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Portfolio Cyrus Sohrab Khan



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Wetness behind the sc/een | Re-wetting the ORAN Adopt a mangrove | The Sundarbans UFRJ: Preservação UFRJ: Rede de Coalizão In the terrain of wetness Dynamic Diagrams | Wetland Generation D10 Pedestrian Parkway

70 74 84

Forrest Park, Xi An, China Pro-Poor Slum Integration Project Mosharrof Residence

88 98

School of Fine Arts | Asian University for Women Edu-tainment certain



Stain of an oran; a traditional biodiversity management forest in the Thar Desert





Wetness behind the sc/een | Re-wetting the ORAN Academic | Spring 2018 Tilwara, Thar Desert, Rajasthan. Instructor: Anuradha Mathur


ndia, a country rapidly moving toward contemporary aspiration of urban livelihood. Looking down upon their thousand years old traditions, which are considered as signs of backwardness, where as some of these practices are well complied with contemporary world. This project tries to extract one of these neglected and unknown practices in the desert of Rajasthan, called “Oran” –a system of settling around a multipurpose forest and maintaining it through generations. The method of extraction tried to break the dichotomy of traditional representation of looking at a dessert but opened the conversation and revealed the project when looked at it as imprints of wetness. The design project revolves around three key points An enhancement of traditional Diverse ecological system as a performative Landscape that can be used as examples in different parts of the world Introduction to Public sanitation (toilets) The project is unique in its exploration method. It engages the unknown terrain of wetness, a productive Landscape, which can shed light on many ways, landscape as profession can work in future.



he primary exercise of the studio was to counter the tradition reading of Rajasthan, with a “slowness and distancing of the analog� with imprints and montages. Much of this imprint, however, lies behind the scene. In this case the imprints were the practices of staining. Staining as a lens of re-enacting embodiment of wetness in the landscape. The revelation of Oran started with a method of exploration through staining, by looking for imprints of wetness from satellite images. These stains helped to identify marks of vegetation thresholds, fences, clustering of plants in windward side of hills, accumulation of wetness through water tanks and water holes. The stains started to recognize a certain pattern of vegetation clustering and accumulation of humidity, which led to the re-discovery of the Oran. Understanding Oran was the integral in the earlier stages, which showed how a traditional forestation, not designed by any professional can become a sustainable practice for surrounding communities and as well as ecologies to grow. xacto knife

25% India Ink 75% Water

foam brayer

Pin pen

25% India Ink 75% Water

foam brayer

Regions of interest were identified from satellite images. Regions that were recurrent, throughout the landscape (... although it seemed barren). These regions had elements anticipated as embodiments of wetness in the terrain; which were cut out to make the stencils to make prints on water color paper plates.

Earth Image


Imprint (printing + staining)


Wetness traced to the windward side of the hills

Marks of vegetation threshold effervescence

Bundling of plants Coagulations

Waterholes, tanks, etc. Accumulation

Orans from the images

Orans from the texts


An ORAN: Vanaliya Talab Community forests/rangelands, called Orans and Gauchars in the western arid part of India, constitute a significant proportion of the total geographical area of the region. Given the economic importance of these areas from time immemorial, the local people took special care to protect and utilize sustainably these common property resources.

Some of the issues faced by these O -


Land degradation and encroachm Break down of traditional institu Fragile ecosystem Excessive grazing Pastoral based rural economy los Diversion from other uses Modern education marginalizing Lack of governance and land ma


ment ution & Disappearing traditional farming

sing its relevance

g traditional knowledge anagement


Site Plan google earth image of Tilwara

Speculative site for the ORAN

Hilshade showing microtopography

Looking through satellite images and visiting in person, a site nearby at the back of a village showed all the opportunities of a Oran being present. But locals have denied of any. Moreover, they said that this area was used as an open toilet, which is a common practice in rural India. But it had all the identifiers similar to other Orans, like old trees and trees of agriculture, water collection of a large catchment area, traces of water hole that can only be created in monsoon season. So, the site had all the possibilities to become a New Biodiverse system representing “Oran”. Through the transect, from the back of the village, through Tilwara, through Luni, to the temple on the other side, there were certain scopes of other programmatic interventions along with the Oran. Such asFormalizing temple event space Working with micro topography of the river “Maidan”. And at the end where there were opportunities of reviving the Oran, and the pastoral expanse.


Schematic design Armature and Programs


Sectional Photo stitches through Tilwara Temple II

Mesquite threshold

Stagnant stream/ relative low point

Current stream path

Temple I

Cattle Node

Agriculture fields & Oran site


Sequential sections through the transect

Panoramic view at key intersections/anchors


Types of Oran These ecologies demand the cultivation of an eye that looks beyond the scene, the imprint to engage, and an itinerary that intersects with the practices of people. The project tried to address these issues by analyzing traditional Orans and looking at potential site for new Oran.

