Obscurities are translated into the architecture by blurring the lines between public and secure within this courthouse. Instead of the boundaries between these entities being hidden by their separation of the courtroom, which is the traditional layout of the courthouse, the secure and restricted areas are exposed behind a veil of translucency. The public areas physically reach through in plan to break the barrier of security, leaving the courtroom disconnected in space and the public able to perceive a blurred reality of the system that supports the law and the ones that break it.
One is unable to fully understand the environment they exist within; only able to focus on portions, or understand a blurry version of the whole. The accumulation of particles create solid forms, which both obscure our view and reveal what we see. Perceptions are fogged. The edge is unforeseen until the buzz dies abruptly. It is inevitable that the particles are never seen the same way; yet they are identifiable by this very quality. Existing patterns are distorted, new patterns emerge, the definitive fades in and out of distinction.
It is the endless juxtaposition of old and new that makes cities thrive in intrigue. It is this same juxtaposition that engulfs the fundamental design of this building. The craft of luthiery and music is rooted in the beginning of time. It's value never waivers, yet still adapts to the cultural journey through time. This ancient craft is similar to the craft and value of wood in our everyday lives. It's presence continually adapts. This relationship of wood, luthiery and time is personified in the design.
The tactle characteristics of wood surround the user in an experience bringing them back to the ancient use of both timber construction and the craft of music. The visitors to the retail shop are enveloped in a carved room of wood, and able to watch the lutiers at work. A void carves the space to create an outdoor performance garden activating a richly pedestrianized alleyway. Light filters through insulated channel glass into the retail space and into a second void, filtering through the housing units. This void becomes a method for stack ventilation with operable openings in access to residents.
As the Kansas sun beams across the plains, ecologists collaborate, exposed to the heat. It is a humble landscape, dappled in subtle beauty. A pavilion built in honor of the environment, and the people who preserve it, should relish the land and reveals it's intricacies. This pavilion is functional, but more than that, it filters light and illustrates sun patterns. It extricates the earth and exposes it's unknown capacity for simultaneously smooth and rough tactility. It pays homage to the rolling landscape and the windblown priarie. It is Kansas.
Architect's Newspaper for Best of Design, Student Built
and AIA Kansas Honor Award for Student Work
Role: Project Architect
Sacrifice of Space
How does form react to two different programs? Is it indifferent, dependent, or symbolic? This project is an exploration of form, program and the relationship of public versus private. It is a study of the sacrifice of space: how private is given to the public. The building is part of a grand scheme to revitalize a historic industrial area of Copenhagen to become one of continual activity and culture. As a Carlsberg music & soccer sponsorship center, this building must become more than just a museum, it must be a destination.
The two programs are isolated to two forms: two rectangles overlapping and reacting to each other’s geometries. The programs remain separate and independent until they intersect. The intersection is a rich fusion of angles, spaces and light. The two subjects mix at this intersection and create a high energy environment.
Venice is characterized by its urban fabric as defined by water and restrictive urban passages. These spaces are intense, active places for tourists and residents with cultural and educational events occurring within. The program for this project pays homage to the character of Venice, providing a culutural center that must mold and disintegrate into an urban context. It is a space that is an entry into the city and a threshold to the sea.
This design acts, not only as a threshold, but also completes a historic urban framework preserved as museum city wide. This cultural complex attempts to relate to the existing historic fabric while progressing the city into a contemporary approach to growth and community. Yet, what the design relies most upon is the traditonal link of water, light, space, and sight.
It is an accepted fate. We will have to densify the American suburbs resulting from our culture’s values of private property, freedom of transportation, and the right of privacy. The goal now is to keep these values of our culture in a new, dense, and sustainable development. The goal isn't to change society, but fit society to a new environment--one not reliant on individual transportation, environmentally ignorant design, or sprawled development.
This is a study very early in my architecture education studying the schematics of revitalizing an empty big box store for housing and dense retail. Privacy and ownership is integral to the suburban mindset, yet dangerously intensifies sprawl. This is also a study of integrating privacy, ownership and density.
This research is a materiality study of a vernacular type of construction used for centuries called rammed earth, where soil is compressed to form a structurally strong, insulating and fundamentally beautiful building elements. This specific research will study how linseed oil and cow's blood stabilize and strengthen a Kansas silty loam soil.
Rammed earth is a solution for sustainable construction for it's low embodied energy, low toxicity, recyclability, renewability, and compressive strength. This specific research expands developing knowledge on sustainable stabilization to improve the compressive strength and moisture resistance of earth. A series of tests to find the optimum moisture content and to classify the soil preluded the process of ramming. Then cylinders were crushed to calculate the strength, and washed with water to find the moisture resistance.
I was asked to present this research at the Materials Education Symposium this March.
Other research I have been involved with in this area included testing microorganisms, where chemical waste of the organisms helps strengthen the soil. This research was published in the journal Earthen Architecture, Past, Present and Future
During my travels, I always seek out interesting buildings to gape at. While doing so, I also enjoy keeping a journal to notate the tectonics, context, and relationships