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_Silence Retreat: Atmosphere of Encounter _Karlberg Community Garden _ Big Sky Ski Lodge _Objects

Contents _Silence Retreat: Atmosphere of Encounter _Karlberg Community Garden _ Big Sky Ski Lodge _Ghana Library (Design Proposal) _Ghana Library (Build) _Objects of Interest _Curriculum Vitae / Contact

Silence Retreat: Atmosphere of Encounter Fall 2012, Chicago, I.I.T. Instructor: John Ronan Honorable Mention, Schiff Award 2013 Atmosphere is a state which is perceived through cognitive aspects of a person, like memory, perception and emotions. It requires the physical presence of an individual or a group of people in addition to a space. Atmosphere can exist and can be created for a specific reason but I believe that the most interesting aspect of atmosphere is when it encourages an individual to have an encounter within himself or an encounter with others. The project explores the idea of encounter as it relates to atmosphere. That would be an encounter within space and the mental state of oneself, or a physical encounter. The proposed program is a meditation center for a single person, sited in a stressful environment. Contemporary urban living provides few opportunities to be alone, a state which eases a mental escape from the ordinary. Surrounded continuously by a certain type of lifestyle modifies subconsciously our personalities and behaviors, thus making it almost impossible to control or comprehend any of our decisions. The retreat center is composed from three spaces, a cedar, a concrete and the last space built from the formwork of the concrete. The spaces engage each other in an ambiguous way. The materiality of concrete and cedar wood is perceived as two coexistant elements, similarly to the feelings of stress and calm; you can’t have one without the other. The design and materiality of the center seeks to create a dialogue between the body, imagination and the surrounding environment. During the process of design a diary of a person inhabiting the silence retreat, was written. Quotes from the diary are presented. Left: Material Exploration with cedar wood and concrete.

Calm Atmosphere Pin Holes on Watercolour Paper (please detach and set image against light)

Stressful Atmosphere Fire Painting on Canvas

Breathing room: made out of cedar wood

Fire room: made out of concrete

Harmony room: made out of formwork of concrete

The silence retreat consists of three rooms which were built in sequence. Each one is dependent on the previous one, both in form, program and materiality. The materials wood and concrete, like the feelings “calm”and “stress” gain meaning and definition through their counterpart.

Three co-existant rooms

The inhabitant of the retreat comes to realize his feelings once he has occupied all three rooms of the cabin.

“On approach, I walk over a path made of logs, which leads me to a recessed entrance. I go up those wood stairs and I slide open a heavy, wooden door, which produces a bass sound. I enter into a compact space. There is a strong pleasant smell of cedar wood which urges me to take deeper breaths.� Diary of an Inhabitant

“Bright light is coming in from a window below my eyesight. I sit down and now I can see out of the window, which frames a tree stump. Is this alluding to something unseen? An air of tranquility and relaxation takes hold of all my senses.� Diary of an Inhabitant

“I encounter a wall of logs. I light a fire with them, at the recessed corner, covered with ashes from a previous fire. Seated in the comfort and solitude of the darkness, silence emerges from the sound of the cracking wood and the flickering of the flame. “ Diary of an Inhabitant

“It seems that those contradictory elements, the materiality of the space and the feelings of my entire soul are insubstantial except when colliding.� Diary of an Inhabitant

“The black darkness, the aggressiveness of the material wherein encompassing and isolating, I question the relationship of calm and stress. The way this space engages me and the way I engage with it is unperturbed in a bizarre way.� Diary of an Inhabitant

“I go through an abrupt transition to a darker space. Are the walls made out of concrete? The texture on the wall is very rugged yet this rough material emits a sense of fragility. My senses soar upon entering the concrete room. The light coming in from the small openings acquires a delicacy contradicting the overall materiality.� Diary of an Inhabitant

Karlberg Community Garden Spring 2012, Stockholm, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan Instructors: Dick Sandberg,Pål Röjgård Harryan Investigation of the contextual frames of a historic place and development of a program and design for new and existing spaces. Challenged from the industrial context of the surrounding area, the bridge on Karlberg, a developing area on the border of Stockholm city and Solna was converted into a community garden, while still keeping the transitional qualities of the bridge, connecting the residential area with Karlberg Slottspark.The project examined ways to transform an industrial area into a peaceful environment. Brick as a building material is often found on the surrounding areas of Karlberg but not being used anymore for new constructions. The change of ground floor material from asphalt and concrete to brick is a way to define the change from the city to the community garden. The extensive use of brick contrasts the industrial surroundings. Clay is a very porous material, acting as a good acoustic insulator when used appropriately. Hollow bricks on the ceiling of the pavilions block the sound. Left: Experimenting with the tectonics of bricks.

In terms of program and materiality the context is being contrasted. The extensive use of clay bricks makes up the landscaping and the pavillions, while enhancing the perspective of the bridge. The potential of the single unit brick was examined, and the brick became “the pot�, integrating in this way the plants into the wall and not only the ground.

The Karblerg community garden located on the southern bridge of the site plan is surrounded by infrastructures. The bridge connects the park with the city. Right: Detail wall section of the pavillions and ground pattern.

