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Portfolio of School Work Jinfan Chen/ Master of Architecture


A building Is a story told over time, enriched by the people who use it. woven into a fabric of time and space. A testament. A narrative.




[Shifting From Lines to Surfaces] -Crafting Expressive Surface



[Fabricating Spatial System] -Pedal Pavilion



[Optimization in Parametric Design] -Adaptive Tower



[Bim in Practice] -MoMA/P.S.I Pavilion


-Mega Church

[Space and Learning] -Montesorri School in St.Louis

[Embrace the Civic Space] -Contemporary Air Terminal

[A Datum of Liberty] -St.Louis Law Courts



-Mixed-use Skyscraper

[Intersection] -Architecture Studio


Mega church is a church having 2000 or more in average weekend attendance. The immense architecture of the mega church requires that the entire congregation can see and hear. The need for large parking lots to accommodate worshipers has often led these churches to be located on the outskirts of large cities. The ambition of this project is to bring the building back to the heart of city and embrace the praying activity as part of the urban life. The notion of camouflage is to allow new strategies to integrate massive volumetric building to interface with the urban landscape. The camouflage technique is not a graphic intention but an overall strategy of blending into its environment. In an urban perspective, the proposal creates a field of landscape and a moment of public participation. It connects to the surrounding public places by a network of promenades. In an architectural perspective, a re-defination of traditional pavilion as a cultural reference is introduced to the site. The building is eventually conceived as an urban park comprised of these pavilions allowing the public to communicate with praying community. The interior sermon space is liberated through a transparent interface where it becomes a container for the light and also a sharing room for the dialogue between the city and the prayers. The program of Mega church is a complex system of infrastructural and massing experimentations.

[CAMOUFLAGE: MEGA_CHURCH] Comprehensive Advanced Studio Instructor: Sungho Kim Fall 2011


“God has no religion. God dwells among the people.�


Dongdaemun Market or Tongdaemun (abbreviated DDM) is a large commercial district comprising traditional markets and shopping centers in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.A popular shopping and tourist destination, it has been designated a Special Tourism Zone since 2002. The market was set in a closed structure until the Korean War, when the market was completely destroyed. The market slowly rebuilt over the years, and in 1959 a building was constructed and the market was revived. In 1998 and 1999, large shopping malls such as Geopyeong Freya, Migliore, and Doosan Tower were built in the district and the market was renovated with a modern atmosphere among the traditional market.

Satellite Image: Dongdaemun, Seoul

Concept Model: Urban Networking


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Infrastructural Diagram

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Urban Networking is the prime interference in the existing context. Conceptually it integrates the complexity and programmatic layout of the urban fabric as either a transitional or terminal hub. Dongdaemun can thus thrive from this massive architecture and landscape unitization through infrastructural connections to the surrounding, stimulating commercial investment as well as cultural recognition. 04

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Model Image I: Camouflage Pattern Inspired by the tradition Korean pavilion, a series of transformed modern pavilions are introduced to the site. As the main components of the architecture skin and urban landscape, the field of meditation pavilions populates upon intersecting park alleys providing shading and bringing natural light to the inside of the building.



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Model Image II: New Streetscape of Dongdaemun To totally create a different streetscape of Dongdaemun, the actual immense architecture fades away to the ground, hidden in a sea of spatial structures. The transparency and publicity of the street interface changes the impression of the architecture stereotype. It will become a new gathering place and landmark for the city.


Sermon Space Axon Drawing: Between Sky and Earth This is a sermon space built in communication with the nature , the city and the people. The experience is given to preach among the accumulation of devout hearts blessed under the light of god. The architecture fulfills its duty to help people reach and pursue what the spirit desires. Material







Building Section The church dwells in the heart of city but filters the urban noise and defines a place of the sacred. It emerges with an expression: it is not a matter of forcing the gesture, but rather of stating the action. An expressive architecture expresses itself through relationships, rather than through language.


The essence of Montessori education centers around the method of offering free and independent studying environment. The project can be interpreted as two parts. One is Carving the Classroom, which involves constructing a highly resolved proposal for a single Montessori classroom, engaging the fundamentally spatial definition of the Montessori education of “learning through making.”The second part is Etching the Earth, which involves evolving a highly resolved spatial proposal, deploying the programmatic elements of the Montessori School to construct a “society of spaces” as an inhabited surface, allowing a reconceptualization of the ground plane. To achieve this essence, architecturally the project seeks to arouse children’s natural awareness and promote their physical and mental development through approaching to nature and creating an educational space of flexibility and diversity where students could have proximity and intimacy.

[SPACE AND LEARNING: A MONTESSORI SCHOOL] “Space and learning...not being told how it should be done, but, learning to do it yourself.”

