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PORTFOLIO christina b. hackett bachelor of architecture\\2012

college of architecture & environmental design\\california polytechnic state university, san luis obispo








ccs at ucsb


resort at shell


research facility

STORAGE WITHASTORY a dresser made from found drawers

“The creative reuse of existing materials is central to the new movement that is driven by an appreciation for the often overlooked beauty that can be found in the things other people throw away.”

Upcycling is a new trend that is becoming more popular in design. As a wasteful society, we easily throw away objects when a new version is released in the market. For the vellum furniture show, I wanted to find thrown away objects and reuse them to give them new life and beauty. At the ground floor of the architecture building, an old metal teacher’s desk was left to be thrown away. I saw the desk as an opportunity to create a dresser made of found drawers. I took a few of the metal drawers, and found others around campus to create a dresser made of found drawers. I cut the drawers to size, so they would fit in the dresser

frame that I made out of plywood and then made backs out of scrap wood for each of the modified drawers. The design of the dresser was to create a space for storage for a variety of other objects such as books and plants that could fit in the various cubbies. The dresser made of found drawers is a look at reusing old objects to create a more sustainable way of living. The beauty of reusing old found objects is that each part of the whole has its own story and memory associated with it. Each drawer has its own story and through the process of constructing the new home for the drawers, a sentimental connection was created along with a valuable learning experience.

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-Marcus Fairs


ABSTRACT\\The act of having relationships and forming bonds between one another, between one and nature, between one and architecture defines interconnectivity. This connection creates not only a mutual understanding but also consoles the feeling of belonging and place— the feeling of purpose in an elaborate web of society, technology and nature. Today, we are struggling to establish equilibrium in our technologically advancing communities with the preservation of our natural resources. Our architecture is no exception in this struggle, for our buildings are responsible for at least 50% of CO2 emissions generated. As Michael McDonough said, “Every building has connections to the sky, ground and community, but these could be appreciated and utilized much better.” Architecture throughout the United States is essentially static everywhere, for the most interaction users will typically have, consists of opening a door or closing a window. Buildings have become permanent entities to accommodate the settled existence the majority of the population has grown accustomed to. The fixed architecture of today far from represents the everchanging lifestyles of its occupants and the changing needs of a digital society. Unfortunately, our buildings today negatively impact the environment. High rises and corporate buildings from city to city, even country to country, look the same: large glass boxes that allow extensive views and an abundance

of daylight to penetrate into the interior spaces; large glass boxes that are extensively heated and cooled by electricity. The nonexistent interconnectivity between architecture and its users jointly affects the interconnectivity between architecture and the environment, and the environment and people. By enhancing the relationships between the user, architecture and environment, the result will be a structure that redefines and strengthens our connection with the natural and built environments. Architecture should have the ability to adapt to new living conditions rather than stagnate users, it should be able to transform rather than restrict users, and most importantly, architecture should have the ability to interact rather than restricts users. As Nitschke said, ‘Place is the product of lived space and lived time.’ In other words, buildings should have a significant degree of adaptability, flexibility, and have the capacity to change with and for the users. These connections will be used to influence a design that helps educate its users and residents of the community about sustainable living. Not only will the design act as an educational device for society, but it will also be a responsive tool that has the ability to adapt to human needs and change throughout the seasons of the year, for architecture should have the possibility of being developed and redeveloped as efficiently as possible.


