Page 1

Selected works 2015-2020 XINYI CHEN


Currently available


X���� C��� Blacksburg, Virginia

Educa�on Aug. 2015 - Aug. 2020

Virginia Polytechnic Ins�tute and State University | Blacksburg, VA

Jan.2019 - May. 2019

WAAC: Washington- Alexandria Architectural Center | Alexandria, VA

Aug. 2017 - Dec. 2017

Steger Center for Interna�onal Scholarship | Riva San Vitale, Switzerland

Jun. 2016 - Jul. 2016 Aug. 2012 - May 2015

Bachelor of Architecture | magna cum laude | STEM program |Class of 2020 Study Exchange Program| Urban-Focused Interdisciplinary Studio

A semester-long residential architectural program | Travel and study in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Denmark

CASA Mexico program | San Miguel & Mexico City, Mexico

Center for Architecture, Sustainability, and Art (CASA) | Directed by two registered architects | Travel and design work

Trinity Catholic High School | Ocala, Florida Graduated with honors

Professional Experience July. 2020 - Sept. 2020

A.I.R. Architects | Miami, FL | Design Assistant | Part-�me

May 2019 - Aug. 2019

Hassell | Shanghai, China | Intern Architect

Jul. 2019 - Aug. 2019

A+ LAB| Shanghai, China | Intern Architect | Overlaps with Hassell internship

Jan. 2019 - May. 2019

Lehman Smith & Mc Leish | Washington, DC | Intern Architect

A small-scaled collaborative studio focusing on architecture and interior design Participated in SD and DD design phase of the renovation of a warehouse to a furniture gallery Adobe Suite | Rhino | Enscape | Microsoft Office A multidisciplinary studio of architectural design, landscape design, and urban planning Participated in SD and DD design phase of Park Avenue Central - mixed-use developments in Shanghai commercial center Participated in CD design phase of Nanfeng Hongqiao tower - mixed-used developments in Shanghai Hongqiao district BIM | AutoCAD |Adobe Suite | Rhino | V-ray | Microsoft Office A collaborative architecture firm engaging in design and competitions Participated in SD and DD design phase of the facade for Shengzhen Dawan Hospital Team member of the competition for Qionglai Bookstore / Jiaxing Yongxin Brige-complex AutoCAD |Adobe Suite | Rhino | SketchUp | V-ray | Microsoft Office

A collaborative architecture firm focusing on architectural and interior designs of office buildings Digital modeling and rendering | presentation preparation | technology research | construction documentations Rhino | V-ray | Adobe Suite| MicroStation | Microsoft Office

Academic & Design Recogni�on April. 2020

Finalist in undergraduate thesis award| Blacksburg | Top 5

Jan. 2020

AIA Virginia Prize Student Compe��on | Blacksburg | Finalist

Dec. 2018

Fourth-year Integra�ve Studio Compe��on | Virginia Tech | Finalist

Mar. 2016

First-year Architectural Annual Compe��on | Virginia Tech | Honorable men�on

2015 - 2020

Meandering in the city of God Top 5 out of 120+/ year-long/ individual work

Norfolk Oyster Research Hatchery 1 of 10 Blacksburg entries/ one-weekend project / individual work Mixed-use : commercial and residential Top 6 of 50+ entries / individual work Top 6 of 120+ Entries | Individual Work

Dean’s List | Virginia Tech

Recognition of student academic achievement within a semester

Digital Skills Revit SketchUp Rhino AutoCAD AdobeSuite MicroSta�on

V-ray Lumion Enscape 3D Prin�ng ArcGIS Microso� Office

Analogical Skills


Photography Hand Drawing

English Mandarin Chinese


Sketching Model-making

Hilary Bryon, Ph.D. | Associate Professor

Fluent Na�ve

Yun Gui | LSM |Associate, RA


Table of Contents

01. The Primitive Alpine Huts - A station for hikers

02. Meandering in the City of God



Thesis: A Benedictine Monastery in 21st century NYC

03. The Roof


Mixed-use of commercial and residential building

04. The Column


A playground constructed with columns

05. The Order


06. Selected Professional Work


A short-stay station along the highway


01. The Primitive

Alpine Huts-A station for hikers Fall 2017 - Third Year Site : Alpine ridge, Zermatt, Switzerland Individual Work

