Page 1

KelseyLiz Habla

University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning Freshman Architecture Design Studio Fall 2012-Spring 2013

Table of Contents Semester I

Project 1.1.......................................03 Media..............................................04 Project 2.1.......................................05 Project 3.1.......................................07 Project 4.1.......................................09 4.2.......................................11 4.3......................................12

Semester II

Project Project Project Project Project

1.1......................................13 2.1......................................15 3.1......................................17 4.1......................................21 5.1......................................27

Semester I

Project 1.1 Techtonic and Setereotomic Structure

03 Habla

Media Assignments

In ARC111, the Media class, we were given several assignments to improve our technical and tonal drawing skills. Through a series of exercises I learned about different drawing techniques as well as types of diagrams and good presentation qualities. I completed assignment that tested both my accuracy in drafting as well as my observation skills in toning light values.

For my first project I was assigned to create a structure built of spaghetti that was able to support a hydrocal egg. I achieved this by creating a truss system consisting of many triangular geometries . Although this lightweight material does not seem fit to carry the load of a plaster object, I was able to redirect the forces in order to make it stable. I first drafted sub-assemblies of each section and built them using spahetti, then joined them together at points to erect the structure. I attempted to be very economical with the interior of the structure and only add members where neccessary. The final model slightly resembled the shape of an egg and ergonomically held it up. Habla 04

Project 2.1 Survey and Documentation

As Built Set View Drawing of Piece of Grain Elevator

05 Habla

The second project of the semester was a multi aspect one that required a thorough investigation one of Buffalo’s Grain Elevators located in Silo City. We first did extensive research on Marine A through readings as well as by visiting the site to take photographs and measurements. The photographs were then compiled into one large composition that displayed the overall exterior and interior of the site. We each were assigned a 25’ section of the building to document more in depth. I was given a piece near the South end that included several silos as well as the upper half of one of the marine legs. I created a series of drawings that included four elevations, two sections, and a plan. The exterioir elevations have been toned to show depth and the plan has been shaded to represent the presence of light within the silos. Those drawings were also compiled to present a full diagram of the Marine A Grain silo. The last study I did on this topic was the movement associated with the grain elevators. After researching the activity that went on in the building, I created a set of three diagrams showcasing first, the development of technology and transportation used, then the history of workers, and lastly the storage of grain over one calendar year. This case study allowed me to learn about one of Buffalo’s most influential buildings as well as develop many survey and documentation skills. Habla 06

Project 3.1 Movement and Storage


1907 1920s

1883 1897


Diagram of Technology and Transportation

07 Habla


  o Today

 



o 




Diagram of Transportation

  o

o  o o 

Summer Spring

Wi nter Fall

Diagram of Grain Storage

Habla 08

Project 4.1 Re-Use and Integration: Postural Positions

After studying the structure and history of the Marine A grain elevator, we delved into the present condition. We were asked to design three postural positions for Jim Watkins, the caretaker of the building. Out of 11”x17” manilla folders, we needed to create three separate spaces at a 1.5”:1’ scale that allowed him to stand, sit, and lay. First I considered the conditions of the three postures and what each entailed. It occured to me that each was very different. I payed attention to the quantity of mental and physical movement allowed in each position as well as the amount of space and light needed to accomodate each of those conditions. I concluded that standing was a very complex posture, demanding substantial space to move around as well as a significant amount of light in order to see what one is doing. I acomplished this by designing a space where Jim could potentially work as well as observe the Niagara River. To reiterate the concept of complexity I chose to cut the material with two circular shapes and two linear ones. I mimmicked this process for the remaining tow by decreasing the ammount of light and space in each and decreasing the complexity of the structure by cutting it less.

09 Habla




Habla 10

Project 4.2 Re-Use and Integration: Residence and Storage

Original Structure Within Grain Elevator

Final Structure Within Grain Elevator

After making spaces for Jim to live, we also had to consider the many objects that are stored in and around the site. I chose to look at the five vintage cars that are currently in a nearby garage. I looked at Rem Koolhauss’ proposal for the 1992 Paris Library Competition. In his design, he took the planes of the floors and configured them into ramps that provided a single downward path from the top of the building. I used this method to design a structure within the marine leg that penetrates the grain silos at a single point and represents the movement of the cars into their resting place. In an attempt to be as minimally invasive as possible and not compromise the integrity of the iconic building, I used the existing planes that occur every fifteen feet inside the grain marine leg.In a fashion similar to the way I created the postural positions, 11 Habla

Final Structure Viewed From Back of Grain Elevatot

I cut and folded the material to initiate a downward path for both the cars as well as people [Jim] to travel. At first, the structure was very orthogonal in nature but grew much more organic as I experimented with this way of building. When finished with the main structure, and faced with the challege to integrate the postural positions into the strage module, I placed the scaled down models into the storage model. There was a very obvious disconnect between the two so I reworked the design of the storage unit to incorporate the postural positions in a more fluid manner, by using the same cutting/folding, non-additive or subtractive method. When completed, had created a dwelling withing storage for Jim and his precious cars.

