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Aaron D. Merchant LEED AP BD+C

Master of Architecture Candidate | 2012 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Design Investigations


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901 WEST

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Spaulding

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H o t e l 470

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i n n o | ve n t i o n

Affordable Student Housing for the UIUC Community

Rehabilitation Hospital

A Business-Oriented Hotel in Chicago’s Loop

A Convention Center for Columbia, South Carolina


00 C o n t e n t s

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Retreat G a l l e r y + Guest Suites

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Magic L a m p

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S t o c k h o l m Contemporary Arts Gallery

Design Investigations

R e t r e a t for a Novelist

Aaron D. Merchant

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901 WEST

Affordable Student Housing for the UIUC Community Course Level Term Instructor Project Partner

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ARCH 573 First Year Graduate Studio Spring 2011 Scott Murray Justine Kane

The primary thrust of this project aims to address an observed deficiency in high-quality, affordable apartment living options for graduate and international students attending the University of Illinois. The University’s existing housing stock is aging rapidly; the newest of these student apartment complexes dates back nearly 50 years. Continued deferred maintenance has allowed this stock to degrade substantially over time. This combination has led to buildings that are much more energy-demanding and increasingly more costly to maintain. Additionally, two of the University’s largest apartment complexes (Orchard Downs and Ashton Woods) are located far from the University’s central campus as well as from basic services and amenities, resulting in isolation and an increased reliance on personal vehicles or limited public transportation. 901 WEST presents a solution to this issue. Located near the center of the UIUC campus at the intersection of Green Street and Lincoln Avenue, this mixed-use development provides residents with efficient and flexible living spaces which are within walking distance to the central campus and provides increased accessibility to surrounding community services and amenities. The form and siting of the building take their cues from the surrounding context. The linear arrangement of the complex reinforces the streetscape and creates an active community center for residents of the building and for the University community at large. Dominant processional and visual axes are emphasized by introducing openings in the building, allowing pedestrians to pass through them, framing views and improving wayfinding. The aggregation of the dwelling units is configured to engender a sense of community among residents as well, with ample indoor and outdoor common spaces interspersed throughout the complex, providing residents with spaces to socialize, recreate, or study. Individual dwelling units employ an “open-loft” concept, utilizing movable storage and shelving cabinets that also function as room dividers, allowing occupants to configure the space to their particular needs.

Site Plan


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

01 9 0 1 W E S T


01 9 0 1 W E S T Design Investigations Aaron D. Merchant

Residential Floor ‘A’

North-South Section

Residential Floor ‘B’


01 9 0 1 W E S T Typical Studio Unit

Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

Typical One Bedroom Unit

East-West Section


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

01 9 0 1 W E S T


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

01 9 0 1 W E S T


Spaulding

Rehabilitation Hospital | Boston, Massachusetts Course Level Term Instructor Project Partner

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ARCH 573 First Year Graduate Studio Fall 2010 Dr. Michael K. Kim Todd Mackinson

Site Plan


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

02 S p a u l d i n g


02 S p a u l d i n g

Level 02 | Administration + Research

Toilet

Toilet

Toilet

Toilet

Ground Level | Public Facilities + Outpatient Services

Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

Mezzanine Level | Outpatient Services

South Elevation

West Elevation


02 S p a u l d i n g Design Investigations

Levels 04-08 | Inpatient Care

Aaron D. Merchant

Level 03 | Inpatient Staff + Therapy

North Elevation

East Elevation


H o t e l 470

1.0 | Southeast Aerial

2.0 | Northeast Aerial

A Business Oriented Hotel in Chicago’s Loop

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ARCH 371 Fourth Year Design Studio Fall 2003 Kurt T. Baumgartner

[0.0] Street Level | Retail

CTA Library Station

Site/Contextual Plan

W. Van Buren St.

W. Congress Pkwy. 0

S. Dearborn St.

The goal behind the design of this conceptual high-rise boutique hotel was to create a vibrant urban center catering to the needs and tastes of the modern business traveler. The site, located at the northwest corner of Congress Parkway and Dearborn Street, is both logistically and visually prominent, and thus perfectly suited for this type of development. The building’s form addresses and accentuates the Congress/Dearborn corner and commands a strong visual presence. Large expanses of glass offer unobstructed city views from guest rooms. The building incorporates retail space at street level, a business/conference center above the main hotel lobby, and a fitness center, pool, resturant, and nightclub at the penthouse and roof terrace levels.

