KOBY MORENO FENCING PARTNERS UNDERGRADUATE ARCHITECTURE WORK WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in ST. LOUIS 2014 - 2017
A spectator sport, rooted in process An unchoreographed dance, active but delicate A fencing match, between art and science
_ CONFLUENCE LAB
_ GROUND GASH
_ STORM SPONGE
_ CANOPY CHAPEL
_ SLUICE SHOP
CONFLUENCE LAB GRANITE CITY, IL FL16 / ARCH 311 CORE STUDIO INSTRUCTED BY JONATHAN STITELMAN The final undergraduate core studio, students were asked to design both a dwelling and research facility for a scientist on the Chain of Rocks Bridge, specifically studying a quality of liquid tectonics. Confluence Lab sheds light on an invisible phenomenon of the Mississippi, translating these observations into both the poetics and pragmatic functions of the design.
A = 1s
B = 2s
ILLINOIS RIVER C = 3s
A B C
AN INVISIBLE PHENOMENON Taking inspiration from the phenomenon of underwater rivers, a series of devices attempt to understand the formal qualities of mixing water systems of varying densities. This was then applied to a macro-scale, focusing on the Chain of Rocks Bridge and the river confluences just north of this site. From an understanding of alluvial river formation and pollutant content within each of these river sources, I was able to map the separate river components that made up the Mississippi River, informing the location of the laboratory at their intersection.
MISSOURI RIVER MISSISSIPPI RIVER
COLLECT, PROCESS, RELEASE The laboratory has three intake vessels which move about various parts of the river. Each vessel siphens water to be studied in the laboratory by its inhabitant. The sources are then purified of pollutants in a separate chamber and afterwards released back into the river. The waterfall that results from this release serves as both a poetic billboard of the riverâ€™s health and an introduction of a fourth system in the river composition.
SPATIAL GRADIENTS The motif of gradients is extended in the creation of physical spaces in the laboratory. The floor plates are slightly staggered and layered to diminish any harsh boundaries between separate programs, This allows the dwelling and research function within the laboratory to coexist in such a way that is both separate and integrated as a greater whole.
all images on spread are model photographs
PANEL SYSTEM POETICS A paneling systems envelops the entire observatory, varying light quality between opaque, translucent, and transparent. These panels act in layers, overlapping between breaks and changing materiality at these breaks, further enhancing the visual language of gradients.
GROUND GASH ST. LOUIS, MO SP15 / ARCH 212 CORE STUDIO INSTRUCTED BY ELISA KIM A second year core studio and introduction into landscape concepts, students were asked to design a greenhouse along the side of a highway. Ground Gash proved to be an unexpected conceptual challenge due to the siteâ€™s many layers and complex history. The project became more than a greenhouse, but a socially-driven statement about education, memory, and grief, altering former perceptions and approaches to urban design.
gravel potting soil coffee filter charcoal gravel
A FORGOTTEN SITE Each student was asked to create a habitat for a plant of their choice. I chose the needle spikerush, an indigenous species to St. Louis area which exists at the edges of rivers, able to survive in both wet and dry conditions. The vessels of the terrarium mimic the filtering function of the spikerushâ€™s habitat, its position hanging off a table to highlight the table edge condition. Edge conditions became the focus when applied to the site. The construction of interstate 55 in South St. Louis segregated the Peabody and Soulard neighborhoods to be economically disparate. The demolition left behind numerous odd-shaped and unused lots along the edges of the interstate, conditions I refer to as forgotten sites.
MEMORY EXCAVATION Initial design challenges surrounded how to create an environment in order to elicit forgotten history. I looked at the issue of division and used this tool in its simplest form, a wall. I used the wall to control how one would perceive the space, what they would and would not experience and at what moments. Although we were asked to create a greenhouse, my project ultimately became a memorial, a gash in the earth as the highway was a scar on the city. As a second program I made the interior a library, intended to be filled with books about St. Louisâ€™s tumultuous history.
STEPS TO FOLLOW Working with the sloped topography of the site, a singular cut into the earth took on the form of a stepped terrace. These steps informed the rest of the greenhouse design; splitting apart from the adjacent wall, bending up as handrail supports, and extruding as the library roof. Spikerush is introduced where the steps begin to split apart, growing along tracks until they enter the site. This spreads over time, acting as a regenerative experience symbolic of both social and ecological reclamation of the site.
