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education EDUCATION


-Kansas State University Anticipated M.Arch May 2019


-Reading (Verne, Tolkien, Defoe, Doyle)

-Hiking (Colorado, Washington, Italy) -Fourteeners (14/53 completed) Experience -Writing (Philosophy, Architecture, Fiction) -Marching Snare (Drumline) -HTK Architects Topeka, KS. Summers 2015-16 internship -Motorcycles (1985 Suzuki GV1200) -Photography (Monochrome) -ZGF Architects Seattle, WA. -Design (Everything) Summer 2017 internship -Travel (America, Ireland, Italy, Canada) -TreanorHL Architects Denver, CO. -Construction (Design/Build) Summer 2018 internship





-Adobe Suite

-Hand Drawing

-Model Building

-Problem Solving


-Dylan M. Combes -1(785)217-7881

-22348 S. Davis Rd. Osage City, KS. 66523


1-Temple to the Human Spirit 2-Umbrian Villa 3-Building Basecamp 4-Home for Heroes 5-American Makerspace 6-Island Retreat 7-Other Stories

chapter 1

temple of the human spirit Situated on a corner lot in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York, this temple was dedicated to humanity’s ultimate quest for meaning. The temple represented this search by becoming a single shaft of light, shrouded in a fluctuating facade. At moments, the light was seen through the facade invoking curiosity, and provoking individuals to investigate its atmosphere.



Standing on the temple floor in the cool dark room, the light from above and massive verticality gave the space a mystical aura. By arranging spaces in a vertical sequence, the audience of this design experienced an upward journey of curiosity and enlightenment, centered around the ever-present vertical shaft of light.









chapter 2


In a small Umbrian village, deep in the ancient heart of Italy, a villa

was built overlooking a green valley. It sat on the edge of a cliff, built overtop the ruins of something far older than itself. From this perch it enjoyed views of endless green. The smell of mossy stone and history lingered like sweet perfume on its long forgotten ruins. Its owners longed for the feeling of home they never had. And this villa, they thought, was going to give them exactly that. A connection to the land. A place that belonged to them as equally as they belonged to it. A place to call home.


Existing Ruins

Ruins of Rocca Ripesena


Time and decay had blended the ruins perfectly into the landscape. A process of integration that the new home would have to undergo itself. The new home imitated the form of the ruins, mirrored and laid overtop lightly.

This integration of old and new became a form that the home would find itself in.


The passage through this new form became a sequence of perspectives that told the story of the owner’s integration into the landscape and the home’s integration into the ruins.

Four perspectives of the experience told the story of the owners and the land. The first told the tale of the two meeting for the first time. The second told how they began to interact and relate in space. The third explained how the relationship complicated and gained depth. The fourth and final perspective showed that in the end the two would be one. 13



The experience of these perspectives gave the owners a reminder of their relationship with the home, and each detail inside refrenced the integration of the new home and the ruins. Bookshelves containing the stories collected by the owners formed interior walls. Overhead lines directed the sequence of perspectives, ushering their audience through the space.


The home was a low comfortable place, designed to their human scale, and while the entrance to the house was covered in trees, the rear opened with exterior space out to endless green over the cliff edge. In the end, it was a home designed to give its owners a place to belong to.


chapter 3

building basecamp This project began with a question: Where should an architecture student live during a summer internship far from home? With a local summer internship ahead of me, I knew I could live at home this time. But what would happen if next summer I needed to move away from Kansas? I was determined to be prepared, and decided that a tiny house would offer me the flexibility to move anywhere for any opportunity that might pop up. So I began to play.

In May of 2016 I prepared for my first design-build as an architecture student. My budget was $2,800 and my deadline, August 15th. I planned to use June for design and July-August for construction. 18

By the end of June, the design was finished. The program was minimal, but the requirements were complex. Completed, it had to weigh less than 2,000 pounds. It needed a frame and suspension that could handle rough mountain roads on camping trips, and had to be as short and small as possible to tuck neatly into any backyard. It needed hot water for a shower and sink, a refrigerator, air conditioning, a desk for working, and enough space to be livable. In short, it was to be a basecamp for summer adventure.


