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M. Alejandra Gomez Advanced Design Portfolio Spring 2016 - Spring 2017

Advanced Design Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s



Spring 2016 Prof. Nancy Sanders

Fall 2016 Prof. Dan Powers

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pg 23

Design Development Prof. Daniel Currea pg 43

C Spring 2017 Prof. Jan Wampler pg 65

OTHER WORKS Competitions Lighthouse ULI Competition Electives Japanese Architecture Florida Landscape Urban Resiliency Detail Making pg 97

A Spring 2016 Prof. Nancy Sanders


The site - Fortworth Water Gardens by Philip Johnson The Fort Worth Water gardens were built in 1974 on the south end of Downtown Fort Worth and were designed by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee. The urban park becomes an oasis in the middle of the city that offers three pools with completely different experiences. The active pool, the quiet pool and the aerated pool. The pictures on the right give away the essence of the place. An escape from the concrete jungle. A retreat to relax or have fun. The Water Gardens’ design is based on shifting stepped structures that play with elevation changes. The plan (above) of the urban park shows how my design is nested in one of the mountains next to the active pool. I chose the north area of the park because it felt underutilized as the mountain did not have a program itself. My scheme responded to the site angles and the feeling of the place by allowing the shifting structures do dictate an effortless promenade through the building.


The Water Gardens Bath house parti The parti of my design was an idea of the fold. A simple and elegant facade that was both inviting on the outside and at the same time covered and protected the spaces inside. This structure would seamlessly follow the lines of the main path so that people can have the option to come inside as they enter the park through the north side. The fold then would be penetrated by a glass box that would cantilever over the path. As the project is located in the corner of the site it creates two facades for the urban park. Because of the nature of the play with different elevations of the Water Gardens, the design responds to the site by organizing programmatically the bathhouse at the ground floor, a bar and pools on the second floor and a restaurant at the top third floor. The project offers ADA accessibility through ramps and elevators inside. The first draft models on the right show beginning ideas of how my scheme responded to the site angles and the feeling of the place. The sketches below show my concept ideas of the fold and the glass box and respond to the draft models. The diagram plays with ideas of verticality vs horizontality.







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Floorplans 1- Loby 11- Restaurant Lobby 2- Mechanical Room and Elevators 12- Outside Dining Area 3- Male Restrooms and Locker Rooms 13- Inside Dining Area 4- Female Restrooms and Locker Rooms 5- Inside pool 6- Outside pool 7- Poolside Bar 8- Electrical Room, Elevators and Dumbwaiter 9- Kitchen 10- Bathrooms, Elevators and Dumbwaiter


Sections The ethereal design plays with elevation changes responding to the site. The sectional quality allows for a balanced interrelationship between single heighted, double heighted and triple heighted spaces. As the fold extends through all three floors, it covers and protects all the different program spaces that relate between each other through engaging stairs that offer direct shots between spaces. The sections below show this with a play with different tones and simple white section cuts that counter the heaviness of the site itself. From left to right, the first section cuts through the main lobby space (1) and the restaurant’s lobby (2). Both of these welcoming spaces relate to each other by sharing this triple heighted space created by the fold. The second section cuts through the in-between space (3) behind the bar where people can approach the restaurant on the third floor from the second floor outdoor space. The third section cuts through the Inside pool on the first floor (4) and the glass box that penetrates the fold (5). It shows the relationship between these two main spaces. This section also cuts through the first floor bathrooms-locker rooms (6) and the second floor kitchen (7).

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Longitudinal Section and Overall Shots of the Approach to the Building The longitudinal section below shows a clear representation of how the main three spaces, the Bathhouse (1), the bar (2) and the restaurant (3), are organized behind the fold. The overall shots on the right show the different approaches to the building and how the design has two facades for the Northeast and Northwest part of the park. The picture above shows the Northeast view from the active pool of how the design relates and responds to the path of the site. It also shows how the glass box that penetrates the fold relates to the bar which is another glass box that rests on an existing platform. The picture below shows the Northwest view of the approach and showcases how the folded structure can be habitable by providing benches. This picture demonstrates how urban structures can respond to the human scale by allowing for interactive outside public spaces.





Front Elevation - East

Back Elevation - West

Left Side Elevation - South

Right Side Elevation - North

Elevations The elevations on the left capture the essence of the project by showing how the building’s change in heights and masses responds directly to the shifting platforms of the site. Material wise, the fold is a thin laminated piece of copper while the masses are made out of concrete to respond to the heaviness of the park and to contrast the lightness of the glass boxes.


