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portfolio / Jonathon Koewler selected projects / academic work


_ 00 Selected Academic Projects


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pier on the East River

inhabiting the wetland

boathouse for Columbia University

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05

06

urban revitalization in Rome / study abroad

dormitory for Pratt Institute

visitor's center at Wave Hill

Reappropriating the National Park

Critical Remains

Productive Contaminant

Social Bridges

Column Field

Striated Earth


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Reappropriating the National Park National parks lend themselves to the conservation of a scape, protecting them over time. The goal of this pier is to create an intervention on the edge of Manhattan which acts as a 'found' preserve, thus reappropriating the idea of a national park. This proposal argues that space can be created with the purpose of preservation in the future. The projects adapts national park programs through a means of artificially constructed concrete forms. The forms are a juxtaposition between urban living and its relationship to nature. It is critical towards the passive, low-emersion parks of the city. The formal and material characteristics of the park are not simply mimicking nature, but adopt a Brutalist, urban feeling. Its placement is integral to the commentary. Manhattan is a changing island, with boundaries blurred through each addition of space. A pier can reveal how the edge is being used, and a means to gage how it will be used in the future.

Partner: Agata Jakubowska, equal participation in concept and production Program: public recreational park Location: South Street Seaport, New York City

Size: 400,000 sqft

Critic: Dragana Zoric


curb to cave to cliff The park attaches itself to the existing Esplanade, so that it extends the pedestrian realm further into the river. In addition to taking advantage of vacant waterfront space, it presents panoramic views of the city, river, and Brooklyn Bridge from its many levels and vistas. The entrance of the park is characterized by sloping plains. These serve as a transition to the mass near the end of the pier, and a respite from the city. As the plates gradually rise up, a visitor finds themselves being engulfed by the geological formations of the park. Large fields for events, a lowered commercial strip, and a flat boardwalk make this the most accessible part of the project, to bring people in.

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The intense form of the park is meant to provoke athletic, invigorating activities. The massive tectonic forms of the park resemble some geological typologies, especially ones that invite participation and exploration. The complex spaces layer over each other to suggest new paths and spark the interest of the occupant. Spread throughout the rock-like spaces are moments of lush greenery for relaxation amongst the activity. The river is the third material in the project, invading the caverns and caves so that exploration can be done by water. The project seeks to question its analog, landing somewhere between landscape, architecture, and geology.

massing processes


programmatic to formal extremes By taking the special geologies and formations that are found throughout natural environments, and putting them in one, dense location in the River, this park can fill an unsatisfied space, and function, in the city. This variety but multiplicity of spaces is important for the explorative aspect of the park. Although not anywhere near the scale of a national park, the project wants give an engaged occupant as much opportunity to get as 'lost' in the complexity and excitement as they wish.

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The formal scale of the project was inspired by Brutalist precedents. Dramatic contrasts between light and dark, small and large spaces, and the lifting of massive form all create dramatic and unique spaces. These connotations are all easily attributable to the most engaging typologies in national parks, which was investigated. The park is at multiple scales a series of tectonic moves that are both familiar in their scale and sublime in their nature, but challenging to one's expectations of a "leisure park". early formal, 'sublime' studies


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follies (waypoints) (destinations) (explorations) Spread throughout the park are 'follies', simple, gestural constructions that are meant to amplify the already unique environment. These follies are meant to stand out as special moments in the park. In contrast to the unfinished concrete and greenscape, the follies are smooth and singular. They reveal the layered levels in the structure, emphasize the scale of the spaces, and give visitors places to remember and return to. In another way, they are also challenges to the occupant, asking them to explore a little further to reveal every complexity the park has to offer.

They are laid out on a grid, so that they can serve as waypoints as one explores all the terrain. While each one is 250 ft apart, traversing between them is never a straight line due to the complicated topography.


questioning typologies The project grew from a programmatic study of the waterfront adjacent to the site. We also investigated the existing 'parks' in New York, critiquing their ability to provide a true, natural respite from the urban landscape. Adapting the idea of a national park, instead of a leisure space or pleasure garden, allowed us to question what architecture could accomplish in an environment increasingly devoid of natural experiences and scapes. The pier pushes the literal boundary of Manhattan as well as conceptual boundaries of nature and architecture. While not simply a park, or a building, or a piece of nature, the pier ends up somewhere in between all three.

