Stefani Johnson 2017 Portfolio

Page 1

stefani johnson selected works 2017

Stefani Johnson Cornell University Architecture, Art, Planning M. Arch. I Candidate 2021 Texas A&M University School of Architecture B.A. Environmental Design 2016 (c) +1 214 914 9020



Cornell Plantations Zoo Zoo Entrance Pavilion


Long Acres Ranch




Structure of Play


Dallas County Records Complex

Visitor’s Center

Research Lab

Board Game

Work Experience


01. Cornell Plantations Zoo Visitor’s Center Professors Caroline O’Donnell & Sasa Zivkovic The CORNELL PLANTATIONS ZOO is at the intersection of an urban campus context and a natural landscape. This Visitor’s Center serves as a transitional threshold to connect the campus to Cornell’s botanical gardens, a site of about 4,000 acres. The program includes an auditorium, café, study space, exhibition space and a roof terrace for viewing the surrounding scenery and the nightly bat exodus. The building’s site is located along a steep hill, with campus at the top and the plantations at the foot. The building is elevated and cantilevered over the hill to create both a roof terrace and a public patio space below it. Visitors coming from the campus side arrive at the roof terrace first, and then can descend below the hill to enter the building and arrive at the gardens. With local wildlife in mind, the building is home to Ithaca’s bat population. Crevices are carved into the exterior walls of the building’s columns, allowing for the bats to sleep in these spaces and to be viewed by visitors during the day. At night when the bats awaken, visitors can experience their magnificent departure from these cave-like voids that open up to the roof’s surface – a swarm of hungry bats emerging from slumber to hunt for dinner.


The site is a convex slope.

The site is a convex slope.

A cantilevered building can maximize utilization of space.

A cantilevered building can maximize utilization of space.

One might build on top of the slope.

One might build on top of the slope.

A public space can be carved out underneath the building.

A public space can be carved out underneath the building.

Or perhaps embed it at the base.

Or perhaps embed it at the base.

Public space is also manifested on a roof terrace.

Public space is also manifested on a roof terrace.

MINDFULNESS The building is oriented and seemingly stretched outward to afford views of the Plantations. The roof terrace and interior floor of the building undulates, mimicking the surrounding hilly landscape of the plantations. The columns start on the roof level and begin to drip down into the ground below, tapering as they reach the floor. Their form resembles a stalactite hanging from the roof of a cave, a familiar object to the bat. Only a small portion of the building touches the hill – it’s cantilevered to make the most of public space. This allows 2 separate gathering areas – one on the roof and one underneath with a minimum footprint on the site.


Roof terrace as bats emerge at dusk.



2 2 6 1

3 5 4 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Lobby Offices Women’s Restroom Men’s Restroom Cafe Exhibition Space Auditorium


02. Long Acres Ranch Welcome Center Partner: Austen Kernodle Professor Craig Babe LONG ACRES RANCH invites nature lovers and eco-tourists to immerse themselves in nature and explore a lush plot of land dedicated to camping, hiking, bird watching, canoeing, and many more outdoor activities. The visitor’s center consists of 14 small, outward facing buildings that open up to panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Program includes a main lobby, office space, an auditorium, exhibition space, a lounge, classrooms and 12 private dormitories for visiting researchers. The site is located on a former cattle ranch, which has now become a stretch of beautiful grasslands. In order to minimize the visual impact on the landscape, the complex was developed as a single story. Creating individual buildings allowed for more intimate, smaller spaces that face outward, ultimately eliminating the need for interior circulation. Organizing the buildings around two central gathering spaces created a public realm as well as a private area that could be utilized by students and researchers. A porous circular pavilion surrounds each building and creates private gardens, while providing shading and cross ventilation.




light cannon

wood joists

glulam tapered beams

clerestory windows accordion glass doors


pavilon enclosure


Perspective plan of the exhibition space & surrounding private gardens.

Interior render of lobby and reception area.