\\demonstration of thesis

01: MUSEUM \\gallery and exhibit space on the history of the park \\ history 02: THEATER \\theater to observe nature \\ theater for community use such as concerts and plays 03: CLASSROOMS \\provide educational facility for students \\ opportunity to learn about natural ecology of the park 04 : CAFE \\attract tourists, locals and students \\ tied in with outdoor decks for views of the park 05: BRIDGE \\connection to Strawberry Hill \\ allows other circulation to experience building

MUSEUM spaces attracts visitors to the building allowing for people to learn about the history of the park. While the museum is oriented for tourists, it also provides an opportunity for locals to learn about the history of the infamous park that was transformed from sandy dunes to a lush oasis. THEATER space attracts both tourists and visitors as an opportunity to watch nature at the park with views focused on Strawberry Hill, one of the few natural aspects at the park. It also provides the opportunity to host local events such as concerts and plays that showcases local arts. CLASSROOM spaces bring in another social group, students, giving them the opportunity to use the building as a tool for learning about the site, how the transformation from dunes to grass changed not only the soil, but also the vegetation. CAFE space provides an opportunity for locals, tourists and students to interact in the same setting, allowing for the sharing of knowledge BRIDGE to Strawberry Hill connects different circulation routes to the building, drawing in different social groups.


Chinese pavilion on Strawberry Hill at the Golden Gate Park.

research/educational facility

theater for nature lecture hall bookstore/coffee shop


PROGRAM\\The program of spaces within a building should allow for flexible use by creating an interactive environment with a constant flow of people among the different spaces. I created an open floor plan that can host community events throughout the center so that there can be installations of public art and crafts to be



displayed and shared with visitors. As exhibits change and functions change, the spaces can be rearranged to allow for a more suitable plan that also allows for interaction with the building, for users have control of the structure.

\\level -1

stow lake, golden gate park, san francisco, california \\level 1 .









high school


elementary school

middle school


\\level 2


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\\level 3

Create an axis for circulation using Focus building outward to bring existing pathways to draw in users nature into the building, creating interconnectivity between the building and the site

A central axis for circulation that ties all spaces together, bringing all users to a communal area

\\level 3.5

\\level 4

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[roof glazing] Roof glazing provides natural day lighting throughout the atrium, which also allows for day lighting to penetrate throughout the museum and educational facility.

[spider clamps] The use of spider clamps allows for a frameless glazing system which opens up the facade to allow the structural system to be a part of the architectural aesthetics.

[roof structural system] The roof structural system allows for the use of spider glazing on the roof to bring in natural day lighting throughout the whole building

[truss structural system] The truss system allows for a large open columless space that connects to the other programmatic spaces

[tension cables]

[dendritic columns] Dendritic columns serve as a secondary structural system which provides biomimichry that looks man made, just like the Golden Gate Park and Stow Lake

[circulation through atrium] The atrium serves as the central hub that users can connect to all parts of the building such as the museum, educational facility and cafes.

[atrium level] The atrium serves as a central point that allows for users to have chance meetings with locals, tourists, and students.

By refining the interconnectivity between the people, architecture and the environment, this will create a space that not only benefits the environment, but also betters the quality of the community as a whole. The advancement in technology should be integrated cohesively together with architecture so that they work together to create a more comfortable indoor space by working with the climate of the site rather than just using air conditioning or heating and electrical lighting. It is important for architecture to be designed so that the building responds to the client and occupants, but also so that it responds to its site and the climate. Kinetic architecture, architecture that physically transforms to accommodate different functions and uses, is a strong solution for an architecture that has the ability adapt rather than stagnate.

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ISSUE\\Today architecture is stagnating and it typically inhibits users from living their lives that are constantly changing. It is important for designers to break away from the typical architecture that has become the norm, architecture that is made of large spaces that do not have the capacity for change, architecture that is nonresponsive.

WHITE Studio 400 thesis book show installation

“White” was a gallery installation produced by the 20 students of Studio 400, a fifthyear architectural design studio at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The installation, which served to present each of the student’s research books, was designed, developed, fabricated, and installed by the studio in a collaborative effort. The students developed the design over a period of about a month, with fabrication and installation occurring over a five day period. 80,000 square feet of plastic sheeting was sliced, loomed, woven, stapled, taped and tied to provide a climbable and malleable surface in the 4,500 square foot gallery. “White” supported a variety of interactive experiences above and below this dynamic surface, opening and exploring the relationships between book, user, material, space, and collective group.

