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Undergraduate 2012-2016

DESIGN STATEMENT Architecture has an incredible, yet humble presence in the natural world. I see the field having unending potential and practicing architecture can broaden my perspective of both the natural and built environment. Not many other fields allow one to manipulate and experiment with the human condition while creating functional and inhabitable space. I was weary of the profession because of the technical responsibilities that architects have, and the required knowledge of math and structures. However, I quickly learned that these things are what make the subject unique. Not only does the design process embody the conceptual and theoretical it requires practical thought and skill. Thinking about architecture requires a broad range of knowledge and research into many fields and this is what drew me to it. My extensive background in the fine arts left me skeptical, but also allowed me to appreciate architecture from a new perspective. Architecture that can be spiritual, embody nature and affect the human condition is what initially interested me. I have also realized, through undergraduate education, that building sustainably, building for the community and the user, building in context, and building with concern for the environment are all things I find important and what I would like to continue studying. I question how we can build a more sustainable future through reuse and redevelopment. I wonder how we can begin to create materials, or buildings or neighborhoods with life cycles, that when they become old and worn they can adapt into something new. I’m passionate about discovering how we can begin to redevelop our existing infrastructure to positively impact the environment. We have an opportunity to develop new infrastructure in response to what we know about how we affect our natural world. I want to be able to have a negative impact with how I design, whether it is a neighborhood plan or a smaller project. It is our responsibility as designers to be aware of the issues that arise within the profession, and we are obligated to act accordingly. The reason I chose architecture is because not only am I interested in the impact it has and how it can change, but the fact that it is an art form as well as a canvas for human experience.






























O P E R AT I O N : H Y B R I D ARCH 456 Christopher Livingston Fall 2015 Location: Bozeman, Montana

Operation Hybrid consisted of designing a hybrid building on the north side of Main Street in Bozeman, Montana. Program was given with a random program generator, the challenge was to create a hybrid building that celebrates the complexity and diversity of a variety of programs within a single entity. The idea behind a hybrid building is that programmatic space is not separated on a functional and physical level, but is an integrated whole. It is a place for the mixture of interdependent activities and a building that comes from unexpected relationships and innovative thinking. The program that was randomly selected for my personal project was student housing, a bio-fuel depot, an alcohol distillery, a substance abuse center and DEA law enforcement center, a welding school, and a ski/snowboard manufacturer along with a required 200 -car parking garage. Another goal of this project was to implement several sustainable strategies that utilize and enhance the programmatic elements. The challenge for this project was making each part of the program relate and begin to share intensities.


Exterior Perspective from North East


Welding/Ski/ Distillery Basement

Ground Floor


Level 2: Welding/ Law Enforcement/ Ski

Level 7: Biofuel/Rooftop Garden/Student Housing

Level 3: Law Enforcement/ Parking Garage

Level 8: Student Housing

The predetermined site between Wilson and Grand on Mendenhall heavily influenced the direction of the project. The existing site was run-down, misused and evidently ignored. The existing infrastructure is either falling apart or abandoned completely. The existing parking garage, deemed by most as unusable, is a local hotspot for graffiti artists and homeless alike. In most aspects, it embodies the feeling of what is called terrain vague or third space. It represents the relationship between the absence of use and activity and the sense of freedom that it brings. It exists as a space not dominated by architecture but by what was once there, what is unrecognizable. The purpose of this project was not to change the site, but to embrace it, to pay close attention to the patterns that the passing of time and loss of definition have established.


