This studio is called GROWN: Bio-Fabrication Across Ecosystems and Nations, because it is based on making architecture out of grown organisms rather than manufactured materials. The methodology of the studio is: choose a material, prototype at a small scale, and then speculate about how it could be expanded to the scale and complexity of a building. While the semester explores the potential benefits of this type of practice, it also looks at its downsides and possible parallel impacts it could have on the ecosystem at large. As a studio we are aware of the environmental cost it would require to employ these materials if they have to be shipped abroad, for example, or if they overlap or replace local practices that benefit a community.
The project is a network of 5 Research Centers located in nature reserves throughout the country of Chile. This network is in charge of monitoring the consequences of any change in global temperatures, and how it will affect endemic species of the five most distinct climates in Chile. Through studying the yearly meteorological behavior of the South American continent, the findings are quite distinct and stable pattern of precipitations that is the result of the interaction between two giant atmospheric pressures. These meteorological conditions are responsible for the location of the country’s climates, as well as the dissemination of species. A small raise of the ocean’s temperature could impact this delicate balance, by shifting the position of these pressures, which will have devastating consequences over the rich biodiversity of the country.
In terms of materiality, the scope was limit to the ones that can decompose naturally. The exploration extended to the relationships and connections in a series of five sets of Roof, Walls, Floors and Joint systems composed with the materials available in the region, and adapted for their general climate. This was an exercise of transforming the program and scale of typical Vernacular Buildings. As a result, pairing the five most important climates of Chile with the best fitted vernacular strategies around the world was done to understand the different architectural advantages. Tempered climates like the ones in Valdivia were correlated with Batak Houses in Indonesia, given how they respond to high levels of precipitations and humidity, and for the Mediterranean ecoregion, we looked for samples of vernacular buildings from Southern Portugal, and Northern Egypt. The same was done with the Desert, Tundra, and Cool Oceanic climates.
The building is in a small and secluded yet accessible niche within a mountain. Before the proposed intervention took place, the documentation of all significant resources available, and all the external parameters that will affect it. Then the design of a building to promote the incorporation of the site’s biodiversity, through the flow of water, and sediments on the façade.
If we fail to solve our environmental crisis, the building will continue to serve its purpose as a destination for people to learn about our planet. If we succeed in coming through our environmental battle, there will not be any purpose for the building to exist. At which point, all the niches, surfaces and pockets will begin to host a wild variety of plants and organisms. If rainfall continues to nourish and nurture the Valdivian land, this structure will little by little be filled with, and eroded by, the very life it is striving to protect.
4th Istanbul Design Biennial : A School Of Schools - collaboration with WORKac
GSAPP Abstract 2018- Publication
Instructors : Dan Wood & Maurizio Bianchi Mattioli
The project’s rendition of play in this design came about the differentiation between the trans-formative spaces and the dictational spaces. The trans-formative spaces are illustrated by mix use rooms or empty volumes that have a specific program but can be easily evolved based on the need of the user. These spaces are the blue and green colors which are the classrooms and staff and parents facilities. The dictational spaces are more rigorous and more defined as the design dictates the location of the different play elements. These spaces are the pink and orange colors which are the vertical playground and the circulation of the school. Moreover, the design contains continuous horizontal and vertical movement for the child as play is design in a continuous loop of wonders and never-ending motion.
The four colors represent the four organizational bands which contain individual programmatic elements on the models and drawings. The pink color represents the vertical playground which works as well as the facade of the school. The blue color represents the classrooms and the secondary support teaching programs just as the library, dance studio, art studio and little-gym. The orange color represents the vertical circulation through the building and is subdivided into the interior playground and general circulation. Lastly, the green color, which looks into the back garden and contains a green roof, represents the staff and parents spaces, where offices, lounges, kitchen and conference rooms are located.
