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Will Crothers Architecture, etc.


Contents (04)

Public Collection Houston Branch Library (12)

AV Adapter NYC Music School (20)

Figured Transit Houston Transit Center (28)

Tensegrity Tower NYC Retail Flagship (36)

Motion Tracking Charlotte Train Station (44)

Open Bar Public Natatorium (52)

Open and Shut Affordable Housing (54)

Modular Space Prefabricated Housing

(58)

Water Tower Seattle High Rise (64)

Public Poche Miami Retail (70)

Face Lift Chicago Elevator Museum (72)

Sign Dancer’s Pavilion Revit Project (76)

Graphic Design Party, Soccer, and Books (88)

Evocations of Peril Independent Project (92)

Light Box 14 Lamps (96)

Travel Research Pitman Fellowship (102)

Architectural Lenses Sculpture and Bookends


Public Collection

Houston Branch Library

As a public institution, this Library at once promotes social cohesion and recognizes individual and cultural identity. The volumes allow for great diversity in program and media content, while simultaneously defining an elevated public plaza (opposite). The rotation of the towers as well as their cant, emphasizes their individuality, while their occasional melding and consequent formal compromise opens larger spaces for social life.

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In addition to the distinction of the towers in plan, they are divided sectionally along different diagrammatic lines. This radical diversity can only be understood from the vantage point of the interior plaza. The plaza itself is given priority over the autonomy of the towers and carves out a space for itself from them. It is accessed by multiple monumental stairs leading up from the street to the interiorized plinth. Beneath are many of the administrative programs and some larger circulation areas, as well as a large interior lobby. The footprints of the towers are still visible at the ground floor, informing the programs and space at the lowest level.


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The towers define public space at the street level, as well as the larger plaza above. The windows cross the floor slabs, emphasizing, from the outside, the formal autonomy of each tower. 7


The elevation, top. Each tower tilts at a consistent angle, just enough for the towers to overlap, allowing for circulation between them. Access to the plinth is via stairs and the accessible entrance to the elevators.

Each level of the library is divided in section according to a couple criteria. Spanish and English collections are allocated in proportion to the ratio of native speakers of each the library will serve.

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The gridded court cuts through the towers where the two systems intersect, prioritizing the public and acknowledging the compromises necessary in assembly. At each level, the towers pair up differently, as they converge and diverge.

One of the challenges of a tight site is fitting program while still providing light. The benches in the court serve as skylights for the lobby below, while the towers around have small enough footprints to be easily daylit during operating hours.

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A variety of room types occupy the different floors of the towers, each with a spatial reflection of the kind of activity they engender.


Top left, study models of the tower show its formal evolution and the different ways the elevated court was conceptualized. In some, the rectangle of the prism is carved out of the towers. In the lower left of the four, the shape is instead registered by a different color wood.

Lower left, the library makes a distinction between spaces of knowledge archival, and knowledge access. The first includes stacks and periodical storage and is represented in orange. Yellow represents access, which includes reading, social and computer rooms. 10

Right, each cluster of towers is coded with a different gray to indicate the way the groupings change as the towers tilt together or apart. These shaded groups represent a mid-scale organizational tool, between the individual rooms of the towers and the all-uniting plaza.


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AV Adapter

NYC Music School

A new branch of the Berklee Music school in New York City demands a strong presence both to attract attention to its program and to advertise it’s uniquely engaged approach to training musicians. Unlike Juilliard, the other top music school in New York, Berklee’s program is committed to producing professional musicians, rather than focusing on concert-level performers. This project answers the call to provide a great deal of publicity for its students, forcing them to engage the city and embrace the limelight

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The project accomplishes this by placing all of the program in a simple bar building, except for a major performance space, which goes to the street corner. Thus a bar building acts as a formal foil to a crystalline performance tower. The performance tower challenges traditional understandings of how a music hall works. Informed by Ecotect and a world-class acoustician, the tower’s shape reflects sound from inside the ground level off its facade to spectators listening above. The bar building houses a theater, this one highly visible from the hi-line. Between the two buildings is a partially-sunken music plaza. These three elements, tower, bar, and plaza, create and manipulate various acoustic and visual connections internally and urbanistically.


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Left, The facade of the bar building is as transparent as possible at the ground level, where it encourages a connection between the library/student union and the music plaza outside. In the middle, it emphasizes the jog of the hi-line at this site. Above, a screen controls daylight.

Above, orange lines indicate visual connections which permeate the project, but frequently slip away from the acoustic connections (blue). The forms of the Hi-Line and the belly of the tower bounce sound in unexpected ways.

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The clearest examples of these slips in sight and sound are in the tower. The performers play to an audience that can’t see them, but is looking out at the city. Pedestrians, on the other hand, can watch the musicians, but can only hear them by entering and sitting above.


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1/8”=1’Fragment model Rockite Base.

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yticisum fo e tnedecerP

Auralbanism in the age of musicity Precedent

Ecotect anion

yticisum fo ega eht ni msina tnedecerP

Mech Mech AxonAxon

Circulation Circulation AxonAxon

Circulation Axon

yticisum fo ega eht

Elbow Condition

Compression of Space

Terminates Axis

Views of all sides

Changing Gap

tnedecerP

Performance

Rehersal

Offices

Structure AxonAxon Structure

Classrooms

Typical Condition

Library

Structure AxonAxon Structure Limited spatial control

Structure Axon

Sits alongside Axis

Views of 3 sides

Envelope AxonAxon Envelope Consistent Gap

Mech Axon

Envelope and daylight Axon Lobby

Elbow Condition

Compression of Space

Terminates Axis

Views of all sides

Changing Gap

Performance

Rehersal

Offices

Classrooms

Typical Condition

Library Limited spatial control

Sits alongside Axis

Views of 3 sides

Consistent Gap

Lobby

Top Left. The bar building is supported at its base by a concrete podium that grows out of the plaza. It’s facade is largely an attempt to control views and light entering above and ensure maximum connectivity below. The transparency is also important to viewing the Hil-Line.

Bottom Left. Diagrams comparing a typical site along the Hi-Line to this one. The elbow gives this project the opportunity to compress space, terminate an axis of view, be viewed from all four sides, and measure the curve in the Hi-Line itself.

Top Right. The structure of the tower is a welded steel frame that supports a cable-net curtain wall, as well as a large, operable curtain for daylighting. Bottom Right. Acoustic Diagrams from Ecotect inform formal finessing. paG gnignahC

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Top. Listening to music while not being able to see the performers below not only challenges notions of the audience’s relationship to the musician, but their relationship to the city itself.

Left. The music plaza takes advantage of the covered space under the hi-line to bounce sound further back and give people shade and protection from the rain. It also works, when students are not practicing or performing, as social space for students and the public

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Right. Because each floor is isolated, radically different events could be held in private on each floor of the tower. A wild club atmosphere could coexist with a corporate event on a floor above or below--the only point of unity would be the band everyone’s listening to.


Figured Transit

Houston Transit Station

To go beyond a transit station’s traditional prerogative (moving people and representing a city) and to become a more inclusive, multi-use public space, Figured Transit embraces Houston’s exemplar of anti-public transportation: the automobile. A symbol of independence from other people and particularly in Texas, the government, the automobile has strongly imprinted Houston’s urbanism in the form of ubiquitous and extensive surface parking lots. This project (opposite; site model built by studio) takes the logic of placing small buildings in expansive fields of parking and turns it 90 degrees, taking the relationship as a sectional

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provocation. Thus the project balances a contextual attitude toward Houston, with a projective one about the possibility of uniting public and private transportation, rather than strongly biasing one or the other. Formally and programmatically the idea of unifying diverse threads is picked up as parts of the programmed figure within the parking deck field extend to the ground level and engage different contexts--whether a busy street, the transportation needs of the neighborhoods to the East, or the ludic park-goers to the north.


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1/16th”=1’ section model

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Above, a longitudinal section model at 1/16”=1’scale. The model is made of laser-cut acrylic, spray-painted white, with black cut lines. Scored lines indicate parking. A high-saturation red film overlaid in the high-program areas indicates the pedestrian corridor.

The form of the building simultaneously handles a massive parking requirement, the accompanying ramps, and the continuous red figure, demanding a complex sectional resolution of circulation for cars and pedestrians.

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The axon to the right conceptualizes the relationship of three systems. The Automobile and light-rail circulation are the base. A structural system (center) with various irregularities indexes anomalies caused by the red figure (top).


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From outside, the project arouses curiosity in passerby as it oscillates between a spartan white parking garage and a red megastructure.

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a

b

c

Part of considering these nodes is the idea of continuity vs. fragmentation. The two distinct parts of the project lend themselves to very different understandings. The parking and infrastructural moves can be understood comprehensively and

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f

g

h

i

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planometrically. They set up a series of discrete spaces (ie column bays or parking spots). The figure within, however, can be understood only in fragments, scenographically and sectionally. This understanding of a public social condenser recognizes the 26

l

m

n

o

p

contingency of interaction. The play between these two extremes, their typical isolation and their occasional collision are the project’s formal interest and framework for a social agency.


