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Timothy Emerson

Department of Architecture + Art Timothy Emerson Graduating Class of 2011

To understand That has always been my goal and shall forever be the way I approach any obstacle that stands in my path. For me understanding is the ability to know what, how and why through learning. Sometimes making the wrong choices can also help teach understanding the hard way with the sacrifice of making the right choice. But I believe The Masters of Architecture program would be a way for me to express my understanding through a one year learning experience, through my thesis. This portfolio is a testament of my work and understanding of architecture thus far and willingness to learn in order to gain a better understanding. Having understanding also follows my ethics, having understanding betters my chances of making the right decisions in both architecture and life. The masters program is one last step to show that I am and will make the right choices for the better of all.

Statement of Belief The individual artisan is gone, and the spirit of self-reliance is dwindling fast. We as a society have lost the demand for individualism; we have fallen into a life of conformity. It is this conformity that guides us though everyday life. It starts when we wake up to that alarm clock, an unnatural device used to wake us from sleep we more than likely need. We go through the day reaping the fruits of someone else’s laborers, eating food not produced by ourselves, using tools not crafted by our own hands. By getting into the car and driving to work, sitting in a classroom facing the same direction in single file rows, buying consumer products made “just for you”, the result is the same, conformity. Whatever happened to wanting to provide for one’s self and not relying on what can be provided for you by others. We as a society lack the total motivation for self-preservation and rely on others to support us as we seek out other, more adventurous opportunities which we think to be more important than our own survival. Food, shelter and water is all that man “needs” to survive. Why strive for more? For me it is the complex and yet simple things that matter the most in any given engagement. Once something is understood there can only be success, it is the lack in understanding and the ignorance or non acknowledgement what is going on around a person that leads to failure and closed minded thinking. An example: Often times I think to myself of what would happen if the industry only allowed us to have one of something? How would we use it? Could we do without it? Can we make it ourselves? Would we borrow it from someone else? Its not the products that are causing the problem, it goes deeper than that. To think we are causing the problem by throwing away to much trash would be wrong. Has anyone asked the question of, how did we get this trash? I think one solution to this kind thinking (that we are free to have as many as we want or can afford) would be to not limit ourselves to what and how much, but demand of our industry to produce products that last and are not likely to be disposed of after a short time. If we constantly buy disposable products there will always be demand for disposable products, where there is a demand there follows a supply. So how do we fix this? Close the demand. Using architecture and understanding, we can create an environment that is both clean and heathy for individuals to provide for themselves and inspire them to further their understanding. At the same time give them the opportunity to pursue their passions as they do today.

Thesis Topics of Interest Education: This thesis topic would investigate how people are educated starting from a young age to finishing their college degree in the United States and possibly comparing it to another country. The details of this topic would be to explore the fundamental workings of the education system, investigating educational institutions for their expectations and strategies of teaching. Also, what affect does the classroom atmosphere and structured learning have on the individuals as their life continues after “learning� is complete? The design portion of this topic would be geared to an educational facility that stimulates learning in people of all ages based on the most affective teaching methods found in my research. Energy: This research would be done in two phases. Phase one would include the proses of how energy gets to your doorstep and the cost involved to get it there. Phase two research would be the proses and economics of energy produced off the grid, at home. Phase one and two would also include the effects each has on the environment showing both pros and cons of energy produced verses carbon footprint. During the research portion of this topic I hope to answer questions like; what are the economics of having a mini coal power plant in you home verses having one big power plan to service millions? Can wind and solar power really save the planet, and is it better for the environment? I also hope to demonstrate how energy is transformed from coal, wind and solar to the energy we use in our homes. During the design portion of this project I would hope to compile the most effective energy solutions into a functioning, habitable environment for people to live.

Table of Contents 1 - 4 5 - 8 9 - 14 15 - 16 17 - 20

21 - 22 23 - 30 31 - 38

39 - 42 43 - 46 47 - 54 55 - 56 57 - 58 59 - 64 65 - 66 67 - 68 69 - 70 71 - 78 79 - 92 93 - 102 103 - 104 105 - 106 107

- 108


- CADD - Steel Construction


- Painting Analysis - City Plan


- FEMA Trailer


- Elevation Documentation - Light Vessel - Andy Sprouts


- Recording and Interpreting - Skin and Bones - C.E.S.E.R


- Fabric Form Concrete - Comfort Station - T-Box - Beam - Twinfield School - Case Study


- The Essence of a Corridor - Shelburne Under Compression


- Final Paper


- Photograms - Photographs


- Light Fixture


Program: Find a client to develop drawings for and articulate those drawings to show your knowledge of structure, HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and all other necessary building details that are associated with building technology in a fully integrated design from the ground up. Drawing should meet local building codes, be ADA assessable and meet or exceed fire codes. Work with a client as much as possible and have them be the driving force behind the design. Using your knowledge of building systems, complete a full set of working drawings that can convey to a contractor the outer and inner workings of the building and site.


- CADD - Steel Construction

Design Intent: The primary objective is to design a building that can function with a unique structure using conventional building techniques. The second objective was to learn more about proper construction documentation and working with a client and meeting their needs.

