Page 1

CHRISTOPHER BECK Selected Work 2010-2016


CHRISTOPHER BECK christophergbeck@gmail.com www.christophergbeck.com


ACADEMIC EXCHANGE

05

ISLAND WITHIN AN ISLAND

21

ONE CORNER AS MANY

33

A TRACE DIMENSION

45

PAINTING & DRAWINGS

59

PRACTICE DAVE’S COFFEE

69

NEW ORLEANS HOUSING

77

BIOGRAPHY

83


ACADEMIC

EXCHANGE PROVIDENCE, RI The existing Providence train station is a reductive building that is no more than a result of the intersection of the surrounding traffic patterns translated through the site, those being the trains and street grid. The conclusion is an uninspiring space that warrants little need to visit other than the act of riding the train. The goal of this project was to create a place of exchange, with the word “exchange� itself being the driver of the design. Etymology, drawings, and models were all used to explore the definition of the word, the result being a set of simple tectonic moves that are applied on all scales, urban to human, architecturally synthesizing a complex set of systems.

Christopher Beck

5


6


ACADEMIC

View from green adjacent to site Taking advantage of proximities, the architecture absorbs these conditions through a variety of exterior strategies: amphitheater, seating, retail, and multiple entrances

Christopher Beck

7


8


ACADEMIC

Study models

Christopher Beck

9


10


ACADEMIC

Drawings become tectonic Forces discovered in the previous models. The emergent form, an articulated aperture of the central force, slowly increases along key circulation routes, guiding the path to the ultimate destination, the trains

Christopher Beck

11


Diagram

Exchange

Define boundaries

12

Tectonic Exchange

Tectonic Interaction

Spatial Exchange

Place program

Convergence

Respond to urban factors

Subversion

Transform

Develop circulation


ACADEMIC

Site Plan

Christopher Beck

13


Transverse Section

14


ACADEMIC

Christopher Beck

15


Entry level Plan 16


ACADEMIC

Christopher Beck

17


Movement by light Circulation paths are spatially reinforced through porous lighting conditions, directing riders to the platforms below. Seating areas fold down from the rib structure, articulating an individual, private experience in a public domain

18


ACADEMIC

Christopher Beck

19


20


ACADEMIC

ISLAND WITHIN AN ISLAND BOSTON, MA Since Boston’s inception as a colony, its relationship to water has been an important defining characteristic, not only in terms of physical boundaries but also its cultural identity. One of the original neighborhoods of Boston, The North End embodies many of the original defining characteristics of the city. Located on what was once the Shawmut Peninsula, the North End has always existed as an island, surrounded by water on most of its encapsulating boundaries. Subsequent developments have only reinforced this narrative: from Mill Pond and Mill Creek, to Interstate 93 and its reversal through the “Big Dig,” The North End’s diverse inhabitants have played a part in its island qualities as well: immigrants throughout history have arrived at and populated this rich neighborhood, and today the North End is known for its Italian identity and heritage. The project negotiates the continually shifting identity of the North End as a literal and metaphorical island.

Christopher Beck

21


22


ACADEMIC

View of harbor walk The architecture emerges from and accommodates the intersection of two circulation routes, serving two different clients: tourists (the Freedom Trail) and locals (the Harbor Walk).

Christopher Beck

23


24


ACADEMIC

Porous matrix Initial studies address two major routes through site, creating a plinth for diverse programmatic use, and a top for use by residents Christopher Beck

25


26


ACADEMIC

Six individual circulation cores Vertical circulation cores allow for maximum light and air for each unit, both horizontally and vertically, eliminating conventional circulation dead-space.

Christopher Beck

27


28


ACADEMIC

AR

RA

Synthesizing platform The base creates an opportunity to unite the six circulation cores, as well as those residing in the building with the general public Christopher Beck

29

NG

EM

EN

T


East Elevation

30


ACADEMIC

North Elevation

Christopher Beck

31


ACADEMIC

ONE CORNER AS MANY BOSTON, MA This studio explored computer programming as a design medium. Programming (the creation and implementation of algorithms) was applied first through computing drawing via a vintage pen plotter, emphasizing questions of line, composition, color, and mark making, rather than overt architectural conditions. Shifting between drawing and architecture, the course culminated in a building, with special emphasis placed on the corner (in this project defined as many moving corners). The central pedagogical questions, however, always revolved around representation: particularly those elements that make a drawing both “of” a specific subject matter and something that “is,” i.e. a work that exists on its own merit.

