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Brent Swingle 113 Barker Road Chattanooga, TN 37415 423 . 290 . 1710


Oak Ridge Public Library Addition

Knoxville, TN

Light Box

Temporary installation

LEAP Collaborative Headquarters

Knoxville, TN

Cracovia Gateway

Krak贸w Poland

Family Learning Kitchen and Agricultural Center

Knoxville, TN

The National Park

American landscape

Travel Sketches


LIBRARY OAK RIDGE PUBLIC LIBRARY ADDITION - KNOXVILLE, TN - FALL 2010 The library is meant for the organization and access of knowledge. Wondering through a sea of bookshelves makes finding information more difficult. Labeling the stacks by the Dewey Decimal System and allowing entry from above allows a person to quickly find the book they are looking for. This moment of looking out over the stacks is like the table of contents of a book. One sees the library in its entirety, and then goes directly to the section that they want.

This conceptual model of the library shows the grouping of the sections of the Dewey Decimal System and the reuse of the existing structure as the digital library and computer lab.

The initial overhead view of the labeled stacks be- A view of the sunken reading courtyard containing the sculptural auditorium protruding into the stacks. Each comes a physically experienced table of contents of piece of program in the library is a unit protruding into the space of the stacks, these units announce themthe library. selves, sometimes by clear labels, and sometimes by form.

This exploration in digital fabrication was a group project using CNC machining to fabricate the building blocks of an electronic fun house of light, reflection, and interaction. The Light Box was on display temporarily in a gallery of downtown Knoxville and then for the following semester in the University of Tennessee Art + Architecture Building. Group members included Rochelle Lo and Katie O’Connell.



As the switches between the panels were flipped, a winding string of LED’s would be triggered causing the user to follow the path and complete the series.

Wiring each LED to the correct switch path proved The interior of the Light Box was coated with reflec- The Light Box, displayed in West Jackson Workshops to be the most time consuming part of this project. tive mylar to create an infinite series of reflective in Knoxville, TN. planes.

OFFICE LEAP COLLABORATIVE HEADQUARTERS - KNOXVILLE, TN - INTEGRATIONS FALL 2011 This office building in downtown Knoxville is a simple glass box protected from excessive sunlight by an intricate system of wooden louvers. The density of each section of the facade depends on the program behind it and the amount of light needed.

This design integrations project presented the challenge of detailing building systems and construction techniques. The exercise was a crash course in the design of everything from foundations, to flooring systems, to shading devices, to a roof system.

Leap Collaborative’s atrium creates an interior street condition connecting the pedestrian friendly streets on either side of the site. The focus of this project was on the design of building systems, which presented the opportunity for an extremely clean and simple layout. Although this seemed at first to be a banal exercise, the result was a pristine and rewarding design.

LEAP Collaborative Headquarters is a pristine, filigree wooden box, nestled into the setting of downtown Knoxville. Its light materiality, contrasting the stone and brick around it, is appropriate considering the fact that it houses a large team of promising designers, working to create and manipulate the built environment and landscape around them.

PUBLIC CRACOVIA CRACOVIA GATEWAY - KRAKÓW, POLAND - STUDY ABROAD SPRING 2012 This mixed use complex creates a gateway between the Blonia field of Kraków and the 19th century ring of the city. The carved negative space of the building allows for a pedestrian connection between the public spaces that surround it. The raised box looking over the field and the city creates a viewing tower without piercing the skyline of the medieval city.

The site of this complex is on the second concentric green belt of Krak贸w. The space is a transition between two rings of the city, one of 19th and one of 20th century construction. This is a key location in that it makes the site a gateway not only geographically, but chronologically.

The box floats over the gateway of Blonia, and the pedestrian friendly paving stretches from underneath it to the museum, creating a more comfortable pedestrian passage across.

The terraced set of walkways and escalators allows This floating box serves as a lookout tower, without the box at the top of the structure to seemingly float piercing the skyline of Krak贸w. The space has an outward from the open public space beneath it. amazing view of the Blonia field and the old city to the East.

Beneath the pedestrian street that has been created is now parking. The use of sculptural skylights allows for an interesting and playful paving pattern and adequate lighting to the space below.

The space directly in front of the museum has been captured and contained by the addition of these stairs and pillars. The form of these pillars is carried through from museum, to stair, to retail center. There is a continuation, of space that subtly divides it at the same time.

The lobby, kitchen, and dining area are connected axially by a spine of circulation. The entire complex is then surrounded by a vertical farm that is accessed and maintained by catwalks.

What is the potential for architecture to help children gain social confidence. This learning kitchen and agricultural center is a place for children to come with their families and learn the processes of growing, preparing, and consuming food as a community. This communal production process will encourage children to be more comfortable in social situations. The apiary on the roof, which is connected to a tank in the lobby filled with working honeybees serves as a visual metaphor for the way that these families are working together as a community to produce a meal.



The lobby space of the learning kitchen contains a tank filled with honeycombs and working honey bees. This tank connects to the apiary on the roof and the working bees serve as a metaphor for communal work towards a common goal.

