Page 1

Yale University, 2010


Kyle Briscoe

Table of Contents Formal Studies

Analysis of Il Casa Girasole by Luigi Moretti The Nine-Square Grid Column Capital Design Analysis Materials in Equilibrium Material Studies

Other Projects

Wine Rack Set Design Weatherford College Campus Master Plan Independent Research: Glenn Murcutt

Urban Studies

New York City Mixed-Use Housing Analysis of New Haven

Illustrations Painting Watercolor Charcoal Pencil

Design Projects

Section House Urban Vertical House Kampong Visitor’s Center Stone Quarry Shelter FalconWorks Community Theater Atlantic City Holocaust Memorial

Photography 2 Kyle Briscoe


Kyle Briscoe Calhoun College ‘10

Yale University exposed me to a diverse education as an undergraduate that was both challenging and enlightening. My coursework spanned the range of topics such as relationship psychology and climate change to urban development and music theory. This emphasis on diversity and exploration informed and influenced my work in the architecture major. My visual and artistic development includes an introduction to painting, graphic design, and photography. My architectural development includes exposure to formal analysis, material studies, urban studies, drawing techniques, and design projects. Every aspect of my education informed another aspect and led me to combine ideas in interesting ways. One example is my decision to study abroad in Sydney, Australia rather than to take the popular path to Florence, Italy or Copenhagen, Denmark. I decided to travel to Australia to study the work of Glenn Murcutt because of my interest in climate change, construction materials, the natural landscape, and architectural design. After months of preparing a detailed independent study, I secured enough funding to spend two months in Australia analyzing projects by Glenn Murcutt and his peers. My trip to Australia taught me the value of architecture as a defining force of society and now I have a greater interest in urban planning and public policy. The projects included in my portfolio demonstrate my understanding of architecture as an interdisciplinary field that can dynamically shape society. I have chosen to include a spectrum of work to demonstrate my approach to my education and to my design process. The work is organized to demonstrate connections between different disciplines and categories.


Formal Studies

Formal Studies 4 Kyle Briscoe

Analysis of Il Casa Girasole

by Luigi Moretti Fall 2008

Luigi Moretti’s ‘Il Casa Girasole,’ or “The Sunflower House,” lacks a singular organizing system - whether tectonic or spatial. In my analysis of the building, I found the following important elements: •

solids and voids are randomly scattered throughout, interrupting circulation

the facade on the short ends of the building appears to float separately from the structural system

there is not a grid system in the structural columns due to the skewed floor plan

programmatic elements are placed randomly throughout the building as if inserted into a puzzle-like skeleton

Solid/Void Study

Kyle Briscoe 5

6 Kyle Briscoe

Structure & Facade Studies

Program Study & Diagrams of Irregularities

Kyle Briscoe 7

The Nine-Square Grid

Fall 2008

Over the course of three weeks we were asked to formally investigate space within a strict grid system. The first assignment required us to use panels of different thickness and size to create varied spaces. The second assignment asked us to introduce a solid object. The third assignment introduced color. My first two projects investigate illusions created by manipulating elements of the grid to appear as solids. The third project investigates the manipulation of depth perception using color.

8 Kyle Briscoe

Column Capital Design Analysis

Spring 2008

Upon being asked to select any column capital on Yale’s campus to analyze, I chose a capital that has unique decoration. The capital is located on either side of the main doorway into Battell Chapel at Yale. I found its fruit decoration interesting because the symmetry of the capital seemed to be at odds with its decorative theme.

Kyle Briscoe 9

Materials in Equilibrium Understanding Joints Spring 2009 Partner: Dana Wu

In this assignment we were given one sheet of plywood and asked to create a platform capable of holding a person in standing or sitting position. The platform could not use glue, nails, screws, or any form of adhesive. Furthermore, the platform needed to have a 3/4� inch gap when holding the person. Dana and I decided to create a rocking chair that demonstrated its ability to hold a 3/4� gap in two states of rest when occupied by a person. We conceived of our rocking chair as a triangular wedge with a crossbrace nestled into a cradle-like platform. The chair successfully held the gap.

