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Erica MITCHELL Masters of Architecture - UBC 2012

ERICA LOUISE MITCHELL Masters Of Architecture 2012 | School Of Architecture And Landscape Architecture UBC

ADDRESS 50 Union St, Apt 1 Ottawa, Ontario K1M 1R6 TELEPHONE 613.277.9305 EMAIL WEB

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table of


06K’íit Náay 14Greening Sears 18Cubed 20Future Real Unconditional 22Egg Residence 24London Heritage District 28Photography:

reimagining housing in a Northern reserve through local resources and knowledge reinvigoration and renovation of a downtown department store

first year experimental project analyizing human perception design of a school for a hypathetical future Vancouver

design build project in Haida Gwaii plan completed at SJMA

journey through a lens 2007-2012

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this project explores the ways a community can harvest both their own cultural and physical resources in order to re-make the essence of home

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K’ît N’âay

Rupert Prince

ert up eR inc Pr

ve ou nc Va r

The First Nations of Canada are currently facing a housing crisis across the country. Thousands of people are living within sub-standard housing. Across the country homes have been constructed that are low quality, inappropriate for the climatic conditions of many regions in addition to their basic cultural insensitivity. Throughout the very short history of european occupation Canada has held a poor record in its treatment and understanding of the First Nations that have been present for thousands of years. Housing implies the physical construct and the concept of home is broadly defined and closely linked to identity of self and community. Home is both physically and spiritually essential to the health of a culture and community.

Vanc ouve r

House and home are words that are often used interchangeably, however, home is an abstraction that implies an emotion and a connection to place that the physicality of the term house lacks. This project explores how through locally sourced materials, ideas, and labour the nature of home can be rebuilt to reflect the past, present, and future for a specific community. The community of Old Massett, a Haida Reserve at the northern tip of the archipelago of Haida Gwaii will be the focus of this project. The reserve is currently facing between 70 and 80% unemployment. Out of 120 homes 90 are considered Ill-constructed homes for the climate are infested with black mold and are creating health issues. Embedded within the community is a wealth of knowledge and skills for the construction and design of traditional houses. The design and production of a modular housing system that could be produced locally with local materials would both create employment and clean dry homes for the community. The 100% solid wood modular system is a product that would fit well not only within Haida Gwaii but also throughout BC, providing a marketable value-added product for the Haida managed forest industry. With long spans available in combination with the flexibility of wood as a product the potential for variance within the system is built-in. From forest to home, a clear path means a healthy community.

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Floor 1

Sectional Perspective

Possible iteration for the a Hereditary Haida Chief. System allows for open flexible space to allow for large gatherings.

K’ît N’âay This project proposes the use of a solid timber product wall panel system can be constructed on island using local resources and labour with the people of Haida Gwaii in charge. The mill now owned 50% by Old Massett in Port Clements could expanded into a larger operation including a CNC machine that would allow for the production of solid timber panels. The panels consist of layers of wooden planks that are secured together with hardwood dowels (Image 43). They can use softwoods such as those present on Haida Gwaii with harder alder for dowels to secure the panels together. With a depth of upwards of 350mm these panels provide enough insulation that in the mild climate of Haida Gwaii they could be used without additional insulation, allowing them to breath fully to cut out the dominant black mold issues within the current housing stock.

Massive Wood Panels are constructed by layering planks of wood and then securing them with wooden dowels. The wooden dowels have a lower moisture content and so expand when pounded into the wood panels.

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Open Living Area with Bedroom


Open Living Space with Bathroom

Stairway to Upper Loft

Mobile Kit From these solid timber panels a modular unit is created that can be combined in various combinations to create an endless array of possible designs. Starting with a basic module that can be added to with basic stick frame construction if necessary up to a complex combination that would house a larger family. The needs of individual families can be met through the combinations of modulars of their choosing. Each basic module is 3m by 7.5m and one and a hlaf storeys in height.

Interior of kitchen. High ceilings allow for increased storage and a sense of more space.


