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INTERRUPTION A fracture to the solid faรงade condition and to the programmatic chain creates a new allowance of open common-space and a new exposure to the city of Charleston. The bright-orange escalator circulates the along the edge of the facility, engaging the fissure of space created by breaking the facade and shaping a unique alley space beneath. Beginning at the street-level, it funnels upwards between the confines of the southern building and the program enclosure, then arrives at an expanse of public space with a view out to State Street. This circulating vein of void then doubles back and persists vertically, transcending the skyline, where finally it escapes the bounds of enclosure and is united with the vastness of the sky. 5

ground floor


second floor

third floor

fourth floor

The existing street front of East Bay is steady, rational, and essentially undeviating. Moments of pause to this boundary are few and far between. The Charleston faรงades are a solid unrelenting abuttal, entrapping valuable space that is unshared with the public space of the street and sidewalk. The traffic of the sidewalk can only ever be ongoing, as there are no recesses allowing individuals to rest. 7



With its formal oddities, the Center of Contemporary Art will certainly stand out amongst its more traditional neighbors. Additionally, at 60 feet high, it will become one of the tallest points within a few miles. The Center does not intend to impose on the beautiful field that the city of Charleston has developed over history – it intends to augment your experience and perception of the city through its orange lens. Upon entering, you face a large escalator cladded in orange glass that breaks away from the lobby volume and clambers upwards clinging to the facility, skirting the wall of the southern neighbor. The smooth and continuous travel up the escalator allows you the freedom to notice your surroundings and the changes of your body’s position in space without effort. 8


The double-height glass enclosing the entrance lobby expands the space of the street and provides the immediate source of common space that was needed. The large doors remain open to those visiting the facility, or to those who simply wish to escape the traffic or the heat.



An intermittent landing allows a moment of pause, then carries you further up. Your body floats to the skyline and the cityscape is revealed. You arrive at an expanse of space facing west towards State Street, and a view of the inner Charleston peninsula is uninterrupted as you stand on the height of your neighbors. But through telling surfaces, you see that you must turn back in the direction you came in order to see it all. A final, brief ascension delivers you to the roof where space is reunited with sky. Here, you stand high above the confines of the street and look towards where land, sky and water meet. 12




Approaching the end of University Avenue, a narrow opening in the curtain of foliage allows a brief and rare moment of connection between the two systems of man and nature. The density of the natural quilt surrounding the lake’s edge rarely offers such an opportunity of interaction between the realms man-made and natural.



This project served as an introduction to responsive design within a natural landscape. Our site was located at a meeting point between University Avenue and Lake Newnan, a naturally-formed shallow lake densely enclosed by trees and a gentle marshy decline. The objective was to develop an interstitial experience between the road and the lake, by breaching the lake’s enclosure and stitching it back together with a new allowance of human passage. 17

1 | View from the end of University Ave.

2 | Canopy Entrance A shadehouse within the site’s canopy serves as a greeting, as well as a place of refuge. It offers a comfortable introduction to Lake Newnan. A floating sunspace meets the lakefront, harnessing its wildlife to facilitate an increasingly interactive conversation between man and wilderness. The sunspace allows overgrowth of plantlife and cohabitation with the insects, fish, and other native creatures. This space will experience many changes over time, from season to season, correlating with the mercurial character of Lake Newnan.


North Section through both interventions

3 | Path to Shadehouse and Pier

East Section through shadehouse

4 | Floating Sunspace from Pier

5 | Floating Sunspace from Lake


ground floor

site plan



Bays Atrium Conference Public Restrooms Outdoor Event Space Water fountains Storage Tool desk Indoor Event Space

Rec Area



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Docks Boat storage / repair Gym Crew Washrooms Recreational Area Office Kitchen Observation Patio


10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

second floor

My ORGANIZATIONAL LOGIC originated firstly from the dock -- the mediator between bays and water. I chose a location for this mediator that would need the least amount of environmental disruption, while also aligning it to the current entrance from the parking. Secondly, the programmatic elements were organized to complement the dichotomy of the rowing crew’s training -- individual discipline and group-minded collaboration.





