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selected works 2012-2017

table of contents 5 9 21 33 37 39

community dwelling ideahaus palm oasis a study in levitation Sunday afternoon at 860/880 photography


community dwelling semester spring 2014 professor Betsy Williams The realm of this project is solely focused on the communal area of a dwelling. Through this spatial experimentation the slope of the roof creates a hierarchy of program. The roof height is the highest in the seating area, as I wanted this space to be the most welcoming and unconstrained throughout the whole community space. The kitchen portion has the lowest ceiling height in order to encourage inhabitants to congregate elsewhere.


scale model, 1’ = 1/4” 7

ideahaus semester spring 2015 professor Thaddeus Zarse This semester-long assignment was to design a community center that embraces the characteristics of the Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago. It was important to first gain an understanding of the culture and lifestyle of this recently gentrified neighborhood. Under the programmatic requirements of spaces to “meet, make, and perform”, this community center is a place where residents can meet neighbors at a farmers market, make meals at a community kitchen and watch performances in an auditorium. The selected site is rather unusual, sandwiched between the city’s boulevard system and a rapid transit line’s point of transition from above ground to underground. The uniqueness of this location allowed for the site itself to be an organizing mechanism.


2000 N, 3000 W The project began with with an assignment of a set of coordinates on the Chicago grid. Individually, the class was instructed to research the area within a 1-mile radius of the coordinates. In doing this, I quickly realized that the area was one of the most diverse in Chicago. The four neighborhoods that lay within the radius (Lincoln Park, Humboldt Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park) have been historically Hispanic. However, in the past 15 years the area has been gentrified and is now dominantly an affluent, white neighborhood (seen in the Census Maps). When tasked with site selection within the coordinate zone, the decision was straight-forward. The unique location lodged in the corner of the Boulevard System was calling for attention. That along with the convenience of the CTA’s Blue Line directed my attention to an abandoned lot at the intersection of the two types of previously mentioned infrastructure.

2000 N, 3000

Selected Site

Census Map, 2000

Black Hispanic White

Census Map, 2010

Black Hispanic White 11

conceptual models

1. Bare site

5. Interior

circulation pathways

2. Common dimension

6. Circulation ribbon

3. Programmatic

7. Hollow out for


market stalls

4. Carve exterior

8. Ideahaus.





2 2 4 3 5

1 community plaza overlooking Logan Square 2 incubator kitchens 3 cooking classroom 4 performance auditorium 5 CTA blue line LEVEL 1

Scale: 1’=1/16�

section through auditorium, artists lofts and plaza 15

section through cooking classroom, artists studios and plaza


plaza perspective 19

palm oasis semester spring 2017 professor Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen partner Kaleb Shafa In this partner studio project, groups were assigned a site in Chicago with existing, abandoned warehouses. In the scope of the project, the warehouses were to be demolished and replaced with a 200m by 150m greenhouse. The greenhouses were to house the ecosystems selected by each pair, in our case the ecosystem was a kentia palm tree forest on a tropical island. With the island oasis in the center of our greenhouse, we then designed a perimeter consisting primarily of single family townhouses where inhabitants can reach the tropical environment by swimming, canoeing or walking across one of three bridges located at the supporting resortactivity programs. Those are: roman-style baths, a restaurant and a sports court. They were placed within the perimeter strategically where the palm island was the shortest distance from the perimeter. The additional programming helps to break up the repetition of the townhouses. 21

architype isometrics (top) and plans (bottom)

01_Architypes Students were to individually design architypes based on precedent studies of Palladian villas. Through this study I became interested in the many ways stairs and arches can converse. It was interesting to design with formal architectural elements, such as arches and vaults, to create spaces I found intriguing. These architypes were put to use later in the project to generate the perimeter that encapsulates the greenhouse.


site plan

02_Greenhouse The greenhouse is home to a tropical palm oasis inspired by Lord Howe Island, origin of the Kentia palm. The selection of the engineered greenhouse system was based on 15 meter height, which will not intervene with the 10-13 meter height of the palm trees that live on the island. The module of the greenhouse columns later influenced the module of the perimeter architecture.

greenhouse enlarged plan (left) 25

greenhouse + perimeter overall plan




The perimeter that surrounds the greenhouse and its tropical environment was designed using the Palladian architypes created by my partner and I. We implemented the achitypes in a zig-zag pattern on a 45 degree angle so that the user experience was varying throughout one’s journey around the perimeter. This path would encourage the inhabitant’s views to be constantly changing and keep them enthralled in the artificial oasis. The program consists primarily of singlefamily townhouses where the inhabitants have access to the tropical island by either swimming canoeing or walking across one of three bridges. The bridges are located at the activity hubs that host roman-inspired baths, a restaurant and a recreational court. The views from the homes are grandiose, overlooking the tropical paradise, while each individual unit remains private thanks to the 45 degree orientation of the perimeter.

perimeter enlarged plan (left) 27

exterior perspective

townhouse interior perspective 29

island diagonal perspective

baths perspective 31

a study in levitation semester fall 2014 professor Paul Pettigrew Entering this furniture class, I had the mind set of reinventing a piece of furniture as the world understands it. I quickly became intrigued with the possibility of making a tabletop float in place. After many study models and magnets later I was able to accomplish this task. After making the tabletop levitate I realized that there would most likely not be a balance of loads on the table. To solve this design problem I developed the concept of magnetic coasters. These coasters snap onto magnets located in the tabletop, holding the coasters in place no matter what angle the top is leaning at. The coasters also stack together and the magnets hold them in place.



The magnetic coasters allow users to have a constant location for their drinks on the slightly varying table top. This concept also creates an opportunity to accessorize the table.









Sunday afternoon at 860/880 semester fall 2015 professor Andrew Santa Lucia Soft drawing is a style of communication that sits opposite of hard drawings (plans, sections, elevations, details, etc.). These drawings seek to communicate architectural ideals to an audience both familiar and unfamiliar of the realm of architecture. In this soft drawing I chose to call attention to the way a general population interacts with the architecture of Mies van der Rohe. By referring to the architect’s 860/880 apartment towers and the context that surrounds them, I illustrated how these buildings might have interacted with the city-dweller population in a historical time.


photography semester fall 2016 professor Lukasz Kowalczyk In this introductory class to digital photography I was taught the basics of using a DSLR camera, telling a story with photos and processing photographs in Adobe Lightroom. After weeks of introductory assignments, I began to realize a common interest I had in my photography. My photographs became a study of how light travels through, is reflected and cast upon various mediums. Through these studies I learned just how magnificent light can be.



Thank you. Thank you for taking time to look through my portfolio! Please feel free to contact me at any of the means of communication listed below. | 615 . 418 . 2950 | 1109 Myrtle Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28203

William Carlson_Portfolio  
William Carlson_Portfolio  

Selected works during my time at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where I received my Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2017.