STORM SPONGE ST. LOUIS, MO SP17 / LANDSCAPE OPTION STUDIO INSTRUCTED BY JACQUELINE MARGETTS This landscape option studio focuses on the WellsGoodfellow neighborhood in North St. Louis, an underserved community with inadequate sewer infrastructure. Storm Sponge approaches landscape design and living infrastructure through limited resources and low-budget strategies. The combination of time-based social and ecological processes creates a site that is economically productive and flexible to future environmental change.
A SEWER AT CAPACITY The St. Louis Sewer faces immense pressure, exceeding capacity and flooding the basement of homes. In response, the Missouri Sewer Department (MSD) has been buying lots and building detention basins to hold excess water. These basins are empty most of the time, dangerous, and undesirable by local residents. Taking one of the undeveloped MSD buyout lots, a water-drainage study illustrates how storm-water enters the sewer system. With as few moves as possible, a regrade of the site diverts most of the water from entering the sewer system in the first place, with the knowledge that running water also pushes and piles sediment over time. This study informed where to best create depressions on the site.
ORIG IN A L C ON D I T ION
RUBBLE GABION BASKET
ELEVATED BRICK PATH
ADAP T I V E REUS E
C U RREN T C ON D I T ION
CREATING NEW USING OLD The original grid of the demolished lots determined the refined forms for the detention basins. Only using materials found on site, the rubble infill from demolition lots creates gabion baskets, used as both a retention wall and wildlife habitat. These baskets vary on site depending on speculative pedestrian frequency, the more foot-traffic the more formal the design approach. The asphalt-covered brick road is also reclaimed and inverted to create an elevated walking path.
PLANTING STRATEGIES The creation of high and low conditions led to the implementation of prairie and wetland ecosystems, both of which are native to this region of Missouri. Wetlands have the capacity to hold large amounts of water while the surrounding prairies can absorb most of this moisture through their long roots. Given the highly disturbed nature of the site, different species are planted following the original grid with the intent that over time theyâ€™ll shift to their best-suited site locations.
AIA CLIMATE ZONE 5: HOT + HUMID
SITE RESILIENCY Due to climate change, Missouri is predicted to have gradually longer periods of drought accompanied by few but intense storm surges, shifting to a climate zone similar to that of South Texas. Without fire maintenance, large trees have the ability to replace the prairie and transform the site into a shaded retention basin. This flexibility would allow a potential future site to accommodate the shifting social and ecological needs of a warmer climate.
A STUDY OF SCALE Models were constructed in order to study scale at various conditions of the site, focusing on the physical relationship between built and planted forms. Once photographed, a drawn overlay assessed how the site would feel to humans and the animals inhabiting it. An isometric drawing was also completed in order to study the more informal gabion condition in more than two dimensions.
PONTESSORI FLORENCE, ITALY FL16 / SEMESTER ABROAD 8 WEEK STUDIO INSTRUCTED BY ROBERT MCCARTER Half of a semester abroad was dedicated to designing a montessori school on the Ponte Amerigo Vespucci in Florence, Italy. Pontessori presented the challenge of designing a modern building in a predominantly historic and foreign location. This, combined with the strict montessori program requirements, led to a heavily architectural and interior-design based project led by material tactility as a means for understanding place.
â€œA MARBLE WORLD,â€? 1903
A CITY OF STONE A macro-scale analysis of Florence studies the formal qualities of well-known courtyard buildings and adjoining piazzas as a means of creating both open and closed public spaces. A separate formal study focuses on Florentine bridge buildings, the combination of Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Alle Grazie precedents informing the montessori classrooms arrangement on the Ponte Amerigo Vespucci.
PONTE AMERIGO VESPUCCI
PONTE ALLE GRAZIE
OLD + NEW CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES Principles from the closed courtyard and open piazza were developed further as an architectural language for the classroom. Drawing from Louis Kahn’s “Walls as Rooms” and Corbusier’s “Free Plan” sketches, each classroom exhibits old and new building styles, from traditional Italian stone-laying to a more modern open-framing system. This allowed the classroom to be both a collaborative and self-reflective space, each crucial to creating a successful learning environment.
