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the working portfolio of rebecca a. staley

Rebecca A. Staley

graduate work Indianapolis Water Stop, Thesis Project

Final creative project addressing the need for access to clean water in Indianapolis, IN

East Washington St. Corridor Revitalization

Proposal to engage and invest in a sustainable future for a struggling neighborhood in Indianapolis, IN

Zero-net Energy Training Center, Design Competition

Team proposal for a zero-net energy building in Long Beach, CA

CAP_Americano_Sur: South American Travel-Study


Summer study trip to Uruguay, Argentina, and Spain

post-graduate work Couched Constructions “Mobile Refuge� Installation

Collaborative installation for a curated gallery exhibit at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, IN

AIA Indiana 1x20 Design Proposal Architecture for Humanity, Minneapolis Chapter

Design drawing for local playground fundraising drive

Heartland Design Internship, Indianapolis, IN Residential, Religious, and Elderly Care Projects

DLZ Internship, Indianapolis, IN


office work

31 under-graduate work

ecoREHAB Design Studio

Housing re-model proposal meeting the triple bottom line

CAP_Italia: European Travel-Study


Rebecca A. Staley

graduate work Indianapolis Water Stop, Thesis Project East Washington St. Corridor Revitalization Zero-net Energy Training Center, Design Competition CAP_Americano_Sur: South American Travel-Study


[southside water center] How the provision of clean water can remediate land, people, and community How can a community address basic needs in an open, non-binding, non-judgmental, dignified manner? How can personal infrastructure generate stability while working alongside the people of a neighborhood? Encompassing the need for clean drinking water and water for bathing and washing clothes, the Water Stop provides short and long term infrastructure and resources to the near-southeast side of Indianapolis. It would provide users the ability to remain clean in order to gain or maintain employment and to reduce health risks caused by inadequate sanitation. Additionally, it offers gathering and socialization space in conjunction with a proposed cafÊ and an existing neighborhood farmers’ market. By engaging a strong, but overlooked neighborhood, it aims to integrate into and strengthen the Indianapolis network by adding a unique set of services and amenities.


According to a 2010 count conducted by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, 4,500 to 7,500 people are homeless in Indianapolis each year. On the day of the count, there were 1,500 homeless, and 39% were families. Additionally, more than 25,000 households are earning 30% or less of the city’s mean income, or $14,000 per year: the US poverty line as defined for a family of two.

SITE Conditions

affordable housing social services health services food supplier industrial business auto sales/services retail education fast food/drink parks + public areas religious

Interstate 65

Interstate 70

Monument Circle Washington St. Pleasant Run Creek & Trail


1/2 mile radius 1 mile radius


2 mile radius

Responses to such complex issues as homelessness and poverty must work within a larger network woven through the city. This proposal synthesizes issues from three scales of proposals aimed to serve homeless or impoverished people in Indianapolis. A key to siting the project is the existing network of local service entities. Success and longevity in a project hinges on how well it would integrate into its context. The site is bounded to the north and east by an inactive industrial coke plant that operated for nearly 100 years. The property poses numerous environmental hazards as it slowly becomes reappropriated into lighter industrial and commercial lots. The surrounding residential and industrial neighborhoods contain dilapidated, but mostly occupied, homes and businesses. The area is underserved by public amenities but does not lack in community spirit. Many residents have been there for years, even decades, and take pride in the neighborhood, as evidenced by the work done by the South East Community Organization. To the immediate south of the site, the family-owned Wilcher’s Southside Farmers Market is an area staple but is also struggling to survive tough economic conditions.

Most importantly, the Water Stop demonstrates that EVERYONE deserves dignified access to clean water.