Christopher Beck

33


Iterative coding A single line (ellipse) in the creation of depth through the aggregation of that line. This exploration concentrates on the interaction between “stacks� 34


ACADEMIC

Christopher Beck

35


36


ACADEMIC

Multiple views as one Lines render the transition from flatness to depth in a single corner. Through iterative studies and pen plotted drawings, the corner becomes defined as many corners via a rotating viewpoint.

Christopher Beck

37


38


ACADEMIC

Christopher Beck

39


40


ACADEMIC

A frozen animation Principles are primarily applied on the most active south facing facade. The corner becomes a collision of the animated warehouse box and animated loading and unloading bays (right)

Christopher Beck

41


42


ACADEMIC

Christopher Beck

43


ACADEMIC

A TRACE DIMENSION MASTERS THESIS This thesis investigates and inhabits the relationship between the designer (in this case, the architect) and drawing, a fundamental and primary medium in the realm of architecture. The discipline of architecture is inherently a visual and physical one: our ideas are not only communicated through the act of making or drawing, but are indeed born out of the commingling of these wide-ranging methodologies. The practice and realization of architecture also encounters similar problems, particularly in the space between the imagined work and the built thing. Alberto Perez-Gomez postulates on this conundrum through historical context: “Since the inception of Western architecture in classical Greece, the architect has not ‘made’ buildings; rather, he or she has made the mediating artifacts that make significant buildings possible.” This statement raises several questions, embodied in this thesis: what is architecture, and where does it begin and end? Does the act of drawing reveal or access a reality that is not yet known, anticipating our arrival at the idea? How can we make unknown territory without embracing a fatalistic determinism through simple reduction? Does how we draw influence what we draw? Christopher Beck

45


46


ACADEMIC

A spatial and temporal analysis of drawing by preforming a nearly rote action, the emphasis is placed on the body and its relationship to drawing, rather than the content of the drawing itself

Christopher Beck

47


A spatial and temporal analysis of drawing The use of film, manual drawing, and digital fabrication are the manifestation of tracing the event of drawing through different media, each revealing a unique characteristic

48


ACADEMIC

Christopher Beck

49


50 40


ACADEMIC

A spatial and temporal analysis of drawing Filming the event of drawing from three different perspectives and collapsing those three views into one film defines an act that occurs over a particular duration and in a particular space that expands the spatio-temporal notion of the event.

Christopher Beck

51 41


52


ACADEMIC

A site forms Through the analysis, the site becomes defined as the collection of all previous events. Initially layered through primarily manual methods, the final articulation of the site (right) is modeled primarily through digital and computational methods due to the overwhelming complexity of information.

Christopher Beck

53


54


ACADEMIC The Gnomon Where is an idea born? What is the architecture of the imagination, of process? Does how we draw influence what we draw? The gnomon is the apparatus that embodies and articulates these questions; it is found in the moment pen touches paper.

Christopher Beck

55


56


Christopher Beck

57


PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS

PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS Drawing is fundamental to the practice of architecture; it is the discipline’s currency. Through my own practice, I have continually explored and questioned the role of manual media in the age of digital production. These works represent a wide range of approaches, attempting to push the boundaries of each, never stagnating entirely on one method or output, both manual and digital. The fluid movement between various media is an attempt to never let one modus operandi dominate over another, creating a feedback loop that dissolves typically conceived binary conditions.

