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Defining a Graduate Design Agenda: Searching for Watershed Architecture

Fe w t h i n g s a r e a s b e a u t i f u l a s t h e d i a l e c t i c d a n c e o f a w a t e r s h e d . Fr o m headwater creek to ocean side est u a r y, t h e b u m p y e a r t h s h a p e s t h e path of our great rivers; their course a seemingly preordained path of pass i v e l e a s t r e s i s t a n c e. Ye t t h o s e r i v e r s take on an active role in shaping the t o p o g r a p hy t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e y p a s s,

s c u l p t i n g s t o n e i n t o d e e p c a ny o n s a n d t r a n s fo r m i n g m o u n t a i n s i n t o d e l t a s. I b e l i e v e a r c h i t e c t u r e s h o u l d fo l l o w a similar a reciprocal relationship with o u r l a n d s c a p e. J u s t a s t h e m o v e m e n t of water across a sur face is governed by a countless series of logical reactions to i m m e d i a t e c i r c u m s t a n c e s, t h e fo r m a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n o f a b u i l d -

ing should be a natural outgrowth of t h e p hy s i c a l a n d p s y c h o l o g i c a l n e e d s o f t h e u s e r, s p e c i f i c s o f s i t e, a n d r e g i o n a l c l i m a t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s. But a r c h i t e c t u r e m u s t a l s o a c t a s a fo r c e patiently directing the shape of things t o c o m e. A s d e s i g n e r s, I b e l i e v e w e a r e e xc e p t i o n a l l y e q u i p p e d t o a r t i c u l a t e a v i s i o n fo r s o c i a l a n d e nv i r o n m e n t a l c h a n g e. I n g r a d u a t e s c h o o l , I e m p l o y e d my s t u d i o e x p l o r a t i o n s t o i nv e s t i g a t e d e s i g n s o l u t i o n s t h a t would not only minimize energy and resource consumption, but also build economic infrastructure and social c a p i t a l . A s I c a r r y o n my p r o fe s s i o n a l development, I hope to continue these i nv e s t i g a t i o n s d e s i g n i n g fo r c h a n g e.


Sleeping Under the Stars

1 2 3

West Texas Astronomer ’s Lodge Critic: Francisco Gomes

The Alley Fl at Projec t Af fo rd abl e Au s tin I nf il l Ho u s ing Critic: Louise Harpman

East Austin Sport Center Co m m u n i t y p o o l a n d S p o r t Par k Critic: Nichole Wiedemann

4 5

Remaking for Resilience Urban Design for a Warming Planet Critic: Barbara Hoidn

Immersive Infrastructure Estuary Education Center Critic: Coleman Coker


[1]

Sleeping Under the Stars A West Texas Astronomer’s Lodge The McDonald Observatory, managed by the University of Texas, is home to the fifth largest telescope in the world and a major player in the advancement of astronomical studies. Scientists from around the globe travel thousands of miles to this remote mountain top to scan the skies in search of clues for understanding the origin of the universe. These reaserchers need special lodgings that will accommodate their nocturnal schedule. While incredibly remote and isolated, the mountaintop perch offers spectacular vistas of the rugged landscape and has become something of a regional tourist attraction for those making the pilgrimage to West Texas. This project investigates opportunities for the creation of a mountaintop lodge that would accommodate visiting scientists but also function as a conference and retreat center. The design draws its inspiration from an architecturalization of the ridgeline. The structure wraps the promontory creating a sheltered interior plaza offering protection from buffeting winds and visual relief from the endless panoramas. Guestrooms oriented to catch cooling summer breezes modulate light with folding corten screens. Public functions clustered around a sunken courtyard offer expansive north facing views to the mountains beyond.


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Dark

Dark

Distant

Site Characteristics As

D e s i g n D r i ve r s

Located hundreds of miles from major population centers, the observatory avoids the light pollution common to densely settled areas. Rigorous light control measures must be taken to maintain mountaintop blackout conditions at all times.

National Light Pollution


The exceptionally dry conditions also mean wildfires are an ever-present danger. In the Spring of 2011, the largest fire in Texas history narrowly spared the observatory. Water conserving and fire resisting techniques must guide all design decisions. An expansive roof with deep overhangs not only shades the structure from the intense West Texas sun, but also collects rainwater for irrigation and fire suppression. Fire resistant materials including a cast concrete frame, adobe infill walls, and Corten window coverings limit the threat of damage from frequent wildfires. Screens, window shades, and deep porticos help deflect intense sunlight during the day and limit the amount of artificial light escaping into the environment at night.

Dry

High

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Texas Annual Rainfall

4�

40�

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Process Investigations Early phases of the design process relied heavily on working models and perspective sketches to explore potential design solutions that would architecturalize the topography of the site and create a sheltered interior courtyard.


