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Nubar Gyunashyan Architecture Portfolio 2011 - 2012


Metro and Bicycle Kitchen

Skin & Bones

Minimal Surfaces

Villa NM Study

Saddle Point

Metro & Bicycle Commuter Station Pasadena City College Architecture 10B Instructor Coleman Griffith

Project The design project was to create a metro and bicycle commuter station at the corner of 3rd Street and The Grove Drive located at the current Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles. The site is located in a densely populated area in Los Angeles beside the large Grove Shopping Center. Every day commuters like employees to The Grove, families who live in the area, and others who spend the day working or passing the day in the area will merge the commuter station into their every day lives. Problem Pan Pacific Park is a popular location where families and every day commuters pass through multiple times or come to spend the day. The real challange consisted of imagining an efficient and easy solution for everyday commuters to use the metro station. As bicycles become a more popular trend in los angeles, it was essential to create an area for commuters to use facilities for things like repairing, maintaining , and parking their bicycles temporarily. It was essential to give commuters the opportunity to prepare for the rest of the day, whether it be going to work, simply passing through, or visiting for shopping at the surrouding businesses. Concept Information gathered from site research showed the significance of the trees in the area and the shade that they provided to the park, the experience it gifted visitors with, and the overall vibe of the location. A drape was placed directly over the trees in order to maintain the functionality of shade which was provided. Program was located in the appropriate areas along with circulation before the canopy and infrastructure were processed. Beverly Blvd.


Birds Eye View over Pan Pacific Park

The Grove Drive.

Gardener st.

An efficient and reliable metro and bicycle commuter station available to the public of Los Angeles. An extensive facility designed with the community in mind.


3rd St.

Site: Pan Pacific Park, Los Angeles

Concept breakdown: Drape over existing trees to obtain surface

Datums from surrounding buildings to establish usable surface area

Approaching Entrance

Gr ov e

St .

d 3r

. St

Gr ov e

St .

d 3r

Bicycle Kitchen Secondary Spaces Established Surface

. St

Gr ov e

St .

d 3r

Metro Main Circulation Secondary Circulation

Metro Entrance & Exit

Volumes of Space in relation to established surface

Intended circulation paths established

Support structure added to surface

. St






Section A-A

Section B

Section C

This interior view to the right of the escalators best demonstrates the intended feeling of curiosity through distraction. The glass structure which enhabits the bicycle commuter station creates seemingly reflective views of the surrounding site all while letting visitors who exit the metro or enter the space be pulled into the direction of the bicycle kitchen and find out more information about the facility. Bicycle kitchens are mostly volunteer-based and therefore it is crucial to spark curiosity to everyday visitors who use the metro. Once exited, visitors are directed by large forms of chrome metal minimal surfaces which lead to the entrance of the bicycle kitchen where there will be a volunteer standing by to inform about the facility. Los angeles has a large community of riders who can park their bicycles here and head to work, or pay a small annual donation for maintainance of the facility and have a permanent spot for their bicycle. They can repair, maintain, or enhance their bicycles as well as trade parts. For those who travel at a rapid pace and are part of the donating team, a restroom and changing room is also at convenience. The Los Angeles Grove Bicycle Commuter Station & Metro is a proposal of bringing together community, enhancing city transportation, and creating architectural beauty and curiosity for all of the public to enjoy.

Skin and Bones Pasadena City College Architecture 12B Instructor Andy Ku

Project The Skin & Bones project was a study of structure capabilities and the forces created through complex form. The study brought forth skills in structure threshold, weight distribution, and form as a funtioning and occupiable space. The first step was to take the Villa NM by UN Studio and deform it or extract a potential form from the continuious concept which the Villa NM consisted of. Process First, ribs and stringers were designed in order to create a basis of structure. Second, a model was created to test the true physical forces. Third, An occupiable deck was created with respect to the expression of form. The process consisted of extensive research into the Villa NM and its morphing shape and circulation, that research was then contributed to the emphasis of the new structure study. First it was split, then controured, and last, deformed in order to create space. Result A comprehensive structure consisting of bones which act as structure and a skin which plays the role of multiple functions such as an elegent form of expression, a protector for visitors and the structure, and also part structure itself. This model was then fitted approprietly with a viewing deck was established. The deck was enhanced by a skin which acted both as a protector from weather for vistors, and as an extended expression of form.

Deck Assembly

Villa NM Twist

Twist Contour Morph

Morph Deformation

Chipboard Model

Minimal Surface Pasadena City College Architecture 12B Instructor Andy Ku


Aquiring the batwing minimal surface

A minimal surface is a surface that is locally area-minimizing, that is, a small piece has the smallest possible area for a surface spanning the boundary of that piece. Soap films are minimal surfaces. Minimal surfaces necessarily have zero mean curvature, i.e. the sum of the principal curvatures at each point is zero. Particularly fascinating are minimal surfaces that have a crystalline structure, in the sense of repeating themselves in three dimensions, in other words being triply periodic. Many triply periodic minimal surfaces are known, such as the batwing. The project was to create a unique object in space using only a type of minimal surface, in this case, the batwing.