S. Federal St.

Course Level Term Instructor

25 ft


4.0 | Southwest Aerial

03 H o t e l 470

3.0 | Northwest Aerial

[+2.0] Business Center

[+3.0] Conference Center

Design Investigations

[+1.5] Restaurant/Lounge

Aaron D. Merchant

[+1.0] Main Lobby


03 H o t e l 470

North-South Section

+27.0 +26.0 +25.0

Aaron D. Merchant

[+5.0 - +24.0] Guest Rooms

[+26.0] Pool / Fitness Center

[+27.0] Restaurant / Night Club

+5.0 - + 24.0

Design Investigations

[+4.0 & +25.0] Mechanical Floor

+4.0 +3.0 +2.0 +1.5 +1.0 0.0


North Elevation

03 H o t e l 470

West Elevation [Federal St.]

Design Investigations

South Elevation [Congress Pkwy.]

Aaron D. Merchant

East Elevation [Dearborn St.]


Aaron D. Merchant

3.0 | Northwest View

2.0 | Northeast View

1.0 | Southeast View

Design Investigations

03 H o t e l 470


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

4.0 | Southwest View

03 H o t e l 470


i n n o | ve n t i o n

A Convention Center for Columbia, SC

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ARCH 372 Fourth Year Design Studio Spring 2004 Osman Ataman Joyce Liang

The driving concept behind the design of the facility is to link the ideas of movement and acceleration with the existing and historical contexts of the site, formerly a major railyard and today a burgeoning entertainment district. The resultant form takes on a linear, undulating shape, paralleling the streetfront and creating a public plaza nestled between the building and the street. The building’s interlocking volumes create engaging spatial relationships throughout and provide for flexible exhibition space.

Site/Context Plan

Lincoln St.

Conceptual Study Model

Senate St.

Align. Focus. Ignite. Accelerate. These are the ideas that embody the concept and design of the Columbia Convention Center. Gone is the static, empty, and impersonal “big black box” of the traditional convention center. It is replaced by the idea that the convention center should be more than just a vast, empty volume. Rather, it should provide an engaging space that not only facilitates various forms of exhibition, but encourages interaction and inspires creativity as well.

Pendleton St.

Course Level Term Instructor Project Partner


Aaron D. Merchant

Transverse Section Design Investigations

04 i n n o | ve n t i o n


04 i n n o | ve n t i o n

[10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

Exhibition Hall Storage Staging/Overflow Loading/Receiving Warehouse Storage Support/Services Mechanical/Utilities Exhibition Hall Exhibition Plaza Kitchen

Food Service Support Food Service Storage Concessions Public Area Rest Rooms Exhibition Hall Below Exhibition Plaza Below Registration Entry Lobby

[-2.0] Service Level

[19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27]

[28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34]

Entrance Plaza Administrative Suite Box Office Public Area Rest Rooms Board Room Large Meeting Room Small Meeting Room Public Area

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14 2

6

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6 65 5

4 5

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100

150

200

250 ft

9 11

13 14 8

50

10

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0

Rest Rooms Open to Below Ballroom Prefunction Public Area Rest Rooms Open to Below

[-1.0] Exhibition Level

1

Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]


04 i n n o | ve n t i o n 33 32

30

15

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[+1.0] Meeting Room Level

18 21

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28 25

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28 27

Aaron D. Merchant

[+2.0] Ballroom Level

Design Investigations

Principal Structure [0.0] Entry Level


04 i n n o | ve n t i o n Design Investigations Aaron D. Merchant

[1.1]