10 Kyle Briscoe

Plywood Cutting Diagram







Kyle Briscoe 11

Material Studies Transparency Fall 2008 Partner: Lulu Li

In this project we were asked to study a material that could be made transparent but wasn’t inherently transparent (i.e. glass). We laced together strips of aluminum flashing in a lattice pattern with increasingly large holes. The lattice is then folded over a platform in order to create a semi-transparent shelter. The shelter is not actually enclosed but gives the sense of creating a closed space. An individual reaches the platform through a thick, monolithic wall in order to increase the dramatic difference between actual enclosure and perceived enclosure. The metal fan is built as a full loop in order to further emphasize its enclosed system..

12 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 13

Material Studies Compression Fall 2008 Partner: Lulu Li

In this assignment we were asked to investigate a material in compression. We created an exploding box that is formed by a smaller inner box and three L-shaped pieces that fit together to form a larger box. Each exploding element is located in a different quadrant of our workspace and has lines made from piano wire to demonstrate the lateral slide each piece conceptually makes. The piano wire also serves as the structure that holds the concrete pieces, so there is a play between compression and tension. The ladder element allows individuals to access the upper spaces without distracting from the organizing principles of the model.

14 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 15

Material Studies Suspension Fall 2008 Partner: Lulu Li

In this project we were asked to study a material in suspension. We created a space with two occupiable platforms at different levels. The platforms are suspended by a single piece of string that wraps around the structural grid in regular intervals. The string holds a ladder that leads to the upper platform and also holds a canvas canopy above the space. The string is wrapped around nails in the structural grid in order to help it hold its shape, but it is conceivable that the platforms could shift positions like a scale if we constructed the model with less rigidity.

16 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 17

Other Projects

18 Kyle Briscoe

Wine Rack

Material Study Spring 2009


Materials in Architecture is a fabrication class that gives students the chance to practice using woodshop and metal shop tools. I designed a wine rack for our metal assignment. The wine rack is made of three parts: a mild steel front piece with a grape leaf pattern, a mild steel back piece, and mild steel rods to hold the two pieces together. The front and back piece were cut out using a water jet. The pieces were then treated with an orbital sander and a small amount of patina to give it a rusty look. Finally, the pieces were welded together with the rods poking through, which were ground down to be flush with the outer surfaces.


Kyle Briscoe 19

Set Design

The Creation of the World Fall 2008

“The Creation of the World� by Arthur Miller is a play that questions what really happened in the Genesis story. The director asked me to design him a magnificent tree for the Garden of Eden. After reading the script, I decided to create an eerie, metallic tree that represents the ethereal quality of God and also the fearsome qualities of His power. The tree was suspended from the ceiling like a helix of DNA. In the garden scene, it was lit green and in the desert it was a cold white. The platforms on either side allowed for conversations between good and evil and heaven and earth. They were also stripped in the desert.

20 Kyle Briscoe

Photographs provided by the Yale Dramat

Kyle Briscoe 21

Weatherford College Campus Master Plan

Summer 2007 Internship: Carter & Burgess, Inc. Fort Worth, TX

In the summer after my freshman year I interned at Carter & Burgess, Inc. at their national headquarters in Fort Worth, TX. My main job was to create presentation images and correct CAD construction drawings. These are some presentation images I made for their Master Plan proposal for Weatherford College. The buildings in red are proposed buildings such as a student center and nursing school and cream buildings already exist. Over 400 trees and hundreds of parking spots were proposed. The plan did not pass in the bond election.

