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MARISA GAUSS Judson University


I have dreamed of becoming an architect since I was six years old. I wanted my dad to build a tree house in the backyard, so to make his job easier, I drew him some plans depicting how I wanted my tree house to look and even built a small cardboard model. I remember talking with my dad one day and telling him how much I had enjoyed designing my tree house, it was then he suggested that I should become an architect. I became fascinated with designing things, especially structures. I think creating something inhabitable made me feel grown up and gave my small life a sense of a bigger purpose, and that love of designing has carried with me all these years. Unfortunately my tree house was never built, but I have held on to my original plans as well as my dream to become an architect. I have learned so much these past four years at Judson University and eagerly anticipate what is to come. My dream that began fourteen years ago is now becoming a reality.

MARISA GAUSS Bachelor’s of Arts in Architecture




World Vision Disaster Shelter 2nd Year Studio Judson University

Project Data

This project was submitted to a disaster shelter design competition sponsored by World Vision. The shelter design is to accommodate a family of 4 with a minimum allocation of 3.5 square meters of space per person, allow standing head clearance of 2 meters for at least 70% of the floor space, all while providing dignified accommodation for a family, with adequate flexibility to respond to social, cultural and religious requirements, e.g. the use of spaces by different genders and ages.

Method of Assembly

Shelter easily disassembles by sliding structure out of floor track. Shelter is easy and rapid to assemble without technical experience. Assembly is straightforward and requires minimal manpower, non-electrical tools - that is, simple hand tools that are generally available around the world.

Shelter Consists of Lightweight Bamboo framing. Frame is hinged to allow entire shelter to completely fold up.

Easily stored and transported so that it can be flat-packed and fits into a standard 8’ x 40’ shipping container.

Geneva Public Library 3rd Year Studio Judson University

Project Data:

Design a Public Library and Community Center for the proposed site located in Downtown Geneva, Illinois. The Library should include a General Collection, Children’s Collection, Oratory, Cafe, as well as spaces designated for Offices.





11 8



10 9


Second e Floor

12 2 Children’s Collection

13 6 Small Meeting Room

15 Media Collection




Worship Chapel 4th Year Studio Judson University

Project Data:

Design a 1000 seat worship chapel for the Judson University Campus.

1 Entry 2 Main Worship Hall 3 Elevator from Parking Garage 4 Janitor Room 5 Mechanical Room 6 Restrooms 7 Groundskeepers Space 8 Altar 9 Baptistery 10 Choir Room 11 Instrument and Music Space 12 Offices 13 Conference Room 14 Nursery 15 Baptism Preparation Room 16 Cafe 17 Private Chapel Total Square Footage: 29,511 sq. ft

3 4

1 16

5 6 2

14 7



13 9

15 11



Worship Space 12,707 sq ft Welcome/ Entrance 6,133 sq ft Offices 3,583 sq ft Restrooms 1,684 sq ft Mechanical/ Storage 1943 sq ft Ancillary 1,620 sq ft Choir/ Storage 1,841 sq ft

Worship Chapel 4th Year Studio Judson University

Main Concept The joining together of Lindner, Judson, and the Elgin Community in one unified space.

Shape Influence The curves created by an ellipse joining HWAC and Lindner shape the building.

Major Axis The major axis of the site determine the location for the chapel tower.

Tropical Wedding Chapel 3rd Year Studio Judson University

Project Data: Design a chapel that consists of a minimal system. Project should be less then 1,000 sq ft and should exhibit the concept of LIGHT in form and experience. Project shall be for proposed site in Bijilo, Gambia.

The Wedding Chapel consists of a series of ribs each with a slight htly ly altered shape which results in a undulating effect to the form of the building. The form is inspired by the surrounding waves and the water the chapel sits upon.

World Vision Disaster Shelter 2nd Year Studio Judson University

Project Data The disaster shelter design and building process was a group project completed by the sophomore class of Judson University for the Disaster Shelter Competition sponsored by world vision. My personal role in the project was to write and design the report to be submitted to World Vision. I also assisted in the construction of the final prototype.

With the design of our shelter we are trying to place an emphasis on how the inhabitant would feel inside our shelter. Our design efforts as a team focused on the idea that a community will be able to emotionally recover faster if the feeling of displacement can be minimized. We strive to not only create a disaster shelter that is structurally sound but also meets the various needs of different cultures in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and functional. Our goal is to reestablish a sense of community through the creation of a beautiful space that guarantees privacy, security and comfort all the while ensuring that the resident feels valued and at home.

Method of Assembly


Basswood model of the Judson University Worship Chapel

Geneva Public Libra ary 3rd d Ye ear S Stu tudi dio o Ju uds dson nU Uni nive vers rsit iy

Process Models

Cube Project 1st Year S Studio Judson University U

Project Data: Create a form that defines the e limits of a cube and articulate es a space.

Combined Cube Project 1st Year Studio Judson University

Project Data: This project combined the previous cube project with a partner’s. Both cubes had to be altered in order to relate to each other and still articulate space.

Tropical Wedding Chapel 3rd Year Studio Judson University

Staircase Project 2nd Year Studio Judson University

Project Data: This staircase is entitled “The Road Less Traveled� and was designed to resemble a tree. The stair steps spiral upwards and form the winding tree trunk with branches forming the banister.


Left: A suspended chair designed to give the user the feeling of being hugged. Above: Process work

Full Scale Lamps 4th Year Studio Judson University

Lamp Design inspired by Judson University Worship Chapel Design.

Right: Lamp design inspired by melting candles and is representative of a process frozen in motion. Above: Process work


This image was generated to represent my poetic vision of the Jewish Tabernacle and was created by blending a collection of different images.

This image was created to illustrate the influence of the Mayan temples on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple. Two pictures were morphed together to create this image


My fav favori orite te sce s ne in the Disney Movie, Mov ie, Sn S ow White and the Seven Sev en Dwa Dwarfs was the diamon dia mond d mine e scene, so I decide dec ided d to recreate my own versio ver sion n of o it. I started with a basswo bas wood frame work that I then covered with foil and air th d clay. Once dry, I painted the dry e entire ent e struc ucture and added detail det a s. The T sc cale ale is i 1:12.

Miniature Bathroom 1:12 Scale

This is a Nature themed bathroom. The bathtub is made of a soap dish. The fireplace rocks and the rocks on the walls are made of air-dry clay then painted. The counter is made of stained bass-wood. Stained popsicle sticks make up the hardwood floor.

Miniature Living Room 1:12 2 Scale

This is a contemporary living room. The furniture is made of painted plywood and sewn cushions. The table is i made of glass, wood blocks, and a paper clip container. The wire bowl on the coffee tab ble is filled with handmade twine and wire e balls. The floor is made of cut and stained popsicle sticks.

Miniature Spa Room 1:12 Scale

I utilized a variety of different materials; the bed and the tub were both fashioned from soap dishes. Tiles surround the tub and create a resting place for the clay pitcher and candles created of sculpted soap. Adorning the wall behind the bed are pencil lead containers that have been filled with different colored sand.


European Study Tour Sketches 3rd Year Studio Judson University

The Alhambra Granada, Spain

St. Peter’s Basilica Rome, Italy

Arab Baths Genoa, Spain

PAINTINGS Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Medium: Watercolor on Paper

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Marisa Gauss Portfolio  
Marisa Gauss Portfolio  

A portfolio showcasing my undergraduate architecture projects