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parts a book of explorations by

Liem Than

All images and photographs in this book were created by author, unless otherwise noted. For additional work, please visit:

Jamaica Pond Friends School


Immersion (BSA Installation)




Roxbury Crossing Residential Tower


South End Culinary Arts School





Summer 2011 Site & Landscape Studio


Prof. Elizabeth Ghiseline

Jamaica Pond Friends School

/Architectural Container

The Quaker philosophy of Friends Schools emphasizes the important relationship between the student body and the natural environment. Sited in Jamaica Pond, the proposed school is not only developed from this principle in mind, but also adheres to its context. Inspired by a large depression within the site, this feature is representative of a container for natural growth within the artificial landscape. The primary design strategy is to understand how this phenomenon translates architecturally and how the program addresses its relationship to the landscape.



Ground - documenting temporality (photographs)

Rain gardens in each classroom space become architectural containers for light, water, and vegetation. This voided space is treated as a living organism, in the same manner that the depression in the site allows for its vegetation to experience unadulterated growth.

top Translation of container into space (pen on paper, color pencil) bottom Relationship between container and user (photo collage)



Site plan (mixed media)

The containers not only create an ambiguous indoor/outdoor relationship between the classrooms, but they also become the organizational tool for establishing a formal system.


top Longitudinal section through courtyard (mixed media)


left Classroom space and rain garden (physical model, mixed media) right Early diagrams of container spaces (pen on paper, color pencil)


Fall 2012 Special Topics Travel Studio Prof. Robert Trumbour

In collaboration with Bao Nguyen Erblin Bucaliu Kate Bujalski Ryan Kahen Mark Morin Charles Simmons Samantha Altieri Brittany Carey Viviana Bernal Kristen Giannone Samantha Partington




Donald Judd Foundation, Marfa, TX

Immersion (BSA Installation)

/Architecture In Relation

This studio consisted of a three-legged trip; a visit to fabrication shops in New York City, an intensive hiking trip through Big Bend National Park, and a trip to Marfa to see the work of artist Donald Judd. Each leg influenced the studio’s final project, in the creation of an artifact that would translate the experience of the trips, as well as displace their contextual relationships.

Primarily inspired by the studio’s travels through Big Bend, Immersion is an architectural installation that addresses the landscape’s vastness. Perception within such a scale becomes highly ambiguous, and therefore distorts notions of relative proximity. This installation aims to evoke this experience, with the landscape disappearing beyond the field of view. The result is a formless, endless, and perceptively deceiving artifact that was designed in translation, and in response to, those powers of nature.


top Exhibit at BSA Space (SA) bottom Close-up of exhibit photographs (SA)


Displayed in the BSA Space on the Atlantic Wharf, the exhibit consisted of 285 4�x 4� squares that contained photographs from the trip and the drawings for the proposed installation. Sited on the green space in front of the building, the project was designed to encourage public interaction within the space, as well as create relationships to its surroundings.

Big Bend National Park, TX


BSA Space


Proposed site plan (CS, BC, MM)


1/2” x 3’ PVC Vertical Member

Metallic Two-Hole Strap

(Fastened with 5/16” Galvanized Steel Carriage Bolt)


1/2” x 10’ PVC Vertical Member

Molded resin light Housing 20 watt halogen bulb


3/4” .020 Type 304 Stainless Steel Strapping


7/8” x 20” Steel Thinwall Conduit Pipe

0’ -12”

left Diagram of module variables (EB, SP) right Axonometric of typical module (SP, LT)



top/left Mock-up assembly right Physical model (1/4” plywood “glue-lam” and CNC site contours, laser-cut chipboard)

top Photograph of mock-up (SA) bottom Presentation rendering (BN, SA)



Wentworth Architecture review (WAr)

The following essay discusses the theme of “image” as a mode of representation, through an interdisciplinary approach between music and architecture.


Published by WAr (vol. 2) in the spring of 2012

Image is a mode of translation. It is the process of analyzing, conceptualizing, and visualizing an entity in a different medium. Whether it is translating space into a twodimensional graphic or vice versa, image points out qualities unique to each realm in a way that helps us understand the same thing through different perspectives.