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supplied by harvested rain water

supplied by collected gray water

supplied by Indianapolis Water

*Demand calculated as an average monthly need of 177,000 gallons

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rain water filtration gardens rooftop rain collection area

permeable outdoor market area rooftop rain collection area

permeable truck parking area


Sustainable design, planning, and construction practices are not to be reserved only for the elite clients. They should be available to all client bases and project types. Water is the focus inside and out: Large potentials for rain water harvesting and subsequent use onsite demonstrates the need for resource conservation regardless of project type. A facility with such high water consumption as this one must take advantage of natural resources in order to lessen the burden on aging city infrastructure. Rain water collected from all major roof surfaces (including the Water Stop and Wilcher’s Market) is directed to storage and filtration for use in the Water Stop’s facilities. At the front of the Water Stop is a twostory water collection meter indicating the amount of rainwater available for reuse within the building at any given time. This also pushes water conservation into the community dialogue.

In focusing on a single element, water, the Water Stop is specific but able to serve a broad range of people. By providing resources needed by multiple groups of people, it becomes flexible to a neighborhood’s needs.

Encompassing the need for clean drinking water and water for bathing and washing clothes, the Water Stop provides short and long term infrastructure and resources to the near-southeast side of Indianapolis. It would provide the ability to remain clean in order to gain or maintain employment and reduce health risks caused by inadequate sanitation. Offering socialization spaces in conjunction with an adjacent café and the existing family-owned Wilcher’s farmers’ market and truck service, the Water Stop allows people to be productive while waiting on laundry or in line for shower rooms. Engaging a strong but overlooked neighborhood, it aims to integrate and strengthen the Indianapolis network by adding a unique set of services and amenities.


[East Washington Street, Indianapolis] Along a two mile stretch of East Washington Street, once-thriving industry has moved out, taking jobs with it. A railroad forms a strong barrier across the site. Limited northsouth connection points cause a physical and communal divides. Many structures have deteriorated, but a sense of historic character remains in many buildings, and should be maintained.


Connections The master plan reconnects through a green network, the street grid, new transit, and focused cultural destinations. Connections would occur through sustainable industry, education, parks, and social spaces. Industry: Existing, largely vacant, industrial areas can produce biofuel from hardy switchgrass grown in the area. Green Network: Maintain existing parks, and create new trails and green spaces. Pedestrian and bike trails connect to the Monon and Pleasant Run Trails, allowing access throughout the city. The network is completed with bioswales, community gardens, a living machine, and a series of parks, ranging from small pocket parks to the large-scale Willard Park. Street Grid: Reconnect four more streets under or over the railroad to create more vehicle, bike, and pedestrian access across the tracks. Woven into the streets are pedestrian areas providing increased access by foot.


Transit Line: Proposed light rail runs east-west across the site, extending to downtown and the eastern edge of the city. Public transit would better connect residents with jobs, entertainment, and religious and social activities. Cultural Nodes: Community center, industry, gardens, market, and the park and trail system create various nodes, dispersed across the neighborhoods. Increased density of mixed-use commercial and residential development would bring more activity to public places.

Focus-Area Development Plan: The community gateway sits at the eastern edge of the site, a key entry point to the community and to downtown Indianapolis. Serving both the local neighborhoods and the larger community, the development contains a large community center, housing, market, classrooms, art studios, and retail shops.


[design competition] Team project with Tafadzwa Bwititi & Eric Till

Living Machine & Wetlands

Paving & Xeriscape

Cisterns with Water Level Indicators

Seating & Planters

Sustainability training & demonstration center in Long Beach, California The zero-net energy training center was done as a part of the Leading Edge Design Competition in spring 2010. The training center is intended to serve as an educator of sustainable environmental systems, net zero energy management, and resource conservation. The design integrates sun shading, natural ventilation, PV arrays, rain water collection, and light shelves, among other environmental strategies.


Highlighted above are the additional environmental strategies including: a living machine, permeable paving, cisterns, native plantings, xeriscape, and adjustable photovoltaic panels to optimize solar angles. Site strategies address seasonal winds, solar path, daylighting, and natural shading.