The existing abandoned parking garage is kept to exhibit respect for the site, but it is transformed into a public plaza where users of the buildings or passers by can spend time within the strangeness of the space. This is where students of the welding school display sculptures, walkers view the ski manufactures working underground, DEA agents eat their lunch and students come play hacky sac. Lines of tertiary space from the existing site are used to organize program and determine connecting alleyways. The distillery, law enforcement center, welding school, and ski/snowboard manufacturing all have ground floor access. The parking garage begins 20 feet up with an entrance structure on the south east corner. Four circulation cores as well as many secondary stairs connect the ground plane with the above program. On top of the parking garage there is the Bio fuel depot as well as a rooftop garden and a semi- public open space. The student housing units are above the bio-fuel depot and law enforcement center with several private outdoor areas. There is an extension of the law enforcement center for training and gymnasium space as well as a climbing wall that permeates the distillery below. The distillery has outdoor and rooftop seating and a rooftop remediation garden to clean wastewater. Diagram of Terrain Vague on Site

SSouth Elevation


Section A

Model: Algea Wall Light Condition

Rooftop Garden Perspective

Section B

Section C

The bio-fuel depot grows and cultivates algae, which is then turned into fuel to help heat and provide energy to the building. Algae panels are on each of the south facing residences to optimize on southern light while providing a green light condition in the studio space, insulation in the winter and shade in the summer. These panels also decrease carbon emissions from manufacturing programs. The remediation gardens are in place to clean wastewater and public gardens are for growing food and decreasing the carbon footprint.

West Elevation



Existing Parking Garage Plaza Perspective from South



Distillery and Climbing Wall Perspective


PARASITE RESIDENCE ARCH 355 Jack Smith Spring 2015 Location: Bozeman, Montana

Several Montana raised historical figures have decided to build personalized residences in downtown Bozeman. The project is a rooftop addition to an existing building on the Main Street of Bozeman, Montana. This residence is designed for Barbara Ehrenreich, a journalist, writer and activist born in Butte Montana in 1941. It was designed in consideration of her unique personal experiences and how she viewed the world around her. In her novel, Living with a Wild God, she opens up about her experiences with dissociation disorder and talks in lengths about how she views the concept of reality and often questions what is real. Ehrenreich speaks on experiences she had as a child with transitioning between two separate realities: the moral world and what she calls “the living presence”. Ehrenreich emphasizes this dissociation doesn’t scare her, but is simply her reality. With reference to the analogy of the divided line, it was determined that the architecture could be a physical manifestation of these ideas. The grid, a 4’x4’ module set across the site is representative of the realism, the basis of all knowledge. Form then becomes what is considered perceived realism, what is thought to be known but is based on perspective or personal experience. Finally, the idea of higher understanding, or ultimate reality is represented by the void, what isn’t physically there but known. Presentation Requirements: Model Only




The residence was designed with continuity and circulation in mind. One can move throughout the entire building without using a door. Programmatic spaces are separated by changes in the floor or stairs, emphasizing the openness and fluidity. The first floor has an office, library, and conference area for Ehrenreich to work, the second floor is a kitchen living and dining space and a third mezzanine level is a bedroom. The floor plan is open for a living space that Ehrenreich can contemplate the ultimate reality. It sits back on the law offices it parasites, to have a humble presence on main and a more private interior. Due to the Montana winters, the building must be fully enclosed, but operable glass walls on both sides of the residence allow for passive cooling in the summers and a more full experience of a fluid void.


COMMUNITY CAFÉ ARCH 355 Jack Smith Spring 2015 Location: Bozeman, Montana Project Partner: Kimball Kaiser

The community café is and existing business in the heart of the Bozeman community providing meals to anyone and everyone. They server dinner every day of the year with the pay what you can philosophy. The goal of this project was to design a new building that can serve more clients, have space for cooking and finacial classes, as well as a more efficient kitchen and comfortable dining hall. The community café is an environment that provides food, education, safety and a sense of belonging/love. The architecture is just a framework to enhance what the café already provides. Presentation Requirements: Drawings only, 2 (24” x 36” boards)


Exterior Perspective from North


The community cafÊ reorganizes Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs. Needs higher on the pyramid are satisfied at this community center. Clients that may be hungry are definitely capable of respect, love, belonging, morality, and more. These characteristics are already present in the cafÊ. This modified diagram is more representative of reality. There are lily pads of needs that fluctuate over a datum separating positive and negative. It is ignorant to believe hungry people are not capable of higher states of the human condition.