The interior circulation through the garage is lined with various retailers, a theater, a gym, and other programs. These programs serve two purposes. One, they allow people easy access to them coming from other locations.

Second, the programs entice visitors to the transit center, presumably by automobile, who are then mixed with visitors and exposed to the promise of mass public transit in what is for them a new way. This in turn, encourages higher transit participation and a healthier station.

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In the rendering above, the concrete framework of the project is visible in the background, while figural red programs move through it. The parking is associated with the framework and structure of the project and is often separated from the red pedestrian activities within.


Tensegrity Tower NYC Retail Flagship

The project takes the notion of a component as a point of departure and seeks to deploy those of one project for a very different structure. The goal is extreme structural differentiation and lightness by adapting two aspects of Frei Otto’s soaring 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium. First, the members have either pure compression roles (masts) or pure tension roles (cables) and each member attaches to a member of the other type. Second, the geometry of a ring ensures that the members are held in place laterally.

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The abstraction of the stadium to these principles allows the move to a small site and vertical proportion, prompting more concentrated deployment of structure. This allows a large, uninterrupted bay and suggests dictions between circulation and retail spaces. Further, the logic of distinct parts provides a flexible arrangement of small program on intermediate suspended floors, complementing the larger, more regular slabs. The structure further defines the program by increasing the transparency toward the top, suggesting offices and meeting rooms occupy the uppermost floors, while the bottom is given over to the creation of a distinct retail environment. The heroics of the structure and curiosity of the resulting object present Uniqlo as a daring innovator on the American fashion scene.


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The sections show the contrast between the heavy concrete core, with stairs and mechanical chases and the ethereal tensegrity column. Each floor is different than the previous one, but there is repetition across sets of floors.

The diagonals on the elevation are the cables of the cable-net curtain wall. Beyond holding the glass, these cables give the project lateral stability. Because there are more floors to stabilize lower down, their density increases as they travel down the faces of the building. 30

Opposite, at some point in the semester, there were so many doubts about whether the three-strut column would even stand upright that a physical model was necessary. The role of the ring around it would be taken up by the concrete slab.


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[1]

[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

Each of the details on this page shows one of the moments marked on the axon opposite. Each one is resolved at a conceptual mechanical/assembly level. Because a tensegrity column is not a standard way to hold up a building, these details are important to give

the project a modicum of plausibility. Further, though, they express the aesthetic sensibility of the project. As an argument about components, the details each show the pieces of their assembly and articulate a logic from which other details can develope. 32

Line drawings, as opposed to renderings of the digital models, further the sensibility of the project as something constructed of pieces, rather than sculpted. This idea of parts plays out at all scales of the project, all the way to its repeating, scalloped elevation.


3 cable-glass 1 slab-core

4 cable-cable 2

slab-cable

5 cable-core

To accommodate the large programmatic diversity of the project, super floors contain a framework for the insertion of flexible intermediate levels. Each floor is attached to the larger structure in one of two distinct ways. The lower floors rest on the slab below supported by triangulat-

1

ed columns, which both brace and support the floor above. The upper floors are hung from the floor above with crossing cables. Steel, truss-like stairs, provide access between all three floor types (floating, hung, and superfloors)

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2

Different versions of the superfloors above are repeated throughout the building with different sizes of intermediate floors based on the square footage requirements of each level. The superfloors are a constant.

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2

slab-cable

5 cable-core 2 slab-core

3 1

weight on masts| Heights according ess | Dist. loadUneven connection/slab shapechange to direct Slabvector Deformation | Colum Placement to force

Slab Stress | Dist. load connection/slab shape

Slab Deformation | Colum Placement

1

2

(try our clothes)

(try our clothes)

ss Lateral loads at base | Varried cable density

1

2

Corporate Event

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2

(you won’t find it here)

(you won’t find it here) Slab Stress | Dist. load connection/slab shape

Slab Deformation | Colum Placement

Corporate non-event

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3

Corporate affairs

Top. Risa, a structural analysis program, provides analysis of members to help identify weak points and over-sized members. The goal with the program was to aid our structural intuition and give our designs some hard push back.

Above, Frei Ott’s 1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich, is the source project for this one. This project began with modeling and understanding the stadium, re-siting it, stacking it, and trying to find a usable module in it. Ultimately, logics from the stadium influence the tower significantly. 34

The plans show the constants (the heavy, concrete, stair and mechanical tower, which houses bathrooms) and the tensegrity column. It also shows the intermediate floors, which take a similar position, but change radii based on the Corporate Event floors’ programmatic requirements.


A typical retail floor, with the tensegrity column rising in the background.

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Motion Tracking

Charlotte Light Rail Station

Starting from what we all know about trains--they move things from one place to another--and the sharp slope up to the tracks from the given parking lot, this project took a particular kind of movement as its parti. The understanding of that movement was about a transition from a heavy, earthbound place, to the elevated, position of a train, sitting on a rigidly ordered surface. The site at a larger level also influences the project. The white line in the site model points toward downtown Charlotte and its skyline. Thus, a second idea about the movement is that a trip terminating in Charlotte would end by orienting the traveler to the landmarks of the city.

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Above right, a precedent study of Beach Station revealed its employment of the straightforward logic of taking someone directly through a building (red) while giving them the option of doing other things such as ticketing, to one side (blue). As the Charlotte station problematizes the vertical circulation and re-orientation, its circulation is more complex, but it follows a similar diagram--movement on one side, programming on the other.


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Top, the building’s relation to the tracks and the parking--two quite distinct circulatory paths it both mediates between and unites. Below that, an early sketch of materials’ addressing their respective volumes brick for the earth below, steel for the train and tracks above.

3 study models show that the entry sequence is facilitated in part by a sinuous, punctured wall. It begins as a small bench in the landscape, becoming a retaining wall and finally a means to guide and gather people to and around the building’s entrance. Its disintegration into

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the land also speaks to the connection of the brick volume to the earth. Carolina clay bricks are a long-standing tradition in Charlotte, and are used extensively in the area’s neighborhoods.


Top, a fragment model gives a sense of the upper volume’s sensibility as a light prism made of many layers and individual pieces-handling daylighting in a more sophisticated tectonic language than the lower volume.

Above, the movement from one volume to the other happens at the project’s knuckle, where material and construction change. The sketch suggests how that happens at the scale of the rail, as it substitutes an additive language for a subtractive one.

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Above, one of the considerations was whether the material change should happen on a line or more gradually, as it does in this perspective. Ultimately the material change took place in section, not plan, with a consistent demarcation of volume by elevation.


Top, upon entering the lower volume, the stairs are on the axis established, bathed in the light of the largely transparent prism above. To the right, tickets are bought through the openings in the wall. One passes under the wall to access the elevators and bathrooms beyond

The Northeast elevation has limited fenestration, keeping the emphasis on the train. The red brick volume, a sliver of which is seen above, is almost buried from this vantage point.

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87 17 17 34

2

3

4

300

17 34

3

4

Mechanical 1

17 34

3

4

30 34 4

3 172

6 Kiosks

OfďŹ ces

Ticketing

Track Level Floor Plan 3/32"=1' 2

7

3

17

&Waiting

A 70

300

Men

Women

34 4

30

B

Ground Floor Plan 3/32"=1'

B

Top, the ground floor plan illustrates both the heaviness of its load-bearing masonry walls and the program density to the right against the unobstructed walk to the steps

The glass curtain wall of the upper floor reflects its relation to the smaller pieces that compose a train. The central cafe and rest rooms curve to answer the concrete wall and suggest movement to the tracks.

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The facade on the track side is increasingly open as it moves south toward the almost entirely open city facade. The pieces of the facade-many small rectangles composing an entity, further relates the upper volume to the train and its components.


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Left, load-bearing brick and concrete give way to steel tube columns and large trusses above. The reveal between the roof of the brick volume and the concrete wall serves to illuminate the wall as well as the service functions it facilitates, e.g. purchasing tickets.

The wall details illustrate moves that reinforce the ideas of structural and material differentiation previously discussed. Here, those ides play out in terms of details with the brick, such as the reveal above the concrete floor and the concealment of the gypsum meeting

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the wall sitting above. The section gives a sense of the scale change from above to below as well as explaining the structural role the curving wall plays in addition to its programmatic ones.


Open Bar

North Carolina Park Natatorium

There are two primary influences for this pool in the park. The first is a barn on the site, one of the park’s few large buildings. The second is the two very different spatial scales required for the building: one for lockers and bathrooms, the other for a free-plan space for a large pool. Daylighting was also important, as prolonged direct sunlight can lead to problems with algae and, even in the short-term, glare. As I sited to the south of a pond on the site, a large northfacing window wall served both to daylight the pool and open views to the pond. Another consequence of the daylighting requirements was the southern overhang of the roof to allow primarily indirect light through the clerestory.

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Lower right, the building’s two basic forms for its two program categories are shown. The smaller bar, for supporting functions, opens to mark the buildings entrance. The structure from the larger bar overhangs it, blocking direct light on the pool. Top Right, a precedent study of the Maison de Verre preceded the pool design. The perspective was generated manually, using drafting software.


