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m e g a n DOBROTH

bs architecture interior design minor university of idaho m.arch candidate 1216 n elkriver way eagle, id 83616


not just the


from the

Let us l e a r n

a r c h i t e c t u r e


architecture is a

continuing dialogue between generations which creates an environment

across time. Vincent Scully

1 7 11 15

m. arch candidate 1216 n elkriver way eagle, id 83616

m e g a n DOBROTH

bs architecture interior design minor university of idaho

above image+cover image taken at: Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art; Rivoli, Italy

c o n t e n t s table of

FabLab+2030 challenge

an application of passive design strategies with environmental systems, the industrial program required intense research and close collaboration with group members and the local client.

p a v i l i o n

the natural setting encouraged an open shell that plays with light, views, and activity, while the structure remains anchored by an oversized hearth.

italian urban corner

the urban fabric of torino brought about a new mixed use setting, prompting creative design solutions for the combination of public and private spaces.

courtyard housing

the development fostered a unique community setting in a region dominated by single family units with particular attention paid to natural light and layering of spaces.


As a product of the suburbs, I have grown up detesting the lack of human focus that lifeless curving subdivisions provided. Through studies in urban theory, exposure to architectural practices, and my experiences abroad in Italy, I have discovered the complex workings of community life in the presence of successful urban spaces. My new understanding of thoughtful urban development combined with my traditional human focus have created a strong optimism in urban fabrics and alternatives to subdivision living. Current suburbs not only create dwelling groups void of community, but also hindering our economic, social, and environmental sustainability. This is the challenge for designers of my generation, and one that I feel compelled to address.

4th year of study atrium 1st level


fabrication laboratory

biketronics + FabLab

atrium 2nd level

Working with 2 other students, we designed an industrial structure for a local client to house a new business: Biketronics and a membership Fabrication Laboratory. To this unique program, we applied the goals of the 2030 Challenge to achieve carbon neutrality. The form of the building was dictated by sun movement, distant views, wind direction, and passive design strategies. Located in north Idaho with cold, snowy winters and summer temperatures reaching into the 90’s, both heating and cooling were addressed. Design considerations were group decisions while graphic responsibilities were distributed. My individual roles focused on systems research/ design and group management.


water collection


(20’x12’x10’) 18000 gal

hybrid pv panels

2 0 3 0 carbon n e u t r a l i t y

c h a l l e n g e :


constructed wetland


permeable paving

straw bale + rammed earth

radiant floor heating

Passive design strategies for the fabrication labratory include the use of heat stack affect, earth tubes to temper outside air, natural daylighting with proper shading, direct solar gain, thermal mass in the form of concrete floors and rammed earth, super insulation with straw bales, clerestory windows, and night insulating curtains. Electricity is supplied by hybrid PV panels, which also utilizes fluid to harvest the 'waste’ thermal energy. The thermal energy is used in radiant floor heating and hot water supplies. Rainwater is collected before being filtered and stored in an underground cistern. Gray water is cleaned in a constructed wetland system before reabsorbing into the soil. Composting toilets are used to address black water and storm drainage is directed to bioswales on the low end of the site. Permeable paving and grass pavers are used in the parking lot to handle run off. Xeriscaping with local plants limits the irrigation needed on site.

earth tubes

4th year of study


life is rich, always changinge, always challenging,

and we architects have the task of transmitting into

wood, concrete, glass and steel,

of transforming h u m a n a s p i r a t i o n s into

habitable and meaningful space. arthur erickson




baroque bench



In the U of I arboretum, an open pavilion was needed to accommodate casual lectures and gatherings. The inspiration came from the trees of the arboretum which offer protection and enclosure without isolating or entrapping. The pavilion design emulates this by creating a sense of stability and welcome. Daylight animates the space while the structure is layered to filter views but still maintain a sense of connection with its surrounding. The oversized stones of the fireplace anchor the pavilion and allow extended seasonal use. Tucked into the stonework, the restrooms help ground the main structure, allowing the exterior elements to be lighter.