Architects and theologists have been exploring the idea of the Primitive Hut over centuries, which questions the relationship between men and nature. Brought up by architectural theorist Laguier in an Essay on Architecture, the idea argues that architecture’s virtue exists in its primitive state, and we shall learn from the ideal of the primitive hut in which architecture is valued as a part of a natural process. The project asks for a temporary station for the hikers within the alpine ridge. It sits on the hiking trail of Höhenweg Höhbalmen, and begins and terminates at the train station as a loop. The station composes three huts spread across the site – a living hut, a dining hut, and a birdwatching hut. In this harsh environment, especially during wintertime, what vitals for hikers is primitive: the accessibility to the protections of shelters, the availability of food, etc. The idea is to indicate how architecture reveals the concept of primitive within the context. By constructing three huts considering the aspects of materiality, site proposition, etc., human’s essential needs within nature are revealed through architectures as intrinsic work.

Conceptual section sketch

depicting summer and winter accesses and an underground pit


Site view

showing the huts in summer and winter conditions


4.5 km

3 km

1.5 km


1.5 km

3 km

4.5 km

7.5 km

9 km 7.5 km

7.5 km

6 km

6 km








3 km

3 km


4.5 km

4.5 km


2749 m 1606 m

Zmutt Dam

1.5 km

1.5 km


Hüenerchnubel 2809 m



The site is located along the hiking trail of Höhenweg Höhbalmen, which is one of the most recommended in this region. It starts and ends at the Zermatt train station in a loop. Along the way, hikers have chances to grasp a variety scene of natural landscape, like the terrine filled with flowers or the overlook of entire Zermatt valley. The project sits adjacent to a short river channel and facing a forest across, and the small picturesque settlement Zmutt is down within a short distance.

1.5 km

1.5 km Unter Gabelhorn 3398m

3 km

3 km

Nordwandblick 4.5 km

4.5 km 4.5 km

19.9 km 3 km

1.5 km


1.5 km

3 km

4.5 km

7.5 km

7.5 km

7.5 km

15.3 km

6 km

6 km

2.026 km

9 km


The train Station at the start

Weather condition across seasons The chart is indicting the dramatic weather change throughout the year. Due to the altitude of the alps, the weather differs significantly between day and night, summer and winter. And a large amount of snowfall makes the situation worse during the winter. The Zmutt village



Mountain Scenes





Site plans in the summer and winter During the summer, the site is covered with greenery and becomes barren during the wintertime. When the snow is piled up into several feet, the hikers are having a hard time enjoying the view. The architecture is trying to find a strategy to address the problem.

“The Matterhorn�

8 Architecture

Site Proposition

Primitive Hut



Weather Strategy


Chalet House

Stone House


A N/

Analogous diagrams of vernacular architectures

Early rendering depicting a summer hut

Early rendering depicting a winter hut

The series of diagrams is indicating the investigations of vernacular architectures across the alpine region in the aspects of site proposition, materiality, weather, and access. By learning from different typologies, the project gradually finds a language in engaging with nature. The idea is to propose a type of log house that can be easily constructed with local resources by a few men. It provides two accesses for summer and winter: one locates on the first floor while the other on the second with a ladder leading towards. It should also consist an underground pit to preserve food.


Site Plan Three huts spread across the site. The detour of the trail is leading to the living hut in the north. The dining hut is adjacent to the woods, while a birdwatching hut is projecting to the river. The three of them with similar architectural language form a composition to provide the necessity for the hikers.


Ground Level


11 Locality Drain Materiality Living Hut Dining Hut Birdwatching Hut

6’’R Steel Drainage pipe

12’’* 24’’Stone Slates Roof Facia

Roof details of the living hut

24’’*24’’ Stone Slates 1.5’’*1.5’’Wooden Plates, 18’’ O.C. R38 Batt Insulation 9’’*9”Log Purlins

Roof details of the dinning hut

Panel Sheathing 1.5’’*1.5’’Wooden Plates, 9’’ O.C. Roof rafters, 30’ O.C. 6’’*6’’Roof beams Wooden Strips

Roof details of the birdwatching hut


Interior view of the dinning space during summer

Interior view of the living hut’s second floor during summer


The entrance of the living hut

The entrance of the dinning hut

The entrance of the birdwatching hut

The main floor of the living hut

The deck of the dinning hut

The second floor of birdwatching hut

Floor plan

showing the use of space during summer

Perspective section

showing the use of space during summer From April to October, the weather is nice and friendly. Hikers tend to engage with the environment more. They would take preserved jars of food from the underground pit, chopping the woods from the adjacent forest, or gather around the table.


