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Megan Repka California Polytechnic State University Bachelor of Architecture 2011 Thesis Studio 400 | Karen Lange


Procedure The methods of research used to further define the issue of revival branch in two directions. In one sense, the research was focused toward a design build sensibility. Here the concentration was on the importance of developing a tangible architecture and developing a process that is a collaborative approach to increase the efficiency of the design-construction relationship. Efficiency, in all senses of the word, is particularly pertinent in this day and age. Because buildings consume the greatest amounts of energy and cost exorbitant amounts of money, it is important for us to reform any wasteful procedures. On the other stem of research, a smaller scale attainment of architecture was looked to. The building of furniture was studied and is applicable to the process of this thesis because it will act as the tangible framework for the final product of a building design. In a collaborative approach, a line of furniture will be designed and fabricated. This will allow the details, joints, and textures to be understood at a more intimate level. Then these details will then inform the architectural product to be designed.

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Material research Vellum

Willy Guhl designed the Loop Chair, pictured below, in 1954. This thin cement shape was achieved with the use of fibers and limestone as reinforcement. After studying this process, an exploration of cement fluiidity, flexibility and strentgh was done. Through this research, rubber hosing was used as a formwork to create these smooth curved shapes. The final product incuded a small anount of steel reinforcement, fibers, and additive. A water reducing agent was used as an additive to the cement to increase fluidity to pour into the tubing.

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The steel reinforcement was suspended in the tubing with a series of small nails that punctured the surface of the rubber. After the cement was poured, it was given 24 hours to cure. Then the rubber tubing was removed and the nails were ground done. The cement took on the smooth, shiny qualities of the rubber formwork while retaining the normal grey color of cement. The four loops are held at the base with a section of c channel scrap steel. A gap was revealed to allow the steel reinforcement to be revealed. The steel rebar then connected the four loops vertically to the ground plane. A frosted quarter inch acrylic sheet what cut to intersect the loops and hold them in place 30� above ground. This intersection creates a series of bookend as well as a useful side table top. 48


Vellum Furniture The cement loop side table also provides a lamp which was cast into place and connects to the system as the other cement elements do. The table exhibits a material exploration and a concealment of it’s reinforcement. The product has a mysterious quality that leads one to wonder about how it was made and what the material is. The smooth finish of the cement relates to the user by inviting them to touch the material. The unusually thin cement circles create a sense of intrigue that allows for a more intimate relationship with the user. The floating table top gives the piece a utilitarian value, while not taking away from the beauty of each cement surface.

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Programatic and Site Developments


The West Oakland Fabrication Foundation was a collaborative design effort. Our architectural investigation began with an abandoned railroad station located in the industrial development of West Oakland. As a restorative effort to both the surrounding community and the site itself, the building was repurposed as a fabricationand recycling establishment. Along with promoting responsible design, the building serves as a community center in an area lacking a neighborhood core. The site plan and developments alo reflected these ideas. The site acts as an extension of the resiential city grid and brings in more green community spaces. These spaces include a park for watching the games in the sports complex across the street, acess to the outdoor kitchen, a community garden, walking paths, lights, and a babmoo biofilter.

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Floor Plans First Floor Plan 10

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N Fabrication Facilities (1-10) 1. concrete lab 2. metal shop 3.cnc router 4. laser cutter 5. wood shop 6. glass lab 7. plastics lab 8. computer lab 9. classroom 10. material storage

Repurposed Main Building (11-16)

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11. offices and administration 12. conference room 13. main gallery space 14. cafe seating 15. kitchen 16. outdoor cafe seating

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Second Floor Plan

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Repurposed Main Building 1. private artist gallery 2. artist studios 3. outdoor patio seating

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Section Drawings 10

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North | South Section

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East | West Section

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Overall Site Perspective

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Abstract Section Model and Joinery study

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Interior Gallery

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Shop Facility

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Final Physical Section Model

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Final Physical Site Model

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Furniture Fabrication To address our critique on the wastefulness of American Society, we introduced a fabrication facility in a “discarded� building and created furniture from discarded objects. All of the furniture was designed and fabricated as a research method for the development of our hypothetical building design. Each unique piece was designed with the intent of being environmentally responsible through reuse or efficient use of material. The furniture could potentially be produced, displayed and sold in the West Oakland Fabrication Foundation. Our final design was meant in integrate both the architecture and furniture ideas. The partition system was designed as part of the facade for our hypothetical shop area but was also built full-scale with its workstation components.

