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LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Länggschn itt

Master Studies

rasse

st gruben

Professional Work norden

Situation 1:500

Bachelor Studies

Writing ...Addis Ababa is a city striving for progress. A preliminary glance at the fashion and advertising trends in the Ethiopian capital and seat of the African Union reveals that here, “progress” means Westernization...

...«Yich chalill – yes we can!» is the chosen slogan of a country hoping for a brighter future and a new land of the free. However, until the people of Ethiopia have more control over the social, economic, and...

...Prime Tower is one with the sky. Observed from its immediate surroundings, it meshes with the heavens in perfect harmony. From afar, it reflects the colors and distorted patterns of the city itself. It is a pristine structure...

...the issue of the dwelling still lies at the center of theoretical and practical debate. Despite its relatively small scale, the conception and construction of a home addresses the issue of architecture on the elementary level...

Pflanzschulstrasse 36 8004 Zurich Switzerland +41 76 767 37 89 lbh6a@virginia.edu


LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Post-Apartheid Urbanism

Free-Form Masonry Vaulting ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Bicycle Bridge Hönggerberg Landscape Park Binz

Master Studies

Workspace Blatten Centro Giacometti Hirschbiegel Residence

Professional Work

Rülzheim High School Bonn Urban Renewal Proposal Market Values Competition

Bachelor Studies

Villa Jardin 3 Hynes Elementary School Chelsea Art Gallery Mobile Skypod

Writing

The SUDU Project Yes We Can: Social Justice and Foreign Aid A Tower in its Prime Living on the Periphery


Lindsay Blair howe

PERSONAL DATA Address Tel E-mail Birthdate Birthplace Nationality Languages

Pflanzschulstrasse 36 8004 Zürich Switzerland +41 767 67 3789 lbh6a@virginia.edu 5. August 1984 Berkeley, California, USA USA English, German, French Danish, Portuguese, Amharic

EDUCATION 09.09-05.12

10.11-11.11 10.10 06.10-07.10 08.02-05.07

08.06-12.06 10.03-07.04 08.98-06.02

Master of Science in Architecture Degree from the ETH Zurich [Zurich, Switzerland] Honors: Erich Degen Foundation Research Scholarship, ETH Summer School Scholarship from the ETH Department of Architecture, ETH Foundation Master Scholarship Program Field Research in Johannesburg, South Africa to conduct spatial research for master thesis [Johannesburg, South Africa] Masonry Vault Structural Systems, workshop and buliding seminar [Cambridge, England] ETHiopia Summer School for the production of a Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit (SUDU) [Addis Ababa, Ethiopia] Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Virginia , 3.47 US GPA [Charlottesville, Va, USA] Honors: Konrad Adenauer Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Jean Holliday Scholarship, Dean’s List 6 of 7 semesters in residence, All-Academic Atlantic Conference Regional Team (UVA Water Polo Team) Semester Abroad with DIS – Denmark’s International Study Program [Copenhagen, Denmark] Year Abroad studying German and Economics at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität [Freiburg, Germany] Albemarle High School, 4.0 US GPA [Charlottesville, Va, USA] Honors: Advanced Diploma, All-State Academic, Athletic and Choral teams


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE since 01.10

Junior Assistant to the Department of Landscape Architecture, Professor G端nther Vogt [ETH Zurich, CH] Preparing lectures, elective courses, and student workbooks as well as translations and model building

since 11.09

Self-employed Architecture and Design Translator [Zurich, CH] Clients: GTA Publishers, Departments of the ETH, Vogt Landscape Architects, Anton Ghiggi Landscape Architects, E2A Architects, Nikolas Kerl Product Design

09.10-05.12

Junior Assistant to the Rapid Architectural Prototyping Laboratory (RapLab) [ETH Zurich, CH] Advising students with and technical maintanence of laser, cutting plotter, and 3d milling machines

09.11-03.12

Part-time Interior Architect for Interior Concept GmbH [Zurich, Switzerland] Project Management, Design Development, Construction Documentation, Budget Estimation

05.10-05.11

Business English Teacher for Siemens AG [Zurich, CH]

08.08-07.009

Full-time Intern Architect for Jan Endemann, Architect [Stuttgart, D] Competition Design Development and Production, Project Detailing Honors: 2nd Round R端lzheim Secondary School Competition

05.07-07.08

Full-time Intern Architect for Studio 109 PLC, Jim Rounsevell [Charlottesville, Va, USA] Design Development, Construction Documentation/Administration, Project Management and On-Site Labor, Rendering, Client Presentations, Competitions, Bookkeeping, Model Making, Website Design: www.studio109plc.com Honors: AIA Award for Excellence in Residential Design for Poplar Terraces

01.07-05.07

Part-time Internship at Studio 109 PLC [Charlottesville, Va, USA]

12.05-01.06

Externship at Studio 27 Architecture [Washington, D.C., USA]

10.04-02.08

Head/Assistant Coach Albemarle High School Swim Team [Charlottesville, Va, USA] Consistently ranked amongst top 10 AAA teams in Virginia


LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Post-Apartheid Urbanism

Free-Form Masonry Vaulting ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Bicycle Bridge Hönggerberg Landscape Park Binz

Master Studies

Workspace Blatten Centro Giacometti Hirschbiegel Residence

Professional Work

Rülzheim High School Bonn Urban Renewal Proposal Market Values Competition

Bachelor Studies

Villa Jardin 3 Hynes Elementary School Chelsea Art Gallery Mobile Skypod

Writing

The SUDU Project Yes We Can: Social Justice and Foreign Aid in Ethiopia A Tower in its Prime Living on the Periphery


post-apartheid urbanism Master Thesis Johannesburg, South Africa 09.2011 - 05.2012 ETH Zurich Advisor: Professor Hubert Klumpner Co-Advisors: Prof. Dr. Christian Schmid Prof. Dr. Philippe Block Partner: Vanessa Joos “Huge gaps between the frightened rich and the resentful poor, a schizophrenic cityscape of sequestered enclaves intermingled with derelict sites and concentrated pockets of inner-city impoverishment -- and ringed with informal shanty settlements where the jobless, the poor, the dispossessed, and the socially excluded are abandoned to their own struggle for survival.” - Martin Murray on Johannesburg in City of Extremes

Is this description unique, or could this represent the future of any global city? Inequalities in society and economy are continuing to increase and are a crucial factor for the survival or failure of urban areas and nations; consider Libya, Egypt, the riots in London. What will be the image of our future cities - will they be characterized fear, crime, separation and exclusion? Or will they promote inclusion and integration? South Africa is an example of a nation suspended between developed and developing. It generates over a third of Africa’s entire economy; 10% of this wealth comes from the Gauteng Region. This creates an extreme between the “haves” and have-nots”, which has stamped itself onto the fabric of Johannesburg since the time of apartheid. Nearly twenty years after the transition to a majority-ruled government, the image of the post-apartheid South African city remains the epitome of an unequal society. It consists of a series of isolated enclaves, islands in the city, connected by transit lines and the forgotten spaces in between. Some of these boundaries are physical, such as highways or industrial zones, some are perceived, such as the fear of crime. These groups of inhabitants move through the city in a series of parallel universes passing one another but rarely interacting, each ignoring the presence of the other, precluded from interacting in urban public space by the very structure of the city itself. Spatial planning under apartheid was characterized by the deliberate separation of residential areas based on race; a person was either White, Indian, Colored, or Black African. Areas were physically isolated from one another through so-called “buffer zones.” Use of this concept can be clearly identified in the geographical landscape of Johannesburg and its extensive urban areas. These areas, previously dividing disenfranchised populations, possess enormous potential for re-use as areas of social encounter in the post-apartheid era. A cooperative greening scheme in the ring-like network of buffer zone spaces creates new nodes for interaction and a chance to provide spatial justice to the marginalized.


