Page 1

ZHIFEI XU Work Sample 2017

University of California, Berkeley B.A.


ARCH 100C EARTH OBSERVATORY and PLANETARIUM Instructor: Rene Davids The site is located in an abandoned quarry in Rockridge, Oakland, and I intend to explore a poetic alternative to the current careless abandonment of quarries in Oakland. The project incorporates a Planetarium and a Geological Exploratorium and captures Genius loci, celebrating the timeless quality of the stone, sky and water, while relinks surrounding urban fabric that are currently disconnected.


Site Analysis The series of 4 maps of the assigned site in relation to larger Oakland study conditions including existing connections (bridges and tunnels),crustal movement, regional hydrology and star orbiting. These studies transform directly or indirectly into the museum project: The outside walkway connects surrounding city fabrics as a bridge, featured in Bay area; The skylights shoot through the roof into the light and become a waving landscape c o m i n g i n a n d o u t o f t h e w a t e r, resembling Oakland’s topographical condition; People can experience the water from different layers, from top looking down, from the gallery on the same level, inside lagoon and touch the water and underneath the water in the stone musem; The project’s three layers of rings in plan resembles the orbiting of the planets, echoing the theme of timelessness.

Site Plan

The project site is at the intersection between the Oakland hills and the flats, College and Piedmont shopping areas, and below the Oakland and Saint Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, the Country club and CCA but there is a little if any connection between these areas. The walkway outside the museum establishes a connection between these isolated fabrics, forms a plaza with the existing shopping center while also acts as a buffer zone, offering a smooth transition between the hustle-bustle of Safeway and the Earth Observatory and Planetarium, between the artificial and nature. The circular shape of the inside circular gallery helps directing attention to the lagoon.

CNC Cherry Wood base, Lasercut, Rhino, Grasshopper


Plan 2F Connection

Plan 1F Orbit

Plan 1/2F Sea-Level Rise

Plan B1F Space for Stones

The project’s primary geometry in plan resembles the orbiting of the planets and the order of the universe, echoing the theme of timelessness. In section, the geometry is deconstructed in order to fit the local geological condition and celebrate the fact of transient of the building itself.

Longtitude Section


Explode Axon

Unroll Narrative Diagram


Rendering: Vray, Photoshop, Illustrator

Due to its unique formal quality and standing in architecture history, the dome has become a symbol of classical order and rarely appears in modern or contemporary architecture. If built, most of the time it appears merely as structures without any architectural sense attached. What if we reconsider archetypes, here specifically roof, be treated as purely form cleansed of its associative surplus (function, context, iconographic definition), which offers the opportunity for its transformation. Here we ask, What are the qualities of architecture (in and of itself) --- in perpetuity? Can we associate architectural flexibility as a typological problem of elongated permanence rather than ephemerality?

ARCH 100D VERNACULAR SPECTACULAR UC Berkeley Spring 2017 Instructor: Mete Sonmez


Section / Elevation The building is designed as a collection of individual masses aggregated serially through the grid, while trimmed by the site boundary, creating opening and showing the section condition even on the elevation. A l l t h e u n i t s a r e s i m i l a r, w h i l e c r o p p e d b y t h e site boundary, different profiles were shown. The sectional quality is also expressed through the elevation, which blurs the boundary between these two.

Stacking Typology

Each individual unit is composed of a dome as a shape making tool on the top, a dome as a space-making tool inserted as a void, and arches supporting beneath as structure tool. Some units were connected together to form a larger space while other in-between spaces become skylights penetrating through the building. Because of the changing of poche figure with each unit, four different spatial types was stacked within a single building. Thus, the idea of flexibility was investigated based on the overlay of the relentless rotated grid and the variation of certain plan typologies through different manipulation of the dome as archetype.

Physical Model 19 CNC Wood; Lasercut; Colored

ARCH 100A LIBRARY: SPIRITUAL SPACE UC Berkeley Fall 2015 Instructor: Patrick Tierney The meaning of the existence of the library is questioned and investigated in this project. The project focus on solid void operation, negative and poche program space, form and envelope in a constrained site and their inherent meaning beyond merely operations. With the proliferation of digital media, it may seem paradoxical to design a library program. Thus a question was raised: Since we can get infinite information anywhere in the world in a few second simply by going online, why still go to a library? 13

Explode Axon

Process Diagram

Physical Model: Lasercut, Museumboard, Arcylic

Unroll Section

Unroll Rendering


ARCH 100B GOOD FOOD UC Berkeley Spring 2016 Instructor: Dominique Price Good Food is a hypothetical project in South San Francisco area. It's supposed to be a multi-functional building including food hall, rental kitchens, lecture hall, research space, classrooms, offices, teaching gardens and vertical farm. There hasn't been an existing case. In this case, the Good food project is a building about the future of our food industry, and its symbolic and educational meaning is as important as its daily function. It needs to be a narrator from inside out. It should convey multi-layers of information in this media age. 7

Layering Effect The project starts from an idealized corner. which describes its spatial, structural and performative premise. The different spatial qualities created by a structural-skin system was explored. Layers of skin blurred the boundary between inside and outside while creating a gradient between public and private. Parametric tools were used to open windows, which can be preceived from outside and inside, achieve sustainablity and define the programs.

Layers of perforated skin create different level of lighting conditions and different level of privacy to accomadate each programs. It also helps to establish a visual connection without connecting each program.


Zhifei xu work sample  


Zhifei xu work sample