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portfolio. 2020 2020 select design works | arhcitecture and design

hao zheng





Syracuse University, School of Architecture Class of 2020 | 5-Year Prof. B. Arch | GPA: 3.6

Brooklyn, NY hzhen101@gmail.com

Xavier High School | New York, NY



Woodshop/ Fabrication Lab Monitor Syracuse University | Aug 2016 - Present

King and King Prize for Fourth Year Comprehensive Studio Third Prize | 2019

Research Assistant for Matthew Celmer Syracuse University | Sept 2019 - Dec 2019 Teacher’s Assistant for Summer Architecture College Syracuse University | July 2019 - Aug 2019

Robert W. Cutler Scholarship Award Syracuse University | 2017 Dean’s List Syracuse University | 2015-2020

Architectural Intern at Gluckman Tang Architects New York, NY | Sept 2018 - jan 2019. Aug 2019 Summer Architecture Intern at Ricardo Zurita Architecture and Planning New York, NY | May 2018 - Aug 2018 Summer Architecture Intern at Gans Studio Brooklyn, NY | May 2017 - Aug 2017 Summer Architecture Intern at David Cunningham Architecture Planning PLLC July 2016 - Aug 2016

2020 Resume

skills. Physical Drafting | Laser-Cutting | Woodworking | 3D Printing | Model Making Digital Adobe Creative Cloud | Rhinoceros 3D | V-Ray | Cinema 4D | AutoCAD

-table of-


thesis. euthanized

01 /06 city

studio. behind the

02 /06 curtain rising

03 /06 water farm to

04 /06 table

design. modular

05 /06 pinata high strung

06 /06 chair

syracuse undergraduate 2020.



city. Death and Rebir th of Natural Ar tifacts

Contesting the antiquated division between what we perceive as the artificial and natural, this thesis argues for the design of death in artifacts and cities that mirror natural transitions. Situated in Osaka, Japan challenged by a growing elderly population and rising sea levels, this project argues for the killing of potentially murderous infrastructure and construction of natural artifacts which “has with itself a principle of motion� towards decay and rebirth.




Elizabeth Kamell

Osaka, Japan

Citation for Excellence in Thesis Design


01 /07 Fifth Year Undergrad. Thesis 2

While the artificial is often considered opposing and contradictory to the natural, the distinction between the two terminologies are ambiguous and ultimately arbitrary in the Age of Athropocene. In its self-constructed autonomy, artifacts are designed with a single purpose and lack of response to exisiting natural processes, opting for obsolescence rather than purposful decay. Under the guise of being unnatural, humans have sindicated responsibility of obsolete artifacts resulting in landfills, climate change, and murderous cities. The project, a proposal for a crematorium, is a provocation for the breaking down of an antiquated philosophy and hopes to blur the artificial and natural. The project serves as a reminder to acknowledge and accept human death and death in our designs.


Circle Farms in Saudi Arabia. Desert landscapes are transformed into farms through irrigation.

Coal Mine #1, North Rhine, Westphalia, Germany. Entire landscapes are carved effectively through the use of large scale bucket-wheel excavators.

Bower bird’s nest using blue plastics to attract mates. Natural birds use artificial plastics to construct artificial/natural nest.

Plastic islands in the Pacific. Plastic waste wash up and collect into large single masses which float in the Pacific.

NASA cloud making machine. Technology has advanced to an extent where weather can be controlled.

Three Gorge Dam, largest in the world. The dam is so large that it has altered ecosystems and towns which surround it and slowed the rotation of the planet.


Obsolesence in Architecture Methods of Deterioration



Arson: Sutro Baths

Demolition: Pruitt Igoe

War: Hiroshima

Economy: Detorit

Outdated: Gunkanjima

Obsolete: Highline

Abandoned: Villa Savoye

Fulfilled: Maunsell Forts

Demolition: Glasgow Towers

Fire: Notre Dame

Natural Disaster: Chiba

Neglect: Capsule Towers

Unfulfilled: Habitat 67

“In showing Soan’s Bank of England in ruins, Gandy acknowledges both its right to stand in time and the likelihood that it will succumb to time...In this image there is as much hope for architecture’s ongoing creative agency and durability as there is for it to succumb to nature’s return.” Buildings Must Die. 173

