SEBASTIAN CASCIARO, ARCHITECT INTERN ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN PORTFOLIO 2009-2013
FEBRUARY 2011 CENTER FOR SAVE THE BAY FOUNDATION: HAMPTON ROADS, VIRGINIA BEACH The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Center in Hampton Roads Virginia functions as an office for the organizationâ€™s employees, an educational space for children visiting the bay, and as a monument to the united goal to improve the quality of our bay. The driving idea behind the design was to provide the multiple client requested zones without making multiple structures and unit, but still have each zone provide users with a strong sense of privacy and intimacy with the bay. The building is composed of two floors and a dock, with the first floors base starting twelve feet above the ground. The stairs leading to the first and second floors are glass to emphasize the motif of a structure that meets the earth, but leaves a negligible footprint. The roof garden provides a spectacular radial view of the surrounding area in a tranquil space walled by the earth which holds vegetation present in the Hampton Roads region. Traffic flow and separation of functions was important to the buildingâ€™s construction which drove the design to have two separated interior rooms. The open frame structure is fundamental in allowing as much natural light to illuminate the interior spaces, while the wooden boards which are fastened on tracks along the glazing of the office space and the extended overhang on south facing facades allow employees to have some degree of control in reducing glare.
SEPTEMBER 2011 GREEN ROOF WATER CATCHMENT SYSTEM: ROANOKE, VIRGINIA This individual project was an extension of a group project to reinvent the poverty stricken west end district through built form in hopes of attracting business to the area and improving the livelihood of itâ€™s residents. The focus of the project was concentrated on designing and developing the tangible qualities of our group district design on a small scale within the district. My focus was specifically oriented toward defining the spatial and material order of our overall proposal and provide the group with an overall vocabulary to define subsequent design decisions. My location for this project was the plaza north of Cambell Street which at the time we had designated for a channel to pass through to connect two swales. I initially envisioned a plaza with arched stairs extending from the ground to the rooftops. This design grew into a system of non-structural arches that reached to proposed green rooftops ,which contained rainwater water purifying sedum, and transported water down into the channel. I looked to examples of buttresses such as the flying buttresses of the Bourge Cathedral to influence my design. Later I changed the form of the arches to that of a more modern Calatrava-esque style in an attempt to emphasise that the use of brick was a response to better the user experience and had no structural importance.
OCTOBER 2010 VIRGINIAâ€™S CHAPTER OF THE COUNCIL OF EDUCATIONAL FACILITY PLANNERS INTERNATIONAL 350 STUDENT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: HAMPTON ROADS, VIRGINIA PLACED THIRD
An elementary school is a composition of many unique components performing individual tasks that form an effective educational system. The structure and design of this school, therefore must also keep this idea of a system. Each component of the school has its own needs which must be considered while still having the ability to serve its function within the system. From birth we only know our world in a limited sense and gradually as we grow our world grows with us. The designs of the classes adhere to these basic principles by mimicking the most effective system; living cells. For each grade higher, the classrooms transform into spaces which give students a better understanding of their community and prepare them for moving on to the next level. The pre-kindergarten classes are single celled structures, which are still a part of the intertwined system but have a much stronger sense of individuality. The kindergarten classes mark the first step of the structural mitosis, and there is a systematic acknowledgment of a community. Gradually with each grade the structures split from one, to two, to four celled buildings, with the final structure being a combination of fourth and fifth grade. Once students graduate, they will be prepared to immerse in a community that is intertwined with many different ages and groups which await them in middle school. For pre-kindergarten, there is a separation between play space and the classroom. The kindergarten classes also have a play area, but unlike the pre-k class it is shared by both classes to further adhere to the idea of a growing community. The first grade building has about the same floor area as that of the pre-k, however there is no play area, so each class is provided with the additional space to allow for learning exercises which are more active.