View towards the indoor of dining hut during winter

View of the field from the birdwatching hut’s top platform during winter


The entrance of the living hut

The entrance of the dinning hut

The entrance of the birdwatching hut

The second floor of the living hut

The cooking counter of the dining hut

The storage of the dinning hut

Floor plan

showing the use of space during winter

Perspective section

showing the use of space during winter Piles of snow on the ground make hikers challenging to move through the field. When the main entrance of each hut is blocked, additional access is provided at each. After climbing up into cabins, hikers would feel protected and gain a sense of warmth.


02. Meandering in the City of God A Benedictine Monastery in 21st century NYC Finalist award in undergraduate thesis Fall 2019 -Spring 2020 - Thesis Studio Site : Brooklyn , NYC, NY Individual Work

God’s city, a Benedictine monastery, unfolds itself through the map, where a hierarchy of lines, arrows, signs, and shapes orchestrate dynamic yet structured sequences of spatial experiences. For the monks, the city of God is ordered by the restrictive routine of prayer and silence as detailed in the Rule of St. Benedict, but in this thesis, also by an idea of urban life. This city’s map facilitates superimposed and autonomous experiences for both the devout community of monks and the city dweller. Spatial movements or picturesque experiences, whether heedless or heedful, straight or wavering, processing or strolling, are underpinned by principles of order tuned to the role of the ambulant observer. Meandering, in any city, reveals the city’s spirit and essence in a perspectival view; one is pulled through space by elements at all scales and accompanied by sounds, smells, touches, and feelings. The monastery creates a framed view for both the insider and the outsider. By situating the Benedictine monastery both as an urban environment and in an urban environment, the project aims to order and orchestrate the movement of three moving spectators : the monks on their hourly processions, the neighborhood congregants visiting each Sunday for mass, and the ferry-riding public traversing Manhattan and Brooklyn. It contains: The program contains: • A cloister providing daily processions for the monks, grasps of views for the neighborhood, and moments of pausing for visitors from Manhattan • Ninety-six cells for monks, lay brothers, and visitors. • A church serves for the monks as well as the neighborhood • A chapter-house for community gathering • A refectory for gathering at lunch and dinner • A library with classroom and workshops • A Sunday school for the neighborhood •A reception to receive the visitors coming from Manhattan •An entrance to welcome the neighborhood for Sunday mass


City collage of Rome

City collage of NYC

18 Addition & Subtraction Internal & External Order



Necessary,optional & ”Resultant” Physical, social, visual, physiological & functional aspect






Traffic Intersec�on






Conversa�on Exchange

Built Form


Public Realm



Line of the memory

Social Interaction




Line on a walk



Trends & fashions


Sea�ng Walking


The Spirit of the city


Line of the city







Action Motion





“Line on a walk”

Scale & Textures Hierarchy & Sequence


Diagram of “Take a line for a walk in the city”

illustrating the orchestra of lines in the city


Line of the city

wn Do

Analysis on urban conditions

in the aspects of boundary, vista , and network We are city strollers. The route we take is informed by underlying structures that hold the integrity of a city. A city that narrates its past and foretells its future through layers of lines. When we are experiencing the order of interactive lines, planes, arrows, waves, our senses are stimulated by signs from all the directions. We walk, pulse, wonder, and talk, where active lines are unfolding visible lines, thus contributing to forming invisible lines that reinforce the order of a city.

19 Step 2. Interpret the Order

Step 3. Disrupt the Order

Framework Boxes

Glass Panels

Rotating Doors

Vertical Structures

Architectural Columns

Step 1. Establish the Order

Analysis on the possibilities of urban grids

with architectural elements

The series of diagrammatic space is investigating how the order of a city is structured for a variety of activities to occur. Each diagram starts with the establishment of an orthogonal grid. Each grid is interpreted with basic architectural elements. By intervening in the neutral conditions of each order, a set of hierarchical, dynamic, temporary, and phenomenal urbanistic spaces is suggested for people to inhabit. Gradually, a collection of the system is established, asking the relationship between architecture and people.