FABRICATION_INSTALLATION\\Students participated in a collaborative, two-day effort to construct the components for the piece. Circular and straight weaving looms (assembled from re-used materials) allowed for the quick and precise weaving of the columns and panels. Round steel rod was hand-bent into five foot diameter rings that provided a transitional structure between the gallery space and the woven vertical columns. The foresight of using of pre-fabricated elements allowed the piece to be custom-fitted to the gallery space within a three-day time period. Installation began with placing the vertical columns where the existing structure of the gallery could support them, creating a staggered plan. A sheet of plastic was then hung from the ceiling, the first piece of several that would entirely wrap the gallery space, effectively separating the piece from the distinct characteristics of the Brutalist-style gallery. The pre-constructed infill panels were then woven between the vertical columns, fitted to provide the desired tension and surface form. When the surface was finally installed, the remaining walls and floors of the gallery were covered in sheet plastic. Videos of student work could also be projected onto one of these walls and extra plastic sheeting was woven into various shapes and sizes of pillows that were used as seating under the surface and beneath the vertical columns.

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DESIGN INTENT\\The installation design began with a brainstorming session that involved direct participation by each of the studio’s 20 students. After proposals were presented, it was decided that a climbable surface would divide the space, providing seating for the comfortable reading of the books. An exploration of materials looked at rope, tape, and plastic to create the surface; sheet plastic was ultimately chosen for its flexibility and strength, economic viability given the large space, and its abilities to be easily modified and reused. Once the material was chosen and acquired, studies of traditional weaving methods and full scale mock-ups helped determine the characteristics of the surface. This resulted in a woven surface that could hang in the gallery as well as support the weight of users on it. It was determined that a flexible system of pre-fabricated hanging columns and infill panels would allow the surface to form to specific constraints of the gallery site.

21 white The opening of “White” was a great success. Students and faculty were introduced to the studio’s research books in an interactive and novel environment. As one faculty member stated, “[White] effectively separates the book show from the gallery. Where other shows seem to be installations occurring within the distinctive gallery, this one seems like a totally different space.” Users were encouraged to crouch or crawl under the surface, rising into the vertical columns where the books were located. They could then engage the books in the intimate space under the surface, or take the books to the more socially interactive space created above the surface.


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA, COLLEGE OF CREATIVE STUDIES The design proposes 3 structures connected by terraces on the site south of Ucen Road. These structures will house approximately 39,000 sq. ft. of classrooms, faculty offices, studios, labs, administration, and public spaces dedicated to showcasing the College of Creative Studies and student work. The college will also provide about 2,500 sq. ft. of housing to accommodate 42 beds. The design goes beyond the IBC and ADA codes to provide comfort and safety. This site will utilize energyefficient HVAC systems, take advantage of natural ventilation, and be partially covered by photovoltaic panels. These innovations reduce building energy use and will improve occupancy health with higher-quality indoor environments. In addition to the CCS, the parking lot north of Ucen Road will be resurfaced to accommodate 144 vehicles. This reduction in vehicles emphasizes the university’s LRDP of creating a more pedestrian-friendly campus. The parking lot will be framed with a plaza that connects the CCS with the university library.

From even the earliest schematic designs, I wanted to incorporate these elements into the College of Creative Studies: Exterior building circulation\\Enclosures that sustain porosity to connect the CCS to the university\\ Architectural bio-mimicry\\Integrated classrooms with faculty offices\\Vegetative or photovoltaic roof systems With these design goals in mind and constant collaboration between the interdisciplinary team members and the CCS, a design was achieved that fulfills the requirements of the RFP, while responding to specific requests and suggestions from the clients. The proposed project will provide a combination of administration, classrooms, labs, studios, music facilities, student housing, a gallery, theaters, and excellent indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy the Santa Barbara lifestyle. This cost-effective, high-quality project for the College of Creative Studies is designed to boost the integrated education of highly motivated students.

