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maria gabriela carucci


20 18 portfolio

rhode island school of design

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Rhode Island School of Design Bachelor of Architecture 2013 - 2018

M A R I A GABRIELA CARUCCI 2 College Street Providence, RI 02903 786 448 7697

Maria Gabriela Carucci



Rhino3D Illustrator Photoshop InDesign Revit AutoCAD SketchUp Grasshopper Flamingo Pano2VR DIVA Ladybug Sefaira HTML & CSS ArchSim Premiere Pro After Effects Dragon Frame Photography

Friedrich St.Florian Architect | Providence, US - 2017



Hand drafting Oil, acrylic Watercolors Woodworking Hand modeling Ceramics Sculpture Bookbinding

Architecture Department, RISD | Providence, RI

GENSLER | Boston, US - 2016 Participated in their yearly Summer Intern Program.

Ana Cristina Vargas | Caracas, Venezuela - 2015 Helped her apply her project, Tracing Public Spaces, which was initially developed as her thesis for her Master’s degree in MIT. It’s purpose is to give children the opportunity to learn about their own public spaces, as well as how to identify areas that could be modified, teaching them about material properties and building techniques.

EDUCATION Rhode Island School of Design, RISD | Providence, RI Bachelor of Architecture | 2013-2018 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Architecture | 2013-2017 Concentration in Nature, Culture and Sustainability Studies (NCSS)

RISD in Rome, CE Program | Summer 2014

Columbia University | New York, NY Introduction to Architectural Design and Theory, Summer Program | 2012

Teacher assistant, Architectural Projections 2016 Teacher assistant, Making of Design Principles 2017 Laser Cutter Lab Monitor 2014 - 2018 Computer Lab Monitor 2015 - 2018 Office Assistant 2017 - 2018

Admissions Office, RISD | Providence, RI



Office assistant.

Super International Orientation Leader, RISD | 2014-2015


Trained the orientation leaders, planned and organized the international orientation, and later received new incoming international students.



Spanish|native English|fluent Italian|conv.

RISD Biennial Faculty Exhibition, RISD Museum Providence, RI


European Honors Program Show, Woods Gerry Gallery Providence, RI


Foundation Studies Exhibition, Waterman Gallery Providence, RI 2013 & 2014

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Distilling Humidity Collect(ive) Rio

The In-Between Pool Advanced Studio

The Cliffhouses Advanced Studio

Childrens’ Habitat Urban Design Principles

Making Flippy Floppy Advanced Studio

Frustum Theater Making of Design Principles

St. John’s Abbey Architectural Analysis

Fine Arts Oil Paintings & Ceramic Work

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01 Distilling Humidity [A Catalogue for Dirty Water] Collect(ive) Rio | Profs. Petra Kempf & Pedro Aparicio

Maria Gabriela Carucci

This is an archive of poets, diseases, mosquitoes and the overlooked topographies of water in the urban center. Humidity is the enabler.

Rio de Janeiro drowns in the unseen.

“Is there any hope?” asked Sun and Moon together. “Oh yes,” said Drop of Water. “In the beginning was water and to water there is no end. Water is a child, holder of future, so let the child be. It’s a question of balance, between abundance and scarcity, between use and abuse. A day will come soon, I hope, when I will be owned by none and shared by all, when I will be sullied by none and nourish all, when I will be taken freely and given freely. In the beginning was water and to water there is no end. Water is a child, holder of future, so let the child be. A day will come soon, I hope, when we will start over, at peace with water, at peace with our future.” - YANN MARTEL’S POEM FOR WATER / in relation to Rio de Janeiro

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Water samples from Ground rainwater street field samples research takeninduring research prothe centro of Rio. cess in Rio de Janeiro.