20 Plan of St. Gall - An ideal plan for medieval monastery

Urban Typology - Typology seen in the 21st century metropolitan Hospital : A place providing patient treatments


Cemetry : A place to bury the remains of the dead


Library : A place to read, study and gather Museum : A place to preserve and exhibit the collection of artifacts(goods) Scriptorium/Library

House / Apartments : A place for habitation

Barn and Granary (storehouse)

Town hall : A place providing organizational assembly

Dormitory/Cell Chapter House (Later developed) Cloister


School : A place to get educated Workshop/Offices : A place to produce and create things

Artisans workshops

Restaurant : A place to eat


Mall : A place providing a promenade


Church : A place for worship Hotel : A place to provide vistors with accomodation

Guest house

Post office : A place to receive and send out communications

House for poor(Pilgrims)

Skyscraper : A place symbolizes vertical strength Tower I

Tower II

Checkpoint/port : A place marks the entrance and exit of the city


Praying in the cell

Carpentering in the workshop

Processing before Eucharist

Praying before Lunch

Monastery Typology with the community Monk’s dailyGathering circulation Visitor’s Circulation

Vespering in the cloister

Diagram comparing monastic typologies with urban typologies Studying in the public library

Metro home

Supper Get off from work


Conference Room Cafe / Pantry

Go to bed


Metro Station

Restaurant / Bar Library /Classroom

8:00 A.M.

10:00 A.M.

12:00 P.M.

2:00 P.M.

4:00 P.M.

6:00 P.M.

8:00 P.M.

10:00 P.M.

11:45 p.m.

11:00 p.m.

9:45 p.m.

9:15 p.m.

8:30 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

7:15 p.m.

7:00 p.m.

6:45 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

6:15 p.m.

5:45 p.m.

5:15 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

1:05 p.m.

12:25 p.m. 12:30 p.m.

11:15 a.m.

11:45 a.m.

10:00 a.m.

8:45 a.m.

8:15 a.m.

8:00 a.m.

8:30 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

7:45 a.m.

7:15 a.m. 7:15 a.m.

Vigils 6:00 a.m.

6:00 A.M.

6:45 a.m.

Rise 5:40 a.m.



Apartment /House

Office Desk

Recreation Dinner with friends Lectio Divina


Urban Typology Go to bed

Cheering at music festival


Day prayer



Lorem ipsum


Lunch Break

Break Lauds

Common House



Meeting with clients

Refectory /Kitchen


Lectio Divina


Workshop/ Classroom

Breakfast Metro to work Study

Wake up Get Ready

Monastery Typology


Eating fast-food for lunch

Wash up

Meeting with co-workers


Working in the office

Off to the city for work

Getting ready at apartment

12:00 A.M.

Grocery Store Time

Monk’s prayer time monk’s schedule on weekday Diagram comparing monks’ scheduleA with city dwellers’ City’s dweller’s interim

A city dweller’s schedule on weekday

The Benedictine monastery has been seen as a utopia providing an efficient system for monks to live, pray, and work under the Rule of St. Benedict. The programs in the monastery, such as cells, refectory, tower, can be compared with urban typologies. The similarities between a monastery and a city can be also revealed through monastic restrict schedules and city dwellers’ daily routines.


Map(left) and aerial view (right) of NYC

showing the parks and streets of Manhattan New York City is developed under a grid with streets running east-west and avenues running south-north. In a prescribed footprint, the construction is regularized on its plan and maximized through its verticality. Based on comparable characteristics, several blocks comprise a district to serve the community around. Public parks spreading across the city are unifying different neighborhoods, some of which are more like community gardens while some are highly occupied during weekday lunchtime.

Central Park

Time Square

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Tra i


Four Freedoms State Park

Penn Station East 34th Street



Site Plan

The project sits on a piece of open land approximately 7 acres in Brooklyn of New York City, which is to the south-east of Manhattan across East River. The site occupying the entire street block is surrounded by commercial and residential buildings. People who visit this side of the city from Manhattan could take a bus after a metro or choose a ferry occasionally.


Mapping the plan

showing the development of spatial arrangements


Meandering both in and as the city Meandering, in any city, reveals the city’s spirit and essence in a perspectival view; one is pulled through space by elements at all scales and accompanied by stimulated senses. God’s city, a Benedictine monastery, unfolds this law of meandering through the map, where a hierarchy of lines, arrows, signs,and shapes arrange dynamic yet structured sequences of spatial experiences for both the devout community of monks and the city dweller. By situating the ideal “city,” both as and in an urban environment, the project aims to order and orchestrate the movements of three spectators : the monks- the city inhabitants on their hourly processions , the neighborhood congregants visiting each Sunday for mass, and the ferry-riding public traversing Manhattan and Brooklyn. Meandering in the city of God, whether heedless or mindful, straight or wavering, processing or strolling,seeing or being seen, as one or as a collective, are underpinned by principles of order tuned to the role of the ambulant observer.