Displaced City Center Sandton

CBD

Industrial Buffer Landscape Buffer Mining buffer infrastructural Buffer

5 km


Cooperative Greening Network Former buffer zones are embedded in the city’s urban structure according to four principles: 1) preservation of valuable unbuilt areas 2) reclaimation of contaminated earth resulting from mining and industry 3) creation of spaces which are accessible to multiple urban demographics 4) promotion of social interaction and productive landscapes through cooperative gardening Cooperative greening involves greening of three types: consumption-oriented gardening, sports fields, and park/leisure areas.

Displaced City Centre Sandton

CBD

Existing Green Mining reprocessing Area Potential Green Areas Open areas

5 km


Bird’s eye view of Marlboro Industrial Township connecting Alexandra and Sandton after the greening scheme.


The wall formerly dividing Alexandra and Marlboro becomes a new boulevard and meeting point.


Pilot Project Area: Marlboro Industrial Township While mines are being remediated, industrial areas can begin to undergo a transformation linking to the overall green network by: 1) activating neglected space through a communal function; 2) providing equal living oportunities for every citizen; 3) developing a sequence of private to public spaces appropriate to the culture retaining a human scale in design; 4) creating a sense of a shared identity.

The greening of buffer zone areas is executed according to the following process: 1

1. Documentation of existing site conditions.

2

2. Reservation of existing open spaces for communal activities (sports, public service locations) in a rezoning plan.

3

3. Demolition of insignificant and structurally unstable buildings.

4

5

2012

2022

2042

4. Implementation of cooperative gardening in areas designated in the rezoning plan.

5. Densification of designated areas on site completes site transformation.

2062


Education as a Catalyst In this simple gridded model, an “urban spine� provides the much needed public functions currently lacking in townships areas. Along the spine, spaces focused on work and education are part of the structural system of regular steel columns and brick infill. The pathway extends from both adjacent areas and meets in the center at a lecture hall and large public square.


Vertical Shaft Brick Kilns Located slightly away from the urban spine structure, a brick klin completes the existing cycle of brick production already present on site. Existing abandoned warehouses can be linked into this network the provide spaces for clay processing, storage, and packaging. Vertical shafts allow efficient heating and are more environmentally friendly than traditonal, coal-fired kilns. Once the building is no longer needed, it can be converted into a community or exhibition space, depending on the needs of the area in the future. The place that can first provide work for the area becomes its new heart.


The urban spine is a new typology for building in South Africa.


Cooperative gardening fields with the relic of the brick factory in the distance, converted to a community center.


LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Post-Apartheid Urbanism

Free-Form Masonry Vaulting ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Bicycle Bridge Hönggerberg Landscape Park Binz

Master Studies

Länggschn itt

Workspace Blatten Centro Giacometti

rasse

st gruben

Hirschbiegel Residence

Professional Work

Rülzheim High School Bonn Urban Renewal Proposal Market Values Competition

Bachelor Studies

norden

Situation 1:500

Villa Jardin 3 Hynes Elementary School Chelsea Art Gallery Mobile Skypod

Writing

The SUDU Project Yes We Can: Social Justice and Foreign Aid in Ethiopia A Tower in its Prime Living on the Periphery


free-form masonry vaulting Construction Research Project Zurich, Switzerland 02.2011 - 04.2011 ETH Zurich for Ph.D. Candidate Lara Davis Asst. Professor Philippe Block

This research project was an investigation into the contemporary application of timbel vaulting, or catalan vaulting, techniques. A full-scale prototype was construction utilizing cardboard formwork, resulting in an expressive design that requires few and only inexpensive materials. The result of form-finding, based on the Thrust-NetworkApproach (TNA), was constructed in Rhino and cardboard box formwork designed to allow accurate bricklaying according to the compression-only forces. As a member of the formwork design team, I was responsible for production and assembly of the cardboard guidework. I was also a member of the construction team, laying bricks in a tri-fold herringbone pattern and investigating the effect of tile patterning on the visual and structural properties of this experimental vault. The results were presented at the 2011 IABSE-IASS conference in London.


ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Summer School Research and Construction Project Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 06.2010 - 07.2010 ETH Zurich Organized by ETH Sustainability

The Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit (SUDU) project was a joint undertaking by the Building Department at Addis Ababa University and the Department of Architecture at the ETH Zurich. Ethiopia is a rapidly industrializing nation facing severe shortages of resources and rapid deforestation. As farms are no longer able to produce adequate crops for the exploding population, rural immigrants turn to urban areas to seek opportunity. Addis Ababa is amongst the 50 fastest growing cities worldwide with an annual growth rate of 3.4%. Provision of appropriate housing and infrastructure for this population increase is a primary concern not only for the local and national government, but for international organizations such as the GTZ and USAID. Previous projects implemented

by such organizations have often failed due to their lack of connection with the needs and desires of the local population. Projects by the Ethiopian government are rarely executed with methods that are considered sustainable; high-rise buildings in Western styles are erected in glass and concrete, which not only fail to take into account local climate demands, but further strain infrastructure due to cooling concerns. The SUDU project was an attempt to reconcile local building methods and materials with the building desires of the local population. Through the use of rammed earth technology and thin-tile catalan vaulting techniques, a structure was conceived that utilizes both affordable materials and takes advantage of the overabundence of inexpensive labor present in developing territories. The first story of the building was completed during the workshop; the unit was completed in November, 2010.


LANDSCHAFTSPARK BINZ 8. Semester Elective Thesis Zurich, Switzerland 09.2010 - 12.2010 ETH Zurich with Jonathan Kischkel Professor Günther Vogt

This elective thesis explored the renewal of a former clay refinery into a landscape park in the industrial area of Zurich-Binz. A soft intervention was planned, emphasizing the historical traces of the site as a man-made, artificial landscape. Wooden pathways lead through the site, their jagged angles a marked contrast to the landscape and its terraced form. Native plant growth is promoted, and alterations made only through the scheduled cutting of certain green spaces intended for use by workers and nearby residents. Water is channeled into a circular drainage pipe to regulate overflow.

