Architecture of Catastrophe is a rhetorical pursuit in which I explore architecture born out of necessity in light of one of modern common natural disasters. The proposed designs take advantage of the undesired situation utilizing the negative effects as resources necessary for the proposed piece of architecture to reach its full intended potential. The diagrammatic illustrations open a door for discussion on how future architecture may need to evolve due to more and more frequent global catastrophic events.
The project investigated Atlanta’s housings stock viewed through the lens of AIRBNB.com, a website that offers an alternative to hotels, and features posts of local residents providing tourists with bed and breakfast accommodations. Along the way, the scope of the research grew to also include other homes that have been in some way publicized: Atlanta historic homes featured in “AIA Guidebook to Atlanta,” as well as contemporary houses that over the years, were a part of the Modern Atlanta Home Tour.
The project utilizes methodology of various ways of averaging data, where the site, the client, the sense of domesticity, and the collective image of home become “averaged out” to create vignettes featuring reinterpretation of Atlanta’s idea of domestic life. The site, located at the east entry to Piedmont Park, is an arithmetic mean of latitude and longitude of all homes of the scope of research. The client, Jennifer Washington, a 32-year-old African American homosexual high school English teacher, was created as a statistical mode of Atlanta’s demographics research. The AIRBNB posts became a survey of Atlanta’s the sense of domesticity. The featured drawings cross-references the various search categories on AIRBNB.com and lists the titles of the posts that are a concise statement of how Atlanta’s residents view their homes and domestic life, as well as present most commonly appearing phases in the posts referring to spaces, objects, activities, and spacial qualities.
The notion of collage became the means for “averaging out” the aesthetics of Atlanta’s residential architecture. The collages are both architectural and generative of architecture. With their transparent qualities, the collages became three-dimensional, creating new spaces that can be inhabitable.
Exploration of comic book as a medium of architectural representation.
Critical narrative about the process and outcome of the Average House project.
The project attempts to challenge the conventional tower typology; As a traditional tower is striated horizontally, formally and programmatically with a base, middle and top, here this manner of division is inverted and the tower is split into vertical strands. This organizational strategy impacts both programming of the tower and its spacial qualities.
It is a mixed use tower consisting of residential, hotel, and office spaces. The gradient not only inspired the formal qualities of the building but also informed the building envelope. The side facades with the vail are very delicate and translucent, while the other two sides are heavy, massive, creating framework for the screen. The cuts in the screen reveal communal spaces for the residents.
The ground level consists of a large public plaza. The building touches the ground only in two places, with the core and one of the strands that offers a double story commercial unit. The office volume acts as a rigid counter point to the undulating strands. As the tower progresses upward the office slowly diminished allowing for the appearance of more strands. The programmatic volumes intentionally never touch, the gaps that separate them become interior atriums and outdoor amenity spaces.
The project attempts to explore the opportunity of views in regards of tower building type. The outsider can see into the tower and across the atriums spaces. When crossing the atriums, the occupant can see the activity below, the sky above, and out into the surrounding. Inside of the unit the occupant can see sideways along the street, over to the neighbor, and back into the atrium. Despite the fact the programmatic volumes don’t touch, at all times the occupants can see the other programs' ongoing activities.
With the unique design and fabrication method the model of the tower was created without using any glue. Floor plates have slots and glazing has tabs. The cores keep the tower rigid while the column cladding keeps the floor plates adequately spaced.
Designed in collaboration with Keyan Rahimzadeh, Nick Coffee, and Phil Bruno
Born and raised in Poland, Kasia moved to the United States twelve years ago to complete her higher education studies. She graduated from Georgia Tech with Master of Architecture degree in May of 2013. Kasia also holds Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Architecture from the Architecture Program at the University of Memphis.
Kasia has a broad experience in visual arts and is fascinated by variety of design studies ranging from graphic, industrial, to architectural design. Kasia currently works as a project manager at Gamble & Gamble Architects in Atlanta.
