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Rolando Lopez2 Undergraduate Excercises in Architecture

Architecture is created through tectonics and experience. Tectonics, on one hand, finds beauty on the inner workings of the pieces, the creation of music through layering, repetition, and construction. On the other, experience enjoys site and place, social conditions, and attempts to create emotions and memories. The following are my explorations in both.

Rolando Lopez2 Undergraduate Exercises in Architecture

M. Arch Applicant Fall 2013

Selected works completed at the University of Florida School of Architecture (2010-2013)


Held Glass Box


Re-Configured Assemblage


Constructed Plate


Illuminated Crevice








Sinkhole Pavilion


Marine Edge




Courtyard Block

Notched Glass Box

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Class Design 6, Spring 2012 Critic Guy Peterson

Context Gainesville, Florida, USA

Program Retail/Nightclub/Roof Lounge

Scale 6,000 ft 2

Itinerary along main street


Two distinct programs expressed tectonically


Located in Downtown Gainesville, the site consists of a narrow rectangular corner lot surrounded by numerous nightlife venues, restaurants, and bars. A programmatic pattern was identified: retail and small cafes line up SW 1st ave, whereas nightclubs and bars run alongside Main St. The goal of the intervention is to provide for an interplay between these two programs through a tectonic expression.

fold / looking out

ascent/looking up turn/ looking around

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3 3

5 1. Entrance (open to above) 2. Retail Store 3. Patio 4. Nightclub

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Inverted Typologies The traditional program typologies are inverted: the nightclub is transparent and located above ground, and the store is encased by a punctured concrete armature.

1. Concrete Columns 2. Egress Core 3. Notched Glass Box 4. Concrete Armature 5. Articulated Ground

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Re-Configured Assemblage

Extra Curricular Team: Wendy Fok, Judith Mussell, Ben Vongvanij, Barnett Chenault

Context Long Beach, California

Program Community Center

Scale 10,500 ft 2

Container as skin

Container as courtyard

Container as planter/ seating

Community Center using Shipping Containers (RE)Configured-Assemblage is a developmental landmark proposal composed of reconfigured traces of shipping containers, through diligently reconnecting, revitalising, and humanizing the accessibility of the City of Long Beach, Long Beach Blvd and Broadway Area. Through proposing three types of innovatively reconstructed modular shipping containers, the overall construct leads to open courtyards, interlocking units, and playfully generated programs that introduce a new innovative topological creation that regenerates and reconnects the community. Bringing together a fusion of technological, economical and cultural entities, and combining a public free space into an interlocked modular construct, which includes an internal courtyard as public landscape, the newly developed (RE)Configured-Assemblage becomes an open playground of hidden gems, which offers the community countless integrated opportunities to develop and harmonise the City of Long Beach, Long Beach Blvd Area.

Constructed Plate

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Class Design 6, Spring 2012 Critic Guy Peterson

Context Charleston, South Carolina

Program Culinary Institute

Scale 30,000 ft 2





The Constructed Plate is a proposal for a culinary arts institute in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The project is concerned with the link between cooking and architecture, primarily presentation. Just as the food is presented on a plate when given to customers, the building presents itself as a manifestation of the program and experience of the place.

The design process addresses public space as a means of organizing program. The studied option divides the building into two halves, creating a passageway between the two buildings and a plaza towards Bay Street.

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Learning by Example, Learning by Doing The program is separated into two halves that relate to how students learn how to cook: learning by example, and learning by doing. Learning by doing is celebrated by a cylindrical volume that houses the restaurant - the ultimate goal for a cook.

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Circulation + Egress Circulation + Egress Lecture Lecture Classrooms Classrooms Library Library Administration Administration




Trash + Receiving Trash + Receiving Student Lounge Student Lounge Restaurant Restaurant Bake Kitchen and Shop Bake Kitchen and Shop Wine Room Wine Room Demo Lab Demo Lab


Teaching Kitchens Teaching Kitchens

1. 2. 3. 4. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Wine Room Bake Shop Pastry Kitchen Storage Admissions Office Career Services Faculty Area Director’s Suite Demo Lab Lobby/ Student Lounge

10. Trash Area 11. Receiving 12. Library 13. Restroom 14. Teaching Kitchen 15. Restaurant Kitchen 16. Classroom 17. Restaurant 18. Auditorium




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Concrete Enclosure

Steel Diagrid + Circulation Enclosure System

Concrete Plates

Steel Structure

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The restaurant is celebrated as the primary goal for the cook in training and the point of contact with the public. A large cylindrical concrete volume is inscribed with a steel diagrid which houses the restaurant. The space surrounding the restaurant becomes the circulation for the building.

