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Graduate Portfolio Spring 2016


Master of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University




Jennifer Gaiko (270) 535-8033 1720 Liberty Lane, Apt. 306 Blacksburg, VA 24060 _________________

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Master of Architecture Expected Graduation: May 2017 3.82 GPA

VT Architecture + Design Graduate School Graduate Assistant [Fall 2015-Spring 2017] Architectural Sketching, Digital Modeling, & Architectural Collaboration

Objective To learn and grow as an architectural designer and become a leader in design innovation, while pursuing God’s call in my life.

Western Kentucky University Bachelor of Architectural Science Graduated: May 2015 Summa Cum Laude Honors College Graduate Distinction 3.98 GPA Oklahoma State University Spring 2014 Study Away Program University Dean’s List 4.0 GPA / Top Studio Student Award Harlaxton University Spring 2013 Study Abroad Program University Dean’s List 4.0 GPA Skills Digital AutoCAD Adobe InDesign Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator SketchUp Revit Laser Cutter Microsoft Word Microsoft Excel Microsoft PowerPoint Photography Analogue Graphite + Color Pencil Pen & Ink Charcoal Watercolor

LifeWay’s CentriKid Staffer [Summer 2015] Bible Study Leader, Built-It Track Time Leader, & Children’s Leadership WKU Architectural Resource Center Intern [Fall 2014-Spring 2015] Architectural Design, Architecture Documentation, Schematic Design, Group Planning, & Digital Modeling WKU Division of Extended Learning & Outreach Student Worker [3 academic years] Marketing Design Editing, Microsoft Excel Documentation, & Schematic Design Publications Architectural Bridge Consequence Capstone Experience/Thesis Project Honors College Graduate Distinction Western Kentucky University: 2015

Content Fundamentals.....2 Concept.....3 Purpose.....4 Technical.....6 Undergraduate Studio.....7 Honors Thesis.....8 Undergraduate Comprehensive Studio.....9 Photography.....11 Drawings.....12 Graduate Studio.....13

PLANAR COMPOSITION Oklahoma State University Studio I Professor Bilbeisi, RA Spring 2014

Figure/Figure-Ground Composition Study

Original Cube Composition

The project goals were to introduce the idea of a formal regulating strategy to inform design decision-making and to cultivate control, consistency, and superior craft in the creation of drawings and models. The project began with a planar composition that chose locations to construct to exist within an 8� cubic volume. Primary, secondary and ancillary spaces were considered and later abstracted graphically to communicate my design.

Enhanced Cube Composition


Primary Color Study

Gray scale Study

Textural Study

Concepts Explored: +Theory of Proportioning Systems +Graphic and Visual Communication Theory +Spatial Theory +Color Theory +Drafting Techniques

Secondary Color Study



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Joy always has a story.

Oklahoma State University Studio I Professor Bilbeisi, RA Spring 2014

The project goals were to introduce design theory, further develop the ability to conceptualize and think three dimensionally, understand basic structural logic, and to cultivate excellent craftsmanship. The project required the construction of a physical vertical ‘tower’ that demonstrated structural soundness, order, hierarchy, repetition, focus, materiality, and function.


Concepts Explored: +Conceptual Development +Religious, Cultural, Economical Verticality Need +Narrative Concept +Structural Hierarchy Focus


center for creative photography Oklahoma State University Studio I Professor Bilbeisi, RA Spring 2014

“Jeffry Pine” Yosemite 1940, Ansel Adams Inspiration


Final Museum Model

Concept Statement: The nature of the western environment demonstrates its vulnerability and need for protection. Problem: ‘Center for Creative Photography’ in National Parks at 44°NL (at Crater Lake,Yellowstone or Grand Teton); Goal to provide a unique environment with a retreat-like setting to exhibit understanding of Ansel Adams’ work and the artistic movement he emerged from. Emphasis & Priorities: Ansel Adams’ photography journey became conversationalist as he reflected back upon his work. Conservation was what Ansel found meaning in his own work; if his perception of photography is in the subject he captured, then structure and concept of his center should demonstrate this motif/theme. Key Words: Land, environment, protect, shelter, nature, love


kappa delta sorority house Western Kentucky University Architectural Resource Center Supervisor Neal Downing, AIA Fall 2014


Kappa Delta Sorority is initiating a house renovation from the outside in. To begin, I generated a “dream� model that highlighted the exterior renovation idea that would motivate enthusiasm and funds to make future plans for a complete renovation.