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Partition and Workstation System

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The partition system and workspace elements collectively unify the architectural and furniture aspects of our thesis. The facade of the fabrication facilities, the addition to the existing building, is composed of a series of partition panels. This wall system provides both an efficient use of space as well as a flexible and transformable approach to architecture. Individual partitions can be removed from the remaining wall system and wheeled to a desired location. Components can then be removed from the partition to create temporary work spaces. The wall system is fabricated of scrap steel that is tack-welded together in a patchwork pattern. When the cut components are removed, a degree of transparency is introduced to the piece. materials used: scrap steel, perforated steel

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Interlocking Wine Rack System

This interlocking system uses scrap steel from the junkyard to display a responsible reuse of material. The goal of the design was to create a use out of something rendered useless in an efficient manner. The two sheet metal scraps were waterjet cut and bent into place. The interlocking column creates a structure meant to display wine bottles. This column was fabricated as a module, thus more interlocking modules could be added to the system, creating a wall system. Materials used: scrap steel

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Modern Victorian Headboard and Bedframe This project was designed for a client with an appreciation of Victorian motifs and dark wood. Instead of purchasing an expensive slab of walnut, our material search began at the reclaimed lumber yard. We discovered a pile of scrap walnut,and began an intensive process of planing, joining, and cutting out unsuitable pieces. After this process, we laid out the salvaged wood within a grid system to make efficient use of the material. Two hundred dowels were used to join the slats of varying sizes. A few slats were intentionally removed to incorporate a back-lit Victorian pattern. In addition to using modern technology to fabricate the design, the pattern is fragmented in such a way that it appears to continue into the rest of the headboard. The platform-style frame is constructed from a pine slat-system with walnut rails and legs. The legs are inset to give the bed a floating effect. Materials used: scrap walnut, steel, acrylic, Japanese screen paper 87


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Restored Wheel Barrow Chair This chair was fabricated from an old wheel barrow. All wood and metal joints are sewn together with hemp, creating a delicate contrast to the dense steel of the wheel barrow. Redwood is paired with the natural patina of the steel, pulling together a palette of complimentary colors. Materials used: wheel barrow, scrap steel, scrap redwood, hemp cord. Designed by Alyssa Redding

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Pipette Lamp

This lamp was fabricated from a series of pasteur pipettes. These small glass tubes are used to transfer small amounts of liquid and are most commonly used in medical and scientific research. While it is common to dispose of these items after only one use in the United States, many less privileged countries reuse these items multiple times. The glass tubes are frosted to dim the 70 3mm LEDs wired through the pipettes. Materials used: pasteur pipettes, LEDs, wires Designed by Alyssa Redding

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Subtle Ess Light This lamp shade and stainless steel structural system produce 0-material waste. The 22” x 33” screen paper and 300 lb. laminate sheet can be cut into 6 lamp shades. The shades are sewn together with a red thread, adding a rich contrast to the white screen paper. The shape created through the simple cuts and overall rolled paper create a subtle “S” shape because of the material properties of the paper. Three complete 36” steel pipes are cut into 6 pieces for a tiered lighting structure. Materials used: Japanese screen paper, 300 lb. paper, red thread, stainless steel Designed by Alyssa Redding

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repurposed bulb lamp The inspiration for this piece of furniture came from a sensitivity and responsibility to the environment. The desire was to take an object of trash found in everyones home and reuse it in an innovative way. Light bulbs are a common household item that are thrown out when they no longer emit light. Their form and materiality is too beautiful to discard. Thus a lamp was designed whose shade would be composed of burnt out bulbs. Trash bins, both at home and at local hardware stores, were searched to collect the necessary 80 burnt-out bulbs for this light. The interior structure of the lamp is based upon the geometric form of a sphere. The sphere was segmented into sectional planes in relation to the X, Y, and Z axis. Each of those planes was then rotated twice, at an angle of 45 degrees. Including the rotations, the complete sphere is composed of nine planes. Each plane interlocks with its neighbors, providing a self-sufficient structure. Designed by Allison Pell

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Tessellate Inspiration for this project grew out of an interest of the structural capabilities of geometric forms. A fascination with the tradition of origami and paper folding techniques also provided a foundation for the design. As with origmai, the table form greatly relies on the dimensions of the material from which it is fabricated. A 4’x10’ sheet of black iron was purchased and a 2’x4’’ section of the material was used for this project. Due to this intentional planning, four more table bases could be fabricated with zero waste. The table utilizes all cut and bent diamond shapes. The two remaining pieces are attached below the table to provide further stabilization. materials used: black iron, frosted acrylic Designed by Allison Pell

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Excerpt from Thesis Book