The design starts by using the order of 12 by 12 feet grid as the underlying principle for the overall layout, and courtyard as an element for different spatial conditions of living, worshiping, consuming, and working. Within the perimeter of 360 feet at each side, the complex, carefully arranged around the central cloister, is responding to the programs, contexts, and people. The dormitory and church are dominating the west and south sides of the monastery, respectively, while the other programs with smaller scales are interweaving between the courtyards across the site. By studying the juxtapositions between private and public, repeating and iterating on architectural elements, and examining the relationship between parts to the whole, the monastery aims for a unified totality acting like a city, as well as a part of existing urban contexts. Through pausing, walking, processing, gathering, etc., monks spend their days of prayers and silence within the boundary around the central sanctuary. Occasionally, visitors from Manhattan across the river are able to experience part of the sanctuary as they stroll down to the below-grade, circle around, and leave the complex through the main exit. The monastery also welcomes the Brooklyn neighborhood for every Sunday mass. They are sharing the space of the church with monks while having a discrete path towards their seating area. The screen of rotating doors separating the two groups tries to further play with the visual interaction of seeing and being seen. The relationship between three types of movements revealed through the design of the cloister and church are trying to demonstrate the laws of meandering as a basic idea illustrating the citiness of the monastery. The program contains: • A cloister providing daily processions for the monks, grasps of views for the neighborhood, and moments of pausing for visitors from Manhattan • Ninety-six cells for monks, lay brothers, and visitors. • A church serves for the monks as well as the neighborhood • A chapter-house for community gathering • A refectory for gathering at lunch and dinner • A library with classroom and workshops • A Sunday school for the neighborhood •A reception to receive the visitors coming from Manhattan •An entrance and bus stop to welcome the neighborhood for Sunday mass


The master plan of monastery showing the design of Movement, Order, Boundary, In-between, Parts to whole


Site plan

Courtyard plan diagram

Constructing order of plan diagram

Roof plan diagram

Circulation plan diagram

Basement plan diagram

27 Workshops

Sunday School



Reception Dormitory

North Elevation Church

Bus Stop

Sunday School




East Elevation Sunday School




West Elevation




Sunday School

South Elevation

Elevation Diagrams

indicating the site's proposition to the surroundings






Plan of Cells

each with 12 feet wide by 21 feet long



Section AA'

indicating two layers of cells connected with staircase

The Cell - the Meandering as One


Axonometric Drawing revealing the spatial organization The dormitory on the western side of the monastery facing the East River is the farthest away from the street. Each cell is identical with the design of loft in twenty-one feet long by twelve feet wide by eighteen feet tall, and there are two layers of cells on each lot. Every four cells share a spiral staircase leading towards the courtyard. Within the sacred space constructed with limited materials of light, concrete, and water, each monk is able to practice their relationship with God. By thinking about the scales of urban streets, the circulation of the dormitory is trying to achieve a hierarchical system that facilitates the relationship between private and public, the individual, and the collective.


Plan of the church

indicating the spatial arrangements of the entrance, the altar, and the seatings

Perspective section

revealing the distinctive light conditions across the space

The Church - the Meandering as dialogue between monks and neighbors

Peek into the church through the door

Reflective Light at the altar

Light aperture at the gathering seatings

Diffused Space at the gathering space

Altar, Gathering space, Side rooms

Repetitive side-rooms facing light slits

The entrance at the church

The seating gatherings at the church

The altar at the church

The church dominating the south side of the monastery is for the monk’s daily masses and the neighborhood congregants on each Sunday mass. The visitors enter the monastery through the eastern entrance or first arrive at the bus stop. Before stepping into the church, ideally, they would skirt the cloister and peak into the indoor space without actually entering the space. There is a discrete path for the visitors around the perimeter leading towards the seating area. The monks come from the opposite direction, meander around the cloister and then step into the space. The two groups are separated with a scree wall consisted of rotating doors, which further plays the visual interaction of seeing and being seen. Light and order is an essential component in constructing and differentiating the activity within. It follows the traditional layout by sitting the church east and west orient. Inside, there are diffused light for neighborhoods, seating’s, reflective light from the wall, illuminated column on the altar, light with directionality in the hallway. The design of the church looks for a spiritual sanctuary for all incomers, while provides different experiences for groups of people.



