Page 1



Kyle Knudson

Design Portfolio academic + professional













facade treatment

Shanghai Nature Museum Shanghai, People’s Republic of China Perkins + Will: Chicago | Shanghai schematic design through design development

project leaders:

green roof

Ralph Johnson Bill Doerge Bryan Schabel


schematic model studies 3d design studies material selection and research design development production drawing set checking and coordination





The museum sits on an urban site, adjacent to a proposed sculpture park. The shape and internal organization of the building are inspired by the form of the nautilus shell. A spiraling grass-covered plane rises out of the sculpture park and wraps around an oval pond. The pond is the central visual focus of the exhibition route through the building, which begins at the upper level and spirals downward.



living facade



level 01

level 02 The three main façades of the building also express the message of the exhibits. The structural network and sunscreen that lines the curved inner face of the building is both an abstraction of patterns found in traditional pavilions and a suggestion of human cell organization. The north wall, which is the group-entry façade along the bus drop-off, suggests the shifting of tectonic plates. The south wall is a living wall plane composed of a metal trellis covered with vines. It brings the horizontal plane of the park onto the vertical surface of the structure forming an arcade and representing the vegetation of the earth’s surface. With the natural landscape groupings, these features focus our awareness on the fundamental elements of the natural world: plants, earth, water.

level 03





Merchant Square Paddington, London

Perkins + Will: Chicago | London schematic design - construction documents

project leaders: Ralph Johnson Ray Clark Bruce Toman Todd Snapp Curt Behnke


worked on various aspects of buildings A, E, F unit layout design material selection and research schematic design production design development produciton drawing set checking and coordination


Located in the Paddington basin at the heart of London’s West End, Merchant Square continues an urban redevelopment plan along the southeast branch of the Grand Union Canal. The once industrial/warehouse district is in the midst of a dynamic mixeduse master plan transformation. The six proposed buildings at Merchant Square form the central focus of the new development. A grouping of three commercial buidings, two mid-rise residential buildings and a 43-story residential tower are planned around a new public square.





Paddington Basin has been described as a new quarter for central London. The revitalized basin, set around Merchant Square, has drawn both office workers and property owners and has established itself as a premier office and residential location. Merchant Square is the final phase of a transformation that has already delivered a series of new buildings, landscaping and canal bridges.

curtain wall detail

The new development regenerates a previously unused waterside location adjacent to one of London’s main public transport nodes, which sits only a 12 minutes walk from Oxford Street. Merchant Square is part of a larger master plan for the area, one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, covering eight acres of London’s west end.


THE TOWER: A NEW LANDMARK The tower is a thin, free standing object compsed of two essential elements: a volume that steps down to the west and a verical glazed shield. The main volume has expressed floor lines, variegated opaque and transprarent glazed panels, and inset balconies that provide scale and texture and express the individuality of the residential units. The glazed sheild is a homogeneous and minimally-detailed, vertical, trasparent plane that unifies the individually expressed floor edges of the main volume. It provides a larger scale termination of the public plaza and animated edge against the skyline. Photovoltaic cells are integrated into this element that harness the southern exposure of the building and provide a dynamic texture to the facade while providing a portion of the required building enrgy and shading for the flats.



solar shade

Universidade Agostinho Neto Luanda, Angola

Perkins + Will: Chicago schematic design - construction documents

project leaders: Ralph Johnson Bill Doerge Todd Snapp

building mass


master planning schematic presentation materials schematic design of the Student Union student housing layout schematic design production design development produciton drawing set checking and coordination

circulation network



This new national university is sited on a 5,000-acre green field site southeast of Luanda. The master plan, developed in 2000 and updated in 2009, is designed to accommodate 40,000 students when all phases are complete. Phase I of the new campus forms the University’s central academic core: four classroom buildings for faculties of chemistry, mathematics, physics and computer sciences; the central library and plaza; a refectory, student union and conference center. Each college includes seminar and classrooms, office clusters, teaching laboratories, and outdoor assembly classrooms integrated into the courtyards. The central library plaza is a community gathering space as well as an outdoor reading room, and features native plantings, reflecting pools and a sunken garden. The cantilevered canopy system covers elevated walkways that connect buildings within each college. Its innovative airfoil design encourages air movement around the campus structures and provides solar shading. Subsequent phases will complete the development around the central plaza adding administration, student residences, food service, sports fields and facilities, and a research zone.