It is a rainy morning, and up in the streets of Parque da Cidade a child can be seen running in the streets. He seems to be struggling under the weight of something, an upon a closer look, we can see that two heavy jugs of water are balancing on his shoulders. Brazil holds 12% of the world’s freshwater supply, but due to the water crisis and droughts, a lot of the main rivers from where it comes from are completely dry. In the mud, the child loses his footing and falls, dropping the jugs of water. One of them bursts on impact, but he manages to hold on to the second one. He stares at the lost freshwater, now unrecognizable as it joins the rainwater and runs down mountain, free. He thinks of his home, a few minutes away, and about the four inches of water left inside the blue tank above his roof. He sighs, and continues his way up the road. Meanwhile, down in the Centro, the acidic rainwater finds two of its main allies; the topography of the streets and the empty, broken down structures that surround them. Humidity and dirty water have long lived amongst the people of Rio de Janeiro.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

It seems that they are engaged in a constant fight, one in which people’s fault lies in its indifference. They don’t acknowledge it, but water is retaliating. Alberto, the shopkeeper of an old, small, bookstore in Rua Republica do Libano, blames the three time he’s had dengue to a broken pipe down the block. But a look around the shop makes it clear how he doesn’t want to admit to the fact that humidity surrounds him. The walls are peeling off, exposing worn out bricks, and the acetic acid produced by the rotting wood is making the steel on the staircase brittle and corroded. Around this building, two empty structures stand like the ghosts, now empty shells decorated by colonial facades that are protected by the Corredor Cultural movement.

All around the Centro, where the sidewalk meets the street has become a permanent residence for mosquito reproduction. The neglect of the urban environment becomes the perfect Petri dish for these cultures to spread, as the humidity trapped in the various materials that make up its fabric foster the creation of micro-climates that only benefit the spread of disease.

How can we find value in decay, and turn it around to create sustainable micro-environments that reconcile the broken relationship of water and the urban center?

Least Porous

Most Porous Maria Gabriela Carucci

Using rainwater harvesting and living plant filters as catalysts for change, the final proposal used as site one of the Centro’s empty shell structures. Even though several (more than ten in total) of these structures were identified, three where analyzed and only one was used as the speculation ground for the final filtration system and community gathering space.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

The unoccupied space makes use of rainwater and takes advantage of a multi storied structure to distill it in different phases, until it reaches the ground level storage basins, where it is open to the public to use.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Longitudinal section of the structure and the filtration systems.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Archive of studies and explorations.

02 The In-Between Pool +/: Advanced Studio| Prof. Aaron Forrest

Maria Gabriela Carucci

This project aims to understand the structural and programmatic relationship of two universal spaces: the vertical and the horizontal. It took as precedent previous studies of Louis Sullivan’s and Mies van der Rohe’s positions towards these typologies, specifically in the way they were present in the city of Chicago. The final proposal was deployed in the Federal Center in Downtown Chicago.

PRECEDENT STUDY Intervention in Louis Sullivan’s Schiller Theater. The bearing wall between auditorium and hotel becomes pixelated, and a larger quantity of wooden members replace the former steel frame.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Column Overlap Typologies

Programmatic and Structural Overlap.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Ground Floor Plan

Office Building and Saunas/Leisure Spaces

Public Pool and Community Spaces

Outdoor Public Pool

Public Pool and Community Spaces

Office Building and Saunas/Leisure Spaces

Entry ramps to upper floors

Sloped ground meets outdoor pool

First floor plan.

Second floor plan.

The horizontal universal spaces become programmatic support for the pools, housing lockerooms, showers, lounges and an outside corridor that doubles as a resting area. The vertical spaces show the first iteration of the saunas and bathouses utilized by the people of the office buildings.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Sixth floor plan.

Seventh floor plan.


B Maria Gabriela Carucci





Maria Gabriela Carucci

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Maria Gabriela Carucci

03 The Cliffhouses [Re-Thinking the Future of Housing] Advanced Studio | Prof. Friedrich St. Florian

Maria Gabriela Carucci

How do you design for a non-sedentary generation, that is looking to defy the very meaning of “settling down”? After selecting two iconic works of architecture in the realm of the human habitat, there was a search for the underlying roots that attest to the permanence of architectural principles. These two examples, a contemporary Japanese house -House H, Sou Fujimotoand an ancient complex of cliff excavations in Cappadocia, Turkey, looked deceptively unsimilar at first glance. After being analyzed, measured and documented, a series of fundamental principles began to arise from both structures. Besides space distribution being fairly similar in terms of privacy and access, there is a deeper concept that I carried through to my own design later on. Both spaces rely on the idea of creation by removal. There’s a literal and a conceptual approach to this idea of carving space. Cappadocia does this in a very literal manner, and this also dictates the level of privacy of the rooms inside the rock.

