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PORTFOLIO

John Liu


TRAVEL DRAWINGS P. 4 ~ 7

ON THE THRESHOLDS OF ISTANBUL P. 8 ~ 13

SWANBOAT PAVILION P. 14 ~ 15

HIGHWAY CITY P. 16 ~ 19

RIPARIAN CITY P. 20 ~ 23

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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TRAVEL JOURNAL

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to many historic cities of profound architectural value. My study abroad in Florence was an immensely influential experience for my training as an architect. These field sketches reflect a small part of that experience, and what I’ve learned through it.

Beyond my attempts to capture what is seen, I also tried to capture what can be understood, and experienced; through emphasis on texture, geometry, sequence, patterns, light, and atmosphere.

During my travels I’ve visited cities that include: Venice, Florence, Rome, Milan, Verona, Basel, Chur, Istanbul, and Ephesus. The following images represent a small gamut of the diverse architectural culture I’ve encountered, and have since become integral to my understanding of architecture.


TRAVEL JOURNAL

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TRAVEL JOURNAL


TRAVEL JOURNAL

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ON THE THRESHOLDS OF ISTANBUL

Architecture is a way of seeing, a way of making of a public. What is revealed are the contradictions, transformations, and frictions in the emergence of civic identity. While architecture has been applied to express paradigms and ideologies associated with particular powers, it has rarely been applied to manifest the complex nature of emerging identities; or in the case Turkey, a hinged identity. In light of Turkey's accession to EU membership, public discourse on Turkishness is critical to the cultural dialogue between Asia and Europe, east and west. Istanbul, as the city that spans the two cultural spectrums, is the most critical site to examine the role of Istanbul as a world city that has cultivated a plural identity for Turkey, and its European and Asian constituents. This space between East and West, between the religion and secularism, new and old, will be a threshold that connects spectrums of identity. Architecture is the archeology of latent identities.


There exists a plan to connect the European and Asian halves of Istanbul through a tunnel-rail system that routes underneath the Bosphorus Strait and the historic city. Proposed sites for the subterranean stations overlap sites of archeological importance, and current excavations have unveiled fi nds that simultaneously move archeological efforts and disrupt infrastructural constructions. I believe that such a conflict could represent an architectural challenge to unify disparate movements of infrastructure and archeology, new city and old city. Specifi c to my thesis, my sites of contention are the various existing and proposed transportation hubs that overlap sites of historical importance in Istanbul. My overarching contention for the sites is that a latent spatial potential exists for public use that can transpose archeological/historical sites with contemporary events spaces as a means to defi ne the public spaces of Istanbul.

Many of the public spaces in modern Istanbul were founded on Byzantine urban structure; the Beyazit Square was the former site of Forum Tauri during the Byzantine era. The Sirkeci Square now occupies the site of ancient Greek port Neoreon; the Hippodrome is now a public park sited between The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. This overlap of public spaces with existing urban structures is one of the defi ning characteristics of Istanbul as a historic/modern city.

ON THE THRESHOLDS OF ISTANBUL 9


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ON THE THRESHOLDS OF ISTANBUL

This thesis seeks to create a sequence of experiences and atmosphere that reveal underlying indentities; by firstly using collages and juxtapositions of artifacts, imagery, and typology to create “third spaces� that intersect overlapping spaces (and spatial identities).


The third operation is the intersection of spaces and elements, as a means to create tension between them. Tension intensifi es the contact between existing and transformed spaces through the manifestation of third spaces that are defined as both and neither of the intersecting spaces. It is a space that simultaneously connects to, and delineates from, the spaces beyond thresholds.

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ON THE THRESHOLDS OF ISTANBUL


A further operation is subtraction, or excavation of ground as a means to simultaneously make new spaces and reinforce existing ones. Architecture is the archeology of underlying spatial identity. The complex layers of Istanbul represent a palimpsest of identities that requires a “third space� to uncover and connect. The ground is an ambiguous threshold.