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Architecturalizing Topography Perched atop the exposed peak of Mt. Locke, the stark profile of the twin white telescope domes are a distinct landmark visible for dozens of miles. Rather than competing with their iconic silhouettes, the massing of the lodge closely hugs the ridgeline and follows the contours of the mountaintop. Accessible only by following the slow spiral of the ever rising summit road, the lodge evokes a fortress like seclusion deep in the wild Texan wilderness. From here, one can look skyward to the endless heavens, or outward to the endless horizon.


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Programming Thermal Thinking Guest rooms are arranged along the southern edge of the lodge where they are warmed by sun in winter and cooled breezes in summer. Research workspace is arranged along the northern edge of the complex where it can be illuminated by diffuse constant light and deflect cold winter winds from the internal courtyard.

Meeting Rooms

Summer Breezes

Family Suites

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Dwell Work

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Relax

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Winter Winds

Open Office

Individual Office

Guest Rooms

Lower Level Floor Plan

Sun, Wind, Light

Guest Lounge

Event Space

Dining Hall


Upper Level Floor Plan

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15 Swimming Pool 1 Guest Rooms 2 Family Suites 3 Conference Room 4 Utility Room 5 Event Space 6 Guest Lounge 7 Data Processing 8 Telescope Control 9 Reflecting Pond 10

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Reception Manager’s Apt. Laundry Room Kitchen Dining Hall Fabrication Lab Storage Open Office Individual Office Copy Lab

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(1)

(3)

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Modulating Prospect and Refuge

Plaza Section

Courtyard Section

The profound power of the West Texas landscape and vast vistas from the top of the mountain can be awe inspiring but also exhausting. The massing of the lodge seeks to permit visitors to modulate their experience with the landscape. A sheltered courtyard offers a place to feel protected and enclosed, while an open plaza and viewing terraces offer opportunities to revel in the land’s rough beauty.


1) Dining Hall 2) Event Space 3) Plaza 4) Guest Room 5) Courtyard 6) Office Space

(4)

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Plaza | Courtyard

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Dining Hall | Lounge

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METAL FACIA

METAL SHINGLE PANELS OVER PLYWOOD

CAST IN PLACE ALUMINUM TRACK

PLASTERED ECRETE WALL

TREATED WOOD SILL BOLTED INTO CONCRETE

FLASHING UNDER SILL REINFORCING CONECTS INTO CONCRETE FRAME

FLOOR SYSTEM (2) 5 " REINFORCED SLAB W/2.5" POLISHED CONCRETE TOING W/ RADIENT HEAT

TREATED BLOCKING 2" RIGID INSULATION BACKER ROD & CALK ALUMINUM CHANEL

BOARD FORMED CONCRETE

CHANEL CAST IN SLAB FOR CEILINFG

3/4" OCATILLO PANEL SUSPENDED CEILING OVER 1/2" DRYWALL

4' METAL SHUTTERS ON STEEL FRAME

Get a Room with a View Guest rooms afford visitors the great control when deciding how to connect with the landscape beyond. For those wanting to drink in the scenography, floor to ceiling glazing and generous balconies offer a spot from which to stare. For those wanting to block out the heat or light, retractable screens transform the chamber into a cliff side cave.

ALUMINUM TRACK FOR SHUTTERS BOLTED INTO CONCRETE FLOOR SYSTEM (1): 4-1/2" SLAB ON GRADE ON GRADE W/ 2.5" POLISHED CONCRETE TOPING W/ INTEGRAL RADIENT HEAT

REINFORCED CAST CONCRETE RETAINING WALL SHOW SEAMS OF FORMWORK

REINFORCED CONCRETE FOOTING


ROOF SYSTEM : TPO ROOFING MEMBRANE 4" EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE 8" CONCRETE SLAB

METAL SHINGLE PANELS OVER PLYWOOD

ROOF SYSTEM : TPO ROOFING MEMBRANE 4" EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE 8" CONCRETE SLAB

3/4" OCOTILLO PANEL CEILING OVER 1/2 DRYWALL

WALL SYSTEM (1): 8" ECRETE BLOCKS W/ 2 COATS OF 5/8" PLASTER HAND TROWELED FINISH 4' METAL SHUTTERS ON STEEL FRAME CHASES FOR ELECTRICAL DUCTS

WIRE RAILING

BOARD FORMED CONCRETE

FLOOR SYSTEM (1): 5" REINFORCED SLAB W/ 2.5" POLISHED CONCRETE TOPING W/ RADIENT HEAT 3/4" OCATILLO PANEL SUSPENDED CEILING OVER 1/2 DRYWALL

4' METAL SHUTTERS ON STEEL FRAME

WIRE RAILING

ALUMINUM TRACK FOR SHUTTERS BOLTED INTO CONCRETE

FLOOR SYSTEM (2): 4-1/2" SLAB ON GRADE ON GRADE W/ 2.5" POLISHED CONCRETE TOPING W/ INTEGRAL RADIENT HEAT F.F. POLISHED CONCRETE

REINFORCED CAST CONCRETE RETAINING WALL SHOW SEAMS OF FORMWORK

GUEST ROOM TYP. 310 sqft

F.F. STONE

F.F. STONE

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Corridor | Guestroom


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[2]