Project 4.3 Re-Use and Integration: Focus

Section and Plan of Strorage Within Structure

Hand Rndering of Section of Final Structure

Habla 12

Semester II

Project 1.1 Experimental Assessment of a Space


In a dark alley behind St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Franklin St. there exists a space just large enough for one person to disappear behind. It is possible to be enveloped by the stone walls of the church and internalize one’s thoughts. The ethereal and secure feeling of the church provides a safe haven away from the real world. Muted sounds are the only thing I can hear and light from the street is all that illuminates the encompassing walls. Darkness and solidity surround me from behind, leaving the immense and optimistic view of the church as my only sight. It is serene and enthralling.

Habla 14

Project 2.1 Survey of Space

Reflected Ceiling Plan


North Elevation

Section B

South Elevation


Section A

Our first assignment was to go out into the city of Buffalo and find a space that spoke to us: a relatively confined area that evoked a very specific feeling in us. After roaming the streets all day, I came across this alley way and it immediately pulled me in. I used the word ensconced to describe my feeling and wrote a short narrative illustrating the experience I felt while occupying the space. These beginning processes influenced the rest of my project. After documenting the alleyway with photographs, I took measurements and created a set of as-built drawings using AutoCAD. In order to convey the entire space, I then drew an axon of the negative of the space. This drawing shows not what exists, but the space created by the structure. The general form consists of three pilasters and a doorway. The height of the space is defined by a metal grate walkway above, the width by the walls of the church, and the length by a border I imposed on the space. It is roughly 21’x8’x14’. The drawing was done by using a 3D model that I made using Rhinoceros. Illustrator was then used to do line weight work. 15 Habla

Floor Plan

Axon of Negative Space

Habla 16

Project 3.1 Positive-Negative Inversion of Space

Axon Drawing with Plaster Cast Pieces Exploded

17 Habla

From the axon, I constructed a model of the negative space using blue foam. I used a hot wire foam cutter to shape the pieces at 3/8� scale. I then set up coddle boards using clamps and clay to seal the gaps. I secured my foam model in the bottom of the box and made barriers using foam core and clay. I used Vaseline as a release agent, covering all surfaces of the mold. Then, I mixed plaster and water to get a batter-like substance to pour. Section by section, I poured the plaster into the mold, allowing them to dry in between. In eight pieces I cast the entire model. I planned to use keyholes to realign the pieces once I removed them but they caused the plaster to affix to itself, forming four final pieces. I successfully removed them from my model and used their forms for the remainder of the project. The quadrant nature of the space aided this success. Habla 18

The photographs show different views of the final cast pieces. I looked at them at different angles and chose the bottom face as the most interesting to look through. From there, I drew perspectives of each of the pieces. They show each piece as if it were hollow, and the negative space that would exit within them. They are all relatively similar in form but have their own unique qualities. I adjusted the picture plane and view point to modify the distortion and point of view for each drawing. I chose the third quadrant piece as the primary view because it was the most different from the other three. Its form creates varying depths and focal interest. It was an interesting process going from positive space to negative and back again. This inversion helped me to get a better understanding of the space as a whole. 19 Habla

Perspectives of Plaster Cast Pieces

Habla 20

Project 4.1 Inhabiting Space

My next assignment was to design a house using the casted pieces as modules. I was to arrange them into a form that I liked and then cover them with plaster gauze to make a thin shell structure. I wanted to carry the feeling of being ensconced through my project. I thought of words associated with the word and came up with ones like nestled, safe, hidden, secure, etc. I achieved different aspects of the definition of these words within my design such as solidity by being set into rock and camouflage with the use of mirrors. The above photographs demonstrate things I drew inspiration from for the design of my house. They include several natural elements, the idea of reflection as a method of hiding, and ground encircling an object as a secure, solid element. I chose a canyon setting because of its rocky exterior and subtle symmetry across. At first I arranged them into an enclosure that faced the twentyfive degree angle site. This formed a wall that faced out and an intricate narrow space between the face and the earth. The 21 Habla

inability to pragmatically fit programming into the structure and the disconnect between the structure and site forced me to reevaluate this design. I tried to take into account both program and site, as well as light and circulation as I designed. I strayed from the notion that the structure must be stable on its own and cast the pieces separately. I rotated and assembled them in a vertical overlapping form. The connection between each piece is subtle and just barely allows for a single person to walk through. It is a form whose existance and documentation is very three-dimensional. The house itself cannot stand alone. It relies on the site to keep it in place by completely surrounding and engulfing the structure. This connection between site and structure is strong and reminiscent of the feeling I had in the small alcove of the church alleyway.