Close up shot - Restaurant Lobby

Close up shot -Bar and staircase circulation

Close up shot -Inside Pool with outside access



B Fall 2016 Prof. Dan Powers


Office tower

Boat show display

Retail 5 star restaurant

The site - Tampa Marine Mart The site is located in Tampa Florida in an industrial underutilized buildable area of 276,000 SF. It would become the final destination to the Riverwalk once it is finished. The masterplan includes a Boat show building that offers a multi-story space for the display and sale of boats of various types, a retail space (indoor mall) for marine related recreational items (racing, fishing, skiing, scuba diving, clothing, etc.) with a 5 star restaurant and a 20 story office tower for marine related professionals and businesses. The pictures on the left give away the industrial and bare essence of the site. The design will also include a public plaza/gathering area.


Tampa Marine Mart The design for this project was inspired by the idea of a sailboat coming to a dock and the change in heights produced by the waves and the tides. The overall parti then became a continuous dock that went around the edge of the site and then interacted with the buildings themselves. For the Boat show display, the dock goes around the building and even flows through the ground level allowing for the public to look up at the boats in the atrium spaces. For the retail space, the dock rises through ADA ramps and creates a habitable rooftop with greenery and gathering spaces. For the office tower, the dock pierces though the building allowing for a tertiary entry into the site through the tower.


Final draft and Ground Plan showing section cuts The final draft included all the design ideas of the floating docks that weaved through the buildings but also integrated a 15’ column grid system. The docks also explored subtle ground elevation changes to tie back to the concept of tidal changes. All of these changes in elevations included ADA ramps and stairs for the public. 1234567-

Giftshop Janitors closet - Trash room -Mail Room Cafe Restaurant Boat Show Air-Conditioning equipment room Kitchen Restaurant

8- Retail 9- Five Star Restaurant 10- Retail 11- Retail 12- Mechanical/Electrical Space 13- Utility Location - Sewer, Water, Electrical, Gas 14- Parking

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Second floor Tower, Boat Show display and Retail

Third floor Tower, Boat Show display and Retail


1- Marine Bookstore 2- Open to below for boat display 3- Retail

Marine Bookstore Boat Display Lobby Boat Display Suites Retail Restaurant Restaurant



Fourth floor Tower and Boat Show display

Fifth floor Tower and Boat Show display

1- Offices

1- Offices



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Sixth-Ninth floor Tower

Tenth- Twelfth floor Tower

1- Offices

1- Offices 2- Open Terrace




Thirteenth-Seventeenth floor Tower

Eighteenth-Twent ieth floor Tower

1- Offices

1- Offices 2- Open Terrace


Renderings Southeast perspective (above) showing an approach towards the tower from Channelside Dr. Northwest perspective (below) showing an approach towards the Riverwalk from the Ybor Channel


The Tower The tower became the hierarchy of the project. The beacon that grounded the paths and the other buildings. The draft above was the first iteration aiming to play with the site’s geometries and exploring a variety of spaces and at the same time having a structural and functional integrity. The sketch rendering above shows how views across the site are aligned to the tower which in turn looks back at the channel as it has a Southeast orientation in itself. The picture on the left shows the final model and how it encompasses all the design, conceptual and structural ideas carried in this class. The design that responds to the site, the dock concept piercing through on the right and the structural components that are used to accentuate and express the lines on a sailboat.


Detail shot- North perspective Detail shot showing pproach from Ybor. Te semi-private garden allows for quiet and serene urban place for the public and the office workers.

Detail Shot - South perspective Detail shot showing the main approach towards the tower coming from the parking lot. It showcases the different elevation changes and the docks by the water.


B- Design Development Schematics and Sun Analysis Parti and Basic Massing: Building shape responds to site angles for it to be aproachable and welcoming on all its sides. Ways of Entry: 3 Number of Floors: 20 Site Area Organization: Building faces Ybor Channel in a Southeast Orientation. Zoning: Mix use Building Area: 22,500 sq ft Floor 1: 22,500 sq ft Floor 2-4:15,200 sq ft Floor 5: 16,600 sq ft Floor 6-7: 17,00 sq ft Floor 8-9: 12,500 sq ft Floor 10-20: 11,700 sq ft Building Occupancy Classification: Area/gross number=Occupancy Chapter 3: Business. Group B. Chapter 10: 100 gross ocupancy Occupancy Load: Floor 1: 225 people Floor 2-4: 152 people Floor 5: 166 people Floor 6-7: 170 people Floor 8-9: 125 people Floor 10-20: 117 people Type: 3 B