With the broad organization of the campus set to optimize the harvesting of prevailing winds, the classroom buildings are designed with precisely calculated degrees of porosity to prvide maximum cross-ventilation. By generating positive and negative pressure zones at each of the buildings, air is moved through a series of operable louvers cooling the interior spaces. Close attention was given to the hierarchy of building elevation throughout the campus. To prevent shadowing of air pressure to buildings anterior of the wind direcrtion, building heights are low at the forefront of the winds and become prgressively higher. Working in conjection with the massing of the buildings is wind scoop/solar shade at the roof of each building. The system is designed to maximize the wind velocity and pressure distribution at each building. This system, coupled with the porosity of the building mass, establishes a sequence of air movements that create cooled turbulent air in the outdoor courtyard spaces.


computational fluid dynamic study for roof optimization




Crossing the Drive Chicago, Illinois

open competition sponsored by the chicago architecture club conceptual design

team members: Kyle Knudson Chris Vant Hoff Andrew Tarcin


conceptual design presentation renderings and plans material selection and research


The bridges across the drive are not conceived of as sculpural icons espousing an engineering feat, but as site objects which enhance the experience of the place. The image of the bridges becomes that of a rectangular truss shrouded within a mist, thus using the concept of water to connect two currently disconnected water elements: Lake Michigan and Buckingham Fountain.

view from viewing platform looking back at city


The proposal draws from exisiting conditions, uniting two disjointed spaces without being constrained by or replacing the rigid formality of the exisiting Beaux Arts landscape design. The original east-west axis of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago is enhanced in the proposal: Two pedestrian bridges cross a slightly sunken Lake Shore Drive on each side of the east-west axis, the axis emphasized by becoming a framed void. While not detracting from the Buckingham Fountain lighting show, the bridge illumination scheme links the waterfront to the fountain plaza by expressing the linear nature of the path and structure between the two. Site events and conditions determine the lighting scheme. For one, when Lakeshore Drive traffice is abundant, the bridge lighting is intensified, thus the experience of site can visually occur from innumerable locations downtown

pedestrian intensity

dissolved pattern of perforated metal panels

steel pip box truss

divergent lateral structure system

wood boardwalk

layer heiarchy


view to lake from north bridge

view north on boardwalk

The perforated “mist� skin of the vertical and overhead planes contain openings where the skin dissolves away, framing views and referencing perceived new horizon lines of the fountain, the lake, downtown, the museum campus, and to people using the other bridge. Additionally the skin facilitates the creation of thresholds and manipulates an individual’s experience of natural light. The ethereal skin of perforated metal additionally helps to buffer the pedestrian from the sounds of Lakeshore Drive traffic below. During hot, humid summers a water system sprays water in mist form making the bridge not only a connector but a destination. The bridges crteate a threshold for the car traffic looking south to the museum, momentarily hiding the view, and then revealing it at a closer proximity. The resolution of the bridges at the east and west ends ties the intervention to the site. On the Buckingham Fountain side, both bridges touch down directly on the plane of the fountain plaza, extending the plaza space into the bridge. To the east the southernmost bridge elevates (turns northward) to become a viewing platform for the city while the north bridge dips down (turns southward) allowing users to inteact directly with the water.


Basic massing blocks were informed by the directive for a twin tower scheme with a maximum of a 35% total building volume. The profile of the site and the individual, yet connected program suggest a symmetrical scheme.

Dong Ji Valley Office Building Jiangning District Nanjing City

Perkins + Will: Chicago | Shanghai conceptual design competition

By elongating the towers, an east and west orientation is achieved while retaining the ideal 2000 sm area per floor. The podiums are shaped to amplify the entry and accommodate access and views to the main entry.

project leaders: Ralph Johnson Todd Snapp


conceptual model studies 3d design studies material selection and research presentation drawings presentation booklet

The building is formed to respond to the grain of the site and the greater context of Wisdom Island. The center of the podiums is pulled in to provide the impression of a valley.

