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Brian Ray Barber | Architectural Design Portfolio

Portfolio|Architectural Design



The following is work that I have done while at the University of Michigan in the 3 year Master of Architecture program. The projects are a mixture of precedent studies and design challenges. The core of our curriculum is a studio track with a strong theoretical component. Construction, environmental design, and technology based seminars are the compliment to the central studio based education.

Experimental Martian Settlement Hollywood, CA

Building Enclosure Systems|Winter 2014

The proposed facility in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles is meant to closely mimick the first structure to be built by humans on the surface of Mars. Its purpose would be to extract water from the surface soil which is then used to grow food and plants for the inhabitants of the outpost. Utilizing the high winds often found on Mars, the facility’s initial power source is a large wind turbine on the top floor. Because of the nature of the project, it must be completely self-sustaining, employing additional methods of generating power once the system is up and running such as solar power, and biomass production.The structure is built into a mountainside in an effort to mediate the harsh temperature differences found during a typical Martian day. The facade also faces south in an effort to optimize and control the amount of direct sunlight in an effort to mimick the amount of sunlight found on the surface of the red planet.

Cahuenga Peak, Hollywood, CA 34.1370째 N, 118.3258째 W

wind patterns The project is strategically placed to take full advantage of sun and wind exposure.





Biomass-producing glazing wind turbine

solar panels

Food growth/experiment/research

Inhabitant residence

Wind turbines

Energy-producing solar panel glass

Biomass panels

Precedent Study: Moore House by Robert Metcalf

Building Anatomies|Winter 2014

Focusing on built houses in Ann Arbor designed by Robert Metcalf, we were to analyze the building systems, construction, and site as a group of four. The project was meant to mimick the atmosphere of an office, each member of the team was assigned an area of focus within the project.

Drawing prepared by: Robyn Wolochow, Kate Flynn, Grant Herron, Brian Barber (site)







Delirious Detroit

Studio|Fall 2013

In the fall of 2013, our studio focused on Detroit as the site of our major, semester-long project. We were given the opportunity to research a given part of town and then choose a specific site within that area. I chose the former site of the Michigan State Fair along Eight Mile Road as a site as social condenser. We were also given a text as a point of departure, mine being Rem Koolhaas’ “Delirious New York”. This example led me to a project that is a reimagination of the history of Detroit. Taking into account political, economic, and social factors around the turn of the Twentieth century, my project examines a critical point in the history of the city where the future could have turned out differently.

Delirious Detroit In 1904 Detroit was a bustling city with the hopes and promises of a new century. Technology was making life easier. In four years time, henry ford would make the newly invented automobile affordable for almost anyone. Detroit was set to become the economic center of the United States. Emma Whitney was a young woman that dreamt of becoming an architect. Her father had moved them to Detroit from Western New York after the death of her mother. While emma’s father, David, Had dreams of turning the city into the next New York, emma had dreams of turning it into the next Paris..........

the Whitney building (Dad’s “Home”)

the whitney house (Emma’s Hideout)

Sell it!!!!! I’ll build another skyscraper!!!!!!

the woodward plan

emma’s plan included an underground tower made entirely of glass. she had seen images of one in a newspaper during one of her many visits to berlin. if she mounted lights on the mine walls she could control the intensity and duration of the light. for emma, daylight was too harsh and night time was too dark. she could finally find a happy medium and effect the mood with colored glass on the facade of the would be brilliant.

The woodward plan had so obviously been modeled after the parks of europe, like the gardens of versailles. Her Grandmother had left emma a plot of land that her father wanted to sell so the state could use it for the fairgrounds. Emma had plans to turn it into an urban garden, full of flowers and vegetables for the people who lived in the city. Her plan was perfect.. She had drawn it out, how could her father argue?

detroit 1904

garden plan

glass: meant to control the visual atmosphere of each floor of the underground tower. lights: powerful new lighting used in baseball parks for night games. steel frame: the frame is also new technology. used in the mine to protect against any mine collapse. the vast salt mines could also be used for other activities, like golf, tennis, and swimming in the underground lakes.

above ground the gardens could serve the community. she could raise flowers and vegetables. Perhaps she could even rent out plots to folks who need a garden. The amphitheatre could hold concerts and other community events. maybe she would even open up the underground club to the public. afterall, one of the things that bothered her about her father was his eliteism.

monument to modernism


axon Garden plots amphitheatre



Area of Surface Program: 135 Acres Area of Underground Program: > 1500 acres



4.62 mi site


1200’ saltmine the site of the gardens sits on top of vast salt mines....... the perfect place for her secret society. emma dreamt of building glass skyscrapers underground, a concept her father could never understand. 4.62 mi

detroit was such a beautiful city, with a promising future.......

emma dreamt of planning out the rest of the city. She thought that one day detroit really could be another Paris....of the midwest!

place de la concorde


Brian Barber

Vertical Sculpture Park

Studio|Spring 2013

In the spring of 2013, our studio project was based on a site in a Pittsburgh neighbor known as “The Strip�. It is a tourist area with stores, restaurants, and bars. The challenge was to design a cultural center that would fit within the area of what is currently a small parking lot.

















This page: Vertical Sculpture Park model in site model Facing Page: Vertical Sculture Park perspective drawing in site 30� x 40�

MPdL Studio

Summer 2013

During the summer between my first and second years of the M.Arch program I worked for MPdL Studio in Ann Arbor. Owned by Monica Ponce de Leon, the Dean of the school of architecture at Michigan, the firm was busy producing models for an exhibition as well as current projects that were in the proposal stages. It was my job to finish rhino models and prepare the files for stereolithography, or 3d printing. The school owns four printers, so it was also my responsibility to oversee the printing process and deliver the models back to the office. The first model shown is part of the ceiling system within a proposed public library in Florida. The second set of images is from a large-scale model produced for the exhibition “Michigan Modern�, at Cranbrook Academy.

Facing page: Zcorp print of Pampano Library ceiling system This page: ABS model, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Muskegon, MI


2010 - present

Constellations, broken safety glass, wood, light 2011

Loup River: A Story of Faith, sandcast glass 2012

When Stars Came to Earth, blown glass 2012

Pollen, blown glass 2010

Goblets, blown glass 2012-present

Brian Barber T:206.372.6658 E:

Ann Arbor, MI August 2012 - Present

Responsible for processing 3d modeling files, maintaining printing machines, running prints on Zcorp and ABS machines.

MPdL Studio

Ann Arbor, MI June 2013 - August 2013

Worked on 3d prints for an exhibition as well as current projects. Prepared Rhino files for print from massing models to meshes.

Glassybaby, LLC,

Seattle, WA July 2009 - August 2010

Led glassblowing team, coordinated production tasks, quality control.

Manifesto Corporation/Resolute Lighting

Seattle, WA September 2001 - July 2009

Led hotshop team, organized work schedule, production schedule, and quality control, and consulted with designers on new products.


M.Arch Candidate

June 2012 - May 2015

Taubman College of Architecture, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

MFA / Glass

September 2010 - June 2012

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio President, Glass Club Treasurer, Graduate Student Art Club Member Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

Core Student Program

February 2000 - January 2001

Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina

BFA / Glass

December 1999

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Skills Photoshop Illustrator InDesign Rhino Revit Autocad 3d printing



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Taubman College FabLab

1261 Bending Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103


Brian Ray Barber portfolio  
Brian Ray Barber portfolio  

architecture portfolio