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Pre cast concrete decking

Steel girders and joists

Recycled Refrigerator Door Panels

Secondary Tube Bracing

Structural Steel I Beams

steel + structure

Steel shading screen

Point fixed glazing

Steel serves as a common denominator amongst Charleston, Construction, and the program of cooking. The assemblage of the building celebrates steel as the primary building material. steel + cooking

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Illuminated Crevice

Class Design 3, Fall 2010 Critic Bill TIlson

Context Abstracted Irish Monastery

Scale 4,000 ft 2

The ideal monastic settlement is abstracted and presented in a layered drawing, which explores the ideas of center, cluster, and boundary.

Studying how culture relates to architecture in order to create place. Irish Monasteries have an important role in the history of the modern world. Throughout the dark ages, priests stored and reproduced the texts from the old world - saving many of them from extinction. As a result from this practice, many religious settlements were established in Ireland. In establishing these settlements, time and numerology played a large role. Priests were to pray seven times a day: from sunrise to after sunset. The ideal settlement was to be divided into quadrants, in which fourteen units are placed arond a centralized cluster: the chruch.

Using the analytical drawing as a matrix, information is drawn forward to create a field , giving birth to an articulated ground.

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One of the rays of the construct is further explored as an intervention concerned with the idea of occupying a layered wall that emerges from the ground.

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Dual Viewport

Class Design 7, Fall 2012 Critic Alfonso Perez-Mendes

Context Barcelona, Spain

Program Hotel

Scale 5,000 ft 2

A Hotel in Villa Olimpica, Barcelona This project is concerned with the relationship between construction, form, and public space in an Urban Context. The goal is to create a hotel tower in Barcelona. The site faces the Olympic Port and Beaches, and contours the Pobloneu and Villa Olimpica Neighborhoods. The main strategy of the intervention is to divide the hotel into two: one for business, and one for leisure. This allows for the two towers to become specialized and cater to these two audiences.

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looking at the city

The skyscraper in the city is understood as a stratified view box. There are four levels - scales - of views that are experienced through verticality: street, neighborhood, city, and landscape. looking at the sea

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1. Lobby 2. Reception 3. Pool 4. Gallery 5. Rooms 6. Gathering Spaces

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The hotel tower splits into two to recognize the geographical separation of the site: sea to the south, and city to the north. The program responds to this condition by alternating between business and leisure uses.

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Formal Operations

Tower T0 Primary Structural Column + Concrete Slab T1 Social Spaces Punctured in Volume T2 Glazing + Shading T3 Primary + Secondary Structural Framework holding double skin-facade T4 Fritted Double Skin Facade Ground G1 Occupiable Gallery + Roof Plane G2 Local Program Volumes + Lobby G3 Articulated Ground Plane + Primary Structure Connector C0 Connection to circulation core/ floor slabs C1 Primary Structural Truss System C2 Metal Facade with punch openings

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Extra-Curricular Team: Ledia Durmishaj, Ali Atabey, Steven Albert, and Justine Ala

Context Brooklyn, New York

Program Urban Farming Center

Scale 100,000 ft 2

Existing site condition

Placement of farm into site

Community Center Program

Integration of Plaza

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A center for Urban Farming that caters to everyone’s lifestyle. In a metropolitan environment where we are enveloped by metal and concrete, the notion of traditional farming is obsolete. For agriculture to thrive within a city like New York, the ideas we have regarding cultivation and harvesting must adapt to fit our lifestyle. Inhabitants of hyper-dense cities have become removed from traditional farming and its time consuming methods. Therefore our proposal incorporates an evolved form of farming that is adaptive and customizable to its farmers. Fueled by current innovations in technology and the needs of city dwellers, we have designed a variety of spaces in which the level of control and human involvement can fluctuate to cater anyone from the traditional to the completely virtual farmer. Empowering our urban farm through technology also allows the influence of the farm to reach beyond its immediate boundaries within the community, and encourages involvement on several levels since its members are unrestricted by physical location from the urban farming center. farmer’s market and herb garden

Who Farms in the City? novice

expert The Busy New Yorker Without much time to do anything, would like to Farm recreationally and without much hassle.

The Home Grower Looks for ways to grow crops both for recreation and for consumption.

The Environmentalist Concerned with sustainability and recycling, the environmentalist enjoys anything green.

The Farmer Experienced with growing in a rural location, would like to grow and sell crops in the city.

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How can I farm in the city? novice


Hydroponic Farming allows for minimum contact and committeemen with the plants. Plants are watered automatically and are provided with artificial light in order to grow.

Location of underground farming typologies

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Hybrid Farming provides more experienced users the ability to grow their own plants without the use of Hydroponics. Through a thermically controlled environment, urban farmers can tend for their own plants.

Traditional Farming allows advanced farmers to grow the same crops one would grow in a farm in a city stage with controlled temperature and irrigation.