Native Planted Trellis

Permeable Paving



Wall Section Components

1. Recycled aluminum flashing 2. Drain line 3. Corrugated steel from recycled shipping containers 4. Vapor barrier 5. Light shelf to reflect daylight deeper into rooms 6. Cork pin-up boards 7. Brick veneer 8. Structural insulated panels 9. Interior finish 10. Recycled tile floor 11. High fly ash content concrete on recycled steel decking 12. Open-web steel joists 13. Suspended ceiling 14. FSC certified wood bulkhead 15. Light wall lit by adjacent windows 16. Local limestone panels 17. Salvaged or FSC certified wood operable transom windows 18. Locally quarried limestone header 19. Fritted glass to reduce solar gain 20. Low VOC furnishings 21. Salvaged or FSC certified wood framed windows 22. Slab on grade with neoprene footings for seismic resistance 23. Permeable pavers to absorb rainfall 24. High fly ash content concrete curb with recycled aggregate 25. Gravel drainage area 26. Xeriscape plants on green roof 27. Recycled tire-rubber pavers 28. Growing medium 29. Drainage layer 30. Filter fabric 31. Rigid insulation 32. M.E.P. between trusses





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Bus Stop


As designed, the facility uses substantially less energy than a test case scenario. The photo voltaic array can produce anywhere from 104% to 190% of the building’s electricity needs. The facility includes classrooms for sustainablyfocused job training, a library, flexible auditorium space, labs for hands-on training, offices, and support space. This project was submitted along with a 57page technical specifications book comparing a traditionally constructed “base building” with our project. Calculations track how both would perform in the local Long Beach climate. We then discussed how our building’s features vastly improved the overall energyand resource-efficiency from the typical construction base model. Including: n Rainfall harvesting and reuse n Solar power and hot water n Day-lighting n Natural ventilation n Efficient building envelope n Drought-resistant landscape n Recycled or reclaimed materials n Response to local seismic conditions


[Uruguay + Argentina + Spain] Month-long summer study of design and culture in 3 Spanish-speaking countries


Americano_SUR: Collaborative COLLAGE Exhibit: October 2010

Architecture, design, urban issues, and cultural elements experienced on the trip were collaged on a large wall during the following semester. The display intended to share experiences and lessons interactively with the college. Viewers are encouraged to view up close and at a distance. Images are primarily black and white, with key elements displayed in bold colors. They spill onto the floor to expand the display and encourage close contact with viewers. A blank space is used for a projected presentation of images, videos, and music. Text interspersed with the images list all of the cities visited and are connected chronologically by string. The projector is housed in a box wrapped and graffitied with key phrases, ideas, and diagrams. Installation team: Rebecca Staley Jason Klinker Brad Wanek Rebecca Ackerman Jennifer Flegel


Rebecca A. Staley

post-graduate work Couched Constructions “Mobile Refuge� Installation AIA Indiana 1x20 Design Proposal Architecture for Humanity, Minneapolis Chapter


[Couched Constructions Exhibit]

Collaboration with Kate Lengacher & Charmalee Gunaratne

The old, abandoned couch is a pervasive element in America’s culture of moving on, moving up, and disposal of single-use items. Everyone has seen them lying in yards, on street curbs, and near trash bins, disposed of due to space requirements, a new replacement, or wear from overuse.

But what about the materials beneath that old ripped fabric? Many couches are built with strong frames and meant to be practically indestructible.

Can those interior, structural materials find new life that can benefit others?

Can an object address both the things and people that society throws away?

Herron School of Art Mar-Apr 2012


Through one medium - couches retrieved curbside - Couched Constructions reconceives our shared solid waste stream as a source of alternative building materials. This exhibit on feature a number of projects made of couches, exploring their potential as building materials, shelter, and artistic media. Gallery Statement


[AIA gallery exhibit] PROJECT PROPOSAL: “The goal of this project is to explore the intrinsic differences between designers and how they approach creative challenges. We asked designers to collaborate with us to create designs for an urban lot in downtown Indianapolis at the corner of Alabama and 10th St. We do not own this lot, and we were not seeking legitimate proposals for things to do with it - the site is just a representation of a common design problem in an urban area. Rather, by asking all of the designers to approach precisely the same problem using the same format, we seek to draw contrast between the designs themselves.� Sponsored by AIA Indianapolis