The podiums are terraced with south facing gardens to provide a pedestrian scale and mimic the surrounding mountains. An inhabitable bridge provides both a conceptual and physical connection between the hotel and office programs.



Wisdom Island, the core area of Dong Ji Valley, is the launch center for the new development which will host the office for the Development Zone, the campus administration service center, hotels, convention centers, etc. The site, located on the north portion of Wisdom Island, is a primary pedestrian link to the upper portion of Dong Ji Valley.. The various functions planned for the site will make it one of the core public/ private nodes and its location is such that it will be a major gateway for new development. The manner in which this is addressed will be critical to the vital integration of functions throughout the development and the surrounding context. The architectural response for the project strives to intertwine the development with the intimate and broader context of Nanjing. Implied formal relationships to the city and the surrounding natural landscape provide a variety of engaging panoramas and dynamic activity, business, and leisure spaces.



Inspiration for the scheme is drawn from the surrounding local environment coupled with the existing site specific organization and the multifunctional program. Conceptually, the regional organization of Dong Ji Valley (water, park, and mountains) is abstracted to the organization of both the site design and the developed massing. The gradual buildup of terraced levels to the defined towers mimic the mountainous valley that surrounds the site. Opposing towers obtain a landmark quality that would provide a gateway between Wisdom Island and the surrounding Dong Ji Valley development. The reflected scheme provides an individual identity between the office and hotel functions while still maintaining a dialogue within the complex, symbolized by an inhabitable bridge that connects the two components. Lightweight stone fins form the skin of the building creating a harmonious, yet dynamic architecture that reflects the mission and aspirations of Dong Ji Valley.





Psychological Time [frozen space]

Photography Hall of Fame Indianapolis, Indiana

College of Architecture and Planning Ball State University third year studio - fall semester

Pyschological time is the consciousness of physical time. Psychological time passes slowly for someone who is waiting anxiously for the water to boil on the stove, and it passes swiftly for somone enjoying a book and paying no attention to the water on the stove. Psychological time is private and subjective, it is the time discovered first by each of us as we grow out of out childhood. [mind]

Physical Time [released space] Physcal time is the most fundamental form of time. Physical time is public; the intrinsic understanding of shared experiences of the world. This is time that we know; the timer on a stove, the watch on your wrist, or the environmental change. Physical time is measurable and publicly accepted. Physisists describe speed as the rate of change of position with respect to time; ‘time’ in regards to physical time. [body]


Time is a playground for photography. Time is the business of photography. Photographs stop time, section time. Photographers know time, work time, travel time. See things as they are, were and will be. Clear sight, foresight, light recall. Time is special province, the purgatory and paradise of photography. bill emory


The path that visitors experience has instants where they experience physical time [circulation] and pyschological time [exhibit]. Circulation spaces are characterized by snapshots of the context to which visitors are taught to see with a photographic eye. Exhibit spaces bring visitor’s focus to the history, learning, and display of photography. The hall of fame offers visitors snapshots of prominent contextual images of Indianapolis such as Monument Circle, an old industrial railroad, Union Station, and the RCA Dome. The snapshots are architecturally created to exhibit the fundamental ideas of photography, perspective, compostition, light , and emotion. Visitors are aided in see the context with a photographic eye.



Heping Residential Development Tianjin, People’s Republic of China Perkins + Will: Chicago | Shanghai conceptual design - design development

project leaders: Ralph Johnson Bill Doerge Curt Behnke JB Park


conceptual model studies unit layouts schematic drawing package design development package




After the design of the first residential tower in this development was well received, Perkins+Will was retained to complete the design for five additional buildings. This residential community contains six condominium towers, a community building, central landscaping, and underground parking. The project covers 1.2 million square feet of space. The beautifully landscaped center of the complex totals 100,000 square feet. The residents of this development will benefit from the amenities of the community building. One portion of this building will house educational facilities including a library, classrooms, and art and music studios. A fitness center comprises the second portion of the community building, with everything from an indoor swimming pool to spa features.




