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PILSEN TEXTILE CENTER Pilsen is a neighborhood located in the residential Lower West Side community in Chicago. In the late 19th century Pilsen was inhabited by Germans, Irish, Czech, Polish and Lithuanian immigrants. Mexican immigrants and Latinos became a majority in 1970 as the neighborhood served as a port of entry. The legacy of uneven development throughout major cities, including Chicago, has left neighborhoods vulnerable to impaired efforts to achieve social stabilization. Buildings must celebrate everyday experiences centered around the pedestrian, the visitor and social sustainability. This project addresses the contemporary challenge of inspiring positive lasting change, through a living intelligent cultural center, which not only enhances the neighborhood, but also creates tangible environmental and technological innovations. The project addresses the fragile harmony between the manufacturing community and the residential community.

Illinois Institute of Technology Spring 2012 | Prof. Patricia Salda単a Natke

Interior Rendering

The project began with a line of circulation that would connect the two warehouses together; this circulation space became the main spine of the project. Around this linear circulation space fashion studios branched out and overlapped gallery spaces. The concept of the project was to create voyeuristic spaces. Visitors will be given the opportunity to experience the start and end of a textile through a sequence of spaces. The main gallery space is a double height exhibit space which will have textiles hanging down from the steel trusses. The steel trusses allow for a large span with no columns interrupting

the flow of the textiles. A plastic skin encloses the entire building, creating a light and fun experience. The ETFE skin allows more light

Concept Diagrams

Site Plan

durable, low-maintenance and light in weight allowing for a thin structure. W. 19th St.


3 | Joe Cuevas | Pilsen Textile Center

S. Peoria St.

S. Sangamon St.

Guadalupe Reyes Park

W. 19th Pl.

Offices / Professional Studios Galleries Circulation Student Studios Restaurant / Production Warehouse

Parti Diagram

Program Diagram

Interior Rendering

The two warehouses are refurbished to create offices, production spaces and design studios. The south warehouse contains a restaurant with full kitchen in the back, including an art gallery on the first two floors.

3rd, 4th & 5th Floor Plan

2nd Floor Plan

1st Floor Plan

Pilsen Textile Center| Joe Cuevas | 4

Exterior Rendering - Raining

Section A

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Exterior Rendering

Interior Rendering


West Elevation

Section B

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East Elevation

East Elevation

Detail Section - Steel / ETFE Connection

Exterior Rendering

Detail Elevation

Detail Section - Concrete / Wood Connection

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TEOTWAWKI SURVIVAL RETREAT In the last decade society has dealt with challenging times and catastrophes, both natural and man made. With a decaying world economy and military and political turmoil around the world, we ask ourselves what the next decade will hold. Apocalypse? One thing is certain, the future deserves our attention. With an ever increasing world population, and the majority of people living in urban settings, societal collapse would have much more dramatic consequences on those living in cities. If the grid goes down, within a week cities could become unlivable. We live in a world dependent on high maintennace infrastructure. A single catastrophic event can cause TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It). Emergency prepardness schemes are being planned all over the world by both government agencies and by those living on the fringe of society.

Illinois Institute of Technology Spring 2011 | Prof. Karla Sierralta




...The viral parasite attacks the brain, causing lessions and deterioration, which lead to severe schizophremia and death. ...Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic bacteria found in cats and other animals. The bacteria mutates into a viral infection and begins to spread among humans.

STAGE 1 -Fever -Abnormal Behavior -Paranoia -Fear



...Chaos errupts and Chicago is quarantined.


-Brain Swelling -Dangerous Behavior -Skin Lessions

...The viral parasite is spread through human and animal contact, eating contaminated meats and breathing contaminated air.


-Brain Hemorrhaging -Orifice Bleeding -Death

0 Wks

2 Wks

...Go to your survival retreat for refuge. A team of biologists are working on a cure. 6 Wks

8 Wks

TEOTWAWKI Scenario: Toxoplasmosis Schizophrenia Pandemic

Pandemics are unpredictable and the retreat should be able to adapt and compromise to any internal and external variables. Quarantining the retreat will prevent infection from coming into the building or spreading throughout the building. Several resources will be lost in shutting out portions of the retreat or the outside world. The retreta should be designed for maximum fungibility to plan for the worst case scenario. The survival retreat will be allowed to expand and contract to create new spaces, cap existing spaces or creat connectuins to other spaces. The building will be composed of a structural component, envelope enclosure and a secondart skin that are independent of each other. The retreat will shed or combine its layers according to growth, qurantine, ejection, activation, safety and connection. 1. Fungible: Able to be substituted for something of equal value; interchangeable.

11 | Joe Cuevas | TEOTWAWKI Survival Retreat

Exterior Rendering

Wolf Lake Blvd.