Critics: Andy Queen, Liaquet Khan, Peter Herrick





Steel Construction

Program: As a group put together a small steel structure following specific guidelines, break up into teams after the steel is all connected. Each team is responsible for designing and building one of the following; a section of wall with framed window opening, stairs and a floor system.


- CADD - Steel Construction

Intent: To gain better understanding of how steel systems are integrated and put together. Also, to be able to adapt to steel construction using other building technologies such as wood construction.

Critics: Terry Leedham


Piecing together the steel structure with appropriate bolts and nuts.

Complete steel structure ready for stairs, floor system and wall.


My group was responsible for designing and installing the wall and framed window opening. Before we began a materials list was made of all the items needed to complete the job. Also, a cut list of each member was made to make field work go faster.

With this project two details had to be resolved. How to connect the wood frame to a steel structure and how to frame a window opening. The decision was made to make the wood frame as snug as possible using friction to keep the wall in place.

Research was done on standard window framing and was used in this window.



Painting Analysis

Program: Take the painting, “Blue and Green Music” and analyze it and extract for elements, take those elements and formulate then into a model. Take that model and refine it’s details by making as many models as necessary to create a model that is the essence of your personal ideas and emotions about the painting. Take a slice out of your model and elongate it both horizontally and vertically, make adjustments if necessary but make sure there is a place to view the painting “Blue and Green Music”. The painting should be at the same scale as your model.


- Painting Analysis - City Plan

Design Intent: Like the painting I wanted the model to have the same feeling of liner proportions, at the same time have a three dimensional quality that fits the program of viewing the painting and allowing for close intimate spaces witch are also relevant to the painting.

Critics: Tim Castine, Eleanor D’Aponte, Art Schalle


“Blue and green music”, Georgia O’Keeffe

Representation of elements in the painting done in pencil.

Four 8.5” x 11” analysis were done on construction paper to pull out different forms from the painting


Plan Side Elevation

Solid Void




Plan Elevation






Final Wood Model



City Plan

Program: Collaborate with a group to find a hierarchy amongst the models. Also create a city space that is easily travelled by people that would be walking around from one model to another. Design Intent: The space we were given put us in the corner of a room, we felt it would be appropriate to treat that space like it was as city with its back protected by mountain like walls. The idea of protection gave us the idea that this space is a excellent location for a fortress. Like a fortress we gave it a moat because of it relevance to fortresses. Also, protective cities can have elevated tiers like the ones we chose to do. The models were arranged according to how they functioned and their ability to draw ones attention the focal point, which is in the center at the top of the tiers.

Critics: Tim Castine, Eleanor D’Aponte, Art Schalle


- Painting Analysis - City Plan



FEMA Trailer

Program: There are thousands of trailers left over from the Hurricane Katrina disaster, these trailers have been deemed to toxic to live in by government officials. As such they have been collected and left to sit and be wasted. The goal for you is to develop a way to reuse the trailers and reduce the toxic levels in them and at the same time try not to waste any materials in the process. Design Intent: This design is the result of studying and trying to get a better understanding of how light works as a function of distance and how light changes over a given distance. What I have discovered is that for any given light source (measured in Lumens) the value of how much light is lost (measured as a rate) over a distance is the same, no matter the power of the light source. Based on that observation, I created a skylight that can artificially regulate the function of light over a distance by increasing or decreasing the size of the skylight. This helps bring more light into the FEMA trailers and also presents more opportunities for ventilation.


- FEMA Trailer

Note: This studio was taken during the summer as APX1X to fulfill the requirements of AP-211. AP-311 and AP-312 were taken before this class.

Critics: Wendy Cox, Matt Lutz





Elevation Documentation Program: Pick a building on campus and study its details to understand the importance of what you see and how to reproduce it. Draw it using ink on mylar and make sure to draw every detail of the building including the mortar lines holding the brick together and any mechanical units that are on the roof if they are visible as well as all the components of the windows. Intent: Chaplin Hall is a building most of us are pretty familiar with so I was interested to see if by doing the assignment I would learn anything new about the elevation of Chaplin hall which I was about to reconstruct. Also by taking copies of the reconstructed drawing I experimented with other techniques for rendering.

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tom Leytham


- Elevation Documentation - Light Vessel - Andy Sprouts


Front Elevation Ink on mylar

Hand rendered with pencil on brown paper

Hand rendered with marker on white paper


Light Vessel

Program: Using the slope on the backside of Chaplin hall for a site, create a small delightful space in which a person can experience the interaction of light and space. Use the site to your advantage in making the space as intimate as possible. Think about structure and materials as you develop your design. Design Intent: For me it was not just about the light that I could bring into the building but the shadows as well and to see if I could find a balance between the light and shadow. The integration of the building onto the site also plays a major part of the design in giving the building more vertical dynamics like the trees that surround it, which also helps balance out the materiality of the structure.

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tom Leytham


- Elevation Documentation - Light Vessel - Andy Sprouts




Physical Models


Sun Studies

Rendering from the inside looking up and out The first renderings of the light vessel used to study light at different times during the day.

