MArch I Portfolio
CHRISTOPHER M. JOHNSON B.S. Architecture 2010 University of Michigan
MONTESSORI METHODOLOGIES page02 to 17
HELIOTROPISM page18 to 25
OVERCONSTRUCTION page26 to 41
THR_033 page42 to 51
KAOHSIUNG TERMINAL page52 to 65
MONTESSORI METHODOLOGIES C.Johnson & C. Hyduk
Three Points Montessori, located in downtown Chicago, offers a new typology carefully determined for the Montessori method of teaching. The process considered the necessities of daylight and natural surroundings in an urban educational setting. The Montessori method puts a high emphasis on sensorial learning and the exploration of the natural environment. Students in a Montessori school learn through self-discovery rather than teacher instruction, something uncommon to normative schools today. Just as the Montessori specific scholastic materials heighten a studentâ€™s investigative inclinations, the new spatial arrangement aims to do the same. The arrangement incorporates a series of light studies to shape the classroom spaces into the sunlight infused areas with consistently available views of the vegetative courtyard. Integration of Montessori schools into normative pedagogical facilities is common practice; however Three Points intends to project the lack of boundaries and natural learning experience of a child into the architecture. Spaces are constructed with the idea that learning can occur anywhere and stringent classrooms confines were not conducive to the method. Instead, facilitative formal boundaries are employed in order to support the studentâ€™s self-directed learning.
The site, 41.88 latitude, -87.63 longitude, is situated in downtown Chicago.
June August October January
Shadow studies were conducted on the site over the period of a year at 9am, 12pm, and 3pm by inputting the sunâ€™s azimuth and altitude into a parametric model. These hours are representative of a normal school day for most K-8th grade students. Plan drawings show representative volume drawings of surrounding buildingâ€™s shadows affecting the site.
The Montessori method puts emphasis on physical teaching tools to orient young students to the environment. The formal approach came from the notion of continuous trajectories that moved throughout the school. The intent was to eliminate abrupt halts in form and unite spaces. The use of shadow planes allowed for exploration of spaces that would manifest themselves in the teaching strategies.
+ORGANIZATION age group 3 age group 2
Classrooms Classrooms were raised above and placed surrounding the greenspace, they receive the most light and their arrangement allows light to filter downwards for accessory spaces.
age group 1
age group 0 observation spaces
Exterior Courtyard Greenspace The exterior courtyard acts as an entrance and recess and exploratory space for the students. Itsâ€™ central placement acts as a light well, and permits daylight to assembly spaces below. storage
assembly room offices
Large Assembly Spaces cafeteria
The large assembly and storage spaces sit at the bottom of the school. Those spaces that require less natural light, the auditorium for example, sit further to the north.
Gym lobby storage
Students relegated to assigned classrooms Use of hallways only permissible between classes or with passes. Peer interaction is not permitted much of the day, and attention is focused on teacher.
NORMATIVE SCHOOL FLOOR PLAN + STUDENT BOUNDARY
Students primarily remain in assigned classrooms although permitted to work and interact with other age groups in hallways and other meeting spaces. The present boundaries still inhibit Montessori strategies.
MONTESSORI SCHOOL INTEGRATED INTO NORMATIVE SCHOOL FLOOR PLAN + STUDENT BOUNDARY 8
We were given the chance to tour a Montessori school in downtown Chicago for a day to get an idea about how students behaved. The school had been integrated into an old traditional all-girls school, so the standard hallway/room relationship existed spatially, but failed to exist to the students attending classes.
Throughout the school, students roamed the halls by themselves, and worked in groups with little or no teacher direction.
Normative classroom confines cease to exist, different age groups work throughout all spaces and interact with one another. The removal of spatial boundaries begins to enforce the method of learning. Furniture begins to delinate teacher/student meeting spaces.
MONTESSORI OPEN FLOOR PLAN +STUDENT BOUNDARIES C.Johnson+C.Hyduk 9
Looking north through the green courtyard, students play and learn during warm months. The courtyard is surrounded by glazed light wells that permit light into lower floors throughout the year. Students play in the gym, which is situated on the bottom floor with direct views into the downtown area.
