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BENJAMIN E THOMAS GRADUATE WORK


Architecture is a pleasantly complex practice in which attention paid to the smallest details can result in the largest impacts. Details, however, must not be relegated simply to fastening hardware and material selections of the built environment. Progressive architectural intervention succeeds best when it is appreciative of the details of the built, contextual, and personal environments of human behavior. It is in this appreciation that I position my own work in order to afford the opportunity for best practices on physical and non-physical scales; to retain theoretical ingenuity within the scope of plausible reality. Through my work experience I became actively engaged with the realities of scope, budget, bidding process, scheduling, board reviews, and team leadership. The critical thinking skills acquired through this exposure, when applied to design, posit the fact that all aspects of the design process are opportunities for successful work. Academically, this success is cataloged through the multiple projects archived as teaching tools, a publication in the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee architecture student magazine, Studio 2131, exhibited work at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez as well as the University of Michigan, and an awarded installation at NOLA DesCours through the AIA, New Orleans chapter. The work within is evidence of how progressive thinking coupled with realistic grounding allows the conversation of architectural intervention to be had at multiple scales. Moreover, it highlights the agency of architecture outside of the built environment as it aids in the narration of the everyday, aiding the individual’s ability to move, interact, play in-, and contribute to the environments in which we exist.

Benjamin E Thomas

414.333.2799 I bthomas425@gmail.com


starfield

Descours: aia nEW oRLEANS fall 2011

mega-terminal

Option studio: fAITH mclain clutter fALL 2010

mOBILE aGGREGATION

COMPREHENSIVE studio mICHAEL kENNEDY FALL 2011

El MUSEO DEL NORTE

COMPREHENSIVE studio mICHAEL kENNEDY FALL 2011

NSS HEADQUARTERS

Option studio jENNIFER hARMON WINTER 2011

EXPANDING INWARD

THESIS STUDIO, ANCA TRANDAFIRESCU WINTER 2012


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starfield

Descours: Installation, aia nEW oRLEANS. 2011 TEAM LEADER:

Lecturer Jennifer Harmon

CONCEPT AND PROPOSAL:

Joshua Kehl, Spencer Kroll, Benjamin Thomas, Grant Weaver

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT:

Missy Ablin, Joshua Kehl, Spencer Kroll, Will Martin, Catherine Pyenson, Benjamin Thomas

ASSEMBLY:

Missy Ablin, Ashley Banks, Joshua Kehl, Spencer Kroll, Michael Gelnboski, Will Martin, Catherine Pyenson, Andrew Stephens, Benjamin Thomas, Grant Weaver, Logan Wiedman, Wencan Xue

INSTALL:

Missy Ablin, Spencer Kroll, Catherine Pyenson

CONSULTANTS:

Peter von B端low, Maciej Kaczynski

ADDITIONAL CREDITS - Benjamin Thomas: - Material Research and Project Budgeting - Project Scheduling - Proposal Renderings - Initial Connection Assembly Concept - Connector Plate Cut Sheets Cut Sheet: Connection Plates


λ GIAUSAR : 334 ly τ DRA : 150 ly ε TYL : 146 ly

κ SHAOWEI : 498 ly

χ BANTENTABAN : 26 ly δ ALTAIS : 100 ly

ψ DZIBAN : 289 ly α THUBAN : 309 ly ζ ALDHIBAH : 340 ly

η ALDIBAIN : 88 ly ι EDASICH : 102 ly

θ SHANGZAI : 68 ly ξ GRUMIUM : 111 ly ν KUMA : 99 ly

β RASTABAN : 361 ly

γ ELTANIN : 148 ly

LIGHT YEARS γ η β δ ζ ι α

Diagram: Extruding Draco

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EXISTING POST AND RAILING EXISTING POST AND RAILING

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EXISTING DECK

EXISTING POST AND RAILING

EXISTING DECK

EXISTING DECK

EXISTING POST AND RAILING

EXISTING DECK

PLAN VIEW PLAN VIEW

1”x6” WHITEWOOD SKIRT 2-1/2” EXTERIOR WOOD SCREW - 3” O.C. NOTE: SCREWS TOSKIRT PENETRATE 1”x6” NO WHITEWOOD EXISTING POST. 2-1/2” EXTERIOR WOOD SCREW - 3” O.C. CAP NOTE: NO SCREWS TO PENETRATE 3MM WIREPOST. CABLE EXISTING CAP ZINC CABLE SLEEVE 3MM WIRE CABLE

EXISTING POST AND RAILING

ZINC CABLE SLEEVE

EXISTING POST AND RAILING

EXISTING DECK EXISTING DECK

SECTION A

Detail:9Hanging the Construct

SECTION A

Proposal Rendering


Hex Nuts DISCONNECT MEMBER @

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Aluminum Connector Plate

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Clean and Sand both sides. Check Orientation with Starfield Diagram.