DOCUMENTATION commercial building Western Kentucky University Architectural Documentation II Professor Shahnaz Aly, OAA, LEED AP Fall 2013

The purpose of the Documentation series at Western Kentucky University is to engage the student mind with development of construction drawings with respect to code, regulations and standard building practices. Research and applied knowledge of a residential building for Habitat for Humanity was explored in Documentation I, while a larger scale commercial building was constructed in Documentation II. With each Documentation class, a complete and finished set of construction documents was generated.



wku CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE Western Kentucky University Fourth Year Studio Professor Neal Downing, AIA Fall 2014 Group Collaboration with: Summer Abston and Ethan Atherton

The Western Kentucky University Confucius Institute is centered around the international cooperation with the People’s Republic of China and the Spirit of WKU’s campus and community. Function, culture, relationships between spaces, along with the connection of the Chinese friendship garden, interior, and exterior shaped the building and the site to have a fundamental sense of belonging creating an atmosphere of peace and warmth in the WKU community. Inspiration: WKU Vision Statement: A Leading American University with International Reach WKU Motto: The Spirit Makes the Master Concepts Explored: +Conceptual Design +Develop design philosophy of architecture +Focus on connection of Chinese culture and WKU campus life +Sustainable Considerations +Connection of Friendship Garden


Inspiration Sketches

Site Model: 1. New Gary Ransdell Hall 2. Confucius Institute Site 3. Confucius Institute Garden 4. Honors College Site 5. Helm Library with Confucius Museum Exhibit

Inspiration Sketches


ARCHITECTURAL BRIDGE CONSEQUENCE Western Kentucky University Advisor Shahnaz Aly Fall 2014 A Capstone Experience/Thesis Project


Introduction: The British politician Winston Churchill once said: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us” (“Architecture Quotes”). Not only do buildings “shape” us every day, but they should also “speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness,” according to the famous architect Frank Gehry (“Architecture Quotes”). Timelessness and constant impact within our daily lives; this is exactly what architecture can bring us. “…We see each building reflecting the story of time, and how that interaction of culture wished to project itself to the future…[architecture] persists through our infrastructure from bridges to public spaces and even the very layout of our cities themselves…one could consider architects as being the arbiters of our future history…” (Shah, 1). If architects are the crafters of our future, there is no greater reason to investigate what exactly can be seen in the structures they create; bridges are a great example of this. By exploring, we can see specifically the cultural significance and identity, iconic historical perspectives, influences of composition and function, and the style and architectural relevance of famous bridges across the world. Through these bridges, we can see how architecture “reflects the story of time.”

Abstract: The architectural significance of bridges is indisputable. Often bridges are accredited to engineers for their transportation and functional needs; however, bridges are so much more than fundamental. The cultural significance and identity of bridges, iconic historic perspectives, influences of composition and function, the style and architectural relevance and so much more are all elements that begin to shift the perspective and purpose of architectural bridges to that of a meaning architectural symbol. Bridges impact the world, the countries they represent and the communities they inhabit. The relationship between bridges and architectural consequence is proven by the idea of iconography and practical application of the bridges that shape the world we live in. Location: Saint Louis, Missouri; connection between the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and Mississippi River Overlook at Malcolm Martin Memorial Park Location Justification: Saint Louis’s identity and cultural icon is often named as the iconic Jefferson National Expansion Memorial that was built in the 1960s. The icon will forever hold it’s own as a symbol of exploration and American history, but with my bridge, I will further extend the experience of the Gateway Arch, Gateway Arch trail and Malcolm Martin Memorial Park overlook to enrich Saint Louis in many ways. The bridge will create a pedestrian attraction, encourage tourism, and expand the oasis greenways of Saint Louis. Finally, this bridge is a connection between the urban and rural green spaces of Saint Louis: it hints at the urban identity of the arch in shape, but links pedestrian green spaces and enters spaces with gardens on both east and wests ends. Inspiration: “The Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided.” {Moses} Exodus 14:21


The foundry

A Broadway United Methodist Community Center Western Kentucky University Senior Comprehensive Design Project Professor Shahnaz Aly Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Location: Bowling Green’s west end; old Boys and Girls Club Facility Purpose: Seeks to develop leaders among the young children in the neighborhood. Goals: To provide resources, identify potential, and develop strong relationships within the young community. Focus Areas: Education, physical fitness, community gardens, health-based initiatives, and enrichment of life and community. Key: A faith-based initiative of Broadway United Methodist Church in Bowling Green, KY.