In House H, Fujimoto started with a very rigid geometry which he began to punch holes through, and with the help of a system of stairs he managed to create an incredibly well connected space despite its verticality and narrowness. Going from this, I began to look at this idea of “connection” and how spaces could bleed or overlap on one another to create a new species of spaces, which you could call the “space squared” moments in the system. I developed this idea both in plan and sectionally simultaneously, and in the end I realized that to create this very specific spaces I needed to restrict the shifting of the system to one axis in order to be able to grow vertically and explore the overlapping of the spaces breaking free of the plan.

Exploded axonometric portraying the layout of the overall complex and the stacking of units. Maria Gabriela Carucci

Cross section of complex.

Elevation of complex from parking lot entrance.

Closeup of living area and shared unit garden.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Longitudinal section of complex.

Elevation of complex from main pedestrian entrance and lobby.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Maria Gabriela Carucci

First floor plan of unit.

Second floor plan of unit.

The idea of connected spaces wasw ultimately expressed in the form of a repetitive interlocked 4 unit housing assembly that could be reiterated and then attached and stacked to one another to form the complete complex.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

04 Childrens’ Habitat Urban Design Principles | Prof. Dongwoo Yim

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Understanding cities as a complex web of interrelated systems that affect the way human beings navigate the social and public realms -while considering the private as well- is essential to confront the problem of designing for them. Through a series of situational analysis, which started from looking at the bigger picture around the assigned site, and later focusing on the specific area, a systematic design process was created, which was modified to be applied to different scales and had the ability of being able to be reiterated endlessly to follow the concept and circulation of the program. This was decided to be centered around children, specifically a Children’s Museum and family centered residences, with the addition of schools and a women’s center. The main idea was that children don’t have the same sense of order as adults do, and for them, the world is a constant learning experience. This led me to question the idea of what is considered practical circulation -both horizontally and vertically within each building-, experimenting with what could potentially be done to merge learning and play with urban design.


Maria Gabriela Carucci




Maria Gabriela Carucci

Perspective view from inside the courtyard of the main building.

The two main open spaces in the site, the topographic park and the courtyard surrounded by the building, double as environmental learning spaces.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Axonometric drawing of the main building, it’s courtyard, and the topography of the main park of the site.

Final close-up model of three of the smaller buildings that overlook the main park.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Final massing model with sourrounding site and master plan.

05 Making Flippy Floppy [Reinstating Nature on NYC’s Port Authority] Advanced Studio | Prof. Yasmin Bovis

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Port Authority has always been for me that one area of New York that has always been a little darker in the map of my mind’s eye. Throughout the years I’ve returned several times, but the one thing that captivates me about this building is the way it plays with my perception of space. Every time I step inside of it seems as if the floors themselves have shifted and rearranged themselves in new patterns, the hectic movement of the people rushing to catch their rides delineating and giving life to the architecture’s confusing but dynamic circulation. This building, and the area it is located, feel completely disconnected from nature, and to an extent, life and organic elements. This is further enhanced, in an almost ironic manner, by the calculated movements of the crowds in the space.

The only signs of living creatures in the space besides rats and pigeons, the almost robotic pace of New Yorkers and other travelers suggest that this is not a space to linger, but rather a mere threshold amid the possibility of other permanent places. This feeling of being completely surrounded, almost swallowed, by the mega-structure and the people trying to navigate its perplexing corridors evaporates once you step out to the roof. A basically deserted area, it possesses the eerie calm and empty nature of vast parking lots. The surrounding buildings make the area somehow protected, and as you walk through the site the few unbuilt spaces facing its corners provide opportunities for views of the city and the river beyond. The one constant that remains is the lack of greenery and nature, and this is something that I want to address in my proposal.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Shadow studies that determined the position of the theaters according to sun outreach in summer and winter.

A contemporary People’s Palace should be inherently tied to nature. It should also encourage human socialization and a potential for self-expression, in the way that theater and performance areas do. The placement of the four performance spaces in my proposal acknowledge the seasons and the changing sun to provide the space with different structures that have the potential of showcasing various types of entertainment.