Comprehensive Advanced Studio Instructor: Robert McCarter Spring 2012


Conceptual Evolution: A Village of Educational Spaces







Section Sketch: The School Building as A Micro-city “When designing a school, you should be thingking all the time of a city and drawing paralles with urban situations though without lapsing into too literal analogies. Should you succeed in regarding your building as a tiny city, you will come to interpret the different components in another way.In the design phase, once this ‘connection’ has been made, a train of further association is released, adding a new dimension to the quality of the communal, ‘public’ places. Corridors become ‘streets’, interior lighting becomes ‘street lighting’ and so on. Although a building can never be a city nor anything between the two, it can still become city-like and thus become a better house.” --Space and Learning, Herman Hertzberger


A Stimulating environment is an environment that appeals to you, that provokes you and incites you to act. For this you must be able to place the signals and stimuli it gives off- that is, make them part of a familiar domain. Learning is the process of making things part of your domain: making something that was once beyond you your own. This gives you a grip on your surroundings so that you acquire a place, and thus control over those surroundings. The notion of school calls for an inner world that can give children confidence and security, that can feel familiar to them, like a house; an environment, then, that they can make their own.

Section I

Section II


Ground Level Plan 1. Main Entrance 2. Platform 3. Lawn 4. Swimming Pool 5. Garden 1 6. Classroom 7. Administration 8. Garden 2 9. Sharing Space







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Detailed Sectional Perspective


Etching the Earth The layout of the building is conceived as an extension of the ground. It creates a learning landscape which is continually in a state of flux because of the succession of teachers, subjects, resources and ideas. Its major quality is being able to absorb and adapt to these changes. Carving the Classroom A condition of learning in which children work on different subjects alone or in groups parallels the need for more workplaces of different sizes and spatial quality. This requires not just that the classroom be articulated but also encourages colonizing what was once the corridor and domesticating it as an ‘outside area’ of the learning territory. Structural Frame as Anchors An active learning space is usually triggered by the spontaneous interaction among students. This ‘illegimate’ action breaks the traditional rule of indoor education, but release the human instinct and desire of learning.This structural frame is intent to provide that opportunity and let it happen.


It is sensible to turn the school entrances as much as possible towards each other and have them lead into a shared interior zone where everything common to them can be expressed, and that behaves like a square or street, strengthening and giving substance to the feeling of cityness. So what matters is how this city-like conglomeration is to be made accessible. The less extended schools are regarded as freestanding buildings and are increasingly assimilated in the urban fabric, the more logical the idea of informal entrances. As more community-oriented and other more general functions become part of it, the building’s interior will consequently gain a more urban aspect.

Enlarged Floor Plan 17




[1] Corridor: Learning Street [2] Agora: Active Learning Space [3] Classroom: Routine Learning Space


“An iconic destination for travelers to this capital city while proving that it’s possible to decrease the airline industry’s environmental footprint.”


Most of the US air terminal systems are outdated. At present the aviation and the Kansas city requires to have an air terminal that is an intelligent, rigorous and poetic integration of site, program and technology resulting in a building or place of remarkable clarity and power. It must stick to the spirit of the city and respect the natural climate of the place. The intention of designing an air terminal for Kansas City is to make a remarkable building by embraing enjoyable civic spaces and celebrating the age of flying through the making of a gateway to the city. The building and its form represent Kansas’ vision for becoming a global crossroads. At the heart of the terminal, a 200-foot-wide room creates a great “Civic Plaza” where art, retail, social and civic functions converge and passengers can connect with the immediate landscape. Capped with a series of expressive structure and skylight, this room has become a threshold to the “crossroads of America.” The desires to provide clarity for passengers and to achieve energy efficiency also give shape to the building. The cantilivered roof reinforces the path of travel, defining both the great arched front as well as a passenger’s movement between landside and airside. In addition, the terminal roof is designed to shade the building’s curtain walls while providing scenic views of the Kansas landscape. The roof form, skylight and high-performance curtain wall systems were designed to work together to assure that primary building lighting is not in use during daylight hours throughout the departure level.


Comprehensive Advanced Studio Instructor: Ripley Rusmas Spring 2012

Arriving Departure Speedy

Circulation Diagram

Parti Diagram

The crucial part of the design is to implement the making of a civic plaza that belongs to the Kansas city and connects the flying with the landscape. By simply creating an optimized interface that enhances the interaction between the building and the green infill, the terminal is achieved to be zoned for various purposes and improve the passenger processional experience. 21





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[1] Birdview: Sliding Mass and Landscape [2] Check-in: Natural Lighting in Arched Space



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Decompositional Diagram

Building Section The gesture of the structure and form makes the airport unique and celebrating the building as an impressive threshold to the city.The ceiling is hung in between the columns exposing the structure on the top with a skylight.This unitized structure system expresses the spirit of flying and reinforce the spatial quality for better using experience.


