Page 1

Something from Nothing Jonathan Wu | Portfolio | 2015-18 Univesity of California at Berkeley Class of 2019


(651) 398.4495


University of California at Berkeley (2015-19) Univerisity of Minnesota - College in the Schools (2014-15) Woodbury High School (2011-15)

Campus Involvement

Alpha Rho Chi - Callimachus Chapter Member (2016 - present) Professional fraternity for architecture and the allied arts

Previous Employment/Internships/Shadowing Positions Dollar Tree (2015-16)

Unloaded shipment from trucks and stocked/re`stocked shelves

Century Engineering Design Co., Ltd. (2016)

Proofread and grammatically corrected Chinese-to-English Translations of text accompanying several CAD drawings

Previous Volunteer Work

R.H. Stafford Library, Woodbury, MN (2015)

Helped shelve books, assist children during summer hours of operation

Salvation Army (2011, 2012)

Served breakfast to the homeless in St. Paul, MN during the holidays

The Berkeley Project (2016, 2017)


Assembled furniture for a local daycare center in Southside Berkeley (2016) Cleaned up and planted new trees along Strawberry Creek on the UC Berkeley campus (2017)


English (10/10) Spanish (7.5/10) Portuguese, Brazilian (7.5/10) Italian (5/10) Norwegian, BokmĂĽl (5/10) Chinese, Mandarin (8/10)

Software Skills Autodesk Revit (8/10) Autodesk Inventor (7.5/10) Microsoft Office (\/10) Adobe Photoshop (6/10) Adobe Illustrator (7.5/10) Rhino (9/10) AutoCAD (8/10)

Other Skills

Sketching (10/10) Hand Drafting (8.5/10) Model Building (8/10) Painting (6.5/10) Creative Writing (9/10) Rhetoric (8/10)

Key Courses

Intro to Visual Representation (Fall 2016) Design and Activism (Fall 2016) Future Ecologies (Spring 2015) Intro to Environmental Design (Fall 2015) Intro to Design (Spring 2017) Introductionto Urban Statistics and Data Analytics (Spring 2017) Introduction to Construction (Spring 2017)


5 - Private Views Project: OPENHouse

8 - (Un)Fold Architecture 100B Instructor: Roddy Creedon Assignment: Case Study

10 - Expansion vs Enclosure Architecture 100A Instructor: Mia Zinni Assignment: Portrero Hill Library

12 - Loop + Knot Architecture 100A Instructor: Mia Zinni Assignment: Sequence

15 - Pinwheel Architecture 100A Instructor: Mia Zinni Assignment: Double Negative

18 - Rhythm + Expansion Architecture 11B Instructor: Andrew Atwood

20 - Massing Studies Architecture 11B Instructor: Andrew Atwood

22 - Loose Alignment Architecture 11B Instructor: Andrew Atwood

25 - 40x40 Project: Compact Houses



Private Views Project: OPENHouse

Given the influences of growth patterns on the architecture of suburban American houses, privacy within the home has often been thought of as mutually exclusive with having a liberal amount of visual openness. Repulsion towards vis-Ă vis layouts has prompted designers to favor smaller openings and sparser placements of said openings.

OPENHouse seeks to challenge this notion by combining conditions of privacy and openness into a single house. 5

View Diagram 6

Here, privacy is quantified not by how much visual shelter the facades of a building can produce by enclosing the interior, but by the use of forced perspectives to create a lack of lines of sight from the outside in whilst preserving a rich view from the inside out. This is made possible thanks to its site in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles along the winding Mountain Oak Drive. Three areas of openness are dispersed throughout the house. Together they encapsulate 3 major views of Los Angeles and it’s surrounding suburbs. Their orientation faces them away from the only outer lines of the site into the house coming from the north side of the site where the road is located. The slope of the site topography allows for the perspective differences between interior and exterior. The slope becomes a height multiplier, cutting off lines of sight from the outside.

Lines of Sight 7

(Un)Fold Architecture: 100B Instructor: Roddy Creedon Project: Case Study


Analyse. Abstract. Remake. This was the strategy employed in this case study of Kengo Kuma’s Asakusa Cultural and Tourism Center. Here, his design of a theoretical upward aggregation of 7 machiya houses is abstracted to it’s mere zigzagged profile and reconstructed through a series of folding operations, tracing the voids produced by the building’s several “roofs”. This is then diagrammed in two different ways in two different deliverables; an unrolled section drawing of the building which shows the “houses” in the state of a series of unfolded planar surfaces and a physical model shows a section of building in it’s folded state.