22 Kyle Briscoe

Independent Study

Glenn Murcutt Summer 2009

In the fall of 2008 I decided that I wanted to go to Australia to study the architecture of Glenn Murcutt. I was mainly fascinated by his ability to design buildings that were energy-efficient, economical, and that fit into their landscape almost seamlessly. Over the next few months, I created a syllabus and full proposal to do an independent study in Australia during the summer of 2009. After review, I was granted $7,150 to study for two months. During my time in Australia I spent the first three weeks researching in the State Library of New South Wales and Glenn Murcutt’s drawing archive. I then visited 5 projects by Glenn Murcutt, a project by Peter Stronach, and a project by Richard Leplastrier. I also took private architecture tours of Sydney and of the Sydney Olympic Park.

ABOVE: Glenn Murcutt and Kyle Briscoe RIGHT: The Simpson-Lee House, Murcutt

Kyle Briscoe 23

Independent Study

The Done House, Glenn Murcutt Summer 2009

Glenn Murcutt designed the Done House for the famous Australian painter, Ken Done, in 1988-1991. The house is influenced by Greek architecture. Suitable for his client, Murcutt designed the windows like picture frames that frame beautiful views of the inner courtyard and nearby cove. In many corners of the house there are slit windows that make the house seem lighter. They also abstract the roof and walls into planes. The rooms all face north towards the cove. The views of the cove are slowly revealed and carefully directed through angled windows that also make the masonry walls appear thicker than they actually are.

24 Kyle Briscoe

Independent Study

The Arthur & Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, Murcutt

Summer 2009

The Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre is named after a famous Australian landscape painter who donated land and money for an art school. The centre houses 32 students in semester-long programs and also has dining, library, and studio facilities. The dining hall doubles as a theater and concert hall. The angles of the roof match the angles of the surrounding landscape and also help to capture rainwater for storage and use. The bedrooms do not require heating or air conditioning due to their multiple levels of enclosure. White fins help direct a cooling breeze into bedrooms.

Analysis of the structural system of the building

Murcutt considered separating the dorms into buildings along the river

Kyle Briscoe 25

Independent Study

The Simpson-Lee House, Murcutt Summer 2009

Photo published in Universal Design Handbook, 2nd Edition, Published by McGraw-Hill Companies

26 Kyle Briscoe

The Simpson-Lee House is located in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The site experiences extremely cold winters and hot summers with a high risk of brush fires. Murcutt designed the house so that it is entered through the side along an old Aboriginal path that led into the valley below. The house has a cantilevered roof that blocks unwanted sunlight in the summer but allows winter sunshine in. The entire side of the building can slide open to let in a summer breeze but is well-insulated for the winter. This house does use a heated concrete floor. The roof contains fire sprinklers fed by the water tank.

Independent Study

Sydney Olympic Park Summer 2009

The Sydney Olympics, which took place in the summer of 2000, are still considered the greenest games to date. After studying the architecture of Glenn Murcutt, I was eager to see the Olympic Park. The picture that I took to the right shows the 19 light pylons that collect solar energy throughout the day and then power about half of the park. The Olympic Village nearby also harvests solar power. Interestingly, it was built in New Urbanist style and houses low to middle income families. There were many architectural gems throughout the park, but the most interesting aspects of the park were the nature conservation efforts.

The Sydney Olympic Park Train Station

Olympic Village is in the distance beyond preserved wetland

The Brickpit Ring Walk allows visitors to view the parkland below without disturbing endangered species of frogs

Kyle Briscoe 27

Urban Studies

28 Kyle Briscoe

NYC Mixed-Use Housing An Urban Case Study



Spring 2008 Partners: Maggie Tsang, Dwight Dickerson

Our development team wants to maximize the number of dwelling units we can create while minimizing building costs. We plan to do this by acquiring sites with existing structures that can easily be converted into mixed-use housing. Potential sites include two factories (1) an abandoned industrial block (2), and two residential buildings (3). The industrial block is well suited for a residential tower whereas the existing residential buildings cannot be built as high with the given footprint of the lot. In our eventual building we will integrate low income housing and workforce housing by dedicating 20% of gross apartments to low income housing and renting the remaining 80% of the dwelling units at market value. We believe the resulting diversity will improve the community at large. Mixed use housing will also attract private investors to come into the area and continue similar projects. Incentives will include tax benefits and the opportunity to build where there is a high demand for better housing near Manhattan. We would like to revitalize the parks in the area (4). We will remove concrete slabs and replace them with greenery. The site needs to be integrated into the NYC Hiking System since it is on the existing route.