The dining space contains one large table where several families come together after preparing a meal and enjoy it together. This is the final and most intimate step in the communal food production and consumption process.

This section illustrates the transition through the spaces of the learning kitchen and their effect on the self confidence of the child experiencing them. A family arrives in the lobby on the right, through the market. Here they see the bee tank, which connects to the apiary above. This visual metaphor shows the power of the process of communal food production and preparation.

The family then passes through the green circulation wall that connects the spaces, They arrive at the greenhouse to gather vegetables an herbs needed for the cooking process, and then move down into the kitchen where they prepare the meal together with other families. Several groups are working toward the same goal.

The final and most intimate step in this process occurs in the triangular space in the center, the dining room. Here, the families sit at a single table and enjoy the meal they have prepared together. The children have watched their families work together and have also participated in a communal effort, in some cases, for the first time.

This is a re-imagination of the built environment and its juxtaposition to the American landscape. The layout is fueled by geometry, the dimensions determined by travel distance, and the program decided by resources, climate, and surrealism. We live in an environment today where we don’t exactly have defined cities or a true landscape anymore. This new organization of the built environment maintains a juxtaposition with the landscape. The result is a new type of city that is dense and livable, and a landscape that is authentic and desirable to travel. This is The National Park.



The process of urban sprawl evolving the American landscape from a clean pristine terrain to a semi-urban mess.

The imagined process of the landscape taking back its domain and containing the city. A process of “natural sprawl� and controlled reorganization.

Why does urban sprawl occur? A lack of discipline in the growth of our cities. This illustration shows the growth of a city without regulation of size. As the community grows past a reasonable boundary, it simultaneously looses its density and definition.

By properly bounding our cities, they will maintain density and a clear juxtaposition to the landscape. Even cities with natural boundaries, such as water, tend to spread across and further contaminate the landscape. Nothing is left untouched.


4 miles x 4 miles

A size comparison of the three types of permanent dwelling environments, situated on points of the grid within zones of suitable living conditions. These areas are defined by resources, climate, and soil conditions. These bounded urban clusters contain everything that people need on a day to day basis, residences, work environments, public spaces, parks, entertain-


2 miles x 2 miles

ment, places for exercise, agriculture, energy production, small scale transportation linking them all, and a large, central transportation hub linking each city together. The perimeter of each of these urban centers is lined with energy production farms appropriate to the climate and energy resources of the area. Cities in the great plains region might have


1 mile x 1 mile

large wind turbines, while cities that sit on water may take advantage of hydroelectricity. Each city, town, village or serai is approximately 2.5 degrees (150 miles) from the next city, town, village, or serai.


400 feet x 400 feet

The serai also lies on the major points of the grid. It is not intended as a permanent dwelling, only a roadside inn for those who want to taste the landscape. These structures are situated on points of the grid which are not suitable for everyday civic life.

These sections through the new cities show that there are endless possibilities to the way they meet the landscape. Some cities are anchored firmly into the ground, creating the opportunity for geothermal energy creation.

Some float above the water, allowing them to take advantage of hydroelectric power. These cities are ideal for people who enjoy proximity to water on a daily basis.

As the landscape changes, so do the foundations of these cities. One end of the city may be embedded in rock while the other floats far above the earth. This creates unique configurations of city entrances, and the space beneath the cities.

Cities high in the mountains will take advantage of wind power. Together, this network of cities will function as a perfect system. What one city lacks in energy, resources, or production, will be made up for by adjacent cities.

Each city, town and village is connected by a large scale transportation system called The Rail. It is propelled across the landscape by magnetic towers. Depending on the terrain, this magnetic system may

act as train tracks, a tunnel, a bridge, or a monorail. Running parallel to the Rail are linear agricultural zones which provide food for the cities on the points of the grid. The food that is grown in these zones

can be easily transported across the country thanks to the Rail. It does not provide access to the outposts of the secondary grid. One can only get to the them by foot.


120 feet x 120 feet

Off of the beaten path, these roadside inns, modeled after caravan serais, lighthouses, Islamic mosques, watchtowers, oases, and remote energy farms, exist on a secondary grid and are only accessible by foot. They are for the traveler who wants to know the wonder of the landscape between the cities.

They are made up of an open courtyard surrounded by limited administration and storage with an upper level of centripetal temporary dwelling spaces. They aren’t meant to live in for any extended period of time, only long enough to catch your breath for a day or two, get your bearings and move on.

These structures are .5 degrees (about fifteen miles depending on the latitude) apart. This is the just about how far a person can see until the curvature of the earth takes effect on their sight. The towers in the corners of these outposts serve not only as energy towers, but also as beacons to weary travelers.

REDENSIFY OUR URBAN HABITATS, An early exercise in propagandizing the program of this project. A desire for greater urban density and a more clear definition between the landscape and the built environment became important very early in this study.


urban metro center cities towns civic



TRAVEL Hagia Sophia - istanbul, Turkey

Olesnica, Poland

Piazza del Campo - Sienna, Italy

Brent Swingle Architecture Portfolio  
Brent Swingle Architecture Portfolio  

Selected Projects