Center for Farming

Street Level Platform

PETG plastic with diochrotic film

Over the ground, the center becomes a public promenade, with glimpses underground.



While underground, visitors are able to experience domes designed for large trees and community fruit farming year-round.

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Class Design 7, Fall 2012 Critic Wendy Fok

Context Abstracted Desert

Program N/A

Scale 80,000 ft 2

A wind catcher is placed In order to improve ventilation and temperature within the building. The wind catcher, a staple of desert sustainable design, uses pressure to cool the building The building is sheltered from the harsh desert environment with a breathable enclosure that allows for ventilation during the day and cooling by night.

A series of tectonic volumes hold the program: a museum for aboriginal art. The volumes are “jewel boxes� that store relics from the past. The building is circulated through a promenade loop that provides a linear itinerary of the spaces.

This project consists of a series of spaces which shelter humans from the harsh desert climate. Related to the idea of a mirage, the construct is designed as a place of refuge. The systems put at play create a gradient of enclosure through a forced itinerary through the construct.

The volumes are made up of two components: a linear scaffolding, and a planar punctured fold.

Sinkhole Pavilion

Class Design 5, Fall 2011



Devil’s Millhopper, Gainesville, FL


Scale 1,200 ft 2

Space and tectonics derived from the eidetic qualities of site. The Devil’s Millhopper is a naturally occurring sinkhole in Alachua County, Florida that is over 100’ deep. As a result, the place has a developed a micro-climate which has allowed many unique flora and fauna to develop. In addition, the Millhopper contains many layers of history, which are revealed in the ground.

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Tectonically, the pavilion is conceived by shifting two horizontal plates, which respond to the site views to allow for a spacial promenade through the sinkhole.

overhead plane

ground plane

Stratification was the main driving force of the project. The spacial experience of the intervention attempts to showcase the layers that make it up. An emphasis is placed upon how natural phenomena found on the sinkhole can be applied towards a man made architectural gesture that can co-exist with the landscape.

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The intervention consists of two volumes, one attached the Devil’s Millhopper, and one floating above it. Each volumes acts as a transition device. The first volume transitions from the ground and its path into the intervention. The second volume transitions from the intervention into the sinkhole.

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Marine Complex

Class Design 5, Fall 2011

Context Seahorse Key, Florida

Program Marine Research Center + Lodging

Scale 12,000 ft 2

Critic Mark McGlothlin

Marine Research Field Station in Seahorse Key The main idea of this project is the creation of a marine research field station that recognizes history and site, while activating an edge. Conceptually, the site is divided into three regions: the natural, the historical, and the constructed edge. Through time, humans have shown a movement of occupation from the southern (natural) to northern (constructed) edge, indicating a natural force that suggests intervening at this edge.

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intervention proposals

proposal 1.

Void Peninsula

proposal 2.

Seahorse key, an island in North Central Florida, is known for its rich history which dates back to the 1800s. The site was used as an American detention port during the Indian American war. It then then became a U.S. Navy Base, gaining a lighthouse. The lighthouse then became the key player of the island, helping the economic boom of the area due to a pencil manufacturing station. The lighthouse was then abandoned and the site is now used by the University of Florida as a marine research station due to the rich ecology found on the island.

History Threads

proposal 3.

Light Catcher

proposal 5.

FLoating Ground

proposal 6.

Public, Park, and Private

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research station

The complex is divided into three pieces: the research center, the elevated pathways, and the living unit.

The Marine Research Station is organized by a fragmented wall, and is then cut through by three axes that create path. These axes programmatically divide the building into three: a large meeting room, a library/docking center, and the research laboratory.

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living unit

elevated pathways

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The laboratory rises above the ground to allow for scientists to collect live samples and dock boats underneath.

The library is preceded in the spacial sequence by a docking space, which allows for people to transition from the public/private paths and to move up to the laboratories or library space. The library space consists of two stories: one for reading and storing, and one for personal space (offices).

The meeting room is designed to take advantage of views of the sea while accomodating 120+ people.

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Extra Curricular In collaboration with Bryant Nguen, Plub Warnitchai, Ben Vongvanij, Critic Mark McGlothlin

Context Shinjoku, Tokyo

Program Mixed

Scale City

Silvarium proposes a framework that simulates the organic growth of a forest and infuses it with the needs of sustainable vertical living. The resulting system of towers is by all means an ecosystem capable of sustaining life and sustaining itself. Silvarium threads the urban fabric through a case study in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Shinjuku Station, one of the busiest rail stops in Japan, is the site of the intervention. We begin by making new ground spanning from the station and growing outwards throughout the rails. Then, a series of towers begin to grow and connect to form a network that cleans the air, produces energy, and redefines the way people interact with buildings in an urban environment. The constructed forest consists of four key factors: it is self-sustaining, it grows, it changes, and it reproduces. The tower can sustain itself by collecting and growing all of the supplies it needs. If the tower needs to become taller to accommodate a denser population, then its forests can be harvested for materials.