1 Lungs Light wells in the dining room become fully operable opening dining space to the outdoors and an alternative to outdoor dining spaces that are not used year round.



2 Shelter Bench The exterior space on 7th is sheltered by a wall and creates an enclosure comfortably distanced from the traffic of the street. This front yard is littered with green space, trees, and benches. These elements can be used as overflow seating in the warmer parts of the year, a waiting area for clients before dinner, and a community gathering space. The bench also can provide shelter for someone sleeping outside looking for a break from elements.

3 Booth Cubbies Clients that carry their personal belongings with them have space to store them while they are eating.

Circulation Servant Program

4 Green House A small green house that provides a small amount of produce and herbs provides the cafĂŠ with a small amount of produce to alleviate a small portion of their food needs. More importantly it becomes and opportunity for education and provides clients with an understanding of where their food comes from and the importance of locally grown healthy choices. It also acts as a unique shading device to the southern sun and a natural light filter.

Section Perspective from East


Floor Plan


Exterior Perspective from South

The Architecture cannot create the safety and care the community provides it can only enhance it. The design of this project understands that needs are not sequential and does not discriminate the user. The program is divided up into categories resulting in four lily pads: classrooms, kitchen, dining, entry. These programmatic lily pads are then strung together by a circulation path adhered to a servant spine.


ORNITHOLOGY CENTER ARCH 355 Jack Smith Spring 2015 Location: Bozeman, Montana

The Ornithology center is a bird watching and study facility based on the Cherry River fishing access public open space. It functions as both an assembly space and observation space. The concept is to create a structure that is both suitable to the user and the environment. This site is surrounded by a fragile riparian ecosystem where unique species of both plant and animal life reside. To create a valuable bird watching experience it is essential to maintain the existing ecosystem. The placement on site is based on where it would be least impactful to build with respect to the existing site. The building is embedded within the ground not only for environmental reasons such as passive cooling and heating but creating a harmony between the natural and built environment. It will allow for a passive bird watching experience on all levels on the site, from within the ground to above the surrounding vegetation. This also allows for a more seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor observation areas. The interior spaces are meant to be open and flexible, the auditorium space being more flexible and public that transition into a lower space with more private observation areas. The building skin allows for a specific and sporadic light infiltration as if one was sitting in the brush. The idea of the building is not to mimic nature but to recognize one’s position as a human within it, specifically in the eyes of a bird watcher. The architecture will have a humble presence becoming an active part of the existing ecosystem rather than disturbing it. This was a sketch project completed in two weeks.


Forest Quality Zone 1:High Quality Forest Land Zone 2: All Other Existing Forests Zone 3: Unforested Land

Recreation Value Zone 1: Public Open Space Zone 2: Non-Urban Areas Zone 3: Low Recreation Potential

Scenic Value Zone 1: Scenic Elements Zone 2: Open Areas with value Zone 3: Urban Areas with low value Soil Erosion Zone 1: Slope> 10% gravel, fine loam soils Zone 2: Slope<10%,>2.5% silt loam soils Zone 3: Flat topography, fine soil Surface and Soil Drainage/Water Shed Zone 1: Surface Water Features Streams, Lakes, Ponds, Marsh Zone 2: Natural Draining Channels; High Water Table Constricted Zone 3: Good Internal Draining Absence of Surface Water Water Values Zone 1:Lakes,Ponds,Streams, Marshes Zone 2: Major Aquifer, Non-urbanized watersheds Zone 3: Urban watersheds of important streams

Wetlands Zone 1:Natural and Riparian Zone 2: Artificial and GLWQD Zone 3: No Wetlands

Wildlife Values Zone 1:Best Quality Habitats Zone 2:Second Quality Habitats Zone 3: Poor Quality Habitats


Final Overlays on Site

Ideal Location of Building on Site

Floor Plan


With reference to the technigques used by Ian Mcharg in Design with Nature, different social values and physiographic obstuctions were determined based on research on the Cherry River site specifically. Each catagory was then analyzed and mapped to overlay and produce a final map of significant surrounding site features. This in turn reveals the most ideal spot on site where the building can be built. The orientation was then determined by bird activity and sun patterns. The exterior planters serve as an extension of the ground and provide a place where snow melt and runoff can be returned to the ground. Weaved through the planters is a fully accessible ramp leading to the roof-top viewing deck while the ramp leading from the parking lot leads down into the observatory entrance to the exibition room the interior viewing space.


