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advanced design portfolio. daniel s johnson

USF - SACD - 2011

“In memorable experiences of architecture, space matter and time fuse into one single dimension, into the basic substance of being, that penetrates the consciousness. We identify with this space, this place, this moment and these dimensions as they become ingredients of our very existence. Architecture is the art of mediation and reconciliation.�

juhani pallasmaa

table of contents. advanced design a advanced design b advanced design c study abroad mosaic photography dedications

advanced design a During the summer of 2010 Michael Halflants guided a group of 15 students through the historic landscape of Spain. The studio’s focus was on studying contemporary architecture within a historical fabric. The project which consumed the summer’s work was based in the spanish city of Cordoba. This city was once home to the romans and the moors, and the architecture of the city certainly expresses these reigns. With Cordoba’s rich history it became the perfect backdrop for a thoughtful and sensitive program.

cordoba, spain 37°53’0’n 4°46’0’w

ancient manuscript library The importance of libraries in the contemporary world are becoming less significant due to the convenience of the digital world. There is still something to be said about a book in ones hands, the smell of it’s age, the texture of it’s parchment and the scale of the typography. This haptic experience of a book is very human in nature. In this studio the class was tasked to design a library for rare ancient manuscripts cateloging the history of Cordoba, Spain. The building was to include display areas for the manuscripts, reading areas, an office, services, a cafe, and work space.

templo romano When the romans were in control of Cordoba construction of a roman temple began during the reign of Emperor Claudius between 41 and 54 AD and ended during the reign of Emperor Domitian between 81 and 96 AD. The ruins were discovered in the 1950’s when the city began construction on an expansion of the local City Hall. It stands there today as one of the few remaining ancient roman ruins of the city.

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courtyard lobby cafe reception bathroom ramp





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manuscript display reading room bathroom office conference room outdoor balcony



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manuscript display computer area mechanical workroom storage outdoor balcony


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longitudinal section

a historical view One primary goal of the design was to maintain a strong visual relationship with the near by ruins. It was important that all of the primary spaces keep visual contact with these ruins to remind the user of the history of the city, especially while reading the ancient manuscripts. The ruins can be enjoyed while enjoying the courtyard space, or approaching the site from the park, or while reading a manuscript from the northern reading area or the private outdoor balconies.

moorish screen Cordoba has a rich history of various cultures that are apparent throughout the cities architecture. One of the primary cultures that made Cordobae their home were the Moors. At one point in time Cordoba was the capital of the islamic culture. One of the qualities of islamic architecture are the use of patterned screens. These screens were placed to create a sense of spirituality. They not only ‘calmed’ a space but they made these spaces mysterious due to the effects they generated with light. My screen system became the building envelope that faced the roman ruins and also lined the primary circulation path throughout the building. Circulation often becomes a less emphasized space in a building but in this building it is integral as it is how one moves to and from all of the primary spaces so it deserved a special architectural feature.

roman inspired construction While the moorish screen became the lightness of the building the structural heaviness, the protection, of the building references the strong roman rule of ancient Cordoba. The structure is made of poured concrete waffle slabs, a technique which the romans invented. The waffle densifies were the manuscripts stand and lighten in weight where they do not.

summary Roman inspired construction, Moorish inspired enclosure and a Kahn inspired plan all came together in this design to generate a meaningful and sensitive strategy to solving the challenges of creating an ancient manuscript library. Visiting the ancient site and learning from it’s real physical qualities helped tie together all of the design intents. It was a summer project and trip that will never be forgotten.

advanced design b The third year of graduate studies brings upon on of the toughest tasks a student must take on, Advanced Design B. This semester was lead by Professor Dan Powers and he was certainly did not make it an easy semester. The challenge of this semester is dealing with large scale programs, building codes and complex scenarios. This semester Dan challenged students with the task of creating a proposal for a new pier for Saint Petersburg, Florida and a large undergraduate and administration building for the Tampa campus of USF.

madrid, spain unknown project

saint petersburg pier Saint Petersburg, Florida is a leisurely city full of tourists and friendly families. This city is not one of the hustle and bustle but one to grow up in without the dangers of a fast paced city. One of the cities main attractions for both local and visiting families is the pier which reaches out into Tampa Bay. The city has recently reached a decision to tear down the current pier and build a more modern attraction. The students were tasked to attack this challenge.

