Portfolio 2020 I

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SUMMER 2020 PORTFOLIO Emily L. Silva

CONTENTS Emily L. Silva


01. EXPOSURE Public toilet and bus stop designed for a competition about light in architecture.


02. OLIGOPTICON Energy efficient, bi-metallic building skin for visitor’s center at Valle Caldera National Park in Los Alamos, NM.

Studio Brief

Program: Public Toilet and Bus Stop

Excavate a conceptual position and enable a project proposal to emerge from the shadows through rigorous research and reading. Take up one or more of the proposals [or one derived by the instructor] to serve as the vehicle for the ‘light of tomorrow’ competition.

Albuquerque, a city too often seen from the window of the personal vehicle, should celebrate the body in contour by shifting the mass walls of the mind to reveal the bus stop at its median. Light highlights the body behind layered silicon dioxide (glass) and hafnium oxide toilet stalls within the bus stop. These layers act as a passive cooling system to radiate heat and reflect light . At night these toilet stalls, integrating photo-voltaic layers, transmit light over the 24-hour space. Light filters through openings in the mass and onto the spaces where humans occupy. The human occupied in solitude is resting in the shade of the mass walls, the one in waiting has accessibility to walk on and off the bus by the ramped platform, and the human without a toilet of one’s own is washing her hands in the opening of the walls. The layering of these activities happen in an, otherwise, lifeless street side median. By shining light on public space, sanitation is given back to city inhabitants. This is the light of tomorrow.

Evaluation Projects evaluated on the quality of thought and design. Of specific interest will be the number, depth and quality of iterations in relation to the degree of change and development from the initial concept to the final iteration. Must exhibit the ability to elegantly communicate an idea and its architectonic development to the viewer without the support of the verbal presentation armature. A premium will be placed on a willingness to risk, the quality and clarity of thought, the quality and clarity of drawing, diagramming and modeling, and the dialogue brought to light. --

Position Anonymity in the industrialized world has caused the detachment of the human body from the spaces we inhabit. Rather than shamefully hiding our bodily functions, these walls transform the street scape median of our everyday. Shining light on the absent body, an unapologetic architecture is no longer bound within the linguistic web of cultural perversion. Emerging out of the compulsive need for separation in architecture, a need for separation by gender, the separation of the female body from the public eye, this emancipation gives dignity to the ritualistic layers of the everyday.

01. EXPOSURE Design Studio Prof. Karen King Image: View from toilet, looking up

silicon dioxide (glass) hafnium oxide (passive cooling) photovoltaics (energy storing)

01. EXPOSURE Renders: Left: Exiting toilet stall Center: Isometric, glass layers Right: Glass toilet stalls 5

bus lane

01. EXPOSURE Plan View


01. EXPOSURE Upper: North Elevation Lower: South Elevation










01. EXPOSURE Images: Transmittance of light using photo-voltaic glass.


Studio Brief


Biological systems and organizations are formally complex while being materially efficient. Architecture is often formally simplistic, but materially wasteful. Could biological formal strategies enable new levels of material efficiency, building performance and spatial complexity?

Oligopticon, the inverse to Foucault’s ‘Panopticon’ and French philosopher Bruno Latour’s Utopian Paris, is the transformation of architecture in such a way that it may never be seen in the single, sweeping glance. Though contradictory for a program emphasizing the sweeping view from a visitor’s center located at the Valle Caldera National Park, Oligopticon measures the quality of view as reaching beyond eye sight. A moving bi-metallic building skin serves as a mechanized response to climatic change in the environment. These bi-metallic components regulate temperature, similarly responding to changes in the photo-period as the native Elk’s fur has done for centuries. By exposing the human user to a building that reacts, there is understanding and substance to that view beyond.

Evaluation The development of a theoretical framework for architectural design investigations, and its application will prove crucial to the advancement of critical thinking and decision making. The investigation of issue surrounding climate, site, context, precedent, historical traditions, program, universal design, urban growth, and sustainability will impact the comprehensive design process.

02. OLIGOPTICON Collaborative Design Studio (partner: Farbod Norouzian Pour) Prof. Alex Webb Image: Rising sun, exhibition space



Photo-period increases; elk fur sheds into thinner summer coat



Photo-period decreases; elk fur grows thicker, curlier winter coat

Openings and closings in the building envelope that react to the photo-period. These shade during summer months and open to penetrate heat during the winter.

02. OLIGOPTICON Left: Model of bi-metal form--two metals of differing thermal expansion coefficients. Overlay: (top) expanded form in hot temperatures; (bottom) contracted form reacting to cold temperatures

exhibition space front desk

need new

g t shop gif

mechanical auditorium restroom


de s rednu nier c fi ebme

ed under s rein c fi embe

02. OLIGOPTICON Upper: Floor Plan Lower: Diagrammatic Section Facing North, Hallway 17

Efficiency testing:

Insolation: Model used to determine efficient parameters for the building envelope by modeling the bi-metal skin system with a similarly reacting waffle design in the Los Alamos climate.

drainage channel aerogel insulated glass* cold welded, steel frame (active layer) invar metal (passive layer)

summer solstice

Outcome: The most efficient ratio within the specific climate increased to a ratio of 1:1 from the initial design specifications. By increasing this ratio, the system blocks most southern and northern summer sunlight, while not affecting a lower, winter sun.

winter solstice

Solar radiation: Modeling of the initial design showed significant radiation occurring on the eastern side (a) of the building. This radiation has been addressed with lower ultraviolet glazing.*



Operable clerestory windows added to the southwest side (b) of building address dark, cold spaces; a disadvantage to the model is that it does not address the channeling of the southwest portion of the building into the existing hill. The ground temperature regulates these spaces more efficiently than represented.

*Insulated Glass: U-Factor: 0.080 BTU/FT^2: 0.45

summer solstice

finished floor concrete slab edge insulationradiant heat tube reinforced steel underslab insulation under slab insulation reinforced steel edge insulation concrete slab finished floor embedded tubing

winter solstice

02. OLIGOPTICON Image above: Wall Section


02. OLIGOPTICON Images: (top left) wall section model, acrylic/paper ; (lower left) CNC site model; (above) exterior render 21

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