Having shown my plans to a local fabricator, he agreed to build the trailer for $800. A week later, it was finished, and I began to build the floor and frame the walls, which fit snugly into the trailer’s frame. The trailer had a 6’-6’’’x 8’-0’’ opening to accept the floor, and I simply drilled the holes for bolts to secure it in. Because of its small size, the floor, walls, and roof were all light enough to be assembled and lifted without assistance.


Setting the ceiling height at 6’-6’’, I minimized the overall height by building a short parapet and flat roof to keep it low. The walls were reinforced against road wind loads with high tensile metal strapping that served to stiffen the walls and secure them to the frame further.


By August I had framed and sheathed it, installed windows, insulation, wiring, and A/C. I had finished the flat roof and was working on the interior when time ran out. During the fall semester I had no opportunity to work on it. By the spring of ‘17 semester, the tiny house was still in this unfinished condition when it was seen by a family friend, who proceeded to offer me exactly the $1,800 I had spent on the trailer and materials for it. At the time I was painfully aware of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to finish it before the summer I would need it, so with a pang of sadness I took the money, and rented an Airbnb in Seattle where my next internship was. 22

My favorite feature of the home was the flat roof, which was what I called the “artificial green roof”. The roof was a typical flat roof with an internal drain, but had a layer of artificial grass on top of it to shield it from the harsh sun and to double the roof space as a tiny lawn, accessible from the inside via a roof hatch and ladder. Although the story of this project ended in a way I didn’t expect, the things I learned and the experience I had was well worth it.


chapter 3

home for heroes In a small Kansas town, the local first responders were in need of a new headquarters. A fire station was needed that would serve its community for years to come. A place where the men and women of the emergency response team could live while protecting their people from harm, and a place where they would rest and recover after responding to dangerous calls. The headquarters was designed to be a life-saving apparatus iself. It was a place that maximized the responders’ effectiveness by speeding up deployment times and taking care of their mental needs once they returned from a tragic scene.


The large apparatus bay for the vehicles was broken into three individual garages. These three long garages were angled on the site to allow vehicles to enter and exit the station from any direction, which made rapid deployment possible. The space created in the center became a isolated private garden for responders to collect their thoughts in, and center themselves before heading out again.


The central space formed by the apparatus bay housed the living quarters below the garden. This gave the responders a quiet place to rest untroubled and immediate access from their bed to their vehicle. The responders had the ability to go up to the garden level from their common living space in the center.


On the first floor, the garden was surrounded by the vehicle garages and two wings, which projected on the left and right to house community space and parking for staff. The utility bar across the bottom housed all the mechanical equipment and shop space. The open court facing the main street gave the responders a place to clean and maintain their machines. On the second floor, a gym for training and an elevated walkway floated over the vehicles below.




chapter 4

american makerspace This building was intended as a place for creation that honors its culture’s tradition of making. In this design, the American maker culture became a spatial experience which embodies the independent, determined, and eternal aspects of the American maker.

Manhattan KS.



Shop Space

Hexagonal Grid

Wood, Metal, Clean

Secondary Spaces

Core and Wrapper


“Making” Core

Core Definition



First Floor By centering the building around a strong core of traditional making spaces, the more flexible wrapper conformed to the site conditions and housed temporary functions. On the ground floor machine shops and retail functions were located for ease of access, while on the second floor co-working and digital making took place.

Second Floor 34

The geometry of the hexagonal planning grid created dynamic spaces filled with energy and light. A blade of this light created a division between the core and the wrapper below.

Defined by Light


chapter 5

island retreat In the far west San Juan Islands of northern Washington, a retreat was built that satisfied its owners’ need for peace and solitude. Reached only by boat or a hike through the trees, its reclusiveness perfectly matched that of its audience. The home was carved into the rocky coast, extending from its cavelike origin on land out into a light open pavilion that floated on the sea. The small human scale of the structure and its seclusion from civilization gave its owners a deep silence to enjoy in this island retreat.





other stories




Epic Architecture Architecture as a spatial narrative that delivers a designed experienced to an audience, using techniques and methods of storytelling to convey a meaning found inherent in the nature of the subject.

Dylan Combes Architecture Portfolio 2019  

A collection of work completed at Kansas State University's College of APdesign.

Dylan Combes Architecture Portfolio 2019  

A collection of work completed at Kansas State University's College of APdesign.