The programming is designed to draw you in and down. The rooms are arranged in a manner that becomes more private the further you descend. The entrance is as the top and leads directly into the living room which feeds into the dining room, kitchen, and a place for storage. The wasroom is next followed by the workspace and the bedroom is at the very bottom. Another important aspect of my house is the lighting conditions. As I described in my narraive of the original space, the only light was from above and lit up the walls around me. I wanted to have similaar conditions within the house to mimmick that look. All of the windows are cut as long horizontal strip windows at the top of each module. They allow light to enter from above and filter down through the house, leaving the more private areas darker, and the public rooms more well lit. Since the site prevents a lot of light from entering the house, I wanted a way to draw light into the enclosed area in a subtle yet effective way. I achieved htis by adding mirrors to some faces of the fascade. They serve two funtions: light and camouflage. By their strategic placement, they reflect light directly into the windows and refract the indirect Southern sunlight. The mirrors also reflect the image of the surrounding environment. This creates a “see through� effect with the house. It begins to blend into the rocks and become a part of the site itself. This reinforces my concept of being ensconced because it provides a safe haven for the residents. They can exist subtly withing the dwelling, privately from onlookers. The only way one notices the house is if they know to look.

1 Living 2 Dining 3 Kitchen 4 Storage 5 Bathroom 6 Workspace 7 Bedroom

Parti Diagram of Circulation and Programming Habla 22

23 Habla

Site Plan

Top View

Parti Diagram of Circulation Habla 24








Axon Plans


25 Habla

Rendering of Back, looking in

Rendering of View from Entrance Habla 26

Project 5.1 Space and Structure

Primary Material: Wire

Copper Coated Steel Wire

My final project explored a 1:1 scale piece. Our assignment was to cast an area of our studio room with a designated material and use the cast to create a new space. Things to consider included site, structure, and space. The intended product was to be a thin shell structure, similar to our plaster gauze models. In a group with three other studio members, we began to create a method of casting. We experimented with a number of different types and gauges of wire to test their malleability and structural integrity. The two kinds that we decided would be most useful were 18 gauge aluminum and copper coated steel. Each of these wires had different qualities and we wanted to utilize them to their full potential. The copper coated steel was very strong and linear in nature, compared to the 27 Habla

18 Guage Aluminum Wire

very malleable aluminum which was better suited for connections. Rather than bend the wire to the site to cast we took a far different approach with our material. We considered pin screen art and the way that this tool could be used to abstract a form in a horizontal manner. To create a grid for the pins we analyzed the site and placed pins in a way that emphasized changes in the topography of the wall. The site we chose was an 8’ x 8’ brick wall with a fuse box, and several pipes diverging from the center. Where the depth of the wall changed significantly we increased the density of pins. This emphasized the details while leaving the flat, regular surfaces to be interpolated.

i Cardboard

iv Cardboard Cut and Layered to Create Spacers

vii Grid Printed and Layed over Elevation

v Spacers Placed Between Layered Cardboard

vi Elevation of Site Printed and Layed Over Layered Cardboard

ix Pins Placed Into Holes viii Pins Hammered Into Cardboard to Create Holes at Grid Intersections

Habla 28

At first we drew out the grid on sheets of cardboard and hammered holes into the intersections. Then we poked the pins through the corresponding holes to create a stable template. Pressing this tool against the wall forced the pins to take the shape of the forms behind it. To create structure, we used the rigid copper coated steel to make a truss system on both the front and back of the cardboard planes. These connections were soldered to keep them stiff. Then, using the more bendable aluminum, we connected the pins by wrapping it around the ends between each point. Before placing the pins into the cardboard, we made notches in them so that friction would keep the connecting wires in place. After the construction was complete and stable, we dissolved the cardboard using water to soften, then pull it apart. This left the steel pins suspended in the shape of the wall with the aluminum 29 Habla

connections as an abstracted surface. By using this process we created three different systems which all work together. The extrusion, the structure, and the skin are all necessary parts of our project and are distinguished from each other through materiality and orientation.

Diagram of Removal and Reconfiguration Process for Final Model

The assignment was to create a structure that was able to accommodate our entire group - seven people. Our concept involved critically analyzing the site’s topography and creating a hierarchy based on that. Our main focal point was the fuse box due to its prominence both in physical space and importance. We enforced this by leaving the box as the only part of the wall that we did not cast. We designed a series of four arches using every other surface of the wall. In order to utilize every part, we rotated the bottom three arches leaving the smallest arch directly related to the size of the box and the entrance to our structure. We pulled the arches from the wall in a fashion similar to the process in which we made them. This made a space of ascending height with essentially hazardous surfaces on the inner and outer planes of the facade. This reiterated our concept of protection. The purpose of the box was to protect and sheild its contents, as is the purpose of our creation. The structure is clearly visible but its use and circulation is unclear at first. Final Structure

Habla 30

31 Habla

Axon of Final Structure

Exploded Axon of Systems Habla 32

Freshman Architecture Studio Portfolio  

Work from 2012 - 2013 for freshman studio at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.