Rendering from the inside looking further in

Early renderings from the outside


Final Rendering with complete structure

In making the final model jigs were necessary to form the curves in the walls using thin strips of wood to represent the actual material

Final wood model





Andy Sprouts

Program: Using your knowledge that you gained in the previous two projects such as fine details, materials and site location, develop a portable living space that can be used for at least three out of the four seasons. This living space should also be as green as possible. Do not be afraid to explore the possibilities of new building techniques. The final format for your project should fit on six 8.5� x 11� sheets of paper single sided. Design Intent: I was in pursuit of a construction method that had not been thought of yet, which I found in pre-stressed cord wood wall panels. Similar to cord wood construction but without the motor. By making panels the house would be easy to move in sections and a majority of building material is readily available on or close to the site. The shape of the building makes sense with structural elements of the walls but also giving it little extra individualism.

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tom Leytham


- Elevation Documentation - Light Vessel - Andy Sprouts









Recording and Interpreting Program: Visit the site (old shale quarry on pain mountain) sit there as for a while and think of nothing but the site and gather as many details as you can from what you see. Once you come back to the classroom interpret what you learned about the site into a plaster cast 4” x 6” x 16” that can convey to others what you found.

Design Intent: One of the key elements in visiting the quarry that I saw, was the element of layering. Everywhere I looked reminded me of that element, from the layered shale walls of the showing thousands of years of metamorphosed clay particles to the birch bark tree shedding layers of its bark in the middle of the quarry. This element above all took precedence in my design. These plaster casts represent repeated attempts to accurately depict layering like what was found at the site, with the final cast being most accurate.

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tim Castine


- Recording and interpreting - Skin and Bones - C.E.S.E.R




Form work design and cast

The first cast is an expression of texture and elevation, the texture represents the variety of shale sizes and the location of the different sizes is relative to its place on the cast. The smaller sizes were found lower, and the larger sizes higher.


Revision of ideas The second cast is starting from scratch trying to re imagine the site all over again. It is represented as a jagged texture like that of the quarry and the elevated layers of the walls. Also the walls become higher as you journey from the front of the cast to the back as seen in the photograph here. The long cut in the back of the cast is also significant, it represents how you enter the quarry through a long narrow shaped gulch and the mysteries that lay beyond.

The third cast like that of the second cast still retains the long slit down the back side of the cast for the same reasons. However, instead of just having flat plateaus they become stepped making it more like my experience at the quarry were I had to climb as I worked my way from one end of the quarry to the other.


Skin and Bones

Program: Using an existing steel three pointed arch system develop a cost effective skin to completely enclose the space created by the arches. Also provide 100% daylight throughout the space during the daylight hours trying to make the apace as passive as possible. Also include wall sections, floor plans, elevations and any other drawings that will show how your design will work. Design Intent: Sometimes the most simple solution can be the most beneficial and in this instance I think that is the case. One of the initial problems was the steel structure was designed for SIP panels and changing that might have had unexpected loading consequences. This solution presents only miner changes in loading and how it is distributed over the structure. Also lighting and ventilation are achieved.

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tim Castine


- Recording and interpreting - Skin and Bones - C.E.S.E.R


Passive building systems

Diagram of passive cooling and lighting strategy

Physical model

Front and side elevation give a good idea of what the final structure will look like.



Computer model and daylight study



Program: The site located in Montpelier Vermont next to the 535 building is one of significance because of its historical value and the old train turn table the has taken up permanent residence. Using the lot where the old salt shed is located, design a facility that will house families that have lost their homes due to foreclosure. Also, the building will be used to staff public workers to help those living in the building get back on their feet. Keep in mind the historical value of the site and use that as one of your design constraints. Design Intent: I wanted to find something meaningful in the site to influence the design of what was going to be a temporary home for some families. The idea of train cars has more than one significant meaning in this design. One relates to the town and its historical reference there and two, the train is a form of transport which has been used for decades to transport people from one place to another. And for some, that transition was life changing. This building will give the same experience to those who make use of it.

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tim Castine


- Recording and interpreting - Skin and Bones - C.E.S.E.R


Site Photos

The Winooski river abuts the site

Salt shed to be removed for the new designs and turn table to remain as a monument


Town information


Idea of a train car

To preserve the historical aspects of the site the building is designed around the proportions of a train car. The building is made up of eight components each component representing a car.


Site Analysis A study of how the building functions with the existing buildings on either side of the site. The linear lines of the building do not create any hardness on the eyes for passersby and at the same time create a meaningful spaces.

Keeping the passing pedestrian in mind, the design also offers views seen from the walking path and train tracks.





Fabric Form Concrete Program: Design a nominal 4” x 8” x 16” concrete block using fabric to form it. The block should have a repeatable pattern so the form work must be reusable to make other casts. Make one block and take a good photograph of it, bring it into Photoshop and make a wall with your block showing the extents of the design. Design Intent: The first thing I think of when I think about Concrete is that it is heavy. So my personal goal was to cast a block that did not look heavy but also retained its structural integrity. The design I wanted required the blocks to work together in multiple units so an overall pattern that look like some kind of mesh was desirable. Also craftsmanship on both the concrete block and form work was really important to ensure multiple blocks could be made.


- Fabric Form Concrete - Comfort Station - T-Box - Beam - Twinfield School - Case Study

Critics: Danny Sagan


Ideas The cast held some of the form that I was hoping it would have but revisions need to be made to the form work because this cast although it simulates my idea it does not have the craft and dynamic language I was hoping it would have. Also the form work was destroyed during the extraction of the concrete cast.

