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Portfolio of Work

AXIAL DENSITY A Monument to Self-Cultivation

EAT ME, DRAW ME A Representation Project

PRYOR HOUSE A Building System Case Study

DUSTIFICATION A Speculative Demolition Process

URBAN JOINT A Transient Community Center

POROUS FOLDS A Housing Project

AXIAL DENSITY A Monument to Self-Cultivation for Nanterre, France

Nanterre Universite de Nanterre Paris


metra station Arena 92

Throughout history, La Defense, the central business district of Paris, has continually re-evaluated its identity in relation to changing ideas of Modernity. Originally intended to be an area of separate towers for living and working with a liberated ground plane for the cultivation of the self, the plan was not realized and La Defense grew into a business district exclusively for work isolated from the rest of the city.

central business district

Historic Paris Axe Historique

housing “new” Louvre



La Grande Arche


L’ Arch de Triomphe

Place de la Concorde hotels

Tulleries Garden

Louvre Bois de Boulogne

This project attempts to recover Modernity by re-appropriating some of the ideals of the original plan with separate zones of living, working, transportation, and self-cultivation in response to the spatial conditions in Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris.



Collaborators: Sidney Migoski, Danielle Tellez

Identify existing conditions

Establish connection to axis

Determine relationship to conditions

Locate areas for future development 2

1 Existing Conditions 2 Spatial Planning Strategy 3 View Towards La Defense

La Defense deck



HISTORICAL CONTEXT The historical condition of Paris operates as a homogeneous mass that sets up a clear relationship with the Axe Historique, a boulevard that runs through Paris. The axis creates a void which organizes the dense city. In La Defense, the axis becomes more ambiguous with the addition of an elevated deck. Today within the existing fabric of Nanterre, the axis is not a powerful mechanism of organization. ‘Axial Density’ proposes to continue the axis, an existing organizational technique, into Nanterre with a linear building establishing its importance in a historical context. Historic Paris

Boulevard as spatial organizer

La Defense

Deck as spatial organizer

SPATIAL PLANNING The supportive and anticipatory move connects the disparate neighborhoods of Nanterre by creating a spine for future development and giving the area a relationship with historic Paris. In order to anticipate planned residential development and contrast the existing central business district of Paris, the proposed building claims the axis as a space for self-cultivation, a type of leisure towards self-improvement, in the Nanterre region. Just as cities develop business districts to compete globally, this project proposes the need for a leisure district to break the live-work cycle.

Existing: Nanterre Region Ambiguous spatial organizer

Proposed: Nanterre Region Axial mass as spatial organizer



4 Historical Context 5 Nelson Mandela Plaza, Civique Promenade


JUXTAPOSING PROGRAM The axis has a thickness and creates space for the proposed linear mass. A series of boolean operations, informed by the current conditions of Nanterre, were used to carve spaces out of the mass to create openings for connections to planned areas of development.





Bowling Restauran t

The linear building responds to existing programs and is intended to create a delirious experience for users through the juxtaposition of radically different leisure activities. The type, size, and duration of various leisure activities was mapped on a diagram and used as a tool for configuring program along the axis.








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us M


t ke

Shop Playgr ound

ar M

Arc ade


s er


ra Lib



1 10



u Sa


r Fa

ta to riu m

eu m




‘Axial Density’ is a monument in succession with numerous other monuments situated along the Axe Historique. The project is a proposal for a new monument typology. The linear mass is a monumental space to be used by the people rather than a traditional monumental statue.


Yo g


1,000 10,000

culture recreation refuge







(boolean operations)

CIVIQUE PROMENADE In May of 1968 Nanterre was the location of large demonstrations and strikes by students and labor workers. The protests were violent at times, but also included communal public events. The Prefecture des Hauts-de-Seine, an administrative building in Nanterre adjacent to the proposed dense leisure space, is connected by a promenade to the Nelson Mandela Plaza. The plaza, along with the surrounding market and lecture hall space is located on the site of the historic French strikes. The gathering spaces and promenade provide areas programmed explicitly for public assembles and events.

c, d

b a

lecture hall (a) natatorium (b) farmers market (c) Nelson Mandela Plaza (d) The Prefecture des Hauts-de-Seine (e)




PLACE DE LA CULTURE A newly completed sports facility in Nanterre shares a physical boundary with the Axe Historique. An outdoor plaza in front of the stadium acts as a zone for relieving large crowds after a sporting event. This area becomes the location of temporary leisure activities in response to the transient population of people. A library, a theater and restaurants surrounding the plaza help disperse crowds after an event and allow for cultural and refuge activities that contrast the large sports stadium.