Third Entry

Secondary Entry Main Entry

Road Easement Buildable Area Setbacks of 12’

night astronomical twilight nautical twilight civil twilight sunrise daylight sunset civil twilight nautical twilight astronomical twilight night

Summer sunrise- 6:30 am

Summer mid-day- 12:00 pm

Summer sunset- 8:20 pm

night astronomical twilight nautical twilight civil twilight sunrise daylight sunset civil twilight nautical twilight astronomical twilight night

Winter sunrise- 7:05 am

Winter mid-day- 12:00 pm

Winter sunset- 5:30 pm


1 2 3 Inside-Outside Cafe


5 Green + Concrete Platforms


Waterfront Walkway

Ground Plan Analysis Uses ground floor: Cafe/Restaurant- Classification Factory. Group F-1 Bookstore/Library- Classification Assebly. Group A-3 Base Flood elevation: 2-3ft Ground floor elevation: 11ft

1- Marine Bookstore 2-Cafe/Restaurant 3- Main Entry

4-Drop Off 5-Utility Location- Sewer, Water, Electrical, Gas 6- Parking

Vertical Circulation

Vehicular Pedestrian Public Pedestrian Private Biking Site Circulation Diagram


Offices Gathering/Public Areas Public Offices Commercial- Marine Bookstore Commercial- Cafe/Restaurant


Deep Foundation Systems -Used for unstable or inadequate soil. -60 feet deep -Transfers building loads to rock or dense sands below the superstructure.

Endcap AF Panel

Support Frame AF Panel Cast aluminum member

Facade- Vertical Louvers Benefits of Vertical Louvers: -The glass facade that envelops the majority of the building features verical louvers that serve as sunshades allowing for an influx of natural light to penetrate theinterior. -The vertical louvers are more prominant on the Northwest and Southeast side of the building. They provide superior daylighting and climate control capabilities.

All MEP together To calculate size of HVAC Average of 13,500 sq ft per floor= 135 people -13,500/500 x 12,00= 32,400 Btu (cooling load) -Add 380 Btu for each person who works in the space all day 135x380=51,300 Btu -For each window in the space, add 1,000 Btu 50 windowsx 1,000= 5,000 Btu Total=88,700 Btu - Divide the total by 12000 to determine the size 88,700/12,00=7.3 tons per floor -Rooftop HVAC unit= 7.3 tons x 20 floors= 146 tons


MEP -Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbin, Fire Safety Chapter 29 Plumbing Systems: Average of 13,500 sq ft per floor= 135 people -Average of 5 water closets per floor forboth male and female. -Average of 4 lavatories per floor for both male and female.



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Rooftop HVAC Unit Johnsons Controls -Series 100 -Cooling capacities: 50 to 150 tons -Meet or exceed ASHRAE 90.1 energy standards than competitive units -Single-point power connection reduces field wiring costs -Energy-saving performance



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1- Circuit Breaker Switchboard 2-Panelboard 480V 400A 3- Panelboard 480V 100A 4-Panelboard 480V 100A 5-Dry type Transformer 480208Y120 15kVA 6- Panelboard 208V 100A

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1- Tank free water heater 2-Main Cold Water (Blue) 3- Main Hot Water (Red) 4-Sanitary line 5-Wall mounted lavatory 6- Floor mounted water closet

Fire system Section Section shows location of fire hose cabinets located 75’ apart.



Boat Show Display This feature is a column-free space for the “floor display” and “hanging display” of prototypical boats that various dealers offer for sale. The ground floor footprint is 30,000 SF and the ceiling height is of 80ft. The draft section below shows initial ideas of different sectional qualities and platforms that allowed for viewing the boats at different heights. The close up picture on the right shows the biggest atrium space allotted for both hanging boats and a public restaurant on the ground floor. The picture above shows how the concept of the docks carving through the building creating underneath spaces was carried through.


Plan and Cross Section The cross section on the right shows ideas of different sectional qualities and platforms that allow for viewing the boats at different heights. It also shows how the dock carves through the building creating open to below spaces for boat displays.



Retail The total retail space is of 50,000 SF with retail outlets/stores available in 5,000 SF modules/ increment. The minimum public corridor width is 20ft and a total of 5,000 SF of mechanical and electrical is provided. For my design, the retail spaces embrace the concept of the docks by allowing wooden platforms access the ceiling through ADA ramps. The picture above shows how the ceiling becomes habitable with green spaces.