Landschaftspark Zürich Binz WAHLFACH PAIRA-DAEZA WASSER

borrweg

Lindsay Howe, Jonathan Kischkel / Frühjahrssemester 2010 ETH Zürich / Landschaftsarchitektur / Prof. Günther Vogt

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Länggschnitt 1:500

A

B Pflanzen 1: Frauenmantel, alchemilla molis, 10-50 cm

Wege

2: Bachbungen Ehrenpreis, veronica beccabunge, 20-60 cm, Wasserhöhe 0-10 cm

A: anschliessende Wege zu den Nachbargrundstücken befinden sich auf Erdniveau.

3: Zwergrohrkolben, typha minima, 50-80 cm, Wasserhöhe 5-10 cm

B: breitere Wege bis hin zu platzartigen Aufweitungen vor allem an den Südhängen mit ausreichend hohem Bodenabstand um die Beine baumeln zu lassen.

4: Schilfrohr, phragmites australis, 1-4 m, Wasserhöhe 5-50 cm 5: Kalmus, acorus calamus, 20-60 cm, Wasserhöhe 0-40 cm 6: Schaublatt, rodgersia aesculifolia, 100-150 cm 7: Feldahorn, acer campestre, bis 25 m

7 Wasser I: unterschiedliche Wasserniveaus in Abhängigkeit des Niederschlags verändern die Gestalt der Landschaft.

C: tiefer gelegene Wege in Wassernähe, nah genug, die Natur direkt zu erleben, fern genug, die Idee des eigenen Systems zu erkennen.

II: eine schmale Rinne schöpft bei hohen Wasserständen eine geringe Wassermenge ab und entlässt diese überhalb einer Art künstlichem Brunnen.

D: eingelassene Wege auf dem stark gärtnerisch gepflegten Hügel in Nähe zur Bautenreihe; Eingliederung in den Rasen.

III: durch das Wasserniveau innerhalb des Zylinders wird das einstige Niveau des Areals akustisch erlebbar.

C

1

I

D

II 5

2-4

III

6

Schemaschnitt 1:200

PLANTING STRATEGY : SWAMP + SLOPE


Bicycle Bridge Hรถnggerberg 7. Semester Elective Thesis Zurich, Switzerland 02.2010 - 05.2010 ETH Zurich with Till Thomschke Professor Jacob Schwarz

Through the addition of a cycle and pedestrian bridge, a deterritorialized site between the ETH Hรถnggerberg campus and the nearby urban edge of Zurich is reclaimed. The nature of the bridge as an experience moving from side to side takes precedent over the potential view from its peak height; one is thus focused on entering and exiting the landscape and both sides, drawn forward as if through a funnel. Simple structural detailing emphasizes the minimal nature of the intervention.

520 x

520,1 HG0069 HG2618

520 x

518,8


6,00m 5.00m

74.00

61.00m

5.00m

5.00m

6,00m

8.00m

0,03m

1,17m 0,25m

1,17m

0,50m

4,87m

0,0

10

0,39m


LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Post-Apartheid Urbanism

Free-Form Masonry Vaulting ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Bicycle Bridge Hönggerberg Landscape Park Binz

Master Studies

Workspace Blatten Centro Giacometti Hirschbiegel Residence

Professional Work

Rülzheim High School Bonn Urban Renewal Proposal Market Values Competition

Bachelor Studies

Villa Jardin 3 Hynes Elementary School Chelsea Art Gallery Mobile Skypod

Writing

The SUDU Project Yes We Can: Social Justice and Foreign Aid in Ethiopia A Tower in its Prime Living on the Periphery


WORKSPACE BLATTEN 9. Semester Studio Project Blatten, Lötschental, Switzerland 02.2011 - 06.2011 ETH Zurich Professor Gion A. Caminada

Boden, located in a topographical swale amongst the mountainous landscape of Blatten, was always the site of productive enterprises.This historic section of the alpine village, including traditional log-construction stalls and barns from the mid-1500s, has lost its purpose in contemporary society due to the recession of agriculture. Blatten has little opportunity for jobs, and most residents must commute over an hour to Bern to seek employment. The phenomenon of the “alpine wasteland” (alpine Brache) is a significant problem in Swiss regional and urban planning. In Blatten, alongside the creek that once powered the sawmill, a new form of productive space arises where the mill’s wood was stored. A two-floor working space provides two different atmospheres for different types of production - space for creating physical objects in the lower level and office space above.

This would enable commuters to potentially work from home during the week, or for visiting authors or tourists to work while visiting the village. Strengthening existing qualities of the village and showcasing its traditional building methods is a means of attracting a “better” tourist, willing to experience a place rather than merely exploit it for entertainment, a common problem in alpine landscapes today. By emphasizing these inherent qualities, Bodmen can find a new purpose and Blatten can be reanimated.


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CENTRO GIACOMETTI 8. Semester Studio Project Stampa, Bergell, Switzerland 09.2010 - 12.2010 ETH Zurich Professor Luis Mateo

The architectural topography of the Bergell valley is largely a result of the surrounding geography. The site for this contemporary art museum slopes downwards, with spectacular views across the valley towards the Italian Alps. Stampa and the Bergell have long served as a meeting place between Germanic and Italian cultures; the building is open along this axis as a remembrance. Giacometti was greatly influenced by the landscape of his hometown, and referred to it often in his writings. He cites ragged boulders as a source of inspiration for the elongated bronze female figures for which he is so renowned. These statues in particular are meant to be viewed from a distance, as part of an overall experience of approach and renewed perception. A nod to this process, the building descends through the terrain with sectional relationships such that one must walk through

the structure to perceive its whole form. The materials are simple and monumental, commemorating the simple elements present in local construction.


1: 500

1 2

1 2

3

3 6

4 5

6

4 5

FLOOR PLAN_Ground Level 1: 100

FLOOR PLAN_Ground Level 1: 100

B

D

C

D

C

B

B

A

A

A

A

C

FLOOR PLAN_Lower Level 1: 100

B

D C


temporary painting

painting installations

painting

wc

scuplture

tickets

scuplture

entry permanent

FUNCTION / PROGRAM

NATURAL LIGHT CONDITIONS

CONCEPT SKETCH: PROPORTIONS

SECTION A_Longitudinal Section 1: 100

SECTION B_Longitudinal Section 1: 100

PERSPECTIVE: APPROACH AXIONOMETRIC STRUCTURAL DIAGRAM

SECTION C_Cross Section 1: 100

SITE


100

ROOF CONSTRUCTION gravel layer, 10mm Vandex BB75E lime mortar coating, 3mm combiflex waterproofing bedded in epoxy resin, 1mm bitumen roofing felt, 7mm thermal insulation, 150 mm vapour barrier, 1mm hollow rib concrete slab, 140mm plaster, 15mm

100 WALL CONSTRUCTION fair-faced concrete, on-site pour 300mm air cavity, 20mm interior insulation; extruded polystrene, 150mm plasterboard, 80mm plaster, 3mm

FLOOR CONSTRUCTION sandblasted concrete flooring, 20mm screed with sub-floor heating, 80mm separating layer, 1mm interior insulation; extruded polystrene, 70mm concrete slab, 180mm air cavity, 80mm vapor barrier, 1mm gravel layer, 80mm strip footing foundation; reinforced concrete

100

100

FACADE SECTION_Detail 1 : 20


HIRSCHBIEGEL RESIDENCE 7. Semester Studio Project Los Angeles, California 09.2009 - 12.2009 ETH Zurich with Thi Pham Professor Gregor Eichinger

This villa for filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel sits atop an existing parking garage. The design attempts to convey the functionality and circulation principles of the parking garage in the character and structure of a single-family home.

the typical language of residential architecture. In this way, the house is very urban, yet offers an oasis for both unique and comfortable spaces for living - much like Venice Beach itself.

