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PORTFOLIO Chris Grenga | M.Arch I Applicant | Fall 2015


CONTENTS PROSTHESIS Columbia GSAPP New York / Paris Fall 2014

TRAVERSING [OUTER] SPACE Harvard GSD Career Discovery Summer 2014


CAMPAIGN NIGHTSTAND 33 Parsons The New School - Furniture Design Spring 2014


NEGOTIATING SPACE Harvard GSD Career Discovery Summer 2014


FEDERAL NIGHTSTAND Personal Summer 2009



FILM, PLACE, & URBAN IDENTITY Harvard GSD Career Discovery Summer 2014





OBSERVATION PLATFORM Columbia GSAPP New York / Paris Fall 2014


ARMATURE 3 Columbia GSAPP New York / Paris Fall 2014

FASHION ATELIER [THE MET] Columbia GSAPP New York / Paris Fall 2014

DRESSING ROOMS Columbia GSAPP New York / Paris Fall 2014

FASHION ATELIER [OPERA DE PARIS] Columbia GSAPP New York / Paris Fall 2014


PROSTHESIS New York / Paris | Fall 2014 Critic: Jane Kim

“This street is stuck in time, the people who live here are descendants of the original immigrants who lived in tenements and ran businesses out of pushcarts. The stores that remain only care to do business their way, the old way, the way it’s always been done. There are ghosts in these buildings.” // overheard on Orchard Street For this project I observed a stretch of Orchard Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and designed a prosthesis to enhance the experience I perceived while traversing the street. I designed the device to augment my perception of Orchard Street as an anachronistic vestige of Manhattan’s immigrant past: a living museum, suspended in time and unassailable from the rapidly gentrifying area surrounding it. The prosthesis has three states to experience the street as outdoor museum at various scales: (1) Macro, (2) Street Level, and (3) Micro.

Overlay of original shirt / plan / section of prosthesis 24” x 36” Graphite on vellum


1 // By extending the arms, Macro Mode frames views at the scale of a building

2 // In Street Level Mode, the user can comfortably rest with arms at his side and his view becomes more focused framing scenes such as doorways and shop displays

3 // In Micro Mode the user brings his arms together to create a small aperture at the end of the hood to focus on small, discrete details


ARMATURE New York / Paris | Fall 2014 Critic: Thomas De Monchaux

Occupying the wedge formed by Fifth Avenue and Broadway, the slender Flatiron Building becomes a sundial casting its shadow over Madison Square Park as the sun arcs across the sky. Scaffolding enshrouding the Flatiron Building casts a web of shadows around the prow. I documented specific moments and arranged them to form a gradient from light to dark in an abstracted plan of the Flatiron prow.

Flatiron prow shadow / void space diagram 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum

I then identified the shadows and extruded the void space between them to achieve a threedimensional representation of the shadows cast on the sidewalk.

Armature model 28” x 18” x 18” Basswood





The armature began as two screens based on actual shadow patterns cast on the sidewalk juxtaposed at 15o, the same angle of the Flatiron prow. Prisms were then extruded from the void space between the shadows in the screen Lastly, I cut away the supporting screen, leaving only the free standing prisms as three dimensional manifestations of shadows that I discovered in my photos.


Presentation model 28” x 18” x 18” Basswood opposite page: 1 // Armature axonometric drawing 24” x 36” Graphite on vellum 2 // Broadway elevation 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum 3 // Fifth Avenue elevation 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum



DRESSING ROOM New York / Paris | Fall 2014 Critic: Sarah Carpenter I “stalked” two articles of clothing through the Garment District and analyzed their relationship both to the body of the wearer and to the city. The first garment was a poncho fashioned out of a trash bag. Using planes discovered from object in the city, I studied the trash bag’s relationship to the body through sections during various states. I documented the second garment, a jacket and pants worn by a man dismantling a pallet, by taking a photo once every minute. Using the existing armature as a frame, I created surfaces with twine by mirroring the technique with which I identified shapes formed in the diagram. Loops of twine could be adjusted, providing a gradient of privacy from semi-open to completely enveloping the user.

Garment / Body / City relationship diagram 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum


Garment / Body / Pallet relationship diagram 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum

Model of dressing room 14” x 6” x 12” Twine and basswood


OBSERVATION PLATFORM New York / Paris | Fall 2014 Critic: Babak Bryan My design of an observation platform for NYC Fashion Week allows the public to view the pageantry, which was traditionally only accessible to an exclusive set.

The paths between the network nodes result in intersections that facilitate the co-mingling of fashion designers, members of the press, and casual observers.

The actual Bryant Park site was modified by imagining that the Pompidou Center had replaced the New York Public Library.

By suspending a network of catwalks above the Fashion Week tent viewers can observe multiple runway shows from different vantage points and ground congestion is alleviated.