Floating dock platform The retail space offers a floating viewing platform that overhangs over the water. Overall the retail spaces became very simple, elegant and ethereal, like a dock itself that extended through the south side of the site. The picture below showcases the floating dock platform as well as a double heighted glass box which happens to be the five star restaurant in the project.



C Spring 2017 Prof. Jan Wampler Group M. Alejandra Gomez Natalia Yanes Kimberly Nogueira


The Site -Caño Martin Peña, Puerto Rico For this project we traveled to Puerto Rico where we were greeted with a very colorful and warm culture. Even though the site was under very unfortunate conditions, there is an established culture within Martin Peña that lifts the locals from being drudged about the condition of the canal to being actively involved in its future and the well-being of their immediate environment.


Puerto Rico -San Juan - Ponce


Who It became important to stay aware that we were designing for the warm and welcoming people of Purerto Rico. Our decisions were driven to help and empower them to live in a better community.

What We designed a masterplan that would relocate people by creating densities and gathering spaces. We wanted to bring organization and planning so that they can grow.

How By encouraging self-sustainability and authenticity. We wanted this community to grow and develop by staying true to itself with their own resources. Overall, we were promoting self growth.

Why Our duty as architecture students is to be conscious of our surroundings and to help build better thriving comminuties that lack planning and organization.


Found object model Beginning in Martin PeĂąa, Puerto Rico, the first design pass emerged as something organic, because of the already established culture of the community. The found object model was constructed using parts of everyday objects, placed in a way which facilitates form. After several passes, the design chosen was a simple arrganement that focuses on lining the river and creating a core area that webs to other smaller cores.


Study Models The first study models serve as a crucial step in transitioning from a ‘one building’ mindset to a design that covers 4000 feet of habitable landscape. The first pass (right, above) demonstrates a general diagram of where each program piece takes place. This includes a core plaza, arts district, agriculture fields, and etc. After this, it becomes evident that a community needs to have a clear organization system and dense amount of buildings per square foot due to the intense program. In the second pass (right, below), the density increases significantly and the over-arching theme of having a web of paths becomes clearer in its intention. 75

Site Diagrams Along with the physical appearance of the community, it’s important to begin to design the different layers of it. Some of the more particular aspects beings programs of different areas of importance, and circulation of different modes of transportation. In this way, one can see the variation of density and importance in the community.

Building Use Diagram

Circulation Diagram

Public Framework


Core Detail model and Plan 1”= 32’ Before the second pass of the 1”=100’ model, a more intimately scaled model was made which allowed other concepts to be explored. The core plaza of the junk model translated into a detailed model demonstrating a general form of the architecture, different spaces, and the transition of a dense commerical district to a peaceful canal experience.

Community Centro

Core Boulevard

Jose and Deliah’s home 79

Middle Section

East Section

Longitudinal Section


Jose and Deliah’s House The class met a man named Jose on their trip to Puerto Rico and became fond of he and his wife’s immense involement and dedication to the community. Designing a house for him and wife was challenging in the sense that Jose’s household was a pinnacle point of the neighborhood. Alongside containing the average bedrooms, the house holds a studio where he can teach others to make instruments, a shop to sell what he and his student produce, and way for every floor to be actively interacting.


Elevation Montages A vernacular about the architecture was created by designing montages that condensed a whole building’s worth of information into an elevation. The model focuses on what the transition is between the street, the sidewalk, the front patio, the windows, and to the doors of the building. These layers are composed of language similar to that of Puerto Rico due to its emphasis on the use of color, shading devices, security barriers, and use of patios. Each density differs in their program, but captures the livelihood of the community who spends their time enjoying the outside.


Sketch Perspective Center Core Perspectives showing a visual story of Jose’s day through the community. In the previous page Jose is visiting the lively community centro. Left is Jose visiting the center core where the main retail activities happen.

Sketch Perspective High Density Left Jose is visiting the high density part of the commuity where people have been relocated. Below is a vision of Jose’s new house where he teaches music and provides classes to build instruments.


Blocks, Places and Path model Although the vernacular of the elevation models was still present, this set of models focuses on the interaction between the different types of ground work such as sidewalks, biking lanes, bus routes, green spaces, and how to touch the canal. The three models focused on different areas in the model: an important plaza space next to Jose’s house where the Arts District and the Core Plaza path meet, an open park area that meets the water next to a dense community, and a elevated community that transitions into a bus route, a mangrove park, and then the canal.