Lake’s Natural Enclosure

The boathouse is designed to include the most crucial disciplinary processes of the crew. South of the central axis, a separate structure includes spaces conducive to the team’s collaborative efforts. A third structure is located between the base of the two docks, floating in the water’s edge, marking the commencement of the site’s relationship with the water. This structure serves as a gazebo, a space for both the team and the public to enjoy the unobstructed view to the lake.


Observation Deck




The Fezzan area of the Sahara desert is a vast stretch of seemingly endless sand seas. These seas possess some of the most desolate areas on Earth, defined by directionless, unforgiving expanses of exposure to the elements. Structures in this area of the world must capitalize efforts on protecting the body and mind from the magic isolation and quietness of the desert. By analysing ancient nomadic methods of desert navigation, this refuge shelters the body and replenishes the mind with a sense of position and direction.


The intervention is set along two axes aiming at the closest oases and town posts, renewing a sense of direction and position in space. The intersection of these two axes echo the Crux constellation, a significant component in celestial navigation of the Sahara Desert.






The Financial capital of the world has become a global model for mixed-use communities. This fast-paced and unpredictable district has seen an unexpected residential boom in the last decade, particularly amongst young families. The Apex at Wall Street contributes to the growing relationship between business and family life.


Perspective from kindergarten towards Wall St. A kindergarten is included in the program for the financial district’s growing demographic of young families. A visual connection between Wall Street and the kindergarten encourages a positive involvement between family life and business. 30

diagrammatic plan index

view from Greenwich parking garage

diagram of energetic gradient 31


retail / residential


common space

main space


view from beside Trinity Church

responsive skin garden



urban linkage


analytical skin diagram

A semi-opaque skin envelops the tower, responsive to the occupancy level and activity of inhabitants. During periods of high activity, the adjacent portion of the skin becomes more transparent to allow a visual connection between street and occupant. 34

structural articulation of skin

main entrance from Trinity 35


ABSTRACT Walls contain us. They are a function of shelter, they provide privacy, and they define space. Perceptions of interior and exterior, inclusion and exclusion, security and vulnerability, spawn from walls. This paper investigates and compares the role of the wall at different scales, from the individual body to the fabric of a society. First, what makes a wall? To begin this investigation, the fundamentals of a wall will be assessed. Second, why do we need walls? Walls separate and organize space, and create thresholds. Walls of a city are built to protect, to defend, to exclude what’s undesired and to keep safe what is included. What have walls done to shape cities and societies in the past? At the scale of the city, walls seem to segregate people – opposing or conflicting cultures, ideas, and politics find themselves on opposite sides of the wall. This paper seeks to find the underlying logic of the wall’s continuously central role in world conflicts by referring to historical examples and explaining them through the fundamental aspects of a wall. DEFINING THE WALL Walls are built to divide, to protect, to hide. Though they are tectonically present elements, their metaphysical power often exceeds the physical. Walls provide an incomparable sense of security. They appease the mental need for order against chaos. People need walls for this peace of mind, so desperately so that when they do not exist we invent them in our minds. Why do we imbue walls with this power? Why do walls arise in times of turmoil, and what role does the wall play in the progress or regress of a society? To begin exploring these questions, it is important to define here what is meant by the term “wall.” At a fundamental level, walls are vertical planes that separate space. Additionally, the wall allows the spaces on either side to differ from each other. With the introduction of transparent 36

