p o r t f o l i o mariewilliams
t a b l e o f c o n t e n t s virginia society competiion room + chair virginia society competition primitive hut sculpture gallery library haus travel sketches travel photographs art of building graphic exercise
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A train station located in Clifton Forge, Virginia, provides a landmark for the town. This small station services a proposed railroad expansion that would create a larger passenger rail system to span Virginia.
room + chair room + chair
a one week exercise
A small building, located on an island in the Duck Pond on the Virginia Tech campus, is built to display 52 chairs for one week each.
The cemetery’s feeling of isolation and confinement is aptly shown in the row of three trees toward the back of the site. Their placement mimics the rows of tombstones that once covered the cemetery. The glass boxes constructed around the trees are based off of the typical length of a coffin—six feet two inches. The trees grow around and above the confining glass boxes symbolize re-growth and the opportunity for new life--a clear analogy to the island’s own cycle of reuse.
Main Entry: Pronunciation: \ˈhis-t(ə-)rē\ Function: noun
1 : tale, story 2 a : a chronological record of significant events (as affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes b : a treatise presenting systematically related natural phenomena c : an account of a patient's medical background d : an established record <a prisoner with a history of violence> 3 : a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events <medieval history> 4 a : events that form the subject matter of a history b : events of the past c : one that is finished or done for <the winning streak was history> <you're history> d : previous treatment, handling, or experience (as of a metal)
History is the compilation of individual stories and personal experiences. Spatial investigation offers an opportunity to tell these stories through a physical and psychological experience. These spaces allow for an individual interpretation of their implications, which promotes conversation about and further investigation into the historical sites. The cemetery, Civil War prison, and quarry pond have poignant stories that provide clear opportunities for this. The use of glass walls in these spatial investigations maintains a transparency of space that doesn’t visually interfere with the rugged landscape of the island. It results in gentle gestures that have a minimal impact on the site.
The Civil War prison The Civil War prison was was overcrowded overcrowded and andclaustrophobic. claustrophobic. Twenty-foot Twenty-foot long long tunnels tunnelsproduce producea a sense senseofofanxiety anxietyinin the thevisitor visitorasasheheis is encountered encountered with with the thetightness tightnessofofthe the space. space.This Thisfeeling feeling grows growsasasthe thewalls walls increase in height increase in height and the width ofof the and the width the tunnel tunnelgets getssmaller smaller asas hehe moves moves through throughthe thespace. space. The Theglass glasswalls wallsare are translucent translucentbarriers barriers totothe the“freedom” “freedom”ofof the the open open space space beyond beyondthem themgiving giving a asense senseofofimprisimprisonment and onment and confinement. confinement. The The orientation orientationofofthese these tunnels tunnelsis isunimportunimportant, ant,asaslong longasasthey they are aresituated situatedininthe the field field where where the the prison once existed. prison once existed.
The story behind the quarry pond exhibits the overall trend ofof the island--nature The story behind the quarry pond exhibits the overall trend the island--nature taking over manmade structures. illustrate this, aa glass box is is constructed inin taking over manmade structures.ToTo illustrate this, glass box constructed the thequarry quarrypond, pond,going goingnineteen nineteenfeet feetinto intothe thewater—the water—thedepth depthofofthe thequarry quarry before it filled in.in.The box is is sealed and the water is is pumped out ofof it,it, resulting before it filled The box sealed and the water pumped out resulting inin aa “re-excavation” ofof the pond. visitor is is able toto walk out onon aa floating dock “re-excavation” the pond.The The visitor able walk out floating dock and stare down into the darkness ofof the box. shear power ofof nature and itsits and stare down into the darkness the box.The The shear power nature and ability toto take over and reshape anan entire landscape is is aa difficult concept toto fully ability take over and reshape entire landscape difficult concept fully comprehend. the glass box offers anan opportunity observe and undercomprehend.However, However, the glass box offers opportunity observe and understand this phenomena. again, the placement ofof this box and itsits adjoining stand this phenomena.Once Once again, the placement this box and adjoining dock dockisn’t isn’ta aconcern, concern,it itsimply simplyneeds needstotobebesomewhere somewhereininthe thequarry quarrypond. pond.
A series of follies is placed on Belle Isle, located in the James River near Richmond. The follies highlight historical events that took place on the island.
p r i m i t i v e h u t The primitive hut was a week long competition for the third year architecture students. The prompt depicted a primitive hut built in the â€œthird landscape.â€? My solution was a concrete shell located in the southwestern United States. It focuses on providing levels of progression--from the interior to exterior, through the different levels, and through time as the shell weathers.
s c u l p t u r e g a l l e r y The sculpture gallery, with its adjacent student and faculty residences, is constructed on a site that borders Virginia Tech campus and downtown Blacksburg. The gallery, built to house works by Calder, Giacometti, and Moore projects back into the site to form the base lines of the student and faculty residences behind it.
s c u l p t u r e g a l l e r y The plans of the three buildings carry on their already irregular forms in the interior. No room has ninety-degree angles in its walls. This division of space conveys the exterior condition in a way that the visitor can understand and interact with the interior space on an approachable scale. The three buildings explore the implications of dominating forms and the interaction when two forms collide. In this instance, the taller form always envelopes the smaller one when the two come in contact.
l i b r a r y The addition of a library to the site added a new challenge to an already complicated program. The interjection of a grid across the site delineates the basic module of the underground library.
Haus is for a single inhabitant, and is located in the Chalbi Desert of Kenya. The haus is constructed in reinforced concrete to provide mass walls that protect against the elements. Prism-like windows create beams of light in the interior. The three floors correlate to the various levels of privacy and intimacy needed in the daily life of the inhabitant.
This interior render shows the light beams created at noon by skylights on the roof. The light beams in the haus transition throughout the day to delineate changes in the floor plan, as the haus has no interior walls. This mid-day scheme shows paths taken by the inhabitant during the busiest part of his day.
This model of the haus is built in masonite and painted white. The Birdâ€™s eye view illustrates the roof plan from above and the west elevation gives an indication of the changes in level.
t r a v e l s k e t c h e s Spending the past semester traveling Europe and studying architecture has broadened my interests . During my travels I came to appreciate the constructive geometries that were evident in the buildings I studied. I also experimented with different media and have developed a new-found love of using colored pencil in my drawings.
a r t o f b u i l d i n g This painting was completed on a three-foot by fourfoot canvas using painterâ€™s tape and spray paint. It illustrates an architectural intent in two-dimensional form.
This is a plexiglass model of an architectural intent. This construct focuses on creating simple, clean structures that resonate through their strong sense of movement and rhythm.
"The designer does not, as a rule, begin with a preconceived idea. His idea is the result of subjective and objective thought, and the design a product of the idea. In order, therefore, to achieve an honest and effective solution he necessarily passes thought some sort of mental process ... Consciously or not, he analyzes, interprets, translates ... He improvises, invents new techniques and combinations. He coordinates and integrates his material so that he may restate his problem in terms of ideas, pictures, forms, and shapes. He unifies, simplifies, eliminates superfluities. He symbolizes ... abstract from his material by association and analogy. He intensifies and reinforces his symbol with appropriate accessories to achieve clarity and interest. He draws upon instinct and intuition. He considers the spectator, his feelings and predilections." Paul Rand
g r a p h i c e x e r c i s e This graphic exercise the division of space
was an experiment in using text and images.