First Level Plan

Ground Level Plan 24

Section Perspective The terminal features a clear progression of spaces for departing and arriving travellers. The building’s legible, modular design creates a repeating sequence of waves formed by vast wings of wood. Supported on concrete legs, the great roof is punctuated by roof lights providing carefully controlled natural light throughout the upper level of the terminal. Light-filled ‘corridors’ divide the parallel floors that accommodate the various stages of passenger processing - from point of arrival, through check-in and passport and security controls to departure lounges and, finally, to the aircraft.



American courthouse architecture has moved away from the use of symbolic icon to communicate the importance of the judicial process. Courtrooms are now routinely located in generic office towers, effectively repositioning the proceedings as business as usual, thus obscuring the gravity of the judicial process by excising the symbolism inherent in the traditional courtroom. A notion of contemporary courthouse seeks to challenge this trend by dissecting a generic office tower and repositioning the spaces as an extroverted building. The emerging building, visible in the metropolitan landscape, is conceived as a public plaza connecting the jurisprudence and urban life. The old courthouse in St.Louis is a great treasure and legacy of the city. In addition with the mall of St.Louis and the arch, it is recognized as one of the landmarks of downtown St.Louis and the center of public life. However, with the time passing by, the old courthouse is re-appropriated and the public life is dispersed. There lies a potential opportunity to inherit the spirit of this place through bringing back the program of a court building and recreate a place of publicity. The entire proposal is based on a premise of recapturing the essence of American law which is a system of evaluation based on public opinions and a system of arbitration through public engagement. And it is to seek a new way of representing the court building in architecture.

[A DATUM OF LIBERTY: ST.LOUIS LAW COURTS] M.Arch Degree Project Instructor: Ben Fehrmann Spring 2013


“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.� 28

Site Plan The site locates right in front of the old courthouse. It is cut off into two parts by the highway 70. It is a place of green and urbanity but without any urban life. The idea is to intensify the role of the great mall and revitalize the space as a continuous landscape. The solution of laying the entire building on its side makes it more accessible physically and philosophically. It bridges the congested urban condition and the enormous openness. The site position suggests an integration of the congestion and expansion in relation to the duality of the urban context.




Concept Diagram The building is an extension of promenade with layered urban experiences. Public participation happens in every corner of the building and they are visually connected. The roof of proximity connects the immediate landscape and street promoting the city flow. In some circumstances, it turns into a territory for protesting against the law and a place of hearing the public voice. It looks like a foundation of the old courthouse. However, it is not a foundation for the authority, it is for the public.


[1] Lobby: Connecting Jurisprudence and Nature [2] Corridor: A Public Realm Illuminated by Natural Light 30



Ground Level


Underneath the interactive surface is a large indoor skylit public lobby providing working spaces. The idea is to create a space connecting the jurisprudence and nature. It is a public realm of great transparency illuminated by natural light and intimacy reinforced by atmosphere of leisure from external surroundings. All the private courtrooms arranged in the L shape embrace two opposite public territories. One belongs to the nature and the other belongs to the artificial. And the two parts are associated by the circuit in the middle where the hearing rooms and jury assembly locate. The layout is also a strategy of separating the circulations.

First Level


Building Section This courthouse is a new representation of the essence of American law. It is a dissolution of the monument, and an innovative, rigorous and poetic integration into great mall of St. Louis. Jurisprudence and nature connect resulting in a place of remarkable clarity and power. It would be recognized as a new landmarks in downtown St. Louis, integrating with its surroundings with a sensitivity for environment and publicity. It is a spiritual progression. It is the architecture that is in dialogue with the city and its people.



St.Louis Courthouse 1828

Outlined by levees, highways, train rails and overpasses the park is cut off from the surrounding city, inhibiting the free flow of the public life. At the same time, although visually connected with the nature, the city is rejecting the expansion of green materially. 35

The proposal is a double expansion on the site. On one hand, the park is expanding into the city as a bridge of flux. In reverse, the program is evading the park as a public engagement.

Plaza Detail


[DEFORM: A MIXED-USE SKYSCRAPER] Comprehensive Studio Instructor: Qi Tian Spring 2009


The project is born from the intention to create a new concept of vertical public space for the tower. A three-dimensional void will be arranged in the middle of the tower giving a dynamic image to the building and creating different public scenarios for the offices.The design of the void shape explores the relation between the podium and the vertical section of the tower with continuous spaces and fluxes that create a vertical tension in the full height of the tower. The tower’s distinctive façade atrium, with an energizing and dynamic form, will establish a new symbol for the CBD skyline. With its 200m height space, the tridimensional atrium will be the highest lobby in Chongqing. The public spaces, lobbies and Sky-Gardens are interconnected along the tridimensional void of the atrium creating a stream of light, images and activity. The building itself will be symbolically open to the city along the great façade atrium.