The Alley Flat Project Affordable Austin Infill Housing Demographers predict Austin’s population will double over the next thirty years. Rising land values in the city center, have come at the expense of affordable housing. As property taxes increase and rents rise, longtime residents of traditionally low income and frequently minority neighborhoods are being pushed to outlying communities often far from transit and employment opportunities. The Alley Flat Initiative a collaboration of the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development, and various neighborhood organizations is focused on creating small-scale secondary dwelling units as a way for integrating affordable and sustainable housing opportunities into established communities. This studio, a collaboration between the University of Texas School of Architecture, and the Clarksville Community Development Corporation focused on developing and documenting a design for an 850 sq ft home to be located on a vacant lot in a historic Austin neighborhood. Simultaneously aspirational and utterly realistic, this studio strove to rethink housing as units of production, bolstering existing water, electrical, and food production capacities while negotiating tight budgetary and regulatory constraints to produce a shovel ready model for subsequent development.


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The Alley Flat Concept The Alley Flat Initiative seeks to advance Austin’s goal of becoming a carbon neutral city by establishing a model for the production of sustainable and affordable housing units that, not only increase density in existing neighborhoods, but also function as distributed infrastructure augmenting the capacities of municipal water and electrical utilities

Alley Infrastructure Infill Tool Adopted

Population Change by Census Block 2000-2010

Apartment Infill Tool Adoption

Between 2000 and 2010 a majority of the metro area’s growth took place on the city’s periphery. Anxious to focus growth in the urban core, city government approved the Apartment Infill Tool which permits the construction of secondary dwelling units in neighborhoods targeted for densification. A network of disused alleys offers potential frontage for affordable infill housing.

Lydia Street Alley Flat

GIS analysis suggest that there is tremendous opportunity for accessory dwelling unit development throughout Austin, some 42,000 parcels are already eligible under current zoning. Studios organized by the UT School of Architecture have already partnered with the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation to build a series of prototypes in East Austin.


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The Clarksville Context One of the oldest communities in Austin, Clarksville was initially established in 1871 as the first freed slave community west of the Mississippi. Today Clarksville has lost most of its African American population, however, its unique cultural, architectural, and historic identities lives on. The Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church remains an important center for the community.

ha ve z

Clarksville Built Fabric

More recently known for its eclectic, bohemian atmosphere, the Clarksville neighborhood, has long taken pride in its diverse mix of income, age, and skin color. However, in recent years the charming housing stock and proximity to downtown Austin has attracted the interest of young professionals. Rising property values are pricing out many longtime residents.

Site Boundry

The Clarksville Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the diverse character of the neighborhood owns several properties throughout the neighborhood which it maintains as affordable housing. The studio focused on developing construction documents for an additional dwelling unit for their property at 10th and Theresa.

2 | 02


Large Front Porch

15’

Metal Roofs

Bright Colors Framed in White Trim

y Alle

The design process began by pinpointing critical decision drivers. Setbacks, an alley easement, and protected heritage tree dramatically limited the buildable envelope. Visits with the community members revealed a deep attachment to the perceived character of the neighborhood and a strong desire for a contextually continuity.

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Infill Zoning Zo Z Requirements

Identifying Constraints

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May not exceed M ceed d a height he of 30 feet.

AA VEN

Building ding cover c for the site ite may ma not exceed d 40%

15’

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Impervious Im erviou cover for the e site may not exce eed 45% % Secondary Dwelling Secon Dwellin ing Unit U may not exceed 850 sq ft. f Unit must st be e at at lea least 15 fe feet from principle e single ng gle family residence. Unless ss the secondaryy apartment apar ent has h vehic ehicu cular acccess ss fro from m a rear alley, y, it must be served by a paved driveway. mu driveway riveway Two off street stree et parking parkin ng spaces sp ces required. required ed

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High ceiling and clerestory windows allow hot air to escape.

Operable shutters permit air movement with security.

Climate Driven Strategies

Winter Psychometric Chart

Summer Psychometric Chart

1. Passive Solar Heating 2. Thermal Mass Effects 3. Night-Purge Ventilation 4. Natural Ventilation

1. Passive Solar Heating 2. Thermal Mass Effects 3. Night-Purge Ventilation 4. Natural Ventilation

The comfort range for cooler winter conditions can be extended with passive solar heating.

The comfort range for hot and humid summer conditions can be extended through the use of natural ventilation and night cooling.

40 30

Austin is defined by a hot and humid climate. Winters are mild but summers can be brutal. Cooling is the primary challenge for thermal comfort during the majority of the year. In this context, facilitating natural ventilation and moderating intense sunlight become the chief concerns for maintaining comfort while minimizing energy usage.

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Feb

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Apr

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Jun

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Process Investigations Energy modeling software and rapid prototyping tools powered iterative design investigations that sought to balance vernacular styles with performative forms. The desire to facilitate passive cooling principles drove the design process.


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An "L" shape will help us maximize our buildable area.