Major intersection

Open plaza

Dense community

Open plaza

Dense community


Final Model The final model alludes to the previous 1�=100’ models, but completes each thought. Overall, there is a clear sense of rhythm and organization through the use of densely lined corridors and gradually diminishing density from west to east. Each programmed area has a direct connection to the Core Plaza where everyone in the community can walk to to experience festivals, services, and a place of leisure. There is no separation of economics as the entire community is responsible for providing for one another through various opportunities and outlets. In this way, Martin Peùa continues to thrive through it vibrancy.



OTHER WORKS Competitions Lighthouse Sea Hotel ULI Competition Electives Japanese Architecture Florida Landscape Urban Resiliency Detail Making


LIGHTHOUSE SEA HOTEL COMPETITION Spring 2016 Prof. Michael Halflants


The Wrapped Ruin The lighthouse ruins of Muro di Porco located in a natural reserve in Sicily called for a gentle intervention that would respond to not only the existing structures but also to the turbulent and wild landscape. My proposal of “the wrapped ruin� discusses ideas of adjacency and anchoring as the lighthouse becomes a beacon that grounds the beachside resort. The intervention covers and protects the treasure inside-the light house, reminiscing a jewel case. The gentle glass edge between the old and the new structures emphasize the difference between the opaqueness of the lighthouse ruins against the airy and almost translucent new structures. While the existing building seems to be disintegrating and becoming one with the rocky ground, the new building would be elevated around 3 feet/one meter to pay homage to the uniqueness of the landscape.

Concept Diagram The lighthouse ruins of Muro di Porco located in a natural reserve in Sicily called for a gentle intervention that would respond to not only the existing structures but also to the turbulent and wild landscape. My proposal of “the wrapped ruin� discusses ideas of adjacency and anchoring as the lighthouse becomes a beacon that grounds the beachside resort. The intervention covers and protects the treasure inside-the light house, reminiscing a jewel case. The gentle glass edge between the old and the new structures emphasize the difference between the opaqueness of the lighthouse ruins against the airy and almost translucent new structures. While the existing building seems to be disintegrating and becoming one with the rocky ground, the new building would be elevated around 3 feet/one meter to pay homage to the uniqueness of the landscape.




ULI COMPETITION Spring 2017 Prof. Trent Green Group M. Alejandra Gomez Michelle Wagner Giuliana Hungaro Jose Gonzalez Marie Hart



W-A-L-K-S This public / private partnership between Windy Crew Investors (WCI) and the City of Chicago is the result of a shared vision that puts people first, ensures equitable connectivity and instills revitalizing life into the way Chicagoans express themselves through work, art and action. WCI seeks to do our part in helping to build the opportunity for neighborhoods across the city to access and enjoy the Chicago River at every mile, connecting people from the city limits on the north to Little Village. WCI has engaged Tesla Motors, whose mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, as our co-creators of what will be one of the most innovative sustainable developments in the world. In addition to their contributions to environmental sustainability on this site, Tesla Motors will provide the types of jobs that reflect and embrace the changing employment base in Chicago. Their state of the art facility along the riverfront at W. North Avenue will also serve as a destination for learning about sustainable energy, electric powered vehicles and advanced manufacturing techniques. The mixed-income, mixed-use project developed on block B will provide opportunities for all people to live, work and play in place. It incorporates large-format retailers with local, differentiated businesses to serve the neighborhood with a balanced commitment to the efficient and the indigenous. Inspired by the tireless and transcendent Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, WCI intends to fully integrate with The 606, connecting the trail to the riverfront and fully engaging in their programming with participation and financial partnering. This relationship will blossom with the development of Throop Studio, an ambitious endeavor WCI gladly embarks upon on behalf of every kind of artist. Throop Studio will provide flexible, non-traditional housing, studio space and stage / retail space along the publicly accessible riverfront functioning to activate the area on a continuous basis and elevate the creative thinking of everyone who passes through it. Transportation in and around WALKS is designed to prioritize human activity, thereby human health and well-being. WCI will incorporate underground vehicle parking at minimum levels to achieve feasibility while maximizing safe, navigable bicycle and pedestrian pathways. Access to Clybourn station is a priority for the development as a whole and efforts to improve this station will be fully supported. The mission of WCI is to reintegrate the industrial corridor with its surrounding neighborhoods, evolve the idea of what it means to be industrious in the twenty-first century, and promote power to people from all WALKS of Chicago life! 109

JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE Spring 2016 Prof. Stanley Russell


Mitate In Japan, Mitate refers to the re-use of discarded building materials. For our project we were required to choose an everyday object that is discarded and that could be re purposed into a screen/wall. I chose can tabs because I wanted my wall to respond to a very small human scale object. I have always been fascinated by can tabs. They are very small, delicate, they reflect light and when put together they make a very soothing noise. The apertures in the tabs became an opportunity to join them with wire so that each one still remained hanging. I joined them to a piano-wire square and then joined this to a wooden grid. The grid would then become one small screen of an entire screen wall. Japanese proportions were also an inspiration for this project as all of the materials ultimately respond to the can tab scale.

