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Justin Nemshick

Portfolio Volume 3.1

This portfolio is a highlight of my career at Marywood Univeristy. The projects include studies in the relationships of the design to context, form, materials, history, and program. The collection of projects to follow have remained the same in concept since they were first designed. However, I believe a project is never finished, and although I have remained true to the main concepts developed in school, the graphic representation technique and style of my projects have evolved with each volume of my portfolio in order to showcase the skills I have been working on throughout my studies.

Additional Work and Info:


Shape Transformation

  An exploration in the  transformation of a shape, scale,  and direction.  Painter's Delta Shelter 

A case study and proposed  addition for Tom Kundig's Delta  Shelter.

Runner's Rest Stop A   design competition for a runner   rest area at Lake Scranton.

Exploding Connections


A Studio Design Build creating connection spaces. 

Rare Book Museum A


small studio firm design of a  museum to display priceless  objects in New York City.

Environmental Center A  

Design Research studio aimed   at an environmental center in Wilkes Barre, PA.

Parking Garage Revitalization A mapping

project for an urban proposal in downtown Scranton, PA.

Connection Library A capstone project on how a building can revitalize an area.

Shape Transformation Opinions of art, and architecture, can vary based upon the viewer. The goal in this design was to create a piece that gives a single person different opinions of an object based upon how they interact with the sculpture. By using a simple shape, the acute angle, I aimed to create something by only changing the scale and direction of this simple form. The final piece created was a shape abstractly resembling different things based upon how a person interacted with or observed the object.

Painter's Delta Shelter

top floor

middle floor




ground floor

Tom Kundig’s Delta Shelter is a unique weekend getaway cabin. The harsh weather of the site calls for flooding conditions, which requires raising the building. This allows for a special experience as you transverse through the building, views are created extending further and further out into the Washington wilderness as you go up each floor. The 360 degree views supplied by large glass windows are not something you always want though. When the weather turns rough, large steel panels slide over the glass through the use of a pulley and gear system referred to as a “gizmo” by Kundig. For the sculpture artist’s addition I proposed, I used the same principles in the design as Kundig and the same “gizmo” to protect the space as well as allow for views of the surrounding terrain. The lower floor takes inspiration from another one of Kundig’s designs, the Chicken Point Cabin. The large door required for a sculpture artist opens with the same “gizmo” as the giant door in the Chicken Point Cabin. This supplies the artist with a connection to nature as well as a space to get works in and out of the work space.

massing sketches





south elevation

Runner's Rest Stop When in the woods there is a unique experience you feel with nature as you transverse through it. The sun shines through trees creating shadows, and the openings where light makes it through supply you with glimpses of the sky. The Runner’s Rest Stop creates an architectural experience symbolic of this experience. The locally harvested stone is symbolic of earth and acts as flooring. Connecting to the stone floor, like trees connect to the earth, is a pine wall with openings that allow light in through slats. Like trees allow light through their leaves these slats do the same, creating lighting experiences similar to running in the forest. The final symbolic gesture is the glass roof. This relates to the sky, and although it will provide direct views of the sky in the spring and summer the roof will collect leaves over the fall and winter. This once again gives the occupant the experience of and obstructed view of the sky.




section a 25’

west elevation

north elevation

south elevation

Exploding Connections First Friday in Scranton provides artists with a time to display the work they create to the local community on a temporary stage. As a part of the HF’11 studio, we dedicated the design build studio to creating a space that can easily be shipped anywhere in Scranton, hide and protect the artwork inside, and open to create a multi-purpose space when needed. The program included shelves to hold art work, benches to sit and gather around, and a podium to give lectures at. The final design was the “Exploding Box.” The dimensions when closed, created a 4’x8’x8’ box. To get it to the site it broke down into 12 separate 4’x4’ pieces. This allowed shipping and site assembly to be easily accomplished by bolting the 12 pieces into 4 sections that close together as a box. The materials chosen for the box are 100% donated or recycled. The exterior skin is created with recycled bathroom patrician board, and donated environmentally friendly poplar plywood. The stud frame of the walls was constructed with locally harvested poplar 2x4’s. The footing of the structure was created out of scrap patrician board from cuts we made. Finally, all the bolts and screws were donated to the design.

To light the space at night we gathered old LED flashlights and placed them inside tubes. The tubes were the old center from the plotter paper in Marywood’s CAD lab. By putting the lights inside these tubes a glowing effect was created and it was able to light the entire space. The structure, upon use, “exploded” creating an exploded connection space for people to interact. The explosion was accomplished through a series of movements the structure was able to accomplish. By pulling each of the four pieces out a large central gathering space is created. In order to stand up, these pieces also have walls that twist and turn. When this happens the four pieces become independent, but create one common interior connection space. Each of the four spaces served different purpose. One section acted as a podium. A second section acted as a wall to display artwork. The final two sections of the structure acted as gathering spaces and had benches that acted as structural support and a place to relax. Each of these additional pieces were able to be stored within the frame work of the walls when the structure was closed for protection.