The design studies relied heavily on rapid prototyping of digital and physical models to drive critique conversations. Feedback from public and academic critiques as well as cost estimates helped to inform subsequent iterations.

riatio

ns

The design progression followed an intensely iterative process, negotiating tight budget andregulatory constraints while balancing the community’s desire for contextual continuity and the academy’s mission of advancing innovative design.

p Ex l o

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Design Evolution

Pushing public functions toward the street will facilitate connections to the neighborhood. Bedrooms oriented east for natural morning light.

Thermal zoning places storage and circulation spaces towards the hot west wall. Metal roof facilitates water collection. Adhering to a modular grid will conserve building materials, materials reduce waste, waste and save money money.

Like the compact and efficient space pla planning. anning. Mono pitch roof feels like "half a house" Don'tt like the panel facade. Do like the big front porch.


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Feels like a "Palladian Villa missing a wing". Can we rework the section to improve natural ventilation and make the elevation more approachUnidirectional slope makes high "forehead" feels out of scale.

Shifting plan brings public functions toward the street, breaks up the bar, and makes room for water collection

Flip or flop? Orienting living spaces towards streets provides room expanding views. Orienting services towards street allows for preservation of porch.

Can we gang utilities for more efficient service? Splitting bathing and toileting provides more efficient in morning crunch. Finessing ssing fenestration: Barn doors or shotgun shutters?

French Doors blend exterior and interior spaces. p Sliding shutters allow natural ventilation but provide security. y.. Clerestory windows facilitate passive cooling.

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B

B

Existing Dwelling

Comfortably Compact The overall design logic is driven by the desire to maximize the site’s buildable footprint, facilitate natural ventilation, and create a sense of interior spaciousness. Plan and section are driven by a clerestory organization that roughly divides the living space into thirds. The front portion set beneath a soaring ceiling is reserved for sleeping, and living spaces. The rear portion, tucked within the lower section houses cooking, bathing and storage functions.

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Section BB

Section AA

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1 Standing Seam Panels 2 Furring Strips 3 Plywood Nail Base 4 Rigid Insulation 5 Plywood

6 5

6 2x8 Joists

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3 2 1

Hardie Plank Rain Screen

Furring Strips

Building Paper

Plywood Sheathing

2x6 Stud Framing

The structure is organized according a four foot modular grid to accommodate standard material dimensions and minimize waste. A concrete slab foundation supports wood framing filled blown in cellulose insulation and clad with Hardie plank siding. Exposed ceiling rafters support rigid insulation and a standing seam roof.

Blown in Insulation

Think ing Struc ture


A solar hot water heater reduces household dependence on natural gas and can lowers bills. Roof mounted PV panels supplement household power supply and help to moderate demand during periods of peak usage.

High voltage outlets provide convenient charging stations for plug in hybrid vehicles that can function as mobile batteries.

Four five hundred gallon cisterns collect and store rainwater for garden irrigation limiting the need for water treated to drinking quality standards.

Strip paving in the driveway reduces pervious cover, reducing runoff and facilitating rainwater infiltration.

Thinking Infrastructure The program imagines the secondary dwellings not only as units of consumption, but also units of production that supplement city wide infrastructure. Construction budgets limited more expensive options at the present, but the house is piped and wired to facilitate their inclusion when additional funding becomes available.

A greywater garden treats and infiltrates water collected from bathing and clothes washing activities to reduce outflows to the municipal wastewater system.

Raised garden beds allow residents to grow their own produce reducing the cost for nutritious food and the number of food miles traveled.

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Living

Dining | Living


Sleeping

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[3]

East Austin Sport Center Community Pool and Sports Park Open space has long been recognized as the safety valve that relives the pressures of urban living. As Austin grows more populous, cultivating a top notch system of public parks will become ever more critical for maintaining the town’s trademark livability. For this project, the studio was tasked with developing a sports complex for an underutilized stretch of parkland along the cities riverfront. This design proposal seeks to more closely integrate existing park facilities, better connect the Holly Neighborhood to waterfront views, and more intensively utilize the valuable lakefront location by layering multiple programs, and hybridizing built and landscape elements. The facility features twin swimming pools housed in cavernous, below grade chambers which protect bathers from blistering summer sun and allow an uninterrupted plinth of park space to become a waterside front yard for the neighborhood beyond. An airy pavilion shaded by overhanging eaves encloses fitness facilities with expansive views of park and lake beyond. Tree lined allees define spaces for athletic activities. Additionally, a boat launch, storage and training facilities accommodate rowing clubs who ply the lagoon.


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Proje

To w

ct Sit e

n La ke

Landscape Scale

Organizational Logic

Existing Physical and Visual Disruptions

Proposed Physical and Visual Connections

Layering Program

Existing structures and vegetation disrupt physical access between park activity centers as well as block visual access to the water.

The proposed intervention seeks to help link existing parkland and restore neighborhood access to waterfront views.

The design proposes sinking the program below grade to allow continuous park space and direct sightlines between neighborhood and waterline.


