PORTFOLIO maria valdes
M. Arch Candidacy Portfolio . Savannah College of Art & Design
This portfolio is to be read as a self-reflective composition. The photographs marking the front cover and subsequent chapter divides are allegorical portrayals of myself as architecture through which I express various emotional and physical states of built environment interaction. This is how I see the world.
I dream of spaces full of wonder. spaces that rise and envelop flowingly without beginning
without end of a jointless material white and gold. When I place the first line to capture the dream
the dream becomes less Louis I. Kahn
immersed in chaos. It is through science, I am grounded in logic. It is through history, I seek comprehension. It is through architecture, I find meaning. It is through art, I am
Just as architecture is subject to the tumultuous circumstances of human existence, so too do I find myself in continuous flux with parameters of the present as well as limitations of my own imagination. Within my work, I wish
to embody order and anarchy. I am drawn to the painterly quality often hidden by a straight line, yet I am fascinated by the inherent laws to which all things must abide. I see my architecture as a point of reference for a time and understand its often autochthonous relationship to the place from which it is conceived. My work is the
connection through time and space. It is all that
I aim to be. It is all that I could ever hope to become. For architecture is more than mere aesthetic value to the physical sense, more than function born from human need. Architecture and the spaces we create spawn eternal memories, metaphysical premonitions, uninterrupted subconscious, and
devoid of boundaries. personal summary
I am the architecture I create.
Vietnamese Restaurant . ARCH 302 Train Station . DSGN 223 LeConte Woodmanston Memorial Installation . ARCH 300 Memorial Chapel Artist’s Residence . DSGN 225 Science Research Center . DSGN 224 Metro Station + Children’s Museum . ARCH 303 Mixed Use Residence . ARCH 404
Artistic Productions . MISC.
table of contents
Studio II . ARCH 302 . Professor Ngo . Winter
un . interruption To be uninterrupted, an architecture in perfect balance with itself and the surrounding context, exemplifies the inherent desire of art to proceed in continuous momentum and the instinctive duty of structure to exist in its present state of inertia. Located at the heart of Charleston’s picturesque Waterfront Park, the project of a Vietnamese Restaurant sought to incorporate site strengths with programmatic data and cultural influence into a successful design for city inhabitants and visitors. The primary concept of “uninterruption” resulted from choosing to emphasize the park’s unique pedestrian traffic flow and the metaphor of the building as a lotus petal. Since the lotus flower can be understood as a terrestrial element that exists naturally in an aquatic environment, so too does the design straddle the divide between water and land in an effort to connect man with nature, man with architecture. The divide is then enveloped and celebrated within the design, by accentuating the form through hierarchy and use of complementary material.
program With careful consideration given to the precedents of successful restaurant design, the buildingâ€™s programmatic requirements gave way to heavy influence in spatial planning and layout within the already established conceptual form. By recognizing patterns and distinct characteristics of each architectural space, the design then began to naturally conform to the most plausible solution of optimum spatial comfort and usability.
basic ratios of space Public to Private Space Circulation Space Mechanical Space
60% : 40% 20-25% of square footage 20% of square footage
code requirements According to the International Building Code A2: 5-7 sq.ft. per person 10-15 sq.ft. for comfortable lounge seating 9 sq.ft. is the optimum design seating number
lower level floor plan
listing of spaces KITCHEN preparation cleaning storage recieving
40% : 1260 sq.ft.
DINING 60% : 3680 sq.ft. areas of experience bathrooms waiter station CIRCULATION 25% : 960 sq.ft. hallways + corridors LANDSCAPING garden + vegetation upper level floor plan
progress of form through models
MECHANICAL 10% kitchen use
20% : 600 sq.ft.
exterior perspective at dusk looking west
finalization By celebrating the designâ€™s unique stance toward the connection of land and water, through the resistance to disturb established pedestrian traffic, there arose an opportunity to promote hierarchy and create a visual entry point for the architecture. As seen through the prominent glass trapezoid, the restaurant is cleanly divided into two parts appropriate to their specific function. However, the circulation paths and spatial planning is meant to remain efficiently fluid while following a conceptually dynamic language. upper level bar area
detail wall sections showing construction
Fall . Professor Woods . DSGN 233 . Architectural Fundamentals I
formal . metamorphosis With a formalist approach to design, Architectural Fundamentals I is grounded firmly in the idea that a simple geometric configuration can make all the difference to a designer and their subsequent effort to produce architecture. To recapture the exquisite metamorphosis of the process alone is itself nothing short of intriguing. Having gone from two dimensional language to one of complex infrastructure, the project stands as a testament to the underlying value of a concept and its inherent role within a design.
