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NICHOLAS HALES Undergraduate Portfolio

North Carolina State University 2016



NICHOLAS HALES 919.623.0131

EDUCATION North Carolina State University B.Arch, Bachelors of Architecture Fall 2015- Spring 2016 North Carolina State University BEDA, Bachelors of Environmental Design + Architecture Cum Laude Fall 2011-Spring 2015

Awards Shawcroft Award for Architecture Hand Drawing First Prize 2015 Nominee 2013, 2014 Deans List S/F ‘12, S ‘13, S/F ‘14, S/F ‘15




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Space for Ritual

Museum of the City: Charleston

Fall 2012 Professor: Maria Papiez

Spring 2013 Professor: Patricia Morgado

24 36 50 64 CSI Boathouse

Coastal Housing Units

Raleigh Institute for Contemporary Art

Shawcroft Prize Selection

Spring 2015 Professor: David Hill

Spring 2015 Professor: David Hill

Fall 2015 Professor: Bob Thomas

Fall 2015 Professor: David Hill



Space For Ritual Fall 2012 Professor: Maria Papiez

For this excersize, we were given a rudimentary fictional site and instructed to design a space for ritual for our client using one linear form and one cubic volume. Students had free choice of site location and narrative of their individual client.



Site The site was located in Raleigh, North Carolina far from the urban center of town. A gentle slope fell from the southern end of the site to the north, flowing into a small pond. The change in grade allowed for embed the cubic volume and take advantage of the sectional qualities of the site.

Client The imagined client was an astronomer who had inherited farmland from his late grandfather who had inspired him to study the cosmos. Teaching him at an early age about the passage of time with the seasons, and about the celestial constellations in the night sky, the client wished to build a place of memorial for his grandfather that would encompass these cherished lessons.




Space of Contemplation

Visual rhythm and order help emphasize the change of time by casting varying shadows along the path of circulation.

The cubic volume is designed as a moment for pause, with a seat in the center located underneath a circular oculus in the ceiling that casts a beam of light that marches across the walls with the passage of time. As the seasons change, the beam rises and sets, following a rhythmic schedule. Light washes the walls throughout the day.





Museum of the City: Charleston, SC Spring 2013 Professor: Patricia Morgado

After a weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina to observe and diagram the city, our studio was challenged to design a museum on a real world site that understood and responded to its context, while emphasizing the rich culture and traditions of the place.


Site The site was located in the heart of the old city of Charleston in an area that was both commercial and residential. Small shops lined the adjacent blocks as well as centuries old churches and historic theatres.


The side embodies the typical Charleston dwelling site long in the east-west direction with a broad southern exposure. In response, the parti was an adaptation of the traditional charleston house, with the occupied interior zones located on the north of the site with a piazza separating the interior from the exterior gardens, while also providing shade and allowing the cool afternoon sea breeze from the east. 17








Coastal Studies Institute Boathouse Spring 2015 Professor: David Hill

The Coastal Studies Institute is an inter-university reasearch institute located on Roanoke Island in between the Outer Banks and the mainland of North Carolina. It’s mission is to research and study the maritime environment of the area and work to ensure its preservation. This project was used an introduction to the site and the surrounding area. We were given the task of designing a boathouse for the researchers and guests of the site that would serve as storage as well as a launching place for kayaks and conoes.


Site and Place The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a unique place, rich with history, natural beauty and a keen sense of local culture and tradition. Buildings are built much in the same way they were a century ago. Tried and true methods of construction and resilience can be found in the homes that line the coast; many of which have stayed intact for more than a half of a century. The nature of the homes and the natural landscape give this region an elegant charm that is quite unlike anywhere else in the state, if not the entire country. For the design of a boathouse, precedents from local home-building craft as well as that of boatbuilding were used as inspirations for the form of the building as well as its materials and details.



Roanoke Island

Croatan Sound



Form Diagram



Shift + Elevate

Water Access

Wrap - Skin

Punch - Views


Materials and Construction Cedar Shake Exterior Skin Patinated Copper Sheathing Cedar Framing Polycarbonate Cedar Decking Rainwater Collection Cedar Floor Joists Cedar Built Up Columns and Beams







Coastal Studies Institute Sustainable Housing Spring 2015 Professor: David Hill

Following the CSI boathouse project, our studio joined with students of various disciplines from NC State’s Engineering Department to design sustainable housing to accomodate the researchers, students and guests of the Coastal Studies Institute.