3rd year of study pavilion


all of us are watchers--of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway

--but few are o b s e r v e r s .

everyone is looking, not many are seeing. Peter M. Leschak

italian photography

i t a l i a n mixed use urban corner


underground parking ramp

apt 2




corso giacomo matteotti

apt 1

pa rk


(un +un de der rc on grou st r uc nd r tion ail )

corso bolzano









The corner site is located in a newly developing area of Torino. Across the street to the Northwest, a park is planned to cleverly hide the underground, high-speed railroad tracks. The building’s courtyard transitions the corner lot between the public park and the private residences, a collision of uses that structures the whole design. Varying from the Italian tradition, the commercial space is placed in a thin glass extension in order to maintain openness in the courtyard, to expose the activity of the structure, and to offer customers a unique experience. In the same manner, the stairs and elevators are also exposed to enliven the space. Opening the thick residential structure up to the interior courtyard and the southern sun, the apartment street facade is more closed off from the bustling traffic. A frosted geometric glass screening system allows filtered light, ventilation, and selective views before dissolving away to expose the commercial stack.

3rd year of study

i tal i an u rban co rn er

creative writing:

listening to the silence


I retreat to nature to hear my thoughts; When the world clamors and life’s obligations howl, The farm is what I need. I describe it as silence, but it’s just a d i f f e r e n t k i n d o f n o i s e ; The sound of the wind as it teases the wheat And dances with the leaves. The creak of the old windmill as its blades turn with aged effort, The gravel that crunches under step. It’s not the screeching of breaks, The pounding of music, The bickering of girls, Or the engine growl. It’s the sound of history -Of a w a y o f l i f e that has continued since the land was settled. The consistency of the cycle reassures me. If I fail, the wheat will grow. If I f i g h t , If I make the wrong choice, Or if I struggle, The wheat will grow. It will sprout soft and tender in the field, Thrive with the rain, Bask in the sun, And carpet the world in every imaginable shade of green. The enormity of the field that surrounds me makes me feel small And my problems, my struggles: i n s i g n i f i c a n t . Nature is bigger than whatever I am fretting over. My problem seems to be all consuming, But the continuity of the Palouse reminds me of my insignificance. It is in communion with the hills that I l e t i t g o , This struggle, grudge, stress, or anxiety. The wind pulls it away -R o l l i n g it out with the hills to the edge of the horizon. The sun on my face, the breeze through my hair And the soft whisper of the wheat remind me I’m alive. Some days will be a struggle, some nights a tearful battle, But each one gives way to a laugh, a hope, or a dream. I f e e l t h e d a y , search out the quiet moments, And listen for the tender thoughts. Just as the elements strengthen the wheat around me, I too gain strength. With each day, w e g r o w.


window of reality, colored pencil, 2006

d e s i g n as self expression

courtyard h o u s i n g


asbury street

street elevation

3rd year of study


street facade

daylit spaces unit courtyard facades


Bump-out spaces provide extra exposure to sunlight. Nano-walls are utilized in the sunroom to allow fresh air during warm days. The ceiling above the workout space has been pushed back to allow sunlight to enter on the North side of the building.

The entrance serves as a physical boundary between the street and the courtyard. However, it frames the view to the water feature and the central court, compelling people to venture deeper into the site. It also serves as a lingering point, with the bench and mailboxes to encourage interaction. The design embodies the concept: layered space, interlocked components, and the importance of light (through the play of shadows throughout the day).

Courtyard housing in northern Idaho presents a unique opportunity for density but also requires extensive exterior space planning to accommodate cold winters and hot summers. Layering the outdoor space allows people to maintain their comfort zone but still be a part of the action. Also, as the courtyard spaces collide so do the activities and lives of the residents. In the winter, southern and western sun exposure captures daylight, which draws people outside and inspires activity. Seasonal vegetation helps filter the intense sun in summer. Daylight is brought into each unit through strategic roof height variations, which also adds to the texture and interest of the facades. The 2-level housing plans allow for vaulted ceilings, 2nd floor balconies, and a continuation of layered space as seen in the courtyard. Walkways are broken up by planters and the street edge is softened through the use of public space, patios, and landscaping, keeping parking to the alley.

entry component The entrance serves as a physical boundary between the street and the courtyard. However, it frames the view to the water feature and the central court, compelling people to venture deeper into the site. It also serves as a lingering point, with the bench and mailboxes to encourage interaction. The design embodies the concept: layered space, interlocked components, and the importance of light (through the play of shadows throughout the day).



courtyard housing

m e g a n


m. arch candidate

bs architecture interior design minor university of idaho 1216 n elkriver way eagle, id 83616


Undergraduate Architecture Work

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