materials as a vertical divider, the difference between wall and window begins to blur. Can two spaces really differ from each other with the visual connection that glass allows? For the purposes of this document, the wall will be defined as an opaque vertical divide. Vitruvius expresses the importance of a wall standing the test of time, and instructs on how accomplish this with massive Roman building materials such as brick and stone . The technology of today allows us to create walls with an expansive variety of materials, but Vitruvius reveals one facet of a wall that is certain: they need to last. Any sort of vertical plane that does not persist may not be considered a wall. CASE STUDY 1: Peace Lines at Belfast Since its political separation from the rest of Ireland in 1921, the people of Northern Ireland have been divided into two conflicting factions over the issue of self-government. The nationalist community is comprised mostly of self-identified Irish and Roman Catholics, and their stance is that Northern Ireland should separate from the United Kingdom and reunite with Ireland. They stand in conflict with the unionist community, comprised of self-identified British and Protestants, of who believe that Northern Ireland should remain as it is, as a region of the United Kingdom. The region was in a violent war with itself from 1968 to 1998, commonly referred to as the Troubles. Especially in high-density areas, citizens from both factions still live in fear of more bloodshed. The city of Belfast is one such area. The conflict in Belfast during the 1960’s was devastating and it permanently altered the map of the city. The nationalist and unionist factions are exceedingly segregated into definitive zones of black-or-white mentality, and the borders between these regions are charged and unsettling. To ease the minds of those located near these borders, as well as reduce the occurrences of violence, “peace lines” were erected to prevent fighting between the two camps. Fifteen years after the Troubles supposedly ended, the citizens of Belfast have not found peace.

The people of Belfast want this war to be over, but do not want the walls to come down. CASE STUDY 2: The Great Wall of China In pre-empirical China, six separate states exist that each had their own fortification walls against threats and invasions. In the 3rd century B.C., Emperor Qin unifies these states under the first Chinese Empire. His first political move is more symbolic than practical – he orders the six separate walls to be united into a single long structure, representing the creation of one continuous nation. This new wall now stretches several thousands of miles along the northern frontier of the Chinese Empire. It is made of beaten earth, resembling a low mountainous ridge. Its new purpose is to divide the Empire from its northern “barbarian” neighbors – namely, the Huns and Mongols. In the 1500’s, China is the center of the world. The Ming Dynasty has not yet encountered a civilization as advanced as they, and they regard all outsiders as barbarians. The Wall still stands, separating China from the rest of the world. Trade with nomadic people rarely occurs, seen as unnecessary because the kingdom is entirely self-sustaining. China is prospering, and its people begin to believe that they are within the apex of culture and technology. The neighboring nomadic societies, however, are still struggling to survive. The Wall, built over one-thousand years ago, still serves as a reminder that the Chinese possess things that must be protected. The nomads of the north appeal to the emperor to allow trade. When the emperor denies them, a Mongolian tribe breaches the deteriorating earthen Wall, beginning a series of raids to which the emperor must respond. To end these raids, the emperor decides not to open up trade, nor to take military action upon the “barbarians”, but instead to fortify the divide. The Great Wall had not fully stood the test of time, and many portions of the wall now allow passage. The emperor orders to re-fortify that boundary between civilization and the rest of the world. The Great Wall becomes the focus of much expenditure throughout the Ming Dynasty. Each emperor commands large amounts of money and resources to be spent, and millions of people

are ordered to work on making the Wall impenetrable. By 1549 the “barbarians” have grown stronger as a society, with new improvements in their technology – technology primarily aimed at breaching the Wall. They are relentless, and only try harder to find a weak spot in the Wall. Eventually, they do, and the arms race falls in the favor of the barbarians. This was not the first time in history that the Wall failed to protect the Chinese frontier. In the 13th century A.D., Genghis Khan’s Mongolian army simply walked around the Great Wall and conquered most of China by 1223. It begs the question – why did the Chinese culture depend on the Wall to protect them, time and time again? CASE STUDY 3: The Berlin Wall During the Cold War, the Communist Bloc experienced a massive emigration and defection of its people through West Berlin, mainly to escape the communist state. In order to prevent a “brain drain”, the Communist Bloc placed harsh restrictions on emigration. These restrictions were received by other nations as a clear violation of human rights, so a new tactic was devised. The German Democratic Republic erected the Berlin Wall in 1961, claiming that its purpose was to protect the people of the Communist Bloc from fascist neighbors. What the Wall truly existed for was the restriction of the human right to movement, and it cut the city of Berlin in two for twenty years. In this time, the wounded city experienced dramatic change. This divide affected not just civilians, but the flow of money, trade and ideas as well. The Berlin Wall figuratively came down in 1989, at the dissolution of Communist political power in Germany. The people of Berlin were once again free to move between East and West Berlin, transgressing the laws that had confined them. Portions of the Wall were physically destroyed by citizens before it was torn down by the government in 1990. The Berlin Wall was one of many repressive products of communism in post-war Germany, and its demise marked the beginnings of German reunification. 37

