


YEAR

MONTH

DAY


VISITOR CENTER

THE NATIVE INUPIATS, THE AMERICAN OIL INDUSTRY, AND THE MOST EXTREME BACKPACKERS CONVERGE IN THE LAST AMERICAN FRONTIER, IN

WISEMAN, ALASKA

SUSTAINABILITY FOR AN EXTREME CLIMATE

GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK


AN OASIS IN A COLD, DARK, ARCTIC DESERT, THE GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK VISITOR CENTER PROVIDES A PLACE FOR PASSERBYS TO REST, RESEARCHERS TO STUDY & WORK, & HIKERS TO LEARN ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT THEY ARE ABOUT TO TRAVERSE.

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ENTRY VESTIBULE LIVING ROOM INFORMATION DESK ARCHIVES GIFT SHOP STAFF WORKSPACES STAFF LIVING QUARTERS MUSEUM DISPLAYS THEATER & AURORA VIEWING STORAGE REAR ENTRY & INFO

COMPOSITE VISITOR CENTER 0’

9’

18’

36’

2

RESTING

PLANNING A PLACE OF WORKING, RESTING, LEARNING, LIVING


INUPIAT ARCHITECTURE, EVOLVING ON THE NORTH SLOPE FOR

12,000 YEARS, EXPRESSES A CONNECTION TO NATURE, A RESPECTFULNESS TO THE

MATERIALITY OF RESOURCES, AN EXPRESSION THROUGH A SHAPED EXPERIENCE OR VIEW.

INUPIAT TRADITIONS NATIVE-INSPIRED SPACES


LEARNING FROM THE LOCALS VERNACULAR STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABILITY & CONSTRUCTION LIVING SPACES

INUPIAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BUILDING IN THE ARCTIC CLIMATE

THE ABILITY OF THE INUPIAT ARCHITECTURE TO

WITHSTAND THE HARSH ELEMENTS OF THE FAR NORTH SHOWS TRUE SUSTAINABILITY; A PRESERVATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT BY: -BUILDING STRUCTURES THAT LAST GENERATIONS -USING ONLY LOCAL MATERIALS & RESOURCES -USING NO ELECTRICITY FOR HEATING OR LIGHTING -SUSTAINING A POPULATION OF PEOPLE, IN RELATIVE COMFORT, IN AN OTHERWISE OFTEN UNFORGIVING, SUNLESS CLIMATE

DIVISION OF BUILDINGS INTO SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS. THE NEW VISITOR CENTER CONSISTS OF THREE SEPARATE FUNCTIONS THAT RELATE TO THREE OF THE INUPIAT BUILDING TYPES: -A SPACE FOR LIVING AND SOLITUDE -A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL EXPLORATION -A SPACE FOR SOCIALIZING AND COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY SPACES

SPIRITUAL SPACES

A MAJOR PART OF INUPIAT ARCHITECTURE IS THE

FOR OVER 12,000 YEARS. SOME OF THEIR ANCIENT STRUCTURES, OVER 3,000 YEARS OLD, STILL STAND TODAY.


COMBING THE TRADITIONAL FRAMING SYSTEM OF THE INUPIAT LONGHOUSES WITH MODERN SUSTAINABLE PRINCIPALS, THE VISITOR CENTER USES A STRUCTURAL SYSTEM THAT RESPECTS THE VERNACULAR AESTHETIC OF NORTHERN ALASKA.

NORTH FACADE NORTH FACADE

SOUTH FACADE

STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY SOUTH FACADE

THROUGH LOCAL CONSTRUCTION

LOCAL DENSE SPRUCE, A BUILDING MATERIAL OF THE INUPIATS FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, RETAINS HEAT IN THE COLD WINTERS WHILE PROVIDING A HIGH INSULATING VALUE.


