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Architectural Portfolio



Anticipated graduation May 2020 - 3.91 GPA - Dress, Culture and Society Minor

23 Alton Avenue Voorhees, NJ 08043

(856) 906 1780

ONLINE PORTFOLIO final_portfolio

ABOUT I am currently a fourth year B.Arch student at Virginia Tech with a minor in Dress, Culture and Society. I am very interested in how culture and design inform one another, especially within the public realm. This fascination has been my primary motivation to study abroad and pursue a minor outside of architecture. I believe that as designers, we have the responsibility to understand who we design for in order to create meaningful work.


Proficient with:

AutoCAD Rhino PhotoShop InDesign V-Ray Microsoft Office

Other skills:

Sketching Model Making 3D Printing Watercolor


English Some French

Bachelor of Architecture, Virginia Tech

Europe Study Abroad Architecture Travel Program

European Fashion Study Abroad

Eastern Regional High School

Familiar with:

SketchUp Revit Illustrator PremierePro Grasshopper Unreal Engine

August - November 2018 Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Spain

May 2017 London, England; Paris, France; Florence and Rome, Italy Graduated June 2015


Summer Scholar, Hanbury

Intern, InterArch

June - August 2018 - Participated on active projects - Collaborated with fellow Scholars and firm leaders on design, business development, and operations May - August 2016 and 2017 - Worked with design teams to meet project deadlines - Assisted with planning and design of new and existing Metro Bank stores in the United Kingdom - Prepared documents for planning and tender


President, American Institute of Architecture Students

Ambassador, College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS)

August 2017 - May 2018 - Previous service as First Year Liaison and Vice President - Attended 2016 Northeast Quad Conference in Pittsburgh, PA - Attended 2017 Grassroots Leadership Conference - Oversaw weekly, monthly and yearly operations of the Virginia Tech chapter of AIAS August 2016 - present - Represented CAUS at majors fairs, open houses and tours - Increased awareness of CAUS programs among prospective students and families - Volunteered at events taking place within the college

AWARDS AND HONORS Drafting LaserCAMM Screen Printing Sewing

University Honors at Virginia Tech

August 2015 - present Alumni Presidential Honors Scholarship

Hanbury Summer Scholar

June - August 2018 Awarded one of four spots based on a jury reviewed portfolio submission

Presidential Campus Enrichment Grant (yearly, 2015 - present) Robert L. Turner Scholarship for Study Abroad (2018) Norrine Spencer Bailey Strong Start Award (2016) First Year Competition Honorable Mention (2016)


A School for Music

[pages 3 - 18]

Glass Studio

[pages 19 - 26]

Mixed Use Housing

[pages 27 - 34]

Palermo Viejo

[pages 35 - 42]


[pages 43 - 44]

2017 AIA Competition

[pages 45 - 46]

III. SUPPLEMENTAL PROJECTS 3D Printed Textiles Research

[pages 49 - 50]

Photography [pages 51 - 52]

First Year Selections

[pages 53 - 56]



ARABIA MUSIC SCHOOL Spring 2018 Duration: 8 Weeks Location: Helsinki, Finland

Three major points of focus influenced many of the major decisions I made in regards to this project. At the beginning of this project, I theorized that material choices and strategic placement of programmatic elements could generate pleasant social and educational environments, therefore creating conditions that improve the overall mental and emotional health of its inhabitants. With this goal in mind, I developed the following list to adhere to:

1. The use of mass timber to not only make use of Finland’s abundant natural resource, but also to generate a pleasant inhabitable environment. The nature of this building material allows for flexibility of space, both in the initial design and future improvements to the structure. 2. An inferred hierarchy of program to determine which areas should have access to increased daylight/views. As I studied the programmatic requirements, I decided to prioritize the spaces where inhabitants would be spending the most time. For example, the offices and practice rooms are placed on the eastern side of the building since sedentary and long hours will be spent there, while many of the instrument classrooms are tucked to the other side of the building since classes are often shorter than time spent in practice room. 3. Ample opportunities for social interaction to encourage connections between students, faculty and the public. I made sure to leave many open areas of various sizes and locations around the building to allow students to gather to work, socialize or grab a coffee.


February 21st: 9 am, 12 pm, 5 pm


August 21st: 9 am, 12 pm, 5 pm


In order to form a greater understanding of the solar conditions affecting our site, I decided to create a series of shadow studies in Rhino. Since late February is the darkest time in Helsinki, I chose February 21st and six months later, August 21st, to evaluate.