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Upper elevation, the north elevation’s glass in connected with spider clamps to the glulam arches behind it. The horizontal folds of the roof give a distinct character to each bay as it peels away, each at a different heights.

Lower elevation, the south side has less fenestration and is the underplayed member of the composition, setting its low horizontal gesture against the board and baton wall cladding.

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The site’s dominant architectural presence is an old barn. For the two program bars, this provides a way of abstractly relating to the site and handling the formal relationship simultaneously.


Above, part of the reason for the Barn’s dominance was its siting, and the relationship the natatorium creates with it by essentially splitting the park into two spheres of influence. The Barn sits atop the highest point on the site and serves as something of a landmark as well as a function space for cookouts and parties.

Top, the natatorium’s north facade is book ended by two translucent and opaque walls. The walls are board and baton, the roof is horizontally run aluminum panels, which come down to close the final bay on each end of the wall, concealing storage and mechanical spaces. 47


Top 1/16�=1’model showing the clerestory along the length of the two bars, which admits southern light to the pools space without permitting rays to his the water’s surface directly

Above left, the model shows enclosure in the building, beginning with the partially- interior entry space. The center image presents the spacial relationship between the bars in terms of interior space.

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Above, the heights of the bays partially reflect the program behind them, the lowest parts are often for the sides. The center and the point of entrance into the pool area from the lower bar get the highest ceiling. A six foot grid underlies those heights.


Top, the arches provide the requisite space for the pools, but also do so in a way that give the greatest height to the pool deck, where people are higher than when submerged in the water.

Above, the ground plan breaks the service bar into three spaces: threshold, lobby, lockers. The security point comes after the access to this, preventing confusion about non-members watching their kids race.

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Above, along the north facade, the variation of bays is apparent, as the different heights show up planometrically.


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Unlike the glassy northern facade, the southern side of the building presents an unambiguous object-in-field reading.

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Open and Shut

Charlotte Affordable Housing

In a studio on Urban Housing that witnessed some nice, very expensive ideas for life in the city, I opted to, instead, try affordable housing. The primary concern, in addition to cost, was security. This is achieved primarily through high visibility--all the corners are open, and the configuration opens itself with a large entrance. In an attempt to keep costs low, the building has no elevators and is consequently only three stories high. The circulation, a potential hot spot for furtive activity, is pushed to the outside, becoming an expressive element for an economic formal language. Fiber Cement Panels are used as a compromise between cost and durability.

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The struggle to maintain openness without compromising privacy plays out in the two sections. The individual units are elevated a few steps above the circulation outside. This external circulation, also evident in the sections, serves as a semi-private place for the residents to gather with neighbors and watch the activity in the court below The images at right, from top, show formal drivers of the project. First, the traditional, enclosing circulatory core, prompts questions about visibility. The shift of the train tracks informs the skew in one of the buildings. This turn outward also reduces a low-visibility area in the corner.


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Modular Space

Prefabricated Housing

This project looks at the problem of site in pre-fabricated housing by emphasizing the possibilities of the location becoming an integral part of the architecture. One of the primary methods of getting this flexibility is through the exploration and creation of a set of different landscape approaches that can be used to fit different housing requirements for different family or individual requirements.

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This project then seeks to let this come to some fruition by developing in more detail a particular configuration of the modular system. Modular Space, though is about more than creating a form with modules. Rather, through their careful deployment a resultant space takes in a piece of the site and re-appropriates it as part of the house. In this particular configuration, that is the porch space, which acts as an anchor for the project while simultaneously grounding the imported boxes to their given landing spot. This keeps the house from feeling like an alien presence, and gives the home a sense of belonging, of place, in a design process that, by definition, is not site-specific.


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CORRUGATED ALUM ROOF, FINISHED ON SITE ALUMINUM FLASHING

EXTENSIONS OF 2X4 TRUSS

1X1 WOOD BATONS, 18” O.C.

TOOTH-CLAMP HINGES ALLOW FOR NARROW SHIPPING WIDTH

1/4” STEEL SQUARE-SECTION RODS ASSEMBLED ON SITE TO SUPPORT OVERHANG

SLOTTED WOOD BLOCKING

The axon diagrams at top show the goals of the room layouts. From left; natural ventilation and views crisscross the rooms; there is a clear public-private distinction, important in so small a house; the primary circulation emphasizes the exterior and suggests planting strategies.

The material breakdown above indicates some of the measures necessary given the shipping requirements of each of the modules. For instance, the overhang hinges to keep within the approximately 14’ width limit for transportation.

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Above, right, The overhang shades the windows in the summer, but allows low winter light. Right, the foundations are site cast, but everything above that can be shipped on a flat-bed truck.


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Water Tower

Seattle Multi-use High Rise

The work of a topical studio, the Seattle Water Tower aims to address three primary challenges. The first is its site--misty and coastal. The second is “water,” given by the professor, taken literally and figuratively in the design. Its program is large and diverse, containing a hydrological museum, a water research center, and housing. The third consideration is integrating these things with environmentally-informed design and the historical research from the beginning of the semester. A cafe and a swimming pool blur the edges between the spaces, tying them together as programmatic and physical thresholds. The Environmental side of the research drew on the Water Research Center in the UK as a precedent. The historic research centered primarily around industrial-age projects.

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The top image shows one of the water vistas of the housing units. These spaces begin to blur the traditional architectural distinction between wet and dry spaces as well as provide a view to Elliot Bay, a reminder of location and the city’s historic tie to the bay economically. The lower image diagrammatically conveys the various appearances of water at the street level. The building’s facade recedes at this level in response to human scale and the presence of water, which is also one impetus for the formal moves high above.


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Elliot Bay’s impact was a large benefit of the site analysis, which determined the incline of the ramps--to maximize views. The Aquarium across the street was also a factor at the urban scale as the building’s circulation aligns itself with its aquatically-minded neighbor. The

blue rectangle on the map is the Water Tower’s location. The four diagrams represent the tie between water and the building’s formal configuration, as systems start to relate; for instance, the center diagrams 60

show the circulation for water as well as people. The use of sewage from the residence for the testing in the research center is shown in the plumbing diagram, below that.


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Plans are of five representative levels of the tower, moving up from the first one above. The axon illustrates the building’s hydronic thermal controls as well as the water transportation in the mullion system.

The transverse section primarily addresses three things, a narrow profile, the residents’ light well on the back of the building, and the way the building meets the street level and a water catchment system/pedestrian walk adjacent to the bay. 62


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Public Poche Miami Retail

In this studio, students, working with Johnston Marklee, designed a walking street in Miami. Each student developed a plot, with a particular provocation to think about the way the project interacted with those around it.

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This project situates itself in the urban object/texture discourse by creating an interstitial space in the city, somewhere between private building and public street. Public Poche is a zone in which people can walk to look at the store’s wares. But it is also a place where pedestrians can get out of the rain while still participating in the life of the street. The space and proportion of this in-between space changes along its length, creating moments of compression and expansion. The curve of the space on the street defines a public court while simultaneously framing a view to the plaza at the end of the pedestrian street. The space is also the building’s image to the public.


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The axon illustrates the structure necessary to hold a glass box within, without any additional support. Each triangle is a folded steel column, though some do not need to be structural. There are two braced skylights which provide intermediate support to the floor.

All of the building’s services are pulled to a blank volume outboard of the public wall to allow for a simple, open retail experience within the main volume. This utility volume also handles the vertical circulation and orchestrates visitors’ arrival to the second floor. 66

Right, a 1/8”=1’ model of the entire street (built in collaboration with the whole studio) illustrates each project’s relationship to its neighbors. This project emphasizes a pinch toward the middle of the promenade and then opens up to the rest of the pedestrian street, framing the end.


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Lower section, the steel skin of the project, which creates the public poche described earlier, contains a glass volume, intended to be kept free of structure and completely open. The inner volume connects to the skin, however, in a series of seven glass tubes.

The furniture reflects the idea of trabeation and hanging in the project. The tables are designed for the display and sale of high-end consumer electronics, such as personal laptops, tablets and smart phones. This is facilitated by the dark environment produced by the skin. 68

As a contextual move only visible in the model, the roof dips, forming an exaggerated parapet and necessitating complex structural resolution.


The retail space is clearly delineated as a simply rectangular volume. However to communicate between the outer, structural skin and the glass volume, a series of smaller tubes is introduced. Each set of tubes interacts with the skin differently.

The four tubes connecting to the front wall exist only on the second floor and create a sectional rhythm for people walking along at the street level. They also provide another way to occupy the space between the volume and the skin.

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The central tubes admit light from above and house the structural interface between the slab supporting the second floor and the building’s primary structure --its folded steel exterior.