The existing parking garage on North Venice Boulevard spirals upward between split levels, and this motion continues within the residence; the primary circulation is a system of ramps, permeating every level of the house and buliding a central core spiraling towards the roof. This core acts as a “canyon,” with a pool running along its base and out into the city landscape. Similar to a geode, where volcanic processes form grottoes which slowly crystallize over time, the inner walls of the figurative canyon are craggy and raw. The house is introverted to focus on the inner life of its residents, providing a strong contrast to

Model

Villa Hirschbiegel, L.A. HS 2009, Prof. Eichinger, ETH Zürich As requested by the client, the film-maker Oliver Hirschbiegel, the house sits atop an existing parking garage. Our design attempts to convey the functionality and circulation principles of the parking garage in the character and structure of a singlefamily home. The existing parking garage on North Venice Boulevard spirals upward between split levels, and we wished to continue the idea of this motion within the


Bath Perspective

Minh Thi Pham I Portfolio I 22


Floor Plan Level 2

hen Perspective

E0

Floor Plan Level 4

Floor Plan Level 3 Wall Perspective

Floor Plan Leve

Floor Plan Level 5 Dach


Roof Perspective

Section

Roof Perspective

Wall Perspective

Living Room Perspective

Kitchen Perspective

Section

Office Perspective

Minh Thi Pham I Portfolio I 20

Wall Pers


LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Post-Apartheid Urbanism

Free-Form Masonry Vaulting ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Bicycle Bridge Hönggerberg Landscape Park Binz

Master Studies

Workspace Blatten Centro Giacometti Hirschbiegel Residence

Professional Work

Rülzheim High School Bonn Urban Renewal Proposal Market Values Competition

Bachelor Studies

Villa Jardin 3 Hynes Elementary School Chelsea Art Gallery Mobile Skypod

Writing

The SUDU Project Yes We Can: Social Justice and Foreign Aid in Ethiopia A Tower in its Prime Living on the Periphery


R端lzheim High School Competition R端lzheim, Germany 04.2009 - 04.2009 Jan Endemann, Architekt 2nd Round Prize Winner

The task of this competition was the renovation and extension of the R端lzheim comprehensive school. The existing 1960s concrete school building and its 1980s addition were to be complemented with additional space for larger classroom sizes and an extensive wing for natural science laboratories. A plan for a new elementary school on the premises was also a part of the required conceptual design. The design focused on the idea of movement between and around the required new spaces, setting them apart rather than near one another to create outdoor spaces for play and education. Sustainablity is emphasized through a greening scheme to retrofit the roof, and a constructed wetlands to deal with water runoff on site.


Biotop Räder

Lehrer Parken / Verkehrsübung KIGA

Schulhof “Denkboxen”

Spielen

Freiklassen Ballspiel Rückzug

KirschenCarré

Schulhof Oberstufe Wassergebundene Decke

Holzliegesteg

FreiluftTheater

Kiss + Ride Vorplatz Schulgarten

Schulhof Betonpflaster

Biotop

Erlebnispfad mit Stationen

Linden-Carré an der Mensa Elche

Schulhof Wassergebundene Decke Räder

Lehrer Parken 38 Stellplätze

Räder

Tribünen am Erdwall

PlatanenCarré mit Bänken

Kunststoffspielfeld

Beh.Beh. 6 Stellplätze

Lageplan M 1:500


bonn urban renewal Competition Bonn, Germany 08.2008 - 08.2008 Jan Endemann, Architekt with Maike Buttler

The area surrounding the central train station in Bonn is reintegrated into the existing urban fabric in this city planning competition design. Traffic in front of the historic station, which currently runs a mere sidewalk away from the main exit, is set farther back, and restricted to public transportation. A more human scale is created through the addition of landscaping, forming an “allee” along the main transportation artery of the city. A public square is also defined by planting, seating and lighting to transform what is currently a dead zone into a welcoming arrival area for Bonn. New built structures with translucent facades create a porous urban edge between the fabric of the old town area of Bonn and the more contemporary transportation corridor behind the

main station area. The original station, a historic structure, is retained in this proposal The proposal was praised by the jury for its realistic outlook on actualization over time, and for the “mysterious and intriguing” nature of the building facades. Rendering in Cinema 4D by Maike Butter and Lindsay Howe, plans and model by Lindsay Howe.


MARKET VALUES COMPETITION Competition Charlottesville, Virginia 07.2007 with Bob Anderson, Kris Huisinga, and Shiho Nishiyama-Durham People’s Choice Award

This competition, announced by the City of Charlottesville, generated solutions by both local and international architects. The site was composed of two city blocks between Water Street and South Street, the current site of an extensive parking lot and Saturday Farmers‘ Market. The design program included housing, retail, office space, and a defined area for the weekly Farmers’ Market. A central plaza engages the public with water and provides a gathering place. 100% of on-site rainwater is treated and circulated through these features. An elevated walkway provides a community garden for residents and shelters vendors below. The water street corner serves as a projection screen for film nights and live arts.


LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Post-Apartheid Urbanism

Free-Form Masonry Vaulting ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Bicycle Bridge Hönggerberg Landscape Park Binz

Master Studies

Workspace Blatten Centro Giacometti Hirschbiegel Residence

Professional Work

Rülzheim High School Bonn Urban Renewal Proposal Market Values Competition

Bachelor Studies

Villa Jardin 3 Hynes Elementary School Chelsea Art Gallery Mobile Skypod

Writing

The SUDU Project Yes We Can: Social Justice and Foreign Aid in Ethiopia A Tower in its Prime Living on the Periphery


VILLA JARDIN 3 6. Semester Studio Project Miami, Florida 01.2007 - 05.2007 University of Virginia Professor Wiliam D. Williams

In Little Haiti, an immigrant neighborhood located in northwest Miami, 85% of the community is non-white and 90% is low-income. A nostalgia for the Caribbean is still present in the minds of many residents. With that in mind, this affordable housing project draws inspiration from 3 characters invented by local author Edwige Danticant: a child living with her two parents, a carpenter waiting for his family to join him in America, and a grandmother, living alone. Maintaining the scale of the site, surrounded by single-family homes, suggests a perimeter stacking strategy. Apartment modules are arranged such that each unit has both porches and “portals� to extend indoor space into the outdoors. The main room of the house itself thus becomes a sort of terrace.

Residents can determine their level of interaction with the community through the use of thick wooden blinds, which also serve as additional hurricane protection.