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Coin Battery

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mega-terminal

Option studio: fAITH, mclain clutter. fALL 2010 The goal of this studio was to develop a conceptual project concerning the evolution of the Megachurch in the exurban landscape. Various trips to such institutions as well as comparative studies with other building types such as large “big box� retail were the point of departure. Of primary effort in this studio was understanding the programmatic incorporation and distribution within the church as an example of interior urbanism. This work projects the incorporation of mass transit into the programmatic concerns of the church. Vehicular access into the interior begins to create a completed whole of the institution as a metropolis. Moreover, ideas of network distribution and iconographic imagery speak to the attitude of building as billboard, associating the programmed interior with a single exterior expression.

Site Discovery: Preliminary Mapping


Site Plan


MAINTENANCE

PERSONAL VEHICLE

FOOT

MASS TRANSIT

Site Phasing

User Routes by Transportation Type


Partial Plan: Terminal Level


Objectified Metropolis

Strategy: Programmatic Stratification and Objectification


mOBILE aGGREGATION

COMPREHENSIVE studio, mICHAEL kENNEDY. FALL 2011 ‘LA CARPA’ MOBILE MUSEUM’

In conjunction with the University of Michigan’s Latino Studies department and El Museo del Norte public committee of Southwest Detroit, the project was to design a mobile museum to help tell the history of Latinos in the area. Each student was to develop a unique proposal that was showcased to the public for consideration. The proposal below called for the development of flexible nodes that could be easily transported and reconfigured to accommodate a variety of sites, audiences, and programmatic intents.

Axon: Constructing the Node


Handling and Distribution


1/128” = 1’

1/128” = 1’

Strategic Deployment

NCE Educational Groups

Tourist

ea or the history-Limited of the community. knowledge of area or the history of the community. efit from program This that audience incorporates woulda benefit from program that incorporates a borhood. way to explore the neighborhood.

Educational Groups

-May have sufficient knowledge of the neighborhood -May have sufficient as is relates knowledge to the larger of theDetroit neighborhood area, butaslimited is relates in the to the larger Detroit area, but limited in the history of those who define the community. history Thisofdemographic those who define can stand the community. to gain fromThis program demographic that gives can stand to gain from program that gives more depth to the exhibited pieces such asmore lectures depth and to informed the exhibited presentation. pieces such as lectures and informed presentation.

YMENT RTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES

Controlled Zone

ized

INDIVIDUAL

Controlled Zone

TEACHING / GROUP

Manipulation: Programmatic Intent and Audience Size

EVENT / MULTIPLES


Southwest Detroit Art Walk


On-Site Curation


Learning in the Park


El MUSEO DEL NORTE

COMPREHENSIVE studio, mICHAEL kENNEDY. FALL 2011 To promote the efforts of the Southwest Detroit community, the studio was geared towards the development of a permanent museum to house performances and exhibits centered around the Latino culture in the area and the larger context of the city. One proposal per student. This project makes use of an existing ironworks building from the 19th century as a contrasting agent to a proposed addition. Through their dialogue, the new and old relate to the historical sensitivity of the surrounding Latino community. Incorporated into the project is the knowledge that the visitor is at once patron and exhibit, living history. Therefore, the project is designed to fully expose the community to itself through active display and interactive activities such as the offering of the exterior to local artists and the bleeding of performance space from building to exterior neighborhood.

Building the Discussion: Past, Present, Future


PROPOSAL ONE: OPEN SITE

ZONE 1A: ABOVE GROUND

This level will house a more permanent collection as well as administration

ZONE 1B: GROUND LEVEL

Lower-level of museum will house more dynamic programming and even space with exhibits constantly changing. It will have the ability to open to exterior to extend programmatic footprint.

ZONE 2: EXTERIOR

2

Soft perimeter to act as extended program area to cater to large events and outdoor activities.

Bagley St

Bagley St

Bagley St

ZONE 3: MOBILE HOUSING

The museum will serve as housing for its mobile component. When docked, the mobile museum will serve as major frontage of the museum along the street edge.