1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 5 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 7 7.1 7.2 7.3 8
CLASSROOMS Pre-K and K Elementary Conference/Viewing Room Multi-Purpose Room Wheelchair Storage Restrooms ADMINISTRATION CENTER Administration Reception School Business Office Conference Room School Vault/Work Room Communication Console Faculty Mailboxes Administrative Office Student Services Faculty Center Counselorâ€™s Office Parent Room DINING CENTER Student Dining/Commons Kitchen and Service Dishwashing Storage Office SUPPORT AREAS Library, Media and Resource Room Library Workroom/Storage Art Room Music Room Science Lab Science Storage General Storage Multi-Purpose Room Storage Gymnasium Gym Office HEALTH SUPPORT CENTER Office Reception Nurses Station Toilet Training Room Exam Rooms THERAPISTS WORKROOM Therapists Workroom Individual Evaluation Room Assistive Technology Training Assistive Technology Workroom Assistive Technology Storage General Equipment Storage SENSORY STIMULATION ROOM Sensory Stimulation Room Wheelchair Storage Sensory Stimulation Room Storage DISCOVERY CENTER
3.5 3.2-3.4 1.6
2.11 2.3 UP 2.6
OPEN TO BELOW
2.4 2.9 UP
PLAN AT +35.56’ 0
FLOOR 1 11
1.2 1.2 1.2
OPEN TO BELOW 5.1-5.2
OPEN TO BELOW
FLOOR 2 12
FLOOR 4 C.Johnson+C.Hyduk 13
Renderings were taken of classroom spaces throughout the course of a standard school day. They were used to evaluate student activities throughout the day in a Montessori enivronment. Students move their personal workspaces to follow the sunlight throughout the day.
A 1:200 Model of the school was made with birch plywood, basswood and museum board. Facets were carefully subtracted to emphasize the necessity for windows in the light-filled school.
Photos from a Montessori School that illustrate different activities/interactions between children and instructors. 16 C.Johnson+C.Hyduk
activity room office cafeteria
Views of the model shows the large courtyard space surrounded by arrangements of classroom/interactive areas. The school sits much lower than the surrounding buildings, therefore the large windows and courtyard space are necessary approaches to lighting the school.
Ann Arbor, MI
HELIOTROPISM C.Johnson & SS Group
The Smart Surfaces course intended to unite architects, material science engineers, and artists to work together on a set of projects involving phyiscal computing. Throughout the semester, students explored heliotropic smart surfaces and the process of collaborating with other disciplines to complete different tasks. The final six weeks of the course were spent realizing a single idea, which was to be funded and displayed in a gallery. The surface that resulted is one intended to be used for solar energy harvesting. The simple idea of keeping solar panels better aligned with sun position resulted in an aesthetically pleasing, efficient, and interactive surface. While working with PV cells, our group realized their fragility and the ease of rendering the voltages ineffecient. Long Michigan winters and unique weather causes concern for residents who want to utilize solar cells. The motion of our surface lends itself to following the sun, allowing the cells to reach their full potential, as well as protecting the fragile PV cells from the elements. Small Light Dependant Resistors were used to allow the motors to follow sunlight, these motors were connected to louvres with the solar cells embedded in them. The group consisted of Johanna Brandt (Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning), Alyssa Ackerman(School of Art and Design), Yuming Jiang (Material Science and Engineering), Mat Schwartz (School of Art and Design), and Michelle Svetkoff (Material Science and Engineering).
The base of the louvre was made from CNC-milled high density plastic, and PV cells were wired in parallel and embedded into the system. Once built, small servo motors were attached to each louvre and the code to control the surface was developed.
20 C.Johnson+SS Group
The surface was displayed for 1 month in an Ann Arbor gallery. During the exhibition, a small rangefinder was embedded in the surface to allow for interaction with gallery viewers.
The PV cell and wiring are hidden under a layer of CNC routed formica. The extruded plastic remains the bulk of the louvre and provides a sturdy and weather proof base for the cell to be enclosed in.
C.Johnson+SS Group 23
+ CNC ROUTED FORMICA COVER
+ PHOTOVOLTAICS CONNECTED IN PARALLEL
+ CNC MILLED EXTRUDED PLASTIC 1/2” + SERVO MOTOR 24
The design is a reapeatable one with the intent of being utilized on building surfaces. It would be ideal on open-air structures that are not intended to be hermetically sealed. The surface in Ann Arbor was made from 18 louvres containing 72 PV Cells. C.Johnson+SS Group 25
Williamsburg experiences urban gentrification/lofts and condos go up Rezoning Initiative calls developers to accomodate high-rise residential uses
Upper class moves in Developers shift hopes for sites
Properties rendered unaffordable for current residents
Some residents relocate More than 52 stalled construction sites sit dormant in Williamsburg
Zoning laws made in order to push 20% of each building to be low-income friendly
Economic recession begins
Property investors dry up
Developers prematurely begin construction in order to become exempt from new laws
Current residents unhappy with conditions and worried about safety
Brooklyn, NY Homeless and drug addicts find refuge inside stalled sites
OVERCONSTRUCTION C. Johnson
Finished residential buildings have trouble finding investors
During 2010 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a collection of 50+ construction sites sat vacant and unfinished. The sites were a result of a New York plan in 2005 to attract developers to build in the burrough by way of tax breaks. Developers began to overwhelm an area with an average income of $25,000 by way of luxury lofts and condos. In 2008, an amendment declare that a large portion of each new development be devoted to low-income housing. This amendment paired with the economic crash left developers rushing to begin construction and ultimately coming up short with funds. The sites have led an odd life since this time. The stalled sites are a dangerous terrain of unfinished raw construction materials, inviting mostly addicts and homeless to the area. This Williamsburg intervention seeks to unite the indeterminate stories of the sites and present the local public spatial experience through a physical kinetic interface. The installation is constantly in flux while relating relevant information from stalled sites. The site on 5th Street currently exists as an empty foundation. The installation monitors the progression and digression of the condo sites, favoring the digression of construction. Whereas unfinished sites may seem unfavorable, they still contain a public potential that finished condos discard. As the condos are completed, the possibility for public spaces dwindle and current residents are forced out. The installation reacts to each of the 6 characteristics, forming a public tool for the referencing of information experientially. As the construction sites remain in turmoil, the installation remains a public area. As the condos near completion, the installation becomes uninhabitable.