The Nike Missile site is a wildlife preserve on the Southeast side of Chicago. Pre-apocalypse, Biologists will study the aqautic ecosystems of Walk Lake, Eggers Woods and the swamps surrounding the areas. The site provides ideal natural habitats not found anywhere else in Chicago, as well as having a rich history with the Cold War. Post-apocalypse, the retreat will be shared by the Biologists and their families and sick patients. The retreat will be transformed from a Biological Research Facility to a Survival Retreat to protect 24 occupants from a apocalyptic pandemic. The Field Museum can fund and maintain these structures for independent research and cataloging. Having a flexible design will make them ideal for field biology; the facilities will expand and contract according to specified uses for the biologists. Small portions of the retreat will remain dormant, but the main program will be reinterpreted, but initially have the same use as the survival retreat.

Site Plan

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1. Infirmary 2. Laboratory 3. Classrooms 4. Community Rm. 5. Dormitories 6. Outdoor Patio 7. Green House Second Floor



First Floor

13 | Joe Cuevas | TEOTWAWKI Survival Retreat



Section A

South Elevation: Closed Sequence

South Elevation: Open Sequence

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Interior Renderings






Concept Diagrams

Detail Section

15 | Joe Cuevas | TEOTWAWKI: Survival Retreat

Four shells wrap around the two buildings, side by side. They move back and forth to quarantine spaces, enclose spaces and/or provide shading. There are openings in the shells that allow the users to pass between them.

Exterior Renderings

Exterior Renderings

1/8� Survival Retreat Basswood Model

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WICKER PARK MONTESSORI SCHOOL Montessori schools offer an independent and hands-on approach to education. The challenge was to create spaces to give children the freedom to explore and learn on their own, while being taught responsibilitty and discipline by interacting with younger and older students. The Montessori method also emphasizes a connection to nature as a source of inspiration.

Illinois Institute of Technology Spring 2010 | Prof. Andrew Tinucci

I began the project by exploring different arrangements for a modular classroom. The project evolved into a module consisting of two classrooms with an intermediate shared space. This shared space was designed based on the scale of a child in between the age group 4-12. The shared space created half-level that weaved into the concrete structure creating bands to the outdoor gardens. The school is located in Wicker Park, Chicago, next to the Bloomingdale Line, an elevated-abandoned rail line. The project required the use of the Bloomingdale Line. My project slopes up and down from the rail line creating safe pockets where the children can play while the bands that slope upward give the children access to the Bloomingdale Trail to explore.

South Elevation

Section A


m oo le

a gd






e .L



N. Milwaukee Ave

Concept Sketches

19 | Joe Cuevas | Wicker Park Montessori School

Site Plan



Second Floor

Component Sketch

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Section B

Section C

Section D

East Elevation

21 | Joe Cuevas | Wicker Park Montessori School

1. Classroom 2. Intermediate Space 3. Nursery/Daycare 4. Gardens 5. Library 6. Offices 7. Multi-Purpose 8. Mechanical Room




First Floor

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Detail Section

Facade Detail

1/4� Section Model

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Half-levels weave through the building connecting interior spaces to nature. These spaces overlap existing spaces allowing light to come into the sub-floor, while allowing wide open area defined by different levels.

Section E

Section F

Exterior Vignette

Interior Rendering

25 | Joe Cuevas | Wicker Park Montessori School

Exterior Rendering

6 8



Sub-Floor Level

Concept Section Sketch

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TRACES: CEMETERY FOR THE UNCLAIMED Everyday we leave behind a trace on objects and surfaces we interact with, suggesting a memory to an action. These traces hint to our personality and identity, either physically or emotionally. Traces are important to the unclaimed, because they lose their identity and significance to the world after death.

Illinois Institute of Technology Fall 2010 | Prof. John Ronan

I began working with terracotta, because its clay form was able to capture memory either through an impression, molding or casting; and this impression can be preserved by firing the clay. The process of making terracotta and cremating a body used the same amount of heat and time, thus they can be done at the same time. I used the clay to create impressions of the human face. Creating these face casts was a way to keep a memory of of their identity was important, because some of the deceased face casts I created a pylon, which is a square hollow tube that sits on a base, which holds the cremated remains of a person.

Terracotta Pylon Model

East Elevation

Site Sectiom

Cemetery Field

S. Clark St.

W. 16th St.

W. 17th St. S. Federal St.

Site Plan

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Wall Section

Pylon Detail

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Chapel Rendering

Each pylon is unique because it will be the same height and have the face of each individual person that died. On the back of the pylon there will be the name, cause of death and date of death, only if this information is known. These pylons will be placed in a field made out of clay. The clay surface will leave traces and interactions of people in the cemetery overtime. The pylons will work as cisterns to store water and slowly release it into the ground to keep it from cracking or creating dust. The pylons over time will break and the terracotta will contribute to the clay surface, while others can be reused to make new pylons.

Partial Detailed Plan

returning the body back to the earth and from the earth we get clay. These five principles create the ritual, which dictate the flow and experience of the cemetery. You approach the cemetery and are encountered with a wall made out of terracotta masonry. Some of the bricks are solid, while others have openings, allowing for glimpses into the cemetery. The wind will blow through these perforations creating sound.