HYNES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 4. Semester Studio Project New Orleans, Lousiana 01.2006 - 05.2006 University of Virginia Professor Peter Waldman

After the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans was in need of shelter and a strategy to rebuild. This project on a canal-adjacent sit e is a proposal for gradual renewal of a former school compound. Land is regraded so classrooms are located on higher ground, naturally draining water to the site center. The classroom units are designed to be built and expanded over time, as the population returns and more students enroll. Each building contains 1 grade level, 4 classrooms. A 2nd story provides emergency shelter and an outdoor classroom. Construction focuses on recycling materials from the natural disaster - windshields of abandoned cars act as windows; uprooted cyprus trees for floors. The inner structure is concrete, which can be flooded, and the interior surfaces replaced. The

roof acts like a watering can, filtering water into rain gardens. One great room for assemblies is constructed in the final phase.


CHELSEA ART GALLERY 3. Semester Studio Project New York New York 08.2005 - 12.2005 University of Virginia Professor Warren Boeschenstein

This site on West 22nd Street is surrounded by converted warehouses in Chelsea. Lacking at this node between the industrial harbor and gallery/residential buildings is a place where the community can gather. The building announces itself to passers-by through a “black box,� cantilievered over the sidewalk. A cafe faces the street, providing a place to meet and rest. Contained within is a large atrium gallery, various classroom spaces, and a rooftop apartment for resident artists.


mobile skypod 1. Semester Studio Project Charlottesville, Virginia 06.2005 - 07.2005 University of Virginia Professor Jason Johnson

Using the modularity of a standard shipping container as a basis for design, this live/work transportable “skypod” is able to travel the world by rooftop. This particular pod was designed for an internet mogul; concerns with adequate lighting, yet protection for sensitive hardware and equipment were paramount. It is an exploration of varying transparencies and levels of privacy. Features include a LED screen for large-scale programming and video projection, as well as a slideout “drawer” containing a rock garden to extend living space into the outdoors.


LINDSAY BLAIR HOWE

PORTFOLIO

Master Thesis

Research Projects

Post-Apartheid Urbanism

Free-Form Masonry Vaulting ETHiopia Urban Laboratory Bicycle Bridge Hönggerberg Landscape Park Binz

Master Studies

Workspace Blatten Centro Giacometti Hirschbiegel Residence

Professional Work

Rülzheim High School Bonn Urban Renewal Proposal Market Values Competition

Bachelor Studies

Villa Jardin 3 Hynes Elementary School Chelsea Art Gallery Mobile Skypod

Writing

The SUDU Project Yes We Can: Social Justice and Foreign Aid in Ethiopia A Tower in its Prime Living on the Periphery ...Addis Ababa is a city striving for progress. A preliminary glance at the fashion and advertising trends in the Ethiopian capital and seat of the African Union reveals that here, “progress” means Westernization...

...«Yich chalill – yes we can!» is the chosen slogan of a country hoping for a brighter future and a new land of the free. However, until the people of Ethiopia have more control over the social, economic, and...

...Prime Tower is one with the sky. Observed from its immediate surroundings, it meshes with the heavens in perfect harmony. From afar, it reflects the colors and distorted patterns of the city itself. It is a pristine structure...

...the issue of the dwelling still lies at the center of theoretical and practical debate. Despite its relatively small scale, the conception and construction of a home addresses the issue of architecture on the elementary level...


the sudu project A cricical analysis of the SUDU Project conducted by the ETHiopia Summer School Program at the ETH Zurich. Published in PLAT 1.5 Architecture Journal of Rice University Houston, Texas 09.2011

Addis Ababa is a city striving for progress. A preliminary glance at the fashion and advertising trends in the Ethiopian capital and seat of the African Union reveals that here, “progress” means Westernization. By some measures, Addis Ababa is succeeding in this endeavor. The former swamp is now scattered with Western-style concrete-and-glass highrises. However, Ethiopia faces several pressing challenges accompanying this growth: extreme poverty, the ever-present threat of famine, steady depletion of forests and arable land, and a not-so-democratic political system. Although it receives more humanitarian aid than any other nation in Africa, basic services and infrastructure remain largely unavailable, particularly in its rapidly growing urban centers. The stark contrast of the architecture in these centers, where informal shelters exist alongside skyscrapers, characterizes the polarization of socioeconomic conditions in Ethiopia today. In June of 2010, eighteen students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) joined forces with thirty students of Addis Ababa University of Technology’s Building College (AAU EiABC) to complete a Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit (SUDU) in Ethiopia. The goal of the workshop was to find a balance between local and universal building conditions to create architecture that was both sustainable and executable according to available resources. In order to avoid the problems inherent in using Western precedents for construction in cities such as Addis Ababa, the project team decided to use local materials and simple labor. Rammed earth techniques were to be used for the walls, and thin-tile brick vaulting to support the second story and roof structure. Westernization and Building Culture in Addis Ababa The standardization of CAAD tools has created conventions which are frequently applied on a worldwide scale; as a result, Western architectural practices are often directly transferred to developing nations countries. Although one must always account for errors in construction, it is possible for a computergenerated line drawn to an eighth-inch or a millimeter degree of precision to be translated into an architectural element of these this proportions exactitude in the Western world. Building in Ethiopia, however, cannot meet or sustain the precision demanded by these drawings; the construction industry does not possess the technology or material expertise to safely execute structures according to international standards. The quality and quantity of imported materials needed for these projects is also a substantial strain on the environment and a significant factor in the deforestation that threatens Ethiopia.

Urban centers in Ethiopia urgently require a means of accommodating rapid growth with housing and basic infrastructure, such as water supply and sanitation. These are significant problems that can be managed improvedamelioratedregulated with simple interventions and educational programs; imparting construction skills and increasing building capacity are lasting forms of aid. However, such projects often fail, such as the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) five-story concrete housing units erected in Addis Ababa. Interspersed amongst low-income housing units, these structures were devised by the aid agency to provide a vertical solution for of informal housing, but have been abandoned or occupied by squatters because the families for whom the buildings were intended preferred to have individual units. Similar projects executed by the Ethiopian government also fail to relieve the housing problem because they focus on increasing Addis Ababa’s attractiveness as an industrializing city, rather takes precedent over that of than alleviating overpopulation. A change in building practices and policies is crucial to the future success of Ethiopia’s urban centers. Thus, one of the key motivations behind the SUDU project was to raise acceptance of rammed earth buildings as a valid practice for modern society and to present an alternative to directly copying Western-style buildings. Thus, one of the motivations behind the SUDU project in Addis Ababa was to present an alternative to directly copying Western-style buildings that embraces the traditional building method of rammed earth, and to raise its acceptance as a valid practice for a modern society. ETH Sustainability and the SUDU The SUDU project was based on using earthen materials, which can theoretically be taken directly from a given building site rather than being imported from afar, and on building with techniques that could can be safely executed by the population using technology they possess. However, despite the best intentions on the part of the project planning team, the workshop did not progress according to schedule. Because of the unpredictability of the materials and difficulties of building in a developing nation like Ethiopia, it quickly became clear that the project would not be completed during the course of the workshop. Beginning with the formwork, the rammed-earth technique was riddled with human error. If loam is to be taken from the local site, it must be tested for clay content and quality. The tests on the site of the SUDU found the soil to be inadequate, which necessitated that it be brought in from another location,