Photo by Takeshi Yamagishi


Expansion vs Enclosure Architecture 100A Instructor: Mia Zinni Assignment: Portrero Hill Library


The term “public library� is rather unnuanced in meaning. Though maintained through public money and accessible to the general public, a library is never a public space in the same sense that city plazas and parks are. Attributes of privacy and tranquility are generally understood to be inherently present, which hybridize with the publicness of the library into a unique atmosphere. Viewing libraries as public spaces with private areas, this design aims to explore the relations between the public and private through the juxtaposition of expanded conditions and enclosed spacial conditions. An expanded condition is delegated to publically-intended programs while enclosed conditions denote a more privately intended program. Such conditions are achieved through the formal modularization of tapered volumes, which are operated on via shearing and scaling.

Two types of volumes are subtracted to create the void conditions of the library. The set of volumes located in the front and rear of the library are composted by transversally shearing and vertical scaling. They create the public sectors of the building, housing the lobby (in the street-facing end) and the main reading room (facing the parking lot and in the direction towards downtown San Francisco). The two diagonal volumes hybridize the public and private. They house the book shelving with dedicated young adults’ and children’s areas. The private areas are delegated to the solid-poché. This includes the media center, private reading area, offices, and restrooms.

Massing Diagram












Situated in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill Neighborhood on 20th St. between Arkansas and Colorado, the library overlooks the bustling SF skyline while perched atop a calm quiet suburb. This becomes symbolic gesture, in and of itself, between the public and private, in and of itself. with the city skyline symbolizing the public life of the urban environment and the neighborhood symbolizing the private safe haven. This juxtaposition allows for a second order of hierarchy to exist beyond just the solidvoid relationship of public and private. It creates an order of directionality between the entrance on 20th street and the parking lot on the other side, where the skyline is visible. On either end of the directional traverse are public areas, the lobby, and main reading room, respectively, but the juxtaposition of the city versus the suburb hierarchically empowers the reading room, with its outlook over the city skyline over the lobby and its entrance on 20th street. Longitudinal sections 12





Loop + Knot Architecture 100A Instructor: Mia Zinni Assignment: Sequence


The objective of the sequence assignment is to assign an order of experience to a set of spaces. The formal basis for this design was an arrangement of warped loops. A path in the form of a single knotted weaves through the solid masses. The solids conform to a set of looped volumes, upon being warped by the path.

Circulation Diagram

Section Drawing

Site Drawing + View Diagram


The arrangement of the looped volumes and the folding operations used to create them are used to control forced perspectives which allow for ambiguous readings. This is aimed at blurring the experience of the solid-void conditions by enabling multiple different readings which transform with the sequence of the circulation throughout the composition. The folded forms can be read as having a specific solid-void condition in one manner in one direction of the sequence, due to the visual orientation and cropping of perspective. A form that may appear as a long and tall mass from one perspective, becomes read as a thin slab from a different perspective along the same path. 16


Two or more objects intersect to create the new condition of a double negative.

Architecture 100A Instructor: Mia Zinni Assignment: Double Negative

Here, four volumes of negative space are developed through the simple operations of rotating and shearing a tapered trapezoidal mass along a single rotational axis. They intersect in partial laps at the axial point, rendering said axis, containing the visible moments of intersection, as the new condition. The condition is dubbed “pinwheel�, as it emulates the figure of a set of spinning pinwheel blades. 17

Section Perspective

Concept Drawing Process Diagram 18









1/2 S CALE






C Left - Plan Drawings Top Right - Section Drawings

The subtracted volumes are stacked atop each other at the rotational axis. Because they are sheared at incrementally higher angles relative to each other, the voids’ corners penetrate the flat bottoms of the voids above them. Such moves create a moment of quadruple height, allowing visibility into each of the four voids independent of any more spatial subtractions. 19

Process Drawings

Rhythm + Expansion Architecture 11B Instructor: Andrew Atwood

This project was developed from a formal basis of an armchair silhouette. An amalgamation of a series of these silhouettes is arranged in a way that composes a new abstracted figure, revealing various moments of the original silhouette, but not the entire armchair itself. These moments are then rhymicly arranged along the perimeter of the figure. The finalized form is a sheared extrusion with a void in it, complemented by an entirely new operation - a second tapered cut expanding in volume longitudinally. This is done as a nod to the condition created by the shear operation acting on the first void, widening the surface area in which said void breaches the top of the mass.