7:00

Structure Scale

9:00

13:00

11:00

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2

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18:00

3

Organizational Logic

Light Box Concept

Twin Pools

Light Wells

These investigations informed a proposal for a subterranean natatorium where the sun’s position could be read in a mural of light along the pool’s rear wall.

A cold pool accommodates athletic swimmers, a warm pool leisurely bathers. Open air locker areas provide space to enjoy being nude in the great outdoors.

Light shafts maintain privacy for below grade locker areas and support an airy aboveground pavilion with expansive views to the surrounding parkland.

3 | 02 18:00


Process Investigations Study models and sketches drove explorations into the dynamic qualities of light over diurnal and annual cycles. I set out to explore the ways in which shadow movement could help track time and become an integral component of meditative activities. Here the movement of light animates the subterranean chamber.


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A Pav i l i o n i n t h e Par k A new tree lined axis of recreation spaces featuring a soccer field, sports pavilion, and tennis courts, replaces dilapidated service buildings along the north shore of the lagoon to link existing park infrastructure.

Soccer Field

Sport Pavillion


Tennis Courts

3 | 04


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Layering Program The sports complex features a multitiered organizational system to maximize spatial efficiency. Locker and boat storage facilities tuck neatly between below grade pool halls allowing expansive, uninterrupted park space above.


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5 Boat Storage

2 Cold Pool

6 Yoga Studio

3 Men’s Locker

7 Cadio Room

4 Women’s Locker

8 Weight Room

Section AA


CC

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Park Level 1 Soccer Field 2 West Lawn 3 Yoga Studio 4 Weight Room 5 Cardio Room 6 Men’s Toilet 7 Women’s Toilet

C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

C_TOILETSCHINA VITREOUS SIFTON K-4460-C

7 C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON VITREOUS K-4460-C

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Entry Level 1 Lobby

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3 Dance Studio 4 Staff Room 5 Class Room

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K-4460-C CHINA VITREOUS C_TOILETS SIFTON

C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

VITREOUS C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C

CHINA

C_TOILETS SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

Lake Level 9

CHINA

C_TOILETS SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

C_TOILETS VITREOUS SIFTON K-4460-C

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CHINA

CHINA CHINA

C_TOILETS SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

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VITREOUS C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C

K-4460-C C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON VITREOUS

13 VITREOUS C_TOILETS SIFTON K-4460-C

CHINA

C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

CHINA

VITREOUS C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C

C_TOILETS SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

C_TOILETSCHINA SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

C_TOILETS SIFTON K-4460-C VITREOUS

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7 Women’s Locker

K-4460-C C_TOILETS SIFTON VITREOUS

6 Men’s Locker

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Cold Lap Pool

10 Hot Tub

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11 Men’s Toilet 12 Men’s Sauna 13 Women’s Toilet 14 Women’s Sauna 15 Crew Team

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Boat Storage

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2 Reception

3 Weight Room

4 Crew Training

5 Boat Storage

6 Hot tub

7 Lap Pool

8 Recreation Lawn 9 Scenic Overlook

Speluncar Swimming Entering from street level, patrons descend an agave lined ramp before entering a central reception vestibule. After passing the control point users can ascend a staircase to access exercise equipment in the airy pavilion overlooking

the park. Alternatively, they can pass through the open air locker facilities before descending to the swimming pools. Cool and shaded from the blazing summer sun, these pools evoke the delight of swimming in a limestone grotto.

Section BB


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[4]

Remaking for Resilience Urban Design for a Warming Planet New York City will face tremendous challenges as we move into the next century. Climate change threatens to flood this coastal city. Dependence on finite, increasingly expensive fossil fuels could limit the city’s purchasing power and economic health. Population growth promises to add a million people over the next decade pushing aging city infrastructure past capacity. This studio tasked students with challenge of envisioning integrated urban design strategies that would allow communities to anticipate these future shocks and stresses while maintaining a consistent structure, function, and sense of identity. A large, underutilized industrial tract in the Inwood neighborhood at the northern tip of Manhattan offers an ideal laboratory for exploring resilient development strategies as we build cities for the next century. The proposed intervention seeks to overcome prominent physical barriers to link the new development with the existing community while synthetically integrating strategies for protecting the low-lying site from rising sea levels and hurricane storm surge, creating pedestrian and transit oriented streets and transportation infrastructure, and incorporating onsite renewable and carbon neutral energy production, year-round local food production, as well as stormwater management practices that restore predevelopment hydrological cycles.


4 5| 01 | 01 01


Mapping Site Systems

Underutilized Land

Existing Conditions

City Owned Building

The current site has a weak urban fabric and lacks cohesive structure and identity. Clashing street grids and physical barriers sever the site from adjacent neighborhood. Vacant land, parking lots, and discontinuous facades fail to define civic space. The river front is underutilized and effectively ignored.