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SWANBOATS PAVILION

THE DRIVING IDEA BEHIND THIS PROJECT IS THE EXTENSION OF EXISTING LANDSCAPE, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A NEW HABITAT FOR BOTH HUMANS AND ANIMALS.. IN EFFORT TO DEFINE A NEW PERMANENCE ALONG THE LAGOON, A RENEWED SENSE OF PLACE IS REQUIRED TO PRESERVE A LASTING PRESENCE. TO THROUGH THE JUXTAPOSITION OF LANDSCAPE ELEMENTS SUCH AS VEGETATION, WATER, STONE, LIGHT, AND SHADOW, A HEIGHTENED AWARENESS OF THE SURROUNDING LANDSCAPE.

Boston, MA


THERE ARE FOUR PRINCIPLE MOVES THAT SUPPORT THIS GOAL: 1: A NEW SLOPING STONE RETAINMENT WALL THAT IS ARTICULATED TO PROVIDE SEATING AND TREADING ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHY. 2: A NEW GREEN CANTILEVERED ROOF THAT EXTENDS FROM THE GRASS HILLS ACROSS THE ESPLANADE, AND OVER THE LAGOON. 3: A CURVILINEAR WALL THAT SEQUENTIALLY CHANGES FROM A MASONRY WALL, INTO A SCREEN OF COLUMNS, TO A SLIVER OF LIGHT IN TO THE REFLECTIVE CEILING, AND FINALLY INTO A SCREEN OF VERTICAL GREENS THAT DRAPES OVER WATER. 4: A NEW ISLAND HABITAT THAT FUNCTIONS AS BOTH A SHELTER FOR BIRDS AND AS HOUSING FOR THE DRAINAGE MAIN. IT WILL BE COVERED WITH FOLIAGE ON TOP OF SOIL AND STONE.’ ALL THE MOVES SPECIFIED ABOVE WERE DESIGNED TO BRING CLOSER CONTACT BETWEEN THE PRESENCING OF SURROUNDING AND THE HEIGHTENED SENSE OF PLACE. THAT PLACE BETWEEN WATER AND REFLECTION, PLANTS AND EARTH, STONE AND LIGHT.

SWANBOATS PAVILION

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HIGHWAY CITY

Syracuse, NY


This project was developed in the Community Design Center, a multidisciplinary studio in which students from various fields resolve actual design problems through team work. In this case, alternative proposals for the spaces under I-81 were developed and presented to various transportation authorities in Syracuse. The elevated interstate highway 81 commands a critical presence in Syracuse. It is currently viewed as a divisive object that separates the east and west of the city. As such, this urban proposal projects a hypothetical recontextualization of the highway; a recontextualization of the way perceive it, and the way we occupy it. There are three distinct strategies in my proposal; which are: technology, program, and green space. Three new contexts to change the environmental impact of highway traffic and the urban spaces around the elevated highway- a unique symbiosis of infrastructure and public spaces.

HIGHWAY CITY

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HIGHWAY CITY

This urban propsal envisions a renewed public relationship to highway infrastructure. Both as a means to introduce spatial identity and a means to more fully engage the potential for public spaces. Skylight Infrastructure is recontextualized as urban asset and a part of the urban fabric. Sound baffles

Shopping arcade w/ underground accesss

Hanging garden connecting apartment complexes across the highway


The sound baffles that will hang on the sides of the elevated roadbed could be utilized for film projection at night.

The new highway could engage the ground via vegetation, thus making new stretch of green spaces through the city.

The ground will engage the elevated highway with “vertical activities� that bridge the dead space between people and infrastructure.

HIGHWAY CITY

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Seasonal kayak launch & and creek access point

RIPARIAN CITY

Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University Warehouse

A riparian zone is the geological interface between land and water. In Syracuse, where the regional economy once thrived on the Erie Canal system, population of the rust belt city has become distant to the water ways that once (and still) courses through it.