RAIN & SUN

DAYLIGHT OPE

NORTH FACADE

RAIN & GROWTH

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SHORT, COOL SUMMERS, WITH 24 HOURS OF

SUNLIGHT. LONG, FROZEN WINTERS, WITH 24 HOURS OF DARKNESS, LIT ONLY BY THE AURORA BOREALIS. RAIN & SUN

SUMMER

WINTER

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ION LAT ON ATI W SUL SNO N I ING H YCL ART C E E R EN T ARD HEA U INS

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SOUTH FACADE

POSITIVE BENEFITS OF NATURE, MINIMIZING THE HARSHER CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TERRAIN. THE GATES OF THE ARCTIC VISITOR CENTER FUNCTIONS AS A

ION

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TRUE SUSTAINABILITY RESPONDS TO THE LOCAL CLIMATE, MATERIALS, AND TRADITIONS--MAXIMIZING THE

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PROTOTYPE FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ON THE NORTH SLOPE.

SUSTAINABLE PROTOTYPES FOR A POLAR CLIMATE


CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT

THE ROOF OF THE VISITORS CENTER SERVES TWO KEY FUNCTIONS: COLLECTING VALUABLE GREYWATER FOR USE BY THE FACILITY, AND SERVING AS A ROOF GARDEN FOR VEGETABLES.

PROGRAM & GOALS

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SOFTSCAPE

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THE WALLS OF THE CENTER PROVIDE ANOTHER DIMENSION OF SUSTAINABILITY AND GREENERY. WITH LIVING WALLS INSIDE THE CENTER, SEASONAL SCREENING OF GLASS WITH INDIGENOUS PLANTING, CROPS GROWN IN THE 24-HOUR DIRECT SUNLIGHT, AND NATURAL FILTRATION OF SEPTIC WATER.

GREENWALL

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P O CR

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Y R NE GREENSCAPE

BECAUSE OF THE REMOTE LOCATION, THE CENTER MUST SERVE AS A PLACE FOR WORKERS TO LIVE, VISITORS TO LEARN, AND PASSERBY’S TO REST. THE BUILDING ACCOMMODATES ALL HUMAN ACTIVITY, AS RESIDENTS ARE OFTEN STRANDED IN THE ARCTIC OASIS FOR THE LONG WINTER MONTHS

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AFTER THE LONG JOURNEY UP NORTH TO WISEMAN, VISITORS EXPERIENCE THE SCENERY IN DRAMATIC FASHION. THE CENTER IS DESIGNED ALONG THREE WALKWAYS, EACH DIRECTING THE VISITOR'S VIEW TO PICTURE-LIKE LANDSCAPES.

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EXPERIENCE

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PROGRAM


SHAPED VIEWS

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CIRCULATION THROUGH THE CENTER FRAMES THE VISUAL EXPERIENCE FOR THE VISITOR, HIGHLIGHTING THE ASPECTS OF THE NATURAL WORLD THAT ARE MOST CULTURALLY IMPORTANT TO THE INUPIAT PEOPLE AND THE AESTHETIC VOYAGER. THE BROOKS MOUNTAIN RANGE, WITH TREELESS RUGGED PEAKS AND SNOW-CAPPED PINNACLES, GIVES A SCENIC BACKDROP TO THE KOYUKUK RIVER VALLEY. THE DYNAMIC SHAPES OF THE MOUNTAIN RANGE--THE NORTHERNMOST IN THE WORLD--INFLUENCES THE DESIGN OF THE VISITOR CENTER.

CREATING AN EXPERIENCE BY SHAPING A SPACE


MASSING & CONCEPT A NATIVE AESTHETIC


C

VISITOR CENTER GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK


MUSEUM INDUSTRIAL ARTS OF THE

CONSISTING OF A CONVERTED HISTORICAL PRISON AND A CONTEMPORARY ADDITION, THE MUSEUM OF INDUSTRIAL ARTS IS DESIGNED TO CELEBRATE BOTH THE BLUE COLLAR PAST AND THE TECHNOLOGYBASED FUTURE OF THE NORRISTOWN COMMUNITY.

NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA


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STAFF ENTRY VESTIBULE STAFF LOCKERS STAFF ELEVATORS STAFF PARKING RECYCLING / DELIVERIES EXHIBIT STORAGE TRAVELING EXHIBIT HALL PERFORMANCE HALL / MOVIE THEATER STORAGE LOCAL EXHIBIT SPACE REAR PUBLIC ENTRY COATS / INFORMATION RESTROOMS LIVING WALL FRONT PUBLIC ENTRY LOCAL EXHIBIT SPACE GIFT SHOP RESTROOMS COATS / INFO ELEVATORS INDUSTRIAL ARTS GALLERY HIGH-BAY GALLERY CAFE MEDIUM-BAY GALLERY PUBLIC TERRACE CAFE VEGETABLE GARDEN OUTDOOR CAFE SEATING ADMINISTRATIVE SUITE OPEN TO HIGH-BAY GALLERY RESTORATION SHOP

INDUSTRIAL ARTS MUSEUM 0’

15’

30’

60’

30

24

8

9

6

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GROUND LEVEL

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FIRST LEVEL

SECOND LEVEL

FROM ISOLATING TO INVITING CONVERTING PRISON CELLS TO GALLERY SPACES


PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

THE PROBLEM: TWO LOTS; ONE CONTAINING AN ABANDONED

CREATING A PUBLIC SPACE & AND NEW STRUCTURE

PRISON, THE OTHER AN EMPTY PARKING LOT. INDUSTRY IS A MAJOR PART OF THE COMMUNITY’S

6

HISTORY, AND THERE IS A DEMAND FOR A MUSEUM FOR ARTIFACTS TO BE DISPLAYED LOCATED IN A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD, THERE IS A NEED FOR PUBLIC PARK SPACE AND FORMALIZED MEETING SPACES AS WELL.

SITE 2

4

THE CONCEPT: 5 6

3

KEEP THE HISTORICAL PRISON INTACT EXTERNALLY,

PLACEMENT

WHILE ALSO CREATING A RESPECTFUL ADDITION TO ACHIEVE THE DEMANDS OF THE PROGRAM.

1

5

GIVING BACK THE CORNER TO THE COMMUNITY PROVIDES

LINK

A SAFE PLACE FOR RECREATION, A CLEAN SPOT FOR COMMUNITY

GARDENING, SEATING AND SUPPORT FOR LOCAL EVENTS. LARGE PUBLIC SPACES WITHIN THE NEW MUSEUM PROGRAM GIVE THE COMMUNITY 1 2 3 4 5 6

AMPLE ROOM FOR PUBLIC MEETINGS, EVENTS, AND ACTIVITIES.

EXISTING PRISON NEW ADDITION RECREATION AMPHITHEATER GARDENS FOOD GARDENS

SITE PLAN 0’

20’

40’

80’

SHAPE


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NEW CIRCULATION

EXHIBIT HALLS

CONVERTED YARDS

GREEN ZONES

CE A R

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CIRCULATION: A LINEAR PATH OF MOVEMENT THROUGH BOTH THE RENOVATED AND NEW SPACES ALLOWS VISITORS TO EXPERIENCE THE ENTIRE MUSEUM WITHOUT THE NEED TO BACKTRACK. THE CIRCULATION PATH IS SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD. EXHIBIT HALLS: GROUPED INTO TWO LARGE BLOCKS OF SPACE, THE LAYOUT OF THE EXHIBIT HALLS IMPROVES BUILDING EFFICIENCY WHILE ALLOWING FLEXIBLY IN SIZE AND LAYOUT OF INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITS. INCREASED CEILING HEIGHT IN THE RENOVATED PRISON PROVIDES ENOUGH SPACE FOR EVEN THE LARGEST INDUSTRIAL ARTIFACTS. GREENED PRISON YARDS:

LUSH INDIGENOUS GARDEN SPACES REPLACE THE CONCRETE-

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A VARIETY OF

BUILDING FUNCTIONS PROVIDED BY

LIVING ELEMENTS

COVERED GROUNDS, PROVIDING A WELCOMING EXTERIOR IMAGE. DECREASING THE IMPERVIOUS COVERING INCREASES THE POTENTIAL COMMUNITY USES AND ENHANCES THE LOOK AND

FEEL OF THE OUTDOOR SPACES

FROM CONCRETE TO CULTIVATION GREENING THE CONVERTED PRISON


MEMORIAL

CHAPEL

LOCATED ON THE HISTORICAL SITE WHERE REVOLUTIONARY WAR TROOPS WINTERED IN 1777, THE VALLEY FORGE MEMORIAL CHAPEL EMPHASIZES THE HISTORICAL PAST OF THE AREA WHILE PROVIDING A PLACE TO REFLECT SPIRITUALLY AND CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER.