The second and final cast meets and exceeds all expectations of my design, each surface is smooth and all corners rounded and the form work is reusable unlike the first.


Comfort Station

Program: Design either a fully portable Outhouse or one that can be assembled easily for use in Vermont state parks. Design Intent: The goal was to rethink the idea of a typical outhouse and redesign the way a person interacts with it.


- Fabric Form Concrete - Comfort Station - T-Box - Beam - Twinfield School - Case Study

Critics: Danny Sagan



The first design was driven by the fact that these outhouses would be in state parks so they should be somewhat inconspicuous and not to outlandish. The shapes creates depth and shadow lines like what I expect the surrounding trees would in the parks where they would be placed. Not unlike the typical outhouse this design is tall with a small footprint. However, its design allows you to turn as you are walking to the seat rather than standing in one spot and turning. This design was also more detailed orientated showing more construction process, such as how it would be put together piece by piece the right way.



Program: The T-Box is a project that is based on 100% teamwork and team participation. Start by coming up with an idea of your own for 100sf or less T-Box designs. Then divide up into groups based on your designs and there compatibility to develop a new design. Finally collaborate as a class group to develop the final design taking aspects of each of your designs. After the design is complete choose a team leader to head the design details, a marketing person to market the T-Box for selling after it is complete, a treasure to make sure it does not exceed the $1000 budget, materials handler the keep track of what is needed to build with and people in charge of tools to make building possible. Begin the task of assembling the T-Box. Group Members: Brian Beauregard Micah Borycz Jeff Henninger Dustin Jewell Aurora Bertoloni Wesley Michael Justin Toby Sheila Rauseo Grace Varriano

Critics: Danny Sagan


- Fabric Form Concrete - Comfort Station - T-Box - Beam - Twinfield School - Case Study


Sketching and refining

My first sketches and schematic design of the T-Box, it was meant to open up on nice days and stay closed on bad days


Small group of two schematic designs with model, the idea was verticality and the need to meet multiple uses.


Full group collaboration designs in progress

Two of my renderings of the T-Box still in development


Constructions begins Some construction photos from left to right: floor framing, jigs used to make the curved glue lams (done myself and one other group member), me putting one of the sleeping space frames together (the plywood has the template drawn in chalk on it).

Technical drawings were needed to detail one of the windows to ensure it would not leak and at the same time it presented a design opportunity to make sure it was still in step with the rest of the design. This was my idea for a window installation.


The final T-Box design (almost complete)



Program: Design an elegant beam that can span 8 feet using 1, 1” x 6” x 10’ finished board. The beam should be able to hold 1 Sagan with the least deflection possible. Design intent Given the one board we had to work with we wanted to make sure Professor Sagan had enough space to stand but still have enough material left over to make it structurally sound. By adding a cable we felt that the extra strength would be enormously beneficial and it would not add that much weight. Group Members: Brian Beauregard Grace Varriano


- Fabric Form Concrete - Comfort Station - T-Box - Beam - Twinfield School - Case Study

Critics: Danny Sagan, Edwin Schmeckpepe


Design and Beam Details



Proffesor Sagan standing in our beam with only 1/8� of deflection.


Renderings that were presented to one of professor Shmeckpeppers structural classes to get recommendations and ideas before the beams were actually built.

Twinfield School

Program: Strictly a hands on project to finish an outdoor classroom. Involvement in this project will include installing a layer of 1� boards on existing roof rafters, overlaying exterior grade OSB with a single layer of ice and water shield topped with 30 year architectural grade shingles. This will finish the roof construction. In addition, K-bracing will be added to stabilize the vertical columns used as roof supports. Intent: Gain hands on knowledge of shingle roofing construction. Group Members: Jeff Henninger Justin Toby Wesley Michael Micah Borycz Brian Beauregard Danny Sagan


- Fabric Form Concrete - Comfort Station - T-Box - Beam - Twinfield School - Case Study

Critics: Danny Sagan



Laying out the ice and water shield over OSB

Installing 1� pine boards as a sub roof.

Nailing down the shingles


Finished installing the K-Bracing

Case Study

Program: Find a building to present to the class, the placentation should include a complete analysis of the buildings structure and wall section. A structural model is also required with this study. Intent: To gain a compete understanding of the structure and its inner workings good enough to explain it to the class how it works and answer all relevant questions.


- Fabric Form Concrete - Comfort Station - T-Box - Beam - Twinfield School - Case Study

Critics: Danny Sagan


Structure and Model

The PA Technologies in New Jersey was my case study building.

Structure model of part of the PA Technology Building showing one forth of the overall structure construction


The Essence of a Corridor Program: Locate, Analyze, document and Interpret the Essence of a remarkable corridor. Cast a concrete block 4.5” x 6” x 16 ” that represents the essence of what was found in the corridor.

Design intent In order for something to be remarkable in my mind it has to have some kind of emotion involved. My goal is to expose that emotion whatever it may be and use it to develop my design.


- The Essence of a Corridor - Shelburne Under Compression

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tom Leytham


Concrete in context

The start of my corridor.