the history of the pier The first pier in St. Petersburg was built in 1889 after the railroad reached the Bay area. It was constructed to be a recreational tourist attraction. Since the first pier there have been four iterations of it during the years of 1906, 1914, 1926 and finally the newest version in 1976. One of the main issues with the current pier design is the length of the pier and the lack of program along that extended path, as the only real stopping point is at the very end. The city has expressed that they would prefer a pier that was shorter and programmed more densely but would still be an attraction to both visitors and locals alike.

schematic plan The city of St. Petersburg is organized on a typical american grid system of streets and avenues. This urban strategy makes the city very easy to navigate. The downtown area near the pier is full of double loaded cooridors with quaint shops. The concept for the plan of my pier is simply to make the pier and extension 2nd avenue north, maintaining the same characteristics of the existing urban condition.

skeletal framework During my site analysis I was attracted to these skeletal white frames which marched along the pier’s armature. The color, lightness and emptiness of these frames were very interesting to me, especially how they casted shadows. Using that as inspiration I designed a pier that was to be a huge structural framework which could stand on it’s own and be a light sculptural grid of shadow play or these frames could be filled with program as businesses came and went, a complete flexible structural system which could accomodate any program necessary.

Flexible Program

Permanent Program

Boat Terminal

programmatic strategies Fishing Area

As stated before program along the pier would be flexible. Like any street environment businesses could set up shop along the armature of the pier, and when a business moves the emptiness of the structure would remain. The only fixed points along the pier would be an aquarium, restaurant and recreation area in the middle of the pier. At the very end of the pier you would find a boat ferry location which could take you to tampa or other bay locations.t iiscium

summary It was a great experience to design an architectural feature, such as this, in the city which I grew up in for the majority of my teenage years. I used my knowledge of the city to generate a contextually sensitive design which wasn’t loud but more appropriate for a leisurely city such as thing. The flexibility oif the program and the sculptural quality of the light structure creates an experience to enjoy and appreciate the bay environment.

usf undergraduate classroom & support building The University of South Florida is a school that is home to 45,000 students. The Tampa campus is the primary campus of the university. This campus sees most of these students at some point or another. This growing university is in need of a new undergraduate building that not only will house classrooms but will be the site of the schools administration. This demand calls for large building which will give presence to the school and be an architectural icon.

university of south florida marshall student center

context The site is central to the Tampa campus. Facilities planning documents show that the pedestrian path that moves horizontally through campus will be extended and the main vehicular path, Leroy Collins, will be shortened. The building will be the first thing one sees when entering the main axis of campus. The site is also adjacent to the campus library making this buildings location signicant being near a source of daily student life.

program The programmatic considerations of this project were immense. The program is divided into two categories: student facilities (study areas and classrooms) and administrative facilities (offices and departments). The brief specified that the student classrooms have both laboratories (which would recieve natural light) and normal lecture rooms (which would recieve no natural light). The administrative wing would house twelve departments and the deans suite. The student program amounts to a max of 200,355 square feet and the administrative to a max of 136,680 square feet which cumulatively amounts to nearly 340,000 square feet.


lobby space


auditoriums study space classrooms laboratories department suites faculty longe dean’s suite mechanical space restrooms fountain pool






cross section The cross section of this building centers around a large courtyard with water fountains. Ramps lead under the building masses and down to the courtyard space. There is amphitheater seating as you approach the courtyard on both sides. The laboratories look out into the courtyard, hopefully giving the students some activity to look upon during those long lab hours.

approach The visual impact of the exterior of the building is both subtle and iconic depending on how you approach. Approaching from the west towards the student wing one isn’t consumed with an ‘iconic’ feel, however approaching from the south or north down the central vertical axis of campus one is greeted by four iconic administrative towers.

study areas Students have three primary studying spaces, The one featured above is one of two of these types of spaces. This space is completely outdoor and on the roof of the classrooms and is shaded by a large grided structure. The image to the left is the covered study void under the deans suite. This study area looks out onto the length of the central courtyard.

bridges & courtyard The courtyard is the central social space which unifies the entire program. Most of the buildings program has a view of this courtyard. Connecting the four iconic administrative towers are exterior bridges which cross over the courtyard and provide and ariel view the activities below.