GENERAL SITE PLAN 3

1

GENERAL SECTION

General Exhibition

Spatial operation will be denoted by compression and expansion of spaces through manipulation of the vertical and horizontal planes, emphasizing the nature of conduct relative to program.

Wing Pl Visual Accessibility

Site Selection Extension to Exterior

Formal Platform

1:1 Interaction

Large Congressional Space

GENERAL PLAN

NOTES -Exterior to maintain language expressed by mobile museum. Emphasis on verticality on exterior and horizontality on interior.

A series of progressional spaces will vary in scale, denoting spatial use and depth of personal e

Staying in the same vein as the mobile component, El Museo del Norte should be an active player within the community it serves. As a museum of history, it should locate itself near a historical anchor, which it references through its curated exhibits and physical proximity. Access to areas of public engagement such as recreational centers, parks, and/or schools allows the museum to lend itself as an extension of focused program. Within the site and its context there should be ample room for the museum to: 1) expand physical footprint, 2) occupy multiple areas to increase range of visibility and deploy/store portions of the mobile unit per its intent, 3) interact with the community at both large and small scales. Southwest Detroit is part of Detroit’s ‘Empowerment Zone’ initiative; therefore, the museum should site itself within a particular area of revitalization as a gesture to the community’s progressive nature and historical sensitivity. Moreover, it would be ideal to have a site housing a pre-existing building that the new museum can interact with, furthering this gesture.

Austin St

Site Summary

-The museum will house utility at core to open exterior to programmatic perimeter.

Located on Porter Road between St. Anne’s Street and Stanton Park, the site houses a 3-storey, masonry building measuring 40’ x 80’ and a slightly larger lot on the building’s East side. It is the location of 19th century T.X Rosseau Iron Workers Manufacturing Co. The building is surrounded by single-family residences, except for a slightly larger lot to the North. Other open lots available nearby to relieve the need to house all necessities on one site such as parking or large events. Open lots also offer potential for mobile unit deployment, engaging publics that may not pass directly by site. St. Anne’s is visible to the South; Detroit skyline visible to the East. Historically, the neighborhood has always been ZONE 1: BORROWED FRONTAGE small residential with commercial sites scattered throughout. The T.X. the Iron Workers building is one of Working with an existing shell, buildings still remaining from the 19th century museum adhere tothe thefew language consistent of development. It can be speculated that many of the areas the block in which it is located. residents worked at the nearby iron working building and other commercial developments to the north, along Bagley St. Using this site for the museum exposes the ZONE 2: VACANT SPACE potential to reestablish a node that has provided for the ideally, additional space will be The building can serve its community community it inhabits. found adjacent to the in aexisting similar building fashion shell. to the German Turnverein associations thewith early 19th century. Their goal, through their Preference given toofsites bordering halls, to develop commercial operations aswas to implant the sound body and minds within the community. This was done by providing program that was museum as an active participant within the physically and intellectually engaging, such as gymnasicontext of a main artery in the neighborhood. ums and tutoring services.

-Materiality TBD

PROPOSAL TWO: SHARED SITE

Stanton Park Porter St 5

Cromwell St

ZONE 3: MOBILE HOUSING

Mobile museum serves as barrier from interior to exterior with points of visual and physical accessibilty

GENERAL SITE PLAN

Preliminary Data Major Development Type: Single Family Residential Density: Around 50% Historical Anchor: St. Anne’s Church Nearby Institutions: Preston School, Roberto Clemente Recreation Center, Michigan Hispanic Chamber, Welcome Center

CONTEXTUAL CONSISTENCY

The museum will address the proportions of any new facade based on the rule set defined by adjacent structures. While the development in the vacant lot may have material difference and, perhaps, a unique character, it must abide by the proportional system in place to not be perceived as a foreign body amongst well known establishments.

Sampson St

Transit: City Bus Lines – 49 (1/8mi), 19 and 27 (1/4mi) Smart Bus – 125, 150 (1/4mi) Site Area: 90’ x 105’ = 9,450 sf

6

Potential Lots of engagement

GENERAL SECTION

Contextual Nodes

The interior structure of the existing building will be preserved and highlighted through renovation. The addition will Nodes take Contextual on a different character, making obvious its 1 Mexicantown office relationship with the building it uses to

create the museum. Points of reflection Elthe Mercado 2 in present themselves as cuts floor plane, allowing the museum-goer to re-address their past experiences from a different Clemente Recreation Center 3 Roberto vantage point. The floor may become a more active participant in the transfer of informa4 St Anne’s tion at this point of reflection.

