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Selected Graduate Works

Michael Papernov

[Washington University in St. Louis]

Degree Project [St. Louis, MO]

Critic: Eric Hoffman

Switch: St. Louis High-Speed Rail Terminal A high-speed train station and multimodal terminal located adjacent to historical Union Station in St. Louis, this project seeks to re-activate and re-connect the heart of the city through its symbiotic relationship to the historical landmark. The creation of an intermediate plaza creates a virtual connection that facilitates the sharing of facilities and resources. A proposed extension of the light rail line to Market St. allows for a fluidity of movement from the regional to the local scale. An emphasis on pedestrian circulation promotes an intimate connectivity. Clad in a double membrane of translucent ETFE, The station teases, only partially revealing its expressive interior structure, as well as the people and trains that occupy it. The initial idea for the project is the result of extensive study about the role of virtual information networks and the more tangible transportation networks that support them in our increasingly interconnected world. The writings of Manuel Castells and Saskia Sassen were especially influential.

s Cit a Kans

y Lin


The Greenway

Union Station Head

Market St.

Union Station Shed

Union Station Midway

Chicago Line

^ N

Inspiration: Miscanthus Sinensis; St. Louis Union Station

flexible strong light open



Site Section: Historical and Contemporary

Transversal Section: A New Synthesis

Longitudinal Section: Extending into the City


Plaza Level Plan

Physical Sectional Model

Vertical Studio 3 [Buenos Aires, Argentina]

Critic: Fabian Llonch

Tango Trajectory The Argentine Tango is a notoriously passionate dance during which, it is often noted, the partners appear as one intertwining body. Inspired by ideas of observer and observed, the project [ a Tango dance academy and milonga ] is conceived as a looping vertical trajectory, whereby public and private circuits are constantly coupled, separated only by an intermediate structural membrane. The circulation brings different groups of users as close together as possible to allow views and interactions, while maintaining a teasing separation. The Program includes five semi-opaque dance studios that alternate with more “transparent� programmatic components.

West Elevation

South Elevation


Vertical Studio 2 [Barcelona, Spain]

Critics: Adrian Luchini, Elena Canovas, Anna Puigjaner

Institute for Digital Cartography In the heart of historic Barcelona, The Institute for Digital Cartography is a programmatic extension of the adjacent Maritime Museum, and a conceptual extension of the sea just beyond. Although unseen, the sea is felt on the site, manifesting in the quality of light and the smell of the breeze. I treated the existing museum as a conduit, channeling these amorphous sensations through the rigid construct of the museum’s structural cadence. On the site, the deposition of “processed” elements forms the new building’s enclosure, structure, and organization. Paying homage to Barcelona’s special relationship with the street, the project places emphasis on providing new public spaces, and re-energizing existing ones. Similarly, the building program integrates academic and public elements. A monumentalized exterior circulation pathway elevates the pedestrian and provides excellent views in all directions, while protecting from the sun and elements.


Translation A

Translation B

Adaptation [A + B]

Ground Fl.

1st Fl.

2nd Fl.

3rd Fl.

4th Fl.

Advanced Studio 1 [St. Louis, MO]

Critic: Adrian Luchini

Paranormal St. Louis Although transportation infrastructure is built to create efficient connections, it can also create immediate divisions and produce dead or undesired space. Similarly, the contemporary American shopping district (created for the efficient marketing and distribution of commercial products) can be alienating and exclusive, particularly, in its relationship to the external street condition. Paranormal St. Louis proposes a project that is more field than building. It is a flexible and expandable scaffold with the potential for multiple programs, users, and landscapes. The design acts as an occupiable bridge, threading around and through an existing highway intersection that divides a busy shopping district from a residential zone. An integrated steel structural skin and a series of angled service cores allow for spatial flexibility under restrictive conditions. By tilting, bridging, and cantilevering, the project maximizes space usage and openness while maintaining appropriate clearances. The program proposes office and commercial spaces, as well as interior and exterior public spaces.

section and fill

[positional] shift

[geometric] shift

fragmentation / connection

roads = spatial constraints

leaning >> [+] volume

conceptual exploration: filling residual space

extension >> structure + connection

Section A-A

Physical Model

Housing Studio [St. Louis, MO]

Critic: Ian Caine

Eroded Boundary: Urban Housing for a City in Transition St. Louis is a city that deals with the rapid loss of urban density in favor of suburbanization. The studio deals with the injection of dense urban housing along a section of an important thoroughfare (Delmar Blvd.) that has declined as the result of depopulation. This project addresses the challenge of security, while maintaining a hopeful and forward-looking attitude. The building embraces the idea of protective enclosure, while cutting away at the boundaries between interior and exterior, formally and informally controlled space, facade and street, and the community within and without. A formal geometry of wrapping bars mimics a traditional courtyard house, The greater massing is then eroded through the opening of private and more communal sub-courtyards that entice a blurring of space occupation. Intending to attract an influx of young professional tennants, the building looks both inwardly and towards the main street. The residences are lifted from the ground level, freeing space for community-engaging commercial spaces. The facade employs a shutter scheme that is materially contiguous with the exterior wall treatment, providing a unified, yet continually variable face to the street.


2nd fl. plan

1st fl. plan

ground plan

South Elevation

Architecture and Photography [St. Louis, MO]

Critic: Stephen Leet

16 Dumpsters of the Delmar Loop This project documents graffiti on dumpsters behind a vibrant commercial street in St. Louis. My approach was inspired by the photographic works of Bernd and Hilla Becher, and Andreas Gursky.

Sketches [South America]

Buenos Aires, Arg.

Buenos Aires, Arg.

Brasilia, Brazil

Valparaiso, Chile

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Ouro Preto, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Michael Papernov Graduate Architecture Portfolio  
Michael Papernov Graduate Architecture Portfolio  

Work completed at Washington University in St. Louis (Aug 2008 - May 2011). Please share your comments and suggestions!