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Work Samples_ Ren Tian Spring 2013


Magnifier of Natural Elements fall 2008

STUDIO PROJECT @ ETH Zurich INSTRUCTOR: Josep Lluis Mateo THEME : museum in natural setting SITE: Near Basel, Switzerland

This project is conceived as an open staging for temporary exhibitions. Its floor plan is a schematic system of sloped, straight and bended corridors. Seen from the outside they appear as a group of hierarchically organized plain volumes: a donut pavilion sunk into the ground, a stick placed along the creek and a sloped double corridor that connects them. A promenade through the museum reveals a more complex structure. Movement through the exhibition is organized in a loop: from the narrow entrance ramp through the ascending sp iral arou nd the internal cou rt, down the glazed slop e to the long and nr-a row water pavilion and back up the changing section of the slope. This continuous movement is sequenced by two archetypal moments: the silent cylindrical room, located at the center with a tree inside, and the open terrace with a colonnade exposed to the sound and mist of the running water. In spite of its authoritative geometry the small museum is strongly imbued with the site, and poetically magnifies the natural aspects of the site.


A Room For London fall 2010

Design Competition organised by Living Architecture, UK Collaborator: Nick Gu THEME : Holidays in Modern Architecture SITE: On top of Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The competition calls for designing a room on the rooftop of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the room is going to be built and rent during the London Olympics. The proposal embraces a duality. As an object standing proudly on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, it is a spectacle for the Londoners; as a room, it is a place for the inhabitants to reflct on their hectic urban life. The room is part of the Elizabeth Hall as it is created by the projection line from the edges of building, but it is not read as part of it as it cantilevers entirely above the pedestrian path. At the street level, the multimedia projection is showing what is going on in the Olympic game, which gathers people. The inhabitants in the room will be looking down to the busy crowd below, contrasting to the quietness and serenity in the room. The furniture in the room is reduced to meet the minimal needs. When our modern world is already filled with choices and complexity, having minimal furniture encourages the inhabitants to reflect upon the essence of life. The luxury of life is not about having too many choices, but to understand what to choose. The carefully selected stones on top of the roof act as a counterweight for the cantilevering building, at the same time it creates a garden. The stones are of different shapes, some standing tall, and some lying down like a bench, just like an abstraction of the interior furniture or, one may see the furniture as an abstraction of the stones.


Gym at Brookline Spring 2011

STUDIO PROJECT @ Harvard GSD ( 3 weeks) INSTRUCTOR: Cameron Wu THEME : Private vs Public SITE: Brookline, Boston

The project still deals with the same concept of private and publicity, the brief contains a much more complex program, with basketball court, swimming pool, rock climbing, ďŹ tness room, cafeteria, o ce, changing room, and lockers etc. The site has three street facing facades, and it has a very steep slope. The complexity of the site is unit ed by the ďŹ eld of columns, yet this unity is ruptured by the internal programs. The columns create an undulating landscape on top which functions as sundeck.


Chinese Opera Theater Spring 2009

STUDIO PROJECT @ NUS ( 1 semester) INSTRUCTOR: Peter Sim THEME : Reinvent Tradition SITE: Hill Street, Singapore

Culture and tectonic can be the genetic code for designing of a civic building, especially for a traditional program such as a Chinese Opera house. This project investigates the two very di erent typologies of traditional Chinese Opera House, Courtyard Theater ’and ‘Teahouse Theater’, employing them in the new extrapolation. The traditional architecture’s structural system is also reinvented, as a mean of evoking tectonic tradition in the atmosphere.


Hidden Room Fall 2010

STUDIO PROJECT @ Harvard GSD ( 2 weeks) INSTRUCTOR: Ingeborg Rocker THEME : To hide a room Concepturally To hide a room in a conceptual way, the project is inspired by a traditional board game call Go, the black and white pieces are placed on a 19x19 grid board, the side captures the more territory wins. In the process of game, the deďŹ nition of territory is constantly changing, there are also moments of ambiguity where the territory belongs to both side. Thus The concept of hiding is thus not really to hide a room, but to create this experiential ambiguity of space. In this project the most obvious space is the conceptual hidden, it is where the overlapping of four rooms is. The maze like circulation makes people confuse about where he is, when constantly encountering this void in the middle, but unable to get to it unless the right path is taken. The process of walking through the building is a manifestation of how Go is played, from ambiguous territory to deďŹ ned territory.