After these tests were conducted on the site of the SUDU, it turned out that the soil was not adequate and instead needed to be brought in from another location, costing valuable time. Once compressed, the walls were structurally stable, but the danger of deflecting outward deflection under the forces of the single-curve tile vault planned to span between them was too great. A concrete ring beam had to be cast along the uppermost edge to counteract the thrust and stabilize the walls. The thin-tile vaulting also turned out to be a challenge. Such vaults are easily sent off -course by material variation and human error. Since they are constructed primarily without formwork, the form is generated by building one section and attaching strings to the major points of curvature to serve as guides for the rest of the structure. In the SUDU, these dimensions were already irregular due to the variance in the rammed earth walls below. The tiles themselves are joined using fast-setting mortar, mixed from plaster, and depend on the bricklayer’s ability to mix the correct proportions of plaster and water, and set the brick before this mixture hardens. Relying primarily on visual estimation, it is simple to run off course, in which case (a section begins tocan easily begin to deviate from the correct path), in andwhich case often the the entire course must beis often replaced. In this context, with such high levels of error and variation, the neatly measured and labeled Vectorworks drawings plotted at the ETH rapidly became obsolete.; Tthe project was completed months behind schedule and long after the Swiss students returned to Europe. Appropriate Strategies for Developing Countries The issue of what sort of architecture is appropriate for developing nations is complicated by the fact that so-called “elementary” or “vernacular” building traditions in many of these places, including rammed earth in Ethiopia, are considered antiquated by the local population and unable to meet the demands of contemporary dwelling. As Kenneth Frampton quotes in his 1983 essay on Critical Regionalism: Everywhere throughout the world, one finds the same bad movie, the same slot machines, the same plastic or aluminum atrocities. . . . Thus we come to the crucial problem confronting nations just rising from underdevelopment. In order to get on the road toward modernization, is it necessary to jettison the old cultural past which has been the raison d’etre of a nation?

This implies that globalization in developing countries often leads to a rejection of vernacular traditions in favor of the “modern” standards of developed countries, even if they have no connection to history or patterns of occupation. Elements of Western architecture, ever increasing in their technological complexity and optimization, must be reconciled with site-specific requirements and local building culture to create architecture that represents progress while retaining a connection to a sense of place. This is particularly important in regard to sustainability and is no small task in areas with limited financial and physical resources. As became evident in the production of the SUDU, lack of Westernization or standardization can slow the progress of a building because it makes construction more difficult to execute and regulate. However, it is necessary to embrace these difficulties in order to create structures that are sustainable both culturally and architecturally, particularly in developing countries. The SUDU project was an attempt to create a structure that confronted Western hypotheses for relieving the pressure of the urban situation with vernacular and sustainable methods of construction, and as such was invaluable as a learning tool for both the student participants and the project planners. The abstract representation of loam-based construction techniques must be used with an adequate understanding of the materials themselves and the process their production requires. , because Iin the case of the SUDU, the standards set by the drawings were too unrealistic to and thus unachievablee:. tThe divide between the technologies represented in the drawings and the details these constructions required was far greater than anticipated, and the imported and optimistic methods of drawing did not plan enough for setbacks and complications. Had the challenges of working in Ethiopia been fully taken into consideration in the process of design development, perhaps either another set of goals for the summer school or an entirely different form for the building or kind of representation would have emerged.


YES WE CAN: Social JUSTICE AND foreign AID IN ETHIOPIA

` Professor Marc Angelil Urban Mutations on the Edge, Elective Thesis Zurich, Switzerland 05.2011

The political campaign and subsequent election of President Barack Obama was an event that triggered a connection between the son of a former Kenyan immigrant and Ethiopians; he received overwhelming support not only from Ethiopian-American interest groups but from non-American Ethiopians on the African continent. A nation of people facing pressing challenges related to his message for hope and change; with extreme poverty, the ever-present threat of famine, steady depletion of forests and arable land, and a questionably democratic political system, Ethiopia has significant obstacles to overcome. Although it receives more Humanitarian aid than any other nation in Africa, the situation of the poor, particularly in rapidly growing urban centers, seems to improve little over time, and basic services and infrastructure remain unavailable. This reality, particularly visible in the startling poverty conditions present in urban scenarios, provides a marked contrast to the vision of the government with its skyscrapers. «Yich chalill – yes we can!» is the chosen slogan of a country hoping for a brighter future and a new land of the free. However, until the people of Ethiopia have more control over the social, economic, and political aspects of governance, conditions are unlikely to improve. This begs the question: what role does international aid play in assisting the Ethiopian people to achieve this goal? According to current international political opinion, that the best means of dispersing funds is to allocate them to local governments. However, upon examination of the social, political, and economic culture in Ethiopia, it is evident that this method is not effective in protecting the people for whom the aid is intended. The future of aid in developing countries must make a significant shift in its goals if this phenomenon is to be reversed and the situation improved. Social Aspects: Ethiopia’s Introverted Cultural History Ethiopia has traditionally been an inwardly focused nation. Because it was one of only two African countries never to have been officially colonized, along with its sheer geographical size and highly variant topography, it has expended considerable effort for unification on the regional level. The patterns of ethnosocial interaction in Ethiopia were established during the reign of Emperor Menelik II, who was in power during the so-called «Scramble for Africa» in the last decade of the 19th Century. As sociologist Asafa Jalata writes in his 2005 publication «Oromia and Ethiopia: State Formation and Ethnonational Conflict», Menelik sought to use European modern weaponry to conquer and colonize their most resource-rich, formidable rivals, including the Oromo as well as other ethno-national groups. The

domination of this particular group survived the dictatorship of Haile Selassie as well as the Communist regime of the 1970s (both of which were violently overthrown), and remains a source of conflict under the present-day government of Meles Zenawi and his Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Regular armed conflicts still occur between the TPFL and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – in fact, one such conflict in December, 2008 was allegedly between government forces and OLF members wearing t-shirts with then-candidate Obama’s picture. According to the OLF website: «[Governmental officials asked] ‘where did you get these t-shirts from? Who is distributing these t-shirts? Why are you wearing it?’ and were subsequently beaten». The Obama t-shirt thus obtains a new degree of meaning, as it serves as a symbol of political freedom, whether by rebel groups or by ordinary citizens desparate for change. Political Aspects: Humanitarian Aid and the Problem of Governance IThere are three primary types of aid present in Ethiopia today: humanitarian (the majority of aid, for need alleviation and disaster relief), political (candidate support, military interventions), and economic (investment, infrastructure development). USAID, the German-run Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), and «Do-It-Yourself» grassroots aid organizations invest billions of dollars annually into projects in Ethiopia.4 USAID alone provided 561.5 million dollars in food and disaster aid to Ethiopia in 2008; this agency of the United States government has provided an annual average of 361.98 million in aid since 2002, peaking at 607.2 million in 2008. Of this, 91.3% consists of food aid and 6.5% accounts for disaster relief; this leaves 2.2% for other projects, which mainly consist of water and sanitation, nutrition, and agriculture/food security. However, the positive effects of this support often cannot be evaluated. The means with which aid funding is distributed, partiularly in the Do-It-Yourself realm, is often badly executed, non-sustainable over time due to lack of local involvement, and can even lead to a worsening of the situation. The central problem of the top-down approach exercised by most national governments is the lack of feedback regarding use of funds. As funds are distributed to the Ethiopian government, they have the power to select which groups receive benefits. In her critical essay entitled «Exploring the failure of foreign aid: the role of incentives and information», Claudia Williamson notes that weak states do not use aid to improve