VALLEY FORGE, PENNSYLVANIA


VENTILATION 5

8

DAYLIGHT

STRUCTURE

ORGANIZED TO BE SIMPLE, YET COMPELLING, THE CHAPEL RECEIVES ITS SHAPE FROM GENTLY CURVING WALLS THAT CREATE DYNAMIC SPACES AND CIRCULATION.

2 4

THE ARCING WALLS ARE ORIENTED TO RECEIVE

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NATURAL VENTILATION IN THE WARM SUMMERS,

1

AND TO DEFLECT THE BITTER WINTER WINDS. 6

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ENTRY VESTIBULE RECEPTION HALL COAT CHECK STAFF OFFICE NAVE EXHIBIT STORAGE EXHIBIT HALL EXIT VESTIBULE EXTERIOR PULPIT

WHILE THE WOODEN STRUCTURE USES LOCAL MATERIAL, REFLECTING THE VERNACULAR & HISTORICAL BUILDING STYLE

FLOOR PLANS 0’

5’

10’

DAYLIGHT USED TO CREATE DRAMATIC CHANGES FROM DARK ENTRIES TO LIGHTER SPIRITUAL SPACES,

20’

FACILITATING MOVEMENT CREATING NATURALLY FLOWING CIRCULATION


DESIGNING THROUGH MODELING MASSING THE CONCEPT THE HISTORICAL POST AND BEAM STYLE CONSTRUCTION USED AT VALLEY FORGE OVER 200 YEARS AGO IS REFLECTED IN THE STRUCTURE OF THE MEMORIAL CHAPEL. EXPOSED BEAMS CREATE A RHYTHM AND REPETITION THROUGHOUT THE SPACES THAT ADDS TO THE

SIMPLISTIC BEAUTY OF THE BUILDING. DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL MODELING OF THE STRUCTURAL DESIGN PERMITTED THE GREATEST DEGREE OF EXPERIMENTATION AND REVISIONS WHICH, IN THE END, ACHIEVED THE DESIRED AESTHETIC. SOLAR STUDIES FURTHER ASSISTED IN DEVELOPING THE DESIRED LIGHTING AFFECT FROM THE STRUCTURE. REFLECTED LIGHT FILTERS ITS WAY THROUGH THE BEAMS OF THE CHAPEL, GIVING A SPIRITUAL GLOW TO THE PULPIT AREA IN THE MORNING HOURS. ADDITIONALLY, THE MUSEUM RECEIVES DIM, INDIRECT NATURAL LIGHTING, PRESERVING THE ARTIFACTS WHILE PROVIDING A LEVEL OF LIGHTING THAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE BUILDING’S USE.


THE ROOF PLANE OF THE CHAPEL ALLOWS DAYLIGHTING TO ENTER THE SPACES YEAR-ROUND. THE TRANSITION FROM DARK TO LIGHT SPACES ADDS TO THE

WINTER SUN

SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF THE CHAPEL, AND SEPARATES CIRCULATION SPACES FROM FUNCTIONAL ONES. SET IN AN OPEN FIELD, THE

MICROCLIMATE OF THE CHAPEL INVOLVES STRONG WINTER WINDS AND COOL SUMMER BREEZES. BY EMBRACING THE SUMMER WINDS WHILE BLOCKING AND REDIRECTING THEM IN THE WINTER MONTHS, THE CHAPEL

SUMMER SUN

CAN MAINTAIN A YEARROUND COMFORTABLE TEMPERATURE. THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE AREA PRESENTS OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES. WHILE THE HILLS CAN BE USED TO BLOCK SOME WINTER WIND, THEY ALSO HINDER THE VISIBILITY OF THE SITE. SITING THE CHAPEL IN A PLACE

SUMMER VENTILATION

WHERE DRAMATIC VIEWS CAN BE CAPTURED, WITH NO SACRIFICE TO SUSTAINABILITY, WAS THE MAJOR FACTOR IN THE FINAL LOCATION.