Riverfront Land

Cat 1 Storm Surge

City Owned Land

Cat 2 Storm Surge Cat 3 Storm Surge Cat 4 Storm Surge

Subway Line

Physical Barrier

Commuter Rail

Traffic Barrier

5 Min Walk Radius

Combined Sewer

Site Liabilities The low lying site is at risk for flooding and inundation from hurricane storm surge. An elevated rail line and walled rail yard create stark physical and perceptual barriers. Wide, heavily trafficked avenues divide the site, creating barriers for pedestrains. Combined sewer overflow outlets discharge sewage into the river in storm events.

Site Assets The site is blessed with excellent access to subway and commuter rail infrastructure. Extensive waterfront access offers opportunities for views, recreation, and leisure. Property acquisition is frequently the biggest hurtle for large-scale development. The city already owns the majority of site and could facilitate parcelization.

Proposed Interventions

Fa b g n i ist Ex

ric

Adjacent avenues are extended to the riverfront providing organizing visual axes. The rail yard boundaries are clipped and aligned to predominate street grid. Perimeter blocks reinforce streetscapes and update outdated tenements. A waterfront levy prevents flooding and provides a unifying public promenade.

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Street et Grid Boulevards vards direct cross-town town bridge traffic away from neighborhood borhood interiors. ors. Commercial al avenues providee attractive streetscapes scapes for ground ound floor retail. Narrow side streetss provide local access cess at slow speeds. s. Boulevard ulevard Avenue venue Street reet

Transit sit Network work

Performative Landscape scape

Multimodal modal transit options provide alternatives atives to car ownership. nership. A spinee of rail and bus us stations connects onnects neighborhoods borhoods to the city beyond. d. Local, distributed uted car sharing g stations provide e access to autos os on demand. nd.

A network ork of street side de swales capture and infiltrate e storm water preventing reventing combined ed sewer overflows. ws. Water is treated d via bioremediation ediation in constructed cted wetland boulevards ulevards before discharge in the Harlem arlem River.

Carr Share bway Subway e Bike

Rain Garden & Bioswale wale

Public Space Shopping ng avenues lined ned with ground floor retail and office space link transit nsit nodes with public blic parks and plazas. zas. A waterfront ont promenade defines the eastern tern edge of the site ite and unifies the two neighborhoods. orhoods. mercial Commercial e Front Store Civicc Space

Productive Landscape dscape A CHP P plant res heat captures from electrical production uction for spaceheating. heating. A district rict distribution n system eliminates nates the need eed for individual dual boilers and nd chillers. Steam m power warmss rooftop greenhouses houses permitting itting year round d growing. ooftop Rooftop reenhouse e Greenhouse omass Biomass ant Plant

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Process Investigations Studio explorations began with research on urban block structure, neighborhood organization, and complete streets rights of way that facilitate storm water management and alternative transportation options before moving onto model driven massing and volume studies and then finer grained architectonic experimentation.


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R e co n n e c t i n g t h e U r b a n Fa b r i c

The proposed plan strives to connect future development with the existing urban fabric by weaving together the colliding grid systems. The plan extends avenues to create strong organizing lines and clear visual connections to the waterfront. The plan retains the presence of the MTA switching yard but ro-

tates the facility to fit within the new regulating lines. A wood powered combined heat and power biofuel plant joins the campus as source of distributed and potentially carbon neutral energy production. An inlet provides a mooring point for barges transporting combustible waste from upstate logging operations.

The rail yard divides the community into two neighborhoods with distinct identities. The neighborhood to the south centers around a commercial plaza at the base of a midrise tower complex. The eighborhood to the north is organized around a trident originating at the MTA station and leading to a Marina and riverfront park.


Broadway

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Biofuel Plant

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The rail yard divides the community into two neighbor hoods with distinct identities. The Dyckman neighbor hood to the south is centered around a commercial plaz at the base of a midrise tower complex. A shopping ave nue continues the line of the elevated rail along 10th Ave The Broadway Neighborhood to the north is organized around a trident originating at the MTA station and lead ing to a Marina and riverfront park.

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Reclaiming the Lost Waterfront A geotextile levee would hold back rising sea levels and potential hurricane storm surge while creating a public promenade that unifies the waterfront. A new bikeway provides replaces a critical gap in the Hudson River Trail. The promenade celebrates the industrial beauty of urban infrastructure while connecting residents to the systems on which they depend.


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Commercial Avenue

Regional Boulevard

The avenue features broad walkways for window shopping and sidewalk cafes. Parking protected bike lanes shelter cyclists from vehicle traffic. Curb extensions shorten crossing distances and provide waiting zones for bus access.

The boulevard splits travel types directing high-volume highspeed cross town traffic under the elevated rail line and slower moving local traffic to one way service drives. Vegetated medians buffer bike lanes for safety.


Residential Street

Wetland Boulevard

Side streets provide local vehicular access but focus on creating attractive pedestrian environments. Traffic calming chicanes force frequent course changes and lower speeds. Door gardens and exterior terraces help to buffer public and private space.

Constructed wetland boulevards collect storm water from a network of swales and rain gardens and treat runoff via bioremediation before directing clean water to the river. A poplar allee give structure to the space.

