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minh k. ledao archit e c t u r a l

por t f ol i o.


a r c h

2 0 1 3


the architecture that i find most intriguing is the kind that responds to time, place, people, and the environment in a meaningful way. my approach to architecture and everything else i do, i try to continuously grow and to be conscious of all the things around me. through architecture, i am given the opportunity to understand the world in a profound way. “i learned that everything in life is fully integrated and that one should attempt to do everything as well as one can, that the pride and joy of work is not in its position on the scale of social importance, but in ones personal respect for their work.� - juhani pallasmaa the works in this portfolio are examples of my understanding of architecture. these pieces best depict the distinct character of my designs and their intentions. as you will see throughout this portfolio, the approach, the style, the colors, the textures, and the architecture change frequently. with each project, a new problem or situation occurs and follows a new response or design. each piece of work is a different attempt at understanding architecture. these architectural works are arranged in order of time.

table of contents

four | a boat house ten | a museum for the tiber river sixteen | the creation of art twenty four | a memorial garden and mausoleum thirty two | the pattern box thirty six | stormwater education project forty | a cultural landscape forty four | the miller hull partnership internship fifty | resume fifty one | contact

project |

the boat house

time |

spring, 2009

location |

lowell, oregon

main Ideas |

experiential drawings connection to water public space for the community blending of indoor and outdoor space

description |

a design for the rowing community for the town of lowell, oregon. the site is located along dexter lake. the main clients are the rowing community as well as the university of oregon crew team. the design focuses on specific function of rowing, as well as creating a structure that sits lightly across the landscape. a design that does not obstruct the land, but emhpasizes its beauty for all to experience.

media |

hand sketching, ink, pencil, pastel, charcoal, prisma, photography, photoshop

model |

wood, hand modeled

professor: |

melinda nettles

[RIGHT] this conceptual drawing was the inceptive idea of the design. it is a view from across dexter lake that i sketched on site. the drawing was inspired by alberto kalach’s sketches. this sketch shows how the pieces of the boat house nestled into the dense landscape. the forms are broken up to impact the land less. the main thought of the design is to provide a clear movement down to the dock for individuals to engage the water.

four | five

the main function of the project was based on the sport of rowing. this facility is meant to serve the entire local rowing community as well as the row team at the university of oregon. though the clients are the rowers, there was a strong consideration towards the public who visited the site to enjoy the beauty of dexter lake in lowell. the design took both groups into account. the design fully supports the act of rowing, meanwhile creating comfortable spaces that interact with the beautiful landscape around it. from separating the built forms the outdoor spaces were created and became just as important as the architecture itself. the siting of the structure in the landscape was very important, blending as much as possible the boundaries between the two until it felt like nothing separated them. another key focus was connecting people to the lake in a meaningful way. this was important as a pragmatic function for the rowers. meanwhile, creating a clear connection to the water for visitors, facilitating a relationship between the individual, the architecture, and the water.

[LEFT] this conceptual piece shows the experience emerging out of the boat house to the dock. the space is dark and illuminated by light from the opening, the crew member picks up a boat and lifts it high over their head. they step into the light and as the beautiful landscape overtakes them for a second, they begins to approach the water.

[RIGHT] the main club house for the crew team. the form sits on stilts on the land, creating as small of a footprint as possible and subtly extends over the lake. it is tucked deep into the landscape and the deciduous and evergreen trees seem to enwrap and overgrow the structure.

the design informed me to work intimately with the landscape. i began to understand to use the land as a tool to create a deep interlock with the building. by doing so, and understanding where to situate the forms in relation to its site, the design begins to unfold itself. rooms begin forming around existing trees and corriders come alive by the canopies. programmatically, i learned that by combining different users and clients, it creates a much richer piece of architecture. the design turns into a place that serves a multitude of purposes and people, and becomes filled with life. i come to understand that all of these pieces become the layers of good architecture.