VALLEY FORGE

EXPLORING MICROCLIMATE SUSTAINIBILITY ON THE LOCAL LEVEL


FISHTOWN URBAN FABRIC REPAIRING THE

CURRENT LAND USE

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA


TIME OF DAY USE THE SCALE & QUALITY OF THE EXISTING STREETSCAPE IS VARIED AND INCONSISTENT: THE SMALLER, SIDE STREETS CREATE A PLEASING SENSE OF SECURITY AND INTIMACY, WHILE THE WIDE, EMPTY LOTS ON GIRARD AVENUE, THE I-95 OVERPASS, AND THE RUBBLE-FILLED LOTS CREATE AN URBAN WASTELAND THAT IS UNAPPEALING AND UNSAFE.

STREET SPACES

HOW CAN THESE EDGES BE REPAIRED, SO THAT ALL AREAS OF THE COMMUNITY HAVE A SENSE OF SCALE THAT IS FITTING FOR ITS DENSITY?

ANALYSIS HISTORICAL LAND USE

CURRENT LAND USE

SCALE, QUALITY, TYPOLOGY


REVITALIZE GIRARD AVENUE CREATE AN ACTIVE, WORKING MAIN STREET

PROPOSED LAND USE


STREET-LEVEL

TIME OF DAY USE

IMPROVING THE NEIGHBORHOOD BEGINS WITH INFILLING THE VOIDS ON GIRARD AVENUE. BY INCREASING THE RESIDENTIAL DENSITY, THE STREET WILL REGAIN THE VIBRANT CHARACTER IT ONCE HAD. ADDING A MONUMENTAL MUSEUM OR OTHER CIVIC SPACE TO THE FAR END OF THE STREET WILL DRAW PEOPLE DOWN THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF GIRARD, GIVING THE EAST END OF GIRARD JUST AS MUCH TRAFFIC AS THE WEST CURRENTLY RECEIVES. ADDING MORE NIGHTLIFE, RESTAURANT, AND PUBLIC COMMERCIAL SPACES WILL MAKE THE STREET A SAFER PLACE AT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY. A TRUE “24 HOUR” STREET GAINS ITS SAFETY THROUGH THE PRESENCE OF PEOPLE; THIS IS THE MAIN ELEMENT LACKING THAT MAKES GIRARD FEEL EMPTY AND SOMEWHAT UNSAFE AFTER SUNDOWN.

ZONES & MOVEMENT MOVEMENT

CREATING A LAYERING


ENERGIZE THE STREETSCAPE ENCOURAGING MOVEMENT AND INTERACTION

MONUMENT MOVEMENT BOTH ON GIRARD AND PAST GIRARD FOSTERS INTERACTION, CREATES STREET DYNAMICS, AND INCREASES FAMILIARITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD SENTIMENT. BY CREATING BIKE LANES, INVITING TROLLEY STOPS, WIDER & MORE PLEASANT SIDEWALKS, AND PEDESTRIAN ZONES, RESIDENTS AND TRANSIENTS ALIKE FEEL WELCOMED AND AT HOME.


STREET ZONES

ENGAGING THE STREET

STREETSCAPE CREATING A LAYERING WITHIN THE STREET ZONE


COMMUNICATION

CHAIR ::24-HOUR CHARETTE ::DESIGN A CHAIR FOR TWO ::ONE MATERIAL -- NO ADHESIVES ::SIMPLICITY IN CONSTRUCTION ::STRENGTH TO SUPPORT ::EASILY REPEATABLE ::TRUE COMFORT

CONCEPT

THE CHALLENGE::


SHAPE AESTHETIC

THE SOLUTION:: ::SEAT SHAPE DESIGNED FOR HUMAN COMFORT ::SUPPORTS 50,000% OF ITS MATERIAL WEIGHT ::FOLDS FLAT WITH REMOVAL OF JUST 3 PIECES ::ASSEMBLES IN LESS THAN 60 SECONDS, ::99% MATERIAL EFFICIENCY

STRENGTH & DURABILITY PATTERN

WITH MATERIAL EFFICIENCY


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