Below grade plan diagram

Roof plan diagram


The Cloister - the Meandering In and Through







Abstract Drawings Linking the Monastery and the City The perspective section cutting through north and south direction is trying to depict the three spectators’ movements and the arrangements within the complex. The central cloister with a path leading towards is receiving the visitors commuting from or to Manhattan. They walk down to the below grade, ambulate around the central, and then leave the monastery through the exit on the main street. It might provide them with a moment of pause for conversations while they rush for destinations or a path for strolling and meander. The space on the left of the section is indicting the gathering space in the church reserved for the neighborhood congregants on every Sunday mass. On the right is the refectory where monks gather on lunch and dinner. The arrangements between each space with the complex aims for an ideal city for monks to live and navigate through.

Section diagram across the cloister

showing the interactions between three spectators


The path for visitors leading towards the below-grade cloister

The cloister with fountain and the exit to the main street

The path rising up to the cloister at street level

The workshops connecting to the library at the boundary of the monastery

The church hallway constructed with light and order

Seatings for the neighborhood filled with diffused skylights


The path for visitors providing peaks into the cloister

The scared pray space behind the wall at Sunday school

The tranquil cell created through light and material

The shared courtyards for monks with path navigating through

The path for monks' procession leading towards the church

The altar, the seatings and the light


03. The Roof

Mixed-use of commercial and residential building

Final List of integrative studio competition Fall 2018 - Integrative Studio Site : Downtown, Blacksburg, Virginia Individual Work

The program asks for a complex of residential and commercial space on a piece of a sloping block in downtown Blacksburg – a town economically and demographically influenced by the presence of Virginia Tech. The program requires an archery center with a 25-meter shooting range, a public event space, administrative suits for staff, spectator seating, and other support space. Besides the commercial building, 40 residential units are required. Question: How to unify a variety of space with the architectural language that speaks to the programs, the site, and the people? The spatial programs are organized into two separate buildings of residential and commercial connected with grand public stairs. The residential building is situating on the north side of the site, while the commercial building is dominating the corner of the block. By imaging the profile of the site, the architectural element “roof” starts to play. The roof contour can be recognized as the image of a traditional gabbled-roof house, the tensioned string of a bow, and mountainous scenes in Blacksburg. The whole complex is further broken down into modules through the repetition and iteration for the coherence of the small-scaled neighborhood. The series of modules with different scales and qualities are trying to respond to space underneath. Together, the continuity of the “roofs” is contributing to the image of downtown Blacksburg.

Depiction of Blue Ridge mountain in Virginia


Study model

thinking the modularity of “the roof"

Bird's eye view of the site


Site map

Zoning Diagram

Site map The site is at the intersection of South Main street and Eheart Street SE. It occupies half of the block, which is an area of 70,000 SF planned for building and 210,000 SF for range and parking. Adjacent to downtown Blacksburg, the site is surrounded by a variety of mix-use space: residential areas for different accommodations, small-scaled local stores, etc. The density of this region, determined by the school occupancy, varies significantly across seasons. The conditions of Friday nights and summer weekdays at the downtown is distinctive to each other. To best preserve the historical character of this region, brick is the primary material to use. Through a set of site analyses from different perspectives, the architecture starts to appreciate and respond to the fabric of Blacksburg.

Typography Diagram

Circulation Diagram

The idea of “community�

illustrating design propositions within the college town


S1. Massing and site circulation

The idea is to step the site into two elevations, then place a three-level residential building next to the existing structure, and the commercial block at the corner of the block. And the two distinct spaces are knitted by grand public stairs. The parking lot at the back is serving the visitors, locals, and the residents.


S0. Site original state

The site is dominating the corner of a hilly plain and adjacent to a mixed-use building. The change of elevation reaches approximately 20 feet across the site.

To best accommodate historical characters, the scale of the two spaces on the site is modulated into smaller ranges with the idea of “roof.” The first floor of the commercial building is the gallery, while the second is for archery centers that can be accessed directly from the parking lot. S2. Modulate the site with “roof”

The design of each modules’ roof is differentiated to respond to the variety of space below. For instance, the third floor of the residential building of the loft is designed with skylights to penetrate, where the roof is enlarged for gathering area of archery center. Together, the variety of space conditions is sharing the same language. S3. Differentiate “roof” for programs

S4. Insert the voids of courtyards and skylights

Void space is inserted into the building to make the space more dynamic, and it becomes the skylight at the gathering space, the courtyard located in the center of the residents.