breakout locations Due to the long hallways there are a series of ‘breakout’ locations along these circulation routes which allow students to pause, gather and study. These breakout locations are nestled between the structural piers which allow the building to stand strong. The breakout spaces also look out upon the central courtyard and the library.

office towers The iconic element of the building are the four administrative towers which frame both the central vertical access of campus and the courtyard void of the building itself. These towers house 500 offices and 12 department suites.

summary Working with a program this significant was an organizational nightmare, but a welcome and important challenge. This project taught me how to organize a complex system of considerations including: program, social behavior, building and fire codes, egress, indoor/outdoor scenarios. Although my design resulted in a symmetrical plan, the section and indoor/outdoor relationships really make this design something special and responsive not only to the spatial vernacular of the campus but also the weather of the area as well.

advanced design c The final design semester of the advanced design sequence ends with an exploration in urban design. The lessons urban design provides are vast as you have to traverse a complex range of scales from the city scale to the scale of an architectural detail. All of these decisions impact not only a few people but a whole neighborhood. During this semester we were charged with working in one of the most historic and preserved neighborhoods in the state of Florida, Ybor City.

ybor city, florida 1880 - present day

restitching historic ybor city Daniel Johnson Stephanie Herring Etienne Tola This urban semester was guided by Vikas Mehta and was devoted to studying historic Ybor City. This city is protected by the nation due to it’s intact historical importance. Ybor City is typically characterized by it’s red brick streets, wrought iron balconies, and quaint cottage-like residential homes called casitas. Because this city is historically protected it is difficult for contemporary work to be instituted. This semester challenged students to maintain the historic urban fabric but also update it and help bring it into the modern world.

ybor city - tampa bay - florida Ybor City is located northeast of Tampa’s downtown district and is framed by the port of Tampa to the south and Interstate-4 to the north. Today it is a hot spot for young adults to come and party at night and for tourists to walk about during the day time hours. The main attraction of Ybor City is 7th avenue which is the cities core. This stretch of road is home to many brick buildings, wrought iron balconies and hedonistic adventures.

historic development Ybor City was developed in the 1880’s. It was concieved by the Spanish, specifically the Cubans and was used for the industrial manufacturing of cigars. This neighborhood was special because the workers also lived here in small homes called casitas. This neighborhood was meant to be a live-work scenario, a spanish microcosm, in the Tampa Bay area. As time progressed the need for cigars was elimated and Ybor City took off as a tourist destination, and soon was affected by urban renewal during the mid-century.

historic city block pattern

blocks affected by urban renewal

The city was laid out like most american cities at the time, with a grided block pattern. The block dimensions are a very walkable 200 feet by 350 feet. The plan of the city originally had several smaller blocks which ran vertically. These north/south cooridors were assumed to be products of spanish planning and were thought to be main axis’ through the city.

This diagram depicts the amount of original city blocks that were changed in some way during the urban renewal of the mid-century. As you can see the majority of the city was changed, leaving only the now historic core intact.

urban renewal block changes

current city block pattern

With the arrival of Interstate-4 Ybor found itself divided. Many blocks were made much longer and some were changed so dramatically that the grid formation was no-longer discernable.

This is the Ybor city block pattern as is today. The vertical axis is now a system of one way streets which carry heavy vehicular traffic. The east side of Ybor is separated from the historic core by Nuccio Parkway. Overall Interstate-4 has separated the historic city center from the residential district that made this city so unique.

restitching the urban fabric The historic urban fabric of Ybor City has been torn apart by urban renewal. It’s historic brick core is both its strength and its weakness. Becaused of its preserved quality it is a central destination but it also is now an area that is primarily utlized at night because of the fact that most of the program in this core is devoted to nightclubs and bars. Our first strategy to begin to restitch this neighborhood was to bring back the cities historical block structure. By doing this we make the city more coherent and bring back its walkability. Instead of Nuccio Parkway cutting through the city traffic will now be slowed down to a residential speed through 14th and 15th street and also 21st and 22nd street which has been reduced in scale to also reduce speed and safety.

