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Women + Children’s Shelter

Adaptive Re-Use Senior Thesis [In Progress] pg 4-11

Affordable Housing + Mixed Use

Community Scaled pg 12-15

Piazetta Il Rivellino + Art Gallery Switzerland pg 16-19

Energy Education Center San Luis Obispo pg 20-23

personal excerpt [from thesis]

For nine months the infant grows and grows in the womb... At the end an x-ray shows the small but developed body quite bent over on itself and cramped; yet so very much has happened- indeed, a whole new life has come into being. For some hundreds of thousands of American children, that stretch of time, those months, represent the longest rest ever to be had, the longest stay in any one place. -Richard Coles, Uprooted Children

I come from an upper-middle class family, a nice neighborhood, a large home in a suburb, never having to question whether or not I would be in the same living environment the next month. In fact, my family has been in the same house my entire life. I’ve always been around people with similar back grounds, shielded from the struggles many have to face on a day-to-day basis. My quest to appreciate these luxuries and figure out how to give back to those less fortunate has led me to my senior thesis. I moved into a different home in San Luis Obispo for my last year at Cal Poly. It’s located in a different part of town than I’ve ever lived in before. Near the train tracks and near downtown, we get a different population of people walking by my house every day. I see many more transient, homeless, and traveling people than I ever have in my life. For many who are homeless they have gotten into their current situation through bad luck, unfortunate circumstances, or a rough up-bringing. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. The most satisfying feeling in the world to me is being able to self-suffice. I grew up alongside three older brothers always teaching me how to hold my own. Independence is something I would hate to lose. It is something that many of the homeless, in their current situation, have lost and do not know how or have the capability to regain. I know it is ignorant to think that architecture can completely solve the problem of homelessness since it is so deeply rooted in other areas of society, however I strongly believe that well-designed architecture can positively affect the lives of the homeless while encouraging independence. Currently, the typical homeless shelter does not address the differences between needs for homeless men and homeless women with children. A need of security, child-care support, and comforting spaces are examples of how the needs of these two populations differ. I want to invest my senior thesis in questioning the current system and finding out a possible solution to this problem. 4

Women + Children’s Shelter

Adaptive Re-Use Senior Thesis [In Progress] Location: San Luis Obispo, CA Climate: Temperate California Climate Zone 5 Existing Historical building: Sunny Acres In the 1920’s it functioned as an orphanage. In the 1930’s during the Great Depression it was converted to a juvenile detention center. Multiple fires have destroyed the interior, leaving the building abandonned for years.



-Equality -New as a continuation of the old -Touch... intimacy

-Separation -Intermix -Differentiating spaces -Two seperate things and uses but having similarities -Respecting old -Common factor

-Linked -visual emphasis on connection -Intermediary element


-Maintain original entry -Option to create a new experience to the ‘Heart’ for residents


-Maintain original entry -Maintains front facade of existing building -Circulation to ‘Heart’ too far/disconnected

SITE + CONTEXT The majority of the surrounding developed land is single-family residential. Immedietely next to the site has been zoned to hold public faciliies including a child development center, hospital, transitional care center, probation department, community health center, and Baptist church. Proximity to facilities such as these is crucial for this type of program. Many residents cannot afford rent, let alone a vehicle of their own. The site sits at the bottom of a hill, backing up to open land, providing a visual connection to nature. This will provide comfort and ease for residents in thier difficult situations.





Above: Perspective of the entrance into the Heart of the complex Below: Site section showing 12% slope and proposed grading Right top: Watercolor of existing historical building Right bottom: Proposed additions/ alterations to historical building





All materials used in this piece were chosen with rehabilitation in mind. The wood top was scrap from a local lumberyard, unsellable, and therefore unwanted. The steel plates came from a junkyard, at some point discarded after their original unknown use. With a little elbow grease and revamping, these materials will be used for the perfect place to set your tea, glasses, and novel.




COMMUNITY SCALED Affordable Housing Mixed Use San Francisco Spring 2012

The goal of this project was to support community at a variety of scales. The first level of community being interaction between residents and the public. Located on a corner lot in a hisorically transient-oriented part of town, foot traffic from Polk St. as well as vehicular traffic on the adjacent street was an important design consideration. The double-height, concrete constructed commerical floors are oriented to bring people in from the busy sidewalk. The next level of community is the

large “heart� of the building for residents, including a common kitchen, lounge, and outdoor space. Lastly, the residents are programatically arranged by housing type to promote interaction between the different housing types. 13



Above: Section through site/ wall showing the historical Rivellino Below left: Detail of interior concrete platforms which catch dripping water Below right: Sketch of interior raised platforms displaying art work


Piazetta Il Rivellino + Art Gallery Locarno, Switzerland Summer 2011

Originally designed as an addition to the castle by Leonardo da Vinci, Il Rivelino is currently hidden by commercial buildings. The proposal is to reveal Il Rivellino and allow it to become a central point where old/new, upper/lower class, and tourists/locals interact. The experience inside is magnificent with water dripping, dramatic lighting, and textured surfaces. A series of thin, raised platforms will run through the interior, displaying art exhibits. These platforms act as a modern intervention, respect the historical Rivellino interior without being intrusive, and accommodate for a range of art exhibits. The proposed exterior, translucent wall provides a sense of enclosure around this new Piazetta and references a historical wall which once stood as protection for the castle years ago. 17




Energy Education Center San Luis Obispo Winter 2011 The goal of this project was to stimulate an area on the edge of downtown while providing a center to educate the public about energy consumption, energy-efficient products, and designing with these issues in mind. A challenge of this site was that foot traffic and bike traffic need to be promoted over the current automobile traffic. The buildings are set back to provide an open, welcoming entry as well as a breezeway for pedestrians. Green walls along the community multi-use room, roof-top outdoor spaces, and an interior green ventillation core serve as constant reminders of nature. 21


Left: Bird’s Eye Perspective of the site Above (top): Elevation of Energy Education Center Above (bottom): Section of Energy Education Center showing interior green space


David Baker + Partners Internship Spring 2012


Areas of development: Revit + Rhino Training Interior Architecture Knowledge of firm management Architect-Consultant relationships understanding

ECOR Global Architecture Internship Summer 2012

Areas of development: Rhino Training Product Design Knowledge of firm management New business exposure


Watercolorings and Pen Drawings 26



Megan Kuzma Portfolio  
Megan Kuzma Portfolio  

This porfolio includes a few examples of class projects, a furniture piece, internship work, as well as hand sketches. Enjoy!