1. In order to generate a minimal surface, first you must create the edges using careful positioning od cones within a cube constraint.

2. Here, 3 edges have been formed using cones, the most recent being curve A.

3. This smaller cone ensures the completion of one fundamental minimal surface; The Batwing.

4. A completed Batwing, ready to duplicate itself in different orientations in order to create a larger minimal surface.

Pattern of fundamental surfaces duplicating and connecting

First the Batwing was manually created in a computer aided design software called Rhinoceros 3D using a simple box as the constraint. Second that batwing was taken and duplicated miltiple times in different orientations. After orienting them differently and attaching them together, as unique pattern was aquired and used throughout the rest of the project in order to create the large abstract object in space. Outcome

1. Two fundamental batwing surfaces join to become another larger minimal surface.

2. The next fundamental minimal surface which continuously duplicates.

3. Two fundamental pieces

4. Four fundamental pieces, et cetera.

Using these comprehensive strategies in order to create and design this minimal surface, skills were aquired in using abstract form and space and understanding to see it in multiple perspectives. The space may be use for inspiration of actual architecture regardless of exterior or interior. This project gave the opportunity to experience space in different perspectives. The result was a better understanding of systems, especially those including patterns of duplication, and a clearer understanding of forming specific unique spaces using already invented forms of study such as the batwing in a constrained space.

Full Module

Full Module Section

Villa NM by UN Studio Pasadena City College Architecture 12B Instructor Andy Ku

Study Description The Villa NM by UN studio was a home designed for a client in upstate New York in the United States in the year 2000 and incidentally burned down in 2007. The sloping site is used as a device for programmatic and volumetric organization. A box-like volume bifurcates into two separate volumes; one seamlessly following the northern slope; the other lifted above the hill creating a covered parking space and generating a split-level internal organization. The volumetric transition is generated by a set of five parallel walls that rotate along a horizontal axis from vertical to horizontal. The ruled surface maintaining this transition is repeated five times in the building. From inside the huge window strips from floor to ceiling allow a fluid continuity between interior and landscape. From the exterior the reflective glass seams to become one with its surroundings. Project: Design, Disassembly, & Reassembly A comprehensive study was done on the Villa NM and its structural systems including the organizational patterns and ideas taken into consideration by UN Studio. A complete computer aided design model was created including all the details shown in these drawings. The home was disassembled, extensive research was done on the procedures of assembly, and a study of visual communication was then executed with explaining the assembly through drawings. All of the parts of the Villa NM have been designed using Rhinoceros 3D from the exterior to the structure, even down to the sinks, closets, stairs, doors, and windows. Many skills were aquired in the disassembly and reassembly of the Villa NM.

Full disassembly of parts into six main units

Disassembly of parts split into six

Assembly of parts starting from two core pieces and ending with full unit

Photography: Christian Richters

Interior view downstairs

Exterior view from poolside

Interior view of stairway

Saddle Point: Material Study Pasadena City College Architecture 14 Instructors Jian Huang, Aaron Ryan, and Coleman Griffith

Project In this materials and construction techniques class, there was an extensive amount of research and study done on materials and their behaviors. Studies on forces caused by internal and externel energies gave way to understanding how different materials behave with one another. The assignment was worked on with a team of seven people. There were many study models looked into before reaching a final module design. Here are a few examples of study models, the main materials used for experiements were soft foam, rubber bands, brads, PVC, fishing line, and also bolts with washers and nuts. The final materials used consisted of only three materials; Foam, rubber bands, and bolts with washers and nuts. Study Model



Material Unit Dimensions

Process The first step in figuring out a system which would work was aquiring materials which meshed well together and had the ability to compliment one another using their natural forces. Once those materials mentioned were found, a series of study models began being experiemnted with in order to figure out how the module might actually function. The challange of this project was not so much building it, although it took many hours and near completion consisted of almost 500 modules all hand made, but the harder part was creating a functioning system which reacted differently according to its enviornment. Because the resulting module was able to act upon both tension and compression through its shared forces between the rubber bands and foam, there were many ideas taken into consideration. The end result was a levitating surface which led visitors into the Pasadena City College Library into to correct direction while creating a unique experience of transformation from an outside enviornment to a quiet and suttle enviornment.

Unit Dimensions Used


Tension and Compress

Material Unit Dimensions

Single Module Assembly -- Materials Used; Foam, Rubber Bands, and Bolts with washers and nuts.

Given two foam templates of the same size.

Fold each of the templates in half and interlock them.

Place a rubber band in between the interlocking pieces and assemble with screws, washers, and nuts.

The final module houses both compression and tension within itself depending on which direction its edges are pulled in.


Module Aggregation as a System

Rubber band in constant tension affecting single module

Nuts, washers, and bolts under shear force acting as anchors of support

Rubber band in constant tension affecting all modules

Aperture opens when aggregated forces are under compression

System under Compression

Aperture closes when aggregated forces are in tension

System in Tension

2011-2012 Architecture Portfolio  

2011-2012 Architecture Portfolio by Nubar Gyunashyan. Projects produced during study at Pasadena City College.

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