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Building on Tradition to build a Better Block Perimeter blocks define the fabric of the district’s overall organization. A well established typology common to Northern European Capitals such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Helsinki, the perimeter block is an effective tool for defining public and private realms.

Searching for More Sustainable Housing Perimeter blocks are a natural choice for the prevailing long thin block structure. Narrow building footprints facilitate natural cross ventilation and solar access unlike adjacent tenemnets.

Waste Not Want Not Typical buildings employ a suite of integrated strategies that turn potential waste products into valuable resources reducing energy and water budgets.

In this scheme, apartment units enclose a private courtyard situated above structured parking. Narrow floor plates facilitate access to light and natural ventilation. District heating and cooling systems offer greater overall efficiencies than individual units District Heating and Cooling Cogeneration of heat and power coupled with distributed power production can dramatically increases system efficiencies. A local biofuel plant supplies electricity to the district as well as steam that can be used to heat homes and business.

Flexible Plots cal blocks are broken into Typical segmentss spanning street to street evelopment. Blocks divide for ease of development. easily into 100' 150' or 300' plots for variability.

Greywater storag washing an


ge for reuse in clothes d toilet flushing.

Building with Timber to Cut Down Carbon

Rainwater harvesting supplies rooftop hydroponic gardens, and irrigation or ornamental vegetation.

Rooftop gardens and greenhouses produce fresh, high-value, and perishable produce on site all year round reducing food miles traveled.

The production of concrete and steel, materials frequently used in high-rise residential, is highly energy intensive. Transitioning to timber construction could greatly reduce a structure’s carbon footprint.

1 CLT Egg Crate System

2 LSL Cantilevered Core

3 Glulam Post and Beam

Prefabricated Post, Beam, and Panel systems offer modular flexibility and endless possibilities for variation. Cross Laminated Timber panelized construction permits off site prefabrication of entirewalls and can accelerate construction schedules.

Subsurface flow constructed wetland filters greywater while doubling as an aesthetic amenity.

Laminated Stand Lumber panels could support cantilevered spans much like a traditional concrete core. A perimeter of glulam columns allows for flexible free spans.

Electric vehicle charging stations use hybrid batteries as power reservoirs during peak usage periods.

A Galley Entrance

B

Central Core

C Clustered Common

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Designing for Density The project concluded with the design of a multifamily structure that would fit within the perimeter block organizational scheme and investigate strategies for balancing density and livability. The duplex units are organized around a double height loft scheme. Living and dining spaces are located on the first floor with bedrooms and an office area above.

Typical Plan

An exterior circulation core overlooks the block’s courtyard and provides opportunities for residents to mingle. Balconies provide an entry threshold for each unit.

Typical Plan

Apartments feature a generous terrace that functions as an extension of the living space. The terrace provides a private connection with the outdoors even in the crowded city.

Typical Section 5

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Roof top greenhouses fitted with hydroponic grow tables reserve the best daylight access for the cultivation of fresh, local fruit and produce which would be sold at neighborhood markets.

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[5]

Immersive Infrastructure Estuary Education Center As water resources become more scarce, the issue of their rightful allocation can become a vexing political question. Nowhere is that more clear than in the watershed of the Lower Colorado River which runs from the prairies of northwest Texas to the beaches of the Gulf Coast through one of the most rapidly growing regions in the country. The waters of the Colorado provide a broad range of upstream services including recreation, electrical production, irrigation, and drinking water however, they also nourish a vibrant delta ecosystem that provides a series of valuable ecosystem services including water filtration, storm mitigation, habitat for migrating birds and commercially important species of fish and shellfish. As the burgeoning communities of the Texas Triangle grow, they consume more water threatening this habitat and disrupting these services. This project endeavors to teach Texans about the role of the river and how their actions impact its health. The project aims to expand public understanding of the estuary and its valuable services by transforming the esturay into a public park, establishing an environmental education center, and building a series of infrastructural interventions to facilitate access to the variegated landscape. It is hoped that by allowing people to engage with the land first hand, they will forge a personal connection and be motivated to protect this powerful place.


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Matagorda Bay Estuar y Reser ve The energy of the ocean translated into wind and wave governs the distribution of plant and animal communities and shapes this unique landscape into linear bands of distinct ecosystems running parallel to the shore. Each community can be described in terms the kinetic energy present in the system and the net primary productivity, the amount of solar energy that can be converted into useable chemical energy. While the harsh environment of windswept beachs limit the number of speices that can thrive and their energy fixing efficiency, the tranquil waters of the tridal flat encorage incredible species richness and resulting in some of the highest productivities of any global ecotype.