Kakad Bani, Rakht bani & Devbani

Overlap between ‘gochar’ or ‘roondhs’ the common pastures... Sacred woodland around a temple

Every Oran has a water body like Johad, Tank, Spring, Baori , Well etc

Kakad Bani- grove on common geographical boundary of two or more villages

Bishnoi ‘ community and their 29- point led to absolute protection of the flora and fauna of these orans

Rakht bani - belongs to one village

Oran serves four main purposes: vegetation as grazing ground for the livestock; watering place for the livestock; resting places for the livestock; and medicine in ethnobotanical form.

Devbani- refers to a common preserved sections of forests protected in the name of some god or goddess by each of the villages of their own specific faiths Mechanisms within the design of the ORAN include: - Silviculture scheme - Foresting parameters - Grass cycling - Cycling of animal types - Alternate changes of fences


- Addition of built structures - Water hole/ agor-space walls to give it structure and filter debris - Building areas to serve research institutes and temple - Public dry toilet- a programmatic need

Phenology of the Oran


Plant species for sustainable silviculture


Calendar/ Schedule: Grass & Animal Cycling


Reading of the site The Orans visited, consisted of elements like Trees at least few centuries old Location at the end of a village/community Fewer non-native plants like Prosopis Juliforia Water hole, open for cattle Naturally formed swales visible in the terrain to give a sense of its catchment area both an open and closed water tanks called “Tanka� All the above attributes were consistant with the site at the back of Tilwara. The first step into studying the terrain was to identify the ridges of the hills. And further studying the terrain using the mechanism mentioned below helped identify low points which act as zones of rain water accumulation. Which later was designated as regions for the pastural grasses. Also identified were regions which were relatively more wet and a spectrum of wetness in the terrain.

a) The handmade paper is moistened with water

CNC model of the terrain

Existing Fences 22

b) Then the paper is shaped onto the terrain

c) Ink is dropped at high points on the paper

d) Then sprayed with water to reenact rain

Handmade paper shaped on the terrain

Flow & accumulation of water on the terrain

Tracing Water Flow lines

Water Accumulation

Grass & Fences cycling Apart from built structures and a robust detail of grass cycling and alternate fencing are needed, to contain overgrazing. The grass cycling consists of seed mixes divided into annual a and b, & perennials c and d. Zones of all the seed mixes are fixed. Seed A and C are planted in the first year. As indicated in the diagram (Grass cycling and Fencing). Fenced off at the beginning, Grass A and C begin to grow. After a significant volume is achieved, they are opened for grazing. Throughout the year intermediate and alternately, A and C are fenced off for room for growth. After 1st year, Seed A zone is rested, and seed B and D is planted. Seed mix C being perennials continue to grow and grazed upon. Until B and D reaches a significant volume. Then the region of C is rested and only opened during another fenced regions or drought. This cycle alternates and continues in the coming years. During this time, it is expected that living fences reach an optimum height and volume. Along with grasses animal types are cycled, between cattle, goats and camels.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Schematic diagrams of the grass & fences Year 4

Plans through the lens of wetness Grass cycling

Annual seed mix A & perennial C

Annual seed mix B & perennial D

Annual seed mix A & perennial C second expanse

Annual seed mix B & perennial D second expanse

Fences of seed mix A(closed) & C (open for grazing)

Fences of seed mix A & C (open for grazing) B & D (closed for grazing)

Composite of all fences after five years

Growth of Fences in time

Existing Fences


Foresting parameters Taking cues from the elements observed from the satellite images, like vegetations thriving and more prevalent on the windward side of the hills, foresting parameters were devised. To use this recurring attribute of the region, relative high points and a low points were identified in the microtopography of the site. This revealed regions for trees and regions (lower areas) for grasses. During the monsoon season Tilwara receives winds at an average of 7mph for for approximately 641 hrs/yr, from the SSW. So trees are to be planted at perpendicular to the wind direction, to act as windcatchers. Coupling this with the terrain, and only planting trees on the windward side of the hills, helps in intercepting moisture. Resulting in a sustainable foresting schemes.

Ridges & Relative Low points

Year 1

Year 2

Existing Trees

Composite plans with buildings Year 2


Wind directions and its perpendicular

Year 3

Existing Fences

Year 3

Planting Direction with respect to topography

Year 4

Tracing Water Flow lines

Year 5

Water Accumulation

Year 7

Steward & sustenance Coming to the last part of the five years, task now is to designate a steward which is a necessity for the sustenance of the Oran. Some of these can be- A research institute and which provides of educational seminars on pastural and agriculture practices; secondly a temple as a religious steward. The latter being a permanent “pledged� steward on behalf of the village. Changes in throughout the five years is anticipated diagrammatically and represented through staining. It is imperative to look through the lens of staining since wetness is everywhere, importance of which is more so in the desert landscape. Staining is an attempt to cultivate the eye that looks beyond the scene to engage the ecologies and people. It can be expected that once the integrity builds up, the wisdom and technology will be transferred to another Oran, and later to hundreds of communities those can help enhance the system which is connected, healthy and set an example of sustainability, which is acquired from traditional knowledge.