The proposed design for the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara embodies the organic nature of art and music with the geometrical essence of math and science. The contrasting landscape and building design work together to create an environment that symbolizes the diversity of the CCS. With energy-efficiency in mind, the building integrates sustainability features, such as solar panels and horizontal louvered wood paneling, as a key feature of the architectural aesthetics. All buildings are designed to be one classroom wide to create narrow spaces that will allow controlled, natural light to penetrate all rooms. Exterior circulation influenced the form of the buildings, which are three separate structures connected with terraces and catwalks. The use of exterior circulation reduces

heating/cooling of non-assignable spaces to save energy and also acts as shading devices for lower levels. Exterior circulation is a cost-effective feature of the building that allows exterior lighting systems to serve for site security and circulation illumination. Terraces are used primarily to bridge the structures together, but also framing the interior courtyard. These terraces, located on each floor level of the structure, allows students, faculty, and visitors to enjoy the outdoor environment and the views of the surrounding university and lagoon. Programmed spaces are designed to take advantage of daylighting schemes and to create a functional flow of learning spaces. Studios on the northern part of the site

take advantage of indirect daylighting for unobtrusive natural lighting and ventilation. Integration of the staff office, classrooms, and labs were also important in the design of the CCS. Staff offices are flanked by classrooms, allowing students and faculty to intermingle and communicate openly among the college. The varying spaces from studios, to computer labs, to science labs and classrooms are spread out among the buildings to effectively integrate the majors of the CCS without compromising functionality of learning spaces.

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The structure is also an integral part of the design, which is seen by the exposed moment and braced frames in not only the buildings, but also the solar panel canopy and the shading devices. The modulated design not only brings costs down, but it also allows for different functions to be placed within the spaces.

Executive Conference with views facing south, looking over at the ocean

Catwalks allow for exterior circulation, ensuring conservation of energy so that heating and cooling is not wasted on hallways. Both the second and third level have terraces, so the students and faculty can enjoy the nice Santa Barbara weather and the views.

STUDIOS/LABS/OFFICES The design incorporates full integration of staff offices and classrooms/labs, allowing for interaction between students and professors on a daily basis when walking around the site. All buildings are one classroom wide to allow for all interior spaces to have natural lighting and ventilation. The design also incudes all exterior circulation among catwalks to ensure that no energy is wasted heating and cooling unnecessary spaces.

GROUND LEVEL The three buildings are placed in a position to create an interior courtyard for the College of Creative Studies. The courtyard is partially shaded by a solar panel shading canopy that integrates the panels as a part of the architectural aesthetics. Placed on the southern part of the site, the buildings draw pedestrians into the courtyard coming from the core of campus to housing, and on campus residents walking onto campus.

The Sculpture garden consists of raised planter beds to display student sculptures LANDSCAPE DESIGN The organic landscape, is designed to contradict the geometrical design, which brings the arts and maths and sciences together. The sculpture garden is placed outside of the gallery and near the theater lobby, creating strong indoor and outdoor relationships among all the different spaces called for in the program. The site is also designed to allow for easy accessibility to all interior and exterior spaces from the interior courtyard.

The working sculpture yard is located near both the wood/metal shop and the sculpture studio to allow for closeness in proximity

UCenn road will be paved to create a more pedestrian walk way that is safer for occupants. The paving will also still allow for service and emergency vehicles to access other parts of the sites.

Service vehicle parking is located on the west side of the site where it is currently located. The location of the parking is near the theaters and administration for convenience.

The structural design is based on a simple grid system that reflects the building’s linear form. The structural system is integrated with the architectural design intent and space programs; maximizing beam spans allow for open floor plans and avoiding the use of load-bearing walls allows for program changes based on the College of Creative Studies’ future development.

