Page 1

The objective of the IDEA project is to Initiate an environmentally responsible development practice that enhances natural environments while supporting valued communities. The project seeks to Demonstrate sustainable intentions and Educate the community as a whole about a sustainable way of life. This then establishes a self-sustaining residential development that Activates the surrounding area while serving as a catalyst for community oriented sustainable living in the region. Oberlin is a leader in sustainable practice and has committed to becoming a carbon neutral and climate positive community. The city’s recent Climate Action Plan outlines strategies to achieve such goals and includes the development of high performance, energy positive residential communities on vacant city-owned property. The Green Acres site was recently acquired by the City to serve as a model for energy positive development in the city and beyond as Oberlin strives to create a climate positive community. Green Acres is a 15 acre plot within the city that is about a mile East of Oberlin’s downtown district and Oberlin College. The proposed project seeks to create a sustainable community that serves as an economically, ethically, and ecologically responsible development example that responds strongly to the Oberlin community as a whole. The developed community strives to create connections that integrate Oberlin and the Green Acres site with this overall intention of sustainable living. Lastly, high performing energy positive affordable homes distinguish Green Acres as a uniquely sustainable community that is a leading development practice for ensured future sustainable developments and intentions en route to a “positive” city.

The site development achieves this IDEA by establishing natural environments on site that enhance life in the community. Preserving the natural context by allowing the built context to become one in the same creates unique and sustainable places for people to live, learn, and interact. Essentially achieving the essence of the proposed IDEA for the site. The proposed design then accomplishes such by preserving natural prairies, wetlands, and ponds on the site’s southern end, which also creates a solar buffer zone to ensure an ample sun aperture for homes in the community. Prominent pedestrian and bike paths then connect this preserved open land and the Oberlin community with a large public green and community center that promote interaction and activity inspired by living and learning sustainably. Lastly, these paths then also promote healthy and sustained movement while connecting key interaction points that encourage people to pause and enjoy the natural environment and rich community.

Initial solar aperture studies performed at varying conditions throughout the year revealed accurate shadows cast by existing trees proposed to be preserved. The studies then inspired optimum programmatic placement on site based on solar requirements.

THE IDEA EXPERIENCE CAFE ON THE CORNER The northwest corner of the site incorporates a small cafe and exterior lounge area as a major node on the pedestrian path that strives to serve as a draw for the IDEA community. The node has great potential to tap into the industries across the street to the north and allow employees to access the community during mid-day for an enjoyable lunch break.

THE IDEA EXPERIENCE PEDESTRIAN PATH The pedestrian path seeks to create connections that integrate the Oberlin community with the proposed site and this overall intention towards sustainable living. On site the path connects critical interest points, existing trees, and newly planted fruit trees creating powerful places that promote interaction, pause, relaxation, and natural habitat experience.

The proposed home design intends to create a spatial experience that evokes a traditional sense that is home while responding responsibly to the natural environment. The project encourages positive living through sustainable design by integrating passive design strategies and conscious construction strategies with conceived place to create, not only a positive energy home, but a home that creates positive lives.

The proposed design integrates passive design strategies with detailed building construction to create a positive design that encourages positive living. The project achieves an orientation that promotes natural daylighting and passive solar gain by low angled winter sun. High angled summer sun is blocked in order to mitigate unwanted solar heat gains in the warmer summer months. Prevailing southern summer breezes are utilized in passive cooling. Low southern windows draw cool breezes through the house, while higher apertures along the north face move warm air outward creating natural cross ventilation. Lastly, the project is a super-insulated, air tight, high efficiency construction with necessary heating achieved by a high efficiency wood burning stove that is offset by an ERV Heat Recovery Unit.

At the eastern edge of the city center Piazza Annigoni sits adjacent to Florence’s university of architecture and San Ambrogio Market. The square is currently largely ignored as it is an unactivated space that is disconnected and therefore, overshadowed by both the adjacent market and Florence’s more historical center to the West. However, as a significant point of transition with close proximity to a major market, Piazza Annigoni has the potential to become an active and connected space that acts as Florence’s contemporary urban center and serves to preserve a culture with a strong history in the essence of gastronomy. In this way, the design seeks to create an interactive fabric that acts as an urban connection. The active urban skin in collaboration with programmatic volumes then generate space between interior and exterior where unique experiences connect the public to the fine art of gastronomy.

The proposed Peninsula Recreation and Wellness Center for the greater Peninsula, Ohio community sits aside the town’s main avenue and at the nature reserves edge on a low lying plane between the Peninsula River and an adjacent wetland. The design seeks to embrace this natural context within which it is situated by becoming an extension to the environment. The project intends to evoke a natural rock generation that extends upward from the ground. The idea is to create an architecture and experience that is natural in a sense, but interactive as well. Therefore, encouraging recreation and physical activity on, around, and within the design.