[2.2]

[3.1]

[1.2]

[2.3]

[3.2]

[1.3]

[2.4]

[3.3]

[2.1]

[2.5]

[3.4]

Conceptual Studies + Design Progression


[4.6]

[4.3]

[4.7]

[4.4]

[4.8]

04 i n n o | ve n t i o n

[4.2]

Focus. The alignment of thoughts and ideas encouraged by the exhibition creates a sense of focus, in which ideas are honed and refined. The design reinforces this idea by making the exhibition hall the focus of the building. All major spaces feature a certain level of connection to this central space, referencing the exhibition hall as a point of genesis for new thoughts and ideas. Ignite. As ideas are focused through brainstorming, new and innovative ideas are sparked. These new ideas give way to subsequent generations of the process, and so on. This is the ultimate goal of the exhibition. The design accommodates and expresses this through its dynamic interior spaces and open concept, allowing for the open exchange and expression of new ideas. Accelerate. Much as the desire of an exhibition is to ignite new ideas, the intent behind these new ideas is to accelerate them forward, putting them to use. The convention center serves as a catalyst for this, providing an engaging environment for these events to occur and leaving a lasting impression upon visitors as they leave, ready to move forward.

Design Investigations

[4.5]

Aaron D. Merchant

[4.1]

Align. On an intellectual level, the design aims to bring into coordination the various thoughts and ideas of convention goers encouraging harmonious interaction. On a physical level, the design strives to align and maintain the contextual fabric of the site. The linear form of the building runs parallel to Lincoln Street, reinforcing the public promenade between the Colonial Center and Gervais St., which continues to grow in importance with the development of the Congaree Vista, a bourgeoning district in which the site is located. The building’s form also draws upon the site’s rich history as a great rail yard and aligns it with the present, as expressed by its undulating and intersecting forms which symbolize its once vast expanse of intersecting rail lines, along with the building’s unique structural system, which mimics the large gantry cranes that once dominated the site’s vista.


R e t r e a t for a Novelist Nominee, Edward C. Earl Prize | Fall 2002

Course Level Term Instructor

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ARCH 271 Third Year Design Studio Fall 2002 James P. Warfield

Set in the midst of a dense birch forest located just outside Denali National Park in Talkeetna, Alaska, this retreat was designed to relate strongly to its context and take advantage of the site’s stunning vistas. Located at the center of the building, the hearth provides heat for the interior spaces, and doubles as a the building’s structural core. Gently wrapping around this element is a large expanse of bookshelves and the central stairway, celebrating the client’s vast library. This spiraling gesture continues upward, culminating at an observation deck positioned just above the forest canopy, thus offering a 360° panorama of the landscape, with Mt. McKinley towering in the distance.

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1

9

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[-1.0] Lower Level

[+1.0] Upper Level

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[+2.0] Observation Level

Legend: [4] Living [1] Terrace [2] Workspace [5] Entry [6] Kitchen [3] Storage

[7] Dining [10] Sleeping [8] Library Nook [11] Observation Deck [9] Bathing

[0.0] Main Level/Site Plan

7 6 5 4

entry


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

05 R e t r e a t


Sustainable Features

05 R e t r e a t

Limited fenestration at southern facades to avoid unwanted solar heat gain Northern facades (shown left) primarily glazed to maximize daylighting throughout structure Central hearth and circulation volume aides stack effect for natural ventilation Structural Timber Framing Locally Reclaimed Interior View | Stairway from Lower Level

Wood Rainscreen Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified, Rapidly Renewable Material

Interior View | Lower Level Workspace

Triple-Pane Glazing with LowEmissivity Coating

Fly Ash Concrete Structural Walls

Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

Permeable Pavers at Terrace

South Elevation

East Elevation


Design Investigations

West Elevation

Aaron D. Merchant

North Elevation 05 R e t r e a t


Retreat G a l l e r y + Guest Suites Course Level Term Instructor

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ARCH 271 Third Year Design Studio Fall 2002 James P. Warfield