The Site - Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa, Fl The site I chose is a place I go to often to relax and unwind. It is a trail through the woods in a park that happens around the Hillsborough river. There is already an existing shed where people gather. My tea house would be an addition to this shed.


Tea House The program included a procession that sets the mood for the tea house coming from the exising shed where one would wait before entering the tea house and store one’s shoes. Once the person inside was ready, he/she would invite the person outside waiting to come inside. One would then approach the tea house by walking through the floating platforms. Once inside, there would be a place to store the tea and tea utensils, an alcove for ehbiting art, a place to heat water and prepare the tea and ltimately a place for up to four people to sit and enjoy tea. With the use of my Mitate screens. The light and sound qualities would immerse the people enjoying the tea into a retreat from society as it would then become a serene place to meditate and listen to nature and the chimes of the can tabs as the wind blows by.



FLORIDA LANDSCAPE Summer 2016 Prof. Nancy Sanders




LOCATION Jacksonville, FL LATITUDE 30.4831° N LONGITUDE 81.4400° W



“The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities... If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.� Rachel Carson

Left page: Boneyard Beach Image by Alejandra Gomez Right page: Locating itself in the landscape Mapping - Location and proximity of Big Talbot Island to Jacksonville and a close-up image that clarifies where Boneyard Beach is.

Boneyard Beach located in Big Talbot Island State Park a few miles north of Jacksonville Florida is a unique and unpredictable beach that certainly differs from the stereotypical Florida sunny and spotless beaches. As dense woods of live oaks approach the coast, one notices the elevation changes ranging from sea level to 20 feet bluffs (Dep.State.Fl.Us, 22). However, hiding behind the bluffs there is a foreign landscape that calls for exploration. As one descends through the unstable and eroding edge of the forest, one becomes mesmerized by the dead trees on the beach which seem to reach for the water with their exposed roots and naked branches. Some of these trees are embedded in the sand as the changing tides have carried the logs into the water. Other trees are standing on the sand pretending to belong in the water and stand erect like the tall woods behind them. The overall sight of the beach does justice to its name, hundreds of dead trees laying on the sand, some on top of each other and some isolated by the water, embodying ideas of erosion and decay in a landscape that is in constant unrest. Nassau River Close-up Big Talbot Island St John River

Jacksonville A1A




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Amelia Island

Nassau Sound








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Big Talbot Island

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Amelia Island





Nassau Sound

Nassau Sound Estuaries

Big Talbot Island

Timucuan Preserve




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St John Estuaries



Atlantic Beach





1- Healthy rivers and triubutaries 2- Marsh/estuarine ecosystem 3- Barrier island with shifting dunes 4- Ocean beach

Boneyard Beach

Left page: Concept of Barrier Islands Vitality of Breeding Estuaries Decay of Skeleton Live Oaks Mapping- Hybrids of maps, images, watercolor and speculative interpretations of the landscape. Right page: Instability and Erosion Image by Alejandra Gomez

