Issuu on Google+

elisabeth norris undergraduate portfolio 7824 Sunkist Blvd Brooklyn Park, MN 55444 763.202.9881 norri160@umn.edu


table of contents

1. materiality and methodology

showroom and factory informed by material qualities

2. contrasting materials

spatial anaylsis through hand drawing

3. spatial relationships

abstracting subterranean spaces

4. revealing structure

a precdent study of form and appearance

5. design by site forces

site forces inform a park pavilion


materiality and methodology exploring material qualities through the iterative design process studio I fall 2012 This studio focuses on how unique qualities of materials can be used to inform spatial and program layout. The project begins by creating a wooden box that comes apart in three pieces. This box is reinterpreted in a concrete model. The main ideas of the MDF box must adapt to the material qualities of cast concrete. The derived box is further developed to fit the program requirements for a ceramics showroom. Lighter elements become roof planes and walls, and heavy masses become thought of as rooms with programmable spaces. My showroom focuses on the slippage of space between planes and masses and how these create different spatial experiences through lighting effects and ceiling heights. An adjacent ceramics factory space is created to compliment the showroom. This space is created through exploring the pattern relationships found in repeated truss systems. The combination of these two buildings creates a linear relationship between the buildings based on sight lines and focused natural lighting effects.

The original MDF box with openings and space within is recreated in the form of concrete. A shift in scale allows the concrete box, to be reinterpreted as a building for the ceramics showroom. The shifting roof planes recall the original MDF in the process of being pulled apart.


The extended roof plane creates a covered outdoor patio area visble from the bridge


The visual axis connecting the showroom and factory terminates at the kiln. The central location of the kiln also determines the cyclical movement pattern of the workspace. The glass hall that links the two buildings allows the defining interior axis to become a visible element in the exterior building elevation.


The concrete showroom is made up of masses, thought of as rooms, roof and wall planes. Two opposing masses are united through interlocking roof planes, recalling the way the original MDF box fit together with interlocking planes and masses. Directed sunlight calls attention to specific areas of the showroom.


Exploration of cladding patterns that allow light to be used to emphasize the central element of the ceramics process-the kiln.


Diffused glass fits into the truss pattern, providing desirable lighting for artisans. Above the kiln, clear glass allows for a visual focus to be placed on the kiln through direct light. Work benches on either side of the kiln allow for a cyclical flow of work and movement.


contrasting materials studying heavy and light material effects through drawing architectural drawing fall 2011 Initial sketches of a staircase area in Rapson Hall are used to gain an understanding of the spatial qualities. Thin steel members that create the large window mullions draw the eye up and out of the heavy, underground concrete space. This unique feeling of being drawn outside from underground space is further analyzed and documented through a final comparison of a shaded value drawing and technical drawing.

The cavernous feel of the space is created by carving away a section of the heavy concrete.

Breaking down the elements that make up the space. Massive walls and floors define the cavernous space. Intricate details of steel and glass contrast the heaviness of the concrete.


Light materials of steel and glass pull the eye up and out of the heavy underground space, giving a more open feel.


spatial relationships exploring solid and void, light and shadow design fundamentals II spring 2012 The steps of tying a unique knot are physically abstracted in a wireframe model of specific dimensions. The wireframe is represented volumetrically through cardboard models keeping in mind the spaces created within these volumes. The model is inverted to examine the relationships between positive and negative space and sliced open to reveal the cavities within. Photography and renderings are used to explore the cavities as inhabitable spaces. The knot is abstracted into a wire frame model and transformed into a volumetric mass, which is finally inverted and sliced, revealing cavities within. The intertwined loops of the original knot are carried through in each iteration.

Initial sketches of the knot abstracted into wire model focus on the interlocking joint

Steps of tying the knot abstracted into right angle sketches


Inhabitable spaces in the inverted volumetric model are revealed through backlighting the model once it is sliced to access the cavities within.


The second part of the project combines individual models of subterranean spaces. Working with a partner to combine ideas from our previous models, we developed a sequence of underground spaces with light acting as the guiding force. Moments of compression, tension and release drive the experiential qualities of the subterranean world. A central light shaft is used as a guide as the winding pathway, never allowing for direct access but providing a consistent connection to the world above.

Central light shaft as a guiding element as users descend into the underground space Right: The light shaft provides a connection to the world above in the deepest underground room. (Collaborated on model and drawings with a partner)


design by site forces understanding how elements of the site can inform design studio III fall 2013 Site is considered to be the most important design factor in this design for a park pavilion with a food vendor, rental space and public gathering area on Lake of the Isles. Inital observations recognize the linear nature of the site and patterns of movement. This linear quality of the site, determined by parallel paths is a defining element in the design. A connection to the water, while maintaining most of the natural shoreline is providing through an extension of the linear layout. Finally, the design becomes permeable by allowing for void spaces based informed by the direction of main access roads to the site. The resulting masses and voids are adapted to fit programmatic needs and are unified by two interlocking roof planes.

Initial models of progrommatic relationships inform the linear layout of the building program.

Progress sketches show the loosening of the original parti diagram of intersecting site forces to result in the building layout.


The roof planes grow out of the narrow end of the site, gesturing to the lake and surrounding neighborhoods, connecting this small linear site to the greater context of the area.


Site forces of path, water and street access inform the design and layout of the building complex. The layout is adapted to fit programmatic needs and unified by roof planes recalling the linear movement of the site.

The natural shoreline is unique to this part of the lake and is kept in tact. Native prairie plants are used as landscape elements between paths, drawing on the idea of movement.


A section cut through the long axis reveals the activities occuring within each interior and exterior space.


Separated paths cater to walkers and bikers, giving each their own spaces. The lakeside gathering is used as a warming house in the winter.

Solid masses are used for more private program spaces such as the kitchen and offices, while the void spaces are used as covered public gathering spaces. The fireplace hearth is defined by where the two roof planes intersect and serves as the central gathering space.



Elisabeth Norris Architecture Portfolio