Page 1

matthew lechowicz selected works

hotel de madera 4 - 13 spatial analysis | kigali intervention 14 - 19 breathing library | pammel woods 20 - 25 muro aureliano | immersed in history 26 - 27 smart + connected communities | undergraduate research 28 - 33 photography 34 - 39

hotel de madera Arch 603 Tom Leslie + Lee Cagley Team: Shawn Barron + Akshaya Sivasankar Tasked with designing a spa hotel of the future on the Panama Canal, our team focused on a sustainable, low impact tower. Encircled by thick rainforest, a heavy timber tower was the obvious choice. All structural elements, aside from the concrete elevator core, will be locally sourced heavy timber. In order to create public green space within a dense urban environment, we replaced the standard concrete parking ramp with hydraulic parking towers. This allowed us to condense on site parking while creating public space. We derived our scheme by bisecting the flow of the canal and establing an on site grain. From our initial 7.5m x 7.5m grid, we extruded the grain vertically to create an undulating facade. This allowed us to double the amount of rooms with corner views, while vertically contrasting the grain of the canal. Undulations continue into the public plaza to define spaces and provide shade and shelter from the elements, while strengthen ing progammatic conections. A nine story atrium hints at the vertical parking towers, providing a dymanic facade.



Bisect Flow of Canal


-2 | Ballroom + Event Space

Tower + Traditional Parking Ramp

-1 | Parking + Circulation

Tower + Vertical Parking

Ground | Lobby + Reatil

Below Grade Ballrooms

1 | Casual Dining

12 - 34| Guest Rooms

Open Plaza + Pedestrian Access

Extruded Grain to Distinguish Spaces

2 | Atrium + Bar

3 -10 | Guest Rooms

11 | Gym + Mechanical

35 | Spa - Wet Treatment

36 | Spa - Treatment

Roof | Pool + Cafe



Pedestrian Entry Through Plaza


Heavy Timber Structural Layout

14th Floor |Standard Guest Room

Native to Panama, Mohogany is used for structural components as well as for its aesthetic qualities, throughout the project. Exposed timber structural elements embrace the spa like feel throughout the hotel, while drawing attention to the use of renewable materials. The natural Mohogany allows the building to embrace the natural warmth of the wood. The structure is framed so that beams connect to columns in pairs, allowing for a hollow cavity wall. Mechanical systems, wiring and plumbing can all be concealed due to the structurallayout. The image to the right depicts the nine story atrium, as well as the frosted glass curtain wall that conceals and hints at the parking towers. 10

3rd Floor | Atrium


1:50 Structural Model

Facade Detail Section


1:200 Model


spatial analysis kigali intervention Arch 401 Marwan Ghandour Kigali, Rwanda, one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, has recently adopted a new master plan that focuses on a modern economy, while restoring the vast network of wetlands which run through the city. With no specific program, and a map of the city, spatial analysis was used to determine how to best restore the wetlands, while providing food and amenities for a growing number of residents. Starting at the city scale, a series of maps were produced that analyzed income, housing, built and natural environments, pollution, and wetland obstructions. The Gikondo Industrial Park was identified as a prime location for community intervention. To conserve local resources, three existing building footprints were selected that will be repurposed and provide community links. Through spatial analysis and a site visit, it was determined that the Gikondo Industrial Park was obstructing the wetlands. This was preventing low income residents from using wetlands for both subsistence and small scale commercial farming. Three building foorprints will be repurposed to house open air markets, vertical farming plots, and community gardens. These amenities will provide opportunities for both low and middle income residents while, restoring and reopening the network of wetlands that run throughout Kigali. 14

Kigali, Rwanda Buildings + Roads + Topography 15

Wetlands Built Environments Low Income Middle Income Residential Farming Building Footprints