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FALL 2009

GREENING Sears reinvigoration and renovation of a downtown department store

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Garden Centre e r i c a

m i t c h e l l

b a k t a s h

i l b e i g g i

Through subtraction we have opened up the Sears building to give it new life. These new voids act as lungs within t h e b u i l d i n g c i r c u l a t i n g a i r, i n a d d i t i o n to people, and sunlight. These new conditions within the building allow provide conditions within plants can grow and a Home Depot Garden Centre can operate. Within our project pleasure and saustainability are the same thing. With the insertion of these voids and nodes we have inserted both an environmental and eperiential system.

Greening Sears Currently Sears is operating in a facility that far exceeds its necessary size. The building is an overgrown organism that needs to shed weight in order for it to survive. By first shaving away the unnecessary pieces we were able to insert nodes that connect the abstracted space with the original space of Sears. This new organism is intended to add a different dimension to the pleasure associated with a department store such as Sears. These new nodes are places where important moments in circulation patterns, sun patterns, and wind patterns occur. The result is a new space that is physically separate from the Sears shopping but is connected experientially and programmatically. The new program allows for new possibilities of experience within the Sears building. In the creation of our new space we are attempting to create multiple levels of pleasure. Roof Plan

Void Void

Vo i d s


1. Tunnel wind when possible. 2. Allow penetration of light when possible.

3. Connected to water catchment system. 4. Branch from urban network of movement.

5. Total voids cannot exceed 1/3 of current building volume

Winds People Circulation Southern Sun

Old Grid + New Grid

Points of Multiple Intersections

Subtraction of Conce

A n a l y s i s of Nodes

Interior rendering depicting intersection of green space with newly organized commercial space.



entrated Intersections

1. Occur through the process of CRACKING. 2. Replace existing services.

3. Location of the HOME DEPOT GARDEN CENTRE.

Control Points

1,2 Cracking




6 Insertion of Nodes


Future Unreal Conditional school designed for a floodplane in Richmond, BC that focused on materiality

A material and research based project for a school in Richmond BC. The project was looking at the construction of a school within the Richmond floodplane that would also house a computer back-up site for the City of Vancouver. Working with drawings and 1:50 material based sectional models we looked closely at the ptractical construction of this fictional school. Through research of Vancouver’s resources we projected what we could see happening to the city in the future. With rising oil prices and limited resources I projected a decline in Vancouver’s population due to rising food prices. The result was a city focused on food production and more localized economy.

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1950 1950

1960 1960

1970 1970


1980 1980

1990 1990

2000 2000

2010 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 2010 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100

34 840

Price of of Food Food Price

m ea t

1person 1person

pp r r oo d d uucc e e

acre 11acre

-20% -20%

50% Imported Imported 50%

From the research conducted it was found that the world’s population is projected to hit its peak From the research conducted it was found that the say world’s is projected hit The its peak population around the year 2050. Many theories that population we have already hit peaktooil. populapopulation around the year 2050. Many theories say that we already peak oil.ofThe tion of Vancouver can be correlated to the availability of have oil. With thehitcollapse the populaoil industry tion Vancouver’s of Vancouver canindustries be correlated to the and availability oil. With the collapse of and the oil major of shipping tourismofwould be directly impacted as industry a result the Vancouver’s major industrieswould of shipping tourismWith would directly inimpacted and as rising a result population of Vancouver sharplyand decline. the be decrease population and seathe levels population of Vancouver would decline. With the decrease in population and rising sea levels Vancouver has allowed the sharply loss of some lands. Vancouver hashas allowed thebecome loss of some lands. do to the immense cost of transport. Food production Vancouver had to self-sufficient Vancouver has had to become self-sufficient do to the immense cost of transport. Food production is now a major issue within the city. Only major roads still remain intact with other roads converted to is now a major purposes. issue within the city. Only major roads still remain intact with other roads converted to agricultural agricultural purposes.


