3108 N Williams Ave, Unit B Portland OR, 97227
M AT T H E W C A S C I O architectural portfolio
Throughout my life, and especially during my undergraduate studies, Iâ€™ve come to realize that to design in the present, you must design with the lessons of the past, for the needs of the future. To me, success in design is derived from its ability to enhance the world it exists for, from conception to cessation, and long after that. As humanity steps into the anthropocene, my goals in architecture are to bring balance between the built environment and the earthâ€™s natural systems; to ensure equitable access to healthy and beautiful environments in an increasingly urban landscape; to promise a bountiful future to coming generations of Earthâ€™s species. As the saying goes: We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
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THRESHOLD The threshold project asks us to project a vision onto an original structure, with the goal of marrying the two in a way that compliments the original building, while elevating its livability and the overall experience of its occupants. We were to create a threshold where none existed, opening into an interior program of our choosing. My subject was the Branford Price Miller Library on Portland State University campus. The building is already a blending of styles; its first half a brutalistic structure born in 1968; the second a modern addition erected in 1991. Its primary occupants are students of every variety and discipline, and my intention was to create a space to decompress, gather thoughts, and provide an environment to stimulate both creative and analytical works.
Original context, orthographic
Early iteration sketch
My final intervention serves as a transition between the two conflicting architectural styles, while claiming the library as a monument to knowledge. A triangular hallway creates a sense of tension as students proceed inside. Doorways lining the walls lead to open, bright study rooms, which instantly provide relief upon entering. A single pane of glass lines the slanted walls of each study room, extending to the outer door frame. During the day, sunlight travels through the glass bringing a warm ambiance into each room. At night, the light from each room travels out, highlighting the doorframe, enticing students to come inside.
Late iteration sketch
POD Image 5
Final design, orthographics
Houselessness is an issue for which a solution remains evasive around the world. This is no less the case is Portland, where the Center for Public Interest Design (CPID) has enlisted local architects to tackle houselessness through design, in what’s known as the POD Initiative. The POD project, based off the CPID’s initiative, challenged us to design 12’x8’x11’ dwelling units, able to be moved with a forklift and transported by truck to temporary communities around Portland. My experience was one fraught with the challenges that come from designing within tight constraints while promoting community, safety, & livability.
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Elevation orthographic (rough)
Plan orthographic (rough)
Site and structure, 1/8” = 1’-0”
Image 10 Site and structure, north elevation
Revit, east elevation
Revit, south-east faces
Revit, west elevation
Revit, north-west faces