The structure is also an integral part of the design, which is seen by the exposed moment and braced frames in not only the buildings, but also the solar panel canopy and the shading devices. The modulated design not only brings costs down, but it also allows for different functions to be placed within the spaces. The structural design is based on a simple grid system that reflects the building’s linear form. The structural system is integrated with the architectural design intent and space programs; maximizing beam spans allow for open floor plans and avoiding the use of load-bearing walls allows for program changes based on the College of Creative Studies’ future development.

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Steel is the project’s structural framing material. Comprised of recycled content, steel is an appropriate choice for an environmentally-conscious project, and is readily available, and allows for a relatively fast construction process. The structure was designed to frame vistas and view corridors from the site; a steel structural system consisting of moment frames and braced frames will be used to resist lateral forces in the building. This will allow for an open and inviting space that isn’t constricted by shear walls. Moment frames will resist the longitudinal lateral loads of each building, while braced frames will resist the transverse lateral loads.

RESORT ATSHELLBEACH Located on a cliff in Shell Beach overlooking the ocean, views were very important in the design of the resort. All rooms have large glass curtain walls facing the ocean for occupants to enjoy the serenity of the central coast. The landscape design was also a critical part of the design. The incorporation of an infinity pool creates a feeling as though the water in the pool merges and becomes a part of the ocean as one continuous entity, creating a strong connection with the ocean in the near distance. Rooms on the ground level have decks connecting to the pool, and appear as though the ocean is right outside their room.


Very different from the typical studio, this project was definitely one of my favorites to design and work on. The teacher forced students to think differently about design, enforcing the importance of the structure as a part of the architectural aesthetics. The teacher also strongly encouraged students to design by the use of

small conceptual models. Once a conceptual design was finalized, he had students move on to the final model, so that they design as they build. The Hong Kong and Shanghai HSBC Bank designed by Norman Foster greatly influenced my design. The bank has a strongly expressive structural system, that is also used the main façade design. The way I went about designing the project, was designing a structural module that could be used to build the whole project, while still creating architectural interest. I used a “Z” like shape that was used to create the structural system, which also influenced the footprint of the building. The balconies are made from the negative space formed by the “Z” shape. The same shape is also used to connect all the modules together and while tying in the ornamental façade structure that is influenced by Spanish thinshelled roof structures.

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The programmatic requirements for the resort at Shell Beach were very minimalistic, allowing students to be as creative as they desire while having full reigns over the project. The only requirements were that the design should have around 14-20 stories, include parking lots, incorporate an innovative curtain wall system with shading devices, build a 1/4 inch physical model of the design and finish it before the last day of the quarter. Very little direction was given by the instructor throughout the quarter, allowing students to use studio time as their own, and forcing them to manage their time wisely to complete the project by the due date.

Once the modulated system was designed, which uses the same pieces for many functions, the actual building of the final physical model was fairly simple. I created an assembly line to construct the project, by first cutting out all the structural “Z� pieces, and then assembling them into the modulated components. The remaining pieces that were left over from the negative space of the shape were then used to create the shading devices for the resort, while also acting as a part of the structural assemblage of the ornamental facades. By doing this, the

While the design of the building is very geometrical, the landscape is designed to offset the rectilinear forms by being organic, and connecting the site to existing pathways along the cliff side to nearby hotels. Curves from partial circles are used to create pathways along the site, while also complimenting the free form infinity pool. These intersecting sidewalks also create many different

green spaces for people to lounge around privately. The parking lot design was also carefully considered. I thought about how the road met with the site of the project and decided that a green space would create more privacy between the road and the building, rather than the typical road, sidewalk and then parking. An organic sidewalk is placed in the green space, which is outlined by palm trees, creating a beach like ambiance.

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amount of waste was minimized, creating a more sustainable project.


