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COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION CENTER This studio was initially introduced as a housing development in a dilapidated area of Chicago. However, after visiting the site I thought that in order to act as an urban renewal project the neighborhood needed something more than just housing. To better engage the community I decided to design a multi-purpose community center which included housing for homeless youth. The site included several unique characteristics which I used as a starting point for my design goals, including: A middle school directly north which could be used as a potential implementation for a co-operative education program, an empty parking lot to the west which could be used as an unplanned garden area and future project for the new center, and a train stop to the south which would allow the center to become a new central node in the surrounding area. The main idea of the project then became to give something to the community and its younger generations so that they could in turn help to revive the area through community based programs.

Giving Hands 16� x 20� Ink on Museum Board

Anatomy of the Virtrivian Man 30” x 40” Ink and Pencil on Museum Board

DERIVING THE SHAPE Natural Models As this project was to be focused around accommodating human needs, I began the conceptual design by studying the human form. In particular I focused on the classic “ideal� proportions of man and molecular structures found in bone. This led me to look at various other organic shapes in search of other natural patterns. I wanted to use regular geometries, yet I also wanted to use a geometry that mimicked some of the patterns I had studied. I analyzed the benefits of using a shape that was not rectilinear, these include: more efficient shape to heat, better solar exposure and thus greater potential for solar harvesting strategies, and a greater enclosed area for amount of material input.


Building Shape

I settled on using dodecagons (a 12 sided regular shape) as they are both regular and inherently efficient.











AREA TO PERIMETER RATIO Perimeter: 50 Side: 16.67 Area: 120.28 A/P: 2.406

Perimeter: 50 Side: 12.5 Area: 156.25 A/P: 3.125

Perimeter: 50 Side: 8.33 Area: 180.42 A/P: 3.608







Perimeter: 50 Side: 6.25 Area: 188.61 A/P: 3.772





Perimeter: 50 Side: 4.17 Area: 194.38 A/P: 3.888




Perimeter: 50 Side: N/A Area: 198.94 A/P: 3.989


PLANNING Community Engagement The programming of the building facilitates the basic needs of the community for living, working, learning, and leisure. Each floor acts as a division of privacy between the needs of the residents, the students, and the surrounding community. The first floor is devoted to the needs of the public with a library, computer lab, daycare, and cafeteria. The next floor is devoted to educational needs of its users with classrooms, workshops, offices and a community gallery space. The next two floors are designed as residents living quarters, with single and shared units and a large shared open area. The top floor and the roof are intended to serve the leisurely needs of the residents with an exercise space, a kitchen, laundry, and communal indoor and outdoor areas. The various rooms are located around the periphery of the dodecagons which gives them an inward looking central space. The plans for this building employ three different orientations of dodecagons with each floor rotated around a common axis to give the structure a sense of implied movement. This axis, the center of the building, is a communal space where students and residents can meet and where student work can be displayed. The rotation of the building creates an indoor atrium and outdoor courtyards on every floor.

First Floor Library Computer Lab Information Area Lavatory Bike Parking Enrance Way Cafeteria Courtyard Daycare

Fourth Floor Courtyard Community Room Opening Gallery Space Seating Area Bathroom Dorm Room

Second Floor

Third Floor

Fifth Floor

Roof Plan

Classroom Lavatory Workshop Office Communal Area Opening Seating Area Courtyard Gallery Space

Courtyard Communal Area Opening Seating Area Excercise Area Kitchen Laundry Room Lounge

Bathroom Dorm Room Courtyard Communal Area Opening Seating Area Gallery Space

Seating Area Skylight Courtyard



Environment Reactive Skin The building is designed to give its users control over day lighting with an exterior operable louver system that surrounds the fenestration. There are two ramps which run through the building inside and outside to accommodate the circulation needs and an opening in the center of the building to aid natural ventilation and for visual pleasure. East Elevation The primary structural system of the building is located in the central space: six large columns which have a tension cable system to help support the overhangs which result from the rotation of each floor around this space.

West Elevation

South Elevation

North Elevation

West Section

South Section



Community Revitalization Center  

An investigation into human form and how it can be adapted in an architectural form.

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