3 4


Both maps are color coded by phase of development: Phase 1: Blue, Phase 2: Red, Phase 3: Green, Future Development: Yellow

Map of site 5 years after acquisition

The factory site at 1024 45th Rd, Long Island; The factories would be renovated into mixed use housing using the MK21 low income housing program and the Y210 tax incentive program. Developers will still make a profit. Kyle Briscoe 29

Analysis of New Haven

The Yale Center for British Art Spring 2010

The Yale Center for British Art, designed by Louis Kahn, suffers from overshadowing by neighboring retail. The entrance to the BAC needs to attract more attention, more prominently announce itself as a museum, and discourage pedestrians from loitering under the portico instead of entering the space. In order to meet these needs, I propose adding a cylindrical water fountain to help redirect pedestrian pathways. The cylinder echoes the staircase inside the museum. Prominent metal letters located on the water wall indicate the building. Finally, sculptural installations or projected images can replace the water in the winter.

Nearby retail overshadows the Yale Center for British Art

30 Kyle Briscoe

The brightly-lit lobby is meant to attract people to the light through the darkness of the portico; Adding a fountain emphasizes the illuminated doorway

The water wall juts slightly out into the sidewalk; In-ground lights also emphasize the boundary of the BAC portico

Kyle Briscoe 31

Illustrations 32 Kyle Briscoe


Selected Works Spring 2007

Unless noted otherwise, my paintings were made in a class called Painting Basics and are acrylic on canvas. “The Sitter” and “This is not a house.” are similar paintings because they abstract space by including recognizable visual elements floating in a field of color. “College” is a series of four square paintings that depict the four controlling powers in a college student’s life. As a critique of consumer culture I attempted to make these paintings represent an archetypal mass-produced Target or Ikea product. The underlying message is that college students are now mass produced.

“This is not a house.”

“The Fountain”; 2000; Oil on canvas “The Sitter”


Kyle Briscoe 33


Selected Works Fall 2007

These watercolor vignettes are indicative of my daily walk through Yale’s campus. Each of these moments stands out in my mind as a photographic moment and act as landmarks of space on campus. These are selections from a larger series of vignettes meant to visually map my journey. Upon making this series of watercolors I realized that entryways into spaces stand out in my mind as landmarks. In just these selected works four gateways are present.

34 Kyle Briscoe


Selected Works Spring 2008

Charcoal is one of my favorite mediums because of its versatility. These selected works demonstrate my work from a model, a still life, a photograph, indoors, and outdoors. The abstraction of Yale’s Harkness Tower demonstrates a clear departure from my usually controlled style of drawing.

Partner: Dana Wu

Partner: Dana Wu Kyle Briscoe 35

Partner: Lizzy Nadai

36 Kyle Briscoe


Selected Works Spring 2008

Yale has many inspiring spaces for drawing. The main dining hall, Commons, is the subject of a large 48�x19� drawing on the left. The entrance to the underground library, Bass Library, makes an interesting axon drawing. A hallway in the main library is beautiful because of its repetitive vaulted arches and Gothic windows. Some of the most beautiful spaces come from the imagination however, such as the drawing on the right which imagines a forest during sunset.