redBARN Installation Carmel, Indiana

College of Architecture and Planning Ball State University third year studio - spring semester Tim Gray - Proffesor

a frozen fragment of time and history

The redBARN installation is both a rigorous analysis of place and a sensual experience. The project, located on a privately owned farm on the north side of Indianapolis, is site specific in the truest sense; what Robert Irwin might refer to as “site conditioned response”... “where the sculptural response draws all of its cues (reasons for being) from its surroundings”. Liberated from programmatic constraints, experience of place was favored over rational thought as a point of departure for the project. Students were asked to look for and to “see” the potential in the existing space, ultimately grounding their observations in the very real and very tangible demands of constructing the full scale project. The barn was chosen as the site for the project because it is a familiar icon to most students growing up in the Midwest. Students were asked to search for the beauty and the exceptional within the familiar, to see with fresh eyes and to celebrate the qualities of place unique to the barn. Conventional architectural criteria were removed from the mix; there were no square footage requirements, no adjacencies to be considered, no building codes. Instead, students were challenged to design an installation to articulate the haptic experience of space as well as to accentuate the qualities of place specific to the historic barn.





The completed installation consists of six discrete objects oriented on a north / south axis along the length of the barn. A new steel track which recalls the linear track of the old hay loft attaches delicately to the existing oak timbers of the barn, supporting and unifying each of the six objects. The “larva�, the first component of the installation, is suspended overhead at the entrance to the barn. Composed of radiused steel straps and rods, the exuberant geometry of the Larva contrasts with the utilitarian regularity of the barn and simultaneously recalls agrarian structures such as corn cribs and grain silos. At the base of the object, a skin of latex is stretched and lashed to the framework; lit from within. A fan pulses rhythmically causing the latex diaphragm at the center of the tail to expand and contract like the breathing of a lung or the luminous pulse of a firefly in summer. Next, a series of four twelve foot tall steel boxes are suspended above the floor of the loft, calibrating the volume of the main space. Each box contains seven hand blown glass vessels that catalog and make precious different materials of the barn. Daylight sparkles as it passes through the varying wall thickness of the glass and creates a brilliant dance of light, revealing and accentuating the quality of light streaming through the weathered siding originally identified in the students writing.



MusĂŠe de Louvain-la-Neuve Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium Perkins + Will: Chicago schematic design - design development

project leaders: Ralph Johnson Todd Snapp


conceptual models 3d modeling / rendering schematic design production design development produciton drawing set checking and coordination


“...a beacon on the the edge of the lake and a symbol of the education and culture that is so important to the collegiate city.�




green roof

This art museum is sited between the main square of the town of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium and an existing lake and park. The concept was to create a building that preserves the park setting and extends it to the town square while acting as an element marking the entry to the civic parking deck below the town center. The museum consists of two massing elements: an exhibition tower, and a park-covered base. The roof of this base provides pedestrian connections within an elevated park, creating a terrace which overlooks the lake. The tower’s north face is a glazed channel-glass system, employing light shelves to allow diffuse light into the galleries. The southern corten wall protects the museum’s collection by restricting direct sunlight from the galleries and a living green wall marks the museum’s upper entry from the town center. The use of materials that mature over time allow this building to coexist harmoniously with its naturalistic landscape. Permanent galleries are located around an atrium which acts as an orientation space for the collection. Louvers over the atrium modulate light and act as solar collectors. Off of this space are a series of circulation routes providing a variety of ways of experiencing the collection. Terraces provide exterior exhibition and event space and allow lake views from the galleries.



Rethinking the Urban Living Environment Chicago, Illinois

undergraduate design thesis

college of architecture and planning Ball State University under the direction of Bob Fisher and Timothy Gray undergraduate thesis award recognition

High density housing sprouted up in and around our urban areas after the World Wars in order to try to solve the immediate housing issues that the wars caused. These housing systems were set up for structural, functional, and economical efficiencies. Mass housing was and is seen as a static container for the individual. Its structural, functional, and formal features are determined mainly by the technology and the production process as such. The structural, social, and formal similarity of mass housing has resulted in visually and functionally undifferentiated environments situated within our urban districts. User needs are by and large determined statistically, and there is very seldom any opportunity for the user to affect or interact with his or her habitat in a significant manner. Individuals become alienated in interactions of communal importance or interactions with their physical environment. There seems to be an inherent acceptance of mass housing which represents a de facto proof of the efficacy of this type of housing.