WHY DO WE HAVE WALLS? Architecturally speaking, walls are a necessity for the structural integrity of a building. Buildings use walls to compartmentalize and organize space. However, the cases discussed in this document involve walls that stand alone as their own entity. Why have these walls, as well as many unmentioned others, been erected by mankind? Why do people need walls? The physical obstacle of a wall is easy enough to overcome, yet the wall possesses a cerebral strength that is much more challenging. It seems that mankind has a dependence on walls to regain a sense of control, security, or order in an otherwise unruly world. What aspects of the Wall evoke this dependency? To explore this question, the various psychosocial functions of the Wall will be characterized.

FUNCTIONS WALL AS PARTITION The term “partition” is defined in this document as “an element dividing a whole into parts.” Space is continuous in absence of the wall, and continuous space is uninhabitable. The nature of our world is not one that we want to be unlimitedly exposed to – it must be partitioned. In a primal way, this is for physical shelter, but the role of the wall pervades psychologically as well. The Wall as a partition lets us forget – it allows us to shelter and compartmentalize our thoughts from those that pertain to spaces outside the walls containing us. At even the most intimate scale, walls function to organize and systematize space. They create a sense of order to alleviate human dread of the chaotic openness. As Hejduk commemorates in the Wall House 2, the partition function of the wall allows for “moments of passage” – a linear progression through the thinness of a wall presents a unique momentary experience of passage from one space to another. (see Fig 1) The partition serves to allow differences between spaces, and thus serves as an instrument of change in our lived perspective. 38

WALL AS BORDER The term “border” is defined in this document as “an edge separating two areas or systems.” Borderlines between spaces are primarily a non-physical fabrication from the minds of leaders and space-owners of the past and present. At times they are an inherent agreement of natural boundaries (mountains, rivers, gorges ,etc.), other times they are an expression of irresolvable differences between property, people and ideas. “Once borderlines separated only hostile and contradictory systems arraying themselves competitively: known against unknown, civilization against its implicitly uncivilized opposite.” Lebbeus Woods The peace lines in Belfast were a physical product of the treacherous borders between the nationalist and unionist camps. Why were these walls placed at the borders to reduce violence, and why do the walls remain standing fifteen years after the war ended? Residents of Belfast report that the peace lines impart a “sense of security”, from both sides of the wall. Comparatively, The Great Wall of China’s inside-outside duality influenced the people of the Ming Dynasty to believe that they were invincible to the outside threats. How do walls communicate this sense of security? The peace lines of Belfast have been a part of the city fabric as the nonpartisan mediators since the onset of the violence. Many Northern Irish lost their lives in the presence of these walls, yet the walls endured to separate the disputing systems, “known against unknown.” It is perhaps this long-lasting quality of a wall that assures us we are safer in their presence. WALL AS LAW Psychologically, the wall functions as law – they are rigid, they endure, and they seem to save us from the chaos of continuous space. People use principles and laws to gain control over our surroundings. In the words of Hatton, “plot in space would project plan in time.” The division of space works alongside the conventions that have enabled the advent of civilized living. Principles, laws and conventions compartmentalize aspects and decisions in a civilized individual’s life in accordance with a holistic plan for a society to prevail -- over nature, or other threats. The wall is a physical manifestation of these principles. It is mankind’s attempt at imbuing the physical realm with human order and laws, in hopes of feeling a sense of control over the environment as well as other people.

