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michael halls selected works

spring 2013

fall 2012

fall 2013

spring 2012

filtration + habitation

project: the icares ecological research center in big branch marsh. the site contains both open marsh regions and dense forests of thin cypress trees. as our program called for a center of ecological study, the project required extensive studies into the marsh landscape typology and local plant and animal life.

big branch marsh, new orleans

my project design is based on analysis of spanish moss, a plant local to the southeastern us environment, particularly in the humid marsh climate of our site. spanish moss grows downward, using its thick mesh of vines to capture air and sunlight. these are the qualities i pursued in developing my design, particularly the facade and sectional qualities.

SITE PLAN Scale: 1/32� = 1’

Sun Exposure and Wind Flow

Southeast Wind Map - Common in Summer



Northeast Wind Map - Common in Winter





while a simple glass facade encloses the interior, a dense mesh of copper panels create a gradient from exterior to interior. supported by a grid of thick vertical trusses, these panels limit the amount of heat able to enter the interior during the hot summer months and the intense winds of hurricane season, while still allowing a slight breeze through for ventilation where appropriate. the skin widens at points to become habitable space, operating as circulation, balconies, and shading for outside seating.



3 ‘ 0”





C 9 ‘ 0”

1 5


6 ‘ 0”





Program Key 1

Lobby and Assembly Hall




Lab 1 : Ecosystem and Earth Science



12 27 ‘ 0”

33 ‘ 0” 11



10 10



SECTION B-B Scale 1/8” = 1’

Scale 1/8” = 1’


the panels are coated with copper, which will ultimately anodize and turn green, blending in with the surrounding foliage. the panels descend from the thick roof structure, while the floor plates are hung from the vertical truss system, giving the building the illusion of suspension.

modulation + deformation forest park, st louis

project: observation platform and outdoor gathering space. beginning at a small, highly detailed scale, i developed a module that could be assembled into a surface in which the curvature and size of apertures could be easily controlled, creating a three-dimensional modular formwork that could be deformed to meet a variety of programmatic requirements.


the program called for an outdoor installation for use in various park activities, from the annual balloon races to sports events and concerts. the project is sited on the edge of the central field, looking inward and raised off the ground so as not to impede walking access into the park.

Mapping View Boundaries Scale 1� = 100’

the installation’s multiple levels are based on mapping ideal directional viewpoints. interior areas for dining, shops and bathrooms occur in the spaces between these levels

public + private grand, st louis

project: st louis housing studio. this project demanded a combined environmental and urban approach, working to reclaim and develop an underused industrial site into a space for green living and community engagement. the overall complex focuses on finding ways to reach out to the community without sacrificing the privacy of individual residents and families. several large pedestrian paths cut through the site, from which the main buildings of the complex branch off. these paths connect people to the nearby metro station to the south, the major commuting road to the east, and, via an over-bridge, under-highway road, connect to the saint louis university campus to the north. the site itself is a blend of movement and barrier, public and private, where the towers provide a private place for the residents, but also give home to spaces for communal activities. the project is defined by its experiential variety, which works to blend contrasting elements without sacrificing what makes them special.

movement and barrier

the spatial organization was determined via a ‘pulling-apart’ of spaces, allowing the spaces in between to become communal programming. inside, the central core of each building opens up to provide functions of swimming pool, small theater, gallery space, and cafe. outside, the spaces between the towers become community gardens, parks, and pathways connecting the buildings to each other and the city at large.

the spaces, both inside and out, are designed to vary their experiential qualities. the interior spaces vary from more intimate residences and community rooms to light-filled atriums housing pools and theaters. outside, the major avenues of movement pass through open air, an interior lobby, onto a raised walkway overlooking a public park, under a vegetative shading structure, and onto a bridge back to the main city.

the facade was developed as a dual-skin green facade, with an interior layer of glass to provide enclosure, and an outer structural membrane to support the growth of leafy vines and other plant life, acting as a veil to shade, insulate, and preserve the privacy of the residences within. vine density is more concentrated on the southern facade, and more open on the north facade due to differing light conditions.



the between spaces in the facade become balconies for the individual units, giving each resident some exterior space still sheltered from the public and the other residents via the vegetative screen.







cloudCOVER patrick henry elementary, st louis

our 2012 design build studio took us to a school in north st louis, where we expanded upon the previous studio year’s landscaping efforts to create a greenscape learning environment. we also worked to design and construct a shading structure for use as an outdoor classroom environment. the pergola works to connect the school with the community, bringing students outside and creating

an inviting curiousity where once there was hardscape. The simple cedar wood structure is left simple, to emphasize the shading device. shading is environmentally reactive, a series of fabric strips that block sunlight even when hanging straight down, but become active in wind, forming gentle, temporary ripples in the overhead surface.



gallery + archive palm springs, ca

this project took a look at the type of modernism common to the palm springs area during the first half of the 20th century, with the task of designing an archive and gallery for the education and display of projects relating to early 20th century modernism, on a site adjacent to a richard neutra-designed residence.

the project is designed around carefully controlled experiential paths and precise moments of view, providing a sense of movement through physical space as you navigate the mental space of research and learning. the limited windows keep the focus on the interior spaces, while the views onto the city and landscape become equally focused through limitation. by making the views special moments, they become part of the exhibits, revealing the context and significance of the palm springs site to the architecture exhibited within.

thank you for reading!


valerie greer

senior associate, hok 211 north broadway, suite 700 st louis, mo 63102 office: 314.754.4035 cell: 304.308.9107

dave dumey

project architect, mccormack baron salazar 720 olive st, suite 2500 st louis, mo 63101 office: 314.621.3400

ken brown

project manager, minton homes llc 9900 clayton road, suite c st louis, mo 63124 office: 314.266.5857 cell: 314.323.0438

Michael Halls-Portfolio 2014  

Selection of some more recent work, primarily Wash U grad school with some undergrad work.