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modular Urban Cuisine :: PIÑA³ The concept of PIÑA³ is derived from the process of preparing a pineapple for consumption. After quartering, an individual section of the pineapple resembles the plan of an urban commercial space. It is long and narrow, with the storefront revealing only a fraction the space hidden within. Next, the section of pineapple is divided in half lengthwise, creating longitudinal circulation.

Finally, the lengthwise portions are cut into chunks or modules. These modules, however, do not respect the rigidity of the center line. They slip and shift, creating an asymmetrical pattern and interstitial spaces. Throughout PIÑA³, this shifting concept is reflected in both plan and section, with various modules slightly elevated or sunken.

Each restaurant function is housed in one of these modules or pods. Booths and tables for dining are contained in individual pods for privacy, but are not divided by solid walls. Instead, they are separated by porous planes constructed from wooden slats, screening the space to encourage openness and interaction. Also contained in separate modules are reception and waiting areas in the front, and an office and restrooms in the rear. There are two small kitchens dispersed among the dining area, allowing customers to view the chefs and food preparation. The accessibility of the kitchens encourages interaction and draws customers into the culinary process. The segregation of the two kitchens allows for the expedited delivery of meals, and relieves the congestion of a single, central kitchen. The serpentine center line acts as circulation from the restaurant’s front to its rear, weaving in response to the undulating modules. The hidden spaces behind the pods contain the practical, behind-the-scenes, restaurant elements, such as a closet, storage, refrigeration, dishwashing, HVAC and other mechanical requirements.

Longitudinal Section

Facade Elevation

Transverse Section

Transverse Section

Longitudinal Section

surveying and drafting :: a cottage

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Section 3

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Section 5 Section 4

Section 5

West Elevation

South Elevation

East Elevation

North Elevation

weaving urban complexity :: THE automatic earth

The complexity of the human environment and experience presents new opportunities for exploration and innovation. We are immersed in dense layers of stability and chaos, fixed and shifting, constructed and ethereal, and perpetually increasing speed. The first step in understanding this complexity is to contemplate the roles of systems and order that saturate the human context. Technological innovation and exchange of ideas is causing these systems to expand at an unprecedented rate, rapidly increasing diversity, depth, and complexity. Digital technology encourages seemingly unlimited movement, and a departure from linear forms of thinking to a more systems-oriented approach. This translates to information mobility that is no longer restricted to prescribed arteries, and has the autonomy to weave previously unidentified circuits.

As cities evolve, an understanding of networks and complexity becomes increasingly important for the generation of welldesigned environments. It is imperative to recognize and cultivate the relationship between the established (static) grid, and the continuously morphing and moving (dynamic) networks that are supported by the grid. In thoughtfully composed conditions, the grid provides a framework, a foundation, for the manifold networks, but it does not dictate the flux and development. The grid allows freedom, flexibility, a platform that promotes improvisation, and resources that encourage and nourish the dynamic networks that dance over its surface, carve beneath its landscapes, and meander throughout its urban fabric. The network inculcates the grid with vitality.

FRACTURED timE :: containing the silent moment How do we perceive the movement of time? Tangible, fragmented intervals with a dial, numbers, and benchmarks? A linear series of experiments and experiences that calculate a comprehensive sum and knowledge? Degrees against which to survey history and future, with the present moving too fast to consider and document? Does a universal understanding of time make us feel safe, preserved, complacent with the deception of a common goal, the homogeneity of regulations and standards? Or, is time more ephemeral, untouchable, floating? Surrounding us and substantive, but without the caress and tingle, the wound and scar. A palpable margin. Symbols of the invisible. Time is discerned in days or hours or travels, but what about the time-space of the mind? A book or chronicle can compress millennia into an inch and a half. Can time be perceived as a number of pages or frames of a film? Which interpretation is real and true, or is the infinite indefinable? What is the space of time? Can we stop the movement of the illusory? What is the structure of time? Can we create a container for time?

The objective of this project is to use time as a medium to explore and expand individual conceptions of space. Architectural space is in a perpetual state of flux, a pressure exerted by time. Drawings and models represent an architect’s intended use for a space, but life is not frozen. Static notions of space must be discarded. Space is animated and turbulent, despite attempts to control its organization. A sampling from the Argentine author, Jorge Luis Borges, acts as the catalyst for this project. The significance of time within these writings is interpreted, and translated with the production of thick-space drawings. The drawings are achieved by scratching the surface of aluminum panels, a material resistant to change. Multiple time-based drawings, representing various perspectives and temporal impressions from the Borges pieces, are etched into the same surface, creating a density of the space between the rational and the imaginary. A model, intended to assemble the qualities of the drawings into a spatial expression, is the final component. Just as the drawings surge without either beginning or end, the model articulates continuous space. From two-dimensions to three-dimensions; finding the space that exists within the drawings.

