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Design Portfolio Yoshihiko Lee

Bachelor of Environments (Architecture) University of Melbourne

Contents Singapore Polytechnic (2012-2015) 04-05 Ambiguity 06-09 Pavilion 10-13 The V Factor 14-19 Glam Connect 20-23 The Hatchery 24-27 Symbiosis

University of Melbourne (2018) 28-31 The Verdant Frontier 32-37 Agora

IN-PROGRESS FOLIO The works in this portfolio are arranged dating from the earliest to most recent, showcasing my journey thus far in architecture and design. An array of styles and approaches were applied to different projects as I seek to develop my own design philosophy.

01 Ambiguity Ambiguity is a 21x21cm cryptex where its form is derived and inspired from the study of a compilation of random, everyday objects. The cryptex explores the spatial notions of ‘density’ and ‘depth’ through a mix of planes, volumes and lines. From observations of various process models, ‘ambiguity’ was derived from their erratic forms. To push the language of ‘ambiguity’, a ruleset was given to the cryptex: each plane has to overlap or cut into another plane, and be overlapped or cut into by another.

Sketchup Model

Physical Model

Pillars of resilience Looming across confusion Problems fade to dust A study of shadows was conducted by shining light through the cryptex in a lightbox to understand how light and shadow are affected by materiality and volume placement. The poetic qualities of light and shadow observed here are expressed in the haiku above.

02 Submersion The pavilion is a physical manifestation of the emotions experienced by the main character of the movie ‘Il Mare’. Situated by the undulating meadows of Gardens by the Bay, the pavilion takes advantage of the terrain to create a journey that aims to capture and highlight the experience of anxiety and uncertainty, followed by a transition into calmness and realisation through the play of levels, materiality, sound and light.

Exterior View

Concept Sketches

Isometric Overall View

Entrance Hallway

Descending Hallway


The pavilion itself is designed to be a journey undertaken by the user and is divided into three portions: the entrance ramp, the reflection pool and the observation deck. The entrance ramp conveys the feeling of anxiety as the user is unable to see the end of the pavilion, but drawn towards the middle by the sound of water and guiding shadows. The reflection pool is an enclosed and sheltered area. A feeling of protection and reflection is induced through the water and closed walls. Slits were made in the walls to give a sense of the outdoors, but never at eye level to focus the users’ view inwards. The observation deck allows the user to have a panoramic view of the site, natural ventilation, along with the use of warm materials such as timber, generates a sense of relief and satisfaction that their journey is at an end.

Actual timeline Arriving at new home

Alternate timeline

Discovery of time-travelling mailbox

Exchanging of letters with stranger through mailbox

Falling in love

Letters stop coming

Death of spouse

Disappointment Chagrin Curiosity Inquisitive

Realisation of the potential of mailbox, prevents death of spouse Realisation Clarity Motivation

Enthusiasm Eagerness


Despair Sorrow Lost

Entrance to Pool Area

Reflective Pool Area

Observation Deck

Maintenance Room


0 Lower Floor



10 Upper Floor

03 The V Factor Designed for the director of a piano manufacturing company, the detached house takes inspiration from the physical and mechanical properties of the phonograph, in accordance with the client’s interest in vintage instruments. Its angular walls are derived from how sound converges when it enters the phonograph and diverges as it exits. This creates a spatial experience where divergent lines expand into gathering spaces and convergent lines narrow and focus into more private areas.


Located in front of the water feature within the masterplan, the house aims to take advantage of the site , with its ground floor opening up to the scenery, forming a gathering space for the community.

Overall Masterplan

Long Section

Short Section

First Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

Living Room View (Outward)


The juxtaposition of volumes and planes create a seamless flow of both outdoor and indoor spaces, particularly social spaces. At the same time, cantilevering volumes and extended roof eaves provide extra shading without the need for extra louvers.

Living Room View (Inward)

04 Glam Connect Site analysis of Kampong Glam has revealed that it is a history-rich area, but lacks cultural buildings that can impart its identity to the younger generation. Shophouses were mostly replaced by boutique shops and modern eateries.

Form responding to views

The residential complex is designed with the intention of creating a ‘cultural corridor’ that connects the iconic buildings of the area: Masjid Sultan, Malay Heritage Center and Aliwal Arts Center.

