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nick johnson

design portfolio

kansas state university, mla

delineation :: 2007-08

campus :: 2007

park :: 2008

construction :: 2007-08

plaza :: 2007

urban :: 2008

With a vote yes in November 2006, Kansas City began the process of identifying a route and applying for federal funding. Since then, the latest route would be a line from Kansas City International Airport south through downtown and terminating at the Kansas City Zoo. The core of downtown is expected to be the busiest and the line is to run along Grand Blvd. before crossing over to Main to continue on to the Country Club Plaza. With the advent of such a large modification to the streets that the light rail will be running on, this provides an opportunity to also accommodate to another CIP, in a new combined sewer system. The two big ideas for this project are to treat stormwater along the line in a way that is artistic and educational for the riders, as well as provide two examples of how each station can be unique to its surrounding context. The entire right of way for the light rail is designed to catch, retain, and treat the stormwater that falls within it. This is done in an artistic way that celebrates the ever increasing concern for clean fresh water and management of urban stormwater run-off into the river. The two stations chosen to be examples for the possibilities of creating stops as destinations and points of reference for regular riders and those visiting from out of town. The stops will celebrate their context within downtown Kansas City, taking cues from surrounding architecture and lifestyle, by utilizing the columns of the station and unique benches for each station. The stations will be integrated into the ‘biostream’ by processing the water the falls on the roof structure as well as from the upstream water. The process begins with the ‘bio-stream’ being piped into an extended rain garden at the end of the platform, then continue on through four more rain gardens. These rain gardens will be induced with the run-off from the roof with a drizzling curtain of water. In heavy events the excess water from the roof will fall into a catch basin of river rock before being piped under the intersection and then day-lighted into the next leg of the ‘bio-stream’. All stations will share the same roof structure & platform. The roof structure will be a butterfly roof with translucent panels like the ones used at the KC live canopy. The panels are 30 feet long and go from three feet wide on one end to five feet wide on the other end. The frame will be made of steel with finished welds connecting the elements. The center beam will channel the stormwater collected on the roof and have holes six inches apart directly over each of the rain gardens to create the curtains of water.


The stations will each be unique, but will all have the same roof structure and platform layout. The roof structure will catch the water, then disperse it into the rain gardens with a curtain of drizzling water, which will pass through the rain gardens before moving into a pipe to daylight across the intersection back into the ‘bio-stream’.

The 10 feet between the two light rail lines are to create a bioswale, that will be planted as an ephemeral stream. The right of ways for each line will be paved with pervious pavers to allow the water to infiltrate and recharge the ‘bio-stream’ to allow the most amount of water possible to infiltrate into the ground. This ‘bio-stream’ will recreate a boulevard in the middle of Grand.

kc 11 :: grand (new) boulevard || summer 2008

Therapeutic Garden

SAVE Home Garden

This project was done with a partner, Ryan Debold, as a design study paralell to a seminar class. The goal of this project to apply the ideas and concepts from the class into this project. The site is a vacant parking lot just south of downtown Kansas City. The site is owned by SAVE Inc., which provides housing and necessities for HIV/ AIDS patients and their patients as well as others in need of a place to get their feet and work back into the rest of society. My partner and I developed three archetypes for the different elements that this park was trying to be. These archetypes were a Therapeutic Garden, a Memorial, and a Neighborhood Pocket Park. A combination of Three Landscape Architypes was the basis of our design process for this project, to create a balanced and unite park accommodating the range of uses needed by the client.

Neighborhood Pocket Park

Design Goals: • A place for SAVE residents to retreat and reflect in a peaceful naturalistic space. • A primary site for SAVE to hold large outdoor public events and fund raisers • A public open space for the neighborhood to use on a day to day basis, as well as continue to spur on future redevelopment in the area.


Harrison Street

31st Street

Campbell Street

Elements: • An entrance oriented towards the SAVE home and its other residents in the area • An entrance on Harrison St. that is oriented as the public entrance to the park • A primary plaza near the SAVE home entrance that would allow for large groups to gather, but not too expansive for an individual experience • A large open area for recreational activities to occur • 2-4 smaller reflective spaces with a private felling • A stormwater management system that will process stormwater off Harrison St. and the majority of the site • Incorporating plant material that engages a multitude of senses • Maintain a clear line of vision through the whole park from the ally and Harrison St. for security • Establish a park-like setting for neighborhood use


Legend Site Boundaries Pedestrian Linkage Vehicular Circulation Drainage Entry Point SAVE Inc. Property

Linwood Blvd.