0 10 50


500 ft 25

Dry Season 26

The Agor: Water hole and the Oran

Wet Season 27

Adopt a mangrove | The Sundarbans Academic | Spring 2018 INDEPENDENT STUDY Instructor: Maria Villalobos Please scan to view the project animation or visit: https://youtu.be/pXdVED1iN48


etween the stern Himalayas and the troubled Bay of Bengal, lies the entangled rivers in the Ganges Basin. This large water shed encompassing much of Northern India and Bengal drains through to create one of the most diverge ecological patches in the region The Sundarbans. The Sunderbans is the largest patch of halophytic mangroves in the world, and home to the Bengal Tiger. This independent study is about creating awareness regarding its many attributes, ecosystem services and ecological justice. Although primarily academic, it my own personal quest to further understand the challenges put up through the nature culture divide.


Threats due to Human activities Population pressure


Human settlement

Port activities


Power plants


Sea-level rise


Habitat loss

Ecological Services

Delta Flow & formation systems

Decreasing mangroves of Sundarbans



Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Academic | Fall 2017 A cross-disciplinary studio Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Instructors: Maria Villalobos, Oscar Grauer


UFRJ: Preservação Preservation of Guanabara Bay Initial Analysis Team: Cyrus Khan, Allison Koll & Xiaolin Chen

Historical transformation in the natural landscape Anthropocentric roles altering the mangroves/Atlantic forests

Early images of the pristine Guanabara bay

Early hydrological map of the bay

1501 First colony

1586 L’Isle des Margaias

Agriculture and domesticating the land

French Traders settle here for Brasil wood

Strategic position for Portugues Navy

Poaching in the bay

1822 Independence of Brazil



Colonial Era



Cartographic map of 1821

Historic map overlaid with current vegetation helps demonstrate and speculate the loss of mangroves and Atlantic forest.

Anticipated extents of untouched Mangroves | Current vegetaion with Urban footprint

Historic map overlaid with current vegetation helps demonstrate and speculate the loss of mangroves and Atlantic forest.


Urban pressures

Sedimentation and flow of water

1830s first urban colony

1910 Modern times growing demand for land

1970 ... led to turn to water for land reclamation Landfilling operations in Ilha do Fundao and adjacencies

Guanabara Landfilling operations, affecting the flows and mangroves

Reclamation operations taking place at the mouth of the rivers; distancing the mangroves from water and also disrupting hydrological flows. And it could be speculated that modification of the flow channels along with land reclamation could be a primary cause in the sedimentation taking place in certain areas of the bay, consequently affecting the tidal movements in the Bay. (a compound speculation)

Over 200 years of pollution... 1800s


Slaves transfer human waste into Guanabara ... overtime infrastructures were built but were in-adept with growing pressures. Hence now Mangue Canal is one of the carriers of sewage.



1960 Botafoga Beach Swimming prohibited


The bay stays neglect as the other next Detoriated fishing habitat to “The Museum of Tomorrow

Destruction of fragile ecosytems of Mangroves, the Atlantic Forest and the Restinga. Fauna at risk: Toninhas, Rockfish, Tuna, Variegated Tinamou, Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Band-tailed Antwren, etc...

Threat of Sea-level rise Currently Pollution looms as the most critical drawback to the Guanabara Bay. However, in the recent future, Guanabara bay may expand in area, due to climate and the consequent sealevel rise, morphing its way through it will submerge critical regions of human settlement and also of mangroves. With a 1 ยบC of global temperature , the sea would rise by 7ft and for 2 ยบC, the sea

Map of Sea-level rise

would rise by 15ft . Sea level rise will also put infrastructures at risk. However, most importantly it will put critical habitats at risk, which have no room for migrating, as the sea approaches. With a 1 ยบC of global temperature , the sea would rise by 7ft and for 2 ยบC, the sea would rise by 15ft . Sea level rise will also put infrastructures at risk. However, most importantly it will put critical habitats at risk, which have no room for migrating, as the sea approaches. 35

Sedimentation and flow of water

Pollution, organic sediment & Heavy metals

Threats to Ilha do Fundao

A maximum average of 3cm/year of sediment flows into the bay, in the form of sewage, stormwater run-off, garbage and debris.

-8.5 million people -65% untreated sewage: 470 tons of biological -oxygen demand. -150 tons of industrial wastewater

-Surrounding water polluted with heavy metals, sewage, -high organic sedimentation, gradual sedimentation and sea level rise.

The basin of the bay is also subject to sedimentation of heavy metals. This actively detoriate the ecology. Passively, this sedimentation regions have Echo-types reflectiung the decreasing marine and tidal influence towards the bay’s interior. Creating a cycle of physical change.

Baia de Guanabara is one of the most degraded areas of the Brazilian coast, as it of 70% of the domestic sewage without treatment of 16 municipalities, along with garbage, industrial wastes and debris that reduce its depth by up to 3cm per annum.

Research question: What are the regional conservation elements and how does the campus serve as a padgogical medium in such preservation efforts?

Concentration of phosphorous (main indicator of organic wastes) and causes of europhication has increased from 1870 to present day by 92%. The bay is rendered to have five distinct strata of water-quality. From 1 being better to 5 being the most degraded. The eco barriers and treatment plants located around the bay. Although their presence helps reduce the sewage and garbage into the bay, large amounts of heavy metals are still present. On the contrary, the tidal actions of the bay recycles 50% of the Bays waters in approximately 14 days.