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28 000 000 28 low-density low-density

acres Produce acres Produce 0%Imported ImportedProduce Produce 0% 0.2acres acres 0.2


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oo ididPP

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1.7% 1.7%

population population

$100 $100

2.3% 2.3%

- St rt er ee et tCCl ol os su ur er e KKi ti st s- S

A mm t ot o oo uu bb i l iel e i v aet e A r i rv a t PP pi p

population population

1951 Census 1951 Census 344,833 344,833


$600 $600

UN Estimated UN Estimated 595,000 595,000

1976 Census 1976 Census 409,734 409,734

VV aa nn cc oo uu vv ee rr ,, BB CC

Vancouver’s Future Populaatitioonn balPriPricceeofofOiOil l(2008$) (2008$)Popul GlGloobal Population Population 2006 Census 2006 Census 578,041 578,041

1971 Census 1971 Census 426,260 426,260

r ee id id tR iR s n t i a r ns ra TT

h rs s

i h

t im me e

i 1t 990 1990

2010 2010

Shrinking Vancouver Vancouver Shrinking A Ag gr i rci cu ul t lut ur ar al l






Central Core



Central Core




D e n s e O l d e r S u b uDr be sn s e O l d e r S u b u r b s






r D e n s e O l d e r S uDb eu nr bs se O l d e r S u b u r b s

Central Core

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Central Core

Design of a chicken residence for 35 hens in Haida Gwaii. The residence was designed and constructed using found materials in addition to local cedar. The hens require space to brood, an exit for both humans and chickens alike and access to the nests from the exterior. The design takes into consideration both how the hens will use the space and the humans.

FALL 2011

CHICKEN HOUSE design-build chicken coop for a brood of 30 chickens

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CASO Restoration assisted with the completion of the CASO Heritage Assesment Report

The Canadian Southern Railway Station is located in St. Thomas, Ontario. As a member of the SJMA team I helped to complete the Canadian Southern Railway Station Heritage Report. The report consisted of both research into the history of the station in addition to assesment of what work is required in the future. I completed the report with renditions of what the future interior and exterior would look like. The project taught me a great deal about heritage conservation.

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FALL 2011

I-HOUSE RENEWAL design proposal for the addition and renovation of the International House on the UBC Campus

For the renewal of the I-House it became clear that the park-like setting of the site insured that the project would be as much about the original building as the site itself. The additionacts as a bridge connecting the nearby points on campus and maintains the park-like ambience of the setting. The structure was informed by today’s building techniques and knowledge. The roof of the addition will be poured over compacted soil from the site, giving the interior ceiling a rough and underworld like quality. A forest of slender steel columns will support the robust landscaped roof.

I HOUSE RENEWAL Erica Mitchell

Buildings of Cultural Significance Regional Park Gardens

Cultural Hub 1:5000

Building as Connector 1:500


Intentional Interaction 1:500



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42 Talbot St. St. Talbot

Ric R ich hm mo on nd dS St. t.

Dufferin Ave.


Dufferin Ave.

Queens St.

5 Talbot St.

6 Carling St. Fullarton St.St. Fullarton

ee.. AAvv

Queens S

Queens St. Queens St. St. Queens



Carling St.

Talbot St.

Dundas St.

Richmond St.


Ridout St. Dundas St.

Queens St.


Ridout St.



Queens Ave.

Clarence ClarenceSt. St.

nnss eeee QQuu

Queens St.

Richmond St.


Queens Ave.

Talbot St. Talbot St.

Ridout St. St. Ridout


Fullarton St.

Dundas Dundas St. St.

Dundas St.

Covent Market Pl.


23 Richmond St.

Talbot St.

King St.

Clarence St.



York YorkSt. St.

York St.

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Talbot St. St. Talbot

York St.

York St.

King St.

King St.

Thames St.





Wellington St.


7 Wellington St.





London, Ontario Downtown Heritage District Plan completed for SJMA Architecture Inc.



16m height line

Wellington St.


Quadrant 18 - Dundas St.