HYDROLOGY INSTITUTE ARCH 354 Zuzanna Karczewska Fall 2014 Location: Seattle, Washington A hydrology institute located on the downtown Seattle waterfront consisted of lecture halls, public classrooms, exhibition spaces, research laboratories, office spaces, and exterior and interior public demonstration areas. Located between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, water heavily influences the urban fabric of the city. This becomes evident in the degradation of materials as well as the infiltration of nature. It creates an interesting juxtaposition of the built and natural environment, each influencing the shape and growth of the other. This then gives purpose to the architecture, to reestablish Seattleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s link to water and to reveal the simultaneous poetics and science of water.


â&#x20AC;&#x153;But permanence is just an illusion, perpetrated by our short lifespan and shallow perspectiveâ&#x20AC;? (Stewart T. Schultz The Northwest Coast: A Natural History)


Membrane Prototype

The membrane concept model experimented with the movement of water around certain materials. The idea was to create a prototype for a installation, that not only is a filter for runoff water but is a space to experience the movement of rain. The rope slows the water and water slowly trickles down through the layers of the rope, collecting at the base of these. These wax and plaster pieces model the urban fabric of Seattle, converging hardscape (plaster) with the fluid and malleable environmental conditions (wax) it impedes. It models how these things shape each other and are fixed into one entity.


Membrane Section



Site Analysis: Approach

SITE ANALYSIS: Environment and Materials

Site Analysis: Materials/Nature

Light Pathways Natural Environment Circulation Waterfront Project Private Buisness Public Use

Site Analysis: Seattle Waterfront

Level 3 Basement/ Outdoor Ampitheater

Level 4

Level 1

Level 2

The project was designed with an emphasis on the relationship between public and private space and the relationship of the natural world infiltrating the built world. It intentionally utilizes this homogeneous condition as an opportunity for an innovative design and for the enhancement of education. The building and landscape are manipulated as one entity and the transition between interior and exterior space as well as landscape and building becomes fluid. Public use is encouraged throughout the entire building, and many spaces are flexible for multiple programmatic functions. Instead of nature and infrastructure inhibiting each other, they are worked together to benefit each other. The building then becomes a extension of this ground conditions providing an opportunity to address how we build,(especially with regards to the environment) and how we can redefine that. The space interacts with an augmented ground plane joining landscape to architecture and environment to site.

Level 5

Level 6


Section A


Section B

Interior Perspective: Indoor/Outdoor Conference Hall


Interior Perspective: Indoor/Outdoor Exibition Room




ARCH 332 John McCreery Spring 2014

This project was to create a unique source of light. It is the bending of light through opaque space that creates a soft illumination through two differenct materials: plaster and wax. The materiality of the project tests the permeability of light and how it reacts with each material. It creates a tactile experience from the humble glow of light.


BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ARCH 340 Christopher Livingston Spring 2014

The objective of this class was to draw a full set of construction documents for a students ornithology center. This required completed drawings (plans sections elevations and details) as well as a full 3D BIM model with exploded details and diagrams.


HAND GRAPHICS ARCH 469 Henry Sorenson Ralph Johnson Summer 2015 A summer abroad in New Zealand and Austrailia focused on graphic interpretation of city scape and studying how cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s form and develop. Requirements included water color drawings every week along with daily sketches and research into urban develpment while traveling to multiple cities in each country.




Profile for Lauren Lahr

Undergraduate Portfolio  

Lauren Lahr Architecture Portfolio Montana State University

Undergraduate Portfolio  

Lauren Lahr Architecture Portfolio Montana State University