Stairway to Heaven

IMG_5171I do not feel comfortable at all with where I am in studio right now. I feel very behind, especially after learning yesterday that I have to design a path that spans roughly 250 meter with roughly a 100 meter decrease in slope. I also have to do a similar stairway going around the other side of the fort. I am not well versed in doing things like this, but due to the nature of my project and where it  is located it has to be done. This also means that I will have to redesign my nodes along these paths as well. This is a lot to get done by Thursday and I’ve kind of accepted the fact that it isn’t going to all happen by then. On a positive note, I am completely done designing my watchtower and am in the process of creating my sections and elevations for the tower. Unfortunately I am still unsure about the deliverables that I want to have for my project. I want to have one section cutting through my tower, but horizontal and vertical, ground floor and top floor plans, one elevation of my tower, a site map, some type of plan indicating structure, perspectives of the tower, both inside and out, perspectives of the paths and nodes along the paths, a section on the materiality of my paths and tower, and time lapse images showing the growth of flora onto my path and tower.

Tyler McKenzie

Behind schedule…

Southern Elevation with sky

As our individual presentations loom in the near future, I have switched over completely from the design phase of my project to solely a production phase. I spent the past week largely creating plans and elevations in CAD and then transferring them to Illustrator where I made them presentation quality. My most recent endeavor saw me work back and forth in Illustrator and Photoshop to render the Eastern and Southern elevations of my building. I included one of these above.

Moving forward, I plan to spend the remainder of this week before our long trip creating building sections and a scaled site plan as well as starting my digital model via sketchup or rhinoceros. In order to create all of the items which I plan to I will have to work diligently over the next week or so. Overall, I am very happy with the concept and design of my building however, I am a little behind in terms of production of required materials. – Chris

Studio Blog Post: Week of 4.6.15

D:UsersStudentDocuments2015 Spring SemesterStudioProject S

This past week in studio I have been working on section views in AutoCAD. I have been cutting sections through interior as well as exterior spaces – it has been tough because there are a lot of irregular angles. Above you can see a section cut through the main atrium of my building.

The far left side is a view of the louvers on the facade – like I said, the irregular angles make it tough. You can see the arrangement of doors opening into the main event space – one by the entrance and two by the deck. I have also added sidelights. Above the two right doors you can see a ceiling treatment. This is similar to the ceiling of the RPBW Foundation classroom – a glass ceiling with lowered horizontal canvas curtains blocking some of the light. Also visible is the ceiling recess in the entrance area, and a section of the roof garden.

Matthias Kelly

Studio work is all building up

bike structure

So this week I have been working on so much stuff for my project that I even forgot to do my blog post till tonight.  I guess it is better later than never.  I have worked on the idea of my project and have found that the best way for me to focus on my project is to divide it up.  My plan is to have 3 trail systems that will have 3 different programs for them.  In the past week I have been focused on working on the mountain bike trail system.  I am trying to make sketches like this one that would give the idea of what parts of the trail would look like.  This is a possible structure that could be added to the trail.  I also want to create a plan and sections for the trail.  I want to create a general idea of what the experience would be like to be on this trail.

Before we present the our work, I need to finish not only the mountain bike trail design, but also the other two trails.  The other two will be a running trail system and a walking trail system.  I need to create features for those two trails also.  I know some of the features for both.  Like the running trail will have fitness stations and the walking trail will have a dog park.  I need to get a lot of work done on all of these trails.  The plan is to create all of these general designs for the trails and then create a strong design for where all the trails meet in the center of the park.  I got a lot of work to do, time to sit down and get to work.

-Brandon Green

Le Corbusier

photo (28)In all of the architectural history classes I have taken so far, my teacher has spent a great deal of time talking about Le Corbusier and his most famous work, Villa Savoye. The Villa Savoye is a manifesto of Le Corbusier’s five points of new architecture. The house is raised from the ground and sits on stilt-like pilotis. The house has a functional roof that serves as a terrace and garden space. The house has a “free floor plan,” which minimizes the need for load-bearing walls. The house has long “ribbon” windows. The house contains freely designed façades, which means that each façade is slightly different based on the views surrounding the house and the orientation of the sun.

I’ve always had an appreciation for Le Corbusier and the Villa Savoye, but never realized the extent of how many architects have been deeply inspired by his work. Terragni was an Italian rationalist architect who was a huge fan of Le Corbusier. Two of the villas Terragni designed in Como, Villa Bianchi and Villa Bianchi della villa de floriculture, distinctly exhibit Le Corbusier’s five points of new architecture.


