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Prarthan Shah Selected Works UT Austin

Index Hydro Thinkery

Index Hydro Thinkery Artist Residency

Hydro Thinkery How can a water facility be a community resource for its citizens? Fall 2017 Nichole Wiedemann

The site strategy for the project dealt with ideas of juxtaposition in landscape and architecture and finding overlaps and connections within this framework. The site is an existing water utility plant for the New Braunfels Utility (NBU) company and we were tasked to create spaces that help bring the community together by acknowledging the role of water for the city of New Braunfels and recognizing the role of NBU in the city. The genesis of my project began by answering what can architecture of water mean. My program dealt with water in multiple ways, and it was situated on the edge of the Comal River and an active spring. The inspiration of how water moves through the karst limestone provided the initial parti. The water moves within the limestone under the heavy mass with points of infiltration for fresh water. My project was conceived with similar conditions where the points of infiltration could be light and the path is undefined. The Hydro Thinkery is a proposed learning center for adults and children where each space deals with a different quality of water which are juxtaposed against one another by not just creating transitional spaces but seams that seem spacial.

Artist Residency Can a building blend in the landscape while still making its presence felt? Spring 2018 Elizabeth Danze & John Blood In Collaboration with Nicole Vice (M.Arch) Brooke Frank & Matthew Cronin (M.FA) Design Excellence Nominee

This artist residency, located outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a collaboration between two architecture and two fine art students. The chosen site has an existing house, home of two art collectors, and multiple land sculptures dispersed throughout the hilly terrain. Our proposal is to consolidate all the functions of the artist residency into one structure in order to minimize impact on the landscape and preserve the existing site for the artists to discover. The proposed building is situated on a low ridgeline, distinctly separated from the existing house, which provides views to both the higher hills of the Santa Fe National Forest to the east and out into the larger Santa Fe Valley to the west. The building is organized through two masses along the exterior of the building where all the service spaces are carved into the thickness. This leaves the interior of the building to be open served spaces with varying porosities. The programmed interior spaces become internalized, which heightens the distinction between the exterior and interior. While the main interior spaces are structured, the poche invites a unique opportunity to carve into the mass and create moments of discovery and individualization for the occupants.

Building Strategy The layout of solids and voids set up a regular structure and rhythm throughout the building. Navigation through the building as well as the infrastructure and support spaces occur in the poche of the exterior walls while the interior is left entirely to the functional program of the residency including living space, work space, and gallery. The design of the building encourages personal exploration while indoors by denying the user the distraction of the landscape yet holds an intimate connection with the landscape as soon as you step out the door.

Void in the Solid The rhythmic series of solids and voids frame views into the landscape and the exteriority of the voids ensure the users are never far from the land. The density of the exterior walls allows for the formation of unique experiential moments within the poche and offers the users a sense of personal discovery and individuality within the structured setup of the interior programmed spaces.

Level 2

Level 1

Graduate Portfolio  

Work from Fall 17 and Spring 18 semesters.

Graduate Portfolio  

Work from Fall 17 and Spring 18 semesters.