“in order to design buildings with a sensuous connection to life one must think in a way that goes far beyond form and construction.� - peter zumthor

[LEFT & RIGHT] this model built by hand, shows half of the design for the boat house. the goal was to create a constant connection to the natural landscape in every room you inhabited. the play of open spaces and corridors that are bounded by rows of trees creates a variety of outdoor rooms that are not technically in the program, but deeply connect the building to its surroundings.

project |

a mesuem for the tiber river

time |

fall, 2010

location |

rome, italy

main Ideas |

urban renewal historic renovation history of the tiber river contemporary response

description: |

a historical museum for the tiber river, located on the tiber island in rome. this design strived to showcase the tiber river and its history, as well as to revitalize the tiber island with activity. continuity is vital to this design. the museum acknowledges its site. the form is situated so it does not disturb the existing buildings; it instead accommodates the existing mound form of the island near the ponte garibaldi.

media |

hand sketching, ink, pencil, pastel, prisma, photography, autocad, sketch-up, idx-renditioner, photoshop, illustrator

model |

acrylic, wood, museum board, laser cut model

professor |

james tice

[RIGHT] conceptual drawing of the museum with the design imbedded into the tiber island. this design is meant to activate the island, and persuade people to inhabit the island. by introducing a bold form in a vital location, it becomes a focal point of the island. the museum showcases the entire island as a piece of art,

ten | eleven

[LEFT] this is a conceptual site map overlaying various historical maps showing different patterns, paths and forms of the city overtime and how they have transformed, and also how they survived. by studying the maps of nolli, piranesi, and other historians, you learn how deep and intricate the fabric of the city is.

[ABOVE] perspective of one of the main gallery space. the simple materials of the architecture become a backdrop for the history of the tiber river. the travertine walls display the art pieces, and the exterior facade of the museum displays the tiber river and the rest of the rome. the architecture displays the museum as an art piece in itself.

“revitalizing the island through art and architecture causes the museum to grow out from its interior, from the boundaries of its site towards the surrounding areas, above and beyond all perceived limits.� - tadao ando

the design engages each side of the tiber river, as well as the ponte garibaldi. the ponte garibaldi provides the finest view of the entire island and of the museum. the form is situated so it does not disturb the existing buildings; it instead accommodates them. the entry guides one along and through the existing ospedale fatebenefratelli before entering the museum. this gesture is meant to engage visitors with the existing historic forms before entering the new museum. this gives the visitor the feeling that they are literally moving through the island, as if they were walking through the underground ruins of the island and emerge into the light of the new gallery spaces. lastly, the museums intent is to illuminate. the desire of this design is not to intervene, it is to highlight and accentuate the beauty of the tiber river and the tiber island.

[LEFT] this conceptual sketch shows the bold form that is embedded into the island. the museum literally takes the form the tiber island and acknowledges its site.

[RIGHT] the model shows the repetative structural system, as well as the varying gallery spaces. the materials used are meant to support visible activity of the museum. the planning of the gallery bays provide simple wayfinding as well as a direct connection to the tiber river.

project |

the creation of art

time |

spring, 2011

location |

vancouver, british columbia

main Ideas |

building 55 industrial design urban design program design study abroad

description: |

during my studies abroad at emily carr university of art + design, i developed a scheme of performance spaces along railspur alley. the site is located on granville island in vancouver, bc., known to have some of the greatest public spaces in the world. along with the various performance spaces, i designed rooms with lofts for various artists to be able to practice, perform, and produce their work. this was a gesture to deeply connect to granville island’s artistic and creative character as well as its history of industry.

media |

softimage, autocad, photoshop, illustrator

model |

white plastic, acrylic, spalted maple, hand milled/cut

professor |

stephen duff

media professor |

thomas groppi

sixteen | seveteen

[RIGHT] final model. consisting of spalted maple donated from a local timber craftsman from granville island. this model shows composition of form, as well as contrasts and hierarchy of solids and voids.

