Jonathan Culp Portfolio

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— Seeking to continue Obama’s legacy of change, the library examines how to balance its innate iconic nature without alienating the local South Side Chicago community.

Process — Drawing on Obama’s internationally iconic image and his history of public service, the project seeks to create a conversation between two groups of individuals, the visitor and the local community.


— As a coordinator of the FABLab, I was able to challenge my skills while working with students and faculty to translate ideas from the digital to the physical realm. I was able to use those skills in the creation of the Vault and Joint OXO with Masataka Yoshikawa and Scott Chriss.

Step 01: Cut out the piece’s sides with the robotic hot wire cutter

The Vault’s Surfacing Detail

Step 02: Slice the piece in half with the robotic hot wire cutter

Step 03: Score the CNC router’s spoilboard with a .02 Z-depth

Step 02 Robotic Fabrication // Photo: Scott Chriss

Step 04: Using double-sided tape, attach pieces to the spoilboard

Step 05: Mill out the surface using a 3/8” ball end bit with a .125 stepover

Step 06: Attach pieces back together using white latex paint

The Vault on Display in the Courtyard

Joint OXO Wall Installation Notching the thickness of the material creates a tight fitting joint but only allows for 90 degree angles.

Widening the notch allows for more flexibility but the joint does not hold together well.

Adding tabs to the structure with disks to hold everything together allows for creating complex forms. Disk Stepover Detail


STUDY OUSES Small-scale houses have served as a typology for me to experiment. Through iteration, I can investigate different representation techniques, spatial quality, and push both my technical and technological understanding.


— The Net-Zero House explores designing a house that could be disconnected from the grid. This includes solar studies to optimize passive heating/cooling stratagies to utilizing solar panels.

Section Perspective — The house is split into 2 zones. The living side and the workshop and greenhouse, which captures solar heat gain. An operable wall between allows for the living side to receive heat as needed.


— The Plane House examines the use of simple lines to define space. A large roof garden is lifted above to provide views down into the meadow and protect the garden from rabbits and deer.

Section — The design process started in section and elevation with a spiral stair up to an elevated garden.

Plan — A 3 foot by 3 foot grid was established as the underlaying structure. A solid wall was placed in the center, splitting the interior and exterior spaces.


— Anticipating urban sprawl, the Johnson Family would like to dedicate their family farm, dating from the homestead era, to the forthcoming community as a haven for nature. The location provides a prime opportunity to be a learning center for children and adults to be taught the history and agriculture of the area as well as a farm for locally grown produce.

The neigborhood in ten years.

Building Community Infrastructure

Protect existing riparian zones for biodiversity, flood mitigation, and recreational use

As the area is turned into development, the riparian zones can be utilized as a network of connections for both humans and nature

The Johnson Family Farm can become the nexus of the community through physical connections as well as programmatically

Integrating Architecture into the Landscape

The driveway is the connection between the farm and the community

First, program was injected into the driveway

Then the massing was intigrated into the site’s topography

Site Plan 1.

4. 2. 3.




7. 6.


1. Barn to be used for storage 2. Barn to be converted into a teaching space with farm equipment on display 3. Workshop 4. Orchard to provide community with fresh produce 5. Corn Silo 6. Farm house to be converted into a museum with a victory garden in the backyard 7. Community Center 8. Parking lot with permeable pavement 9. A trail around the farm that would be connected into the trail system throughout the area’s suburban development 10. Fields to grow small crops that could be sold in the organic cafe and weekly farmers market during the summer months


— The influx of migrants and refugees into Western European cities has put stress on existing infrastructure and has exposed cultural tensions. My thesis focuses on creating third places for commixing.

Refugees and migrants risk their lives for the prospect of a better life. Providing them with the resources and connecting them to the right nonprofit organizations is essential for success.

Berlin was used as a case study city because of the large influx of refugees and migrants.

Spaces were created so that both communities had a place to come and exchange ideas and get to know one another.

Utilizing GIS, a collection of potential sites was generated close to the refugee housing created by the city.

University of Arkansas Community Design Center — I have been working on a plan to revitalize Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Seven neighborhoods in the downtown were identified with attributes that could be developed. I worked on developing 26 missing middle house types to upgrade the housing stock. Other amenities that I worked on included a designing a parking garage that would fit into the neighborhood and a hyper-porch that looked at connecting multiple houses and providing a place for a child daycare.

EYP — I was intimately involved with a large multi-office Revit workshare project for the new Grinnell Humanities & Social Studies Complex. This included modeling the roof slopes, making floor plan alterations, creating life safety plans, updating the facade, QC on room numbering and structure, creating and post-processing presentation views, among many other tasks. I was also involved in an array of government projects.

Richard Williams Architects — Focusing on high-end residential projects in all phases of design and construction, I was responsible for everything from building siting to developing details.

KUBE Architecture — With work that included residential, small commercial, and fabrication projects, KUBE allowed for direct exposure to working with many consultants to see projects come to fruition. I worked directly with the principals to create design options, develop details, and create drawing sets from schematic to construction.

Salt & Pepper House

National Building Museum Mini Golf Hole

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