Solar Evacuated Tubes

Courtyard Natural Lighting Reclaimed Brick

Solar Panels

Louvers Living Green Roofs on Lower Levels Recycled Wood Paneling Bicycle Racks Community Garden


Reused Siding

Concept: Verticality of heavens and horizontal juxtaposition of the earth; LIGHT. +Courtyard of light and sustainability; volumes defined here. +Exposure of materials and systems for learning. +Transparency and grand welcome; entrance element to bounce light. +Vertical steel sculpture entrance, light through. +Paneling to mimic horizontal earth. +Building encourages exploration, learning: FLOW.

First Floor Plan


Versatile Gymnasium and Worship

Community Dining Room

Upstairs Common


Sustainability: the principle of dependence on environmental preservation and the recognition that ultimately we depend solely on nature and the environment around us. This principle is further supported by the faith-based initiative and childhood learning opportunities that the Foundry offers. Community: the fellowship in a group of people shared through a common geographic area or experience.


Photography Harlaxton University Photography Professor Jeanie Adams-Smith, MA Spring 2013

Harlaxton Manor; Grantham, England

Cliffs of Moher; Ireland

Irish Castle; Ireland

Lincoln Cathedral; England

Marketplace; England


Edinburgh Castle; Scotland

Photography Concepts Explored: +Technical Excellence Development: Focus, Contrast, Exposure, Color Balance, Resolution +Compositional Creativity Development: Rule of Thirds, Framing, Silhouette, Decisive Moment, Selective Focus, Foreground Dominance, Color, Lighting

Tower Bridge; London, England

Barcelona Overlook; Spain

Irish Coast; Ireland

Kids Playing in Scotland

Haley and Calli Laughing; Harlaxton

Barcelona Fountain; Spain


Contour+gesture Oklahoma State University Studio I Professor Bilbeisi, RA Spring 2014


Concepts Explored: +Contour drawings to depict object value through line +Gesture drawings to depict value and hue interacting with light +Ergonomics Concentration +Architectural Sketching Concepts


Reuse the box Virginia Tech Architecture + Urbanism Graduate Studio Professor Edge Fall 2015

“Site thinking must continually oscillate between material and conceptual, abstract and physical, discursive and experimental, and general and specific points of view.” The triangle is so integral to construction in composition for its strength, rigidity, and beauty. Mathematics of the triangle allows for innovative designs and computer generated designs that create architectural wonders of curtain walls, complex truss structures, innovative roof systems, and so much more. The idea of “Reuse the Box” is used here to contrast triangular elements with the box of the existing structure. Triangles are a natural shape commonly occurring in the pattern, rhythms, and unities of structure found in nature. The juxtaposition of the triangular wings with the box of the existing building pose an interesting contrast of geometric shapes, the existing against additions of the renovation, as well as programmatic contrasts of social and quiet spaces. The project “Reuse the Box” I have designed as a renovation and/or retrofitted community project that encompasses the needs of the client, Radford County and City, by providing a museum and library from the existing Big-K empty mercantile building. The program includes the primary exhibit spaces of the museum and many interrelated library spaces, as well as a coffee shop, reading areas, a lecture hall, building patron service areas, classrooms, administration rooms and break rooms, as well as a vegetated roof, and exterior learning spaces and gardens. The project design uses the existing structure of the vacant Big-K building with additions and a complete re-imagination of the site and building as a whole. The Big-K is located in a shopping center in Radford, Virginia, and has a community goal to provide resources, educational opportunities, and develop relationships within the Radford community. Specific areas of focus include literature education, local artwork display and support, community green spaces, and the enrichment of life and community.


Watercolor Layout Studies

Site Plan


Floor Plan


Wall Section Detail

Site Region

Building Longitudinal Section


Front Children Play Area

Planter Gardens

Reading Gardens

Stacked Gardens


“The essence of rhythm is the fusion of sameness and novelty; so that the whole never loses the essential unity of the pattern, while the parts exhibit the contrast arising from the novelty of their detail. A mere recurrence kills rhythm as surely as does a mere confusion of difference. A crystal lacks rhythm as surely as does a mere confusion of difference. A crystal lacks rhythm from excessive pattern, while a fog is nonrhythmic in that it exhibits a patternless confusion of detail.�


Thank you to my family, friends, and professors for making my educational studies successful. All glory goes to God.

Gaiko Graduate Architecture Portfolio VT 2016