Rare Book Museum

Located in the Chelsea district of New York City, the site was on a location full of history. The site itself was Clement Clarke Moore Park and the former location of Moore’s Georgian style mansion. Moore was a wealthy man in NYC and the author of The Night before Christmas. Being that the site was a park in his honor we felt it was important to honor his tradition as well as honor the precious green space the neighborhood loved.The program of the building was a Museum for the Chapin Library of Rare Books at Williams College. The massing of the building went through a series of stages starting with a rectangle, which was a popular shape of the Georgian Style. It than was divided into three spaces for program purposes. Finally, it included a curved wall at the intersection of 10th and 22nd as a symbolic gesture to the turning pages of a book, which is the main item to be housed in this museum.

Straight Edge Design Bart Bajda Justin Nemshick Nick Tomasetti

10’ 0’



The skin of the building is a series of horizontal aluminum slats. The horizontal slats twist to allow light in where windows are. The large lobby with the curved curtain wall is constructed with a specialized structural glazing system. It is capable of spanning up to 80 feet in height while also twisting and turning, and acts as the highlight of this design. The building has a complex program and circulation scheme. The three separate buildings allow for usage of the complex at different times even when the museum is closed. The bridges allow for private connections between the three spaces. As complex as the program is visitors always end up back in the main entrance lobby where they exit through the gift shop. The building aims to achieve LEED Certification. Some of the features include solar panels on the south horizontal slats, exceptional rainwater retention systems, and fly ash concrete.

entrance lobby

10th ave elevation

west 22nd street elevation

In a design like this it is important to give back to the neighborhood. There is a park cafe, community room anyone can rent, a playground, and a park that are all public spaces. It is also important to remember local traditions and give places, like the park in the rendering, to the neighborhood to continue carrying on traditions like the annual reading of The Night before Christmas on Christmas Eve at the park.

Environmental Center

Before designing an environmental center for the Clean Water Coalition, I felt it was important to study the natural purification process water undergoes. When water carries dirt the sediment collects in lower areas as well as in corners. The studies below show sediment collects in a series of different situations. These studies were conducted by designing certain features that might be important in the site design and then melting wax with dirt to see where the dirt collects. An early design decision I made was to make the entire site an artificial wet land park. This is because wet lands are a natural purifying system of water and as sediment collects the wetland will change. The layout of the buildings, paths, and land areas within this wetland evolved through the studies below as well as the diagram to the left. The diagram to the left determined the placement of buildings, interior walls, exterior walls, and depressions in the wetland landscape. The driving factors in the diagram to the left were determined by surrounding factors of the site, including drainage, pedestrian flow, vehicular flow, the 10 year flood plain, views, and topography.

design research on sedimentation

massing studies

Once the locations of the walls were determined, the window heights and locations were determined. The locations of windows were placed in areas that do not allow a direct view to the river. Whenever a guest looks out a window they will have a direct view to an exterior wall where vegetation in the wet land will eventually grow as sediment collects.


30’ 10’


The window heights were determined based upon program. If the program of the room calls for people standing the windows are four feet high and go up to the ceiling. If the program calls for sitting the window will go from the ground up to four feet.

section a

section b

section c

wetland diagram

The material chosen for the design was cast in place concrete. The reason for this was to insure the walls would always remain there. The Clean Water Coalition goes into places temporarily, raise awareness to clean a body of water, and then move out. In order to insure the community will not forget why the coalition was here the concrete walls will always remain within the park to remind the people they need to protect and clean this natural resource.

This project was an exploration of site context, materials, programming, and relations to the human scale. In addition, it was a study of the power of memory, the abilities of water, and the connection of a city to a forgotten river.

Parking Garages: An Urban Revitalization Strategy.

On Street Parking


Parking Garages (Red) in relation to “Wasted Space”, Parking Lots and Vacant Buildings (Black)

The number one problem in an urban setting is wasted space. Wasted space can be broken into three categories, space not being used (vacant property), space that is being under used (“sneckdowns”), and space that can be used more efficiently through design (parking lot vs. parking garage.) Through extensive research and discussion within the Downtown district of Scranton, the idea of Parking Garages as a Revitalization strategy was developed.

Parking Garages (Red) in relation to a five minute walk from them (Blue).

Downtown Scranton can be more walkable by rethinking cars – or rather, where we park them. If leveraged strategically, Downtown Scranton’s 9 parking garages—each 5 minutes apart—can trigger both walkability and a 55% occupancy increase. Rather than spending time looking for surface parking (coincidently, the average time to find parking in Downtown Scranton is a 5-minute drive around the block), these nodes can be used more productively in order to free up underutilized urban real estate.