Face Lift

Chicago Elevator Museum

As the city of the American sky scraper, Chicago is an appropriate site for a museum showcasing the circulatory piece that made them possible. The museum has a large program, but the focus is on three historic elevators that are project provides for architecturally. In the spirit of celebrating a component of circulation, the museum pushes all of its circulation to the facade, creating both a kind of gallery for the elevators, which start on the second floor, and a way to view the rest of the city. This responds to the museum as a launch site for historic architectural tours of Chicago. The elevators are also used as locations for the building’s primary structure, giving added emphasis to their place in the museum.

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The building, despite its program, has a large site, and so does not need to go as high, raising a question about relating to a skyscraper as a short building. If it is the job of a skyscraper in Chicago to look tall, what is the job of a short building that wants to be a skyscraper? The expressive elevator cores begin to address this question. Right, view after ascending steps into the building’s circulation prism. Behind the elevator is one of a number of galleries, this one open to the entry.


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Sign Dancer’s Pavilion Revit Project

There is an overwhelming need for better work conditions for the signdancing community. This problem is particularly acute in warm climates such as Houston. Working in the hot sun, without quality audio systems, and without on-site storage space for additional props, sign dancers are under performing across the country. In addition to the physical and emotional challenges this presents to the workers themselves, the slipshod advertising leads to decreased business revenues as well as depression among onlookers unfortunate enough to witness the unenthusiastic displays of...whatever.

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To answer this challenge, and prevent more obvious and less inane forms of advertising--like commercials and billboards-from displacing this integral part of our auto-oriented culture, this proposed studio serves to provide prominence, rest space, storage, a training venue, and a new esprit de corps for a sublime and invigorating part of our community.


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Top, sections. There is space for over a dozen sign dancers, each with an individual room. The rooms are simple, with moveable partitions and folding benches. This allows for flexibility, breaks, and potential multi-dancer presentations.

Above, axon. The skin is operable so that when some cells are empty, they can be closed off from view, leaving the focus of potential customers on the occupied booths. This also attracts attention to the building, as it changes daily.

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Top right, examples of the people who would work in this project. Right, A rendering (also from Revit) shows the lobby space where people can rent a booth, hire a dancer or inquire about a product they saw advertised.


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Graphic Design:

Party, Soccer, Books, and more

Outside of studio, I’ve found numerous opportunities to use the graphic sensibilities I learned in them. From creating posters to let people know about upcoming parties (eg, facing page), getting people to come out and participate in a weekly soccer game, or working on longer, book-form layouts, visual communication is one of the most important skills from a design background.

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Although much of this work has nothing explicitly to do with architecture, two of the projects include architectural content. One of the projects is still underway, for a professor’s book, the other was a competition for a project in China from when I was working with SHW Group. Finally, in a class exploring the relationship between information and space, I produced a series of graphics for assignments varying from a lecture poster to projective poster that re-imagines our modes of learning catalyzed by media-based changes in the future.


2BCDEF GHIJKL MNO1Q 3 S 4 U V W X 5 Z

2BCDEF GHIJKL MNO1Q 3 S 4 U V W X 5 Z

2BCDE FGHIJ K L M N O1Q3S 4 U V W X 5 Z no more strangers. partytime

no more strangers. partytime

no more strangers. partytime

bring people you know cajole everyone else into coming too

bring people you know cajole everyone else into coming too

saturday | september 14 5503 ashby st 10;00 pm byob

saturday | september 14 5503 ashby st 10;00 pm byob

bring people you know cajole everyone else into coming too saturday | september 14 5503 ashby st 10;00 pm byob

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?

?

As part of an application for a job, I was asked to produce an image describing myself without words. Instead of trying to summarize myself in an evocative picture, I designed a dry, pictorial, very literal response to the prompt. The result, is surprisingly funny. 78


RSAISFL choool of

ice

rchitecture

tudio

nter

oot ball

eague

W1

1) 9/21_f1_6:00

the Wittes

2)

W2

3)

W3

4)

W4

5)

W5

6)

W6

the Olivies 9)

9/14_f2_6:00

the Schaumies

W9

9/14_f1_6:30

W13

the Cannadies 13)

the Undies

the Wamblies 10)

the Theses 9/14_f2_6:30

9/14_f1_6:00

the Finleys

W10 16)

W16

the JimĂŠnies

L1 L13 17)

L2 8)

W8

7)

W7

15)

L3 14)

L4

W15

W14 L16

(if first loss)

L5

Studio Soccer | Every Friday | 6pm | Academic Quad Outside Anderson | BYOB sak6@rice.edu

wmc1@rice.edu

As one of the Rice Soccer league’s commissioners, I designed a poster to encourage participation. The unfolded soccer ball acts simultaneously as an attractive graphic, and a wink to architecture students familiar with unfolding geometries in the computer to laser cut them.

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CONTENTS

THE FORMATIVE YEARS A career of both practice and teaching, while demanding and complex, creates a potential where each discipline can benefit and strengthen the other. Fifty years of this combination has enabled me to build over two hundred buildings and teach over 1000 students at the Rice University School of Architecture. Integrating teaching and practice is an old-fashioned idea -- students working under the direction of a master on real projects.

Introduction

Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

6-9

The formative years

10-23

House One

24-33

House Two

34-43

House Three

44-55

House Four

56-58

Conclusions

59

Afterward

60

Credits/contributions

4

I began my architectural education in 1956 at Texas A&M. Harvard-educated Professor Edward J. Romieniec grounded me in the ideas of the Bauhaus. He inspired me to rigorously pursue intellectual growth, consistently achieve excellence and strive to master design skills of the profession. In the spring of 1960, when Romieniec and O. Jack Mitchell, the other significant teacher at the school, resigned I left for the University of California. Intriguing to me was the work of William W. Wurster, Dean of the school at Berkeley, and his colleagues, particularly Vernon De Mars and Charles Moore. Berkeley in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s stood for regional modernism, an architecture that related to the landscape and the people. Bill Wurster’s modernistic buildings were a less rigid form more akin to his friend Alvar Aalto. His work has been described as “an everyday modernism”. Bill Wurster said, “Architecture is not a goal. Architecture is for life and pleasure and work and people. The picture frame and not the picture.” Wurster instilled in me an appreciation of the importance of the client, the site and its context, regional precedents and local building practices.

Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

5

After graduating from Berkeley, I attended Harvard Graduate School of Design where I was fortunate to study with Jose Luis Sert and Jerzy Soltan, both protégés of Le Corbusier. Sert’s theory of design stressed the importance of the team approach, especially as it pertained to collaboration with consultants and artists. Sert inspired me to always draw the human figure in plans, sections, and elevations in order to analyze a person’s physical relationship to the design. Soltan was an advocate for architecture of appropriateness. When Soltan saw my initial sketches in ink, he emphatically said that I should start drawing with a soft pencil or, even better, charcoal. I asked why. He said, “That way, if I don’t like what I see that you have drawn, I can take a deep breath and blow it away!”

Re-evaluating my education, I realize that I am a product of those formative years. Wurster, Sert, and Caudill, three AIA Gold Medalists, were men who cared about the role of the individual in design-client, users, and the public. In each man’s work I saw a mixture of his youthful idealism and his learned realism. Each was a pragmatic, design-oriented architect, rather than a theory-oriented architect. Another important influence was Anderson Todd, my colleague at RSA and former partner in practice. Todd and I worked closely together at school and in practice starting in 1964. Even though he is now 92 years old and retired, he helped me teach in my Visualization Studio in spring of 2012. Andy takes delight in the sensual aspects of space, structure and light. It is the experience of sculptural plasticity in the way a series of walls and columns functions to serve and to define a space. Andy learned modern architecture from the noted teacher Jean Labatut at Princeton. His was an old-school education that was based on Vitruvian principles of firmness, commodity and delight -- where architecture is in the making of buildings and in the fashioning of functional spaces.

Two years after completing my studies at Harvard, William Caudill, chair of Rice University’s Department of Architecture and founder of Caudill, Rowlett & Scott, invited me to teach design at Rice. Caudill had a profound effect on my career. He was a master of clear thinking and clean writing. Caudill was a great communicator. He stated, “Form and Space is not Architecture. Architecture occurs only when there is a person to experience it. Architecture is public domain.” His enthusiasm and ability to cut to the essence in communication through his publications, public lectures and reputation as an innovator of public relations garnered him the AIA Gold Medal.

My early designs were influenced by great mid-twentieth Century architects such as Mies Van der Rohe, William Wurster and Jose Luis Sert -- often long and thin buildings, mostly one-room wide, clear span structures with windows on both sides providing balanced natural light and cross-ventilation. Buildings reflect the influence of the automobile, especially important in a city like Houston, and employ the use of two-and-three dimensional grids as a design tool. This has remained true throughout my career.

When I was admitted to both Cambridge and London’s Bartlett School in 1969, I took a leave of absence from Rice to do post-graduate work. Attending the University of London’s Bartlett School of Architecture allowed me to take advantage of that city’s vast resources in terms of schools, libraries and people. My studies focused on urban growth and form, comparing urban development in Houston and London. I was fortunate to interact with both Reyner Banham and Cedric Price, two brilliant critics of contemporary design. Banham was a prolific architectural critic and writer best known for his 1960 book Theory and Design in the First Machine Age. Price, an influential teacher and writer that I had met in 1968 when I invited him to Rice, became a good friend and mentor of mine.