Composite map of issues engulfing Guanabara bay


UFRJ: Rede de CoalizĂŁo Network of Coalitions: the new Knowledge commons Design Team: Nick Jabs, Cyrus Khan & Sean Scott Evan As urban landscapes, university campuses hold the key to fostering encounters, social participation & dispersion of knowledge, extending beyond boundaries. The underlying premise or narrative of the project is based on the appreciation of learning mechanisms, contemporary pedagogy in the age of the anthropocene and the coupling with the experiential learning philosophy of John Dewey. Imagining the scope of university design and its role, through identifying existing actors, enabling coalitions, and form collaborative networks. There is the possibility of enabling a innovation in proximity, And stitching these accupuntural coalitions, into a performative armature and of systems thinking would serve as a robust framework not just for landscape design, but as social and ecological equalizers. Worthy of replication, through out the region.

UFRJ Fundao Island Port of Rio de Janeiro Downtown Rio

Attributes within the island Mangrove Conservation areas are negative enclaves Catalao: conservation area

Pollution + Degradation Open Space - No Public Realm

Diminishing budget for Maintenance

Archeology- religious outpost


Auto Oriented Incomplete/ Unmanaged gardens- Open Swathes 15000 Vehicles move in and out of the island per day School of Design’s modern architecture in decrepit state Mangroves as negative enclaves

The Archipelago

The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro is located in downtown Rio and the Fundao island. The area of the Ilha Universitária was constituted by eight small islands Fundão, Baiacú, Cabrasts, Pindaí do Ferreira, Pindaí do França, Catalão, Bom Jesus and Sapucaia, which were land filled and interlinked, totaling a surface of 5,9 million square meters. Traces of which can be connected to sealevel rise.

“Modernist Utopia” Masterplan

The Federal University was part of a modernist utopia. Designed by Lúcio Costa et al, to be an island city and revealed the idea of city as landscape with parks and gardens of Burle Marx, embedded in between.

Fragmented Enclaves

The utopian design never met complete fullfilment. And after the dictatorship took over in 1964, it further distanced the university island city. And after a while, land in the university island was leased corporate actors like Petrobras and today tech companies.

Disassociated Actors

These actors, and the university, already separated from the mainland are further enclaved with boundaries and long stretches of roadways, with no framework for interractions within social or ecological.


Key questions:

Innovation in Proximity

Digital Information Revolution

Collaborative Networks

enhance translucent programs

Collaborative Networks Diagram: Cyrus Khan

Existing actors & seeds

Diagrams: Nick Jabs


Enabling Coalitions

Unearth embedded infrastructure

Fascilitate self-organizing initiatives

An appropriated pedagogy Dewey in the Age of the Anthropocene

cultivate eco-gradients

Dewey Today, Tomorrow

juxtaposition distant partnerships


performative armatures


generate permeable hybrids

What is the role of the university in the city? What paradigm(s) are best suited for education in the 21st century?

Coalitions: Actors and Mechanisms Diagrams: Team


Initial ideas of typologies

Coalition Types


Latent Coalitions + Initial Opportunities

Through analysis we identified key locations for interventions; we identified few latent coalitions and initial opportunities, based on open areas and surrounded by existing actors.

Existing Actors

Armature & Programs


New Campus Futures


Network of Coalitions

The design interventions are directed at certain areas, of acupunctural extent. These were designated into 6 regions of interventions (each members responsible of two adjacent regions). Diagram: Nicholas Jabs, Sean Scott & Cyrus S Khan


Existing Actors

Armature + Programs



Catalao District


Northern Walkscape


Centro Fundao

Nick Jabs

Sean Scott

Existing Actors

Armature + Programs



Canal Side Mangrove

Sean Scott


Jardim De Burle Marx


Sappucaia District

Cyrus S Khan


Planting scheme to a performative armature

Framed experimental gardens in densities

Ecotone of mangrove species

Ground excavation to extend the slope of mangroves and connect to the incomple framework of Burle Marx garden.


Jardim de Burle Marx

Sapucaia District

Plan of sites 5: Jardim de Burle Marx & 6: Sapucaia District Design & Drawing: Cyrus Sohrab Khan

N 0



Enabling Coalitions Through Time In Catalao District It is imperative that within the next few years (or now), that it becomes impossible for groups of certain economic strata within the island find it impossible for continuing livelihood, like the workers village and fishermen. So this series of drawings (transactions), show how after fisherman approach the School of Environmental Sciences to devise a mechanism to address the current challenges; and unfolds the consequent sequence of events, its actors, their interactions within, a. However, most important of this is the embedded benefits and incentives; which not only encompass the monetary, but of experience and pedagogy. Although in reality, this process will encounter hindrances of bureaucracy, funding, politics, etc.. Nevertheless, we must never stop the pursuit of justice, equality of economy and ecology.