their political or economic situation. The activities of the market are not self-regulated and entrepreneurial in nature, but are controlled by the government.Combined with ethnic discrimination, questionable policies and institutional deficits ensure that the poor remain poor. Based on such information, it seems clear that issues like famine and lack of infrastructure and public services occurs due to a broken political system, more concerned with retaining control than improving the situation of their citizens. But because the nation is oriented towards «progress» and embracing certain aspects of globalization, Western donors continue to support Ethiopia in a top-down fashion. Economic Aspects: Building Capacities and the Urban Condition One of the most pressing problems in Ethiopia today is that of urban migration. While 80% of the current population remains rural, it is estimated that the urban population will increase by 4% each year; the overall population is estimated to increase from 80 million to 125 million by 2025. Of the current population, 30 million or 37% are classified as «rural poor»; this population in particular accounts for mass migrations to the cities, particularly Addis Ababa. This is because they are the most affected by famine and drought, and have the least access to resources and infrastructure; as such, it is nearly impossible for them to expand their network as farmers or to participate in decisions that affect their livelihood. They come to the cities in waves – some to stay, some with bus systems for the week to sell goods, some to do so just for the day. This generates an informal economic situation with deregulated bartering systems and as such, the potential for a bottom-up economic approach. A potential reform of international organization policies, such as USAID, would thus include supporting projects rooted in extensive knowledge of local conditions and a relief of pressure on urban capitals, executed in a bottom-up manner, rather than in general categories like «food aid». An urgent need of urban centers in Ethiopia is a means of dealing with the rapid growth in regard to housing and basic infrastructure, like water and sanitation. These are concrete problems that can be regulated with simple interventions and educational situations; imparting skills and building capacities are lasting forms of aid, and are thus much more sustainable than flooding the market with products or monetary assistance distributed (or retained) by politicians. Unfortunately, such interventions are severely lacking in Ethiopia. USAID has no budgetary allowances for such

programs, and indeed relegate merely 2% of their «other» category of aid to building capacity; this yields a mere $156,000 per year. Additionally, the results of these investments are not available to the public. Projects that do exist are often disastrous, such as the GTZ five-story concrete housing units. Interspersed among lowincome housing units, they do not embrace the local condition and how people wish to live; rather than providing a viable solution for housing relief in the vertical direction, they are abandoned or occupied by squatters because the families for whom the buildings were intended prefer to have their own individual units. Projects executed by the Ethiopian government also fail to relieve the housing problembut because the government’s focus is on increasing Addis Ababa’s attractiveness as an industrializing city. They hope to deal with the predicted population increases through a sort of «garden city» model, placing eight centers around the outskirts of the capital. Buildings in the capital are built according to Western standards without due adaption for the climatological conditions or regard for the physical safety of the workers who risk their lives to erect highrise towers on eucylaptus scafffolding - barefoot. Conclusions and Outlook Ethiopia is a country once turned inwards that seeks to retain this level of control on the governmental level; however, it is no longer possible to exclude the infiltration of the global economy. Many of Obama‘s African supports have been discouraged by his and the Western world’s lack of intervention in affairs such as the May 2010 election, where Meles Zenawi and the TPLF claimed an absurd 99% victory in democratic elections. If the situation in Ethiopia is to improve, political stability must be achieved and equal rights guaranteed to every minority group. Continuing to allow discrimination amongst the very people who most need protection in the form of international aid must cease. The current aid policy of international stakeholders must be modified to analyze the local situation and to emphasize bottom-up organization rather than blind monetary or productrelated assistance. A larger percentage of donor funds should be directed towards capacity building and educating people how to construct and be proactive regarding their environment; the resulting developments need to be documented and a matter of public discourse. Thus, sustainable and independent economic growth can be engendered with the passage of time and the continual exchange of knowledge. The adopted slogan of «Yes we can!»is thus a symbol of the progress that has been made, and a reminder of that which is greatly lacking.


a tower in its prime Zurich’s highly anticipated glass giant is more a reflection of its surroundings and building culture than a ‘place’ with a nature of its own. Dr. Martino Stierli Architectural Criticism, Elective Course Zurich, Switzerland 11.2010

The Prime Tower is one with the sky. Observed from its immediate surroundings, it meshes with the heavens in perfect harmony. From afar, it reflects the colors and distorted patterns of the city itself. It is a pristine structure of glass and steel rising from among the ordered chaos of industrial Zurich-West; an icon of engineering. But – why is the Prime Tower considered to be a mere tower? With the amount of controversy and opponents the structure generated (too large, too dominant, too expensive!) one might think a skyscraper of Dubai-esque proportions had been proposed. The Prime Tower is set apart because it is the first. It sets the tone for future building and an urban center outside the fabric of traditional Zurich. It’s a Skyscraper! According to popular definition, there are two aspects a building defined as a skyscraper should possess: Firstly, a minimum height of 150 meters; and secondly, protrusion beyond its surrounding built environment, thus changing the existing skyline. While the Prime Tower narrowly falls short of the height qualification with 126 meters, it does dramatically alter the skyline of Zurich and extends far beyond the existing and planned urban fabric of its site. It is, in its nature, a skyscraper. Jagging out raggedly in corners, the Prime Tower is a monolithic protrusion of shimmering monumentality hovering over bustling, industrial Zurich-West. Its materiality creates the unique effect that it literally appears to melt into the horizon. Throughout the course of history, man has been striving towards the sky. Ancient examples include the pyramids of Gaza, defensive city towers, and even Roman residential dwellings, which were often 10 stories exceeding 25 meters in height. The quest for verticality is most clearly exhibited in the American skyscraper boom, beginning in the last decade of the 19th Century. The United States had possessed the tallest building in the world from then on, until Taiwan claimed the title in 2004, to in turn be claimed by Dubai earlier this year. The skyscraper is a continual mark of progress and achievement not only in structural engineering, but a symbol of financial success and a source of identity. But what implications does this have for architecture, and for the city? A Tower in it’s Prime The Prime Tower appears so dramatic because it is so clearly standing alone. Although the architectural team of Gigon and Guyer is also developing the site surrounding the tower, the buildings are relatively low in height and certainly cannot