6

The experience of an architect designing his own home can be similar to the lunacy of a doctor operating on a family member. It is the lawyer going to court to represent kin. While many architects privately dream about it, in practice a small percentage of architects design a newly built house for their family. An architect who specializes in design searches for the complete structuring of an environment, one that represents his personal concept of the ideal life style. This is the story of my experiences in designing and building four houses for my family over a 25-year period, 1972-1997. 7

the house without a driveway from the main street. The house is setback from the alley a car’s length (distance) from the alley to the house, thus creating a large 60 foot deep front yard on the south side of the house. Spatially, the front lawn is bracketed by our neighbors’ houses on both sides and with our new house at the back of the lot. At the street side, a chain link fence covered in ivy is partly transparent, so that it became a public open space. It was a secure playground for our two daughters, yet visually a part of the neighborhood. We owned the largest yard on the street and we received little opposition from the neighbors for not lining our house up with the other homes. Another benefit of this scheme is the views from upper bedrooms to the east and west. With the house set back from the neighborhood typical, all upper level side windows look down uninterrupted vistas through the back yards of neighboring houses for hundreds of feet in both directions. Earlier housing site plans in my studies played with this alternated house pattern, creating a zigzag pattern up and down the street. I determined that this pattern, with half the houses back and half the houses forward, creates a much more interesting spatial arrangement while at the same time providing larger green space yards due to the alley provision.

HOUSE ONE Intentions: to design and build an innovative house that establishes credibility and trustworthiness as a practicing architect in delivering “Top Quality-Bottom Dollar Architecture”, a phase my partner in practice, Anderson Todd and I later used in describing our work. Our intentions and goals always sought the difficult to achieve - an elegant solution. The word elegant, in general, is an adjective meaning of fine quality. Refinement and simplicity are implied, rather than fussiness, or ostentation. An elegant solution, often referred to in relation to problems in disciplines such as mathematics, architecture, engineering, and programming, is one in which the maximum desired effect is achieved with the smallest, or simplest effort or the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means.

The conceptual floor plan, like the site plan of the house, deviates from neighborhood housing typology. The ground floor contains the garage-carport and an entry lobby, with a stair providing access to the next level. The second floor houses the public functions of living room, dining room, kitchen and powder room, while the third floor houses the private realm of bedrooms and bathrooms. The fourth floor is an outdoor roof garden. At every level the design works to create a dynamic flow of space. The clearest example of a modern open plan exists on the second level where a central core contains the powder room, stair and mechanical components of the kitchen, discreet functions lined up on one wall. A linear pantry and a breakfast area in the middle of the kitchen frame the space with views across the alley nothward. The dining area is not enclosed with doors, but projecting walls delineate its boundaries. The main space is a great room, a 36’ long, linear space with a

Context The story began prior to my leave of absence taken from Rice University in the fall semester of 1969 to pursue a Ph.D. Mollie and I married in 1966, decided to begin a family, purchased a house, furniture and cars. We had bought into the American dream wholeheart-

Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

10

Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

11

The program was 3,115 s.f. (3,565 s.f. AIA Method with garage excluded). The floor plan for Phase 1 shows a simple cubic form 20 feet deep and 25 feet wide, with a small pre-fab kitchen, stair, small bathroom, upstairs bunkroom (to be converted to a bathroom in phase 3), and a two-story dining room.

I had not fully considered the reality of using a double height space directly linking public and private functions. As we soon came to realize, one can not peacefully live in a house with more than one person, much less small children, and have a two story volume where one major room overlooks another. The problems we encountered were these: if one wants to sleep late, while others want to work or play downstairs or utilize the kitchen, noise inevitably wakes the sleeper upstairs. Similarly, if a group wants to stay up late, one sleeping upstairs is disturbed.

The roof is a Le Corbusier inspired idea, providing total privacy, great 360-degree views of the city, and a bonus open outdoor area. The breezes are stronger at this altitude and the pesky mosquitoes and roaches seldom ventured this high. We used the roof for a small pneumatic swimming pool, cookouts, and flower and

Children are another unforeseen factor in the equation. I had not considered that toddlers would climb 15

landscape to the north, for the structure is situated on the top of an exposed hill, one of the highest elevations in Fayette County. A single room wide, the angles of the sun and the cross ventilation keep the house comfortable throughout the year.

House Two, like House One, is a wood structure; however, this house has more vernacular roots with its tin roof, surrounding porches and stone hearth. Formally sited and facing a large auto forecourt, the house is flanked by a garage to the west and a row of

In the second phase, three more modules, each 20 feet deep and 25 feet wide, added a two-story living room, a double fireplace opening to both the living and dining rooms, a wet bar, a laundry, a large storeroom, a guest bedroom and bath, a walk-in pantry, and, upstairs, the master bedroom and bath. The two-storey living/dining space is influenced by the plan, section, and artgallery-like space of a racquetball court, 20 feet by 20 feet by 40 feet, a space I know and frequently use.

HOUSE TWO

The original property consisted of forty acres. In 1980, we bought an additional forty acres from our neighbor, at which time the master plan was modified to encompass the extra land with fencing, roads, sewer and water lines, and three lakes. The second phase had just been completed when an oil company contacted us with interest in drilling a well on our property. I told them we were interested, but I would like to talk with them about the location of the well. We met the oilmen at the ranch and they informed us that they planned the well located exactly where the house was built! After discussing whether to move or tear down the newly built house and all the possible costs, we agreed on a site a few hundred feet to the west, just behind a stand of trees which would block the view of the well.

Intentions: to design and build a weekend house that responds to the context of rural Texas vernacular architecture Context I needed House One to get work. I wanted House Two to get away from the work. While I prefer living in the city with its vitality, its dynamic art scene and academic life. After working long hours seven days a week for a number of years, I found that I needed to spend more time with my family. In 1974, we bought forty acres a hundred miles westnorthwest of Houston near the small town (population 86) of Round Top, Texas, on which to build a weekend retreat. I developed a master plan to be implemented in three five-year phases. The three axonometric drawings show the phasing, including the trees and their anticipated growth. The site plan provides for the construction of fences, water well, ponds, roads, utilities, barn, pens, stable with riding arena, orchard, garden, four car garage, work area and house.

Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

The cross-section of the house was developed with the idea that the floors function as trays, like drawers in a chest. By pulling out one level, I was able to create a double height volume. Like every young architect, I was determined to work this two-story height into the design, whether I could afford it or not. Consequently, the master bedroom and one other bedroom on the third floor overlook and are open to the living room space below.

The third floor has a more traditional layout. Rooms are clearly defined. The zoning idea, based on the assumption that two males would share one bathroom and two females the other, divides the space symmetrically. At the time, Sarah was one year old, and I planned the house thinking that the next child would be a boy, for the architect likes to think that he is in charge of all things. This was a miscalculation, for oneand-a-half years later Lucinda was born. For the nine years, Mollie and the two girls shared a single bathroom. This also meant that any time the younger sister used the bathroom, she had to walk through her older sister’s bedroom. I had created a war zone. For all the flexibility of the house’s plan, it was not flexible where needed most.

14

Program

vegetable gardening. Disadvantages included roof leaks and the maintenance of wood decks and siding.

series of expansive glass windows that open to the front yard to the south. A fireplace is set into the cedar-lined wall. The plan of this floor is inspired by, and is similar to, the Miesian-inspired house design of Anderson Todd.

24

The third phase occurred in 1988, after we sold the property. At this point, in accordance with our original master plan, an extra bedroom and bathroom, a large kitchen and family room, were added by the buyers. The dimensions of the completed house is 20’ wide, 100 feet long; i.e., four modules of 20’x 25’ modules. The house is organized along an east-west axis, maximizing cross ventilation from strong, consistently prevailing southern winds and impressive views of the valley Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

25

This is a selection from a book I designed for Prof. William Cannady, showcasing four homes he’s designed for his family over the last half century. The work displayed in these spreads is his.

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26

27


leaned out the window and asked where we were planning to drill the water well. I told him that it was going to be behind the future garage to the west of the house. He asked, “How do you know there’s water there?” When I told him that I assumed that water would be found there, he shook his head in disbelief while informing me that, in the country, one always locates the water first, and then places the house near that site. We found water, but the old farmer was right, for we had to drill twice as deep as is normal. The extra expense, however, was a small price to pay considering the breezes and the great view from the hilltop.

Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

For Sale.” Quickly, I wrote down the telephone number, sped to the office and called the realtor. The seller was an out-of-town bank that required the buyer to pick up the remaining balance on an unpaid note. Immediately I called Mollie and asked, “Do you want to do another house?” I prefer not to quote her exactly, but the response was a definite “NO!” I telephoned the realtor and said, “Bring an earnest money contract over.” When he arrived, I wrote a hot check for $10,000, securing the property until there was at least enough time to think it through. The note’s balance was $180,000 or about $9.50 per SF, much lower than comparable values in the neighborhood. It took me hours to get the courage to call home. Later that afternoon, I called and said, “Guess what? We bought that lot!”