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waterfront analytical studies

final sectional models


Productive Contaminant This project looks to contribute to a vibrant micro-city in upstate NY, the City of Hudson. The city is currently in a state of flux: becoming an attractive location for new, innovative companies (as well as their employees), but in a city dominated by 18th and 19th Century historic fabric, which the city is intent on protecting. The propsal is a new community comprised of residences and work-spaces. It inhabits the wetland just a block outside the city-center. This is facilitated not by an aggressive construction scheme, but by a heavily operable infrastructure integrated in and above the wetlands themselves. With growth in mind, Hudson is already apt to provide the social attractor, and the Hudson Valley provides the natural engagement. The community seeks to take this one step further. Not merely ‘housing on the water’ or ‘moving up-state’, the community seeks to attract and cultivate a more immediate relationship between the built environment and nature.

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Program: Community Infrastructure

Location: Hudson, NY

Size: 200,000 sqft, expandable

Critic: Cathryn Dwyre


early eidetic drawings of Hudson and the site

site potential The North Bay, a large expanse of nature about two streets over from Hudson’s main drive, has been a resource for the city since its inception, hosting a vibrant commercial dock in the 19th century, and the Furgary Fishing Village until only a few years ago. This diverse wetland has the potential to host a new, innovative community that will help Hudson develop further as a Microcity. The selection of the North Bay revealed a site in need of attention. Its diversity is threatened by invasive species and industrial pollutants, but it is largely overlooked by Hudson (the enlarged drawing on the left diagrams each of the locations of the invasive species which starve the weltand, as well as the resilient areas, these would drive the placement of the constructed community). Even with its adjacency, space, and natural beauty, the city has little care for this ecosystem. By placing an occupyable infrastructure in specific, key niches of the wetland, Hudson can begin to properly sustain this resource.

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final site plan


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infrastructure The

initial

will

include

phase

of

this

constructing

community the

support

structures, major linkage system, and life support components. Following this inception, the intent toward ecological stewardship,

community

building,

and

discrete impact with drive the growth of the infilled, occupational elements. Although some larger oversight may be present, the energy of the occupants will become the true catalyst for this system going forward.

final model


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a new community In the wetland, small ‘clusters’ of space-framing structures will be constructed. These are the platform through which different scales of architecture will populate the steel members. Each cluster will be allocated particular services based on its contribution to the city: a collective that works with the blossoming cultural scene, a technology center for the savy entrepaneurs of the city, minimal but attractive housing for the young service population that cannot afford the rents of the city. But superceeding all of this is the ecological impact, which will be carefully studied as the community is occupied. From the meta-scale impacts of the structure itself, to technological systems, to a more direct nurturing of the wetlands, the community will invest in the nature it occupies.

sun-study analysis of shading impact upon wetlands by occupiable units


componentry This new system of infrastructure will be varied enough to allow for customization. Modular components will come together to integrate into the network of space-framing structures, comprising a host of residential, commercial, and ecological programs. This program will be determined by the occupants themselves, so that both spatial and temporally, the workings of the community are nimble and adaptive to their own goals. The ability to change the built environment allows the community to interpret its needs as an incubator for the city, and to adjust accordingly.

selection of components and unit assemblage

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03 Boathouse _04 _05 _06


Column Field Located at the uppermost tip of Manhattan near Inwood Park, this boathouse is for Columbia University. It is challenged with integrating a Community Boathouse with the existing private program.

Partner: Ceren Arslan, equal participation in concept and production Program: Columbia University/public boathouse Location: Manhattan, New York City

Size: 16,000 sqft Critic: Christian Lynch


matte/ground level The enclosed program floats above the ground floor. It is meant to feel like a large, sheltering mass, protecting the boats and suggesting a perimeter to the public space below. Only a 'forest of columns' serves to organize the public level. These columns hold up the mass of the floors above, as well as provide a 'blank infrastructure' that can be used for _01 _02 _

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community events.