Along the bridge pedestrians encounter unconditioned pavillions and community gardens. The program is supported by bike parking and one larger conditioned pavilion with a cafe and an auditorium.

Big Sky Ski Lodge Spring 2011, Chicago, I.I.T. Instructor: John Isssa The ski lodge is located in mid-mountain altitude, in Big Sky, Montana. The site was interpreted in dierent ways related with the alternating density found on the mountain and the ski lodge seperately. A mountain looks very calm and peaceful from far away, but a ski resort can be very populated and noisy. The ski lodge itself should acquire both of the afore-mentioned qualities. Density is seen as directly related to the scale of humans and the scale of the surroundinggs. The building was broken down into 3 states of re-evaluating scale in space.

Left: Conceptual sketches of the constantly changing densities on the mountain. The grey and orange colors represent the mountain and ski lodge density respectively.







The state of being below ground, level with the ground and above the ground were combined in order for the occupants of the building to gradually experience them, while heightening their awareness of scale between them and their surroundings. This was reinforced with the use of materials and more specifically the use of glass on the ceiling, side wall and floor accordingly.







The cafeteria allows for an extensive interaction with the inhabitants of the ski lodge but also the skiers on the exterior of the building.

The space last occupied from the visitors of the ski lodge, is the one above ground. The part glass oor embodies the cantilever at the end of the building.

Ghana Library_ Design Proposal Spring 2013, Chicago Instructor: Frank Flury Credit: Wioletta Malolepsza, Mateusz Szczerbiak There is currently a lack of community places for students to come together and study after school hours in Ghana. As part of design/build studio we designed different proposals for a community center/library in Twifo Hemang, a rural area in Ghana. This scheme consists of a long, flexible space contained by the bookshelves and media functions of the building. The area between the main building and the detached bathrooms/ storage space provides an outdoor classroom and gathering hub. Inspired by the rich weaving culture of Ghana, the traditional techniques in creating a bamboo screen for the façade has have been incorporated, which lets in light and encourages community involvement. Left: Full Scale Facade Mock-up.

Handmade tool for splitting bamboo. The process of splitting bamboo is harder than what expected, since bamboo is such a strong material.

Ghana Library _ Build Summer 2013, Twifo Hemang, Ghana Instructor: Frank Flury The construction of the library was completed in two months. This library is the first one amongst 86 villages around the area of Twifo Hemang and it is not a stereotypical library that is seen in developed countries. The design changed to adjust in the site and the local available materials. The library is based on a 12’x12’ grid. One third of the space (12’x24’) is used for storing library materials. The rest of the building can be used by approximately 40 students for studying and is accessible any time of the day. The building is enclosed from perforated concrete block. The team also build furniture for the library such as the doors, bookshelves and benches.

Left: Plastering in process Photo Credit: Sherry Huang

Street view, the building is welcoming from the street as well as from the school campus, since it is open on both sides. Right: Detail of cement blocks, fabricated from a single wooden mold.

The skin of the library is made from perforated cement blocks. Similar to the catholic church of the village, the light coming through the blocks creates a mystical atmosphere which enhances the service of the library.

The size of the full lenght doors are enhanced from the placement of vertical timber. When opened though the doors follow the horizontal movement of the bookshelves. All the furniture was custom made and part of the timber for it was re-used formwork.

Objects of Interest Eroded Table Instructor: Paul Pettigrew The idea of making a coffee table from a single solid piece of wood lead to the experimentation of sandblasting wood. Sandblasting wood is a way of accelerating the natutal erosion of the material. Different types of wood were tested to create this strong texture. A sandblasted pine wood table is the final product, which was put together through multiple laminated pieces of wood. Domino joints are used for the minored edges, in order to make the table structurally stronger.

Objects of Interest Tic-Tac Picture Frame Instructor: Paul Pettigrew The tic tac frame is very easy to assemble. It stands vertically or horizontally and takes up to 12 2- 1/2’’ x3-1/2’’ sized photos. The picture frame can hold items that go along with the memories of the photos. Materials: Plywood, acrylic

Objects of Interest Honey Kaleidoscope The honey kaleidoscope uses the high viscosity of honey, which produces the eect shown on the photos. Each pattern is unique and can not be duplicated. The light coming in the kaleidoscope enhances the atmosphere of the images. I perceive those photos as highly surrealistic spaces that could potentially be inhabitable.

Objects of Interest Metal Casting Instructor: John Krieghauser Independent research project as part of an Advanced Materials Workshop. Experimented with using wood as the mold for pouring metal, instead of sand. The first experiment was done with aluminum, which partially burns the wood mold. The mold of the piece on the image was composed out of a tree trunk, and was filled with pewter, a metal with a lower burning temperature than that of wood. The metal underlines the figure of the wood. The surface of the metal is smooth on one side whereas the other surface has a very distinct texture due to the contact of it with the petroleum based sand.

Work Sample_ Penelope Phylactopoulos  

Architecture Work completed in the five year Bachelor's program at Illinois Institute of Technology.

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