Howard St

4

5 Stanton Park 6 Freston School

N

Engaging the Site: Early Strategy and Site Plan

Site Plan -- 1/64” = 1’

W Lafayette Blvd

W Lafayette Blvd


wc

wc

util

Kitchen

Flex Work Area

Office

Exterior Mezzanine

Office

Conference

SECOND FLOOR

Formal entry wc

wc

util

Aux Gallery B

Primary Gallery

Library

Aux Gallery A

GROUND FLOOR

FIRST FLOOR


4 9 7 10 11

1 Structure for louvre system welded to top girder

1

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2 Louvres 3 Double Pane Insulated Glass Exterior Mezzanine

4 3in Form Decking 5 6in I-Beam (5ft O.C) 6 Mechanical run 7 Insulating barrier at enclosure Section a -- 1/16” = 1’

8 Expansion Joint 9 steel L Cap

Exhibition 10’

10

1-1/2” Concrete Panel

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18k8 Open Web Joist

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16 in I-Beam Girder

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6in slab on grade

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shallow foundation

15

drainage basin

3

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foundation for I-beam columns

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2 Louvres

10

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15

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5 6in I-Beam (5ft O.C)

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8 Expansion Joint 9 steel L Cap

Frost line

Peformance 12’-14’

Detail Section -- 3/4” = 1’

10

1-1/2” Concrete Panel

11

18k8 Open Web Joist

12

16 in I-Beam Girder

13

6in slab on grade

14

shallow foundation

15

drainage basin

16

continuous foundation for I-beam columns

Enlarged Section -- 1” = 1’

Detailing the Structure8 4

9 7 10 14 15

16

11

13

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Frost line

Detail Section -- 3/4” = 1’

Enlarged Section -- 1” = 1’


Elevation: Community Character


Interior: Cultural History


Interior: Community Expression


NSS HEADQUARTERS

Option studio, jENNIFER hARMON. WINTER 2011 The studio was charged with the task of designing a headquarters for the National Speleological Society. After collective research aimed at defining the needs of the society was published, each student was to propose a building design. This project employs the play between interior and exterior, above and below ground, to create moments of tension and intrigue that work to heighten the experience of the whole. The three publics of the building (caver, administrator, public) are purposefully given moments of overlap to extend their programs to one another, creating hybrid environments for education and interaction. The architecture actively presents key features of program to each other, increasing the legibility of space and the components that define the NSS as a society. The transfer of information from caving society to touring public will increase, further solidifying the NSS as a serious, conservation-minded institution whose efforts are on multiple fronts: research, training, education

Lobby / Vertical Training


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Caver

Local

Tourist

Site Discovery: Overlapping Publics


Kentucky Geological Shifts

Formal Geological Shifts

ThreeDimensional space is characterized by individual as reference tool

Survey -Stations established and act as markers to create whole.

Difining Moments -Areas of greater recognition are cataloged through sensory awareness of the human body.

Sensory Influence of Moment Major Programmatic Features

Secondary Program Adjacencies

Physical Accessibility and Utility

Sensory Influence from Adjacent Program/Moments

Cave Experience v Programmatic Experience


Formal Discovery: Tracking of Shifts Over Time


Exterior Court

Section: Exterior - Interior Interplay


research library administrative wing

museum

archives

loading dock/ book distribution

lobby/vertical training

barracks

Sub- Level Plan


EXPANDING INWARD

THESIS STUDIO, ANCA TRANDAFIRESCU. WINTER 2012 Prompted by the proposal for compaction initiated by the city of Chicago, Illinois, this thesis investigates the latent potential of physically constrained sites. Engaging the exposed interstate rail platforms of the Blue Line, the project’s curiosity comes from the negotiations between the 15 foot width of the platform, the commuter culture of the rail, and the programmatic aspirations of the project. Using the YMCA Headquarters as the pressurizing agent, careful physical considerations are coupled with programmatic overlays that not only accommodate the constraints of the site, but offers a plausible dynamic of integration. Methods include exploration through isometric drawing, vignette, and conceptual section to draw out the plausibility of action through exactness of execution.

Sectional Elevation


POPULATION INCREASE

CHICAGO, IL.