Lake Como Field Study


This past field study we went on as a class was a little different than our past couple. Instead of just going on a one-day field study, we went on a two-day trip to Lake Como. To many Lake Como is well known because of the famous people that live there and scenes from movies like James Bond and Star Wars have been shot there, but there is so much more than that. Lake Como was carved by glaciers from the last ice age and now currently borders Italy and Switzerland. Lake Como is also one the deepest lake in Europe reaching depths of over 1,300 feet. On the first day we visited many Fascist buildings including Asilo Infantile and Sant’Elia Nusery School designed by Giuseppe Terragni. My sketch this week came from the Monument to the Fallen War Memorial design by Terriagni aswell. We also got to take a boat ride to Villa del Balbianello where a scene from Star Wars was shot and Villa Melzi. The boat ride could have very well been my favorite part of the trip.



Como, Italy


We went to Como, Italy for our extended two-day field study! It was amazing! On Tuesday, we studied the life and times of Giuseppe Terragni and saw the Casa del Fascio, Novocomum, and the War Memorial. It was really cool seeing in-person all the fascist architecture buildings we had talked about in Saverio’s class. I will say though that my favorite parts of Tuesday were getting kicked out of the Casa del Fascio and playing mini golf next to the Novocomum. I’m sure Saverio would have been proud of both! On Wednesday, we took a causal boat ride around lake Como and saw two amazing Villas. The boat ride was incredible! We fortunately had prefect weather both days which made the boat tour even better. The first Villa we toured, Villa del Balbianello, was beautiful! The entire design and layout of the landscape was awesome. My favorite spicies of vegetation were probably the umbrella trees that were hollowed out from underneath and created the coolest canopy. I compared it to a brain, with the sun creeping in at certain points through the gaps in the leaves. The image above is of the clock tower and a structure overlooking the Swiss Alps. I think it’s safe to say that this was my favorite field study! I know it was one of our last ones, but it was one of the best. I can’t wait for our 10-day trip coming up to Venice, I don’t doubt it’ll be just as cool. – Corey Ferguson

Heaven on Earth

como sketch

This week we got to go on an extended field studies trip to Lake Como. We had beautiful weather the first day while we walked the city visiting many of Giuseppe Terragni’s architecture. It was interesting to have such a large amount of work by one person in such a close area, and this allowed us to see the progression of his work from the beginning of his career to the end. I’d have to say that his war memorial was the most impressive and successfully evoked strong emotions while dominating its location as a connection between the lake and the city. The next day we took a boat tour around the lake with Emilio, a wonderful local landscape architect. The highlight of this trip was seeing the Villa del Balbianello. I don’t think I have taken so many pictures of one place before, but everything was so perfectly picturesque it was hard not to. We were so lucky to get a private tour with one of the most knowledgeable people of this location. I really enjoyed getting specifics about the garden and all the natural landscape, which was a little bit of a change of pace. Emilio had wonderful stories about the Villa and the owner. A truly remarkable place.

What do George Clooney, Richard Branson, and the King of Arabia have in common?

Villa Bianca

…. a house on Lake Como.

Our day trips just keep on getting better, but I think this past one might be hard to top. Lake Como was my favorite trip so far and I’m so glad we got to spend a full two days there instead of just one. The first day, we spent touring buildings by the famous Italian architect Terragni, who we’ve been learning about in one of our history courses. Though I wasn’t a big fan of Terragni’s style, seeing the buildings in person did make me appreciate them a lot more. The sketch above is of the first house we visited called Villa Bianca. The planes protruding from the roof were the most interesting part of this building to me followed by the unique shapes and spacing of the windows and other geometric elements.

The second day we spent on a boat, cruising the lake and visiting a few of the stunning villas on the shore. We had an awesome tour guide, Emilio, who showed us around some of the landscape projects his firm completed. Como was absolutely beautiful and overall, our trip was amazing. Can’t believe were only a few weeks away from leaving this gorgeous place!


Como, Como, Como


Unlike my blog post from earlier today, this one will not be quite as fascinating or deep… So this past week we took an over night trip to Como and Lake Como. This seems to be the place where all wealthy people hither and yon spend their summers. On Tuesday we went around the city of Como to look at Facist architecture… which is shown above. This specific era of architecture does not appeal to me, but the simplicity of the buildings carries a beauty all its own. Wednesday we went on the lake and did a boat tour – this, this was my day. I loved seeing all the gardens and villa. We had a “tour guide,” Emilio, who was a fascinating and incredible landscape architect who has done work for George Clooney and Dolce and Gabbana (no big). He was so knowledgeable and it was an absolute honor to spend the day with him.

This has been a favorite Travel Tuesday to date.

Lorien Westmoreland