embassy OF COSTA RICA :: DIVERSITY IN SYMBIOTIC SYSTEMS Costa Rica elicits images of rainforests, mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches, oceans, rivers, quaint villages, and lively town squares. Color, motion, music, and vitality all combine to compose a landscape and lifestyle that is as unique as it is brilliant. All of these varied characteristics constitute a single essence: Diversity. Costa Rica epitomizes diversity in its ecology, topography, and, particularly, its rainforests. The diversity of the rainforests is astounding, yet the various elements unite to function as a whole; a system that breeds, nurtures, sustains, and extinguishes life. All of these processes are designed to augment the operation of the collective system. The complexity of the system of the trees in the rainforest can be experienced in the canopy. Relatively uninterrupted trunks stretch, struggle, and battle each other for resources. They clamor toward the wide, seductive sky, replete with its vibrant sunlight and nourishing moisture. This competition for light creates a tangled, seemingly impenetrable, web of habitats. The twisting, playfully weaving texture creates motion and apparent chaos. From a distance, this turmoil presents itself as a continuous, solid, undulating sea of green. The natural conflicts, scurrying vitality, and minutiae of diversity are obscured.

A parallel and equally consequential struggle for resources is reflected beneath the forest floor. A vast expanse of roots mingles and clashes in its pursuit of water and nutrients, its only objective to sustain the above-ground counterpart. The upper mirrors the lower. The exposed reflects the hidden. Symbiosis is articulated in a most concentrated and emphatic scheme. The Embassy of Costa Rica echoes a similar symbiotic relationship with its site, its surroundings, and the larger context of Washington DC. The Embassy is nestled into the slope of its site, creating an extension of the groundplane with the form of its roof. This unobtrusive structure is obscured from the view of the passing automobile traffic on Massachusetts Avenue, but provides pedestrians with a glimpse of a unique but integrated pattern, designed to convey diversity and pique experiential interest.

The Embassy respects its context, evidenced by the application of materials and response to the landscape. As trees are a vital component to the concept of the project, the vegetation covering the slope of the site remains largely undisturbed. This encourages the concept of natural diversity around which the Embassy was conceived. The surrounding trees also help to visually integrate building into its site. The use of natural materials and a weathered aesthetic allow the Embassy to blend into the site, and mirror cladding and vegetation used by its neighbor, the Embassy of Finland. Finally, although the Embassy is significantly obscured from sight in its approach, it encourages user participation by arousing a curiosity of the senses with its natural materials and unconventional entrance. One inhales the richness of the soil and vegetation covering the roof. The touch is satisfied with the textures of natural woods and aged metals. The audible but quiet breathing of surrounding trees and the playful activity in their collective canopy is sensed rather than heard. The synthesis of all of these elements makes the Embassy of Costa Rica a unique and welcomed addition to Washington DC’s Embassy Row.

The ordering system utilized in the design of the Embassy is based on lines connecting major cities of Costa Rica, employing the mountain range (running northwest to southeast) as an axially organizing element. The connecting lines are manipulated to create a pattern of polygons. The center of each polygon is established, and this point is extruded vertically (in the z-axis direction) to a predetermined height. The peak created by this extrusion is then manipulated in the x-axis and y-axis directions to sculpt roof’s triangulated landscape form. The roof is conceived as a diverse and shifting landscape. Inspiration for the concept is derived from the diversity of Costa Rica’s ecology, its landscape, and the shifting seismic plates of its active volcanoes. The visitor traverses a delicately configured roof path that weaves through the manipulated, diverse landscape, framing views and creating experiential intrigue. The path circumscribes a void in the roof, serving as an atrium that penetrates vertically through the entire building, and terminates at the lowest floor. The path serves as a tool of orientation, and is conceived merely as a suggested movement route, as users have the ability to wander and explore the entire roofscape.

Structural Analysis :: Waterloo International Terminal The objective of this project is to examine the evocative structural system of an existing building, and research its history, context, structural systems, construction methods, and connections. The design of the form, and its response to its environment, is also an important component of the project. I analyzed a wide range of issues, from materiality, to gravitational forces, to aesthetic value. The construction of the model brought to my attention several practical structural issues, and provided a deeper understanding of construction methods and materials. Eurostar trains, which Waterloo International Terminal employs, are longer than the previous trains utilized by the station. Therefore, it was necessary for the structure to accommodate longer trains. The train tracks are elevated above three additional levels, composing the remainder of the terminal. There is a large potential live load due to braking trains. The arched structure is sufficiently flexible to accommodate differentiating forces due to trains entering and exiting the station. The structure is designed for a life span of 125 years. The roof form responds to the dictates of the site, specifically to the west where the roof must rise more steeply in order to accommodate the height of the trains.