Wetlands vs Built Environments

Built Environments vs Wetland Farming

Wetlands vs Obstructin Buildings

Wetland Farming vs Obstructing Buildings

Low + Middle Income vs Wetland Farming

Obstructing Buildings Footprints

Selected Building Footprints for Reuse

Restored Wetland Section




breathing library pammel woods Arch 301 Leslie Forehand Partner: Suk Lee Located on Iowa State University’s Campus, Pammel Woods is adjacen to the central campus. This modern interpretation of the conventitional l library focuses on site specific cooling strategies. The two square masses sit on thin columns allowing pedestrian access to a nearby stream. Rotating the top cube allows the library to take advantage of the natural prevailing winds. Clad with interwoven thermal bimetal panels, the facade is able to passively ventilate and cool the interior. The ground level, containing an oudoor cafe, is the initial entry point. The second floor, which contains meeting and event spce, computer labs and a technology center, opens to an outdoor theater that takes advantage of the natural topography. A secondary entrance allows pedestrian access, from off campus. The third level contains library stacks and reading rooms. A tertiary entrance bridges the second level pedestrian access allowing vistors from campus a direct route to the new eco friendly breathing library.



Thermal Bimetal The freely moving facade system is made up of woven thermal bimetal panels. Thin sheets of aluminum and brass are laminated together, as the metals expand and contract at different temperatures, there is natural and randoe movement in the facade. When sunlight directly hits the facade, the panels expand, allowing the library to “breathe� for passive cooling and ventilation. In, cooler temperatures, the panels close, keeping heat within the building.

Rotation to allow passive ventilation


Cold | Closed Facade

Direct Sunlight Causing Panels to Bow

Heated | Expanding Facade

Bimetal expands when heated by sunlight

Facade opens to allow passive cooling



Ground | Cafe + Entry


1 | Multipurpose + Meeting

2 | Stacks


muro aureliano immersed in history Arch 402 - Rome studio Karen Berman + Simone Capra Partner: Joe Hiestand The Aurelian Wall, which encircles what was ancient Rome, is one of the most prominent monuments in contemporary Rome. The wall currently divides two distinct portons of an urban park. The only connection between the upper and lower portions of the park is a stair residing within an ancient lookout tower. Our poposal creates a companion staircase within the opposing tower, linking the two staircases is a sunken public piazza The sunken piazza is excavated one meter below grade, bringing pedestrians down to the ancient roman level. The sunken piazza has gradual steps down to the roman level, where the remnants of an ancient lookout tower are found. The lower level features a staircase and seating elements along the historic monument. We chose to focus on a minimal design that glorifies the Aurelian Wall, while giving users the opportunity to experience the monumentality of the wall from the ancient Roman level.

26 24

Sunken Piazza + Connection Section 27 25

shrink smart undergraduate research Marwan Ghandour Professor Kimberly Zarecor Associate Professor Ahmed El Sherif Graduate Research Assistant Matthew Lechowicz Undergraduate Research Assistant Why do some small communities still thrive as they lose population? Many American small towns and rural communities have been in decline since the 1980s. In the Midwest, most communities have experienced this through shrinking populations, an exodus of young people, local job losses, and aging infrastructure. Evidence shows that these trends have spanned several decades and are unlikely to be reversed. Yet the research on small and rural communities has focused primarily on documenting and observing aspects of decline or promoting uncertain growth strategies, rather than understanding how communities can protect quality of life and community infrastructure while they shrink. This project aims to fill this gap through the development of a new shrink-smart concept for small communities. The study utilizes data driven tools to assist small communities in actively planning for smart shrinkage. Through spatial analysis, poll data, and community outreach, we are able to identify factors that contribute to smart shrinkage.


National Science Foundation Grant # 1736718


Shrink - Smart State Boundries Interstate Highways State Roads Infrastructure - Pipelines Infrastructure - Railroads Hospitals Industry - Dairy Industry - Egg Industry - Ethanol Biodiesel Industry - Meat Packing Industry - Wind Farms Waterways Public Parks Incorporated Cities 30 Minute Drive Time 40 Minute Drive Time




Correctionville |

Shrink Smart

Sheffield |

Shrink Smart

Pacific Junction |

Shrink Smart

Elma |

Shrink Smart


St Charles |

Grow Thrive

Grow Wither

Le Claire |

What Cheer |

Grow Thrive

Shrink Wither 33

“a camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.� - dorothea lange







Matthew Lechowicz Selected Works  

Undergraduate Architecture Portfolio

Matthew Lechowicz Selected Works  

Undergraduate Architecture Portfolio