In Renzo Piano’s original Pompidou concept drawings, he envisioned an enormous satellite dish apparatus atop of the building. In my analysis of the site, I identified all of the wireless communications towers and wi-fi stations within the park and imagined that they were all networked by the Pompidou satellite dish. Centre Pompidou / Bryan Park network diagram 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum opposite page: Plan and section of observation platform 24” x 36” Graphite on vellum



FASHION ATELIER AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE New York / Paris | Fall 2014 Critic: Babak Bryan The plaza at Lincoln Center is as much a performance venue as the stages housed within the surrounding cultural institutions. For this project I designed a fashion studio occupying a site within the southwest corner of the existing Metropolitan Opera House. Building on the vision of Lincoln Center’s outdoor space as a place of public theater, I positioned the core feature of the program, the runway, so that it cantilevered dramatically over the plaza.


On my first visit to the site, I witnessed a violinist performing in the Lincoln Center plaza. As I moved around the plaza the sound emanating from the violinist became muted or amplified based on the acoustic properties of the architecture. The diagram depicts the sonic profile of different areas of Lincoln Center plaza experienced while walking around the periphery. Acoustic profile diagram 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum


In a subsequent visit to the site, I recorded additional sonic profiles by walking laterally across the plaza from south to north at ten different points progressing from the street until I was inside of the Met lobby. Plotting the two dimensional sound waveforms in axonometric resulted in the visualization of an undulating sonic landscape blanketing the plaza.

Unfolded volume study 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum

Sonic landscape diagram 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum



Plan of intersection of boutique, studio, and fabrication areas 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum

Section of public entrance, ramps through archive, runway, and observation platform 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum

Study model of fashion atelier at the Met 24” x 18” x 22” Museum board, chipboard, and basswood



FASHION ATELIER AT THE OPERA DE PARIS New York / Paris | Fall 2014 Critic: Jane Kim Final 2 entailed taking the existing design developed for the Met site and adapting it to a site within Garnier’s Opera de Paris. The challenge became understanding the sonic profile of the Opera without physically entering the site as I had done at Lincoln Center. Knowing that (a) sound propagates hemispherically, (b) reflects off a surface at its angle of incidence, and (c) loses energy with each consecutive reflection, I applied these rules to reveal sound paths based on a section depicting the Palais Garnier populated with people out for a night at the opera.

Study model collage 24” x 18” x 18” Bristol


Acoustic diagram of Opera de Paris 24” x 36” Graphite on vellum




TRAVERSING [OUTER] SPACE Career Discovery | Summer 2014 Critic: Francisco Quiñones For our first assignment at Career Discovery, we were given a long room connected to a tall anteroom and tasked with developing a program for the long room and designing the tall room as a threshold into the long room. I envisioned the long room as a Hall of the Cosmos: a cosmology-focused museum that begins with the Big Bang and progresses chronologically through the evolution of the universe as the patrons walk through the corridor to the end of the hall. If the exhibit begins at the entrance to the long room, the tall room is therefore the Unknown the time before the Big Bang. Visitors to the Hall of the Cosmos enter single file and congregate on an elevated stone plinth above a reflecting pool. A video screen above them would replay the previous group congregating in the same spot to disorient their sense of space and time.


Mood collage for entrance to Hall of the Cosmos 18” x 24” Mixed media opposite page: 1 // Presentation model 12” x 12” x 18” Chipboard 2 // Floor plan iterations 12” x 18” Graphite on vellum 3 // Floor plan of plinth 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum





NEGOTIATING SPACE Career Discovery | Summer 2014 Critic: Francisco Quiñones In the second project, I designed a shared dwelling for two individuals of distinct, intersecting, and at times conflicting needs: a night-owl DJ and a sedate Chef. To gain an understanding of the site and its context, I spent substantial time sketching the details I observed around the site, including the shape of the site, the character of the surrounding buildings, and how light illuminated the site throughout the day. Site analysis 6” x 9” Ink on paper

Axonometric drawing of massing model 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum


Massing model studies 18” x 12” x 12” Chipboard


In the short story House Taken Over the protagonists are gradually pushed out of their home by invading, potentially supernatural, forces. I interpreted the story through architecture to study how a single dwelling could be separated into distinct spaces and occupied by two residents with conflicting needs. I envisioned one module enveloping the secondary structure like tendrils of smoke or a snake coiling around its prey.

Axonometric study drawings 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum opposite page: House Taken Over synthesis collage 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum and mixed media



Since the DJ and the Chef kept different waking hours, the private spaces had to be separate, while certain programs needed to be shared given the tight envelope. The first level is a large shared space for social gatherings where the Chef’s cooking and the DJ’s music come together to provide a party atmosphere for guests. A glazed wall reveals the festivities unfolding to curious passersby in the street. The first level is elevated off of the street so that people can pass through to the park space in the rear of the lot. The Chef’s kitchen and the DJ’s recording studio are located on the second level with each of their bedrooms located directly above their respective workspaces.