The sketches represent experiences that the design seeks to achieve through the conceptual notion of the design as a rock formation that can be observed physically.

This idea is achieved within the design by thick structural walls, stone materials within and on the exterior, and moments highlighted by thin cracks between which light or activities below and adjacent can be quickly seen.

Located in downtown Kent, Ohio the proposed design for the Kent Foodbank seeks to emphasize its potential to be more than just a foodbank and instead a center for wellness, education, entertainment, and charity that draws the community. In order to achieve this intention the program is separated into two main systems the first, which is the production component that includes the loading dock, sorting, storage, and distributions centers. Then the second system makes up that which the average foodbank lacks. It includes a large gourmet market, culinary education and demonstration, and health care services. The separate programmatic systems create an architecture that supports the driving idea by allowing production to be encompassed by more visually emphasized components that make the program unique. However, despite the clearly separated programmatic systems, a connection between them remained important in order to ensure that the architecture could behave as one. This then became accomplished with detailed programmatic organization and a created central atrium space that ensure sensual connections between programs.

The projects exterior evokes ideas about more public versus more private operations within while serving to control views and natural light. The corbeled gesture at the main facade of the building’s exterior reduces unnecessary western light gain by the glass curtain walls on the lower levels that reveal more public functions within. Likewise, striped horizontal fenestration allows filtered light inward and views outward from more private programs while limiting view access inward. Unique Translucent material then highlights major aspects that distinguish the proposed design as a unique and different type of foodbank. This material allows the more unique public programs such as the gourmet market and culinary education and demonstration to be in alluring contrast and brightly illuminated in the evening. This idea achieves an observed experience at the exterior that draws and expresses activity within.

In accordance with most post-industrial cities Akron, Ohio has experienced significant decline over the past few decades. However, the Akron Art Museum has become a strong representation of revitalization and communal growth for the city of Akron in recent years. The museum’s renowned collection and iconic design have become central, not only to the city, but to the surrounding community as well. The proposed gallery design is informed by and responds to the existing museum’s design concept as it aims to extend and expand upon the ideas of weightlessness, public interaction, and enclosure with an allowed sense of openness: as a result creating this interactive experience between site and visitor. The art museum’s existing design stems from a centrally rooted core that becomes the support for its overhanging cloud, which acts as an enclosing architectural element. In order to expand upon this gesture, perforated enclosing canopies supported by central cores line the boundaries and define the entries of the outdoor gallery as the floating landscape highlighted by underlying running water begins to mimic the planes above. However, the overhangs also allow an experience of openness within the outdoor gallery similar to Coop Himmelb(l)au’s underlying crystal form that sits beneath the cloud. Drawing further from the intentions of the existing design, the exterior addition becomes an extension of the museum’s lobby/cafe space as it promotes free flow between and encourages public interaction within and around the museum and itself. Lastly, as a landscape for art, the gallery design enhances the experience of viewing art outdoors as it creates interaction between people, art, architecture, and site. Translucent boundaries that have the ability to become transparent line the gallery in specific areas, encouraging views into the site. The landscape is interactive in itself as its floating planes continually change in elevation and material, while the opportunity to house interactive art becomes conveyed by the pieces that initially informed the design. The gallery is reinforced by this art as it reflects and informs the principle ideas expressed within the design. Anish Kapoor, Roxy Paine, James Turrell, James Rosati, and Menashe Kadishman are just a few artists that informed the design as they each reflect a sense of interaction and weightlessness in many of their works.

The project site is located in downtown Akron, Ohio between South Broadway and South High Streets. The site specific to the outdoor sculpture gallery addition sits south and adjacent to the existing museum. This proximity to the downtown and to Akron University allows the opportunity for the addition to be a transition between the museum’s exterior and interior. Therefore, providing a pedestrian draw to the museum. The gallery then also presents the opportunity to host multi-purpose events such as concerts and receptions at a facility equipped for both indoor and outdoor capabilities. This will then create community use of the museum, while allowing the museum to be a center for interaction in downtown Akron.

The proposed design was inspired by works of artists such as Anish Kapoor, Roxy Paine, James Turrell, James Rosati, and Menashe Kadishman. The collection pieces by these artists express ideas about interaction and weightlessness, which became significant conceptual ideas manifested in the design.

A series of easily constructed ramps that may be disassembled and stored are placed in the vicinities noted in order to allow service vehicle access throughout the gallery. Furthermore, the main entry canopy will be engineered to mechanically retract in order to ensure no height restriction. This system allows the museum certain flexibility in maneuvering art and preparing for special events such as concerts and receptions.

Architecture Portfolio  

Kent State University 2010 - 2014 Eric Leathers

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you