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Beach Dunes Barrier Flat Tidal Flat Marine Riverine Estuarine A B C D E F G H

Cottages Kayak Launch Floating Campsites Lookout Tower Observation Point Comfort Station Fishing Pier Visitor’s Center & Youth Hostel

Boardwalk Loop A 3.4mi Loop B 3.2mi Loop A+B 5mi

Kayak Trails Loop C 1.5mi Loop D 3.5mi to Bayou 6mi

Paved Roads to Houston 100mi to Austin 150mi

Bike Paths Mattagorda 6.5mi Bay City 25.5mi

I nf ras t ru c t u re for E xp l orat i on


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System Energy

Primary Productivity

Tidal Flat

Barrier Flat

Dunes

Beach

Typical Barrier Island Section : The productivity of the ecosystems is greater on the leeward side of the island.

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This project strives to elevate public understanding on the importance of the estuary by constructing a series of interventions that allow visitors to directly engage with the landscape in hopes of fostering a sense of ecological stewardship and promoting basic environmental literacy. Research has shown that encouraging direct participatory relationships between local communities and nature, through hands-on, sustained, longer term, contact is best way to elicit a sense of stewardship. The project proposes a network of boardwalks and pavilions that facilitate visitor exploration and allow the varied landscape to be revealed in an itinerant narrative. The network would encompass bike trails, two hiking loops, and flagged kayaking trails.

The network of trails draw looping paths through the changing ecotones, carrying visitors through an itinerant narrative of shifting views

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Matagorda Delta and Twin Bays

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Process Investigations Studio explorations began with onsite observation of emergent patterns and phenomena within the estuary ecosystem in an effort to understand the underlying processes at work and inform subsequent design decisions. Runner vines, whose tendrils help anchor the dunes, inspired potential structural solutions.


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Barrier Flat

Tidal Flat

Inflatable pontoons allow the boardwalk to float above the marsh.

Dunes

Pin foundations secure the boardwalk with minimal disruption.

Productivity: Wind Energy:

Productivity: Wind Energy:

Productivity: Wind Energy:

Tidal Flat

Barrier Flat


D e co d i n g L a n d s c a p e :

Beach

Path as I ndex of Process The network of paths provide not only access to the landscape but also a tool for reading and understanding the critical properties of the changing ecotypes. The undulating heights of the upright piers represent the average system energy present in the particular location. The more uneven the piers, the more turbulent the system.

Dunes

The density of the walkway decking represents the productivity of the particular biotic community. We can imagine the net primary productivity of a system as a literal net, catching carbon from the environment and fixing it into usable chemical bonds. The tighter the weave the more efficient the community in capturing solar energy and translating it into life. The placid waters of the tidal flat are the most productive, while the turbulent surf along the beach is the least productive.

A stable surface ensures accessible beach exploration.

Productivity: Wind Energy:

Beach

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An Oceanside Outpost

An appreciation for the estuary’s ecology is most effectively cultivated through an immersive, exploration of the island’s habitats but the remote location makes day trips difficult. A fleet of amphibious structures functions as a base of operations for the school groups, families, and tourists who frequent the island and provides overnight accommodations in order to facilitate prolonged encounters with nature.


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A Bioclimatic Approach The form and massing of the structures are rooted in a bioclimatic approach to comfort as well as a didactic agenda. In the hot and humid climate of the Texas Gulf Coast, access to shade and a sea breeze is the best defense against the brutal summer sun. Fabric screens stretched between structural frames shade inhabitable spaces from hot morning and afternoon sun and double as wind scoops to leverage the cooling gusts.

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The screen patterning evokes the transition of crashing waves to placid ripples, transforming the power of water in the landscape into a play of light and shadow. Translucent acrylic panels receive these shadows and telegraph this dance of light to interior spaces while providing thermal performance superior to conventional glazing systems. North facing clerestory skylights wash interior spaces with cool, even light and facilitate convective passive ventilation.

Fabric Scre eens

Translucent Panels

Clerestory Skylights

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Default State Current Conditions

1 M Sea Level Rise

Anticipating Future Flooding

2 M Sea Level Rise

Hurricanes and their accompanying storm surges are a perennial threat for this region. Rising sea levels induced by warming temperatures compound the problem and will push the shoreline inland. The studio centered on investigating the patterns

and processes that had shaped the estuary ecosystems and employing these relationships as design generators. The distribution patterns of seaweed stranded on the beach informed the massing of the center’s programmatic units. Ar-

ranged in a series of bars perpendicular to the shore, the massing minimizes the surface in contact with an oncoming surge. The spaces between the buildings or allow receding flood waters to return to the sea without washing them away.


Default State

Embracing Multiple Stable States

The design of the installation responds to the prospect of flooding by embracing the ecological concept of multiple stable states. Ecosystems can exist under various sets of unique biotic and abiotic conditions. When acted upon by an exter-

nal force or perturbation, these ecosystems can shift from one state to another. In fair-weather conditions, pin foundations support the structure while minimizing environmental disruption. Large tanks collect and store rainwater for everyday

Storm State use. In storm events, the pins are released and the water drained. The tanks now function as catamaran-like pontoons. Vertical piers permit the center to rise with the tide while preventing lateral displacement.

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Approach | Welcome Center


Sleeping Cabin

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Graduate Works