Parking Garages (Red) in relation to on street parking occupany (Darker Orange=Higher Usage)

Parking Garages (Red) in relation to “Wasted Space”, Parking Lots and Vacant Buildings (Black)

Parking Garages (Red) in relation to a five minute walk from them (Blue).

Parking Garages (Red) in relation to off street parking occupany (Darker Orange=Higher Usage)

Currently, parking garages are a tertiary means of parking in Downtown Scranton; that is, people park mostly on the street or on surface (private) parking lots. We believe that this is counterproductive to a walkable city because it encourages an inefficient use of urban space and an excessive use of cars as a mode of transportation. To counter these patterns, we propose to lower the cost of parking in the 9 garages while raising the cost of on-street parking. We believe that this will not only discourage developers from using (potentially) valuable land for surface parking, but it would also encourage people to walk from point A to point B—activating the sidewalk and the potential for a more powerful urban experience in between. Because nodes are only as powerful as the space in between them, we believe that using the 9 parking garages more productively will increase the value of the urban spaces in between them— storefronts, derelict spaces, former surface parking lots, etc. In turn, we believe that this would trigger much needed urban—and in turn—economic growth.

Off Street Parking

Connection Library

Site Plan Analysis Yellow_ Connection Site Red_ Parking Lots Circle_ 2.5 min walk

The site for the South Scranton Branch Library was located on 409 Cedar Ave. This area is in need of numerous buildings for its residents. I chose to place a Library and Auditorium here because this program is capable of revitalizing an entire area through connections that individuals have within it. These connections can come through studies, discussions with other guests, events, etc. The site also acts as a gateway between South Side and downtown Scranton which allows for the building to act as a connection between the life of Downtown and the life of South Side. After generating the Parking Garage Urban Revitalization Plan in separate project with Brice Reid, I felt it was an effect strategy to take precedent from in the design of the South Side Connection Library and Auditorium. To add to the South Side Revitalization Plan, I proposed to not include any parking at my site, except for a few handicap spots. I did this to incorporate ideas from the downtown parking garage study. I proposed that the Library takes advantage of a few of the numerous parking lots throughout the South Side that are underused. By doing this guests, like in the garage revitalization project, need to pass by local businesses which will help draw people into these businesses that might otherwise go unnoticed by vehicular traffic.

F-1 0’


F-2 0’


F-3 0’


In “Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture� edited by James Corner, there is an essay on where public and private meet, more exclusively the blur between the front yard and the sidewalk. Rosen Court, on the block behind the site, is an example of what is discussed in one of the essays. The alley, which is a public right of way, tends to become a more private space, one that is used by the children and other residents to play and work rather than drive motor vehicles on. Rather than ignore this issue it should be looked upon to further the neighborhood. By implementing areas of green space or places to site and play within and along the street there will be more safe spaces for neighbors to interact. The implementation of the green spaces will also help slow vehicles down and allow for a safer pedestrian space.

Cedar Ave. Street View

Rosen Connection Collage

Cedar Ave. Elevation



Rosen Ct. Elevation



In the floor plan, there was a layout in which the center of the building acted as the connection core. This was a place for people to interact, play, and learn together. As an individual moves away from the center the program gets more and more private from stacks and group studies down to private study areas. This is also shown in section. Section A shows the connection between the three floors in the connection core that acts as the place for guests to learn, play, and share ideas together. It also shows how the clear stories allow light into each level of the connection core. Section B and the Section Perspective show the connections within the more private spaces, as well as the connection of Rosen Court with the Courtyard reading area and the light well that supplies the auditorium with natural light.

Section A 0’


Section B



Section C shows how the natural lighting works within the spaces. Light wells provide lighting into the private study desks as well as the group study desks. They also allow natural light in the connection corridor where the roof is higher and natural light is allowed to flood the area. The idea in the use of natural light is that the guests will direct their attention to the natural light where they have opportunities to share or generate ideas. The South Side Connection Library and Auditorium is a building that shows how a single building can help revitalize an entire area. In addition the library addresses the haptic experience within the materiality of the building. The earthy material of wood within the connection core allows you to connect with the material and touch, whereas the private areas address the history of the area and the iron furnaces that helped this it grow by being a rustic weathering steel. The materials help the building tie into the urban structure of the area yet some more.

Section C 0’


Courtyard Section Perspective

Justin Nemshick 570.956.9572

   

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  

  

Nemshick Justin_BARCH Undergrad Portfolio  

Volume 3.1 of my time at Marywood University. Includes all five years of work. Fall 2009-Spring 2014.