Anderson Street










Cartwright Street



Railspur Alley



9 10

upper floors ground floors



Cartwright Street

Old Bridge Street

[ABOVE] the new entry of railspur alley. the new design incorporates a large restaurant at the corner of the site with high visibility to visually engage visitors coming in. the visibility through the form allows visitors a glimpse into the central courtyard as well as the main performance space. the aesthetics of the architecture are referncing the industrial vernacular of the site.

this design is meant to reinforce the urban fabric of the island. the proposal of the granville island committee was to redesign two possible existing buildings. these buildings were referred to as building 35 and 55.

for the studio, i decided to repurpose the site of building 55. the building was condemned and was proposed to be torned down by the granville islands planning committee. we were asked to design a program for the large sites. the urban design challange was to create another anchor of activity between the incredibly active public market and emily carr university of art + design. these institutions are very active during the day, but as soon as the sun sets, the life of granville island dramatically changes. granville island’s industrial manufacturing history and its deep artistic character were vital parts of the planning of the program and the design. the new building 55 incorporates a performance spaces of various sizes, ranging from a large performance theatre to smaller music venues scattered throughout the site. along with these performance spaces are five artists lofts, to provide space for the artist to produce or practice their art, meanwhile having a floor space to create capital. the program is meant to facilitate the performance and production of art. along with the various functional pieces of the program, there are interstitial places for the public. courtyards, gardens, and a public art pavillion provide active gathering spaces for artists and visitors, simultaneously deeply interlocking the entire built forms together.

“architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light.� - le corbusier

[RIGHT] the main entrance to the large performance theatre, as well as the entry to the art gallerypavillion. the view is taken from the courtyard that sits enclosed between the various built structures. the courtyard is activated from every edge from the bounding buildings, making it a strong public center.

to design in a city so full of life and energy as vancouver b.c., is invigorating. the spirit of the city nourishes the creative mind. i learned a great deal from the city and through the program at emily carr univerity of art + design.

studying abroad taught me that inspiration for design can be found anywhere. the opportunity to live in a city and design there is a wonderful thing. to interact with the city, the site, and the people that inhabit the place every single day was the most exciting part. the project stems directly from the interactions and connections with the various community members, artists and craftsman of the island. the best way for a rich design to unfold, is to have the true spirit of the place, assist it. in the end, i understood that meaningful architecture comes from the collaboration of many minds.

[LEFT] the public art pavillion that is enclosed by the adjacent buildings. this is one of the most important components of the design, as it connects the main courtyard to the sculpture garden at the other end of the site. this corridor is made to feel like an alley-way, open to above. this allows every piece of the builts forms to be a part of the performance of art, and promotes interaction throughout the site.

project |

a memorial garden + mausoleum

time |

fall, 2011

location |

portland, oregon

main Ideas |

spiritual design urban density experiential design hybrid media

description: |

a memorial garden and mausoleum for the heart of downtown portland. located adjacent across the south park blocks, adjacent to the arlene schnitzer concert hall, and the portland art museum. the goal of the design is to create a spiritual place for all to experience, and to cleanse the negative connotation of death. with the use of various gardens and the architecture to create a place of peace and healing.

media |

ink, pencil, pastel, prisma, oil paint, photography, autocad, sketch-up, idx-renditioner, photoshop, illustrator

model |

acrylic, paint, matte boad, led lights, laser cut model

professor: |

james givens

[RIGHT] a view of the mausoleum from the south park blocks. the building acts as a backdrop for the vibrant colors of the memorial rose garden. the garden is a gesture and gift to the heart of downtown portland.

twenty four | twenty five

basement - columbaria

ground floor

upper floors

[RIGHT] photo of physical model. the main corridor that leads from the memorial rose garden, to the private courtyard garden. the entry to the chapel as well as the contemplation room are also through this main corrider. this model shows the experience of the ambient light from above and the deep light penetrating the space from the courtyard. [NEXT PAGE] photo of a room/light study model. this view of the columbaria illustrates the intimate relationship of the material detail and light.