Office Plan Typical

Office Plan Type A

Office Plan Type B

Office Plan Type C

Office Plan Type D

Office Plan Type E


The design integrates the values of connectivity and trade fluxes of Chongqing CBD into an innovative vision for a XXI century tower. Integrated in the complex skyline of the city, the tower will respond with a striking external glass volume. All the complexity happens in the internal network of public spaces that are placed strategically in the facades taking advantage of the views and visibility according to the urban context.


Curtain Wall Corner Detail

Typical External Curtain Wall Detail

Atrium Curtain Wall Detail


The ambivalent, always changing and oscillating character of the building’s identity is heightened by the sculptural effect of its glazed surface structure. The rhomboid-shaped grid on the façade is clad with flat panels of glass. These differing geometries generate facetted reflections, which enable viewers, both inside and outside the building, to see constantly changing pictures and almost cinematographic perspectives of the city and themselves. Decompositional Axon

Typical Curtain Wall Section


[INTERSECTION: AN ARCHITECTURE STUDIO] This horizontally expanded architecture studio is derived from the rethinking of spatial using and the relation that ties the cooperation among all the departments. It is a rigorous experimentation of creating innovative working space and improving the experience that people work together. The form of the building is eventually self explanatory: the entire mass has been broken down into four linear parts, reflecting the internal space relations and program layout.The relatively complex volumn positioning is based on a critic assessment of the different roles of programs. With the semi-transparent concrete facade, the resulting building allows the viewers from outside to see the constantly changing picture of studio life.

Competition/Third Prize Spring 2010


Site Plan 44

Concept Sketch

The four departments will be organized into four linear spaces at different levels. The level of each floor has a distance of 1.5 meters, which provide designers with the opportunity to share and communicate. The public space is not clearly defined, depending on how it’s gonna be used. And other programs are placed on the two ends of the linear space, giving the working areas a core role in the entire building.


Ground Leel

First Level

Second Level

Elevation 46

Third Level

SHIFTING FROM LINES TO SURFACES Instructor: Jonathan Stitelman Fall 2011 Surface Simulation

Blue Poles, Pollock

Phenomenon Analysis

The “Blue Poles” conveys the unique skill that Pollock had by now achieved with his infamous ‘drip’ technique. Executed on unstretched canvas laid flat on the floor, both the artist’s dripping, splashing and pouring of paint onto the work’s surface, clearly reveals the highly physical aspect of Pollock’s technique. Therefore, in the painting process, these physical techniques produce specific tubes of forces--unique for every color of paint. At the same time, the paints are also influenced by gravity in the motion of dripping, splashing and pouring. These motivated paints then hit and craft the canvas. It is a progressive movement by utilizing multiple colors, integrated on one surface. The notion of this project is to represent the surface crafted by these repetitive forces. By means of tracing the different colors on the canvas, vectors composed of impact point and direction representing the forces are extracted. In addition, the sphere of influence is also defined by the area of the paint on canvas. These two key factors are applied to shape the surface in the digital model. The first step is to project vectors and ranges of one color to a flat surface and extrude the borderlines along with vectors so as to get the foremost surface. The second step is to project the vectors and ranges of another color onto the surface crafted by the first color. This is repeated for each subsequent color. In the end, a complex surface recording multiple forces will be formed.


Model Photos

Physical Modeling


PETAL PAVILION: FABRICATING A SPATIAL SYSTEM Digital Fabrication Instructor: Robert Booth Spring 2012

Inspired by the petal of a flower in nature, the project attempts to develop a systematic strategy of producing space and form. The emerging pavilion made of petal-like components is structurally self-supported and conceived as a tridimentional landscape with controlled natural light.


Assembly Unit


Map of Parts


Flattened Piece


ADAPTIVE TOWER Optimization in Parametric Design Instructor: John Dolci Spring 2012

Thermal Study The tower is adaptive and responsive to its surrounding environment by adjusting the volumn and the performative component geometry in relation to the thermal conditions. The aim is to optimize the architectural form through the processing of data gathered from local area.

Geometric Constraints of Floor Plates

Map of Plates


Components on Surface


Component Geometry


MoMA/P.S.1 PAVILION Bim in Practice Instructor: Robert Booth Spring 2013

BIM processes have developed rapidly as technological advances have made them possible as well as a growing necessity for increasingly complex projects. Project delivery methods are slowly changing to respond to these advances. Where existing methods rely on abstract representational drawings that must be interpreted by construction firms in order to be implemented, BIM allows strategies of simulation and testing which require increased participation from a greater number of team members earlier in the process. This is a vastly different idea of how projects are developed with implications beyond form, reaching into contracts, codes, and schedules, and this reach may explain the slower change in the project delivery area.

Surface Formation


Panel Detail 54

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