Gravitational forces push down on the arch structure. The forces are then transferred to the concrete footings through the arch. The concrete footings provide upward forces that maintain the equilibrium of the system. I focused on the significance of the integration of the arch and truss structures, particularly the effect of the knuckle and pin joints on their structural integrity. The manner by which loads are transferred is of noteworthy interest as well. As a structural entity, Waterloo International Terminal maintains an aesthetic appeal that transforms something as routine as a train station into an artistic piece that presents an engaging experience for the user. Construction Materials: The roof is composed of over 10,000 m² of glass and 7,000 m² of stainless steel sheet. The trusses are joined with cast steel knuckles and stainless steel pins. The trussed-arch meets the ground with reinforced concrete footings.

A Place For Creative Work :: REFLECTIVE ASYLUM

A Place For Creative Work represents an isolated, inspirational sanctuary from which the user derives enlightenment and motivation for his or her creative project. The context for the composition is an open, flat plane, stretching to the horizon in all directions, and a path that connects the artist’s dwelling to that of his or her colleagues. I chose to create a space for a religious and historical scholar, performing research and writing a maunscript. The center of the refuge serves as the most important space, with secondary spaces organized radially about the nucleus. The primitive character of the structure lends to its historical and mystical nature. “The creator approaches his sanctuary down the narrow path with a singular focus in mind, yet a multitude of options. He must determine the direction that will lead him to his inspirational destination. The path branches and continues past various imaginative dwellings accommodating his colleagues in intellectual exploration. Their ambition is the same, yet the medium of their pursuits varies as greatly as the individuals themselves. The structures are organized across the ambiguous terrain to provide isolation while remaining connected to one’s associates.”

“Planes of various forms, sizes, angles, and dispositions travel through the barren landscape and converge on a relatively arbitrary point. It is their magnetism that infuses the meaning in this place. The vertical planes persuade horizontal planes to join their cause, to serve as the overhead components which provide shelter for one with a deliberate intensity. These horizontal planes produce an opening at their core through which the creator derives his sacred inspiration.” “He looks up through the elemental structure, reminiscent of Stonehenge in its simplicity and obscurity, and gazes at the night sky through the axis mundi. The various spaces revolve around the depressed nucleus, created through the force of spiritual ponderings, and establish a core that draws insight from the heavens and bestows it upon the scholar. The structure serves as a type of primitive courtyard, luring its strength and balance from its center. The path by which the creator approaches must divert from this center, as not to disturb the quiet equilibrium. The workspace flows throughout the entire structure. Walls are implied by planes and the spaces they create, but the invisible barriers do not hinder the craft. They allow for free movement and free thought, a necessary element in the art of creation.”

The Essence Of Project Modern :: mODERN cLASSICISM The architecture of Modern Classicism is characterized by reflecting upon Classical forms and structures, in conjunction with the application of elementary geometric shapes. The compositions consist of simple, cylindrical pillars, modest arches, the repetition of basic rectangular forms, and, often, the iconic triangular pediment providing a cap and a transition to the sky. The various components of the structures are rectilinear in nature, and offer minimal ornamentation for viewers, which often contributes to an exaggerated appearance. Verticality of the buildings is also emphasized by utilizing the aforementioned fundamental elements. The use of symmetry and repetition reinforces the significance of the basic components of Modern Classicism. In contrast to the simplicity of form, the observer will often encounter dynamic colors covering the edifices of Modern Classicism. The colors are not extreme, but the uses appear unconventional. They draw attention to the buildings and distinguish them from their surroundings.

Of vital importance to the movement of Modern Classicism is the reflection of the human form in the composition of the structures. This feature is repeated, and is best understood by breaking the human body into three distinct modules; the legs or base, the torso or midsection, and the head. The middle portion is the most robust, and, therefore, usually represents the largest and most functional section of a structure. Among the most popular architects who practice, and have practiced, Modern Classicism are Aldo Rossi, Michael Graves, Robert Stern, and Leon Krier.


THE FLUX OF FORM :: RIDLEY SCOTT’S “BLADERUNNER” The frame, animated with motion and emotion, character and characters. The remaining void, projecting emptiness and echoes. The ether invades the outline of the absent figure, and her departure is remembered in pulses, quivering intervals represented by close-ups and radiant tunnels, fading with magnitude. Her posture hovers as a silhouette, and plunges with the consciousness of programmed lifetimes. The camera captures the sequence. He only senses the conclusion. The objective of this project is to explore how a single space transforms with the passage of time, and how the medium of film expresses these changes. The camera has the ability to manipulate time and space, allowing them to be controlled by the director’s will, and the viewer’s interpretation. Various perspectives of a scene illustrate the unreality of film, the impression of instantaneous change, and representation based on creative vision. The sundry images swirl and overlap to manifest a comprehensive understanding of the portrayal, and a unique reflection of space.



Scott A. Huff 4102 nORTH hAMLIN AVENUE aPartment #3 chicago, illinois 60618 United States of America 1.773.858.4924

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