Blocks Containing Public spaces
Stalled Construction Sites
The area of the stalled sites seemed more dramatic when the public spaces+parks in the Williamsburg area was assessed. Driving or walking through Williamsburg without interacting with one of the sites is nearly impossible. During a trip to Brooklyn, the studio walked around to understand how the stalled sites affected the area. 28
Makeshift fences, boards, and chains blocked the sites from the public. Residents that we spoke with were concerned with the large amount of squatters that had been taking refuge in the structures. C.Johnson 29
75ft 18 ft
The site spans the block between 4th and 5th Streets. The slim site would become a pathway for residents of the area. The drawing shows the intention of linking a consistant stream of information from all stalled construction sites to create an informative spatial experience. 30 C.Johnson
A series of nodes are placed on each construction site to monitor and relay information to the 5th street installation. By uniting the stalled sites, it allows residents to better realize the state of the construction sites.
day100 day88 day89 day90 day91 day92 day93 day94 day95 day96 day97 day98 day99 day100
The movement through a simple gridded pathway provides unique spatial complexities that reflect the status of the construction crisis. The configuration of the grid is based on six categories of informaiton collected from each stalled site. These categories have direct and indirect effects on residents Williamsburg. 32 C.Johnson
day99 day98 day97 day96 day95 day94 day93 day92 day91 day90 day89 day88
Throughout the life, the legibility of the surface is also in flux. Anomalies and sudden changes in the situation result in large moves that be read from afar, whereas small differentiation can be read by a closer/more physical inspection.
//AIR QUALITY 33
DAY 1: Construction sites stalled
DAY 15: Sites remain stalled/ public repurposement begins
//Surface begins to build up
//Surface is complete, becomes a public space
site occupancy hazardous emission foot traffic construction activity energy draw air quality
DAY 30: Stalled sites become public spaces
DAY 33: Financial Surge in Real Estate Market
DAY 40: Law Alteration in favor of Developers, stalled sites are reclaimed
//Surface remains public, residents utilize space in a multitude of ways
//Surface becomes more difficult to inhabit
//Surface can no longer link North 5th and 4th streets, as residents can no longer occupy middle.
DAY 50: Construction Resumes on condos
DAY 100: Condos are completed, gentrification of Williamsburg continues
//Surface is no longer inhabitable
//Surface becomes a monument representing the gentrification of Williamsburg
Plan and Sectional views
site occupancy hazardous emission construction activity electric draw noise/light foot traffic
The intent to reclaim public space at a time of gentrification is the basis of the installation. The indexical nature of the surface intends to create awareness and encourage action. The consistant change noticeable in the surface creates different spatial arrangements. As the condos reach completion, the public space seals itself from the public and a monument is made. 40 C.Johnson
THR_033 C.Johnson & W. Burger & PLY Architecture & Rootof2
THR_033 conforms to the traditional dimensions of a Japanese tea house of 9’x9’x6’ and provides a series of interactions between user and space, space and 3 interactive robots. Laser-cut parametric skin made from recycled paper stretches over a wood frame and three large reveals. The three teahouse reveals are driven by the Omron Smile Scan, which utilizes face-sensing technology, this causes the reveals to open and close. The system measures the degree of a persons smile from a camera recorded facial image based on key point movements from 0% to 100%. In THR_033 this percentage controls how much the reveals open and determines the visual connection with user. The project is a collaboration with Professors from the Taubman School of Architecture and the School of Art and Design. The construction of the teahouse occured in Ann Arbor; it was later packed and shipped to Kyoto, Japan for viewing in the National Museum of Art in Kyoto over the month of July. Built with the intent to be packed and sent, the teahouse couldn’t exceed a certain height and weight limit.