Our neighbor also questioned our decision to build in the traditional pier and beam method of the country, which raised the first floor wood framing off the ground. Local residents abandon or tear down structures with this method, building instead as is most typical in the modern suburbs, concrete slab on grade. He foresaw the problems we would experience — freezing water pipes and the constant invasion of digging creatures such as skunks, armadillos and raccoons, all of which occupied our crawl space most of the time despite my constant combat with these critters’ natural instinct for quality habitat.

Another difference we noted was the attitude regarding windows and window coverings. We chose large windows without cover in order to enjoy the beautiful outdoor views, while our neighbors used layers of shades and curtains that were always closed. We were told that because they work outdoor all day in the elements, they want no reminders of the fields, barns and animals (work) when they come inside at the end of the day.

Immediately we began to plan. From the beginning, we set out to build a house that would go with the site and become a permanent landmark in the museum district. For the first time we designed a house not for ourselves, but for an idealized client who would want to share an intersection with the three major Houston art museums. The one-half acre lot is across the street from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, William Ward Watkin and Mies van der Rohe,architects; The Contemporary Arts

The foundation was concrete masonry units (CMU) set on linear spread footings cut into the limestone a foot or so below grade. The exterior masonry wall was continuous with a couple of openings for access to the crawl space. The height of the wall varied from two to three feet to the bottom of the wood floor beams. Interior CMU foundation piers run down the middle of

The long thin house plan emerged basically around the idea of cross ventilation since the site was one of the highest hills in Fayette County. Even the native

30

The response was, “Well, you know, I’ve been thinking about it and I think it’s a great idea!” Every now and then one has to roll the dice in a marriage and that was a big roll.

cedar trees had a permanent lean to the northwest in response to a prevailing southeast wind. Secondly, an initial formal idea was to create a façade hinting at turn of the century buildings I had experienced in many towns in central Texas.

31

Museum, Gunnar Birkerts, architect; and the Cullen Sculpture Garden, Isamu Noguchi, architect. It is the tension between the residential requirements of the current deed restrictions of Shadyside, the subdivision in which this site exists, and the civic nature of its specific surroundings that shaped the palette and the form of this house.

spotlight our private collection while accommodating a large number of people. After realizing the program, we began to grapple with the specifics of the house. The question of aesthetics and image was a difficultone. We considered a simple glass box, and spent a lot of timetrying to refer to the Miesian house. One of the original schemes situated a pavilion on top of the rusticated wall of the first floor. It was Mies sitting on Palladio. Recalling, however, the dilemma encountered at The Museum of Fine Arts, I could not resolve the problem of placing art in an allglass building.

Program We devised a program that took it as a given that anyone who wanted to live across from two art museums and a sculpture garden would love art, own art and want to display it. We also wanted the house to work as an entertainment center where large parties or functions could be held. The design began to formulate around the creation of a few big rooms that would

So I inverted the scheme. Now Palladio was on top of Mies, protecting the art, but exposing the private areas of the house. We are not opposed to living in a glass house, but the design did not look right with the private

HOUSE FOUR Intentions: to design and build an automobile –oriented empty-nester house on a street separating different neighborhood types in terms of restrictions. Context Construction start October 1, 1996

3250 Sq. Ft.

Cannady House IV is located on a corner lot in a residential and business district neighborhood several blocks from Rice University. Automobile access from a busy street was a major design problem. The main entry is through an auto-court with a porte-cochere and two-story breezeway separating the garage and the kitchen. This allows family and friends to enter the house through what is considered the back door. The breezeway is open to the elements and is illuminated by an oculus. The front door, situated on a quiet street, is relegated to a secondary role - typical in the automobile Houston culture. The first floor’s open plan creates an art gallery/living room and a kitchen/dining room on the ground floor Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

36

Wm. T. Cannady | Four Houses | 1970-2014 |

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46

47


This is a selection from a booklet for a competition for an academic building with a large, varied program for a university in China. We sought to ensure clarity in the concept, allowing the images to tell the story of a contextually sensitive, but impactful campus addition.

The content of some of these pages is mine, but generally my contribution was laying out the document, much of the content (and even some story boarding) was produced by my firm, SHW Group or, in the case of the renders, a partner firm.

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NEUTRAL

FIGURE FIELD DISTINCTION

FIGURE FIELD BLUR

EVENT FOCUS

Above. This series of axons and perspectives takes their representational prompt from Bernard Tschumi’s series of drawings on event and imagines how a space might affect its occupation through the superimposition of large fields of color, a kind of projective graffiti.

The two images opposite are the two sides of a poster for a lecture series. The upper image has the details of the lecture and can be understood best while it is being unfolded, rendering the process of presenting the poster integral to its legibility. Once hung, it’s difficult to read. 84

The lower image appears simply to be a graphic back to the lecture poster, but, when partially unfolded--as presumably these posters frequently are--it creates an apparently superimposed title for the lecture. This is from a combination of folding and anamorphosis.


b September 25, 7 PM Meejin Yoon, Founder Höweler + Yoon Architecture

a

a

Rather than make a claim for specialization or interdisciplinarity, these practices choose instead to define the responsibilities of the architect broadly – the last redoubt of the generalist professional. In an age characterized by a diffuse lack of definition, specific modifiers like digital-, urban-, critical-, and greenseem less like challenges This lecture series invites aand newmore like desperate attempts to prop up generation of architects who are architecture by projecting an image operating nimbly across scales, of safe specificity. By refusing toof “play methods, techniques and sites September 25 - October 16, 2013 itwork safe,” architects assume the to these jumpstart their practices, divergent and distributedeconomic field of despite our challenging contemporary professional practice times. Framed by the popular online as precisely theSafe locusFor of Work], Re: tag NSFW [Not architecture’s potential and strength. Architecture [NSFW] investigates how architects’ assumptions regarding Curated by Troy Schaum safe boundaries for contemporary Assistant Professor, Rice School of disciplinary investigation Reception Architecture simultaneously limit and propel their creative practices. The Rice Design Alliance, established within Rice School of Architecture Ratherthe than make a claim for in 1972, is a nonprofit organization specialization or interdisciplinarity, dedicated to thechoose advancement of these practices instead to architecture, urban design, define the responsibilities ofand the the built environment the last Houston architect broadly in – the redoubt of region throughprofessional. educationalIn an age the generalist programs, the publication Cite: characterized by a diffuseof lack of The Architecture + Design Reviewlike of definition, specific modifiers Houston, and active programs to digital-, urban-, critical-, and greeninitiate physical improvements. seem less like challenges and more Membership is open to the like desperate attempts to general prop up public. architecture by projecting an image of safe specificity. By refusing to September “play 25 - October 16, 2013 The Ricethese Design Alliance assume is an AIA/ it safe,” architects the CES Registered Provider offield quality divergent and distributed of educational programs. For each contemporary professional practice lecture, attendees will of earn one as precisely the locus Learning Unit, which will be architecture’s potential andreported strength. to CES Records on the member’s Reception behalf. Registration at the lecture is Curated by Troy Schaum required. Non-AIA members may Assistant Professor, Rice School of request a Certificate of Completion Architecture to fulfill state MCE requirements. The Rice Design Alliance, established This lecture series is supported by ARC within the Rice School of Architecture Document in 1972, is aSolutions; nonprofitAustin organization Commercial; CEMEX;of dedicated toBrochsteins; the advancement Chamberlin & Waterproofing; architecture,Roofing urban design, and the Fast Specialties, Inc; Gensler; builtTrack environment in the Houston HBL Architects; E. Harvey Builders; region through D. educational Haynes Whaley Associates,of Inc.; programs, the publication Cite: The Jackson & Ryan Architects; Architecture + Design Review of Kendall/Heaton Associates; McKinnon Houston, and active programs to Associates; Millerimprovements. Dahlstrand initiate physical Architects; Morris Architects; PM Membership is open to the general Realty public.Group; Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.; Shah Smith & Associates, Inc.; The Southampton The Rice Design Alliance is an AIA/ Group; Walter P Provider Moore; Ziegler CES Registered of quality Cooper Architects; the Corporate educational programs. For each Members of the Rice Design Alliance; lecture, attendees will earn one Reception the City ofUnit, Houston the Learning whichthrough will be reported Houston Arts Alliance, the Texas to CES Records on theand member’s Commission on the Arts. behalf. Registration at the lecture is required. Non-AIA members may request a Certificate of Completion to fulfill state MCE requirements.