Harrison Center for the Arts Exhibit SEPTEMBER 2012

10th Street Pocket Park encourages both verbal and artistic dialogues and interactions within the community. Concrete benches anchor the corners and line a central pavilion, which provides display panels for artwork and space for performances, meetings, or informal gatherings. The reclaimed wood pavilion, accessible from multiple directions,

is sheltered on one side by a metal awning. A solar roof addition would power lighting at night. Responding to brick pavers on 10th Street, recycled concrete “stepping stones” lead the main path through the park. Finally, low-maintenance grasses and shrubs provide privacy to the adjacent home, acting as a natural screen to the west.


[Minneapolis Chapter]


After an initial playground design charrette with a school serving autistic children, the next step was to further develop each area of the playground. AfH is producing renderings for the school to use to as fundraising tools.

The drawings will help inspire investors by showing how funding will be used to improve the playground as a sensory learning experience for children with special needs. Selected area: Raised garden beds


Rebecca A. Staley

office work Heartland Design Internship, Indianapolis, IN DLZ Internship, Indianapolis, IN


[Architectural Internship]

ABOVE: Measured, documented, and created base plans for house remodel. BELOW: Electrical & plumbing diagrams for healthcare commons area renovation. RIGHT: Wall section for single family home addition.


As an intern, I honed my technical skills and expanded technical knowledge. Using AutoCAD, I created and revised construction documents for several projects including single and multi-family residential, religious, senior housing, historical renovation, and healthcare facilities.



[Architectural Internship]


In my first architectural internship, I was introduced to an overview of several large-scale planning projects. Through traffic data collection and analysis and other data, I helped research and write a thoroughfare plan to be presented to county officials. I also produced a hand-rendering of a facility addition for a client with marker, ink, and colored pencil.


Rebecca A. Staley

under-graduate work ecoREHAB Design Studio CAP_Italia: European Travel-Study


[Non-profit design studio]

804 N. Walnut St.

The pilot ecoREHAB studio involved students with real-life, budget-conscious, home design. Muncie, IN contains 100s of abandoned or foreclosed homes deemed unsafe for living. However, many could be rehabilitated to bring residents back into the city, along with their tax money, general spending, and social activity. In teams of 5, students studied 9 homes, assessed conditions, determined character and potential, and proposed new designs to highlight existing historic features and exhibit new sustainable potentials. 804 N. Walnut is a prominent home across from the Muncie Central Schools. Some historic elements were present, but many remodeling efforts and neglect left the house in decay. The team proposed ‘basic’ and ‘deluxe’ models based on potential funds. The basic plan includes two bedrooms and a flexible front room. After schematic design, teams produced a complete set of measured existing-conditions drawings, demolition plans, new construction plans, M/E/P, materials research, instructions for recycling or reuse of existing material, and a cost estimate. Presentations were made to Muncie officials and community members to gain feedback and spread awareness of ecoREHAB within the local community.

Design team:

Rebecca Staley Amanda Raymond Darrell Scott Matt Van Soest Jessica Coleman


[Italy + France] Month-long summer study of design and culture in 22 cities in France & Italy

Summer 2008 Cities France: Paris, Marseille, Nice, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Nimes, Avignon Monaco: Monte Carlo Italy: Venice, Verona, Vicenza, Florence, San Gimignano, Rome, Viareggio, Pisa, Cinque Terre (Corniglia, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Manarola), Lucca, Siena

Venice Bridge


SCALE: 1/2” = 1’-0”

Venice Bridge “Drawing inspiration from the work of Scarpa, design a bridge over a Venice canal. Sited near Scarpa’s bridge, it would provide a new

entry point to the existing museum. Approach the project with the same care and attention to detail and material seen in Scarpa’s work.” 41


Rebecca A. Staley

Architectural Portfolio