The neighboring park is meant to flow into this space, becoming a 'matte level', where sectional variation encourages soft programming. On this level, the public can enjoy the view to the water and observe and engage with the boats and the Columbia Crew team. As people filter in through the park, they are meant to experience the sport through the field around them.

security/threshold

blank infrastructure

congregation

circulation

visibility


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bottom upwards An exterior, public path cuts through the building. It begins on the ground floor and ramps up through the mass, with opportunities to look down on the practice rooms. At the top, it reaches another open space for soft-programming and a vista onto the water. Here, the public can look out onto the water at the rowers.


perforated facade The

mass

emphasized

of by

the

building its

is

material

properties, an intense cladding of corten steel. These panels are a rainscreen, sheltering the building from the elements, suggesting a framed public space, and letting light invade the interior though the perforations on the facade. The density of the perforations change based on the interior program. On the interior, rotated wood planks block views but allow light into the space. Rooms inside this 'mass' have large, downwardfacing picture windows to observe the boat movements below them.

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facade study models


matte level The true vibrancy of the program is activated by the public waterfront. The neighboring park is meant to flow into this space, becoming a ‘matte level, where sectional variation encourages soft programming. The transparency of this space allows the rowing team to practice unrestrained, while still on display. On this level, the public can enjoy the view to the water and observe and engage with the boats and the Columbia Crew team. As people filter in through the park, they are meant to experience the sport through the field around them.

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Critical Remains The site for the project is one of the most important urban realms in the world, La Spina in Rome. Its urban fabric is one of the most densely historic, with layers upon on layers of building, modification, and destruction. The scheme demanded an appropriate response to the question: how to do you revitalize a place that is so grounded in its history?

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04 Study Abroad / Rome _05 _ 06


Program: museum, hotel, tourist center, commercial strip Location: La Spina, Rome Size: 500,000 sqft

Critic: Lawrence Zeroth


strategies to emphasize architectural landmarks

programs to focus activity/attention

reveal as object

histories revitalized This proposal seeks to embrace the essential buildings on the site, without idolizing them as unalterable pieces in a ruin. Rather, the new infill of contemporary buildings emphasize the best parts of the old structures, which are normally lost in the homogeneous aesthetic of Rome. The new buildings latch onto the old, and the programs integrate the two into one experience. The most fantastic spaces in the existing buildings are taken for public use. Neither the new or the old is privileged, but merge into one continuous urban-scape. _01 _02 _03 _

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interweave programs


breaking up the void The site is currently a void in the city of Rome. Although it serves as a clear path of movement, it lacks the same vigor and energy that the city is famous for. The infill of buildings break this void into piazzas more appropriately scaled to the city. Each one has restaurants, shops, and cafes surrounding itself. Some of these piazzas are large and blank, reminiscent of Piazza Navona, and hold pop-up markets and street performers. Others are lush with greenery, and provide a shady haven to the crowds of tourists who will stream through the sequence of spaces.

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Early assignments asked us to follow the studies of the Nollii Map, and take inspiration from its style. We tested many schemes for filling the site with private and public masses.


visual /spatial connections While the new buildings block the massive connection between St.Peter's and Castel San't Angelo, they do frame views of these colossal buildings. They are the anchors for this part of the city, and they serve as visual anchors within the project. Tourists who just want to move between the two will see their destination through the transparent buildings, and maybe find something unexpected along the way. For those trying to avoid this attractions, they can enjoy the smaller spaces and amenities, while still seeing these most essential architectural monuments. Although no longer a single void, the spirit and excitement of the site still persists.