ARCHITECTURAL STYLE\\ The inspiration for this project was a modern interpretation of the classic ranch style. I focused on using many of the materials and forms that could be found in this type of a setting, in a new and creative way. However, I did respect the existing buildings on site, and incorporated them into the new buildings. The form is dominated by simple geometric shapes arranged around a central courtyard. The courtyard is important for the design because it is a place for interaction between the two spaces for work. The design is meant to foster creative energy through interaction of the people and the environment. It was partly inspired by an atom, because of its fundamental connection to all forms of science. The tree at the center is the nucleus, it is fairly static, with its roots anchoring the development, while the various objects revolve around it, like the electrons. It also encourages visitors to look out towards the amazing views to the east that the site has to offer, further connecting the people back to the environment


THE PROGRAM The major design elements were influenced by the relationship of the living and research precincts. I wanted to have separated areas to create a division between work and rest, yet have the two fundamentally linked by multiple means, as it is important to have the two elements properly support each other. The Research area is located in a scenic zone to inspire the scientists and researchers, and to remind them of the importance of what they are doing. The area around the major facilities was designed with a sundial in mind with 12 defined area sections and being primarily circular. As a result, the expanding zones are also circular with multiple patterns starting from the tree focal point. It is designed to allow for easy access into the courtyard and into the surrounding areas. There are also plenty of resting areas and an educational gathering area on the opposite side of the entrance. \\RESEARCH PRECINCT BUILDINGS: Two separate buildings were designed\\ The two buildings create a courtyard\\The buildings’ architectural styles match each other and are a more modern style of the existing ranch buildings SITE USERS: School age children K-12 will be coming to use the site\\ Researchers will be coming to use the site\\Hikers may be coming to view the site ACTIVITIES: RESEARCH: The area has many natural vegetation types that is useful in research\\Researchers will have access to the area to perform experiments and test different theories

IMMERSION: The reserve will be a place for individuals to come and immerse themselves in the outdoors with a guide to direct questions\\The reserve will be a place for people to come and hike through the natural landscape

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TEACHING: The reserve will be used as a large classroom\\The reserve will allow students to expand their knowledge of the outdoors

HEAT ISLAND MINIMIZATION: Whereas many roofing options trap heat from the sun and radiate excessive heat into the atmosphere, light colored metal roofs reflect rather than absorb a large portion of sunlight back into the atmosphere, thereby significantly reducing the heat island effect. THIN FILM SOLAR ROOFING\\An alternative to conventional solar panels, thin film solar roofing provides a more aesthetically pleasing way to generate clean energy. EASE OF INSTALLATION: Panels install easily onto a standing seam metal roof by sitting flush on the surface between the seams of the roof. LIGHT WEIGHT: With reduced panel weight compared to conventional panels, structural loads on a building become significantly reduced. FIBER CEMENT SIDING\\This cost effective and attractive cladding solution utilizes Portland cement, fly ash, and wood fibers to replicate the look of solid wood with added benefits of improved durability, reduced maintenance, and better insulating qualities. Given its high use of recycled materials, this siding option proves to be an environmentally friendly choice. PROCELL BUILDING INSULATION\\This spray in insulation is comprised of recycled newspaper, adhesives, and fire retardants. The material dries quickly and is completely resistant to mold, insects, and rodents.


DURABILITY: Compared to conventional asphalt shingles which often require replacement in 15 to 20 years, metal roofs can easily last well over 50 years. Plus, when the roof does require replacement, the material can be recycled rather than sent to a landfill.

WATER EFFICIENCY\\With a growing shortage of water throughout California and the rest of the country, water conservation has become a necessity. By utilizing only low flow plumbing fixtures (sinks, showers, toilets, etc.), water consumption can be greatly reduced. Additionally, not all tasks require the use of potable water. Recycled water from showers, sinks, or washing machines can be used to flush toilets. Rain water storage basins provide a water source for landscaping.

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STANDING SEAM METAL ROOF\\Available with a significant amount of recycled metal, standing seam metal roofs provide an earth friendly and aesthetically pleasing alternative to other roofing materials.

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Christina Hackett  
Christina Hackett  

architecture portfolio of work at Cal Poly