Private Public Pool Spring 2011

STUDIO PROJECT @ Harvard GSD ( 2 weeks) INSTRUCTOR: Cameron Wu THEME : Relationship between Private and Public

The swimming pool proposal works as diagram to address the current private public relationship happening on Internet Social networks. The building is made of a eld of columns below and an open pool on top. Individuals are using the changing room in the column cells, which has a visual connection to the top through the water, but due to the strong light, he can only see the shadow of people above. On the other hand the public on top could pin-point to each individual below through the distorted glass, as how privacy is exposed to public on the social network. In a social network individuals love to expose themselves knowing or unknowingly to both friends and strangers. To the individual the public is an abstract concept, it is formless thus cannot be grasped, on the other hand, the public can focus on the very individual that he is interested to view his pro le or life. This dialectic relationship interested me to design this building accordingly.


Leap Stadium Spring 2008

STUDIO PROJECT @ NUS ( 6 weeks) INSTRUCTOR: Tsuto Sakamoto THEME : Formal Translation SITE: Little India, Singapore

The project aims to design a sporting complex beginning with mapping the action of sport. The result generates the structuraldea i and eventually the form of the architecture. The sports chosen are some track and eld jumping events. The leaping actions developed into a mega truss structure, which spans over 150 meters. Below the arch aisstandard 200m track with over 10000 spectators’ seats, as well as various supporting facilities such as gym, toilet, changing room, media centre, canteen, ticket office etc. On top and between the trusses is a huge park for extreme sports, such as skateboarding, parkour, BMX etc. The openings and the skylights connect the diff erent experiences of the sporting complex visually and acoustically. The project is an experiment on developing architecturerom f a seemingly unrelated and impractical perspective to a practical and tangible level while trying to maintain the essence of the intangible.


In-between House Fall 2010

STUDIO PROJECT @ Harvard GSD ( 2 weeks) INSTRUCTOR: Ingeborg Rocker THEME : To build a house inbetween two houses with change in topography

The two weeks assignment was to design a house/studio/gallery for an artist, in the neg ative space between two ‘typical’ suburban houses in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Stu dent could manipulate the distance between and change the topography between the two houses. I imagine the new house being a empty trace of the original house on the location after it is moved. Thus what left is an functionally as a internal covered courtyard. Three topographical conditions are also being investigated to see which produce the most interesting condition in the inte rior spatial organization. Final the 15 degree change is employed, as it creates alternate levels which are spatially very rich.


Thermal Bath at Brookline Spring 2011

STUDIO PROJECT @ Harvard GSD ( 3 weeks) INSTRUCTOR: Cameron Wu THEME : Design exploration with mathematical function form making

Inspired by works of george Legendre, who uses mathematical formulas to create buildings and spaces, I used the similar approach in deriving the buildings forms. This method allows complex forms to be generated with very high efficiency, just one line of equation. Aesthetically, it is an example of minimal surface, which continuos flow of space is embeded in continuos structure, where walls and floors blends into one. The design process becomes iterative process, where changing the parameters of equations to create desired form, and refits the programs into the form then in term change the forms again. The final design combines three different equations together, each equation produces a special spacial quality that is unique to its corresponding program.


Sukkah Fall 2011

Harvard GSD open competition COLLABORATORS: Nick Gu, Patrara wongboonsin THEME : Design a Modern Jewish Sukkah

Conceived as an emulation of the 40 year journey of the ancient Israelites through the desert, the narrow entry of the Sukkah compresses the individual before opening up to the main gathering space. The patterning of the wooden screen is achieved via standard wooden profiles bolted together with threaded rods. The faรงade functions as both a screen that allows for variation of visual connection with the exterior and structural support. A construction technique was employed that specifically avoids the use of longitudinal members in order to maintain a fluid language of layering that plays with the visual transparency of the space within, depending on viewing angle.


Urban Analysis of Venice and Houston Fall 2011


Madam Mum Thai Restaurant Interior Summer 2012


Biis Paâlé Fall 2012

New Public Transportation System in Ouagadougou


NCU Green Building Competition Spring 2013

skylight produce diffused light

light from atrium transluscent windows directs light in to the rooms from atrium

south facing shading devices and vegetations filter direct sunlight to diffused light

North facing diffused light

skylight to bsement

basement lighting through water

Natural Lighting Strategies

Cross-ventilation in Summer and Spring

Summer Shadow Studies

Winter Shadow Studies

3rd floor Wind Speed Distribution

4td floor Wind Speed Distribution


Memoriscape Spring 2013



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