For the rich and unique landscape at Boneyard Beach there is a thorough ecosystem behind it. Big Talbot Island is a barrier island, characterized for being a long and thin stretch of land that protects the coast from powerful storm waves ( Barrier islands then allow for calm bodies of water to exist, and between Big Talbot Island and the mainland there are healthy rivers with expansive tributaries. Also, barrier islands are dynamic systems under the influence of changing sea levels, storms, waves, tides, and longshore currents ( Due to this constant flux, Boneyard Beach is exposed to a lot of eroding forces that create the ominous and corroding landscape. “Soil erosion within the Talbot Islands is associated with either erosion of the coastal margins of the islands or destabilization of older dune ridges within the interiors of the islands […] Once an area is destabilized, gravity and wind combine to create blowouts or slumping of the dune slopes.” (Dep.State.Fl.Us, 33). As the coastal margins are exposed to strong waves and winds, the trees that are in the unstable ground begin to suffer as their roots become exposed. The receding shoreline is then causing large oaks to fall onto the beach where the sun bleaches them. The end result becomes an unearthly beach with giant bleached skeletons of oaks along the water. Even though Big Talbot Island celebrates and validates these ideas of erosion and decay, both north and south ends of the island nest nurseries for marine life in estuaries. “Estuaries are coastal areas where the freshwater current of rivers meets the incoming saltwater tide of the sea. Water in estuaries is brackish; that is, it is less salty than the seawater and more salty than the river water […] Estuaries are the breeding and nursery areas for most sea life.” ( Big Talbot Island is bounded by the St John and Nassau rivers which bring to life waterways and wetlands that form a complex salt marsh/estuarine ecosystem. These marshes are classified as Class II which means they are suitable for propagation and harvesting of shellfish (Dep. State.Fl.Us, 34). It is ironic then to think that Big Talbot Island can embrace both ecosystems of decaying skeleton-like oaks and the vitality of breeding estuaries at the same time. The speculative maps on the left page discuss the different characteristics of the site and each one celebrates a specific feature of Big Talbot Island’s opulent landscape. Through mix media they represent hybrids of real and specific information combined with theoretical and abstract interpretations. The first one, from left to right, explains how this island acts as a barrier island. It is exposed to powerful storm waves and the never ending change of tides allowing for healthy tributaries to develop. This graphic also includes a section drawing to better explain the concept of barrier islands. The second graphic commends the vitality of the breeding estuaries located at both north and south of the island in the Nassau and St. John rivers. The third graphic is an exaggerated hybrid of images and watercolors that tries to capture the essence of decay and erosion located at Boneyard Beach.


The landscape in Boneyard Beach embodies Florida’s coastal unstable nature and explains, in an exaggerated manner, the causes and effects of soil erosion. Due to global warming, sea level is rising leading to receding shorelines around Florida. On Florida’s east coast, the A1A serves as a manmade barrier that keeps people from building next to the Atlantic coast by promoting scenic and historical views. However, along the Gulf Coast of Florida there has been major developments and not until recently local governments started addressing sea level rise (SLR) issues with policies and regulations ( In some locations, like Casey Key and Long Boat Key among others, the Gulf is eroding back yards and threatening to topple houses ( The issue is eminent, the coastal margins of Florida are unpredictable, and Boneyard Beach foreshadows to a certain extent Florida’s erosion problem and unstable character. The Graphic below aims to explain the consequences of beach erosion regarding houses along Florida beaches. The Florida map in the background shows the population densities throughout Florida concentrating mostly on both edges of the Gulf Coast and the East Coast (Databasin. org). The chart at the bottom of the graphic displays the population growth in Florida year by year (Brosda & Bentley Realtors). This chart shows alarming numbers of people and calls to my attention because population growth and development destroy Florida’s limited natural resources. It is understandable that people migrate towards the beaches to take advantage of Florida’s beautiful views. However, people seem to ignore the fact that these edges are unstable and are targets of the strong and obliterating forces of erosion. The image of the toppled house at the bottom left of the graphic is a picture taken at Sarasota, more specifically Long Boat Key ( This fallen house was a victim of coastal erosion and it predicts the inevitable fate of most Florida houses that are too close to the coasts.

Population Densities in Florida Source:

Florida Population: Year by Year Source: Brosda & Bentley Realtors

Sarasota, Florida. Long Boat Key toppled houses due to erosion on the Gulf Coast. Source:


URBAN RESILIENCY Spring 2017 Prof. Kristen Ring Group M. Alejandra Gomez Jose Gonzalez Kimberly Nogueira


Logistics This seminar looked at mixed-use buildings and public spaces in an urban context, and in what ways such new developments contribute positively to the neighborhood and city. Using principles of Urban Resiliency, we researched contemporary best-practice examples and analyzed these through diagramming and drawing. Using what we learned, we developed urban schematic designs for an urban site with a mixeduse programming in Tampa. The plans below show the site we chose and it’s location in the Tampa context. The diagrams on the right analyse the site itself: where is the closest commercial corridor, where are the cultural buildings, where are the green and open spaces, where are the high density buildings located and where the main roads are.

Commercial Corridor

Cultural Buidlings

Public Green and Open Spaces

High Density Buildings

Main Roads 131





DETAIL MAKING Summer 2017 Prof. Giancarlo Giusti


The Lamp This project was about creating a lamp through the exploration of connections between concrete and steel. My approach was to create a lamp that asked for a pause to appreciate concepts of light, shadow and materiality. Instead of making it an electrical lamp I wanted it to hold candles to display a sense of tactility, scale and ask questions about time. In terms of the connections between materials, the lamp became a concrete construct being held by one solid folded piece of steel. Through notches and simple, elegant connections both materials worked in harmony with each other.