Park Site Screening

SAVE Inc. pocket park, kansas city, mo || spring 2008

What is a Concept? It encapsulates, alludes, represents, and embodies. It conveys the complex simply. It’s the glue that holds everything together...concepts and their development can strengthen many facets of any project. These facets include; overall character and sense of place, the visual image or identity, an overall unity with all the parts relating to the larger whole, the user activities in the space, and the importance of functional and environmental relationships. The driving forces behind my concept where based on the identifying signature of the client and the natural and cultural character of the region. Zometool, Inc. is striving to stimulate creativity, discovery and fun through their toys, while being able to used as a tool for discoveries in math, nature and science. The system is based on the Golden Section proportions and 2-,3-, and 5-fold symmetries. These proportions and symmetries along with the form of geodesic shapes are used throughout the space. The proportions of the Golden Section are used in a paving pattern, the proportions of spaces within the plaza as well as proportions of windows and entries. Five-fold symmetry is used in the awnings over the outdoor bar area and the paving pattern nearest to the building facades the main office building. Finally, the geodesic forms are in both the cafe and bar tables of the upper and lower dining plazas, the awning on the southwest building, and the form of the curtain window on the facade of the main office building. Defining the natural and cultural character of Phoenix, AZ was done with materials, colors, textures, vegetation, architectural forms, and the time in which outdoor space is at maximum usage. The materials used were concrete, stone, metal, glass, brick and nylon spandex fabric. The color palette is warm desert colors in the concrete, and the traditional brick found in the southwest. The vegetation is minimal and consists of palm trees and desert shrubs. For the architecture, simple orthogonal design comprises the majority of the form with accents of contrasting color and materials. One of the major forces of my design is the time of day that is most comfortable for human use. That is why there is an emphasis on the experience of the space at night, with lighting as an accent as well as a spatial definition element.


zometool headquarters, phoenix, az || fall 2007

The concept was to address the concerns and requests of Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport’s tenants and administration while improving planting aesthetics, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, exploring and enriching the site’s historical context in aviation, and enhancing the site experience for visitor and employee alike. Goals: • Improve overall aesthetics of the General Aviation • Address pedestrian circulation, providing a safer environment for walking or jogging. • Address vehicular circulation along Airport Road • Provide a direct pedestrian linkage from the Hilton to Flight Safety • Provide elements to describe Wichita’s role in the history of aviation • Improve conditions around the pond • Provide an inspirational experience for flight Solutions: • Implement a landscape standard for the tenants • Develop entry sequence and signage at Dugan Rd. • Unified signage for all tenants • Directional signage for visitors


wichita mid continent airport || spring 2007

For the Construction sequence, Construction I and II work to complete the base of a typical set of construction drawings. For both semesters in my third year (2007-08), the project was a park pavilion facility in Lincoln, NE. The site was part of a historic cemetery, Wyuka Cemetery, which is considered to be an excellent example of “rural� cemetery design. The designated area for improvement consisted of a 1.1 acre area, which consisted of a pre-designed single story structure consisting of +/- 4,000 sq. ft. and needed to accommodate a minimum of 25 parking spaces, a drop-off as well as the required accessible parking. In addition to the pavilion was a gazebo structure which needed to relate directly with the pavilion and also to the adjacent pond. My design was directed to minimize the negative impacts on the water quality of the pond by treating water in a retention basin enclosed by the parking and drive to the drop-off, as well as create a parklike atmosphere that was concentrated on the advantages of the adjacent pond. Tasks Completed for Construction I & II: Proposal of Professional Services & Responsibilities General Development Plan Grading Earthwork Estimation Average Depth Method Contour Area Method End Area Method Layout & Dimensioning Irrigation & Planting Construction Details Construction Specifications Bid Documentation LA Project Cost Estimation In Construction III, the site is that of a master plan size. The set of drawings produced will repeat some of the drawings from Construction I and II at a much larger scale and add two new drawings. The project for this semester is the KState Olathe Innovation Campus and Kansas BioScience Research Center. This site is comprised of 92 acre plot, adjacent to an School District Athletic Facility along with three Schools and near the intersection of two state highways in Olathe, KS. The campus accommodates a total of 860,000 sq. ft. of gross building square footage, along with necessary parking, and a concentration on water use and storm water detention as an educational tool for the public and academia. For this design I concentrated on preserving the maximum existing land and vegetation, a concentration on stormwater management, and creating a pedestrian oriented campus.


The selection of hand produced graphics display the style and diversity of media that I have utilized thus far through my education. The pen & ink sketches, as well as the watercolored venettes were produced in conjunction with a class from my second year, entitled Design Graphics, which is taught by Dean Law. Mike Lin’s book, Drawing and Designing with Confidence, was used as a reference and were the content in which I was assigned to sketch. The marker rendered diagram on the opposite page is the Site Analysis for a project in Albuquerque, NM, Mesa Del Sol. The adjacent maker and colored pencil section comes from the Zometool, Inc. project located in Phoenix, AZ, where I referenced the native color pallette in the selection of colors for the materials used. Below is a rendered master plan from Central Corridor Light Rail Project in the Twin Cities. Immediately adjacent is a photomontage displaying the context of my site and the uses intended in my plan. Along with the use of photos, I cut the city blocks out and then raised them to create a mass void relation ship, as well as adding a metal mesh to represent the overpasses within the site.


pen & ink || watercolor || marker & colored pencil || photomontage


509 n. manhattan manhattan, ks 66502

nick johnson design portfolio

2008 Portfolio  

My 2008 student portfolio of works