Collage of the site's context













The required spatial programs are organized into two separate buildings of residential and commercial connected with grand public stairs. The residential building is sitting on the north side of the site, while the commercial building is dominating the corner of the block. The archery center on the second floor could be accessed from the parking lot at the back, and the gallery is on the street level. By imaging the contour of the site, the architectural element "roof" starts to play. The roof contour can be recognized as the image of a traditional gab-



bled-roof house, the tensioned string of a bow, or mountainous scenes in Blacksburg. For the coherence of the small-scaled neighborhood, the whole complex is modularized through repetition and iteration of "the roof." The series of modules with different scales and qualities are trying to respond to space underneath. Overall, the continuity of the "roofs" is contributing to the image of downtown Blacksburg.









Axonometric drawing of the site

left: residential building; right: commercial building, archery center on the 2nd-floor, event space on the 1st-floor


Section diagram Aa

Section diagram Bb

Section diagram Cc

Section diagram Dd

Section diagram Ee


Section diagram Ff

Section diagram Hh

Section diagram Jj

Section diagram Gg

Section diagram Ii


The design of the residential building Under the idea of " the roof," the profile of the residential building is unified and strengthened. The building consists of three types of units for different types of accommodations. These are 20 units of one-bedroom located on the first and second floor, 12 units of loft with curvy roof lines on the third floor, and 8 double-floors occupying the two central rows. Each apartment has a balcony formed with curved windows and perforated bricks. It semi-separates indoor and outdoor activities while allowing light and air to go through spaces. And the arrangements of areas are unified with the central atrium for gatherings and social events.

3rd-floor plan







2nd-floor plan




Type I-Single

Type II-Loft

Type III- Double




Shifting I

Shifting II



showing the underlying principles of the design

1st-floor plan


Street view of the residential building

View of the central atrium

View of the central atrium


Twenty spaces of one-bedroom units are reserved for the single person. The perforated brick walls of balconies allow the light to penetrate while still ensure the privacy for residents. 12’



The one-bedroom

Location of one-bedrooms(20 units)

Interior arrangements of one-bedroom

The lofted rooms with a curvy roof profile are located on the third floor of the building. Space is designed to house two people and has a double space for living. 30’



The loft

Location of lofts (12 units)

Interior arrangements of loft

The double-floor units for three people are occupying the central two rows. Besides the perforated brick walls, the balconies are altering the directions on each floor to make the facade interesting.



The double-floor

Location of double-floors (8 units)


Interior arrangements of double-floor


View looking towards the balcony of the one-bedroom

View looking towards the interior of the loft

Interior view of the double-floor

Building facade and wall section


The design of the commercial building Under the idea of "roof," the profile of the commercial center is unified as a series of under tensioned strings of bows. By proposing the roof in the form of an arch, repeating and iterating through the module of 16 feet wide and by 100 feet deep light-frame roof structure, qualitative light is brought into a column-free space. The commercial complex has an archery center (can also be used for the other events), classrooms, a reception, a lobby, and supportive spaces on the second floor. People who are carrying heavy equipment could easily access the building from the parking lot. On the street level, there is a gallery space with a glass facade opens to pedestrians. People could have a grasp of artworks on the wall as they move through the site. The distinctions between two spaces are revealed through the solidity showed on the second floor and the transparency of the first.












Event I

Event II

Event III




Early section diagrams depicting indoor light conditions


Exploded roof details


Longitudinal facade drawing

Longitudinal section drawing I

Longitudinal section drawing II

Longitudinal section drawing III


a. View from the public stairs

b. View looking at indoor gallery

c. Interior view of the reception area

d. View of the courtyard

e. View looking into the archery center

f. Interior view of the archery center

g. Interior view of the lobby

h. View looking at the classrooms




1st-floor plan


d e


h g

2nd-floor plan





0 N The tanks for lab The tanks for observation


Plan of 1st floor

04. The Column

Plan of 2nd floor

Plan of 3rd floor

A playground constructed with the idea of column

Fall 2020 (one-month duration) Site : An empty field in Virginia Individual Work

A city is an ever-changing, ever-growing field. The structure of a city prescribes our activities in specific ways while still provides opportunities for us to act upon. The idea is to question this contingency between people and the place through the order of "columns": architectural columns, figures seen as columns, and columns of trees. It is a field that varies across the season, which consists of a set of pavilions anchored through columns, rows of deciduous magnolia trees, and people who would participate in the site. Over the years, the pits of rotting trees would be slowly replaced with light fixtures. In the end, the land would become a garden filled with lights on the ground. The field of columns aims to imitate a city, which continuously reconstructs itself through the underlying order.