the main focus of the design was shaping the main room, which was the garden. it wraps the entire building, providing a gift for all visitors to use. the building is still, and acts as a canvas for the roses to illuminate with color. as one moves into the building, their perception of the world changes as the noise from the city dulls. the light of the city is no longer apparent. it is dim, only a few openings of light are present now. the light from the high ceilling above, and the light ahead. as they ascend forward, they can feel time slowing. calmness overtakes them as they make the steps towards the well lit room, and reach the garden of contemplation. the garden is much smaller than the other, this garden seems like a secret, and now the city seems distant. the person feels as if they are in another place and finds peace within the slate walls.the walls have an intricate pattern of slate that creates a play of light the with diffrent aperatures of the facade. the design of the mausoleum is meant to be a place for all to experience. whether the person is mourning for a loved, or coming to contemplate the day. a place can be spiritual without being religious. with the architecture, the intricate play of light, the calmness of material, and powerful spatial transitions, this place becomes a space of transformation.

[LEFT] various views of the mausoleum in its context in portland. this study focused on the different appraoches to the building, and determining the correct proportions and scale of the mausoleum.

[RIGHT] view of the grand entry of the mausoleum from the south park blocks.

project |

the pattern box

time |

summer, 2011

location |

new york, new york

main Ideas |

simplicity parametrics/kinetics

description |

an entry for the anonymous.d architectural competition. the location of the competition is located under the highline bridge in new york city. anonymous.d called for designers to renovate the space ‘under the bridge’, a forgotten space. the site is nestled between two existing art galleries, and the competition proposed for a public art pavillion. the space needed to be simple, buildable, and kept within a budget of $20,000.00. the competition asked for an alterable or parametric design. the ‘pattern box’, seeks to accomplish as much as possible with as little physical intervention as necessary, to both the immediate site and the environment.

media |

hand sketching, sketch up, autocad, photography, photoshop

model |

wood, steel, laser cut steel frame

team |

william smith dustin locke

results |

[RIGHT] the model shows the simple components of the design. the steel frame, and the 6 x 6 in wood that make up the pattern box. the design consists of standard dimension 12’ long 6 x 6 in lumber which can be re-purposed for the future after the life of the project.

thirty two | thirty three

shortlist finalist

[EXCERPT FROM THE COMPETITION ENTRY] proposed by this competition was a need to heighten the experience of the public, the exhibited art, and the context of the new york highline project for the marianne boesky gallery. in this scheme four pursuits became apparent as its process developed. [FIRST] to connect the highline’s ‘above’ and its ’below’ spaces. this is achieved through the use of predominantly organic matter in relation to the growth of the vegetation of the park from above. in this case, the lumber, structured in a way that the cumulative form may change, grow and contract as a natural element. [SECOND] to allow this form to be literally alterable, so that it speaks not only poetically but functionally as well, towards the purpose of an exhibition space. in this way the pattern box becomes a backdrop to the exhibition, acting as a wall, hallway, shelf, bench, amphitheatre, or as an integrated part of the sculpture/performance itself. the pattern box becomes whatever suits the situation. [THIRD] to use this transormation of form as a means to alter the atmosphere of the place itself, ranging from circulation, to lgiht, acoustic quality and social variety. [FOURTH] and most important, to achieve all of this with as little damage to the environment as possible, seeking a cradle to cradle attitude over the one use alternative. rather than using customized sizes, the specficied wood is a standard dimensioned 12’ long 6 x 6 in lumber that can be repurposed fot future use.

[LEFT] photos of the physical model. the beauty of this project comes from hand-crafting the model, and finding the various type of spaces that we could create from a pair of boxes. the 1/8 in steel was laser cut at a local steel fabricator. with the pattern box there are endless ways to shape the space ‘under the bridge’, all it needs is for the creative minds of the artists to manipulate it as they please.