03. The Critter Professors Adam Fure & Gabriel Esquivel Team Members: Juan Arriaza, Chris Bell, Sydney Farris, Madison Haynes The CRITTER experiment began as we became interested in Ronchamp as a late modernist object where inside and outside are separated by a fold between exterior and interior. Based on its main organizational principles of continuous change around a central void, transformation of wall to volume/ volume to wall and creation of entry through the repetition of elements, we decided to reconfigure and distort elements and extrude them to produce 3d manifestations of these. We began to denote these new primitives as “chunks,� and proceeded to create an index from which compositions were created. By sweeping, extruding, lofting, and booleaning shapes and forms derived from the plan of Ronchamp individually, the group members then compiled the sum of their work to assemble new objects. Through the process of combining and distorting chunks, elements which once functioned as parts of a plan began to lose their definition and begin to take on a new autonomy, driven by the inputs of each team member. Trying to understand if the product was a simple sum of different chunks, we decided to replicate the experiment with a different building. The Jewish Museum was selected as it also follows an irregular organization around a void as well as the notion of the fragmented line as an organizing principle. The process of reorganization of the plan and production of chunks was repeated to create a new irreducible object.


ABSTRACTION In computing, from least to most physical, there are four layers of information: application, transport, internet, and link; where the application is the interface we actually engage in and the link is the physical medium of transport. The deeper scripting languages go and the further they move from our understanding, the more boundless and raw the information becomes. The “critters” we engage with are the most abstracted result of the plan of a real building; but while they’re entirely hypothetical we are more able to interface with them than with the original drawing, or data.


THE FOLD With Ronchamp and The Jewish Museum as precedents, the plans are used as genetic framework from which “chunks” are derived and categorized. The aforementioned process has been repeated so many times that the final productions have logical depth, meaning a large amount of data has been discarded to reach the final — a conventional design process with an unconventional product. We began to ask: Does folding an object (in the Deleuzian sense of The Fold) automatically create a new irreducible product or is the folded object identical to the new object because it retains the same formal qualities? The action of unfolding both opposes folding and continues it. Because each chunk was extracted and operated on by different people, their ultimate combinations were the products of entirely different evolutionary processes. Each “chunk” acts as a pixel in that the assembly of all these similar building blocks reads as the unity of infinitesimal parts. And each of the final conglomerations is the manifestation of a variety of arrangements and productions. “The [referenced plan] becomes distorted to such a degree as to render the [‘critter’] a denial of repetition,” as it develops a particular character through its new autonomy. Point-of-view is not limited to human perception. The irregularity and lottery-like selection and combination of chunks creates a final model which changes continuously around its axis, alternating from volume to wall, wall to volume. The unity of the objects’ inherent multiplicity produces a gestalt reading, as the self-organized chunks attain their own reality. In this way, the project redefines abstraction by unfolding rather than folding the original data.



Structure of Play Professors Andrea Simich & Dasha Khapalova STRUCTURE OF PLAY is an exercise that involves the analysis of a canonical work of architecture. The Munkegaard School by Arne Jacobsen was used as a precedent. An analysis of this building found several organizational concepts utilized in its form, like a shifting grid, pushing & pulling, and distinct intersections between corridors. The precedent was then used to inform the design of a 3-dimensional board game. The rules of the game drew from the original building’s organizational system and were used in the design process to develop a series of constraints to regulate play.



Instruction card for the game, Intersect.



05. Dallas County Records Complex GSR Andrade Architects, Dallas, TX Summer Internship 2016 The DALLAS COUNTY RECORDS COMPLEX is currently a patchwork of three disconnected buildings: the Criminal Courts Building, the Records Building, and the Records Building Annex. As Dallas County grew, the buildings provided space fot offices, jail cells, courtrooms, and record storage. Together, they include about 323,000 sq. ft. Dallas County Records is seeking to consolidate all county departments under one roof in order to create an efficient, modern office building complex. This project will consist of restoring and retaining the historic aura of the original building, along with a new addition, which includes an event center and roof terrace. My role in this project consisted of illustrating several architectural ideas & design schemes for the complex including site analysis, conceptual design, and programmatic floor plans.




Proposed pedestrian paths & building entry points.

Context map of surrounding Downtown Dallas.



Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.