WALLS AS ROOMS enclosed nooks for private reflection, storage, and care of class plants and animals
FREE PLAN large open spaces for collaboration and play
THE MONTESSORI CLASSROOM The montessori classroom was originally developed through a physical model, as there were strict square footage requirements for each subprogram. All of the circulation and work spaces exist along the edges, allowing children physical separation while maintaining complete visual connection. Other components of the classroom were informed by the various montessori principles, order, freedom, reality, and nature being specific focuses.
understanding the world through exposed structure and vernacular architecture
simple and flexible spaces providing both collaboration and privacy
child-sized furniture and tools made out of local materials
unconditioned spaces open to sky, river, and views of Florence
CANOPY CHAPEL ST. LOUIS, MO FL14 / ARCH 211 CORE STUDIO INSTRUCTED BY CASSANDRA COOK A second year core studio and first attempt at designing a building, students were asked to create a chapel which integrated a specific quality of light that had been studied earlier in the semester. Canopy Chapel creates a reflective light experience through hand-calculated parametrics, taking biophilic inspiration from its surrounding context.
A BIOPHILIC SURVEY An initial interest in the quality of light shining through tree canopies resulted in a survey of the site, an undeveloped park adjacent to Concordia Seminary. Each tree species was identified and documented, later placed into clumps. This allowed me to target the location of the chapel, in a small clearing where one could experience a high number and diversity of trees around them.
MODULATING A CANOPY SYSTEM Coil modules were created by notching strips as a form of bio-mimickng the canopy leaves. Utilizing this template, I was able to modify the modular system to fit my chapel, acting as a dynamic canopy structure. The undulations in the canopy change size according to the amount of light the space needs. Within the chapel, two paths allow one to experience spirituality as they wish: a well-lit public social space and a darker private self-reflective space.
SLUICE SHOP MEKONG RIVER BASIN SP17 / ARCHIDAM OPTION STUDIO INSTRUCTED BY DEREK HOEFERLIN The ArchiDAM option studio investigates the ongoing largescale dam construction in southeast Asia from a resiliency perspective, combining infrastructure, landscape, and policy as a means of design. Sluice Shop draws from vernacular typologies and local traditions, proposing a potential solution to a dynamically changing landscape while maintaining the local way of life.
Mapping exercise completed in collaboration with: RACHEL LEFEVRE PAUL WU GEORGE ZHANG JUN LEE EMILY MARK
WILLIAM WYSESSION NATASHA TABACHNIKOFF EDDIE DEVINE CAROLINE BREWER JESS VANECEK (TA)
All subsequent work completed independently
A DAMMED LANDSCAPE The first two weeks of the semester was dedicated to a rigorous and collaborative mapping of the Mekong River basin by the ArchiDAM studio. Measuring sixteen feet wide and over 9 feet tall, this map illustrates the geopolitical, infrastructural, hydrological, and socioeconomic landscape that hydro-power dam construction has created in this region. This activity served as a contextual basis for speculative futures, where students independently imagine how the Mekong might develop in one-hundred years.
SC ENA R I O S PATI AL I ZAT I ON
SPECULATING THE FUTURE The landscape of the Mekong River Basin was predicted one hundred years into the future. Assuming hydro-power dams already under construction will soon be completed, freshwater supply will be cut off from the Tonlé Sap, the region’s largest concentration of freshwater fish. As a result, a network of canals will be constructed, a systems that already exist to irrigate crops, with the primary intent of redirecting pooled freshwater back into the Tonlé Sap lake.
EXISTING SLUICE TYPOLOGY
ONDITION F LOW
G R AV I T Y DA M CON ST R U CTION
F RESH WATER DIV ERSION
+ 3 YEARS
+ 50 YEARS
LAYERED PROGRAMS The hydro-power dams not only cut off freshwater flow but also hinder the main migratory path that freshwater Mekong fish take during the wet and dry seasons. The building program, based off preexisting sluicegates in the region, has two primary programs, serving both a civic and social function. These markets are located at the joints between the river, river braids, and canals, where both freshwater and fish are redirected.
SYSTEM FLOWS Water and fish are managed in the lower portion of the structure, which draws from a combination of fish-gate, lock, and sluice-gate architecture typologies. The top is elevated, to account for seasonal flooding and ventilation in the humid climate. This area holds the social programming, occupied by fish markets and other vendors.
DESIGN AS PROTOTYPE These markets occupy several joints among the Mekong River Basin, and by doing so change materiality, scale, and capacity. Their physical relationship to the local landscape can also take various forms to best accommodate industrial flow in cities and/ or environmental systems in more natural contexts.
A collection of works completed through architecture studios at Washington University in St. Louis. Used as graduate application portfolio;...
Published on Jan 9, 2018
A collection of works completed through architecture studios at Washington University in St. Louis. Used as graduate application portfolio;...