What is a corridor? Corridor: Something that implies/accommodates motion/movement, from one point to another.


Established location Corridor to the Rugby pitch: Starting from the edge of the train tracks to the beginning of the bridge in front of the rugby pitch on the Norwich University campus.

Initial questions about the corridor What is the intended use? - To get students, faculty, family and friends to the Rugby pitch for sports entertainments and sports practice. Does it serve its intended purpose? - Yes Does it serve as other purposes that it was not intended for? - Yes, people use the corridor for casual walking, storage and transport.


Analysis The corridor does not follow a straight path, it curves both left and right as you walk from end to end. There are many things to notice as you walk this corridor. The sights and sounds are among the strongest elements that engage the senses. Together, they provide a powerful emotion, which is hard to explain. I could hear screaming and shouting coming from dozens of people. From all the noise, I could only make out fragments of words coming from the Rugby pitch, which was my destination as I started down the path just over the train tracks. Words like “run,” “pass it,” “you got it,” came to my ears with intensity. As these sounds came to me, I started to feel huge amounts of anticipation and excitement for what I was about to see. However the corridor prevented me from seeing the pitch as it wound its way along, never seeming to end. Through the sounds my imagination started to paint a picture. I expected to see many players on the field competing as a team, to be the best and to work together to overcome a common goal. Players that were overcome with adrenalin, not feeling the sweat and tiredness of their own bodies. As I drew nearer, it was harder to focus on the corridor and all of its other little details because of the sounds coming from the pitch. Those details I might have missed if I had not taken the time to stop and take notes of my surroundings. I then noticed there are other corridors that bisect, intersect, and cross this corridor. Some of these corridors accommodate power lines, train tracks, a river, sewer lines and other potential corridors that are unseen on initial inspection or by the player themselves, as they walk back and forth, using the corridor.

The formation of an idea


Verbal Diagram This Rugby corridor is a passage into another world, one that can carry the emotions of fear and bravery, hate and love, compassion and loathing, self-torment and self-insurance, outstanding companionship and solitary confinement, victory and defeat. Some of these emotions are higher than others as the players walk along, alone or in the company of friends. It is the anticipation of the game and the unforgettable memories of games past that is the essence of this of the Rugby corridor.

Proses to form

Cast form work used on first and second cast

Revised form work used on final cast

First and second cast


Value Of Form The concrete form is made up of three attached components, each representing its own meaning. Direction, hierarchy and emotion are the primary elements in the concrete form. Aesthetic appeal is a secondary element added to compliment and enhance the other three. These are ordered together to achieve an affective and complete form, that represents the idea and essence of the corridor to its maximum meaning and appeal. The center rectilinear piece of the cast represents the journey. This shape will stay consistent throughout the top portion of the cast, as the journey back and forth from the rugby pitch never changes, only the experience will change. The idea of experience, can be seen at the starting point of the cast represented on the right portion of the cast. A person feels emotion as they walk along, that emotion increases as it gets closer to the rugby pitch. Like wise the cast follows the same pattern. Starting at point zero and increasing in elevation as it moves along the side of the journey. Once the emotion reaches the other end of the cast it is at its climax. On the return from the pitch, emotions are released at a rate relative to the individual. This rate can be seen in the sloping curve along the left side of the cast. This point does not go back to zero by walking back from the rugby pitch to the tracks like it does walking to the pitch, from the tracks. This is because of the experience, now that it has happened and was allowed to reach a climactic point it will never be forgotten even after the journey is complete. The aesthetic appeal can be seen in the final and complete cast. Compared to the first two cast’s which seem bulky, flat and artistically lacking at any angle. Mass was removed from the back bottom portion in the form by using stepping. This move was a calculated to achieve lightness in the over all form as well as to add structure to the sides. It also gives the cast a grounding point towards the front of the cast. By taking these steps the cast is allowed to have form and appeal from all angles.


Life cycle of emotion I believed that there was still one more lesson that could be learned from this concrete cast and its connection with emotion. To put my theory to the test I used a subject who is intimate in the development of the form. Unknown to this person the concrete cast was smashed beyond repair and left for their discovery. Upon discovery of the remains of the cast there was instant emotion and questions of why. My explanation to them was simple. The cast itself can be seen as a journey, in the beginning there was an idea which lead to an emotion, that emotion grew as time went by manifesting itself subconsciously within this person. When the project reached its completion the journey was thought to be over by the person who found the cast. At this point it was smashed leaving nothing behind but a memory. That memory will forever be a part of this individual proving the official end of the journey and the beginning of a memory.



Shelburne Under Compression Program: Shelburne is in need of an outside source to look at their 3 mile strip of under performing Route 7. Throughout this project try and develop a strategy to help bring recognition to Shelburne. Design Intent: When I went to Shelburne I did not notice any public places were people could congregate as a community in the strip that we were looking at. So I made that into a goal as well as reduce the amount of traffic in heavy pedestrian areas, add more homes and markets as well as consolidating building and parking lot structures and freeing up space were businesses used to be.