From this study it is clear that it is very important to capture the low winter sun in the south. It is this reason that I blocked out a long and narrow void that extends nearly the entire length of my building. In hopes of allowing the limited light to enter deep into the space, I made sure to leave the void as unobstructed as possible and chose light interior finishes to bounce the sunlight further into the building.




Because of the limited sunlight availability during the winter months, I decided to maximize the percentage of glazed surfaces on the southern and eastern faces of this project. In contrast, the northern facade is mostly solid to prevent massive heat loss. Originally I had hoped to create a clear glass box to showcase the interior ecosystem of the school, however due to the climate considerations it was clear my idea would have to evolve.

I determined the patterning of solid and void on the facade based on the grid that governs the rest of the building. The vertical mullions are arranged to correspond with each column and the horizontal mullions relate to the beams. Ideally, the mullions would be the same light colored aluminum of the facade. I chose a metal cladding system because of its lightweight and reflective properties. With light bouncing off of the glazing and the aluminum, I believe that the illusion of the glass box could still be preserved.


North Elevation

East Elevation

South Elevation 8

PROGRAM BREAKDOWN One of the first steps I took when starting this project was categorizing similar spaces with one another. Then, I developed a gridded system to arrange these groups logically throughout the building. I chose to place administrative and technical areas lower in the building and raise student practice rooms and workshops up higher. My earlier iterations yielded some areas with disproportionate concentrations of mass, when working on the final iteration detailed here in this booklet, I chose to prioritize pre-determined voids. I also began to carve away areas of the floor to create double height social spaces in a few areas. This not only allows for a more dynamic experience of the space, but it results in more variation as seen through the large curtain wall facade.



Rehearsal theater Control room


AMP theory classrooms Piano classrooms Electric piano classroom Studio practice space


Drum classrooms Percussion classroom Studio drum space Music workshop space Music technology classroom Web studio small


Rehearsal theater Control room Band rooms - small Practice classrooms


Instrument classrooms - small Band rooms - big and small


Instrument classrooms - big and small Keyboard instrument studio


Offices Music education Music kindergarten Practice classrooms


Student resources Multiuse classrooms Lecture classroom


Chamber music hall Box office Control booth + storage Large coatroom Cafe/bar


Administrative spaces Storage Technical spaces AV monitoring rooms

Performance Classroom Practice/Workshop Student Resources Kindergarten Administration Technical Support Areas 10