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museum courtyard

museum entrance

museum plan, ground floor

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hotel courtyard

The public spaces function as a series of small piazzas, each one connecting to several of the programs. The outdoor spaces are linked below the new structures, providing a lush backdrop to the congregations of tourists who will occupy the new district.

hotel plan, ground floor

hotel lobby


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Social Bridges This dormitory was challenged with utilizing a single-loadedcorridor in a dense urban environment. By reworking this housing typology on a small site (were an alternative typology would be more typical), new, complex, social scenarios were constructed on each floor. The overall massing also allowed for a massive internal courtyard that pulled the street level into the building. This created a welcoming and continuous experience while maintaining control over the space for occupying students.

Partner: Morta Bautrenaite, equal participation in concept and production Program: Pratt Institute Undergraduate Dormitory Location: Brooklyn, New York City

Size: 58,000 sqft

Critic: Andrew Lyon


This facade is comprised of a structural grid,

with

smaller

panels

made

of

perforated metal. The screen extends from the building, providing space for the bedroom-balconies. In front of the living spaces and the lounges, it simply acts as a screen for privacy. The overall undulation of the panels makes the building appear more dynamic while emphasizing the importance of the logical grid.

preformative facade The building has a screen covering most of its exterior. Each panel on the facade has a different size and shape, folding in on itself for strength against the harsh seasonal winds. The materiality of the panels shield the interior from sunlight and provide privacy. The panels vary in size depending on the program behind them. For bedrooms, they cover most of the facade, for lounges, they disappear completely. The combination of the privacy-screen and the windows forms a heat-map of the public vs the private within the building.

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typical unit iso


private units The individual residential units in the building are comprised of four single bedrooms with a central, doubleheight space. The center space links the four bedrooms with a catwalk, and contains the shared bathroom, kitchen,

and

eating

spaces.

A

stairwell connects the two levels. The unit has entrances in each bedroom, to give the occupants a strong sense of privacy in their bedroom.

The

central

space

is

accessed through the bedrooms, but not from the public hallway.

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typical floor plan - b

typical floor plan - a

ground floor plan


lounges breaking through to the main facade

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lounges following the corridors

lounges linking multiple floors


social spaces The social spaces for the students physically

bridge

the

courtyard,

linking the two bars of living units. The

lounges

are

contained

in

occupiable trusses. The lounges also break through to the facades, providing relief and light to the interior lounges. These social spaces 'bridge' the units, different floors, and different scales of interaction. The lounges vary from large enough to house a gallery, to small enough for intimate seating spaces. Any variety of events and interactions can occur here.


Striated Earth This project combines programs of an academy, artists’ residence, and visitor center. The site has a steep grade, contained within a botanical garden. The building seeks to be equally immersed in the landscape as the surrounding nature. This provides an extensive roof garden for exploration, gardening, and recreation. The programs are under the ‘striated earth’, each individual but connected through the paths and gardens.

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_ 06 Visitor's Center/Garden


Program: visitor's center/academy

Location: Wave Hill Botanical Garden, Bronx NY

Size: 7,000 sqft

Critic: Eva Perez de Vega


formal process The project began with an exploration of wood as a material property. The investigation focused on its ability to bend, curve, and suggest spaces and transitions. From this, the formal language was derived. The roof and formal elements of this building are comprised of linear wood elements which mimic the explorations. They rise from the dirt at the top of the slope, where the occupant enters, and their density makes the enclosure. The striations curve and spread to make paths, shade, seating, etc. Finally they disappear back into the earth. The building emerges as a monolith of small elements. A person walking down the path will experience the building rise around them. The curves, ramps, walls, and relation to surroundings are gradual and calm. It is part of the landscape.

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upper floor plan

lower floor plan


blurred / round edges Both the academy and residence in the program ask for a high degree of interaction with the botanical gardens that occupy the site. This building is meant to be a sanctuary and learning experience, lush with nature. In this building, the boundary between interior and exterior is literally fluid. Even the formal elements, the curved wood, are meant to blur where the building ends and the nature begins.

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Jonathon Koewler Spring 2017 Portfolio  

B. Arch Student Pratt Institute

Jonathon Koewler Spring 2017 Portfolio  

B. Arch Student Pratt Institute

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