Cat Brownell Portfolio 2023

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architecture and design portfolio

cat brownell

“ I want a temple of spIrIt, a monument! ”



the valley

de-fractured context station rebranding brutalism

fall 2022 spring 2022 spring 2021

spring 2022 spring 2021 sculptural synthesis

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003 035 041



fall 2022 boston, ma urban design framework

the neighborhood of mission hill is best defined by its groupings of nodes around its primary axes; tremont street, columbus avenue, and huntington avenue.

the concept behind this urban design involves creating a series of patterns on the site and breaking them at key intersections, creating a new axis of activity and growth. the spaces that result are flexible and adaptable to infinite typologies and programs, cohesive internally and externally, and create connection through gathering, education, and access to nature.

a combination of interconnected plazas with space for transit and markets and a variety of housing typologies centered around internal courtyards develop a system of public and private spaces, fractured, but brought together through design.

003 introduction
004 project rendering
005 site analysis
006 site analysis
007 site analysis
008 site analysis
009 illustrative site plan
010 parti schemes
011 illustrative axonometric
011 plaza transect studies
013 transect
and design guidelines
014 transect and design guidelines


spring 2022 madrid, es community center

located in a dense block in central madrid, this community center carves a valley of democratic multi-use space. blended into the street through floating brick facades and a pedestrian bridge, this community center provides a meandering path of program and freedom.

rather than considering the site as a blank space to be filled, i chose to consider it as a solid block to be carved into 9 distinct programs, thus its interpretation as a valley.

the valley itself is ecologically valuable, as the hot pools of the spa below feed and water the roots of the native cypress and eucalyptus trees that live above. these trees thrive in the environment and, through the wind tunnel effect of the structure, spread fresh air throughout the neighborhood.

016 project rendering
017 parti scheme
018 illustrative site plan
019 longitudinal section
020 longitudinal section
021 lateral section perspective
022 farmacia elevation

underground floor 1

023 plans
024 plans
floor 2 floor 3
025 project rendering
026 model photos


spring 2021 boston, ma housing complex

this studio aims to develop a villagestyle community through sculpture and a synthesis of design techniques, applied through circulation, landscaping, and modular aggregation.

apartment style housing in boston has often fallen victim to cheap gentrification, and along with it, the residents of the city fall victim as well. this project aims to resynchronize the relationship between the individual, the community, and the landscape, through terraforming a parking lot into a valleylike escape among crippling urbanity and homogeneity.

the push and pull of the structure is representative of its interior and its inhabitants, providing structure in a turbulent area, and freedom to grow.

028 project rendering
029 unit type axonometrics

floor 1 floor 2 floor 3 floor 4

030 unit plans
031 illustrative site plan
032 illustrative site plan
033 lateral section
034 lateral section


spring 2022 madrid, es transportation center

in a 4 day workshop, i worked from a two-dimensional set of rhythmic lines in a boundary towards a vaulted, multilayered transportation center. the arrangement within the bound, along with the lack of solid walls and ceilings, contributes to the pavilion-like and contextless nature of the structure, while maintaining the important archetype of a train station.

naturally, a location without context leads to a population with infinite context. those who pass through this train station are going to infinite locations for infinite reasons. this suggests a boundless infrastructure of transportation, able to exist in the middle of nowhere and earnestly used by an entire population.

036 project rendering
037 schematic paper models
038 conceptual site plan
039 conceptual axonometric
040 conceptual axonometric


spring 2021 boston, ma design study

this study re-imagines i. m. pei’s building 54 through digital and analog media, exploring how a rigid and brutal form can be warped and conceived differently. the goal of this exercise was the decontextualization of a beloved structure and idea, painting the style of brutalism in a new light that respects its history.

the work focuses on the rhythmic facade of building 54. i attempted to break and incorporate new patterns and styles, through mies style collages, spirograph visualization, and manual scanner manipulation.

042 project image
043 digital facade studies
044 analog facade studies


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