Charcoal drawing of the field with lights filled tree pits


Charcoal drawings showing the relationship between nature, man and pavillions


1.Design the field

2.Construct pavilions, plant tree saplings

3. The next year's winter

View of the field when the trees were planted


igh tďŹ

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e M 36 odul '*3 e I 6'* V 36 '

IV ule od 6' M of 8'*3 er art 18'*1 Qu I

I le I du o M ' of '*18 er 9 art 9'*


er art

View of the field during the blossom season



4. Blossom seasons at its peak after a few years

5. Replacing rotting trees with light fixtures

6. The Field of lights

What happened to the ďŹ eld in hundreds of years?





Discovering Overlooking




M 18 odul '*1 e I 8'* II 18 '

II ule od ' M 9 f r o 4.5'* '* 4.5

Half sheltered


Mo 9'* dule 9'* II 9' M 4.5 odu '*4 le I .5'* 4.5 A ' gro un


r, year. t s 1 Ma ole ep

, ear d y c. n 2 De

r, yea 3rd Mar.

r, yea 4th Dec

r, yea . h t r 5 Ma

r, yea h c t 6 De

r, yea 7th Mar.


tďŹ ligh



Diagrams showing the interactions between people, architectures and the nature at different stages


05. The order

A short-stay station along the highway

Spring 2017 Site : The grassland at Hillsville, adjacent to highway VA-58 Individual Work

The program asks for a short-stay accommodation with sleeping and bathing rooms, a reception, a dining space, and a parking lot on the grassland at Hillsville adjacent to Highway VA-58. The design is questioning what the order is by using 16 box units with each 12’ wide by 24’ deep. Through doubling, stacking, and shifting, different spatial conditions are created, such as space covered with overhangs and balconies facing the landscape. And this order is applied in the design of wall sections. The boxes appear to be against nature with the front wall sheathed with charred wood strips. It is distinctive from the back facade, which composed of a large area of glasses to give guests a view of the landscape.

Section drawings showing the relationships between spatial boxes across the site


Hillsville, VA-58

Finney, KS-156 KS-156

(38.003559, -100.813094

Shonto, AZ-160 A Z- 1 6 0

(36.556204, -110.514129)

Early drawings

depicting the ideas of “highway billboards” at three different landscapes


1st-floor plan

2nd-floor plan


Diagrams illustrating the order of spatial organizations

Early set of charcoal drawings questioning the idea of order


View towards the front facade

View towards the back facade


Details of architecture showing the tectonics of architecture


Selected Professional Work - Park Avenue Central Mix-used Developments in Shanghai Commercial Center Documentation | Rendering | Presentation BIM | AutoCAD | Adobe Suites | Rhino

Perspective night view showing the office tower (Credited to the rendering team)

Night view of the commercial plaza

(Credited to the rendering team)


Overall plot plan - B3

Overall Section

Building 6 - 10th Floor Ceiling Plan

Building 6 - Facade Detail


Selected Professional Work - Interior designs of office buildings Bloomberg, NYC | Paul Hastings DC Rendering | Digital Modeling | Documentation Adobe Suites | Rhino | MicroStation

PHASE 3 7 3 1 L E X L 6 PA NTRY L I N K U P G R A D E S





OCT 19


DEC 19

JAN 20

FEB 20

MAR 20


APR 20

MAY 20

JUN 20



AUG 20


SEP 20

OCT 20

NOV 20




JUL 20



08.29.19 | 30


Spatial Circulation of Bloomberg , NYC

Hub View of Brookfield, NYC

Terrace bird's eye view of Paul Hastings, DC

Central pantry view of Bloomberg, NYC


Selected Professional Work - Shenzhen Dawan Hospital Facade Renovation Modeling | Documentation AutoCAD | Adobe Suites | Rhino

Rhino model

1F mechanical plan

1.3 材质

木纹 银色 三角截面格栅 蜂窝铝板


深灰色 LOW-E 中空 银色铝 蜂窝铝板 超白玻璃 合金框

深灰色 金属漆

LOW-E 中空 深灰色 超白玻璃 金属漆

银色铝 合金框

LOW-E 中空 超白玻璃

深灰色 蜂窝铝板

银色 木纹 蜂窝铝板 三角截面格栅




Material specs

Material specs

Selected works 2015-2020 XINYI CHEN

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