From a parti sketch to a multi dimensional transformation of both tactile and compositionally sound qualities, the project began to evolve using only basic elements of design. Of these elements, a simple square of extruded model parts was then rotated, multiplied and arranged in a linear progression for the optimum design advantage. It is here we see architecture.
plan to section relationship seen as an exploration of various spatial qualities and geometric configurations.
site + building plan
final model studies
site + building section
early morning . 6 am
noon . 12 pm
early evening . 6 am
Studio I . ARCH 300 . Professor Montgomery . Fall
LeConte Woodmanston Memorial Installation + Chapel
MIDWAY . GA
LECONTE WOODMANSTON PLANTATION
manifestation . of . memory The LeConte Woodmanston Memorial Installation and Chapel design became an architecture of true human experience, a manifestation of memory. Since the project sought to demonstrate remembrance of the 231 original slaves of the LeConte Woodmanston Plantation during the late 18th century, the concept resulted from a culmination of site characteristics, religious undertones, manipulations of spatial variances, and the human element of interaction. After collaborating with the Fibers Department for additional design generation and inspiration, the chapel evolved into a unique juxtaposition of organic and linear forms similar to the installationâ€™s contrast between the use of inanimate objects as life-like and familiar forms.
le . conte woodmanston plantation Woodmanston was established in 1760 by John Eatton LeConte as an inland swamp rice plantation, which relied on the diversion of slow moving swamp creeks into a reservoir created by earthen dams. This early form of rice production was replaced by the tidal flow system, at the turn of the 18th century, by many plantation owners. In order to employ this new system, plantations had to be built along major coastal rivers. These plantations were not as susceptible to flood and drought as were the inland swamp plantations.
site pictures and experience
“ be sure to show how it was .
good and bad”
mary lecount baggs woodmanston plantation slave descendant
realization The anguish of the enslaved people of Liberty County is communicated through angular contortions of twisted limbs in the rice field, as well as fibrous entanglements showing the chains of slavery. Overwhelming scale not only creates a sense of awe, but it also references African art of the human figure. The use of materiality derived from the site contributes to a sense of commonness and will allow the installation to change over time showing the slow but strong evolution of enslavement. These factors allow the memorial to evoke strong emotions that we seek to elicit from visitors of the site.
chapel . metaphor After the memorial installation had been completed, I pursued the physical manifestation of community through the image of two hands intertwined (in the context of prayer or praise). This idea led to the form manipulation of two separate planes that somehow circumambulate one another in a pattern that implies not only movement but a designated path within the site. The finger-like structural members that compose the elevated walkway canopy represent an organic and yet ephemeral plane when intersecting the constrained roof. This opposition of light to heavy, dominant to submissive, reflect back to the notion of two separate spheres of existence between AfricanAmerican slaves and their subsequent owners. Yet in the spirit of awakening and renewal, I chose to portray these two ideas as unified. praying hands as structure
ground level floor plan
interior perspective of chapel stage
Spring Spri Sp ring ng . P Pro Professor rofe fess ssor or Y Yan Yang ang g . DSGN DSGN 225 225 . A Arc Architectural rchi hite tect ctur ural al F Fun Fundamentals unda dame ment ntal alss II III I
geometric . abstraction Nadir Afonso (1920 - ) is a geometric abstractionist from Portugal. Formally trained in architecture, he practiced early in his career with Le Corbuiser and Niemeyer, Afonso later studied painting in Paris. He defends that art is purely objective and ruled by laws that treat art not as an act of imagination but of observation, perception and form manipulation. a cidade dos principes
The initial project of an artistâ€™s residence lent itself to be derived from inspiration found within the artistâ€™s work. The idea of geometric abstraction, through planar exploration, is what I found so similar to qualities inherent of architecture. The sole parameter of the project was to preserve a tree situated in the middle of our proposed site. In wishing to not only preserve but incorporate the tree into the design, I saw its volume as a cube by which levels intersect to create floors, walls and roofs thereby allowing inclusion of nature throughout the house.
listing of spaces first floor
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
entry living room kitchen dining room storage guest bathroom
7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
guest bedroom utility sitting room garage open to below sun deck
13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
master bedroom master bathroom walk-in closet office den guest bathroom
Architectural Arc A rchi hite tect ctur ural al Fundamentals Fun F unda dame ment ntal alss II . D DSG DSGN SGN N 22 224 4 . Pr Prof Professor ofes esso sor r Gr Gran Granacher anac ache her r . Wi Wint Winter nter er
Science Research Center
prospect + refuge Dissimilar from all the studios before it, Architectural Fundamentals II sought hundreds of explorations in pursuit of the understanding of what a space of prospect and refuge could entail. This constant push for quantitative production and logic eventually led to the various models seen on the next three pages. The end product was a Science Research Center which garnered no floor plans, sections, elevations or perspectives. Its creation was entirely spun from continuous thought, an architectural anomaly of awakening.