Surface Analysis


Vertical Section

Horizontal Section

The shear and the trim are key components. Upon extruding, a 45° shear and a trim were applied. The shearing and trim accentuate the concept of a small, 2D compositional moment becoming large in 3D.


Christian Kerez, House With One Wall

Massing Studies Architecture 11B Instructor: Andrew Atwood

This assignment emphasized an understanding of the volumetric compositions of buildings. My particular study was on House with One Wall designed by Christian Kerez and concludes as the following:

A total of six pieces makes up the massing model. Five of the six pieces represent the negative spaces of the building created by the main wall. The sixth piece is a representation of the wall itself along with other building components such as the stairs and casework. 22

Exploded Plan Oblique

The literal reproduction of the cuts from the plans and section Exploded Elevation

First, a literal copy of the floor plans and section cuts were re-composed to establish a sense of familiarity with the building. Once completed, these drawings became the formal and logical template used in developing the 6 pieces of the model. Because the exterior contours of the building remain consistent for all 3 stories, the model components representing the negative space are all determined by the interior contours.

The red lines drawings above diagram where the original building was divided.


Loose Alignment Architecture 11B Instructor: Andrew Atwood


Recycling four of the masses used in the aforementioned Massing Model assignment, this assignment involved designing a new building, based off our interpretation of the definition of a randomly assigned word. The word assigned to me was “loose”. This became a play on “loose alignment” as the horizontally non orthogonal masses derived from Kerez’s House With One Wall complemented this concept. Created by tilting the 4 pieces outwards from the central axis, the building’s form mimicks that of a blossoming flower.

The building is oriented to the ground in such a way that would permit no flat surface of the building to be parallel to the ground itself, only allowing a few vertices to actually make physical contact. This continues to reinforce the notion of misalignment by prohibiting orthogonal structuring. The placement of pilotis creates an additional layer of misalignment. They roughly follow the bottom contours of the two volumes in contact with the ground in a V formation, a formation that inherently follows 2 diverging contours. To compliment all of this, orthogonally oriented setbacks that were deep enough to be noticed throughout the spatial composition are implemented for the windows. These setbacks act as a reference frame for the misaligned design elements, allowing us to see how far they have deviated from orthogonality.


40x40 Project: Compact Houses

Housing in contemporary East Asian Urbanism has been tortured by high consumer and spatial demand. When the urban environment in a residential zone is not dominated by high-rise apartment blocs it is littered with low-level compact housing positioned so close to each other that their exterior walls barely touch each other. In the western world, specifically in the United States and Canada, contemporary housing is characterized as suburban detached homes with back yards and driveways leading to private garages. This design is a theoretical take on the blending of North American and East Asian housing, aiming to conform to a large private exterior space in compact 40x40’ housing site.


Floor 1 Plan Cut


The house has a one car garage, 2 full sized bathrooms, 3 bedrooms and a “backyard� roof terrace. The 540 square foot, lawn-covered, roof terrace allows for the functional equivalent to a backyard without breaching the 40x40 building perimeter. This is especially important for families, for it means that young children will have a place to play that is safer and more private than a tower block parking lot or a narrow alleyway. The 40x40 footprint means that it can be built in spatially limited areas and because the perimeter forms a square, arrays of these houses can be evenly arranged along a city block.

Floor 2 Plan Cut


When I was still in second grade, I told an entire classroom full of classmates, on career day, that my dream was to be an inventor and was met with laughter. All I wanted to do was to make new things and change the world Over a decade later, said dream suddenly began to materialize, as I was studying architecture in college. As I continued my education, I realized that architecture had the potential to be more than just the toying of solidsvoid forms, but rather as a method to innovate and improve our cities by physically creating new elements for our built environment. Jonathan Wu | UC Berkeley | Class of 2019 28

Portfolio (2015-2018)  
Portfolio (2015-2018)