The skin is cut with two distinct surfaces parametrically designed to connect.
The strips lock together to form the skin. Different lengths enable distortion in the depth of the surface.
The back of the surface shows the subtle connections between strips.
44 C.Johnson+PLY Architecture+Rootof2
During the building of the Teahouse, Rootof2 worked intently to bring life to the three robots that would occupy the house.
Made from 100% recycled paper, the skin was slowly stitched and glued together, it was one continuous 6â€™x18â€™ sheet that enabled us to roll it when it needed to be shipped. The surface was scripted to permit changes in unit width, length, and depth, which allowed an interplay of light and transparency behind the teahouse to occur.
46 C.Johnson+PLY Architecture+Rootof2
The teahouse structure was made out of easy-to-dismantle blocks, and construction took place in Ann Arbor. The skin was rolled and the structure was boxed. The entire teahouse was shipped to Kyoto Japan in a 3’x6’x6’ box.
sensor not engaged
pulley configuration acryllic panel
The Omron technology uses facial recognition software to assign a percentage to the amount in which someone is smiling. This percentage is gathered from a small camera embedded in the museum wall. The scanner relays this percentage to the reveals in the teahouse, which respond to the sensors.
48 C.Johnson+PLY Architecture+Rootof2
small servo motor
+1 Second 0% Open +3 Seconds 25% Open +6 Seconds 50% Open +8 Seconds 100% Open
The Teahouse reacts immediatly to those in the room. Videos of the teahouse and user actions were compiled to inspect the precision of their measurements. 49
C.Johnson+PLY Architecture+Rootof2 51
KAOHSIUNG CRUISE TERMINAL C.Johnson & Asymptote
The Kaohsiung Cruise Terminal was a two part competition held in 2010+11. Five offices were short-listed and asked to submit a model, drawings, and a more thorough proposal. In line with my past in physical model and construction, I was given the responsibility of designing and coordinating 3 models in the span of 2 months. Final designs were locked 2.5 weeks from the deadline. Throughout the design process, both physical and digital models were heavily relied upon. The key component of the port facility is the elevated terminal building that accommodates the major programmatic elements associated with passenger travel. This space is covered by carefully designed grid shell that realizes the climate of Kaohsiung. This terminal structure is framed by two flanking towers that are merged at the bottom to create a public space on the plinth. Hours were spent on the computer and in the model shop realizing the final form and configuration of the building. Three models, 1:50, 1:200, and 1:1000, were built in-house to better display the relation of the terminal to the site scale and civilian scale. Made with various digital fabrication methods, including laser-cutting and SLS 3D Printing, the models showed off incredible detail. These models were packaged and shipped to the competitionâ€™s final ceremony in Kaohsiung. The proposal was awarded the 2nd Prize.
1:1000 Scale 1:50 Scale
1:1000 Scale 54
Sketches from Hani Rashid and final renderings display the terminal shape and its position within the towers. The three physical models focus upon different components of the terminal.
Numerous patterns were drawn, modeled, and rendered, in order to get a feeling of the effect it would have on the space. The patterns were scripted digitally and translated into paper lasercut models. The gradient of the pattern needed to link directly with the curvature of the terminal ceiling
Kaohsiungâ€™s climate and overall intensity of sunlight heavily influenced the grid-shell that was applied to the terminalâ€™s roof. Small triangular apertures change in size as one moves through the space, below these apertures sits a shading system intended to give off indirect light and shade from the intense sun. Stretched fabric membranes on custom bent steel frames filter sunlight through the space.
The 1:50 model focused on the circulation of a person in the terminal, detail was given to the elevator cores, the gangway and the different passengerâ€™s paths. The base was formed from bent basswood and MDF, the prints were able to slot into the wood and are supported by a 1/4â€? peice of plexi at the front. The large scale of the model made inconsistansies and errors more visible to viewers, so we tried to stay true to the actual construction method in which we designed the building. This meant building a sturdy column grid, as well as reinforcing the building cores.
The 1:50 Model incorporated transparent SLS-3D Printed resin, which was sanded intently for hours and then sprayed with solution to become clear. I was fortunate enough to spend 3 days with the team at DPT rapid prototyping and to work on the prints. The wooden base was connected directly to the elevator cores, which held up the floors and the large 10 lb printed roofa unpresidented size from their experience.
The 1:200 model was SLS 3D Printed in both transparent and opaque resin. In order to backlight the terminal, we used play-doh to fill in the strip lighting while the terminal and towers were being painted. After it was removed, small battery powered LEDs were installed.
The 1:200 model took shape through the making of multiple paper/basswood models as well as 3D digital models. These were generally exercises for the design team to better realize the form of the terminal and towers. Many were built, marked up, subtracted from and rebuilt. 63
Published on Dec 4, 2011