[ABOVE] this is a rendered perspective of the pattern box under the bridge. the design allows for various shapes and form to accommodate the users as well as the art. while being a functioning gallery space, the pattern box acts as a sculpture in itself, with an industrial feel indentifying with the steel structure of the highline bridge.

project |

designbridge stormwater demonstration

time |

fall, 2011 - spring, 2012

location |

springfield, oregon

main Ideas |

design/build sci - sustainable cities initiative - city of springfield springfield school district group design

description |

a year long design/build project with the university of oregons designBridge organization. this organization is a multi-disciplinary student group linking the students with the surrounding community by offering design and design-build services to local organizations that don’t have resources to acquire professional design services. the project is a education/demonstration project of stormwater with the city of springfield.

materials |

steel, concrete, timber, native plants

model |

wood, steel, laser cut steel frame

status |

awaiting construction

professor |

juli brode

consultants |

jacob mckay - hoffman construction howard davis brook muller

[LEFT] looking into the rain garden to the main structure that sits between an existing community center and the two rivers elementary school in springfield. this photo of the model shows the main components of the project, the permeable path, the water feature centerpiece, the structure, the educational components, and the rain garden.

thirty six | thirty seven

[THE SITE] adjacent to a new elementary school that

[THE CLIENT] there were frequent meetings with the

[THE DESIGN] consists of four components; a path, a

[FULL SCALE MOCK UP] we constructed a full strctural

will open the following year. the two rivers elementary

client, consultants, professors, and the community.

water feature, a steel structure, and a rain garden. the

bay of the design to present to the clients, construction

school and school board volunteered their site to sci

with the involvement with so many individuals and

intent is to present water in a beautiful way. a space to

consultants, professors, and peers for our final review.

and designbridge for the stormwater demonstration

organizations, the project became very rich with interest.

gather and visually connect with the water as it moves

project. we believed that this site would create a deep

during the fall and winter terms, we designed vigourosly

to the garden. stormwater is important to the city

currently we are awaiting city approval to begin

community investment with the project.

and prepared for structural permit submittals.

of springfield because its the source of 90% of their


drinking water.

project |

a cultural landscape

time |

september, 2012 - november, 2012

location |

detroit, michigan

main Ideas |

bottom up design cultural design parametrics public use of private space design + build

client |

beau bien - fine foods

description |

public space in the united states is inherently overlapping with private ownership. the occupy wall street movement occurring in zucotti square demonstrated the impact of private/public relationships that blur the boundaries of political control. as we consider a design method of public space that seeks to build a framework for participation, embracing systems design that acknowledge external conditions and calibrating material interface that supports this affect is helpful to create an openendedness that lends itself to local identity. furthermore, the openness of private owners to acknowledge local participation and identity over time, provides a value that breaks traditional notions of functional use of architecture.

media |

rhinoceros3d, rhinocam, grasshopper, vray, photoshop, illustrator, autocad, 3-axis cnc router

forty | forty one

model |

black american walnut, birdseye maple, concrete, plaster

professor |

philip speranza

once a module is established, how do you find a compelling field?


i found that there was something unexpectedly beautiful about meeting an individual from a place i did not know, and learning the culture through them.


i began to interview people when i visited detroit, and recorded their stories, hopes, and beliefs. these individuals became the architecture, and gave richness to the project. this proposal allowed for the community to feel invested in urban changes.