Spring . ARCH 300 . Professor Woods . Studio III
Metro Station + Childrenâ€™s Museum
bi . furcation With much influence to the action of bifurcation. The proposed train terminal will aim to fuse the utilization of a high-speed rail as well as a science museum into the city of Savannah. Through the ideas of separation and union. The terminal will act as a precedent and metaphor for the multipurpose it aims to serve. Reciprocating the language of form and function, the proposed terminal and science museum will branch into their own appropriate sections and converge/ emulate at the central botanical garden. This notion of a central garden, acting as a node in space, figuratively references the colonial botanical garden fields as being an element upon which the site has grown and therefore stands as a metaphor for future success and expansion. From this we are reminded that the past can indeed become a precedent for the future.
structure With the theme of architectural structure as the main driving force behind the Studio III process, our first analysis of investigation was brought forth through various case studies of the primary structural types often seen in design. These types consisted of skeleton, pneumatic, amoeba, algorithmic, shell and tensile
initial . investigation Having done several in-depth case studies of each type, I chose to further investigate the architectural structure type of skeleton as a plausible form for the proposed train station. By diagraming, sketching and modeling an initial investigation of the general skeletal form I hoped to implement, I was immediately drawn to the fluidity and grace one could create through subtle variations in modular placement. Below is on of the initial concept studies produced with this thought in mind.
structural exploration elevation
final . concept This idea of slight variations of form eventually evolved into direct influence from the site itself. Since Trusteesâ€™ Garden remains one of the most unique sites in Savannah as a result of its dramatic topographical change and non-linear qualities, the architecture inherently lent its form to be molded by site characteristics and needs. This is where the act of bifurcation came into play within the design. The programmatic dialogue between the train station and the proposed childrenâ€™s museum began to adhere its needs and wants deep within the building, allowing itself to become the basic form of function and structure. conceptual forms
site . implementation Following the main form derived from conceptual and structural investigations, I sought to incorporate the train station design seamlessly into the downtown Savannah urban fabric. Although the proposed building contrasts heavily from the colonial theme of brickwork and cast iron, the station would aim to maintain the same height language of its surroundings so as not to compete or break the picturesque Savannah skyline. The design would also celebrate the uncharacteristic change in topography by utilizing both levels as human interaction points. The lower level would serve train departures and arrivals, while the upper level would facilitate the museum and open market interaction.
south entrance perspective looking north
finalization The final stage of the proposed train station and childrenâ€™s museum saw a unique cohesion of spatial plane interaction. Plans for the two levels of the design indicate a sensitive placement of programing dialogue through public and semi-public spaces.
main level floor plan
By utilizing the nearly 40 foot gradual change in elevation, a sense of familiarity can be achieved. Visitors will be able to interact with one another through a multi-purpose building where form is a direct result of functionality of a place. final model
lower level floor plan
PIN 2" DIA. CONNECTION BOLT BRACING PLATE
1' DIA. COLUMN CORD
space frame skeletal system connection detail
Studio IV . ARCH 404 . Professor Bacha . Fall
Mixed Use Residence
da . tum
Austin, Texas has been reputed as one of the top cities for young professionals as well as one of the fastest growing economies in the United States. As such, Austin hosts a huge variety of culture and local business influence it is so famed for valuing. The proposed site of the mixed-use residence building is located at a crossroad of architectural typologies. Specifically, the site experiences influence from commercial, business, residential and retail areas from all across Austin. Upon fist consideration of site and program, I had found inspiration within the idea of the architectural datum line. It was through the datum that I sought to convey not just a building but a community, such an architecture that would reflect its context.
program Due to the siteâ€™s unique situation within downtown Austin, it became important to neither compete nor oppose neighboring context. The program for the mixed-use residential design sought influence from each prominent factor of potential user demographic, which led to the varied program layout seen below.
RESIDENTIAL RETAIL / COMMERCIAL RESTAURANT STUDIO SPACE OFFICES
upper level floor plan
spatial . analysis 2 bedroom + 1 bathroom . 940 sq. ft. (2) 1 bedroom + 1 bathroom . 820 sq. ft. 1 bedroom + 1 bathroom . 1,030 sq. ft.
first level floor plan
second level floor plan
third level floor plan
(2) 2 bedroom + 1 bathroom . 900 sq. ft.
shading . device In an effort to create not only passive cooling systems within the design but also means of organic influence, I created â€œfolding formâ€? shading devices for the hottest corners of the building. Since the open air cut-throughs of the building
shading device section detail
require protection from the harsh southern sun, the â€œfolding formsâ€? allow for ventilation and aesthetic beauty. The skin of the shading devices would most likely be comprised of plated metal sheets or thin clay moulds, following the local material palette common to much of Austin architecture.
sun study models
Miscellaneous Works of Artistic Medium
interior rendering graphics for the building arts . ink on mylar . 11â€? x 17â€?
gestural sketch architectural studio II . pastel + charcoal . 8.5â€? x 10â€?
charleston perspective architectural studio II . ink on paper . 8.5â€? x 11â€?
natural inspiration architectural studio II . ink on paper . 4â€? x 4â€?
composition of grapes extracurricular art . oil on canvas . 24” x 38”
vase still life drawing studio I . conte + charcoal . 18â€? x 24â€?
I would very much like to thank those people who have been most influential in my life: my parents for their undying love and support, my closest friends for all the lessons learned and memories made over the years, and God for providing me the talents and skills to do such work as has been shown.