Kyle Briscoe 37

Design Projects

38 Kyle Briscoe

Section House

Extrapolating Space

Fall 2008

In this project, we were assigned a section drawing and asked to extrapolate that drawing into a three-dimensional house. When examining the section drawing, I noticed that there were many square elements that looked as though they could be pushing through each other and interlocking. Based on this observation, I designed a house utilizing three U-shaped elements that interlock with each other. Intermediate spaces are created through wood and glass. The main entrance is located at the first level and stairs to the second level are located in a central core of the house. The roof is accessible.

Kyle Briscoe 39

Original Section Drawing

40 Kyle Briscoe

Second Floor

Ground Floor

Kyle Briscoe 41

Urban Vertical House

House for a NYC Filmmaker Fall 2008

In this project we were asked to design a vertical house in Long Island for a fictional filmmaker. The lot for the house is only 23’ wide so verticality is a necessity. I began with diagrams listing all of the programmatic elements of a work-from-home filmmaker’s house. I then organized these from most public to most private. From that point, I stacked those programmatic elements over four floors and began to recognize two interlocking C-shaped pieces - one public and one private. The points where these C-shaped programs interlock is the point in which the filmmaker’s private life meets his work life.

42 Kyle Briscoe



Production OямГce





Eating & Food Preparation





Public Entrance & Gallery

Private Entrance



Dressing & Storage












W15th St Kyle Briscoe 43

44 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 45

Kampong Visitor’s Center

National Tropical Botanical Garden Spring 2009 Partner: Christopher Mackey

The National Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami, Florida is located in a warm, tropical climate. We were asked to design an environmentally friendly visitor’s center for the garden that does not need air conditioning or heating and is open to the outdoors. Our solution was to design a building that captures the generally strong winds from the nearby ocean and uses the wind to create comfortable microclimates inside and around the building. The main room of the center is surrounded by freely moving fins that open and shut with the breeze. The design must include a juice bar and restrooms.

46 Kyle Briscoe

Wind Rose


Early Spring

Late Spring


• cross ventilation minimized • solar heat maximized • natural light maximized • cool air pooling minimized

• cross ventilation maximized • solar heat maximized • natural light maximized • cool air pooling minimized

• cross ventilation decreased • solar heat decreased • natural light decreased • cool air pooling increased

• cross ventilation minimized • solar heat minimized • natural light minimized • cool air pooling maximized • ideal conditions for humidity

Fin Positions

Sun Plot

Fin Positions

Fin Positions

Fin Positions

Kyle Briscoe 47

Existing Site

Revised Site

Kampong Microclimate Data

48 Kyle Briscoe




• used in special circumstances when wind is light or to be expressive of the wind

• used in everyday circumstances to create a comfortable microclimate

• used during a hurricane

Fin Range

Fin Range

Fin Range

Kyle Briscoe 49

Stone Quarry Shelter

Stoney Creek Quarry, Connecticut Fall 2009

This project required us to visit an abandoned stone quarry and design a shelter that fit into the landscape of the quarry. The only requirement of the shelter was that it provide a private meditation space. My design uses the language of old quarry machinery to create a movable shelter. When docked in the corner of the quarry, the shelter, which looks like a stack of stones, is completely private. Using a system of pulleys, the shelter can be moved out 25 feet above the quarry floor like a mine cart. When the cart is in the middle of the quarry there are excellent views for inspiration during meditation.

50 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 51

52 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 53

Community Theater Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn Fall 2009

In this project, the FalconWorks Theater group acted as mock clients who wanted to build a community theater on the side of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Their one requirement was that the performance areas challenge traditional theatrical conventions. They wanted a theater in which the audience was also the performer. My design responds to this request by treating the entire building as a stage. As patrons walk through the large glass wall that is the essence of the building they are visible on either side of the canal. In the main auditorium, occupants walk above and behind the stage. All theater and community programmatic elements blend together.