Rebirth Active

Tabula Rasa: Rudolph Expy

Build-on: Thinkbelt

Redesign: Highline

Reuse: Horse Stable

Build-in: Parthenon

Renovate: Museum


Designed for Decay

Destination: Sutro Ruin

Ruin Design: Gandy’s Bank



“He felt that in order to create an age in which the killing profession would again be an art, and in which this human act could be performed with pleasure, there was nothing more urgent than to destroy these inhuman cities... Tokyo, for him, … was like a building whose foundations had decayed, walls collapsing and water pipes getting thinner, structures barely standing, braced by numerous struts and supported by a jungle of props and buttresses, patches and stains from the leaks in the roof. Its original elegance had vanished. Imagine such a deserted house—decorated gaudily on the surface, it goes on killing people, goes on emitting a vigorous energy. A gigantic monster on the brink of extinction; a pig roasted whole; the ultimate evil of unintentional, inevitable mass massacre . . . He said that such a city must be destroyed as soon as possible.” Isozaki Arata City Demolition Inc.


Crematorium Project Ritual

Situated in a largely residential district vulnerable to rapid population decline and coastal flooding, the crematorium operates like a virus fueled by human death ultimately bringing about rapid infrastructural decay. The crematorium reframes artificial death, not as an end but a transition, bodies of the dead are repurposed as nutrition for life that comes after it and the city is repurposed as a wandering garden, monument to decay, and given back to nature.









architecture design.


behind the

curtain. Par tner: Nashwah Ahmed

“Behind the Curtain� embraces the theater as a place of gathering and a cultural hub where the design of spaces encourages impromptu performances and unexpected encounters. Rather than hiding conventionally private programs such as the orchestra pit, set shop, storage, and rehearsal space, these programs are subtly exposed to the overall public and visitors to reveal the buzz and parallel life of a performance which often exist behind the scenes.




Terrance Goode

Auburn, New York

Third Place King and King Competition


02 /07 Fourth Year Spring Studio Course Comprehensive Studio 18

Writer’s Theater by Studio Gang

In order to address the adjacent promenade to the site, one of the main objectives of the project was to create an ease of public space that would allow ease of access from the street into the theater. The elevation of the theater piece activates the lobby and provided a sheltered space while having a visual and physical connection to the existing public area. Similar to that of the Writer’s Theater, the activated lobby would be an open area of public gathering as well as a hub for chance encounters and impromptu performances.



Located on a corner site, initial formal studies investigated elevated block forms to create open passageways from street to promenade. Further studies investigated: rotation of the theater program; exposure and distribution of program, and treatment of exterior facade.


An orthogonal steel grid frame makes up the tail of the project housing more private programs like offices and classrooms with conventional forced air systems. The head is supported by a rotatednested volume that would house the main column-free theater with its own air handling system accommodating the needs of the theater stage and house. Radiant coil systems are installed in the impromptu performance spaces the lobby and outdoor stage. Performative rainscreen fiber cement panels clad the exterior of the faรงade mirroring, in a more contemporary manner, the brick and stone facades of Auburn, NY. The corrugated glass operates as a draped transparent curtain and signals as a beacon for the city for visitors to literally go behind the curtain when entering the theater.




Ground Floor Plan


Second Floor Plan

Theater, Third Floor Plan




Ventilation Diagram


Structure Diagram

While the tail is supported by more orthogonal structure and traditional ventilation layout, the head is rotated to address its corner condition and requires more intricate HVAC for the lobby and theater space.


Facade Axon

EPDM Corrugated Glass

Vapor Barrier Composite Floor Return Air Duct Thermal Insulation


Sound Insulation Gypsum Board Fiber Cement Finish

Heated Mullions

Concrete Pavers

1 Fiber Cement Soffit

Bedding Sand Geotextile Compacted Aggregate


Fly Tower

Theater-Lobby Axon Wood Stage Flooring Copper Acous c Pipes

HVAC Ducts


Sound Insula on

Regular Piano



Catwalk Channel Glass

Operable Glass Windows 5 Radiant Coils







Lobby Rendering

The orchestra pit, which traditionally works primarily with the performance stage, is dropped into the lobby space so that musicians not only play for the formal audience above but gives life and performance to informal spaces within the lobby. Rehearsal spaces allow for private practice and can be transformed into an impromptu stage for an outdoor performances. Costumes, sets, and props, all of which contribute a critical role in manifesting the atmosphere and operation of a play, are also given spaces of display as storage spaces become exhibits and glimpses of the set shop are caught in the lobby. Circulation paths between the set members and visitors begin to blend visually as glimpses of set members and performers are caught preparing. Ultimately, the performance of the theater is given a second life as visitors understand more fully the play behind the curtains.