Ground Floor 11



Gig Storage Room

Technical Workspace

Maintenance Room

Theater Technical Space

Technical Storage Room

AV Monitoring Room Small

AV Monitoring Room Big

Chamber Music Theater

Equipment Storage Room

Conference Room Small

Instrument Storage Room


Open Workspace

Faculty Kitchen and Breakroom

Faculty Coatroom

Quiet space

Conference Room Large

Basement Floor Plan


First Floor Plan

Lecture Classroom

Multiuse Classroom

Multiuse Classroom

Men’s Restroom

Women’s Restroom

Multiuse Classroom

Student Union Office

Women’s Restroom

School Nurse

Men’s Restroom

Tutor Room

Tutor Room

Tutor Room

Tutor Room

Tutor Room

Tutor Room

Music Kindergarten Big

Music Kindergarten Big

Music Kindergarten Small

Music Education


Women’s Restroom

Kindergarten Coatroom

Men’s Restroom






Second Floor Plan

Practice Classroom Medium

Instrument Classroom Big

Instrument Clasroom Small

Practice Classroom Medium

Instrument Classroom Big

Instrument Clasroom Small

Instrument Clasroom Small


Instrument Clasroom Small


Instrument Classroom Big

Instrument Classroom Big

Instrument Classroom Big

Instrument Classroom Big

Keyboard Instrument Studio

Women’s Restroom

Men’s Restroom

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Third Floor Plan 13

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Band Room Small

Band Room Small

Band Room Big

Rehearsal Theater

Band Room Small

Band Room Small Women’s Restoom

Men’s Restoom

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small

Instrument Classroom Small Instrument Classroom Small

Control Room

Rehearsal Theater

Practice Classroom Medium

Practice Classroom Small

Women’s Restroom

Practice Classroom Small

Practice Classroom Small

Men’s Restroom

Fourth Floor Plan

Practice Classroom Big

Practice Classroom Big

Band Room Small

Band Room Small

Fifth Floor Plan

Women’s Restroom

Web Studio Small

Music Technology Classroom

Music Workshop Space

Men’s Restroom

Percussion Classroom

Studio Drum Space

Drum Classroom

Drum Classroom

Drum Classroom Drum Classroom

Drum Classroom

Drum Classroom

Sixth Floor Plan

Rehearsal Theater

AMP Theory Classroom

AMP Theory Classroom

AMP Theory Classroom

AMP Theory Classroom

AMP Theory Classroom

Piano Classroom

Closet Piano Classroom

Piano Classroom

Studio Practice Space

Electric Piano Classroom

Seventh Floor Plan 14



Eighth Floor 16


UV protective layer W proof membrane 5/8” plywood sheathing 4” extruded polystyrene sheathing vapor barrier 5” CLT panel

Interior wall

1/4” acoustic mat between column and drywall 1/2” concrete gypsum board 1/4” acoustic mat 2x8 stud framing 3 1/2” batt insulation 3” airspace 1/2” concrete gypsum board

Curtain wall

Triple glazed curtain wall Aluminum mullions tied back to wooden structure

Sound attenuating floor

1” wood floor finish 3/4” plywood subfloor 1 1/2” concrete gypsum board 1/4” acoustic mat 3/8” plywood acoustic springs 16” o.c. 3” CLT panel 3 1/2” batt insulation 1/2” gypsum board suspended ceiling

Foundation wall

Drainage mat 12” concrete wall 2” mineral wool board 3 1/2” mineral wool batt 2x4 stud framing strapping 1/2” gypsum board


Section through balconies

Section through lightwell

Section through performance theaters 18


A STUDIO FOR AN ARTIST Spring 2018 Duration: 8 Weeks Location: Blacksburg, Virginia Partner: Finn Martin

For this quick four week project, I worked with my classmate, Finn Martin. Together, we created a studio for a local glass artist who wanted a workspace on his home property. He had few constraints, other than budgetary and construction considerations, however he did require a space for his kilns, a carport (attached or unattached) and an ADA compliant bathroom.

We decided that a studio for a glass artist should be a celebration of his craft. It should be informed by its surroundings. It should be flexible and adaptable. Inspired by the local architecture, sunsets, and culture of Blacksburg, we adapted the familiar form of the barn to take on its own unique identity. From the lane behind his home, our project is meant to compliment the neighboring structures. However, as visitors enter the property, the true character of the building reveals itself. Vertical windows dance up and down the facade of the main space, and turn to wrap the corner of the smaller volume. Colorful films of warm colors are strategically placed on these windows to further contribute to the life and energy of the project.

Developing this project to a high degree of detail was crucial since there is the possibility that it may be built. Feasibility of construction was very important to our client since he is planning on building his studio himself with the help of only a few friends. While we did choose heavy timber construction, we did a lot of research into local companies who would help him with the process. The timber allowed us to be much more creative with the design of the facade, creating a unique identity for the project.



Our client had some very specific requirements for this space. Because his ultimate goal is to work in his studio and showcase his work on the ground level of his home, he needed an ADA compliant bathroom and access. Furthermore, he requested a large table, lots of storage, and space for three large kilns. He discussed the possibility of conducting some small classes in the future of 6-8 students, so we provided enough space for them to feel comfortable as well. Finally, our client asked us to design a small carport for his wife’s vehicle that could be attached or detached from the main structure. Shown below, we decided to detach our design but still use the heavy timber framing of the main building.



tin roofing 5/8” OSB sheathing 3 1/2” batt insulation exposed wood ceiling exposed rafters metal flashing

Exterior wall

barn wood siding vapor barrier 5/8” OSB sheathing 3 1/2” batt insulation 1/2” gypsum board

Foundation wall 2x4 sill plate select fill drainage pipe concrete footing 23


Front Door Detail


Side Door Detail



URBAN GARDEN Third Year Duration: 6 Weeks Location: Blacksburg, Virginia

This project called for a mixed use building, including both residential and commercial components. Because the program includes a plant nursery, creating an urban garden became an integral goal for this project. I sought to diffuse the boundary between exterior and interior through strategic material selection and placement.

The overall form of my structure implies continuity between the two volumes that challenge the division between interior and exterior. The geometries are pulled apart, however the exterior masonry remains intact. The use of a glass facade several stories high within the interior courtyard creates a visual connection between the two volumes and allows the inhabitants to experience the natural environment from many different vertical points in space.