Double House for DJ and Chef collage 18” x 18” x 12” Chipboard



FILM, PLACE & URBAN IDENTITY Career Discovery | Summer 2014 Critic: Francisco Quiñones For the final project I designed a multi-use development, consisting of a film archive, indoor/outdoor theater, café, and outdoor market to serve as the anchor of the new Union Square redevelopment project. The site suffers from excessive vehicle traffic and poor pedestrian access. As such, my concept for the project was detachment - separating the user from the chaotic environs and gradually unveiling an urban park with sloping hill that doubles as a reclining space to view outdoor movies projected on to the cantilevered screen. I studied Peter Zumthor’s Thermal Baths at Vals to understand how architecture can facilitate detachment from everyday cares and physically and mentally transport users.

Outdoor movie concept collage 12” x 36” Mixed media on bristol


Therme Vals concept collage 12” x 36” Mixed media on bristol




1 // Film Archive exploded axonometric 18” x 36” Graphite on vellum 2 // Film Archive floor plans 18” x 24” Graphite on vellum



CAMPAIGN NIGHTSTAND Intro to Furniture Design | Spring 2014 Critic: William Oberlin In the process of my transition from a permanent residency to a temporary dwelling, I designed a nightstand that could be taken apart and reassembled quickly and be flexible enough to accommodate a range of environments and situations.

Front, rear, and side elevations 12” x 18” Graphite on vellum


Top // Hardware details Graphite on vellum Bottom // Floor attachment mechanism variations 12” x 18” Graphite on vellum



CARE FOR AIDS Personal | March 2013

Personal | Summer 2009 After graduating from college I built a piece for my first apartment that represented the culmination of the years spent apprenticing in my father’s workshop, where I constructed furniture inspired by eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century precedents.

In March 2013 I traveled to Kenya with Care for AIDS, an Atlanta,GA-based nonprofit. CFA’s mission is to provide those afflicted with AIDS with healthcare education and job training. During the trip, I met with clients in their homes in the slums of Nairobi, prepared a meal for a family, presented a lecture on basic personal finance, and met with CFA staff to discuss strategies for opening more centers.

Federal nightstand 20” x 20” x 36” Mahogany and oak

Upon my return, I prepared a short video comprised of a series of brief observations I made during my experience to encourage other prospective volunteers to make the trip. Watch online at

Drawer beading and dovetail joinery detail





University of Virginia August 2005 – May 2009 Associate | Irving Place Capital | New York, NY July 2011 – June 2014 • B.Sc. Commerce with concentrations in Finance and Accounting Key member of five-person investment team focused on the Industrial sector within • GPA: 3.6/4.0 leading middle-market private equity firm managing over $2.7 billion of capital. Conducted due diligence on prospective investment opportunities through detailed Columbia University GSAPP September 2014 – December 2014 financial modeling, company-specific and industry research, and discussions with • Shape of Two Cities: New York/Paris (Architecture Concentration) management and other sources. Managed cross-functional deal teams consisting of investment bankers, attorneys, accountants, consultants, and co-investors. Harvard University GSD June 2014 – July 2014 • Career Discovery (Architecture Concentration) • Played critical role in developing a comprehensive Industrial investment strategy to identify attractive subsectors and formulate investment theses


Interests: Travel (countries visited within previous five years include Kenya, Peru, France, UK, the Netherlands, Mexico, Bermuda, and Canada), finance, • snowboarding, running, cycling

Co-founder of Barrow Street Ventures, a venture capital investment vehicle that seeks to identify and acquire orphaned consumer products trademark • rights at attractive valuations and subsequently incubate and launch revitalized companies by leveraging the brands’ heritage and authenticity

CONTACT • • • • •


Mailing Address: 5230 Regatta Pointe Road, Suffolk, VA 23435 Tel: +1 (757) 434-3779 Email: : @chris.grenga : @chris_grenga

Designed and implemented rigorous screening tools to gauge investment targets’ degree of alignment with strategy and to optimize allocation of resources Responsible for monitoring three portfolio companies, which included execution of capital structure, tuck-in acquisition, and strategic alternative transactions, preparation of quarterly valuation reports, and participation as a Board observer Selected transaction experience: –– Victor Technologies: $950 million sale to Colfax Corporation. Tack-on bond to Victor’s existing Senior Secured Notes resulting in $90 million dividend to the fund. Completed three add-on acquisitions –– Chromalox: $288 million leveraged buyout and subsequent $50 million dividend recapitalization –– Multi-Packaging Solutions: Executed successful dividend recapitalization and sale of the business to financial sponsor

Analyst | Deutsche Bank - M&A Group | New York, NY June 2009 – July 2011 Performed valuation analyses with specific focus on mergers & acquisitions and leveraged buyout transactions, conducted market research to develop financial models, drafted management and board presentations, and managed sell-side and buyside processes for clients primarily within the Industrial, Natural Resources, and Real Estate sectors

sketch based on crane d’oiseau by Quentin Garel, graphite on vellum


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