Roanoke Island and the Coastal Studies Institute Centrally located on Roanoke Island, the main campus of the Coastal Studies Institute sits on the high ground of an otherwise flat, low-lying wetland site. Canals penetrate the shoreline allowing for maritime boat circulation of the site. Our proposal saught to connect residents and guests with the water and the natural conditions of the site. Perched on a ridge above the hundred year flood plain and oriented to take advantage of natural breezes and daylighting, the dwellings engage the site and reconnect residents with its natural beauty.


Summer breezes from the southwest cross the site and help ventillate the homes throughout the day. Deep overhangs and verandas shade the interior spaces from the harsh summer sun while allowing winter light in to help warm interior spaces.


Design Goals and Users From the beginning, our team wanted to design dwellings that would not only stand up to the harsh climate of the Outerbanks, but also utilize them to their advantage. To design a healthy living space for residents, we focused on five areas of sustainable building: Air Quality, Economy, Daylighting, Connection with Nature, and Storm Resiliency.


Students+ Researchers

Small Families

Esteemed Guests

Student Groups

- Long term -small private bedrooms -shared bathrooms -shared living areas

- Long term -large private bedrooms -private bathrooms -shared living areas

- Short term -Private bedrooms -private bathroom -shared living areas

- Short term -Shared bedrooms -Shared bathroom -shared living areas



Begin with appropriate quantity of space for users



Separatioin of public and private spaces


Shift to allow for optimum natural ventilation and daylighting


Connect columes using a shared service core



Active + Passive Energy Strategies

Operable Windows User operated windows allow breezes from the sound to naturally ventilate bedrooms and living spaces.

Radiant Flooring

Radiant floors utilizing solar hot water helps regulate temperatures and heat interior spaces during colder months.

Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot water panels are used to help heat water for flooring and showers, reducing the need to power a standard hot water heater.

Solar PV

Solar Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into electricity for the dwellings to power appliances and lighting during evening hours.





A Sense of Community A communal boardwalk helps connect residents and guests to the canal and the natural landscape while providing valuable exterior space for community engagement and interaction.



Think Inside the Box: Raleigh Institute for Contemporary Art Fall 2015 Professor: Bob Thomas

Given a selection of sites along the soon-to-be developed West Street Corridor in downtown Raleigh, NC, students were challenged to design an art institute for the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh (CAM Raleigh) that would include studio spaces for various crafts, a lecture hall, gallery and critique space, and an outdoor sculpture garden.


Concept: A Creative Spark The proposed site is located in the southwest corner of downtown Raleigh, along the central rail corridor and adjacent to the future Raleigh Union Station, expected to be a central transit hub for the city. From the future platform of Union Station, a new skyline of the city emerges, and with it, the opportunity to design a building that gladly welcomes visitors to the city. The proposed design acts as a beacon, a light greeting visitors to the city of Raleigh.


Program elements are broken down into studios and display spaces. Studios are grouped together based on like media, ie. painting and drawing, sculpture and printmaking, photography and film in order to spur the creative dialogue that sparks new, innovative ideas. These spaces are contained in illuminated volumes, elevated above the ground plane to allow for fluid pedestrian circulation. These elevated volumes, illuminated by the creation that happens inside, shine light on the gallery spaces that fluidly take form around them. A perforated skin contains the space and acts almost like a lampshade to shape the light inside.


Corner site with a slight grade change towards the north west

Floor Plates

Irregular floor plates facilitate circulation and create “in between� spaces

Ground Volumes

More rooted program elements placed to allow free circulation

Exterior Skin

Perforated exterior skin contains space as a whole while allowing light to shine out

Elevated Volumes

Creative studio spaces elevated to allow fluid spatial arrangements


Ground level


Floor 1

Floor 2

Floor 3

Floor 4

Floor 5

Floor 6


Structural Grid

AC Diagram


Creative Dialogue


Creative Spark

Creative Volumes

Beacon to the City


1/4” = 1’ Wall Section model







Shawcroft Prize Selection Exhibition of architecture hand drawings that explore drawing as a tool to think, present, analyze, to record, or that show use of variety of media.

Study Abroad, Istanbull, Fall 2014



Study Abroad, Istanbull, Fall 2014



Study Abroad, Prague, Fall 2014



CSI Boathouse, BEDA, Spring 2015



CSI Boathouse, BEDA, Spring 2015




CSI Boathouse, BEDA, Spring 2015


CSI Boathouse, BEDA, Spring 2015



Nicholas Hales Online Portfolio 2016  

NCSU Undergraduate Architecture Portfolio

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