landuse strategy Our landuse strategy involved strenghtening the industrial boundary, mixing in more residential program, especially closer to the core, and extending the commerical program down 21st and 22nd to give the street more pedestrian activity and encourage pedestrian flow to the residential area north of Interstate-4.

garage-mixed typology Located along 8th avenue, a new busy and active artery in our revision of Ybor, this typology is created to respond to the consumption of three current parking lots by adding commercial retail space, a concealed parking garage and three levels of apartment units.

mixed-use typology This four story typology is meant to programmatically and spatially define major streets running north/south. This typology can be found along 21st and 22nd street and also 14th and 15th street, among a few others. The bottom floor serves the public through commercial retail space of one and two story volumes where the upper floors contain a total of fourteen living units and a large private gathering space to the rear.

live-work typology Positioned as a transition typology between the southern industrial area and the row house development north of 3rd avenue. This typology is architecturally similar to a row house typology. Oriented north-south with three levels, becoming more private towards the rear of the lot.

row house typology This 40-foot deep, three story longitudinal row house typology is oriented north-south with sixteen homes side by side on both long sides of one block. Balcony’s overlook both the street edge and the back alley. The spaces become more private as you transition vertically through the home.

transit oriented neighborhood Any good neighborhood offers a variety of transit options to navigate it. In our design we chose to create a trolly loop, an intercity trolly line, a lightrail connection and a bicycle path. These diverse and accessible transit modes allows the city to be more friendly to those without depedance of a vehicle.

master plan - concept The master plan that we designed is focused on two vertical axis’ through the city which reconnect the historic neighborhood to the south to the residential neighborhood to the north. These connections happen along 14th and 15th street and 21st and 22nd street. These connectors are not vehicular in nature but rather are walkable and programmed for both the public and residents. The paths offered are also ver unique to the nature of the city. There, of course, is the normal street path but given the meandering nature of the alley system in Ybor we saw an opportunity to weave a residential alley throughout the center of the two vertical block structures. This alley narrative would give a tighter more and more interesting experience than the traditional and expected street route.

14th street / 15th street ybor city

21st street / 22nd street ybor city

connectivity & public open space As stated in the master plan concept our design included an alley narrative that weaves through the blocks of 14th and 15th street and also 21st and 22nd street. These alley’s have a system of fountains and water features which activiate the senses and create a peaceful and auditory environment to meander through. These alley systems contract and expand into a series of small scale urban social spaces where people can gather and hang out while enjoying various activities.

focus area We were asked to narrow down our design to a small series of blocks. We chose to develop a portion of 14th and 15th street which currently is home to three large parking lots. We saw an opportunity for infill among these blocks that would help transition the city from public to residential but in a more urban sense. This location is also adjacent to the historic city core which is only one block west.

infill strategy Our infill strategy started with creating rectangular forms which began to define tighter passageways and more smaller scale open urban spaces. There is a trolly stop along 8th avenue, this is where our largest public space resides becoming a nice greeting to those arriving tho this destination.

interstitial paths Looking at the negative we created, we see the potential of the smaller alley system and the connectivity to the small open spaces throughout. You can see the central welcoming plaza where the trolly stop is, and how movement spreads out from there throughout the rest of the neighborhood.

alley narrative Ybor City is a small scale place, with spatial intimacy. This series of diagrams shows how the building masses create and maintain these types of spaces by relating the ground to the sky and allowing them to guide and protect those on the journey through our interventiion.

development of focus area The initial massing of the focus area slowly began to develop. Alley spaces widened, public gathering spaces were reduced, and the water and vegetation narrative was further developed. At this point we were asked to individually take ownership of one block each and develop it architecturally. The block I have is featured in the image to the right. It is the block between 8th avenue and 9th avenue and also greets those exiting the trolly along 8th avenue.


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ground floor

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commerical space library space cafe restaurant residential entry

The street level of my block has several features. the primary feature is a plaza which is framed by the three buildings I designed. To the north is the library, cafe and restaurant. To the east is an office and retail building. To the west is a mixed used building housing retail and residential units. All three buildings feature shaded walkways echoing the existing arcades of the surrounding area. A series of smaller alleys help weave people through the block and to the public plaza.