1 Catalyst


2 Framework

3 Input

4 Proposals

5 Partners

6 Implementation

7 Evolution

Scan to view the animation


Diagram: Cyrus S Khan & Nicholas Jabs


Existing Actors



Armature + Programs


Design: Nicholas Jabs


Catalao District


Catalao District Plan and Section Design: Nicholas Jabs


Existing Actors

Jardim de Burle Marx The main anchor here is the School of design with corporate offices and School of literature and innovation hubs other academic bldngs to its south. The incomplete Burle Marx garden … acts as a heritage of modern landscape architecture to site. That innately provides for the structure and framework for a learning landscape, which is the mangrove phylogenetic garden school bringing the design school with academic programs like agriculture, Environmental science botany. The Mangrove phylogenetic garden schools builds the capacity to address the larger restoration project


Armature + Programs


of the guanabara bay. It will provide for a open air Lab where to to learn about how the mangrove habitat works and it’s important for the future of Rios urban landscape. Together schools of engeneering, biology, and design… will build this place over time and offer their ‘commons’ as spaces of encounter and their greenhouses will become the landscape academies of the new generation. As a nursery of democracy and urban ecology values. Design: Cyrus S Khan


Catalao District Plan and Section Design: Cyrus S Khan


Sappucaia District



Armature + Programs

Existing Actors




Process As Regional Catalyst

Diagram: Cyrus Khan


In the terrain of wetness Elective: Design in the Terrain of Water Instructor: Anuradha Mathur


Walking through a familiar path and seeing through the lens of wetness and mapping wetness through staining.


Practices of Tradition Team: Kazi Sumaiya Saifee & Cyrus Sohrab Khan “Kantha” (Light-weight quilt) is a traditional practice of craft in Bangladesh. the craft is a prime example of re-using existing fabric in an innovative way. It’s an art of transformation of threads from “Saree” to becoming a quilt. The threads of saree goes through different seasons embodying moisture/wetness in different degrees. Slowly the threads lose their Sweating






color, strength. From sweating, to washing, to drying, threads go through continuous transformation, not to be abandoned but to be re-used in a different way. Layers of threads of worn out fabrics are stitched to give a new integrity and life to the material. This stitch is known as the ‘running stitch’ or kantha. The threads which are used to stitch the threads from kantha, are often taken from old worn out saree. So, eventually almost every thread transforms into a different character. “Saree” becomes “Kantha” which already carries so much history within it, and the practice gets passed by from one generation to next generation.


Practices of Design: In search of complete water

Water as a molecule has one of the strongest of bonds in the chemical world, the covalent bond. Yet it is the universal solvent, readily ionic. Hence, everything is within, around and made of it. Kongjian Yu in his essay Complete water, invokes a universal, also laterally a very intimate understanding of that term. Since for me the most natural form of complete water is that of pond when its waters meet that of the river, when tasted left a mild and sincere taste of duckweeds, with a hint of sweet mud. Long since then that I have tasted that water, but complete water is unique, like the genius of the place. What remains the same is perhaps the attributes of water If we question its certainty, water or complete water is elusive. How complete water forms, may be summed up of clutter composites with million segments with chemical and physical exchanges. Yu demonstrates that industrialization may have reduced water to a chemical reality. But this chemical reality gives us a rhetorical push to understand it further. The experiments here are results of such an attempt.Perhaps in the pursuit of wetness these physical and chemical exchanges are what we never see and are taken for granted, that which eventually makes it complete. In line with the Houton park project, which purifies waste water to a bearable extent. Here the water goes through changes which are not visible: sedimentation of wastes, and as well as chemical exchanges with plants of


treated with bleach

treated with oil

phytoremediation. The experiment here undergoes is a pursuit identifying whether to couple or decouple the state of water, before and after of the complete water. The experiments conducted here are efforts to understand properties of water. As a solvent, (physical change); secondly, as a medium for bleaching (chemical change); thirdly that which inhibits water, oil. Materials used: Water Colors, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hypochlorite, Handmade paper and water.


Dynamic Diagrams | Wetland Generation Academic | Fall 2016 Media III Instructor: Michael Luegering Scan to view the animation or visit: https://youtu.be/kfKCYuDGCNI

Making of a wetland for habitat regeneration Designing a wetland as such requires multifaceted parameters. Only a few of which are soil, aspect, forest-cover, slope and prevailing winds. For example to generate a wetland for birds to breed, it would require that the site are protected from a prevailing winds. In the Alleghany county, the prevailing winds is from the North-west to South-west, during winter. Wetlands would also require to be in a low elevation to retain water and its consequential flora and fauna of the birds’ ecosystem.