Emperor Qin used the unification of the six walls to confirm his sovereignty over the new Chinese Empire. The Great Wall became an integral element of life in Imperial China. Each emperor of the Ming Dynasty spared no effort in the fortification of the Great Wall, and many Ming citizens sacrificed their lives working on its development, despite the fact that it had already disproven its protective function against hostile invaders on multiple occasions. The Great Wall’s massive presence reflected the Empire’s power and control, and remains a symbol of Chinese authority even today. This persistence of symbolic power also applies to the Berlin Wall. The Communist party of post-war Germany used the Wall in lieu of lawful restrictions to keep the people of East Berlin from leaving. Even after its collapse, the Berlin Wall still divides the city’s people – it is a phenomenon referred to as the Mauer im Koph, or “wall in the head.” These historic examples shed light on the source of a wall’s function as law. In both instances, the walls were intended to intimidate and influence the thoughts of a society. They were both integral elements in the citizen’s lives and were built on principle to control. The wall’s function as law has shaped many nations and civilizations throughout history – for better or worse. However, with laws, inevitably there are transgressions, and those transgressions are just as integral to changing society. A breach in the wall can be just as revolutionizing as the wall itself. “As architecture’s material is space, its conditions appear to be those of definition/ distinction, confinement/separation – the primal agency whereof is the wall. No principles without walls, no walls without principles. [Walls] constitute the perpetuation of architecture.” Brian Hatton

WORKS CITED BBC. “The Troubles.” BBC History. Last modified 2013. Accessed December 7, 2013. Fontana-Giusti, Gordana. “Walling and the City: The Effects of Walls and Walling within the City Space.” Journal of Architecture 16, no. 3 (06, 2011): 309-345. Great Wall of China. National Geographic. Directed by Christian Twente. Produced by Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion, Cologne for ZDF, and National Geographic Channel. Narrated by Andrew Solomon. National Geographic. Hatton, Brian. “The problem of our walls.” In Narrating Architecture: A Retrospective Anthology, edited by James Madge and Andrew Peckham, 173-88. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006. McKittrick, David. “Divided City.” Prospect, May 25, 2011. Mohareb, Nabil and Robert Hermanus Kronenburg. “Spatial Analysis of Urban Edges in Arab Historic Walled Cities: Alexandria as a Case Study.” Planning Perspectives: PP 27, no. 3 (07, 2012): 439-452. Sveiven, Megan. “AD Classics: Wall House 2 / John Hejduk” 06 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Oct 2013. <http://> Vitruvius. The Ten Books on Architecture. Translated by Morris Hicky Morgan. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1960. Woods, Lebbeus. “Walls.” In Radical Reconstruction. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1997. Woods, Lebbeus. “Walls of Change.” Wordpress (blog). Entry posted May 28, 2010. Woods, Lebbeus, and Ekkehard Rehfeld, eds. BorderLine. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag Wien, 1998.

In his article “Walls of Change”, Lebbeus Woods sheds light on the wall’s function as “an instrument of change.” Walls are meant to divide space and to allow those spaces to differ, but they have the same effect on the people that inhabit that space. Walls introduce new social circumstances to which people inevitably react – whether the circumstance is isolation, violence, or congregation. The rise and fall of the walls we create mark our basic need to evolve and change. They represent our desire to thrive in a continuous world, and are a direct reflection of our humanity. 39


University of Florida, B. Design 2320 Foliage Oak Ter, Oviedo, FL 32766 cell: (407) 451-6496 email:


my family for their support, my professors for their guidance, my friends for their encouragement, and my studio-mates for their inspiration -- itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a wonderful ride.


Undergrad Architecture Portfolio  

Selected works from 2010-2014

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