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second floor

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library office space kitchen living residential alley

As you ascend upowards through the residential building you arrive to a east/west oriented circulation spine which is reminiscent of an alley. This double loaded cooridor is how residents circulate to their homes. The eastern building turns from retail on the ground floor to office space above. The library gets smaller and more sectional as you ascend upwards with balconies that overlook many different spaces.




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library bathroom bedroom

The third and final level of program for the residential component results in the master bedroom which for those on the south side looks over 7th avenue whereas those on the north look over the entry alley. Each resident gets their own balcony to enjoy as well. The library’s final level is two spaces for quite reading.

elevated residential alley The circulation for the residents of this area is in the styling of an above ground alley system. The scale and intimacy this provides creates a residential microcosm within the dense urban context.

scale With 8th avenue being along the trolly path and now a residential component being added to this area, the urban section needed to be tight to maintain an intimate feel.

library The Library is a large public building which frames the 8th avenue plaza that we created. This building also provides an interior alley for people to circulate through when they want to espace the humidity of Florida weather. This interior path is illuminated by a lourvered skylight above to help maintain the feeling of being outside. The rest of the library is spatially divided by a series of floor to ceiling walls, which also separate the library from the adjacent restaurant and cafe.

summary This semester taught us one very valuable lesson, in the world of urban design, architects need to think not like architects with their grand gestures and bold interventions, but through subtle, sophisticated and calculated design decisions as they affect not a group of visitors but an entire neighborhood and its surrounding context. The decisions made in this realm carry much more weight than that of a solitary building.

study abroad During our Advanced Design A semester in the summer of 2010 we are guided through the historic and contemporary context of Spain and France. We were asked to keep a journal handy to diagram our architectural studies and also were required to write one hundred words a day. The following short pages are a taste of what was in my journal over the six weeks we were traveling.

spiral fantasia Tampa has been going through many changes, one being the new museum area of the downtown area. Alongside a new park overlooking the campus of the University of Tampa sits the brand new Glazer’s Childrens Museum designed by Gould Evans. The city of Tampa requires that any new building must include a peice of public art. The owners chose mosaic and sculture artist Mari Gardner to design a entry mosaic made of glass. Myself, Emily Resciniti and Ashley Garrett were chosen to assit her carry this task out, This is the result of 6 months of hard work.

process The process of creating each panel was quite extensive. It involved cutting many different types of glass in various shapes, arranging them to a drawn pattern, labeling them both on the wonderboard and the glass, then they were adhered to the wonderboard with thinset, grouted, washed and stored until they were installed. Each peice of glass was painted with a coat of poly to maintain their longevity with Florida temperatures.

shark fins Each shape we worked with was given a name. On the prior pages you can see the ‘blue longs,’ ‘miscellaneous,’ and the ‘green thins.’ This spread features the ‘shark fins’ which were very challenging to arrange. The two spirals are primary features of this mosaic.

summary Working with Mari Gardner was an amazing experience. The extensive and meticulous process that went into creating this large scale mosaic was not only challenging but exhausting. At the end of it all I feel proud to walk by this building and see a peice of real work that I was a major part of. This was an experience I will never forget, something which will be around for as long as that building stands.

travel photography One of the many tools an architect has at analyzing and understanding architecture is the camera. For me photography is a critical tool while traveling. The inexperienced photographer tends to not know to capture the essence or character of architecture, but with a trained eye you can capture and recreate some amazing images which resonates with the intention of the architecture from which it came. The following pages are devoted to my travel abroad to Spain, France, Italy and Greece. Enjoy!

madrid The two images on this spread are photographs of the Caixa Museum by Swiss Architects Herzog & De Muron. This was an adapative reuse project of an old factory. The building is carved out underneath allowing creating a dynamic entry while the roof of the building is capped with a rusted ‘hat’ conceals a restaurant.

madrid To the left is a train station is Madrid by Rafael Moneo. This train station is unassuming until you look up and see it’s beautiful geometries and construction. It features a beautiful occulous which beams light in throughout the day. To the right is a housing project (architect unknown) that is decorated with colorful panels. It really stands out in the neighborhood and it a pleasant and colorful urban surprise.

segovia Only thirty minutes away by train is the wonderful medieval town of Segovia. This town features everything from a castle to a monastary (right) and one of the only remaining roman aquaducts dating back to the 2nd century. This is a wonderful and charming place constructed of beautiful stone masonry. There are few cities like this!

