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architecture portfolio by ryan nickolas

table of contents residence hall library fire station pool wetlands restoration - new orleans drawings photography carpentry work freelance drafting/rainwater tank system

residence hall A residence hall which derives its subtractively eroding design from the surrounding context, which includes the neighborhood, campus, and sun orientation. The design creates active outdoor green spaces for students to interact with throughout the building. This residence hall is also attempting to engage its neighbors by subtractively breaking down the barrier between neighborhood and campus.

function circulation public


structural grid

afternoon sun exposure

western facade relates to adjacent neighborhood

early conceptual sketch

active outdoor greenspace

early staircase concept

counterpoint - any aesthetic quality is usually enhanced by the presence of a counterpoint

library A public library focused on bringing in daylight and creating active outdoor green space within a tight infill space. Simplicity, purity, and elegance are incorporated into the monolithic flowing volumetric form, which gracefully divides the interior and exterior spaces. Floor slabs are fully suspended from rods attached to large beams, which span from both party walls to help retain the purity of the library’s form.

volumetric organization

conceptual development

primary structure

spatial organization

enclosure organization

served/service spaces

fire station A fire station that responds to its natural surrounding. Located in Milwaukee’s Third Ward District, the kinked form is a direct response to the narrowness of the infill site, which allows for unique spaces to be assigned to each section. In a way, the building is tightly jammed, or even stuck, between the two existing buildings. Light wells are carved out of the poche areas throughout both floors to create illumination.

spatial diagram

overlay diagram expressing continuous poche throughout for light wells

section drawing

site model

sectional model

floor one

floor two

pool A public swimming pool which creates a unique and fun way to experience the space. The concept is a simple cube being penetrated by a needle. The building form has kept this concept grounded by having the glass structure of the pool being penetrated by a cable suspended walkway held up by metal rings. This walkway celebrates the swimming activities by creating a special experience of the pool from above, which invites people directly into the main space of the building.

early walkway concept

conceptual development

revised walkway concept

basement floor plan

wetlands restoration - new orleans This project focuses on restoring New Orleans’ wetlands, which act as a natural barrier from storm surges, and also replenishes the ecosystem. Dredged islands are formed to encourage sedimentation. Break waters are then formed to slow down water and help prevent erosion. Eventually, land forms and cypress trees are planted on the newly formed islands. Over time, trees grow taller, more land builds up, and the wetlands are restored, serving as a natural protective barrier.

loss of wetlands results in massive flooding - the red “golden section� acts as a funnel for storm surges

wetland deterioration - wetlands act as natural protective barriers from storm surges

restored wetlands

site plan with surrounding context

view looking east over deteriorated wetlands

section looking west towards downtown new orleans prior to wetland restoration

phase one - sandbar and breakwater development - sedimentation begins

sedimentation builds up land over time

slowing down the flow of water to allow sedimentation to occur by dredging sandbars around the perimeter of the deteriorated wetlands

view overlooking breakwaters after completion

gradual phases of development

phase two - cypress trees are planted on newly formed land

three years - trees grow to 16 feet in height

40 years - trees grow to 70 feet in height - new land has formed with young trees

120 years - trees grow to 120 feet in height - wetlands fully restored



carpentry work

rough framed a 8,000 sq ft house in appleton, wi., with a steep 14/12 pitch copper roof

large bonus room on top of garage

turret staircase in front of house

framing interior of ranch style house

freelance drafting/rainwater tank system

existing porch on back of client’s house in bay view, wi

3-d model of new porch design for bay view client

bungalow style house in bay view, wi, in need of remodeled attic space

helped my landlord install this 275 gallon storm water runoff tank at my place of residence - used for watering plants and reducing runoff

plan drawing of new bedroom/bath/closet for existing attic of bungalow style house in bay view, wi

Ryan Nickolas' Architecture Portfolio  

Architecture - Drawings - Photography - Drafting