Christopher Beck

59


Cartesia Set of seven speculative drawings 60


PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS

Christopher Beck

61


Cartesia[Beginning/End] 62


PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS

Cartesia[Implosion] Christopher Beck

63


15 minute human figure studies, watercolor

64


PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS

Christopher Beck

65


Master copy, Gondolier’s Siesta by John Singer Sargent, watercolor

66


PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS

Providence River, watercolor

Christopher Beck

67


68


PRACTICE

NEW ORLEANS HOUSING: CONSTRUCTION PROJECT HOMECOMING Project Homecoming is a community development 501(c)(3) operating in the greater New Orleans area since 2006. Focusing on the restoration of neighborhoods severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, specifically serving low-income individuals and families, Project Homecoming relies heavily on AmeriCorps members to lead weekly volunteer construction groups on various work-sites. Projects range from total restorations of historic structures to ground up construction of affordable, flood safe, and energy efficient homes. During my time with the organization, I managed over 6 projects and was involved with, in other capacities, over 13 other projects, and worked with over 150 volunteers. This work represents a sample from two years of work-site management with Project Homecoming, comprising both construction and volunteer instruction.

Christopher Beck

69


70


PRACTICE

Renovation Project Homecoming began its mission by gutting homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Soon, the organization began the task of renovating historic homes, such as this one on Rampart St.

Christopher Beck

71


72


PRACTICE

New Construction Overton St. is Project Homecoming’s first brand new construction project. The home meets all of the new standards related to hurricane protection, and meets high energy efficiency requirements

Christopher Beck

73


Volunteer Instruction An integral, if not primary, part of the position was teaching and leading volunteers, beginning with construction techniques and ending with disaster-related tours

74


PRACTICE

Christopher Beck

75


PRACTICE

DAVE’S COFFEE 3SIX0 ARCHITECTURE PROVIDENCE, RI Dave’s Coffee, a local Rhode Island roaster, sought to develop a new urban coffee shop in the heart of Providence, RI. The original store and roasting site are housed in a historic building; the use of aged materials in the new project reflects this ethos. Although weathered, the old and new materials (cedar and steel) were applied in a way such that a unique identity and space were created. I was responsible for creating the digital model and detailing the shelving and rear seating area.

Credits: 3SIX0 Architecture

Christopher Beck

77


78


PRACTICE

Concept to detail The shelving reinforces the language of aged wood and steel while accommodating dimensional requirements for particular Dave’s products Christopher Beck

79


80


PRACTICE

Christopher Beck

81


82


BIOGRAPHY Christopher Beck is an architectural designer and educator based in Providence, RI. In 2016, Beck graduated cum laude from the Rhode Island School of Design with a Masters in Architecture. With a methodology influenced by an architecture program embedded in an art school, Beck completed his research thesis, “A Trace Dimension.” Beck was awarded a RISD fellowship during his graduate study, as well as the Rhode Island AIA Scholarship. Beck received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland in 2010. Since then, Beck has worked in a variety of fields, gaining invaluable and unique experience. Immediately after graduating from UMD, he served as an AmeriCorps member in New Orleans with Project Homecoming, leading volunteer construction teams in the rebuilding of the city post Hurricane Katrina. During his time with Project Homecoming, he also contributed his architectural expertise, documenting devestated buildings, drafting and estimating new projects. Beck’s current practice emphasizes the widening of the profession of architecture. Working with a range of other practitioners, such as non-profits, artists, interior designers, builders, and illustrators, Beck continually seeks to expand the influence and relevance of architecture in other fields and professions. Concurrently, he has taught several courses at RISD, including the Pre-College program and several representation courses, as well as classes at local design non-profit DownCity Design. His personal work revolves around the relationship between author and drawing, not limited to architects and artists. This work focuses on how the use of hybrid media, both manual and digital, affects the creative process, and how working fluidly between mediums can have a powerful influence on the authors ability to dictate the process in conjunction with an awareness and control of media and method. Beck’s research is an active influence on his implementation of practice and development of design pedagogy. Bringing a unique breadth of skills, Beck hopes to continue his practice through a shift in scales, gaining experience working on large institutional and residential projects that have the ability to profoundly affect clients, cities, and cultures.

Christopher Beck

83


CHRISTOPHER BECK christophergbeck@gmail.com www.christophergbeck.com

Christopher Beck | Selected Work 2010-2016  

Architecture Portfolio: MArch, Rhode Island School of Design

Advertisement