cordoba The images on this spread are from The Great Mosque of Cordoba. The image to the right is what the moors created many centuries ago. When the romans aquired Cordoba they cut a hole in the middle of the mosque and constructed a baroque style cathedral which can be seen to the left. The combination create a strange yet beautiful mixture of religious architectural and spiritual beliefs.

seville The small city of Seville was one of my favorite places. It conatined the smallest streets, most charming architecture and most peaceful and friendly environments. To the left is one of the main plaza’s as viewed from the top of a cathedral. To the right is a view through a window inside one of the palaces.

zaragoza I do not have many good things to say about Zaragoza. It was extremely hot, it felt deserted and it just was a long and tiring day. It was the home to the worlds fair at one point which brought some interesting architecture. To the left is an unknown project which was a covered passageway throughout the fair grounds. To the right is the Spanish Pavilion by Francisco Mangado. The massive roof is held up by a dense series of columns meant to look like bamboo.

grenada This city is home to some amazing modern architecture. Located right across the street from one another are these two peices of modern work. To the left is the Hall of Science (a museum) by Carlos Ferrater. To the right is the Adalusian Museum of Memory by Alberto Campo Baeza, which was such a beautiful building!

bilbao Bilbao is a relatively newly renovated city which has collected a nice variety of modern architecture. To the left is the famous Guggenhiem Museum by Frank Gehry. This whimsical architecture is one of the most visited buildings in Spain. To the right is a library by Rafael Moneo, his use of light is always amazing and sophisticated.

barcelona One of the most exciting cities in Spain is Barcelona. It maintains its historic feel while also allowing many types of modern interventions to be made. To the left is one of the oldest medieval cathedrals in the city. To the right is the impressive Gas Natural Tower by the late Enric Miralles which features a very impressive cantilever and wavy glass facade.

barcelona This vibrant city is also home to the work of Antonio Gaudi. His whacky Casa Batlo can be seen to the right. This colorful and freeform building is one of his seminal works. To the left is the Herzog and De Muron designed ‘Forum’ which features a series of light wells which allow light to pierce through the darkness.

valencia This industrial city is primarily home to only one major peice of modern architecture and that is Santiago Calatrava’s famous City of Arts and Sciences. This series of buildings was inspired by dinosaur bones, and the spaces they sculpt are absolutely incredible. This was one of my favorite works of architecture that I got to experience on this trip.

paris The last place on our abroad journey was a quick visit to Paris, France. It was here where we saw the birthplace of modern architecture. To the right you can see that we visited Le Corbusier’s famous Villa Savoye and to left you can see that we also go to visit the amazingly expressive Centre Pompidou by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano.

florence Since we had a week and a half before we needed to return to the states I decided to travel to Italy. I arrived in Florence and was greeted by the famous Duomo. It’s huge scale impressed me, and the warm colors of the city are shown off in this building. This was a city of reds, oranges and yellows.

santorini The last leg of my personal vacation took me to the magical Greek island of Santorini, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my entire life. The colors of the city are breathtaking, and of course it helps that everything looks over the mediterranean sea. When viewing the cities little towns you can’t even see a road, primarily because they are so densly packed and constantly weave you organically around the buildings.

santorini Along with the beautiful reds, blue and whites that graced the cities architecture there were a variety of textures that help further create a tactile and visual experience. The desert rocks contrasting with the smooth white walls were a great reference to the terrain and the human intervention on this island.

santorini At the end of every day on Santorini I got to experience a view of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen, and I never watched them in the same place twice. These sunsets are so magical that people gather in large groups to watch them and you can even hear the sniffling of people crying at the beauty of the sun setting into the horizon. This was a truly healing place.

thank you. kuebler perry leo morantin stephanie herring david zawko michael halflants mark weston dan powers vikas mehta steve cooke matthew pacheco michelle pudlak mom & dad

02: Advanced Design Portfolio (2010-2011)  

University of South Florida (Graduate) School of Architecture & Community Design. Advanced Design Work (2010-2011): Design A Design B Desi...

02: Advanced Design Portfolio (2010-2011)  

University of South Florida (Graduate) School of Architecture & Community Design. Advanced Design Work (2010-2011): Design A Design B Desi...