Traces: Cemetery for the Unclaimed | Joe Cuevas | 32

Chapel Detail

Chapel Section

Bridge Detail

Cemetery Rendering

When entering the cemetery you encounter the kiln, used to fire the clay pylon and cremate the body. A tall smokestack will mark the kiln. The next step will be entering the chapel, to perform a last service for the ether, or ashes, before they are buried. The pylon, base and ashes are then taken out into the clay field where they are assembled facing the chapel. The field is going to be a terracotta color with an assortment of pylons facing the visitor, with the Chicago skyline in the background. The pylons will be in clusters, encouraging visitors to approach each group and find out more about the people remembered there.

Crematorium Section

Lincoln Park Boat House Northside neighborhood, Lincoln Park, on the bank of the Chicago river. This building is meant to house the Lincoln Park Rowing Club, their training equipment and boats. The project foucses on a sequence of spaces based on three specific programs. The project is divided into three levels: boat storage, community spaces and training/ exercise. The building is cladded with wood rods that and filter light coming through the building.

Illinois Institute of Technology Spring 2009 | Prof. Romina Canna

West Elevation

East Elevation

The program was divided into three categories: exercise,

Section A

path; the three paths start at the same point but end at different destinations. The paths are more obvious in section, starting together in one bay and as the building progresses, the paths split into three separate bays on different levels. The building structure is steel columns and beams, with a truss to support the 2:1 cantilever.

ve nd A

ela W. L

Section B








Section C

37 | Joe Cuevas | Licoln Park Boat House

Site Plan




ve r


A ve

North Elevation

1. Entrance 2. Classroom 3. Living Space 4. Kitchen 5. Office 6. Locker Room 7. Exercise Room 8. Ramp 9. Boat Storage 10. Water Apron 11. Mechanical Room

6 5


The first path starts at the street and goes down a ramp to the river and boat storage. The second path goes straight through the building with different communial areas. The third path goes up a level, through an open locker area, to the exersice equipment which looks over the river. The three paths are linked at the end through vertical circulation.

Project Diagram

Sky Level




4 1



Street Level

Sequence Concept Model

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1/8� Component Model

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9 10

D 11


River Level

Section D

Detail Section

1/4� Section Model

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containers provide a variety of emotions, depending on which is dominant or submissive: the water or its container. Soft plastics provide a balance between the container and the liquid; they hold the water in while providing a push and pull playful as my material because of its flexibility and structural capabilities.

Illinois Institute of Technology Fall 2011 | Prof. John Ronan

Transition Chambers

Project Section

N. Dewitt Pl.

The structure of my aquatic center comes from waterbed technology. Waterbeds are made from chambers to keep their rigid shape. Also, if one chamber is broken the other chambers are not compromised. These chambers can be filled with pressurized air to create a pneumatic structure. I created a series of domes that house indoor pools as well as transitional spaces used as green houses. The domes are semi-transparent, which glow at night.

E. Pearson St. N. D re

Mies Vander Rohe Way

ho eS Lak

N. Fairbanks Ct.


Lake Michigan

E. Chicago Ave.

Site Plan

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1. Indoor Pool 2. Outdoor Pool 3. Skate Park 4. Green House 5. Sauna 6. Park 7. Courtyards


4 2


7 1


Floor Plan

N. eS Lak Dr. re

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The malleable material gives opportunity for more organic shapes. I added a skate park around the enclosed pool, because it went with the organic shape of the project as well as the parti of containers. During the summer seasons, outdoor pools will be placed in the skate park.

Project Detail

Skate Park

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THE COVE CHAIR The Cove Chair was inspired by the students and staff of The Cove School, in Northbrook, Illinois. The school has created an exceptional environment that aids in the social and emotional development of children with special learning disabilities. The chair was intended for students that feel overwhelmed in the stressful environment of a classroom.

Illinois Institute of Technology Summer 2010 | Prof. Paul Pettigrew

Chair Components

Cove Chair

53 | Joe Cuevas | Cove Chair

Writing Pad

The chair serves several functions: from an open play area to a closed chair where a student can hide with a smaller stool that holds a dry erase pad and markers. It has a removable shell that becomes a play mat for the student to play and write on. Teachers pointed out that overwhelmed students liked having exersice balls rolled on their backs when they are having a panic attack, so the smaller stool can be rolled on the students back to help them relax. The chair provides a list of actions to keep an overwhelmed student busy until he calms down, such as: touching, picking, pulling, lifting, assembling and moving. The shell provides a washable surface to be written on as well as a dry erase board so that an overwhelmed student can write down their feelings and let out frustration.

Cove Chair | Joe Cuevas | 54

Chair Renderings

Play Mat

55 | Joe Cuevas | Cove Chair

Removable Shell




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Villa Loos Sketch 2008

Little Mermaid Zombie Concept 2012 - Threadless Competition

Color Project - Deception & Ancient

Futurama Rendering

CONTACT ME Joe Cuevas Bachelors of Architecture 2012 Specialization in Digital Design Illinois Institute of Technology 773-368-2943

Joe Cuevas' Architectural Portfolio  
Joe Cuevas' Architectural Portfolio  

My architectural portfolio. JoeCuevas1[at]