Further redefining interior and exterior, the interior walls are finished with the same exposed brick as the exterior and the ground floor area with the cafe lifts up to allow more light to pass all the way through the building. After considering both concrete and steel construction possibilities, I decided that for a building of this scale, wood frame construction would not only be feasible, but also conceptually appropriate.

The wooden posts and double joist floor system are both exposed to create the feeling of enclosure within an outdoor canopy of trees and branches. The brick facade and interior finish are both veneers. Structurally, they are tied back into a load bearing CMU wall that transfers that load to the concrete foundation below.




Ground Floor Plan


First Floor Plan





PALERMO VIEJO Second Year Duration: 12 Weeks Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Challenged to design a mixed used building, including a gallery space, coffee shop and extended stay residences, I began to consider questions of light and shadow, public and private, and existing versus new. Working with a corner site of an irregular geometry, I found order in two overlapping grids. This not only allowed me to acknowledge the existing context, but also governed a shift and rotation of volumes that permitted light and air to reach more regions of my building. Finally, I used a cohesive band of concrete as a tool to both unite and separate, by relating the floors and regions of my structure to one another while still delineating public from private space.

I began this project with some small massing models that addressed urban-scale questions of public and private space, access to air and light, and acknowledgment of existing structures. Prioritizing a visual connection to foster continuity with the existing block, I opted for two separate volumes that shifted between two different orthogonal ordering systems. I determined that the volume on the busier of the two cross streets overlooking the park was most appropriate for the gallery space because of the public nature of the area and uninterrupted access to sunlight. In turn, this volume created a semi-private space for residents to enter their units, while still providing direct access to the coffee shop.




Ground Floor Plan


First Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

Third Floor Plan





DETAILS AND TECTONICS Third Year Duration: 2 Weeks Location: Blacksburg, Virginia



AIA COMPETITION Third Year Duration: Weekend Location: Alexandria, Virginia Program: Ferry terminal, gallery space, cafe, restrooms, ticket office




3D PRINTED TEXTILES Third Year Duration: 8 Weeks Faculty Advisor: Edward Becker

This study yielded many interesting results, yet even more questions. At the start of this project, I was hoping to create a complete dress. However, when creating a garment, it is very important to understand your textile of choice. Since 3D printing is still a relatively unapproached concept in the fashion industry, a study of the limits and affordances of the tool was much more important to research. As the 3D printing technology continues to advance, it is becoming easier and more affordable to use and own a personal printer. Similar to how you can download many pre-made files online now, I could see designers offering downloadable versions of their designs to a home printer. However, there are a few major challenges with this otherwise very accessible scenario.

I began this project testing prints that I downloaded from the Internet in order to better understand the printing process and material properties. As I observed the strength and weaknesses of these tests, I drew conclusions that informed my own trials. Eventually, I developed a pattern that performed well in the areas I was hoping to manipulate, including density, flexibility, ability to conform to complex curves. With this relatively successful mesostructure, I began to explore its relationship to human joints and movement. Without a closure, these tests were difficult to conduct, but yielded some interesting results nevertheless.

Overall, I believe this project could serve as the foundation for a myriad of later studies. While I mentioned the need for a closure, I also see countless opportunities and directions this research could extend to should it continue, including research into the process a consumer would follow to obtain this product or even who the consumer may be.



PHOTOGRAPHY Because travel is an integral part of an architectural education, I cherish every opportunity I have to step out of my comfort zone and explore. Shown here is a selection of photos that have inspired my work and maintained my love for this field. Architecture is about creating spaces, and these images can serve as an insight into how I experience and think about places.



INTERSECTION STUDY Instructed to “model an intersection,� I began by thinking about how planes and solids can intersect and what happens at their point of intersection. As the project progressed, it evolved into a material study as well. An important take-away from this exploration was discovering how to find the balance between using analog and digital methods.



STAIR STUDY This project began with the instruction to intersect several planes to create inhabitable volumes. It was the first project I created that dealt with scale and practicality in architecture. I started thinking about my model as a structure with a function instead of simply a sculptural work of art, and I still believe it has a lot of potential to continue to evolve.


FIRST YEAR COMPETITION Honorable Mention: This project was a competition submission that answered the prompt “demonstrate the promise of repetition.� The object I chose to repeat was a scalene triangle. Each triangle overlapped the next, and I was pleased to discover that I could allude to curves, while only using straight lines and a repetitive geometry. 56

Architectural Portfolio  

Design work of rising 4th year Virginia Tech architecture student Julia K. Costa

Architectural Portfolio  

Design work of rising 4th year Virginia Tech architecture student Julia K. Costa