Located approximately one-quarter mile from the previously featured retreat project, this small gallery building was designed for the purposes of displaying a small, personal collection of the same client’s artifacts and to provide independent overnight living facilities for invited guests. Much like the client’s private retreat, special attention was placed on establishing a connection between the building and its surrounding natural environment, taking full advantage of the remote, natural setting and its sereen landscape. A series of funnel-shaped forms direct views from inside the spaces to the surrounding site. Gently curving roof forms mimic the canopy of the surrounding birch forest and its gently sloping topography. Straddling a small, natural swale, a sloping footbridge both serves as a conector between the two programmatic groups and provides the requisite buffer between public and private space. The material palette for the private retreat is carried over in the design of this project and serves as a unifying element between both buildings. The use of site cast concrete and birch wood as primary building materials help to establish a sense of rootedness to the landscape, and achieve a balance of warmth and subtle austerity.

Concept Sketch

Artifact Exhibit Sketches


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

06 G a l l e r y


06 G a l l e r y

Floor/Site Plan

7 6

5 4 entry

3

1

2

Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

1

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Guest Suite Living Area Footbridge Major Gallery Minor Gallery Library Conference

0 2 4

East Elevation

South Elevation

8

16’


West Elevation Aaron D. Merchant

North Elevation Design Investigations

06 G a l l e r y


Magic L a m p Course Level Term Instructor

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ARCH 272 Third Year Design Studio Spring 2003 Botond Bognar

The purpose of this brief project was to investigate and explore the tactile, practical, and ephemeral qualities of wood in an effort to better understand its innate abilities and limitations as a building material. Light is a major component of the design, focusing on the capability of the wood to transmit, reflect, and refract light in different ways. This was achieved through the use of varied thicknesses of white aspen, ranging from heavy, opaque elements to paper-thin, translucent elements. Various methods of wood joinery were also investigated.

Conceptual Sketches


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

Study Models 07 L a m p


Stockholm Contemporary Arts Gallery Course Level Term Instructor

08

Site Location Skeppsholmen

ARCH 272 Third Year Design Studio Spring 2003 Botond Bognar

Located on the island of Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm, Sweden, the design of this contemporary arts gallery focuses on the expression of wood as a primary structural element, drawing from the rich Scandinavian tradition of wood frame buildings and ship construction. This focus is appropriate especially to the project site, situated in the midst of a former naval depot, as well as to the historic Vasa warship, located immediately across the sound from the project site. The wooden structure gently encloses a series of galleries which progressively decend towards the waterfront. The building’s plan functions as a continuation of the island’s primary processional axis, providing both a distinct visual terminus and engaging the water.

Regional Context

Kastellholmen

Gamla Stan (Old City) Kungsträdgården (King’s Garden)

N

Site/Contextual Plan

entry

0

50

150

300 ft.


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

08 S t o c k h o l m


Legend:

08 S t o c k h o l m

[+1.0] Administrative Level

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

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[0.0] Entry Level 11 10

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[-1.0] Gallery Level 11 10

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Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

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Board Room Foyer Rest Room Reception Associate Office Director’s Office Conference Staff Lounge Open to Below

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[10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

Auditorium Small Exhibition Lobby Open to Below Gallery Shop Information Coat Check Rest Rooms Kitchen Café / Bar Upper Esplanade

[21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31]

Rest Rooms Main Exhibition Mechanical Electrical Security Office General Storage Loading Bulk Storage Curation Staging Lower Esplanade


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

08 S t o c k h o l m


Aaron D. Merchant

Design Investigations

Structure + Enclosure Typ. Column-Beam Connection

Principal Structure

Geometric Construction - Typ. Beam

08 S t o c k h o l m


Aaron D. Merchant

Roof Structure - Conceptual Sketch Design Investigations

08 S t o c k h o l m


Š 2012 | Aaron D. Merchant, LEED AP BD+C | admerchant@gmail.com


Aaron Merchant | Design Investigations  

A portfolio of academic work

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