Site Analysis: Gowanus Canal 54 Kyle Briscoe

Kitchen/ Bar/Cafe

Foyer/ Gallery

Costume Loft/ Storage Offices/ Tickets Green Room

Rehearsal/ Classroom/ Film Screening

Bathrooms/ Dressing

Set Shop/ Storage Main Theater

Outdoor Theater

Children’s Room/ Computer Lab/ Game Room


South Elevation

North Elevation

Program Diagram Kyle Briscoe 55

56 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 57

58 Kyle Briscoe

Holocaust Memorial

Atlantic City, New Jersey Design Competition Entry Spring 2010

This memorial is my competition entry in the Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial, Inc. design competition. This memorial challenges visitors to understand themselves in relation to the victims of genocide. Visitors descend underneath the boardwalk where they enter a dim, sequestered chamber full of 150 columns - some mirrored. This chamber has the emotional associations of hiding under the floorboards or entering a deserted mass burial plot. As they proceed through the field of columns, visitors are confronted by a poetic list of Holocaust victims written by Pastor Martin NiemĂśller as well as their own shattered reflection. The ethereal quality of these reflections suggests that they are also shattered victims of the Holocaust, which is emphasized by the last words located at the exit of the chamber. ‘It could be anyone. Let it never happen again.’ The proposal reflects a message of common humanity by engaging viewers in a conversation between their own reflections and the ghosts of victims of the Holocaust. After making their journey, visitors emerge back into the light with an unobstructed view of the ocean. Kyle Briscoe 59

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the homosexuals, and I did not speak out because I was not a homosexual. Then they came for the alcoholics, the poor, the pacifists... Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. It could be ANYONE. Let it never happen again.

Kyle Briscoe 61

Bicentennial Park Sydney, Australia Summer 2009

Photography 62 Kyle Briscoe

Veer Towers

Las Vegas, Nevada

Spring 2010

Kyle Briscoe 63

64 Kyle Briscoe

Public Art

Fireflies Sydney, Australia LEFT:

Summer 2009

Bellagio Ceiling Las Vegas, Nevada


Spring 2010


Edge of the Trees Sydney, Australia

Summer 2009 Kyle Briscoe 65

Natural Beauty

Purple Katoomba, Australia LEFT:

Summer 2009

Bondi Fishing Sydney, Australia ABOVE:

Summer 2009

Print Sydney, Australia RIGHT:

Summer 2009 66 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 67

68 Kyle Briscoe

Yale University

Noah Porter Gate New Haven, Connecticut LEFT:

Winter 2010

Branford College New Haven, Connecticut ABOVE:

Spring 2006

Snowy Swing New Haven, Connecticut RIGHT:

Winter 2010

Kyle Briscoe 69

The Harbour Bridge Sails at Sunset Sydney, Australia LEFT:

Summer 2009

Blue Sails Sydney, Australia ABOVE:

Summer 2009

The Harbour Sydney, Australia RIGHT:

Summer 2009 70 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 71

72 Kyle Briscoe


Sanctuary Sydney, Australia LEFT:

Summer 2009

Peppers Athens, Greece ABOVE:

Spring 2006

Red Ring Sydney, Australia RIGHT:

Summer 2009 Kyle Briscoe 73

74 Kyle Briscoe



Botanic Garden Boat Sydney, Australia

Summer 2009

Duck Pond Sydney, Australia ABOVE:

Summer 2009

Lights and Clouds Las Vegas, Nevada


Spring 2010 Kyle Briscoe 75


Sydney Olympic Cauldron Sydney, Australia LEFT:

Summer 2009

Queen Victoria Park Sydney, Australia ABOVE:

Summer 2009

Tricks Sydney, Australia RIGHT:

Summer 2009 76 Kyle Briscoe

Kyle Briscoe 77

Sacred Land Blue Mountains, Australia ABOVE:

Summer 2009

78 Kyle Briscoe

Bellagio Fountains Las Vegas, Nevada ABOVE:

Spring 2010

Kyle Briscoe 79

Kyle Briscoe Portfolio 2010  

Undergraduate Architecture Portfolio at Yale University, 2010