compete with the Prime’s 35 stories. It is a sole icon among its neighbors – at least for the time being. With barriers regarding strict height regulations altered for the first time in nearly 50 years, it is likely that plans for further tall buildings will be proposed over the coming decades. Until the surrounding area is made dense and built up, the tower can offer stunning views over Zurich to the lake and Alps. The pristine glass façade offering these views, however, covers up an expanse of typical commercial construction features on the interior. The “core” service zones occupy an exaggerated amount of space in proportion to the rentable office areas; already off-the-charts rental prices are thus driven further into the stratosphere. It would be possible to recompense for these sins, which may have been partially unavoidable due to the extremely restricted site dimensions, through immaculate execution of the interior spaces. Unfortunately, the execution evident at this stage of construction goes entirely the opposite direction: the primary entry sequence occurs through a bazaar arrangement of jagged rotating doors, the material palette in the reception area evokes the Trump Tower rather than the 30 St Mary Axe, and the outfitting for the office spaces, seems, to put it bluntly, mundane. This office building benefits from its views, and without these, it does not have much more to offer than any other office tower in the city. The Future of Development While the rest of the world is competing in the race for the “supertall” – the next generation of skyscrapers one kilometer tall – Zurich resides in the realm of the earthbound. The Prime Tower is just a tower because Zurich isn’t ready for a skyscraper, but this first attempt at a 100 meter-plus structure is significant merely because it is the first among a potential sea of development. It stands to reason that the district of Hardbrücke may become the heart of “new” Zurich for business and commerce, pushing its former industrial counterparts further into the condition of urban sprawl. However, the implications for the quality of the Prime Tower may be called into question once this occurs. The value of the project will only be evident after the final details of construction are implemented and the interior quality of the spaces can be further evaluated. Zurich’s connection with the sky is executed through the materiality of its new tallest building, rather than physical height; its exterior presence considerably more than just another highrise. Its minimalistic façade of glass is, in fact, merely the most extreme kind of ornament, turning the object of observation back unto the subject. Although it is not the most functional,


sensitive, or flawlessly executed structure Gigon and Guyer has designed, it has distinctly altered Zurich’s skyline and set a precedent for the design of future growth. Obligated to be a product of its context, rather than generating its own sense of place in space, the new face of Zurich asks reflectively: what do you want me to be?


LIVING ON THE PERIPHERY Excerpts from a term paper 5. Semester Independent Architectural Research Copenhagen, Denmark 08.2006 - 12.2006 DIS - Denmark’s International Study Program Professor Michael Asgaard Andersen

For many current architects, the issue of the dwelling still lies at the center of theoretical and practical debate. Despite its relatively small scale, the conception and construction of a home addresses the issue of architecture on the most elementary level. It is associated with a wide range of cultural issues, including economy, politics, and societal practices, and it can reveal the basic attitudes of a society towards one another and towards the outside world. Particularly today, in the age of technological advances, a certain ‘distancelessness’ has become the norm because of the flood of available information. While technological advances have brought individuals (as well as entire cities and demographics) geographically and culturally far apart seemingly close, it has also distanced these same individuals from their ‘roots.’ In this semester project, three case studies were examined on the urban periphery located in St. Gallen, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. An initial theoretical disourse regarding concepts of privacy in urban settings and requirements of residential architeture provided the framework for case study analysis, which was considered through site visits and interviews of residents. In each case, three questions were posed: How are residents able to interact with and modify their environment? To what degree does the dwelling accentuate public and the private zones? And how do the articulated concepts of flexibility and privacy affect their personal comfort? Brief summaries of the case study analyses are presented here. Economy Ecology Technology: Wohnanlage Aschlengut by Baumschlager & Eberle in St. Gallen, CH “Architecture is a collective endeavour and it turns on the reinterpretation of convention rather than on a wilful invention of form as an end in itself.“ - Baumschlager & Eberle The Aschlengut Wohnanlage is an example of how technological advances and phenomenal materials can be used to reinterpret familiar elements, in this case the idea of the shutter. A series of glass panels of varying transparenies dominates the facade of the multiple building complex. The design balances between function and environment, and forms a successful backdrop for the activities of its occupants. One resident, renting the space with other students in an apartment-share, particularly liked the heating system built into

the floor—an effective and sustainable solution. He also appreciated the sliding glass panels in theory as well as in practice, because he found them useful for screening both sunlight and activity, and an improvement compared to the traditional shutter because of its ease of use and modern aesthetic. In this sense, the goal of the designers to create a comfortable, adaptable environment for the complex’s residents was achieved. Living on the Periphery: Borneo Island Plot 18 by MDRDV in Amsterdam, NL The housing built on Sporenberg and Borneo Islands in the East Harbour of Amsterdam mediates between a historic, urban condition and an industrial district bounded by the waterfront. 4.5 meters wide and 16 tall, Plot 18 offers an “open design” with living spaces pulled towards public views on either end of the unit, and private functions of sleeping and bathing hidden on the top story and facing the back canal. The success of the dwelling lies largely in this reconfiguration of rooms into a flow of movement up and through the narrow site. Another progressive idea in MVRDV’s design is the stance taken towards which functions are considered to be acceptable for public view. The glassed-in living room faces the street, making this the most public space in the home. In the back, the kitchen/dining area faces the canal, increasing its privacy because it is only visible to those that own boats and the neighbours across the canal. The two most ‘closed’ areas, which appear as solid pieces in the design, are the garage and the bedroom/bathroom unit. The latter module seems to take the stance that the activities of the family that take place anywhere outside of the bedroom are acceptable subjects for observation by neighbours and strangers alike. Interpreting Re-use: Torpedohallen by Tegnestuen Vandkunsten in Copenhagen, DK The concrete structure of the building has existed since 1952, when it was used as a production yard for torpedo boats by the Danish Royal Navy. After the Navy abaonded the hall in 1993, it was used largely for public events, including concerts and parties. Once plans were executed to adapt the building into housing, the existing framework was maintained and the dimensions of the original form respected. The central space leading towards the water was turned into a ‘canal street,’ creating a semi-private courtyard zone for residents. Because


one must first pass through gaps in the façade and enter this courtyard access the apartments, there is a strong sense of communal space in the ‘street.’ At Torpedohallen, housing does not follow a specific form. Instead, it follows the typology of the apartment unit, particularly that of the loft. Although one can clearly see it is intended for dwelling, it has retained much of the original industrial atmosphere because of its structural system, the configuration of its ‘open’ interior spaces, and the selection of its materials. Interior spaces are carefully considered for their phenomenological qualities and each unit has a special relationship with the ‘street canal’ and the historical reuse of the site. These aspects lend a particularly strong sense of place to the structure and make it, according to the terms of this analysis, the most successful project. Conclusions Observations from the urban scale down to the details are crucial in taking a critical stance towards residential architecture, because the requirements of the resident are so pivotal to the design process of a home. Buildings designed with greater flexibility and user-interaction will satisfy the needs of the everchanging modern family, but it is crucial to retain the creation of a place as the central idea of the design process. The architects of each of the case studies have carefully considered the conditions of the city in which they were working, and adopted certain relevant aspects into design along with progressive ideas about organizing space.


Sketch, The Art of Historical Drawing, UVa, 2006

LBH Portfolio  

A selection of projects including: Master Thesis, Master Program designs, Professional work, Bachelor Program, Writing