Form responding to foot traffic and site context

The primary design principle is to improve the pedestrian walkability of Kampong Glam by lifting the residential units off the ground, leaving the ground floor free for commercial and social use. A series of massing models were created to test and mould forms to find the most suitable option for the site. Massaging of form to fit desired residential units

Before: Foot traffic was limited, and cultural buildings divided

After: Foot traffic converge, creating an urban corridor linking cultural buildings

First Floor Plan

Typical Floor Plan

Precast and Modular Design

The brief called for the use of precast concrete technology, hence a modular design was adopted. The programmes of the building were strategically placed in relation to site context: the retail area is located on the south of the site to effectively attract pedestrian traffic, residential units are positioned to get the best views possible, and parking is located where it is facing the unsightly backs of the rows of shophouses.

Multigenerational Living

The residential complex also comprises of a range of single to multigeneration apartments, allowing for a diverse mixture of residents. Communal spaces; public ones on the ground floor and private ones on the upper floors, encourage interaction between people of all backgrounds, with the intention of reintroducing the ‘kampong spirit’ back into the site.

Part Plan: Typical Floor

Along with a facade that is maintained by the residents as well as a ground floor that allows sharing of arts from residents and also the Aliwal Arts centre, the building acts as a social and cultural hub in the heart of Kampong Glam.

Part Plan: Roof Garden

Roof Gardens

Resting Space (Courtyard)

Typical Apartment Living Room

05 The Hatchery The Hatchery is a competition project which involved recovering a series of former shipyards in Coloane Village, in the southern part of Macau, and revamping them into a place where culture and science can be exhibited. Coloane Village used to be a place rich in culture with its western and Chinese influenced architecture, food, art and lifestyle. The present Coloane Village is overshadowed by casinos, and not much of the culture is retained. Hence the Hatchery aims to be a cultural ‘incubator’ that aims to retain and showcase the village’s glorious past.

2nd F

Inspired by old chinese puzzle boxes, the building consists of ateliers of varying shapes, weaving and interlocking one another, creating a multidimensional journey for the users. Where volumes intersect, cultural incubators are located. These ‘incubators’ act as interactive spaces for users to get first hand experience of the arts and cultures, making their journey more memorable and impactful. The volumes are arranged in a terracing way to take advantage of the views of the South China Sea.

3rd Flo



14 Roof Garden 15 Spray Painting Gallery 16 Animation Gallery 17 Western Painting Gallery 18 Cafe

1st Floor 19 Roof Garden 20 Architecture Gallery 21 Sustainability Gallery 22 Light Gallery 23 Cafe




Cultural Incubators

1 Hostel 2 Restaurant 4 Communal Area 5 Photography Gallery 7 Cafe Bistro 8 Outdoor Theatre 10 Street Food Cafe 11 Carpentry Gallery 13 Central Atrium

3 Office 6 Sculpture Gallery 9 Chinese Gallery 12 Entrance Reception

Different types of spaces with different functional requirements were c

carefully planned and attached together to form a complete journey.

06 Symbiosis Located in the heart of Joo Chiat, the Community Centre aims to act as a pivot for bringing the neighbourhood closer together, as well as a medium to convey the rich history and culture of the area to the general public. The CC also aims to break away from the typical arrangements of community centres found in other parts of Singapore to create an environment where the old and young, strangers and friends are able to interact and learn from one another. The internal spatial arrangement is inspired by the typical shophouse commonly found in Joo Chiat. Public spaces are located on the ground floor while the more private spaces are located above, linked visually by a central airwell.

Short Section

Long Section

The building’s form is planned to look unassuming from the outside so as not to disrupt the unique urbanity of the surroundings. The first two floors mimic the height and proportions of the neighbouring shophouses, while the upper floors are setback to create a roof terrace. This provides users with a slight insight to the upper floors with the intention of generating interest visually when looking upwards at street level. Industrial materials were used together with a relatable building style, creating a modern interpretation of a shophouse.


1st Floor A Transitional Experience



2nd Floor

The ground floor was planned to be an ‘urban corridor’ that connects the bustling Joo Chiat Road to the quieter residential area. The entrance is planned to look narrow and unassuming, with a linear water feature to gesture users inward. As the user enters the building, the walls open up to a public performing space, with a grand stand seating, prompting the user to sit, rest and enjoy the facility.



3rd Floor Functional Arrangement of Programmes


4th Floor

The more specialised programmes such as classrooms, library, badminton and basketball courts are located on the third and fourth floors. These programmes are physically separated to allow them to carry out their normal functions, but connected visually through the airwell in the middle, creating a building that fosters interaction at all times and in the long run, a more close-knitted community.