1 PRE KINDERGARTEN
4 SECOND AND THIRD GRADE
5 FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE
3 FIRST GRADE
6 SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RESOURCES
PARKING GARAGE PICK-UP/DROP-OFF
7 CAFETERIA AND AUDITORIUM
10 ARTS MUSIC AND COMPUTER ROOM
11 LIBRARY 12 TOILETS
NOVEMBER 2009 MULTI-FUNCTIONAL AND TRANSFORMABLE ART EXHIBIT
For this project the requested deliverable was an art exhibit installation. The theme behind my design was to produce an unfixed installation that could display multiple styles of art, including 3-D models and canvas works, and was transformable. The transform-ability was a functional and programmatic element of the design, which I intended to allow for a range of possible formations which would inform the way in which the art was displayed and the type of social interaction or gathering points for viewers. My exploration of the design through modeling was geared towards itâ€™s technical workings and joints.
NOVEMBER 2011 WAREHOUSE RENOVATED INTO RETAIL UNITS AND PUBLIC ATRIUM: ROANOKE VIRGINIA This two week individual assignment was the second related to exploring the smaller detail conditions of my group’s project to provide the West End District of Roanoke with a new identity . We were asked to “select a site within the district study area and develop a building or public space that addressed the district proposals at a greater level of design resolution.” The “water system” which my group had designed was based around retrofitting the existing hydrological system for the district without disturbing the existing natural conditions and making as few changes as necessary to the infrastructure. The final proposal was to retrofit an existing warehouse, that functioned almost like a microcosm of the overall district proposal. The building was intended to serve as a guide to the renovation of other unused buildings in the area, with the addition of a public atrium to attract visitors. Despite retail space and offices only occupying one-third of the renovated building’s floor space, I proposed that the abundance of natural light penetrating into a green, therapeutic, semiopen space would attract a steady flow of customers to stores and improve productivity of employees within the offices.
MAY 2012 HOUSE OF WORSHIP: ROANOKE, VA
11’- 3 3/4”
The context of this project was to create a house of worship that would meet the needs of many differing services and forms of worship while maintaining a level of grandeur and sacredness of space. My design worked to create this hallowed religion neutral space by bringing elements of nature into the design. The user would move between different spaces on a winding path speckled with light and occasional glimpses of sky appearing on the ascent that were lost from sight just as quickly as they had appeared, as if the person were under a canopy of trees. The ramp which connected the different spaces was a space to inhabit in itself. Its undulating organic rail wall worked to divide space, control and manipulate views, and in some moments create it’s own private space for user inhabitation.
MAY 2013 5TH YEAR THESIS SUBURBAN HOMES FOR THE MEDIAN AMERICAN RESIDENT FAMILY THAT RIVALS THE STANDARD HOME: BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA
Homes and apartments are advertised in quantifiable and tangible definitions of square footage, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and property lines. However, this doesn’t give an accurate reading how ‘big’ the home is. There are visual and atmospheric qualities which factor into calculating and determining how spacious a home is. Is it possible for a home to appear much more immense than one significantly larger in square footage and numbers of rooms? The idea is that qualities of design which an architect can manipulate (lighting, verticality, pedestrian navigation and access points) could be utilized to create the illusion of immense space contradictory to the numerically factual and quantifiable characteristics that define it.
47’ - 6”
47’ - 9”
EAST-WEST SECTION (1)
EAST-WEST SECTION (2)
In an attempt to create the appearance of a large and spacious living room, the ceiling was raised twenty feet high. By increasing the verticality of the room and doubling its volume, the monumentality of the space doubled as well. This is a prime example of the question at hand of what is small? Does subtraction create a better atmosphere? By exploding the roof, the room appears more spacious and open, however in doing so half of the potential floor space for the living room is being sacrificed. It is my belief through modeling that the verticality of the room in which you dwell holds priority to maximizing floor space. The stairway is a focal point of the entire structure. It is unique in that it is a space occupying multiple floors and is the only area in the structure designated solely for transportation and not intended for dwelling. My vision of the stairway was influenced and modeled after the experience of being in a rocky isthmus. I wanted the experience of the stairs to mimic that of being in a crevice, sandwiched between two rock walls that undulate creating a tapered strip of visible sky but do not actually intersect. The stairway was intended to be cast in shadow, with walls on either side that had a presence of mass and resilience consequently making the kitchen and living room appear illuminated and spacious.
Projects Created at Virginia Tech from 2008-2013 by Sebastian Casciaro