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A wide variety of storefronts can be found within the Downtown HCD. However several common characteristics persist through the majority of them. Most have over approxi-

I completed the Downtown Heritage Plan for London, Ontario for SJMA Architecture Inc. As a document that was both for beaurcractic purposes but also intended for the public to understand what the designation would mean for their properties it was important to add a large graphic component to the document. SJMA acted as the architectural consultant on the project. The Plan intended to allow for architectural freedom while trying to maintain the integrity of the Heritage District. As lead under the Principal I attended meetings with consultants as SJMA’s representative. I completed the graphics and wrtoe SJMA’s entrys in the comprehensive document. The project highlighted my background as an Art History major.

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between 75%-25% glazing up to 80% glazing

mixed-residential Commercial

A horizontal rhythm and visual transition between floors is articulated in the facade design. String courses, changes in materias, and a shift in the proportion of glazing illustrated a change in use between the commercial first storey and upper residential.

4.5m bays 9m lot to carriageway


New and renovated buildings must respect the character-defining rhythm of the historical narrow bays and shopfronts. Larger buildings should be aestheticically segmented into smaller bays that should ideally be around 4.5 metres wide, and must be no more than 7 metres wide.



Note the rhythm of the existing narrow facades on Dundas St. Access to the upper residential floors is available through doorways off of the main street.

Undesirable. Requires Setback above 18m.

20m ensemble

Contributing buildings in the HCD range between 2 to 4 stories with some acceptions above these heights. Single storey buildings tend to detract from the defined street wall.

Niemeyer Pavillion, Brazil, 2010

PHOTOGRAPHY 2007 - 2012

Ethiopia | Thailand | Brazil | Kenya

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Niemeyer Pavillion, Brazil, 2010

Inhotim, Brazil, 2010

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Thailand, 2008

Masai Mara, Kenya, 2007

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Brazilia, 2010

Brazilia, Brazil, 2010

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My Intent

To work in a team that will push the current limits of my design abilities and allow me to come into my own as an architect.

Honours/Awards 20 10

Offered to a student in the M.Arch program who has demonstrated a strong understanding of architecture as it relates to its regional context at an urban design level.


07 - 12

Masters of Architecture University of British Columbia, Vancouver

02 - 06

Bachelor of Arts Honours(Art History) Queen’s University, Kingston



10- 11

SJMA Architecture Inc., London, ON Architectural Student Designer Assisted with the completion of working drawings for various projects, completed the London Downtown Heritage District report. Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, BC Project Assistant Designed and maintained the shop layout at the Museum of Anthroplogy. Created a design layout for future use at the shop.

08- 09

SJMA Architecture Inc., London, ON Administrative Assistant Helped with all aspects of the firms operation from the completion of RFPs to drafting both design and working drawings. Took charge of the completion of the Heritage Master Plan for the CASO Train Station.

04- 06

Ar nprior & District Museum, Ar nprior, ON Assistant Curator and Artistic Advisor For three consecutive summers worked directly with the curator and gained valuable knowledge concerning historical research and exhibit design. Redesigned and an expanded an exhibit pertaining to a local natutralist.

Queen’s Chancellor’s Scholarship Entrance scholarship awarded for superior academic ability, creative and original thinking, and proven leadership qualities.

Experience sum.

Hughes Condon Marler Architects Scholarship

20 06

Janet Braide Book Prize in Art History Awarded to the student receiving high standing in the final year of an Art Histor y Honours concentration who also has a strong record of service in the visual arts.

20 06

Milada Svaton Neumann Award Awarded to an Art Histor y student having obtained the highest average in third year Art Histor y.

20 04

Wallace Prize in Art History Awarded to an Art Histor y student having obtained the highest average in both first and second year year Art Histor y.

Skills Vectorworks AutoCAD Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, & Photoshop REVIT Rhinoceros SketchUp both Mac & Windows platforms

Interests Cycle touring is a new love of mine and I was lucky enough to have left UBC and Vancouver this winter on my touring bike heading down the west coast to Santa Barbara. Travelling mainly by public transit I have been lucky to have set foot on 6 continents and some day would like to make it to the elusive 7th. Hiking, white water canoeing, painting, gardening the list could go on...

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Portfolio 2012  

Design Portfolio upon graduation from UBC SALA's MArch program in 2012.

Portfolio 2012  

Design Portfolio upon graduation from UBC SALA's MArch program in 2012.