- The Essence of a Corridor - Shelburne Under Compression

Critics: Matt Lutz, Tom Leytham


Questions about Route 7 - What is Shelburne looking for in their community? - What type of integration of building designing could be used in Shelburne? - How many people would potentially use a new design? - How can traffic be reduced or slowed along the Route 7 strip? - How many people travel this road just to get to some other location besides Shelburne? - How can Shelburne attract other people to their town?

What is compression? Compression: A force that tends to shorten or squeeze something, decreasing its volume.


Analysis Route 7 corridor going through almost 3 miles of the north end of Shelburne Vermont is considered a under performing strip of road that town planners want to fix. Along the strip there are many failing businesses, car dealers, outdated motels and hotels. These businesses are not adding any value to the daily life for the people of Shelburne. Town planners presented an interesting site photo showing the strip from one end to another that they want looked at in detail. To find order in the site a Noli map was first developed to locate all the buildings, both residential and commercial. In addition, pavement was added to the map because of its heavy influence over the surface of the ground. These two elements put together are very telling when it comes to seeing what the current Shelburne functions around, which is the automobile. Although this might not be what Shelburne wants but it is what they are getting.

This figure is a study of how close in proximity some of the residential zones are to industry and retail businesses. (buildings in blue are commercial, red are residentail)


Sketching to find more order To start analyzing and better understand the site, fast and loose sketches were done. This process helped to narrow down the areas that needed attention the most. Also to study what was acceptable for those areas without being to heavy handed.


The existing footprint To ensure that I was not adding an extensive amount if area to the existing site that I chose, an extensive analysis was done of the existing buildings and the total area of all the buildings that would be removed.


Early mock up layouts to study These layouts were done in the beginning stages of what the consolidation would look like. Commercial business are shown in red, business that sure the public in blue and residential homes are in yellow. Take note that by consolidating the building it is not adding much congestion amongst the buildings and it is making room for new park areas that did not exist before. The layout to the right uses the existing and modified streets surroundings to slow traffic and at the same time make walking to local shops from the residential a reality.

The layout to the left functions around practicality of positioning of buildings based on building uses to suit the need of the residence making is easier to get to jobs and shops by walking.


Selecting the site Highlighted in green is the primary site. This is not the only focal point for this project but rather an example of how each site can be modified. What makes this site an ideal example is its close proximity between residential areas.

The site is split into two basic zones residential/small business (yellow) and commercial/industry (blue). The idea is that the commercial side will allow for traffic flow while the residential/small business will only allow supply vehicles.

This is the completed design on the site. The next few pages will explain how each peice of this design was developed. For now though, note how much space is gained by consolidating the buildings reducing the sprawling affect.


Diagramming the Layout

Connection & Flow

Connection to the road

Compression on the road Path of the pedestrian

Compression & connection of traffic


3D Models Massing models of the spaces help to gain better understanding of the individual spaces. Each rendering helped to show were there was to much congestion and were there was not enough form filling up the spaces.

Modification to the scale of the building and spaces were made based on these models. Further development of the of the spaces was also made from these models.

A street view of what would be seen as the people passed by in their cars was also important. One of the goals was to draw in people off the street without creating congestion.


Diagramming the Layout The focus is not building design and materials but rather on the spaces and organization created by the building forms. Each building has a specific function relative to its zoning location to maximize community space both public and private. The intention is each new building will be more in tune with the site location and the community of Shelburne. Although the design of the buildings are conceptual the spaces they create are not.



Goals through Analysis Reduce pavement area - Remove existing unused building and parking lots - Consolidate driveways - Consolidate parking Decrease the number of single use buildings - Increasing mixed-use buildings + Buildings are shared by more than one business + Apartments can make use of multi story buildings - Strict zoning and setbacks + Businesses are zoned by their type + Further setbacks to increase the pedestrian zone along Rt. 7 + Strict speed zones in populated areas and where pedestrians are crossing the road - Locally owned one stop shopping markets + Clothing, Fresh food, Cafes/Restaurants, Pet supplies, Daily use products Expand and Improve community space - Land conservation - Parks - Gathering spaces - Outdoor places to eat and shop + Farmers market - Pedestrian zones without vehicles access - Cost effective apartment spaces




A-A continued

B-B continued


History Paper Program:

FA-309 - Final Paper Critics: Wendy Cox


Timothy Emerson FA-309 Professor Cox 5/12/2010

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What is the cost of urban sprawling? What would it take to replace land that was lost by sloppy development and the miss-use of land? To what end should we, as a civilization, carry on with the industrialization of our planet to promote our own desires? This paper will brings to light a deeper insight of a well-known architect and urban planner that deals with these hilly moral questions on a daily basis. This person takes a close look at the successes and failures in architectural planning. Developing innovative ideas that can change the way we look at re-using default and outdated architectural spaces. Ellen Dunham-Jones is currently an associate professor and the director of architectural studies at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is an extremely accomplished architect and urban designer, known worldwide by her pervious in-depth research in retrofitting suburban strip malls, big box stores and [just] underdeveloped, underperforming sites in general. Most of these projects are located in the United States, but her work extends around the world as well. What Dunham-Jones strives for, is to create an environment that is for more community friendly, healthy and dynamic. Dunham-Jones received her master’s in architecture from Princeton University where she graduated summa cum laude. Prior to that, she also obtained her Bachelor degree in Architecture and Planning, [again] from Princeton. Dunham-Jones finished her college education in 1980 and was ready to start working. Right after school, she started freelancing as an Architectural designer for five years, until 1986. For a portion of that time, she worked for Eisenman / Robertson Architects in New York starting in 1985. Along the way, she was able to obtain architecture license in NY State, which she still holds today. Dunham-Jones started her own business in 1986, which is continuing to produce well-crafted work today and it contributes to her research in urban sprawl. From the start of her career right after school, she began teaching

