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Cezar Nicolescu







Sc h o o l








Cezar Nicolescu . . +1.201.877.8737 . 2 college street providence ri box 752

Excessive Values

A n d y To w e r + Yu M o r i s h i ta

This studio served as a testing gound of several key interests of mine: . analysis of historically evolving values which architects builders and clients embody into their structures . coercion of structures to allow for new programs . intersection of historically disperate construction strategies in structures . monuments consumed by the vernacular, the vernacular ennobled to the status of monumenality. . the failure of architectural and urban codes in allowing urban diversity, both physically and programatically We began with a case study:

118 North Main Street, Providence.

118 N. Main St.

During the long life of the house (1772 present), the structure went through a rich accumulation of alterations, most notably a 1905 addition that resulted in the house being raised an entire story at the ground level in order to insert a storefront. Several years later, its original interior furnishings were spliced into the Brooklyn Museum. My study tracked the societal and economic values behind these modifications



20 08

The premise of planning an 18th Century dwelling in New England lies in the efficiencies of creating, distributing, and containing heat during the cold windy winters.

1772 20 08

Va lue : Structura l + Infrastructura l Ma l leabi lit y

Va lue : Heat Distribution from Fireplaces Va lue : Prog rammatic Flexibi lit y (Marketabi lit y)

The Evolution of Corpses In my mind, cities (societies) fail when they cut themselves from ground. The American Metropolis (generally without city) is long gone as a fabric of densities/accumulations/resources/capillaries/opportunity, but exists mostly as a matrix of numbered tax lots designations, highway exits, spaceless “nodes”.


doesn’t matter from where your eggplant, chicken, or brick comes from as long as the supplier’s excel chart stays numerically stable. So as the requirement to have ground and to belong to ground dissipate behind the f lat panel display and the tachometer, so does our sacred right to ground. In this studio we were given a site, and empty lot, in the “historic center” of Providence. The previous occupier of the site was an old church that recently had burnt to the ground. The accidental subtraction created an opportunity for the reclamation of a type of ground (the dirty type that escapes designation/ordination) that the city had long since forsaken: The space that could be a market (I’m not talking about the market itself yet). This is a site without a back or front, without dichotomy of interface and mechanism. It thus would not be conducive to the model of the consumer and the consumables. It’s only a trading ground for Providence. Changing economies and infrastructures are out of the sphere of inf luence of the architecture student, but I could at least make an offering: Expand and share the ground by exploiting a f lotsam of urbanistic, structural, and historical opportunities. (a side-lot wall becomes a face to a basilica/ bazaar) (a grid of suspension cables supporting two removed f loor slabs become providers of utility) (previous historical interventions are exposed and their dialogue reanimated to generate buildings within buildings, and thus urban ground within interiors and interior walls through urban spaces) True urbanism (old urbanism) happens in the corpse, not anatomically but sculpturally. Old urbanism is the worship of ground.

Perspective .15 : Excavated Shel l of 159 Weybosset Street

E xisting Site Condition ( 151 Weybosset Street . Providence . RI )

Plan .05 : Market Ha l l (Yel low) + Market Grounds

A lterations.01+.02 : Structura l (red) + Ser vicing /mechanica l (blue)

Long itudiona l Section . 01 : Commercia l A nchor + Market Grounds

Long itudiona l Section . 02 : Access Core + Market Ha l l

Structura l and spatia l possibi lities for the transformation of a vestig ia l

a l ley into a porous baazar

Babel Block John Keena n

Ga l ler y space intert wines throug h a block of 7 interdependent towers

t he g a l ler y

st ud io s . ap a r t ment s

t he g a l ler y

re t a i l e tc .

s, winding throug h residentia l, retai l, studio, and industria l prog rams

st ud io s . ap a r t ment s

t he g a l ler y

c a f ĂŠ e tc .

From the exterior, the block appears a sing u lar composition. From the in center of prog rammatic interchange (a .k .a . urbanit y) within the path of

st ai rs co nn ec tr ts ee o tt pi az za

1 0 t h A v e n u e

nner court yard/piazza , the block divides into blocks, and becomes a civic the hig h line.

w. 19 t h S t r e e t

g ra nd e x h ibiti ion ha l l


w. 2 0 t h S t r e e t

In t eg r at e d . B u i l d i n g. S y st e ms

D iss ec t i o n and Retrofit Lynnette Widder + Andy Tower

During my time at risd, I lived in an 18th Century bay window. I wanted to turn it into a stage that could face both outward and inward. In this project, I replaced the double-hung windows with casement windows, and inserted collapsable benches into the floor which could unfold into a series of stages protruding outwards.

Quarry, Subway, Market. I combined these three programs which correlate with three realms of urban identity: Geology, Geography, and Gastronomy. I treat them as both literal themes and infrastructural and experiential correlations. The Quarry creates the space and the building material. The station brings in the city. The market is derived from their intersection. Subway cars are at first retooled to quarry, and then later to act as distributors of food for the marketplace.


S u b way Q ua r ry M arket Advisor :PeterTagiuri

The abi lit y to quarr y stone is aug mented to the subway system. New

The quarried stone is used to replac

w subterranean spaces are created, as wel l as new bui lding materia l.

ce the temporar y market (whose structure a lso f unctions as formwork)

Manhattan Schist Indwood Limestone Fordham Gneiss

Marketplace (Above-g rou nd por tion)

Q u a r r y Tu n n e l s

West 191st Street + Broadway Washington Heights / Inwood Manhattan, New York City

E x i s t i n g S u bw ay L i ne +S t a t ion

d w a y B r o a

E x i st i n g St at ion+Tu n nel

Q u a r r y Tu n nel C on nec t s to Cl i f f side

M a rket a nd Q u a r r y Merge i nto Urba n Fa br ic

Detroit Studio

Thomas Gardner + Matthew Miller

This is an architectural fantasia in which the collapse of a national economy is transcribed into a regenerative urbanity: Compare Detroit and Rome after the collapse of their respective empires. Spoilt temples are junkyards. The visigoths probably look like Mad Max, and the Chrylser emblem is the new corinthian capital.

Detroit : as A rmature for Hyper-Urban g row th : Infrastructure and Grandeur included.

Oppurtunit y for urban fabric rec ycling (existing transport infrastructure + vast bui lding materia l stock (spolia)

Photog raph ta ken a nd processed by aut hor.

Unit to Unit g row th = new (old) urban sca le : usurption of the “getting there” culture in favor of the “being here” culture of urbanity

Of fering : Gif t of Densit y

Oppurtunit y : It’s three ha lves Fu l l

Perspectiva l

Section .0 4


P H o t o l o g u e s

v e d i

n a p o l i


p o i

m u o r i

Cezar Nicolescu - Portfolio v.07 - Architecture  

This is a sampling of my work from my undergraduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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