Me ejin Yoon, Founder NOT SAFE FOR Höweler + Yoon Architecture WORK R e c e[NSFW] ption Sponsor: RE: ARCHITECTURE

2, 7 PM Minsuk Cho, Founder SAFE FOR Mass Studies

NOT WORK

work to jumpstart their practices, divergent and distributedeconomic field of despite our challenging contemporary professional practice times. Framed by the popular online as theSafe locusFor of Work], Re: tagprecisely NSFW [Not architecture’s potential and strength. Architecture [NSFW] investigates how architects’ assumptions regarding Curated by Troy Schaum safe boundaries for contemporary Assistant Professor, Rice School of disciplinary investigation Architecture simultaneously limit and propel their creative practices. The Rice Design Alliance, established within Rice School of Architecture Ratherthe than make a claim for in 1972, is a nonprofit organization specialization or interdisciplinarity, dedicated to thechoose advancement of these practices instead to architecture, urban design, define the responsibilities of and the the built environment the last Houston architect broadly in – the redoubt of region throughprofessional. educationalIn an age the generalist programs, the publication Cite: characterized by a diffuseof lack of The Architecture + Design Reviewlike of definition, specific modifiers Houston, and active programs to digital-, urban-, critical-, and greeninitiate physical improvements. seem less like challenges and more Membership is open to the like desperate attempts to general prop up public. architecture by projecting an image of safe specificity. By refusing to “play 2013 The Ricethese Design Alliance assume is an AIA/ it safe,” architects the CES Registered Provider offield quality divergent and distributed of educational programs. For each contemporary professional practice lecture, attendees will of earn one as precisely the locus Learning Unit, which will be architecture’s potential andreported strength. to CES Records on the member’s behalf. Registration at the lecture is Curated by Troy Schaum required. Non-AIA members may Assistant Professor, Rice School of request a Certificate of Completion Architecture to fulfill state MCE requirements. The Rice Design Alliance, established This lecture series is supported by ARC within the Rice School of Architecture Document in 1972, is aSolutions; nonprofitAustin organization Commercial; CEMEX;of dedicated toBrochsteins; the advancement Chamberlin & Waterproofing; architecture,Roofing urban design, and the Fast Specialties, Inc; Gensler; builtTrack environment in the Houston HBL Architects; E. Harvey Builders; region through D. educational Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc.; programs, the publication of Cite: The Jackson & Ryan Architects; Architecture + Design Review of Kendall/Heaton Associates; McKinnon Houston, and active programs to Associates; Millerimprovements. Dahlstrand initiate physical Architects; Morris Architects; PM Membership is open to the general Realty public.Group; Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.; Shah Smith & Associates, Inc.; The Southampton The Rice Design Alliance is an AIA/ Group; Walter PProvider Moore; Ziegler CES Registered of quality Cooper Architects; the Corporate educational programs. For each Members of the Rice Alliance; lecture, attendees willDesign earn one the City ofUnit, Houston the Learning whichthrough will be reported Houston Arts Alliance, the Texas to CES Records on theand member’s Commission on the Arts. behalf. Registration at the lecture is required. Non-AIA members may request a Certificate of Completion to fulfill state MCE requirements.

RE: ARCHITECTURE [NSFW]

October 9, 7PM Florian Idenburg, Principal

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Rice School of Architecture & Series Alliance The Rice Design O c2013 tober 9, 7PM Present the Fall $20 RDA, MFAH members Lecture Series F l [NSFW] orian Idenburg, RE: Architecture

$15September Senior citizens 65 and 25 - October 16, older

$15 Senior citizens 65 and older $10 Students with identification $35 Others

Tickets Single October 16, 7 PM Series $7 RDA, MFAH members; Senior J u n I g a r a s h i , P r i n c i p a l , J u n I g acitizens r a RDA, s h65+; i MFAH Students with $20 members Architects Reception Sponsor: Asakura Robinson Company /

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Asakura Robinson Company / Perkins+Will

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This lecture series is supported by ARC Document Solutions; Austin Commercial; Brochsteins; CEMEX; Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing; Fast Track Specialties, Inc; Gensler; HBL Architects; D. E. Harvey Builders; Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc.; Jackson & Ryan Architects; Kendall/Heaton Associates; McKinnon Associates; Miller Dahlstrand Architects; Morris Architects; PM Realty Group; Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.; Shah Smith & Associates, Inc.; The Southampton Group; Walter P Moore; Ziegler Cooper Architects; the Corporate Members of the Rice Design Alliance; the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

This lecture series is supported by ARC Document Solutions; Austin Commercial; Brochsteins; CEMEX; Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing; Fast Track Specialties, Inc; Gensler; HBL Architects; D. E. Harvey Builders; Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc.; Jackson & Ryan Architects; Kendall/Heaton Associates; McKinnon Associates; Miller Dahlstrand Architects; Morris Architects; PM Realty Group; Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.; Shah Smith & Associates, Inc.; The Southampton Group; Walter P Moore; Ziegler Cooper Architects; the Corporate Members of the Rice Design Alliance; the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

October 16, 7 PM $7 RDA, MFAH members; Senior J u n I g a r a s h i , P r i n c i p a l , J u n I g acitizens r a s h65+; i Students with identification Architects Reception Sponsor: Asakura Robinson Company / Perkins+Will

Sponsor: Gilbane

Tickets Single SeriesO c t o b e r 1 6 , 7 P M $7 RDA, MFAH members; Senior Jmembers u n with Igarashi, Principal, Jun Igarashi citizens 65+; Students $20 RDA, MFAH identification c holder itects $15 Senior citizensA 65rand

identification $15 Senior citizens 65 and older $15 Others Perkins+W i l l Students with identification $10

$35 Others

Principal

SO-IL

$10 Students with identification $35 Others

Sponsor: HOK

RE: ARCHITECTURE [NSFW]

Rice School of Architecture & Series Alliance The Rice Design Present the Fall 2013 $20 RDA, MFAH members Lecture Series RE: Architecture [NSFW]

Reception Sponsor: Gilbane

Clark Condon Associates

Rice School of Architecture & The Rice Design Alliance Present the Fall 2013 October Lecture Series RE: Architecture [NSFW]

NOT SAFE FOR WORK Tickets

September 25, 7 PM

Rather than make a claim for specialization or interdisciplinarity,

NOT SAFE FOR WORK

of safe specificity. By refusing toof “play methods, techniques and sites September 25 - October 16, 2013 it safe,” these architects assume the

Reception Sponsor: HOK

b

This lecture series invites a new generation of architects who are operating nimbly across scales, methods, techniques and sites of work to jumpstart their practices, despite our challenging economic times. Framed by the popular online tag NSFW [Not Safe For Work], Re: Architecture [NSFW] investigates how architects’ assumptions regarding safe boundaries for contemporary disciplinary investigation simultaneously limit and propel their creative practices.

these practices Rice School of Architecture & choose instead to define the responsibilities of the architect broadly – the last redoubt of The Rice Design Alliance the generalist professional. In an age characterized by a diffuse lack of Present the Fall 2013 definition, specific modifiers like urban-, critical-, and greenLecture Series digital-, seem less like challenges This lecture series invites aand newmore like desperate attempts to prop up generation of architects who are RE: Architecture [NSFW] architecture by projecting an image operating nimbly across scales,

October 2, 7 PM Minsuk Cho, Founder Mass Studies

b

This lecture series invites a new generation of architects who are operating nimbly across scales, methods, techniques and sites of work to jumpstart their practices, despite our challenging economic times. Framed by the popular online tag NSFW [Not Safe For Work], Re: Architecture [NSFW] investigates how architects’ assumptions regarding safe boundaries for contemporary disciplinary investigation simultaneously limit and propel their creative practices.

RE: ARCHITECTURE [NSFW]

Reception Sponsor: Clark Condon Associates

SO-IL

b

Single

October 16, 7 PM Principal, Jun Igarashi Architects

$7 RDA, MFAH members; Senior J u n with Igarashi, citizens 65+; Students identification

85

$15 Others

Reception Sponsor: Asakura Robinson Company / Perkins+Will


Above. Ideas of transparency and information could be spatialized in very different ways in a future where architecture is freed from it’s technical requirements by technology and could produce social relationships out of media itself. DIfferent stages of that possible future are shown.

Right. During a typical academic cycle, architecture students are put through a series of emotional states. This collage relates those states to the production of architectural knowledge, professors, and the space which is at once creates and is created by these processes. 86

The second component of the poster on the right is the logo for the RIce School of Architecture in the lower right hand. The logo embodies The school’s ambitious reach, despite its small size.


panic

1 perspective

2 challenge

exuberance

camaraderie

4 focus

3 excitement

exhaustion

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Evocations of Peril Independent Project

Our relationship to the environment vacillates somewhere between frighteningly cynical and frighteningly naive. This is a general cultural phenomena, but it plays out in architecture in interesting ways, both through explicitly Green architecture, and the general modifications to architecture that tries to be anything else. This series of drawings attempts to illustrate some of the contradictions within the field as we struggle to balance a new requirement with our myriad traditions. The images explore the problematic relationship humans have to the environment in more symbolic and suggestive ways than strictly architectural ones. They are not interested in proposing new methods of building so much as critiquing contemporary and traditional practices.