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as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. Teaching is a real passion for DunhamJones, since she hasn’t stopped teaching since she started in 1986. Her teaching experience has taken her too many universities such as MIT, University of Virginia, Georgia Tech and Lund University in Sweden as a visiting Professor. She also travels around the United States and internationally, giving lectures on implementing sustainability in design and retrofitting existing sites to be more functional as well as sustainable.1 As a guest speaker, she makes great contributions to the architectural community visiting as a guest critique at many universities and educational committees around the country, as well as other institutions around the world. Her teaching is tied in with her drive to get involved with the community of architects, planners and the public. As well as a guest critique, some notable committee counsel advisements listed on her resume are United Nation’s World Urban Forum II and Center for Disease Control’s summit on public health and urban design. Her topics of choice in her lectures are always urban sprawling as well as the impacts it has on surrounding communities and city life, and the impact that these things have on the environment. She also gives speeches on enchanting existing urban design failures and turning them into successful design solutions. Essentially her design principle is to re-use what exists, while making it more sustainable. The highlight of Dunham-Joneses career is aimed at creatively designing and retrofitting urban areas that have fallen victim to the industrial occupation and have either been abandoned or are in serious need of innovation and reconstruction. To publicize her interest and concern for places such as this, she writes and speaks about these issues and how to address the real problem so they can be fixed. Many different magazines and newspapers have published her articles 1

Sanders, Jane M. . "Faculty Profile." 2003. (accessed 4/20/2010).

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related to urban sprawling and many urban issues that arise as a result. A brief listing of places that have published her writings are “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Time, St. Louis PostDispatch and The Boston Globe.”2 She has also “authored more than 35 articles or chapters in books on design, architecture and sustainability,”3 and has frequently assisted Harvard Design Magazine publishing articles. Recently Dunham-Joneses has co-authored a book in 2009 called “Retrofitting Suburbia”, hitting on these problems giving some interesting solutions. By using instances of real projects and case studies that made retrofitting a reality and not just a theory left for contemplation, it breaks down the idea of urban sprawl and the over consumption of land. With these uses in high demand, “urban sprawl and land use” the principle, use what you have or make it possible to reuse what was discarded, comes into play, being one of the fundamental ideas behind the book. It is a well known that there are places that exist in the United States and throughout the world, that fit the description of bad planning and large urban sprawl. Armed with a wide variety of examples of actual case studies across the United States, “Retrofitting Suburbia,” describes how the implementation of basic principles can bring out and reunite a civic center, giving birth to a solid community based arrangement of space. These projects are typically generated from small urban lots to massive malls that are slowly going out of business.4 Through out Dunham-Joneses research and publications, these basic facts come to life. When many suburbs were build in the past, there were consciences that went unseen, and now we are starting to pay for those oversights. The suburban sprawling has dramatically increased the amount of driving people have to do in order to get to work, supermarkets, schools and


IWPR Group, "IWPR Group Featured Speakers." 2003. (accessed 4/2/2010). 3 IWPR Group 4 YouTube, "TEDxAtlanta - Ellen Dunham-Jones." 01/26/10. (accessed 5/5/2010).

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interactive events, leading to an almost complete loss of community based society. According to Dunham-Jones and her knowledge of the situation, the next fifty years are going to be essential in rebuilding suburbia in order to bring the sprawling to a near halt. For her, it is not only about the sprawling and carbon footprint, it is equally about the community. There is a thing that Dunham-Joneses calls the “third place,” describing it as: 1 is what you do most of the time, meaning your work. 2 is where you travel, the store and things relative to that, and 3 being the place where you go to help build your community.5 To most, a closed and unused store is an eye sore and, in the public’s view of the situation, it should be torn down, but not in Dunham-Joneses eyes. She sees the potential for a new civic center, art galleries, small universities, nursing homes, churches or a community center. A thousand different things could be done if the right steps were considered and according to her research. One example is Denton public library in Phoenix Arizona, its original construction was a local grocery store. Its façade was removed and new one was added along with sizable additions to the parking lot islands to reduce its carbon footprint.6 Another example would be Mashpee commons in Mashpee Massachusetts. This was a large shopping mall that able to be converted into a large village.7 The driving idea is that there will always be places that can be redeveloped instead of letting them sit serving no purpose at all; these places should be thought of as an opportunity to give back to the community. They boost the local economy, bring in outside revenue and give back to the local economic community. Dunham-Jones is firm believer that cases like these examples are a unique opportunity to make a better place, while at the same time plan other spaces around the retrofit to make an even better lifestyle for those in the surrounding area. Some other key factors in 5

TEDxAtlanta TEDxAtlanta 7 Dunham-Jones, Ellen. Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. 6