Market rate housing and retail development

Cable-suspended public paths and platforms to minimize structural footprint

The Onondaga Creek, a waterway that flows north towards the Onondaga Lake, runs through downtown Syracuse. It is channelized in its current state, and as such its water speed is too high to sustain an aquatic habitat. The channelization, coupled with heavy pollution from industry and runoff, has made the creek a dangerous environment for local population and wildlife. Yet, from distress yields opportunity; for the Onondaga Creek has great potential to change the urban landscape; to restore the local ecology that has since been disrupted by urban development; and recover the connection between human environment and natural environment. Constructed wetlands for biofiltration of residential black water

Blackwater is channeled into the wetland to be filtered through layers of pebbles, roots, and microbes

Syracuse University Student Housing + University COOP at ground floor

Vertical green wall Biofilter for greywater reservoir used for washing and flushing


THIS THESIS PROJECTS A RENEWED URBAN PRACTICE WITH EMPHASIS ON THE FLOW OF VARIOUS SYSTEMS IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT. ECOLOGY, PEDESTRIAN, ECONOMY, AND INFRASTRUCTURE ARE SPECIFICALLY UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF THE THESIS. THE RENEWED URBAN PRACTICE WILL BE aGAUGED BY THE SUCCESS OF PUBLIC SPACING ADJOINING ECOLOGICAL HABITATS. THUS, THE SUCCESS OF AN URBAN PLAN IS DEPENDENT ON THE ECOLOGICAL SYMBIOSIS OF PEOPLE AND NATURE, HABITAT AND PUBLIC SPACE.

SHINGTON ST.

FRANKLIN ST.

This design intervention projects a renewed urban strategy and philosophy towards natural ecologies within urban areas. The object sustainability being sought in this project is the sustainable co-presence of human density and the natural environment. The intervention will manifest in two components: Restoration of creek ecology through dechannelization, constructed wetlands, and new vegetations. Local redevelopments adjoining the Syracuse Univeristy Warehouse in downtown, occupied by School of Architecture students and Visual & Performing Arts students. The success or failure of this urban strategy will be gauged by both the viability for urban communities and the health of the local ecology along Onondaga Creek.

FRANKLIN ST.

NGTON ST. SHIN E. WAS

WAL

W. F W. FAYETT ETTE TT ST.

RIPARIAN CITY

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RIPARIAN CITY THE NEW URBAN STRATEGY INVOLVES THE NATURALIZATION OF URBAN HABITATS. IN THE CASE OF ONONDAGA CREEK, ITS WATER FLOW SHOULD BE DECHANNELIZED TO MEANDER ALONG ITS PATH. THIS MOVE GENERATES TURBULENCE THAT FORCES SEDIMENTATION OF TOXIC PARTICULATE MATTER TO THE CREEK BED. IT ALSO SLOWS DOWN THE FLOW, MAKING IT MORE CONDUCISVE TO VERTEBRATE HABITATION, AND SAFER FOR PEOPLE TO BE CLOSE TO. 02/0/3%$ !##%33 ).&2!3425#452%3 $%3)'.%$4/0!24)4)/.4(%2%3/52#% &//402).4/&0%/0,%/.4(%#2%%+

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VASCULAR PLANTS, BEING ADAPTABLE TO INUNDATED SOIL, ARE IDEAL TO PERFORM BIOFILTRATION FOR THE CREEK. TALL WOODY PLANTS SUCH AS WILLOWS CAST PROTECTIVE SHADES OVER THE WATER TO CREATE A MORE REPRODUCTIVE HABITAT. THEY’RE ALSO THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF BIOMASS PRO PRODUCTION, FURTHERING THE CAPACITY OF THE HABITAT.

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WATER LOGS PLACED ON THE BED OF ARTIFICAL BASINS CREATE RIFFLE STRUCTURES THAT IS BOTH CONDUCISVE TO VERTEBRATE REPRODUCTION AND PARTICULATE SEDIMENTATION. "2/7.42/54

ROCKY SUBSTRATE CAPTURES THE SUNKEN PARTICULATE MATTER, THUS CONDENSING A LAYER OF ENRICHED ORGANIC MATTER.

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Portfolio 02172010