Softwares used: ArcGIS Rhino 3D Grasshopper Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects



Comparison of slopes

Road Network



Aspect Emphasized

Soil types


Land-cover & forest cover


All weighted overlays


Weighted overlay

Weighted sum

Weighted sum above 25

300ft buffers from kernel density

slope analysis _ Hachure lines

Subsite options

largest sub-site by area

Roads and Contour lines

Slope analysis- hachure lines

vacant parcels

vacant parcels below mean elev

vacant parcels below mean elev-1100ft

vacant parcels below mean elev-1030ft

300 ft buffer

vacant parcels in buffer region

vacant parcels in the forest patches

Subsite C- Roads and Contour lines

selected vacant parcel


D10 Pedestrian Parkway Academic | Spring 2013 & Fall 2017

ARC 501 (B.Arch) Instructor: A F Mahmudun Nobi & Hafizul Hasan & LARP 612 Workshop IV (MLA II) Instructor: Greg Burrell & Brad Thornton Detail area for construction Drawing


Views of the Pedestrian Walkways



Pavement Section

Site Materials Plan

Wall & Pavement Section

Water flow and Detail mark up on site plan

Pavement Enlargement plan





Forrest Park, Xi An, China Employer: Botanical city (Internship) Leader Architect: Michael Sorkin Studio Landscape Design: Maria Altagracia Villalobos, Carla Urbina, GĂŠnesis Ramirez, Kazi Sumaiya Saifee, Cyrus Sohrab Khan


he Forrest Park landscape design seeks to extend the ecological connection between the Wei River Valley and the Qinling Mountains, which frames the urban landscape of the city of Xi’an (former capital of China). From north to south, the project explores the value and richness of the arid landscapes, the liquidambar living treasures, the humid subtropical vegetation in the gardens, as it celebrates the native flora and iconic plants of China through the Cherry Forest and the Butterflied Gardens and Playground. Finally, the main entrance welcomes visitors with the trees that speak about longevity and vitality of the city.

Concept and Planting : Maria Villalobos, Carla Urbina Drawing: Cyrus Khan, Kazi Sumaiya Saifee


Schematic Design : Maria Villalobos, Carla Urbina Drawing: GĂŠnesis Ramirez, Cyrus Khan

Plan Render: Cyrus Khan, Kazi Sumaiya Saifee & Maria Villalobos


Description per area: The semi-arid climate of the Wei River Valley (to the north), is known for being one of the ancient routes of silk. The rock gardens and the silk road celebrate such history. The northern area of the Forrest park is a hill where you can see the diversity of the arid landscape. The north access and its slopes allow access to the park through the Rock Garden, where people can walk among small trees and shrubs typical of the arid region. The foliage of the Morus alba, Morus alba pendula, and Morus nigra will attract butterflies like the Bombyx mori and Bombyx mandarina. In these gardens, one would regularly see the silk cocoons of these species, between the hill and its reservoirs of intermittent natural water.

Elevation West

Elevation North

Elevation East

Sections : Maria Villalobos, Carla Urbina, Cyrus Khan


The water gardens capture the waters of the mountain in a set of ponds that later turn into waterfalls towards the subtropical zone that is inside the dome. The northern access of the dome is accentuated by a Babylonian Salix (Weeping willow), collection of equisetum spp., Nelumbus nucifera and Sporobolus spp. The water gardens capture the wetness of the mountain through a set of ponds that later turn into waterfalls towards the subtropical zone inside the dome. The northern access of the dome is accentuated by a Babylonian Salix (Weeping willow), a collection of Equisetum spp., Nelumbus nucifera and Sporobolus spp.

The north and south areas are linked by Cherry Road (Prunus spp.), and mark the opening to the park that extends as a bridge over the commercial space. The elevated park has a series of viewpoints, of stay, shade, light, games, that go in descent, towards the level of the game gardens (located on the first level of stores). The Butterfly Playground Gardens, are places for relaxation, imagination, and enjoyment among wildflowers, drafting tables, and more. At Forest Park people will learn about the meanings and values of over 50 fundamental Chinese plants, aromatic and fruit trees, like Captis spp., and Carthamus spp, species, from which dyes produced. Towards the urban edges, the Oaks

Finally, towards the south facade, the golden majesty of the Ginkgo Biloba takes the center of the space. To the west of this main area an open and flexible field allows for multiple types of performance to occur and constanly active the public spaces of the park. Along the main streets, the Ginkbo Biloba treess come back to offer users the experience of a forest, reminding all visitors of the proximity and uniqueness of the Qinling Mountains.

sequence flank the east and west streets. The sports spaces, waiting and viewing areas occur among local fruit trees.

Elevation South


Pro-Poor Slum Integration Project Employer: BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, BRAC University (consultant to NHA) Team leader: Fuad H. Mallick, Ph.D, Yasmin Ara, Khondakar H. Kabir Community architects: Ishita Alam, Mahmuda Alam, Suhailey Farzana, Upama Baidya, Sumaiya Rufida, Rubaiya Nasreen, Farhana Tahseen Year: 2014

What is Pro-Poor Slum Integration Project? The Pro-Poor Slums Integration Project (PPSIP) has been initiated by the Government of Bangladesh with financial support from the World Bank to improve the quality of life and overall living condition of the poor community living in the urban slums. National Housing Authority will lead in planning and implementing the project. Poverty alleviation has engendered a strong emphasis for the PPSIP on the basis that a higher standard of living will be achieved by enhancing security of tenure, improving infrastructure, and facilitating access to credit. This segment of the population is deprived of physical assets, political influence, basic s ervices and access to social capital. It is realized that global efforts to improve living conditions of slum dwellers, as enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals would not be achievable unless the slum dwellers are upgraded as communities with secure livelihood and the primary needs. Thus, the focus of the PPSIP is not limited to a housing project only; rather implement a sustainable solution enhancing the community’s self-assurance, livelihood sustainability, and resilience. http://projects.worldbank.org/P130710/pro-poor-slums-integrationproject?lang=en&tab=overview

List of Responsibilities Conduct field visits, help community membersvvc to prepare maps; take minutes, and reports; help communities understand the bottom up process, ide ntify their strengths & weaknesses and build trust; develop options and alternatives for housing, master plan and infrastructure interventions of the communities.