[ABOVE] my proposal to create a cultural landscape was to literally embed the identity of detroit and its community within the architecture. this cultural landscape would become an urban amphitheatre for the community square, adacent to the proposed organic foods market. i believed to embed the culture of detroit with the architectureit could become a resilient framework. with this framework, i wanted to use the program of light and projection to create a dynamic and adaptable medium for the public to participate and interface with.


a lateral field condition.


a vertical field condition.




a cultural landscape.


a pragmatic field condition.

with the use of light and projections, the blank west wall can become an adaptable and iconic event space. this type of performance can reach out to the community in many forms.

a venue for community members to empower themselves. a place to express ideas and create conversations.

a space flexible enough for all types of performances, making beau bien a venue that can inspire culture.

a framework that lends itself to the public. an architecture that is subtle, to allow for the community to create the richness

the identity of detroit is embedded into the design process as well as the architecture.

project |

the miller hull partnership llp internship

time |

june, 2012 - september, 2012

location |

seattle, wa

main Ideas |

summer internship sustainable design public architecture professional experience

description |

the miller hull partnership’s design reputation is based on simple, innovative and authentic designs. since its inception in 1977 the firm has pursued a rigorous logic in its design approach in the belief that architectural programs are best solved directly and efficiently. throughout the firm’s history miller hull has received over 200 design awards and has been published in numerous national and foreign design journals. [from miller hull’s website]

intern coordinator |

mike jobes

achievements |

i was able to work closely with mike jobes [partner] and mark johnson [architect] on the schematic design for a fire interpretive center in entiat, washington. i worked on the graphic drawings and the final presentation layout for the proposal. along with that project, i worked on a wide variety of projects at various scales. i was fortunate to have a few of the renderings, diagrams, and models that i did for the firm exhibited in a few architectural galleries in the city.

forty six | forty seven

[RIGHT] these were some guiding diagrams for the house of the immediate future, a project in collaboration with habitat for humanity.

[BOTH PAGES] a proposal for the interpretive center in entiat, washington. the rendering shows the glow of the vitrines in contrast with the charred boards within the gallery space.


EDUCATION | university of oregon school of architecture and allied arts

EXPERIENCE | the miller hull partnership llp | architectural internship | 6/2012-9/2012 during the internship in seattle, i worked with many teams

bachelors of architecture, 2013

on various projects. worked closely with a partner on the

minor in architectural history

schematic design for an interpretive center. put together the entire presentation proposal for the project. on other projects,

8 architectural studios completed

i worked on renderings, diagrams, models, and presentation

2 commends

layouts. in the duration of my time at miller hull, i was fortunate to exhibit my work at multiple galleries throughout the city.

cumulative gpa of 3.00 HOPES [19] - pr director + student groups director | study abroad in vancouver, british columbia

environmental design collaborative | 9/2012-4/2012

emily carr university of art + design

with a group of dedicated friends, we lead the annual HOPES conference at the university of oregon. the first student lead

notable courses

ecological design conference in the country. the conference

building construction, environmental control systems I & II, structural

is titled collaborative futures. the conference asks to foster

behavior I & II wood and steel building systems, building enclosures,

newly shared approaches through collaborative thinking.

kinetic architecture designbridge + sustainable cities initiative | design/build | 9/2011-6/2012 SKILLS | programs

with a group of students from multi-disciplines, ranging from


architecture, landscape architecture, and artists, we designed


a stormwater demonstration pavillion for the city of springfield.


we are currently awaiting construction with the project. in the

final cut pro

meantime we are doing construction on other various other

adobe cs6 creative suite

build projects with designbridge.

autocad multiframe

university of oregon facilities services |

sketchup, idx renditioner

design team | 6/2011-current


this position allows me to work concurrently with my studies


of architecture at the university of oregon. my duties include maintaining the digital architectural drawings of the university.

modeling quick sketch models

architectural studio teaching assistant | university of oregon

site models

| 9/2011-12/2011

model bases final presentation models

zgf architects | job shadow | 1/2008-2/2008 golden hardwood floors | construction | 6/2009-10/2009 my tasks with this hardwood construction company involved wood cutting, installation, sanding, and applying finishes. this type of work is vigorous and requires patience, awareness, and a keen eye.

fifty | fifty one


email | telephone | [510] 508-1695

“architecture should be concerned with insights and understanding, and above all with truth.� - peter zumthor

[RIGHT] my studio space while studying abroad in vancouver, british columbia.

minh k. ledao architectural portfolio b.arch 2013