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retrofitting can be attributed to transportation and affordability and depending on the size of the retrofit; a new mode of transportation can be developed. Whether it is walking, riding bikes or public transportation, in turn, promote public health and a lesser number of traffic related accidents as well. Dunham-Joneses book also points out it’s not just the buildings that are causing the problems. In many places around the country, there are oceans of asphalt. What can be done here is remove the asphalt and start building up. Whatever the project, wherever the location, the goal is still the same, reduce the footprint and build more sustainably. Retrofitting is a way of making any ugly, unsafe and undesirable address to a more prominent, dutifully attractive, dignified address. The future is open to new and developing ideas. Some strict guidelines that DunhamJones has come up with to try to stimulate these new ideas are, 1. extreme setbacks from watersheds to protect wetlands and the ecosystem in those wetlands. 2. Develop an eco friendly approach to building in general to create a friendly environment and harmony with the site. 3. Improve the architecture, create buildings that work and perform better over time. Although these are just ideas, it is something that all architects should strive for. These are essential points that point Dunham-Jones is trying to make. Lastly, develop more sustainable places, not just buildings but space in general. Better parks, more local transportation stations, anything to reduce the carbon footprint and make a more sustainable world. These points are only a few of many that can be developed, but to Dunham-Jones, these are the most critical things showing up it her writings time, and time again. Currently, Dunham-Jones is a strong asset to the Georgia Institute of Technology as the director of the architecture program. She is highly regarded by her superiors and those around her as an essential element and assets.

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"Ellen has made a significant impact on the Architecture Program at Tech, as well as on Atlanta in the short time she has been with us. This impact ranges from the successful reaccreditation of the Architecture Program and her recruitment of new faculty to the school to the myriad of contributions she has made to many civic projects in Atlanta, such as the selection of the architect for the new home of the Atlanta Symphony or the creation of student designs for 'capping' the Downtown Connector to assist in the bridging between Georgia Tech and the new Technology Square. Ellen is a delight to work with, always suggesting fresh ideas and new and interesting ways to address critical issues of teaching, scholarship and outreach. We are most fortunate to have her in Georgia Tech's College of Architecture." – Thomas Galloway, Dean of the Georgia Tech College of Architecture8 It is a personality like this, that gives the impression of a highly motivated, task orientated, well organized, well educated, critically thinking individual. Ellen Dunham-Jones is and can be looked up to and applauded for all of her contributions she has given through her research and teachings. She gives countless hours to her passion for teaching and informing about what she believes in. People should strive for a better place in this world not only for ourselves but for all the generations to come. To me it is clear that Dunham-Jones work is of the highest quality and material, she works hard to produce the proper research and documentation to write about urban sprawl and all of its defects. While at the same time work on her own projects to integrate urban life with sustainable design. It is because of her research and documentation and willingness to give countless hours to her tasks, that successful urban planning can been made possible. One hopes 8

Sanders, Jane M. . "Faculty Profile." 2003. (accessed 4/20/2010).

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that she is able to continue to work as hard to keep on top of what is the urban struggle in order for her to continue to do what she believe in. I look forward to my own graduation, because of people like Ellen Dunham-Jones I am eager to get my hands dirty and try to develop some of the ideas I have come across by researching and reading about Dunham-Jones. There is a need for change. A change like the one that Dunham-Jones lobbies for on a daily basis through her writings and her teachings. It is my belief that she has done her job to make people like you and me aware of what is happening to places like suburbia and how it is part of our future to take up were Ellen Dunham-Jones has left off.

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Works Cited

Dunham-Jones, Ellen. Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. IWPR Group, "IWPR Group Featured Speakers." 2003. (accessed 4/2/2010). Sanders, Jane M. . "Faculty Profile." 2003. (accessed 4/20/2010). YouTube, "TEDxAtlanta - Ellen Dunham-Jones." 01/26/10. (accessed 5/5/2010).


Program: Experiment with making photograms (exposing photo paper to light) with some selected objects you have, once you have a grasp of the technique down start making images you want.


- Photograms - Photographs

Critics: Tim Castine


Impacting Light

Fork Bending With Light


Locket of light

Fork Bending With Light 2

Photographs Program: Using a Nikon manual 35mm camera with b/w film, take compelling photographs that capture the essence of your weekly theme. Using bracketing, take three shots and record your shutter speed and focal lengths. Develop your photos in the photo lab using the directed methods posted on the wall. Make a contact sheet and enlarge at least two of your best shots.


- Photograms - Photographs

Critics: Tim Castine


Water on Glass




Power Lines

Light Fixture

Program: Design a safe light fixture that functions, is 30% recycled material and can stay lit for 8 hours or more without burning or catching fire. Design Intent: This fixture was intended to be wall mounted and somewhat bright, around 50 lumens. Places that I was thinking it would go before its construction were beside restaurant tables and hallways.


- Light Fixture

Critics: David Woolf


The Fixture Wiring in the switch and two sockets for light bulbs onto a old sheet of plywood.

The plexy glass ribs (cut by the laser cutter) and frosted curved light shield (heated and curved by hand) are epoxied together and to the wood.

The complete light functions as it should after an 8 hour test on the wall without heating up.




Architecture Portfolio.

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