Portfolio: Selected Works



waters. Par tner: Jessica Huang

With an emphasis on sustainability, the New York studio program takes a closer look at the effects of climate change on coastal regions. We begin with the generation of forms through a series of studies by tunneling primitive shapes. The resultant forms are continuously iterated upon taking into account ways in which the primitive forms interact with water. The final form is one that reacts to water from above and below and reacts in an overflooding scenario. The project then takes the forms and adapts them to the site.



Angela Co

Broad Channel, NY


03 /07 Fourth Year Fall Studio Semester New York Studio 40

Form Generation





A series of formed and its inverse were generated through the action of tunneling. The resultant are then tested for its response to water and flooding conditions.




2025 High Tide

2025 500 Year Flood Scenario

Broad Channel, an area devastated by Hurricane Sandy and continuously inundated by rising tides, sits in the middle of Jamaica Bay in New York. The site is surrounded by marsh land home to dozens of fresh and salt water species which have been in steady decline as the result of urbanization and climate change. Home to 12,000 residents who have generational ties to the area, the island’s residential houses and streets are regularly inundated by coastal tides. Despite warnings and government incentive, residents choose to stay with their rapidly drowning pocket of New York. Current government programs see to raise homes and streets to mitigate flooding.

2100 High Tide


2100 500 Year Flood Scenario

Addressing imminent threats of climate change and sea level rise, the generated models were translated into applicable forms which function in similar ways to water and flooding conditions, While the overhanging basins acted as water collection and filtering systems to storage fresh water in emergency situations, the generated landscape worked to compartmentalize salinated water to create pools of various salinity to maintain the diverse wildlife which have populated the area.

2025 High Tide Isometric

The basin system eventually evolves into a network of elevated walkways and inhabitable land which would allow visitors and inhabitants to commute over land thats given back to wildlife. The project proposes the elevated lands to be new plots for development requiring residents to purchase pools and canopies contributing to the larger network.

2100 High Tide Isometric




Development Sketches

Our project proposes an effort to maintain the current ecosystem present in the area, provide access and emergency supplies in the event of another super storm, as well as providing an alternative to real estate and housing in the area decades into the future. A canopied catchments throughout the site first collects, sorts, and stores freshwater in cases of emergency use. Freshwater is also then diverted into a series of freshwater pools formed by berms to maintain wild life present in the near by freshwater pond created by Robert Moses. These pool’s level of salinity will begin to vary as its floods years round catering to a wider variety of species. The berms links the two highest points on the island providing access to the area as water continues to rise. In our master-plan projecting into 2100, our projects sees the network of pool and infrastructure expanding throughout the region providing real estate on top of and hanging from the canopy networks. The extending freshwater network will provide for the current residents and wildlife. Real estate is sold by purchasing canopies and pools; as the network expands so does the ecosystem for wild life.







stuff for

storage. Situated in New York City, the project looks at storage facilities as a form of often neglected architecture often defaulted to an uninteresting box on the backdrop of the city. While researching different storage facilities from data centers, libraries, to museum archives, a quality that stood out most were the dense fields that were produced by the layering of information and “stuff.” Often, a preferred method of storing is often away in a space separate from view; however, the most interesting and captivating is often seeing how these items are arranged and creates a visible field. So rather than designing a facility that houses items discretely and separately, the project offers the human tendency to accumulate “treasures” as an opportunity to exhibit artifacts of their personality.



Gregory Corso

New York, NY


04 /07 Third Year Fall Semester Design Studio 56

Très Grande Bibliothèque OMA The proposed Library reimagines storage not as figures but voids which can be carved away from and manipulated. Amoung the density of books and storage, programs emerge as freeform figures. Book Storage as Figure Carved Program

Book Storage as Figure Carved Program

Carved Program

Carved Program


Translucent Facade

Carved Condition

Translucent Facade

Carved Condition






Storage units are design to be transparent allowing passerby to see the contents within. The units additionally outline program spaces so that denser storage like lockers surround more private program. The transparent quality of these storage units also allow for the units themselves to be shops and small businesses to sell various goods.