The very success (in quantitative terms) of typical approaches has led to a massive and broad based commitment to a limited range of technological solutions, which, by their very size, inhibit the evolution of new and or alternative technologies and housing models. The partial satisfaction of the previously desperate housing needs in terms of overcoming the worst shortages, and in terms of supplying equitable housing to the majority of the population has led to a new state of evolution in housing which creates new demands for diversity and differentiation due to new life styles, and the search for a more vital total environment, which would include other functions other than just dwelling.





The basic unit is fabricated off-site and takes on the dimensions that are approved for shipping: 14’ x 50’. The unit is constructed with veirendeel truss system and then enclosed with a woodfinished panel system. The utilities run under the floor and plugs into the utilities of the superstructure. The spaces iside are divided up into 10’ modules with a 10’ x 14’ bedroom, 20’ x 14’ wetcore/kitchen space, and a 20’ x 14’ living space. The unit has an entry pod that contains a storage closet and mudroom. The base unit has an outdoor space that is finished with wood panels and enclosed with a railing. Folding panels for privace, light screening, or personal display can be purchased in 10’ moduelles that are installed into an existing track. The panel material is chosen by the user. Users design the box using a kit of parts. The attached raliings, panels, and box are installed via crane that is attached to the building. This allows for minimal interuption during construction.

03 01 corridor 02 entry pod 03 utility shaft 04 prefabricated unit 05 outdoor space 06 outdoor finishes 07 railing 08 panel system 09 box








01 03

unit adaptations



William Jones College Preparatory School Chicago, Illinois

Perkins + Will: Chicago conceptual design - contract documents

project leaders: Ralph Johnson Bryan Schabel Aimee Eckmann


conceptual model studies schematic design presentation book 3d study and renderings schematic drawing package design development package contract document package



The proposed William Jones College Preparatory High School is located in downtown Chicago at northwest corner of the intersection of West Polk Street and State Street, immediately south of the existing school location. The site is two blocks west of Grant Park at the western terminus of Balbo Avenue, in a mixed-use area of retail, commercial and residential. Due to the property limitations of the urban site, the school’s functions are dispersed vertically over seven occupied floors, rather than horizontally, as is more typical. An arcade from the street corner leads to a deeper recess in the facade for student congregation, outside a triple-height lobby in the center of the building, between the Administration Suite and the Auditorium. The Dining Center, at the southern end of Level 2, has a large double-height terrace which provides a breakout space for students during their lunch hours, while engaging and activating the street intersection at the southeast corner. Faculty Dining, at the southwest, share another terrace with student dining along the western facade, on the roof of the parking entry ramp. The Media Center is located on Level 3, directly below the two Classroom levels to reduce travel distances and encourage its use. Its outdoor space at the southeast corner engages the Dining Center terrace. Glass facades on the eastern facade of the these two floors provide abundant natural light into these spaces and views out to the City and to Grant Park, while the Kitchen and Media Support rooms occupy the western areas, along the alley. Classrooms are equally distributed on two floors, Levels 4 and 5. For ease of access by all teachers, faculty offices are located centrally on each classroom floor. The main vertical circulation core lies in the center of the roughly 400 foot-long floorplate, along the western alley. East of the core, the main corridor is widened to provide a breakout space for students between the typical and shared classroom areas. Daylight enters the main corridors at both ends, as well as from the open Gallery/Commons on the west facade. The glass in the corridor wall of the Art Room will provide viewing to the activities within the classroom, while the protruding form of the room will help breaks down the length of the corridor and lead to the display space of the Gallery/Commons. The Natatorium and Gymnasium sit at the top of the building to eliminate the structural premiums of occupied spaces above their long span requirements. From both spaces, glazing on the east provides views over Grant Park & to Lake Michigan, while the natural light levels are balanced by north-facing light monitors on the roof and additional glazing on the remaining exterior walls. A thermal solar system on the southern faces of the monitors pre-heats water for the pool, while an extensive green roof system covers the remaining roof. The roof will have limited access and be provided with appropriate area for maintenance of the green roof system and the building.













Profile for kknudson

Kyle Knudson Design Portfolio  

Professional + Academic Portfolio

Kyle Knudson Design Portfolio  

Professional + Academic Portfolio

Profile for kknudson