(f) restaurant (g) theater (h) library (i) graveyard (j) stadium




A vacant factory building in Nanterre is proposed to become a large art museum similar to the Louvre. A physical connection is made between the ‘new Louve’ and the axis, creating a bridge between the art museum to shopping areas and recreational facilities. The hub of leisure space is meant to counterbalance the Louvre in historical Paris and support the neighboring area planned for housing development.




(k) museum (l) bowling alley (m) shops (n) proposed housing development


1 Leisure Diagram 2 Boolean Operations 3 Close Up Along Axial Mass

EAT ME, DRAW ME A Representation Project

This project takes consideration to morphological changes and topological shifts allowing work to be done in a composite nature to explore new techniques for reconciling shifts in time, scale and materiality simultaneously.

Day 1 53° sunny


A samosa was chosen as the food construct of observation. A measuring device was created to accurately track the construct’s changes over a four day period. Each day a sequential section cut was made in the samosa to reveal certain conditions otherwise not visibly present. Material and environmental data, including insects, temperature, texture, decay, thickness, moisture loss, etc. were considered and recorded using the measuring device.

60° partly cloudy

Day 3 54° partly cloudy

RECONSTRUCTION After the observation period was over the samosa was reconstructed through digital and analog processes. The reconstruction is not simply a replication of the original construct, but embodies the transformative processes of change over time.

Day 4 51° rainy



moisture loss


1 Sequential Sections 2 Measuring Device 3 Digital Reconstruction of Samosa 4 Digital Reconstruction at Each Section


PRYOR HOUSE A Building System Case Study

roof system 21.6 ( r-value, hr .ft .째F / Btu)

wood decking 2.2

Ground Floor

The Pryor House, designed by Robert Metcalf in 1958, utilizes architectural production in combining passive and active elements to form a complete building system.

concrete retaining wall 1.3

ground floor supply air ducts

exterior wall system 14.4


interior wall system 13.9 double pane glazing 2.1 floor system 20.3

The Pryor House sits on a sloped wooded lot in Barton Hills, Michigan. The native deciduous trees shade the home during the summer and allow the sun to pass during the winter, warming the house through the southern facing glazed facade. The operable windows on the glazed facade can be utilized to naturally ventilate the house. In the winter, a low concrete retaining wall extending off the back of the house helps block south-western prevailing winds.


air filter furnance (oil) return air ducts basement supply air ducts steel column and I-beam base structure 0.6

concrete foundation 1.3







Regional to the Pryor House, dense forests acquire brush piles that accumulate layers of impermanent materials creating insulated shelters for native snowshoe hares during the winter. Similar to a brush pile structure, leaves and snow build-up on the flat roof of the house adding a temporal layer of material, increasing the R-value of the fixed building. Both the Pryor House and the brush pile shelter utilize impermanent natural materials in the overall enclosure system.

HYBRID SYSTEM Working with the natural systems, the Pryor House has an oil fuel forced-air heating system and wood burning fireplace. These active elements augment the passive strategies by providing additional heat helping create a complete balanced building system.

2hr.ft .째F / Btu

22hr.ft .째F / Btu



1 Forced-Air Central Heating System 2 Enclosure System 3 Passive Solar Cooling 4 Passive Solar Heating

winter solstice

DUSTIFICATION A Speculative Demolition Process for Detroit, Michigan f, g k

Interested in the duality between static building code requirements and the continuously evolving built environment, this thesis project explores the potential opportunities for obsolescence of one infrastructure to led to a new spatial configuration through a speculative demolition technique grounded in legal realities.


i h


j, l e

Detroit, best known for its rapid urban decay from massive declines in the automobile industry, has experienced vast amounts of residential abandonment as a result of a population dwindle. Fallen into disrepair and deemed unable to fulfill the structures original purpose, large portions of the cities housing stock sits in obsolescence.

a, d



j, k


f, g

Always in constant shift, built work moves from use, to disuse, and inevitably obsolescence. Despite functional lifespan, once a house becomes vacant in the City of Detroit the built materials of the structure must continue to fulfill maintenance requirements. Understood as a process rather than a static state, the raw materials of abandoned structures in the city continuously move further from code compliance.

h, l




1 Legal Fulfilment During Demolition 2 Section Showing Dustification Process 3 Pile On Site Showing Dustification Result


All grass and weeds shall not be permitted to grow more than eight inches in height


All dead or broken trees shall be cut and removed from the premises


The interior walkway leading to the main entry door shall be cleared and remain free of snow


Debris shall not be permitted to accumulate on any portion of the exterior lot


Foundations shall remain in sound and watertight condition


Exterior walls shall be free of holes, breaks, and loose or rotting boards


Peeling paint shall be removed from all exterior surfaces


Exterior windows and doors shall be maintained in sound condition and good repair