The porous spaces created by the layering of stored goods create a continuous field of stuff throughout the project allowing it to be exhibited also as a museum. The quality of porosity is again emphasized as void spaces which connects to the outside and flow throughout the building creating courtyards and outdoor spaces allowing the space to be naturally lit.




farm to

table. Situated in Chittango, NY, the site is neighbored by a buffalo farm, a state park, and a picturesque waterfall which runs through the tip of the bounding area. A studio interested in both landscape and architectural design, the projects sees to imagine a farm to table experience where visitors collect ingredients on site and have them prepared instantly within the facility. The farm to table center houses a restaurant, greenhouse, test kitchens, and research labs.



Molly Hunker

Chittango, NY


05 /07 Second Year Spring Semester Landscape Studio 68

Blue Wall Center by Scape and Gangs Studio


Surrounded by lush forestry, the visitor’s center and various programs of the Blue Wall Center punctures itself in the existing landscape. The integrated circulation works through strucutres and with landscapes to set up and intensify natural views.


Neighoring Chittenango State Park, the site is situated in a rural landscape with a waterfall which transverses the western tip of the project plot.



Playing with ideas of the idea of artificiality embedded within all curated natural landscapes, the project dramatizes the what visitors perceive as natural and artificial and juxtaposes the two dichotomies through punctures. Taking precedent from the Blue Wall Center, an unbuilt project by SCAPE and Studio Gang, the design heavily manipulates the ground to allow a curving over-arching structure to insert and expose itself over the landscape. The change in views highlight the manipulated landscape as well as dramatize moments when visitors are underground then elevated overlooking the site.




Specialized program such as the refrigeration and storage room are placed underground to be naturally and more effectively stored, while program such as the restaurant and greenhouse are exposed. The landscape is manipulated so that meadow regions are depressed and surrounded to emphasize a more “natural” puncture, while more harsh and drastic puncture house special vegetation to accent the scavenger quality of the farm to table experience. Circulation throughout the landscape, are “naturally” curving and evoke a sense of wandering. While expansive, punctures within the land allow for various ingredients to be collected without traveling more than the visitor feels inclined. To emphasize the project’s concept: while the farm is perceived as natural by visitors the landscape is ultimately and unavoidably still thoroughly curated and manipulated for people.




professional elective courses.


design. 80


pinatas. Par tner: Genevieve Dominiak

Happenings, a professional electives course, operates at the intersection of digital design, fabrication techniques, and the relation ship between materiality, assembly and the design process. By utilizing the design protocols of artifacts (formal features, sectional volume/ composition, surface articulation, color) in conjunction with fabrication strategies, efficiencies, and technologies, the course re-imagines the precedent as an abstract architectural strategy. Separating the artifacts from the overall context of architecture, they are re-contextualized as piĂąatas. These artifacts would be constructed of parts, which would be CNC milled and constructed through vacuum forming, texturing, and assemblage.



Gregory Corso



06 /07 Fourth Year Spring Semester Professional Elective 80


“Modular Pinatas”


Utilizing digital and analog tools (CNC mill, vacuum former, 3D printer) our group designed our pi単ata as an open system modular artifact. In order to take full advantage of the fabrication process and the overall concept of modularity, the pi単atas has to be repetitive and efficient. Rather than constructing multiple parts, only one part would be needed reducing the time necessary in the fabrication process. The part can be vacuum formed several times to formed the overall whole. The overall pi単ata in turn can be aggregated to form a much larger design shaped by the consumer or artist. Rather than having a single pi単ata be smashed in its interaction with the user, we imagined that area of the interlocking pinatas be severed causing an almost avalanche of parts and candy.




chair. Limited to a single sheet of 3/4” 4’x8’ birth plywood board, the project brief asked students to design and fabricate a piece of furniture 1:1 scale. Inspired by Alvar Aalto’s experimentation with plywood and furniture design, the design played with the flexibility of plywood and single line profile design. The design centered largely around the concept of a single loop which completes the furniture leaving a cantilevered seat. The seat bends and ultimately adjusts to the weight of the body for comfort. A cotton string loops and connects the backrest to the seat to support the additional weight, while the angled legs create cushioning if the seat stretches too far.

Instructor: Tim Stenson


07 /07 Fifth Year Spring Semester Professional Elective 86

Limited to a single flat plywood board, the design required a joint which allowed the form of the chair to curve in multiple axises. The final design uses a traditional doweled lap joint with a member rotated upon itself. To ensure the durability of the chair, the wooden members had to be double layer and connected with a single dowel so that chances of the wood splitting by the dowel as it is under stress is reduced.





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Spring 2020 Portfolio  

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