Material and structure explorations for the final meshes.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Exploded axonometric illustrating the program and the two different levels of fabric and steel pavilions.

Detail section of the various uses of the mesh pavilions.

Cross-section through the open amphiteather, arboretum and cafe.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Longitudinal section through Port Authority.

Scale 1 : 125

Maria Gabriela Carucci

06 Frustum Theater Making of Design Principles | Prof. Jonathan Scelsa

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Compilation of my work during the semester, including the first conceptual process projects which finally led up to the final: the design of a theater. Throughout the class, I explored different themes and ideas; for my first project, in which we had to suspend a cube in the inside of a wire mesh cage using black string, I explored the different ways lines could describe triangular planes, and how these in turn could hold the cube in place by its edges while later helping define its volume.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

For my second project, I explored the relationship between human beings and their interaction with thresholds, in this case, windows. After completing several view and movement analysis via long exposure photograps, I translated that information into a tridimensional model. This helped me define the basic geometry of my final building proposal; frustums, or truncated pyramids.

The final building consisted on a theater in which the space of each element in the program consisted of a frustum, and were set out in such a way that the public had to move through them in a specific manner, so that the particular views framed by the truncated pyramids allowed the viewer to perceive specific moments of the landscape outside. This led to the main space in the theater; the seating and the performance area, which overlooked a panorama of the city behind them.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Side view of the theater.

Composed views of the city from all the frustum openings inside the theater.

Final plan.

Final section.

Exploded axon of the final building and main circulation paths.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Front view of the theater, showing the stage and seating area.

Back view of the theater, showing the main entrance.

Inside exploded view of the theater. Maria Gabriela Carucci

07 St. John’s Abbey Architectural Analysis | Prof. Ian Baldwin

50" x 50" Hand drafted axonometric drawing of the church and monastery. Maria Gabriela Carucci

The objective of the class was to critically analyze and understand already existing pieces of architecture through formal, geometric, tectonic and spatial processes. In this case, the study was based on Marcel Breuer’s St. John’s Abbey, located in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Initial concept model for the representation of the main face of the Church, composed of hexagonal stained-glass windows.

Perspectival study, in which the perspective is not forced, like in the actual Church, but rather created by the repetition of equivalent frames.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Initial understanding and simplified representation of the effect the tilted geometry of the outer walls of the Church. This produces a forced perspective that draws the eye to the most crucial element in the space: the altar.

Exploded wormside view of the Abbey. Done with Rhinoceros and edited in Illustrator.


Final model. Analysis and interpretation of the elements inside the Church, and how despite their inapparent relationship, the architect strategically placed them to visually convey the idea of enhanced space, and thus giving the entire structure its own particular language. Every frame is a representation of these elements, and they are arranged in the model in a hierarchy that mimics the relevance they have inside the actual Abbey.

Top view of final model. individual pieces are noticeable and separated in space.

Correct view of the final model. Individual pieces merge within each other to create the overall final product. Maria Gabriela Carucci

08 Fine Arts Oil Paintings and Ceramic Work

Caggiano. Oil on canvas, 2015 Maria Gabriela Carucci

Atmospheric Perception 1 Oil on canvas, 2015

Atmospheric Perception 3 Oil on canvas, 2015

Atmospheric Perception 2 Oil on canvas, 2015

Atmospheric Perception 4 Oil on canvas, 2015

Both of these installations play with the idea of incorporating digital techniques into the process of hand-made ceramic pieces. With this tile installation I was experimenting with merging geometrical computer generated surfaces and organic forms, and how the superposition of these could create forms within one another. The glaze is alluding to the idea of topographical changes on a map.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

Moving further, with this final installation I was interested in how a digital model could translate into a non-conventional, hand made version of itself. The ceramic stairs and pods where not connected to one another, instead, they where precariously held up by readjustable plexiglass stands. This, and the way the wooden base was constructed, made it possible for the installation to assume different configurations. It was supposed to reference to the way informal settlements, specifically slums, grow unpredictably, usually over mountains and hills, and how their lack of planning contributes their fragile nature.

Maria Gabriela Carucci

CONTACT 786 448 7697 2 College Street Providence, RI 02903

Portfolio & CV 2018  
Portfolio & CV 2018