Tower of Pools
AIA Chicago Award ‘18 | Illinois Institute of Technology - Winner
Spring Awards ‘18 | Illinois Institute of Technology - Nominated
Still Elevations Seminar - collaboration with Pezo Von Ellrichshausen
Instructors : Mauricio Pezo & Sofia Von Ellrichshausen
The simple extrusion of a monolithical rectangular building is given a new definition by creating a relationship between the voided area and the perimetry of this figure. The void, which carries organic pools, resembles the powerfulness of clouds in the sky by creating a reminiscent of heaven in the center of the building. The placement of the pools are determined by the shape of each distinct water body that correlates with the dedicated program typology. The perimeter mimics the perception of a wall condition which carries the required living spaces in a longitudinal manner. The scheme is going against current typologies in the city of Chicago by creating a monolithic object out of the same pattern texture in its totality. The outside perception of this spa building is staged by the use of marble that is placed in an intricate pattern.
Clouds in the Void
The articulated containers, the pools, are placed at the heart and center of the section and all the living conditions are staged in the periphery. The pools are anchor to an structural wall surrounding it and creates an entrance to that container.
Landscape of Ratio
The facade has the biggest circle, each living unit is designed to be inscribed in three facade circles and the inside structural wall is .001 size of the facade.
Elements of Light
The light is defused by the trajectory that it overtakes. The openings are thin layered thresholds that creates an ambiance of a heaven sky as the light intensifies.
GSAPP Abstract 2019- Publication
Instructors : Konstantinos Pantazis & Marianna Rentzou, Point Supreme Architects
Santorini island in Greece is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world; its extraordinary beauty owns to its unique landscape and distinctive architecture, defined by the simplicity and adaptability of its buildings, including caves and domes built of ash and forming an absolute union with its particular volcanic soil.
The project dealt with the addition of municipally operated mixed use projects combining housing and public programs on Santorini; combinations of extreme high-density that visually consume as little ground surface as possible with low-rise buildings that fit with the landscape and small scale if the existing settlements. Clear, legible form to act as new, contemporary pieces of city in opposition to the sprawling, indefinite and formless development of the urban expansions taking place today. Neighborhoods instead of individual houses. Autonomous entities that satisfy their own infrastructural and other needs.
“Creating a collection like this practically means initiating a dialogue with relics of bygone times, either of distant or recent past. We treasure their memories – and here we mean those of man-made environments above all – in our minds when travelling, walking the streets everyday, watching TV, or even as a random, disorderly mass of visual effects when surfing the Internet. The dialogue is thus the process of making ourselves aware of these experiences, as well as cataloging them. A selection of this kind is especially important for both architects and students of architecture. This is the role which the present collection is meant to play in this special topic.
Our using the word awareness is both purposeful and important within this textual context and is by no means to be understood or mistaken as a scientific approach. Undoubtedly, intuition, as opposed to analytical methods, has been a significant agent when creating this database. If we piled up the collected experiences (period, material, site and location) on simple and impassionate shelves, we could easily avoid skipping the most relevant questions and answers applicable in architectural design, which could contain the most relevant responses.” - Low Rise , High Density Housing by Tomas Perenyl
AIA COTE Top Ten Student Competition ‘17- Nominated
Spring Awards ‘17| Illinois Institute of Technology - Nominated
Instructor : Eva Kultermann
The project focused on exploring the use of new technologies and strategies to renovate an abandoned building designed by Mies van der Rohe. Due to the program demands and sustainable strategies, a decision was made to create a “Little Brother” that feeds to Bailey Hall. One of the main goals for this project is not only for the two buildings to act as a high performance self-sustainable design, but for it to become a teaching tool for the student body and community.
The project’s design concept was shape to meet the AIA COTE Top Ten Student Competition requirements and goals just as: land use and site ecology, bio-climatic design, water cycle, energy flow and energy future.
Decisions that determine the renovation of the building and the application of the self-sustainable building were decided based on distinct measures determined by the competition, which made this external structure works as a battery that conducts heat, electricity and hydroponic energy.
Long Life, Loose Fit
The materials used in the renovation of the sustainable design seeks to enhance and increase ecological, social and economic values over time.
Sustainable designs on big gathering spaces were implemented in the center of the floors to maximize comfort through design adaptations and strategic regions.
Muqarnas as a Tile
Instructors : Tal Schori & Rustam Mehta
Case study of Muqarnas as a suitable embellishment for mass production
Engage with historical approaches to surface embellishment to design new architectural elements suitable for mass production. This architectural elements imply versatile, non-structural, low-relief three dimensional modules suitable to series production, in this case projection as as geometrical extraction technique.