PHASE I OF RAIL RENOVATOIN NETWORK

To Downtown

����

TIES AND TAILS

DOJO GARDENS ����

URBAN EXPLORERS / SCUBA SCHOOL

����

STAYS AND STACKS

YMCA UNIVERSITY

����

To Airport

Primary Program Utility / Service Changing Rooms

Lockers

Food

Restroom

Print / Copy

YMCA Offices

Youth Dev

Housing Admin

Job Training

Housing

Daycare

Shelter

Music Room

Urban Explorers

Admin / General

Social Responsibility

Secondary Program Gardens

Support Group

���� Education / Youth

Computers

Tutoring Center

Lecture

Classroom

Dance

Labs

Running Track

Rope

Swim

Physical Wellness

Martial Arts

Raquetball

Weights

Basketball

Scuba

Yoga

����

City Compaction: Population Increase 1960 - 2010

Strategy: Phase I Distribution

Vertical Training


NEW PROGRAM ALLOWANCE

PROGRAMMATIC BORROWING

ACCESSIBILITY

ACTIVATING THE STRUCTURE

PROGRAMMATIC BORROWING

PRIVATE PROGRAMMING

ACTIVATING THE STRUCTURE FORMAL NECESSITY

TRANSITIONAL TRANSITIONAL COMPROMISE COMPROMISE

DIVIDING

PUBLIC PROGRAMMING

LECTURE MOVEMENT A

WORKSHOP

STRUCTURE PROGRAM REQUIRMENT

STRUCTURAL SEPARATION RAIL ACCESS

SPLIT / VOID

RAIL ACCESS

ACCOMMODATION

PROGRAM

MOVEMENT B

VERTICAL

NEW PROGRAM ALLOWANCE

ACCESSIBILITY INSERTION / CAP

TRANSITIONAL COMPROMISE

REINTRODUCTION

DIVIDING THETHE HORIZONTAL DIVIDING HORIZONTAL VERTICAL CIRCULATION

LAYERING

CONSTRICTION MOVEMENT A

ZONE B ZONE A-�

PRIVATE PROGRAMMING

PROGRAM REQUIRMENT

ZONE A-�

FORMAL NECESSITY

SPLIT / VOID

STRUCTURAL INFILL

PROGRAMMATIC EXTENSION

MOVEMENT B

VISUAL REGISTRATION

STRUCTURAL SEPARATION EMBEDMENT

ACCOMMODATION

VERTICAL CONNECT

INSERTION / CAP NEW PROGRAM ALLOWANCE

REINTRODUCTION

VERTICAL MOVEMENT

ACCESSIBILITY

Strategy: Negotiating the Constraint TRANSITIONAL COMPROMISE

DIVIDING THE HORIZONTAL


SECTION: MOVEMENT

SECTION: BRIDGING �/��” = �’

SECTION: OPPORTUNITY

SECTION: ACCOMODATION

�/��” = �’

�/��” = �’

SECTION: FLEXIBILITY

�/��” = �’

�/��” = �’

main terrace

overlook � maint terrace

to courts

to courts outdoor court �

outdoor court �

sauna

lockers

intermission

brainstorming workshop �

brainstorming workshop �

brainstorming workshop �

platform

platform

platform

platform

platform

main terrace

overlook � overlook � outdoor court � outdoor court �

outdoor court �

transition lockers

entry

platform

intermission

information

rental

first aid

brainstorming workshop �

sauna

brainstorm

platform


SECTION: STRATEGY

SECTION: EDUCATION

�/��” = �’

SECTION: DEVELOPMENT

�/��” = �’

main terrace

congretional play

SECTION: ACTION

�/��” = �’

SECTION: EXPOSURE

�/��” = �’

�/��” = �’

obedience training

outdoor play

outdoor play

intermission

snackatorium

balcony

makers gallery/gates

ballroom

entry

interior waiting

adopt-a-puppy

kennel

workshop access brainstorming workshop � teach and talk

makers workshop

rail entry

platform

Cross Section Series

Section: Programmatic Cohesion

outdoor play

obedience training

intermission

brainstorming workshop � makers workshop

balcony

snackatorium

teach and talk makers gallery

ming workshop �

rail entry

adopt-a-puppy interior waiting

street entry

ballroom kennel


Interior: Makers Workshop / Teach and Talk


Exterior: Rail Access / Outdoor Play


Benjamin E Thomas

414.333.2799 I bthomas425@gmail.com


Graduate Work  

M.Arch - University of Michigan

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