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The towers are indeterminate and can are constantly growing to accomodate more program. This is done through the separation of the structural system and the program/floor plates.

Silvarium is designed to grow trees through the use of its double skin, and through the constructed ground plane. These trees clean the air of the city, making a healthier enviornment.

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Sliced Courtyard

Design 7, Fall 2012 Critic Alfonso Perez-Mendes In collaboration with Jenny Park


Rome, Italy

Housing + Shopping

Scale 500,000 ft 2

Exploring Public Space in a large urban scale The site, located at the banks of the Tiber River in Rome, provides the unique opportunity of intervening/grafting to a historical fabric. The urban form of Rome is understood as a combination of courtyard clusters and sliced pathways, which inform the operations of the intervention.

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Verticality as Privacy The programs of the block become more private with the rise in verticality, allowing for privacy for the housing, and a flux of people for the public space.

Vertical Housing

Horizontal Housing

vertical housing module



Cultural Center

Public Plaza

1. Vertical Housing 2. Horizontal Housing 3. Amenities 4. Shopping 5. Retail Store

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11+29+60 Total

100 11+I

100I 29+

548,100 f2

Number of Attractors 4 (museum, theater, supermarket, department store)

Intensity of Public Space 6 (where 10 is Fontana di Trevi)

Housing Density 77 dwellings per acre/ 30 dwellings per hectare


60+ 100I




58,000 f2



157,400 f2


Streets 58,000 f2 Intensity 2



114,400 f2

58,000 f2

Supermarket Cafe/Restaurant Department Store Retail Stores



Cultural Center 43,000 f2 Museum Theater

332,700 f2

20% 6%

20% 11% 7% 35%

Amenities 51,100 f2

116,600 f2

Vertical Housing 165,100 f2

Intensity 6

1 1







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Enclosed (Private) Courtyard

Permeable Courtyard

Open Courtyard

Implied Courtyard

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Courtyard as public space The courtyard is a typology which defines the urban block in Rome. The following is a classification or courtyards based on level of permeability.




Summer Solstice

The courtyard is a typology which defines the urban block in Rome. The following is a classification or courtyards based on level of permeability.




1 1



Winter Solstice





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Wood Balcony System


cantilevered concrete slab

2-layer wood louver

Opaque Curtain Wall System

Wood Balcony System

Primary Structure

Glazing + Mullion Pre-cast Concrete Panel

Translucent Diaphragm System

The block is conceived through three tectonic enclosure systems which provide varying degrees of transparency.

Opaque Curtain Wall System

Translucent Diaphragm System Concrete Column Steel Mullion

Corrugated Glass

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Rolando Lopez Lopez 829 Chaplin Ave Lehigh Acres, FL 33971




Public Relations Director

Architrave Magazine #17

UF Cuban American Student Association

(239)223-8449 Re-Configured Assemblage

in Collaboration with Wendy Fok, Judith Mussell, Ben Vongvanij, Barnett Chenzult Published in ArchDaily, DesignBoom, Suckerpunch, B1 Magazine

Top 10 Board Selective admission into upper divison program





Design 1 Teaching Assistant

Design 1 Teaching Assistant

Creative Director, Architrave 19

Editor, Architrave 20

Professor Alfonso Perez-Mendes

Professor Mark McGlothlin

In charge of graphics, layouts, and printing of Student Publication.

Responsible for design, production, and printing of Student Publication

Career Showcase

Vicenza Institute of Architecture

Developement of website for submissions and display of student work.

Coordinated event and produced graphics

Semester-long study abroad program in Vicenza, Italy

Van Allen in Collaboration with Wendy Fok, Judith Mussell, Ben Vongvanij

uFarm in Collaboration with Ledia Durmishaj, Steven Albert, Ali Atabey, Justine Ala

Architrave Premiere Event Designed interactive exhibtion for Architrave 19.

Design 4 Teaching Assistant D1/D7 Framework Exhibit

Top 20 Award Poster for Gallery Exhibiton

Daylight Thinking

D1/D7 Framework Exhibit

Created website for Summer program in Vicenza, Italy. Silvarium

CityLab Candidate Interview Part of student group interviewing faculty candidates SoA Webmaster Begain developement of Undergraduate + Graduate School of Architecture

eVolo Skyscraper Competition 2012. In collaboration with Bryant Nguen and Ben Vongvanij

Rolando Lopez Design Portfolio  

Design works completed at the University of Florida School of Architecture