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The method is not “strictly architectural� in the sense that the drawings are evocative more than prescriptive, but this does not prevent architectural thinking from playing a role. The representation is intentionally traditional, but the sensibility is perhaps more aligned with the artist dilettante than the architect. This creates a bridge between the two approaches, suggestive of the importance of creative thinking in the face of relatively recent problem. The first image is a design for a dirigible light house. It both attempts to integrate formally with its habitat and refuses to do so programmatically in so far as it is a piece of infrastructural gymnastics in the face of our typical inability to move with the land. We are always trying to get away from it, which is part of the disconnect’s cause.


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The plan above illustrates the frequent obsession on the part of architects with the formal rigor of a design. This is not problematic in itself, but the potentially myopic approach to planning often neglects other important aspects of design. 90


In this plan’s case, the loss was any sort of sensitivity to place, any place at all, for that matter. The argument that architectural ideas should be informed by a particular context, rather than blindly imposed takes on new urgency in the light of environmental concerns.

This section of a coal mine addresses questions of place, but primarily in pursuit of destroying it. The openness of the section speaks to the impossibility of ever completely containing pollutants in a global ecosystem.

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The figures represent the perversity of the frequent ambivalence to environmentally damaging action, as the figure inside is forced to don a gas mask and the figure above, too distracted by the industry and smoke is unable to notice the vista.


Light Box 14 lamps

As an investigation of lighting, this series of lamps works within a narrow set of constraints. Material and form are generally held constant in order to demonstrate the differences in light-manipulation across a limited set of strategies. These strategies are apertures, aggregations, folds, and laminations. These four tools provoke a wide range of solutions to the simple prompt, “how can an eight inch, white cube block views of the light source and diffuse the light.� In doing so, the lamps explore a range of architectural issues such as, scale, craft, repetition, turning a corner and meeting a ground plane.

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As an independent study, this required we design the entire course, a syllabus, schedule, bibliography, and a booklet of the final production. All of that work, and the lamps in this section were produced in collaboration with another student, Martha Cox.


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Folded Dome This lamp employs a particularly intriguing means of creating non-developable surfaces from flat sheets. It is at once rigid and dynamic. This design rubs against the primary challenge of this folding technique--while it is flexible, it does not take on particular geometries with precision. Both the five sides and eight corners of the typical cubes were clearly inappropriate, so it finds its own form, an anomalous instance of a Light Box’s local material condition dictating a global formal one.

Rocks

Structured Skin

An inconspicous plexi-glass cube, connected at the corners with plexi-weld, contains another, smaller cube. The stones in the space between aggregate densley to block the bulb, allowing only pinpoints of bright light to escape and creating a warm, diffuse light. Because the faces of the rocks are visible, their front faces appear to be the diffusers, rather than the sides actually exposed to the light. Their density belies the presence of the internal cube, suggesting a complete block of smooth stone.

Paper, when folded, becomes a structural skin, like hyper-thin, sophicisticated load bearing masonry or the stacked logs of a cabin. This lamp, however, maintains a structure/skin distinction, as the careful folding of the vertical members integrates itself into the material vocabulary of the rest of the lamp. The paper used in the execution of this design is particularly thin, casting an almost green glow.

PinHole Gradient

Moire

The miniscule holes in the surface of museum board work with another layer within to create rare, sparkling overlaps of view to the light source. This means that, while the light itself is visible, it is sufficiently decontextualized to avoid appearing a bare light bulb. When the light is off, the holes (now the dark part of the composition) animate the surface of the white museum board, as a gradient along the top and down the sides of the cube.

Examples of lamps from the folding category are represented in the top and middle right spreads. Aperture, on the far right and bottom spreads. Finally, the center left image is an example of a lamp using the aggregation strategy.

Two prisms of museum board encourage a vantage point in motion, as their thin, diagonal slits converge and separate. This overlap happens across the cube as well as between adjacent planes. The effect is significantly different when the outer cube is rotated ninety degrees. This makes the lines of diagonals intersect perpendicularly. While this makes clearer points of light, it detracts from the dynamic moire effect of the parallel orientation.

The lamps represent a wide range of fabrication techniques. Laser cutting, plexi-welding, casting, and paper-folding. In addition to the physical lamps, an axonometric illustrates the basic outline for each. The photographs focus on the specifics of the light qualities produced. 94

A set of reoccurring technical challenges informed the final deployment of each lamp’s strategy. For instance the cube required rigid corners because of the often weak materials used, and so each lamp makes some allowance (this page, bottom right) in the design for rigidity.


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Travel Research Pitman Fellowship

Analyses of Herzog and de Meuron’s projects often focus on the surface, as such. Many of their most celebrated projects, Ricola Europe, The Bird’s Next, and the Vitrahaus are discrete objects with clearly delineated façades and consequently encourage this reading. Simple forms provide a canvas for expressive surfaces. As Jeffrey Kipnis writes, “…the ideal vehicle for the extreme cosmetician is a body, face or form denuded of its own ability to engender affect.” I explored how a different formal context provokes a different surface expression. If cladding a box is like applying blush, what of designing a renovation, an in-fill project, or a network of streets? H+D’s Fünf Höfe, in Munich, is an example of this last and perhaps most radical departure from

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the clad-box model. Here, their project adopts an existing urban façade (a block of street fronts) and creates a network of passages within. The surface, deeply implicating the plan and section, no longer makes sense solely in elevation. Changes in both type and expression of surfaces along the length and height of the tunnels and courts reflect this added spatial complexity. Two projects that similarly challenge an isolated surface reading are the commercial and apartment building Herrnstrasse (also in Munich) and the redevelopment of a large mill building into the Küppersmühle Museum (Duisburg). The Hernstrasse’s façade is part of a largely continuous urban fabric and consequently is the inside


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of a streetscape as well as the outside of a building; the circulatory core of the Küppersmühle Museum comprises a series of interrelated surfaces with connections to the exhibition spaces. In both cases, the superficial informs the formal. Through an analysis of the spatial

performance of the Fünf Höfe’s surfaces and its dialogue with Munich as well as through the secondary examples, I investigated means for the spatial application of the surface. The surface can certainly be treated as a canvas, its design, painting, 98


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but if an endeavor as multi-faceted as Architecture hopes to be medium specific, space must play a fundamental role. The relationships and modulations of surfaces across space can reinforce or undermine it, even imply new sub-space. Rather than just looking at how it can “engender

affect,” I gained an understanding of how the surface can be used for spatial effect. Herzog and de Meuron are renowned for their ability to do the former. Their ability to do the latter is, in many respects, even more spectacular.

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The diagrams above accompany an essay I wrote on the three projects. From left, The Herrnstrasse (Munich), Küppersmühle Museum (Duisburg), and the Funf Hofe (Munich). Each number on the diagrams corresponds to a passage in the essay, a kind of visualanalytical footnote.


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Architectural Lenses

Sculpture and Bookends

I began by exploring a potential role of architectural thinking outside of studio design. I’d like to finish with a few more examples. Unlike the first set of images, which are about architectural representation interacting with other modes of thinking, these are concerned with the way an architect thinks, particularly in terms of analysis. There are three projects: The first, the shadow box, (at right) was for a class with David Thadeus. Building a sculpture in an architecturally-minded way (assuming we can make that distinction) is the reverse of the process for the introductory images, which are about applying the artist’s thinking to an architectural representation.

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The second project was done independently, and is largely about identifying a problem. The project is concerned with book ends. Someone with no ability to think abstractly can tell you about book ends. They are heavy. That’s it. But the underlying principle is that they keep books together. A diagram of an ordinary object often provokes novel understandings. Finally, comes a series of images of nuts. Two modes of analysis are employed. The first is isolation. By removing detail, we come to new standpoints. The second is cutting, which is similar in that it disassociates typically paired things. I did not look for either specimen, but ran across them. And that’s the point: they are ordinary objects, made interesting by thought.


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Isolation Partial

Description In Context

Disassembly

Scale Magnification

Isolation Complete

The Description is similar to a site plan of a building, before any diagrams. It can also be thought of as a an empty site. It is the first level of effective understanding, but it is only a start. Accurately describing something is only the beginning of understanding it.

Isolation helps us understand the object itself, free from other details. As the object is broken down further, the question arises, how far? At what point does something become meaningless, or the purview of physicists rather than architects? 104

A possible final step is the magnification of a part of the object, in essence isolating it, not physically, but through scope. Much of this happens naturally when we try to understand something, but by analyzing the way we analyze, we can flesh out the specifics.


Analytical Tool Section Partial

Subject

Section Describes Skin

The nut begins with a three-part shell, hiding most of the nut itself. Through cutting away the shell, the relationship between skin and flesh is revealed, including unexpected veins, but this pertains primarily to the surface.

Section Reveals interior

Left, this section emphasizes the skin. This is one reason to break something into pieces, to get a better look at what is between them, what holds them together.

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Above, this section is less about envelope, as it describes the interior-the difference between a wall section and a building section, perhaps, which brings us back to architecture. One of our assets is the ability to look at something and ignore almost all of it. An analytical framework lets us do this well.


Architecture etc  

A selection of architecture and design work from Rice University and UNC Charlotte

Architecture etc  

A selection of architecture and design work from Rice University and UNC Charlotte

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