Tuesday, December 11, 2012

fall quarter studio project

I find it kind of silly that I hardly ever blog about my actual architecture projects because architecture school is such a huge aspect of my life. I guess I've always felt a little uneasy about putting my undergraduate projects on the interwebz, considering that this is my personal blog and not my portfolio. But there were so many processes that went into this project that I think I can safely share the construction process on here without exploiting the (limited) contents of my portfolio.

For this fall quarter's studio project I had to design a 500 - 600 sq ft residence for a Japanese film maker, located somewhere on Mt. Baldy. Later in the quarter, I also had to construct a 1" = 1' model using realistic construction methods.

The first half of the quarter was spent working on smaller models for the conceptual, schematic, and structural processes, so that our designs could be represented through drawings and work in a structural manner.

I began the construction process by making a 2' x 4' base, adding some rebar, and carving some foam (which is typically used for insulation) to represent the topography of the project's site.

Then I poured and treated the concrete footings, foundation, and retaining walls. This was the most frustrating/anxiety-inducing part of the construction process because every dimension had to be calculated and approved beforehand, and I had to rebuild the formwork twice before casting the concrete.

I then began to frame the floors and walls of the house and started to paper mache over the pink foam. I also made some built-in interior furnishings and started attaching the white "skin" of the house to the framing.

To finish up the project, I put in plexiglass panels, made a folding wood-shutter system, and finished adding the white "skin" to the framing.

I only took a couple of short naps during the last few days before the project's deadline, and managed to finish around 4 AM, 4 hours before the project's deadline. I wanted to sleep then, but some of my friends were still working on their projects so I helped some of them out until deadline at 8 AM. I didn't have to present my project until 5 PM that day, so I took a pretty glorious nap in my car for a couple of hours until my best friend came to visit and see my project. My presentation went pretty well and I received some of the best critiques I've ever gotten from a panel of jurors.

Although this project cost me an arm and maybe 2 legs, and even if it was a series of very trying processes that induced 2 mental breakdowns, I learned so much more than I expected, ended up with a final project that I'm proud of, and had a lot of good times with friends in studio.


  1. oh my gosh, you are so talented! I'm a Spanish major (my school work calls for a different kind of "creativity"), and i think this is awesome! hope your finals went well! :)

    1. ah! you are too kind, thank you! i i hope that your finals went well and that you're currently having a wonderful holiday season :)