The concept of image (depicted in the drawing to the right) is the visual representation of the relationship two modes of human expression: music and architecture. The intent is to solve the problem of how someone could graphically express the connection between these two art forms, which

both have concrete methodologies yet obscure aesthetic qualities. How does one recognize the ambiguity of a space in the same dimension as music theory and its machine-like operative system? Music and architecture connect on a fundamental level that posits a clearer solution to this problem. Music is generated in different ways. A composer’s orchestral symphony can have the same aesthetic value as a toddler beating on pans with wooden spoons. As comparative cases, there lies a contradiction between technical articulation and pure human expression. This is representative of a fundamental relationship inherent in both fields; the compromise of two ends of the creative spectrum that is human expression versus mathematics. This image overlays the formal elegance of architecture with the indexical arrangements of music. The abstract nature of this graphic is not to create direct conceptual relationships, but to depict a developing idea. Not only does it emphasize music’s artistic quality but also depicts historical and cultural context. It performs as a diagram but perhaps also alludes to potential methodologies (the translation of music into form for example). It is translating conceptual ideas into a twodimensional graphic that unfolds the façade of “image” and reveals the motives behind its arrangement.


Music + Architecture diagram (photo collage)




WAr Opening Exhibition @ BSA Space (1/16/13)


Photo credits - Samantha Altieri

M.Arch Exhibition + Symposium @ Wentworth studios (5/4/13)

Masterplan in collaboration with Aaron Peabody Michael McGovern Stephen Ashton Daniel Smith

Spring 2012 Community Design Studio


Prof. Mark Klopfer

Roxbury Crossing Residential Tower

/An Aggregation of Living, Transit, and Leisure

Through a rigorous social analysis, the project addresses the misconnections that occur throughout the neighborhood of Mission Hill, as its diverse demographics are left segregated by its collage of functions. The masterplan aims to integrate those various programs (retail, housing, transit, and landscape) into the fabric of the city, in order to allow for more communal interaction that would in turn propel the growth of the neighborhood.



top Schematic train station design and masterplan (AP, LT) bottom Cross section along train tracks (mixed media)

The specific site chosen for the project was the Roxbury Crossing train station. The design was intended to create a residential tower that addresses its role as a boundary (between Roxbury and Mission Hill) and to create a perpetual system between living, transit, and leisure. With the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center across the street, the building responds to this important locality by codifying an axis and orientation that allows visual connection to the mosque.

Tremont Street Masterplan (AP, MM, SA, DS, LT)





top Typical oor plans left Corner unit plan/axon (graphite on trace) right Curved vs rectilinear partitions (pen on paper, color pencil)

While the exterior of each unit is confined to specific angular orientations, the introduction of curved walls as interior partitions distinguish a formality that is internalized and only expressed inside the units. This singular wall is utitlized as the organizational tool for each living space and becomes used in various ways.

top Interior and exterior of unit (physical model) left Entry into unit with garden beyond (water-marker) right Living space (pen on paper, color pencil)



Tremont Street elevation (graphite on paper, color pencil, photo collage)


Summer 2012 Comprehensive Studio


Prof. Anne-Sophie Divenyi

South End Culinary Arts School

/An exploration of Volume and Interstice

The building masses on the site are violated by unique threshold conditions, in which pathways are created and allow for exploration of private spaces. Sited in the South End, these interstitial voids are interpreted not merely in a mimetic manner through physical movement but also in their spatial relationship to the adjacent volumes. This relationship between volume and interstice provides an opportunity to induce formal ambiguity as well as contradiction between public and private, urban and landscape.



top Front elevation (graphite on yellow trace, collage, mixed media) bottom Site plan (mixed media)

View through exible gallery space (Pen on paper, water-marker, mixed media)



Diagram of primary volumes and interstitial spaces (Graphite, water-marker)

top Cross section through open gallery space and wine room (mixed media) left View towards lounge space above (plexi model) right “Volumes� study model



Wall section (mixed media)

top Third oor plan bottom Sequence montage of alleyways (photo collage)










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PARTS is a collection of architecture work that culminates into a larger theme. Each project displays itself as a “part” or component that is integral to a larger system. In this book, these systems are unique to each project, whether formal or ideological, as the components are tested for their cohesion within each of these frameworks. These explorations ultimately aim to create relationships between such systems and their aggregate “parts.”

Selected architectural projects from 2011 to 2013 Wentworth Institute of Technology Boston ,MA

PARTS - An Architecture Portfolio