Material, Light and Form Studies I explored with concrete in this project in various ways by using anchoring cement and different materials for the form. The picture above shows material studies playing with the form and the thinness of concrete. I used plastic bowls as molds to create the round shape. The series of pictures of the lamp below show how the endless possibilities of concrete form making can affect light and shadow in space. The form was made out of plywood and blue foam for it to be easy to remove. The light shines on to the concrete surface highlights the weathering and roughness of the material as details of the striations and uneven textures begin to show.


Steel candle holder


Matches' nest

1 1/2"






Candle embed



5 Front Elevation

6 Candle and Matches Detail

Scale 6"=1'


Scale 1'=1'


Interlocking point

Steel depth 1/32" Chicken wire Reinforcement 1/2"




Steel Spine

4 Right Elevation

7 Interlocking Steel Detail

Scale 6"=1'

Concrete and Steel Connection

Scale 6"=1'

1/4 Steel

1'-3 1/2"

1/8 Steel

1'-8 1/2"

2 1/2"


2 1/2"

Candle aperture


Matches' nest dent


2 1/2"

3 Rear Elevation

8 Detail of Small Steel Pieces

Scale 1'=1'

Steel depth

Concrete connection notch

1/32" Chicken wire Reinforcement

1/32" Chicken wire Reinforcement


1'-9 1/2"

1'-1 1/2"

Scale 6"=1'



2 Left Elevation

Scale 6"=1'

9 Steel and Concrete connection Detail A


Scale 6"=1'

Steel depth




1 1/2"



1 Plan

5 Scale 6"=1'

1/32" Chicken wire Reinforcement

10 Steel and Concrete connection Detail B

Concrete connection notch

Scale 6"=1'

M. Alejandra Gomez

Detail Making


University of South Florida

Summer 2017

Connections between Concrete and Steel

School of Architecture and Community Design

Details and scale This lamp carried a deep understanding of scale by responding to the relationship of the hand. I highlighted ideas of engaging with the object by celebrating the act of lighting up a candle. One of the candle holders became also a nest for the matches. The series of drawings on the left explain the parts of the lamp and how the pieces work and notch together. Throughout history fire has become a symbol for the hearth of a space as humanity has always been drawn to gather around it. As one lights up the candle there is an invitation to sit and meet around the light coming from the lamp. The brief and passing quality of the life of candles ask questions of time and then the gathering time around the lamp can be purposeful and specific. 141

The Chair The second project of the class Detail Making asked to design a chair and to question ideas of scale, function and materiality. My response was a simple and elegant parti where the wood carried a unified folded form being held by glass as structure. The shape is inspired by the angles and dimensions used in the Red and Blue Chair by Gerrit Rietveld. The seamless connections between the plywood and the glass suggest that the wood is overhanging and almost floating without vertical support. To build this chair I explored many new techniques as using the router machine to cut the plywood and using the waterjet to cut the half inch glass.



1/4inch wood dowel that goes through all plywood sheets


10 1/2inch space between the glass Glass is fully embedded 5/8" in the plywood

1/4inch wood dowel that goes through all plywood sheets 10 1/2"

6 Front Section

2 1/4"

Scale 6"=1'

Glass becomes the vertical structure

2 1/4"

Glass relief in the back



5 Front and Back Elevation

Scale 3"=1' Seating Area


Back Area


4 Plan View



Scale 3"=1'




Glass is embeded in the plywood 5/8"

3 Side Section

Scale 3"=1'



1/2 inch Birch Plywood

1/2 inch glass 1'6"

1/4inch holes

2 Component A and B


2 1/4"




Scale 3"=1'


1/2inch birch plywood 1/4inch wood dowel


1/2inch glass



Side Elevation

Scale 3"=1'

M. Alejandra Gomez

Detail Making


University of South Florida

Summer 2017

Connections between Wood and Glass

School of Architecture and Community Design

Functionality and Simplicity As the project developed I asked questions of functionality by making the half inch glass have a dual purpose as vertical support for the seat and a seamless storage for books and journals. The series of drawings on the left explain the parts of the chair and how the pieces work and notch together. The picture above right shows a close up shot of the storage space detail. The picture below right shows how the chair becomes a simple and engaging piece that explores both materials and their connections as the glass is notched between the plywood and exposed in the back of the chair. 145

Alejandra Gomez University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design August 2017 407.446.5493

Advanced Design Portfolio Alejandra Gomez  
Advanced Design Portfolio Alejandra Gomez