Why we MAP? Rapport building | Community engagement | Community empowerment Mapping with the community members is among the first intrractions with the community. As designers we lend our technical abilities and fascilitate, into making these maps (below). Through this common engagement both us and the community members are aware of their buildings, their plot sizes and that of their neighbors, and finally their greater neighborhood. This process passively identifies potential leaders and empowers them with a greater understaning of their nighborhood, in strengths and weaknesses in infrastructure and governance. We believe mapping excercise by itself is a tool of empowering community individuals.


HOUSING OPTIONS Housing options were designed in accordance to the needs to community families. In oredetr to identify certain prototypes and examples for cost estimation. OPTION 03 of 07 Two story house for one extended household; Floor area for first phase: 283 sft; Floor area for second phase: 297 sft; Floor area for stair: 49 sft Option 03 is designed for one extended family. This layout contains courtyard and is connected to first floor by an external staircase. This two story house can be constructed incrementally. Ground floor can be built with two storiedfoundation in first phase which contains one room, one kitchen and a toilet. It will cost BDT 2, 53,050 (USD 3,124.1). In later phase, one room can be added in the ground floor with two storied- foundation and an external stair to first floor. Estimated cost of the stair is BDT 37,208 (USD 459.4) and additional room with two storied foundation is BDT 81,909 (USD 1011.2 ). Eventually, first floor can be constructed with two rooms, one kitchen, one toilet and a verandah. It will cost BDT 2, 58,243 (USD 3188.19).


Rendered Image of Option 03


Working Drawing for housing types


Rendered Image of other Options


Maps made with community members...

...translated to these layers of maps:


After infrastructural intervention Before




Rendered Images after infrastructural interventions

Scan to view the animation



Mosharrof Residence Professional | 2015-16 | Architecture and Interior design Site: Dhaka, Bangladesh Co-architect: Badruzzahan Ahmed

Mosharrof Residence was a residential project, for architectural and interior design. The design encompassed a new archtectural layout on an existing tructural framework. This was designed starting from a conceptual level, having a central living space with visual connectivity. Encorporating traces of islamic architecure and Bengali living culture. The project already having structural framework meant it had existing design barriers, however, turning it around to imagine the interior design first brought the best out of the design. So the project turned from the problem solving to making most out of its potential.

Responsibliites: 1. Structural amendments drawings 2. Conceptual design 3. Schematic design 4. Construction dwgs 5. Interior design renders 6. Electrical layout 7. Interior design details 8. Furniture design and specification 9. Market survey and specification Status: Built Client rating: 4/5






School of Fine Arts | Asian University for Women Academic | Fall 2013 | B.Arch Site: Chittagong, Bangladesh Instructor: Atiqur Rahman, AF Mahmudun Nobi, Shakil Ahmad Shimul

An integration between western, mediterranean, and asian typologies of universities, to create...� a fundamentally courtyard concept, except that it is linear and has a spine. it is sort of a connection between the sook and courtyard typology of buildings...� -Moshe Safdie


masterplan configuration

1 the purple lines in the diagrams Above indicates the vehicular circulation within the campus site.

2 the yellow lines in the diagrams Above indicates the pedestrian circulation.

Masterplan by Moshe Safdie The Asian University for Women (AUW), located in Chittagong, Bangladesh. However, the master plan for the future campus of the Asian University for Women has been developed by the renowned architectural firm Moshe Safdie and Associates. And the first phase of the Master Plan, called the Campus Center, has begun construction. AUW is now a liberal arts university. With the new campus on the way, it may expand into other disciplines, like as engineering and/or fine arts, in the next phases ofy the master plan. Such is this project, which iscould probably serve as an academic block of the second phase of the master plan; housing the SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS. The site consists of rolling hills, deep valleys, permanent and intermitteIt lies 6 km north of the commercial center, 15 km from the city’s international airport, and is immediately adjacent to the Foy’s Lake recreational area.nt streams. The land surrounding the AUW site represents one of the last undeveloped areas of Chittagong’s unique hilly landscape. Locating the University campus within the city limits, but in an undeveloped area where its closest neighbors are a golf course and a military cantonment and the Foy’s Lake natural area to the south, offers a degree of separation from the activities of the city center

3 the buff blocks in the diagrams indicate the academic blocks, administrative and other services building blocks

4 the magenta blocks in the diagrams indicate the residential building blocksof students and faculty members of AUW.