All exit areas shall have continuous exterior lighting from dusk to dawn


All openings shall be closed and secured using secure doors, windows, security panels, or filled with like-kind materials


Openings less than one square foot in area and higher that eight feet above the ground may be boarded with plywood


At least one entrance shall be accessible from the exterior and at least two exit doors shall be available to exit from the interior

6,156.14 ft3


DUSTIFICATION PROCESS Often left incompliant to the legal requirements and without functional value, many houses in Detroit are highly susceptible to demolition by arson, neglect, wrecking, and scrapping and doomed to complete destruction. A new demolition technique, demolition by dustification, was created to re-imagine the future of building materials in vacant structures using aspects of existing removal techniques. Demolition by dustification is the pulverization of a bulk material utilizing any method to reduce the component to its smallest particulates of matter. The demolition technique starts within the interior of the structure, allowing complete containment of the demolition inside the shell of the building and fulfillment of exterior maintenance requirements until the last layer of the facade is removed resulting in the entire house reduced to a single pile of dust. Dustification holds a juxtaposition between the legal desire for material permanence on the exterior of the house and material compositional impermanence on the interior of the house through accelerated degradation.

DUSTIFIED BUILDING COMPONENTS Each element of a house was drawn and calculated for its dustified volume. The piles of dust take on a completely different composition from the original bulk material and allow for a spatial comparison of each building component as typically perceived and each component as compacted particles. Reconfigured and drawn into piles organized by material type, the dustification process disconnects the original functional value from the component and deepens the awareness of the component’s material properties.

4 House Seperated By Component 5 House Seperated By Material


KD Spruce





Plywood Vinyl

Plastic Asphalt




647 ft3

60 ft3

54 ft3

32 ft3

274 ft3

20 ft3

7 ft3

3 ft3

0.7 ft3

0.01 ft3

21 ft3

88 ft3

Black Phosphate

Brass 0.2 ft3

0.04 ft3


Paint Drywall

752 ft3

0.04 ft3


232 ft3

Fiberglass Insulation

Cellulose Insulation

362 ft3

2,633 ft3

Rigid Foam 948 ft3

Other Materials 22 ft3

TRANSLATING LEGAL REQUIREMENTS An object was made to visually reinterpret the legal regulations for a vacant building in Detroit. The reinterpretation, although composed from previously functioning building elements, holds a disassociation to a typical building facade as a result of intentional exclusion of components not addressed in the code. Used to help translate the language used in the building code and apply the regulations to the dustification process, the physical object is a comprehensive and compressed representation of a legal vacant house under Detroit laws.

h, j, k


f, g


h, j, l


DUSTIFIED FRONT DOOR A front door was dustified as proof of concept on the speculated demolition technique. Each material of the door was separated and reduced to its smallest achievable size. The paint, wood, glass, and hardware that make-up the door each required a different method of reduction and produced vastly different textures, colorations, and susceptibilities to static charge.

1 Physical Representation of Legal Requirements 2 Dustified Front Door


DUST RECONFIGURATION The demolition by dustification process physically expands and compacts building materials as dust particles producing new spatial realities from an obsolete structure. The fantastical reimaging of a vacant house from a simulated demolition technique is a speculative scenario in reaction to the inevitability of obsolescence in architecture. Deepening our awareness of the constant evolution of our built environment and harnessing its potential could be the key to transforming its occurrence from detriment to opportunity in the future of our cities.


3 Spatial Reconfiguration of Dust Particles

URBAN JOINT A Transient Community Center for Minneapolis, Minnesota

INTERFACING FLOWS This project attempts to leverage site constraints to induce opportunities for interactions between traditionally disassociated user groups. Situated on the Midtown Greenway, the building bridges to make direct connections between the two neighborhoods divided by the five-mile long uninterrupted corridor and the pedestrian trail located grade-separate from the street grid. The building nestled in the intersection of pedestrians flows, becomes a single entity linking bike commuter and neighborhood thoroughfares.

TRANSITIONAL PROGRAM The former industrial corridor, owned by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and the City of Minneapolis, has been reappropriated for a diverse range of activities. Anticipated to become the site of a turf-track streetcar, the future of many existing activities in the Greenway is unknown.


Year Month Day

Aldrich Ave S

Bryant Ave S

Colfax Ave S

Dupont Ave S

Emerson Ave S


Fremont Ave S

Girard Ave S

Hennepin Ave S

The proposal seeks to embrace an architectural response of collaboration between the many stakeholders through flexible public space and shared circulation that is responsive to the unforeseen future of the Greenway. The new shared space embraces a programmatically transient approach, motivated by the need to increase spontaneous interactions between disconnected user groups to help encourage participation for addressing the future of the Midtown Greenway.