07 The Verdant Frontier The aim of this public installation project is to generate environmental awareness at a large scale in the long run. It aims to create said awareness through fostering a symbiotic relationship between humans and the Blue Banded Bee. The project itself is a parametrically generated ‘bee hotel’ with pre-planted flowers and housing to encourage bees to migrate outside its natural habitat and pollinate along its path. An activist approach was adopted as there was a glaring lack of biodiversity within the urban realm of Inner Melbourne, and the most effective way to tackle that is to forcefully inject a series of parasitic structures planned and mapped out on a city-wide scale to bring the diversity from the environmental park into the CBD of Melbourne.

Parametricism was employed for the module design as well as determining how it is to be injected into the urban realm. CERES Environmental Park

Melbourne CBD

Through an algorithm that maps out the most effective route to the CBD through the green reserve pockets within the city, an urban ‘pollination’ map is generated to guide the installation of the structures.


The design process undertaken here is very different from the ones in the previous projects. Aggregations that explore biomimicry were generated to allow the structure to appeal to the bees as well as for the users to make a connection with nature.

Attractor Point Study

Response to Sunlight Study

Algorithms such as traffic flow, sunlight and sound are input into the program, which in return gives the optimal arrangement of modules instead of making physical models to test out its feasibility, which is able to churn out a large amount of iterations in a short amount of time. Recursion Study: Koch Curves

Recursion Study: Koch Curves (4 Faces)

Recursion Study: Leaf Venation

Step 1 Step 5


2 1

Base points constructed through Construct Points to allow adjustment of points on XYZ axis. Points are then connected by lines and are then assigned as the guiding vector for duplication.

2 2 2


2 1

2 1


2 12 1 2 11

Step 2

2 1


1 1

1 1


2 2 1



2 1 2


Segments are listed using List Pattern according to how they are connected.

Step 6

2 1 2 2





Step 3

2 1







2 2

Vectors are replaced by designed geometries through Orient and Replace components. Geometries are then adjusted through orientating the points in Step 1 to adapt to the current site.

Step 4

Taking the output lines from the previous step, a cull pattern that follows the aggregation rule is applied to trim the tree that imitates the growing patterns of the lavender plant.

Aggregation Rule: 1. 1 can aggregate only on itself 2. 2 can only aggregate on 1 3. Every 3 iterations, 1 will aggregate on itself two times. 4. Repeat steps 1-3


An L-system was adopted as a formal ‘rule’ to guide the aggregation of modules to prevent it from looking too random. The ruleset imitates the anatomy and growth of the lavender plant, one of the favourite plants of the Blue Banded Bee. Several iterations were tested under this using physically printed 3D models to see how the installation would perform aesthetically and structurally under different configurations; growing in one direction or spreading out. In addition to its growth structure, grotesque ornamentations that were inspired from the anatomy of the Blue Banded Bee were applied to the modules to draw attention to the users, but not turn it into something completely alien to allow the relation to be drawn.

08 Agora Taking advantage of the site located in between the hectic Melbourne CBD and the quiet neighbourhoods of Parkville and Brunswick, the Agora is designed to dual function as an addition to the current high school as well as a social hub for the community. There are 3 aspects that drive the building’s design: responding to the current school’s cluttered situation, creating a form that is a physical translation of the journey of a student, as well as designing a hierarchy of pathways defining function and flow that is inspired from the ancient Agora of Athens as a nod to the past. The building itself acts as a portal that connects the exterior surroundings to the interior of the school. Gallery spaces, resting spots, sports facilities as well as convertible classrooms are provided in addition to the school to allow the Agora to function as a social and spiritual hub of the precinct.

Key Features

There are three main spaces that make up t community axis, the classroom block, and b The community axis is at the center where a connect the exterior to an elevated interior, the school block and sports facilities.


Ground Floor Plan

Short Section


First Floor Plan


the building’s design: the breakout spaces. a series of terracing steps , which then connects to

The classroom block is the volume that connects to the existing school. The classrooms are arranged along the the volume in a terracing way as a physical translation of a high school student’s journey where he begins from the bottom and end up at the top. This terracing also allows classrooms to open up and transform into a theatre for mass lectures that can serve both the school and community.

Second Floor Plan

Long Section

The breakout spaces are small terracing volumes that go against the direction of the classroom block. These breakout spaces dual function as circulation spaces that connect the classroom block to the community axis as well as the roof garden, as well as informal study spaces.

Public Library

Breakout Spaces

Entrance Courtyard

Connection to Existing School

Structural Considerations

A lightweight steel structure was adopted to achieve the prominent forms of the terracing classrooms and breakout spaces. To maximise the low angle of the Sun in Melbourne, full height glass windows with clerestories were used. The shading used is mostly from retractable blinds, allowing the terracing forms to be most effectively expressed.

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Yoshihiko Lee - Design Portfolio  

Yoshihiko Lee - Design Portfolio