5 the relation ship between the hills and the academic blocks, and also with the landscape elements like the promenade, lawns and waterbody.

6 section along an academic blocks, showing the intermediate zones between the academic blocks and the residential Blocks.


Choosing the Site for the school

The site for the school of fine arts, is part of the second phase plan of the master plan. Existing site has a hill, which is planned to be leveled before any building is built upon it. in this proposal, the idea was to somewhat keep the hill intact and design accordingly. In the process creating a sense of interaction with the natural hill and the man-made... Through this it would generate spaces of interaction, which are at the same time introverted and fluid at different levels along the slope of the hills. Also respecting the existing zoning of the master plan. The Asian University for Women (AUW), located in Chittagong, Bangladesh. However, the master plan for the future campus of the Asian University for Women has been developed by the renowned architectural firm Moshe Safdie and Associates. And the first phase of the Master Plan, called the Campus Center, has begun construction.

Voronoi seeds of visual and physical connectors in the entire masterplan

Random dots set out according to the usable land and probable sites of interraction and circulation, physical connection (deep blue) and those of visual connectivity (green). connecting these dots as a voronoi diagram, closest ones connected, gives us primary voronoi cells, differentiation of these lines provides secondary voronoi cells. The next step was to fill the cells as per the masterplan’s zoning and Usable land on the slope of the hills. combining these cells lead to the most probable form in the usable land on the slope.

the terrain

Primary tessellation

Primary voronoi cells

Usable spaces along the slope

Secondary tessellation

Secondary voronoi cells

visual and physical connectors

Combined voronoi cells

Yellow marks the probable pedestrian around the site


Voronoi seeds of

Idea sketches

Idea of the central space

Idea sketches: imagining the layout of programs along the slope

Schematic Section

Thinking three dimensional zoning

Idea of think spots

Initial plan


The schematic layout of Programs

Turning to the organizational principle of the programs that the building complex houses, most of which was derived from the initial requirements of the small classrooms, small student ot teacher ratio and the thinkspots. And the bubble diagrams depict the schemetic layout of the initial plans and consequently the final ones. The think spots (yellow) are at the center of the arrangement, surrounded by classrooms or studios (Blue), and by other programs like faculty rooms (magenta), library(red), etc.. These are arranged as such that programs like library or coffee dispenser/stall falls in between programmatic zones like faculty and administrative blocks and the think spot. Or w\in between the workshops and the studios. Here the programmes are arranged as such that there is a entrrance from the vehicular circulation of the campus which is at higher ground. From the entrance leads the faculty offices and the inhouse library, then the Think spot. Which further leads to the studios on th south, underneath which would be the lower grounds and other amenities. On this south side of the building is the pedestrian access from the students residential halls. This is followed in both the department wings of architecture (on the east) and of Fine arts (on the west).

Other activities governing layout

Overlay of voronoi diagram on Master-plan


photo merge of the thinkspot and conceptual section


Spatial plan of school of fine arts



500 ft


Section AA’


Floor Plans Exploded axon showing floor plans and corresponding circulations Plan at + 40’-0”

Plan at + 30’-0”

Plan at + 20’-0”

Plan at + 10’-0”

Plan at + 0’-0” 94

Sectional Perspectives and dialogue with the Landscape Sectional Perspective below shows how the building complex creates dialogue with the surrounding landscape. The Landscape is firsty thought to be designed with contextual community of plants, found within the site and nearby regions.

Section FF’

Section CC’

Section GG’ 95


Design of the skin

South Elevation

The elevation on the southern faรงade of the building provides a climatic protection as well as a source for energy. The southern faรงade has a screen of polycarbonate, and embedded within it are solar panels at specific angels for generating electricity. The pattern is devised as such that he perforations are smaller and less denser at regions where the windows meet the ceiling, this enables the screen to act as a louver and provide shading. The interior spaces therefore have variant patterns of light and shadows. The Pattern continues on the top on the roof. Here the larger perforations are zones of green on the roof and the smaller perforations or no perforations are zone of pedestrian retreat.

Skin on Elevation

Model Images


Elevation Pattern

Above the image below shows the waterbody and the surrounding landscape Below shows the relationship with the rest of the masterplan


Edu-tainment certain Academic | Spring 2011 | B.Arch Site: Dhaka, Bangladesh Instructor: Hafizul Hasan, AF Mahmudun Nobi

Education and entertainment has always been a binary opposite in programmatic terms. However, this middle ground provides room for unique programs and interactions of agglomeration. The building houses educational programs, commercial and an element of landscape in one of the crowded region of Dhaka city. The Building needed to be iconic and house multifaceted programs

Plan at firsth floor

Plan at ground floor

Plan at second floor

Plan at fourth third level


Plan at basement level

Plan at fourth floor level

North Elevation

South Elevation

Model Images View from the SE side of the building


Dancing Ooblecks 120 Hours Competition https://www.120hours.no/theentries/dancing-ooblecks/ Competition | Academic | Spring 2014 Site: Øyafestival, Tøyenparken, Oslo Team: Cyrus Sohrab Khan, Rafid Reasat Hai & Fadel Samad Faruq



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