Midtown Greenway



YEAR - TRANSFORMATION Planned to become the site of a Midtown Greenway Streetcar within the next few years, the proposal utilizes the site in a way that incorporates long-term visions for the corridor. The building bridges above the minimum height requirements for a streetcar and incorporates the spatial planning needs for a potential station on the site to create a new pedestrian intersection point. The anticipated location of the streetcar tracks is programmed to be temporarily used as a plant nursery for tree propagation. The transient nature of the nursery allows for easy displacement for a streetcar in the future.


MONTH - TRANSFORMATION Inspired by the need to expand usage of the Greenway beyond the summer to increase potential interactions between the different user groups, program throughout different seasons was incorporated into the proposal. A cafe with indoor and outdoor seating along with indoor public space supports the use of the corridor despite weather changes.

b b

c a

The proposed plant nursery transplants trees yearly to other parts of the city. Plant type can be altered depending on the needs of the urban tree canopy, which allows for continuous seasonal changes in the Midtown Greenway. The nursery, maintained by Tree Trust an organization that hires under served youth, also brings more users to the Greenway and potentially increasing participation among different community members.

(a) tree nursery (b) cafe (c) public space 5

DAY - TRANSFORMATION The Midtown Greenway is frequently used during the day, but less utilized at night. An outdoor gathering area was programmed to be transformed into a theater. Creating spaces that can be used at night will bring more users to the corridor who are unable to utilize the Greenway during the day. Increasing usage and including a glazed facade on the building to help light the corridor at night will also brings more safety to the Greenway, an issue posed by the surrounding neighborhoods.


1 View from Midtown Greenway 2 Program Transformation Diagram 3 Drawings Showing Pedestrian Flows 4 Program Transformation Over Years 5 Program Transformation Over Months 6 Program Transformation Over a Day

POROUS FOLDS A Housing Project for Vienna, Austria

BIOLOGICAL REPLICATION ‘Porous Folds’ investigates the use of an organizational technique that replicates biological colonies to speculate upon natural behaviors such as repetition, variation, and density in housing. This project explores the spatial and aesthetic possibilities of using a single, geometric component developed through morphological transformations. The component is multiplied fourfold to generate a secondary component “pod” which comprises the basic unit of living and can subsequently aggregate in order to accommodate several different living arrangements.

CROSSBRED EXPRESSION Situated across from the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the housing project geographically holds strong ties to historical Viennese architecture. The biological processes were crossbred with Baroque sensibilities to produce a system for living with possible connections to the roots of Viennese Gothic. Formal obsession and interest in digital fabrication ultimately creates a contemporary expression. Collaborators: Tyler Smith, Maria Sturchio






The four meter by nine meter by three meter pods have rotational symmetry around a central circulation core. Different pod cluster configurations allow for various living arrangements, ranging from a studio apartment to a family occupancy. The regularity of the pod is broken by periodic mutations to create more unique living situations that fulfill specific functional and programmatic requirements.


a, b c, d













a e



d c









(a) kitchen (b) living room (c) bathroom (d) bedroom, upper and lower (e) central circulation

1 Aerial Showing St. Stephen’s Cathedral 2 Component Evolution 3 View From St. Stephen Square 4 Exploded Axon of Two Bedroom Unit 5 Unrolled Section of Two Bedroom Unit 6 Plan of Two Bedroom Unit 7 View of Unit Facing St. Stephen Square


CURVED FOLDING The formal logic of the pod design was driven by the concept of curved folding. Different from traditional paper folding with straight creases, curved folding uses curved creases to create continuously smooth surfaces. Once the system of folding was initiated, explorations and investigations using paper models led to a highly iterative process of formal operations driven by an intrinsic relationship to materiality. Interest was taken in the techniques ability to create simple folded forms with geometrically complex surfaces.


DIGITAL FABRICATION Inspired by research of robofold, each pod is constructed out of two uniquely cut planar pieces of sheet metal and assembled using the technology of folding metal with robots.

Flat cut sheet 3

1 Physical Model of Component 2 Component Cut Sheet Evolution 3 Component Assembly

Creased cut sheet

Curved folding

Fully assembled pod


Designed to exploit the properties of the planar material, the pod component utilizes the inherent structural capacities of folded sheet metal. Structural stability is primarily created through tension from the limited number of curved creases.

23.8 m

20.5 m

17.2 m

A secondary structural system was created to stabilize the aggregated pods and support the entire building. This structural system grew out of the same curved folding logic as the pod component.

13.9 m

10.6 m

7.3 m

4.0 m


-3.0 m -5.1 m -7.2 m






facade structure system


4 Building Section 5 Facade Structural Study 6 Level Two Building Plan 7 Level Three Building Plan



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Portfolio of Work