James Stirling thought of hand drawing of conceptual studies and schemes as playing an essential role in the development of his projects. Stirling utilized two means of producing drawings: lead to render spatial relationships and color pencil to express materiality. An isometric, and perspectival projections became an important method of architectural representation for Stirling, not only as a presentation technique, but as a design method. Deliberately hard, spare, restrained and scientific in character, meticulously to scale and as accurate as hand and eye can make them...the absolute minimum necessary to convey the maximum amount of useful information — Stirling described his projections. The architect would often isolate a specific portion of a building and represent it as a three-dimensional composition viewed either from above or below. This method of representation allowed him to express how the singular parts work together to create a larger whole — a simultaneous visualization of function and structure: the spaces, surfaces, and volumes of a design in a single image which has no distortion and gives and accurate reading of a building. Breaking up a building into discrete parts allowed Stirling to explore relationships between volumes and voids, and articulation of program as a series semi-autonomous pieces.
The presented drawing sets feature Stirling’s iconic worm’s eye view isometric projections and analyze them in terms of how Stirling utilized this drawing mode — to express how discrete programmatic and structural components work together — as well as how physically the drawing was produced with the parallel bar — in sequence of lines of specific direction.
The exploration of Stirling’s signature graphic representation strives to isolate Stirling’s signature line: the curve juxtaposed agains a straight line. The specific proportions of Stirling’s curves create incredibly compelling compositions. Infused with program and structure, the two dimensional lines enable emergence of equally compelling spaces that can be inhabited. These specific curvatures represent freed, ribbon-like curtain glass walls spanning around rigid cores inclosing semi-private spaces of civic nature. The iconic curve of Stirling’s glazing emerges from two composite curves: one derived from tangent circles with one of a radius twice in size then the other and second – with two circles of specific proportions pulled apart by tripling the R distance.
2012 Portman Prize Finalist
Located at the intersection of 10th Street and Atlantic Drive, the project is not only the northern gateway to the campus, but also the entry to the Eco Commons. The proposal strives to define a new, livelier and more walkable, character of 10th Street as well as invite the community to the university’s park and garden. The building greets the street through an immersed in light civic plaza with a reflective pool. Museum café and gift shop are positioned on each site of the entry plaza, creating an inviting street front. The reflective pool consists of a wall of water that like a transparent curtain spans across the view onto the Eco Commons to slowly reveal the garden upon passing through the water threshold. When approaching the building from the street one not only sees the glimpses of the garden on the ground floor, but also of the art above screened by a channel glass wall.
Behind the water wall one will discover a large open to the sky courtyard that can allow the visitors to transition from daily activities of the street to viewing of the art. At this point the juxtaposed garden on the ground level and art above are unobstructed and clearly visible. The courtyard overlooks and lines up with the Eco Commons pond while two monumental stairs allow the visitor to descent to into the garden. The upper level of the structure is dedicated solely to the gallery spaces with its façade rhetorically wrapped in vegetation. This design move further restates the concept of juxtaposition of art and garden with a wall having garden on one site and art on the other. Before entering the museum, one is required to cross the courtyard and view the garden. As the café and gift shop, the museum entry and reception, as well as the auditorium space become vitrines to engage the surrounding. The promenade continues along large spiraling stair with light as a guide entering only from above.
Upon arriving at the gallery level, the visitor accouters the library and the view of the courtyard across an outdoor reading terrace over to the sculpture terrace on the opposite site. The garden is woven into the courtyard at the gallery level and represented in a single garden wall reflected in a pool below. The temporary and permanent galleries are positioned parallel to the street and the garden with interstitial spaces on each side. The gallery is a juxtaposition of translucent and opaque qualities with one wall and the floor slab being solid and the opposite wall along with the roof being glazed. The exhibition space is inward oriented allowing only for limited views of the surrounding: along both directions of 10th St and along the two paths on each side of the Eco Commons pond. The structure becomes a modern impluvium and is designated to collect rainwater for irrigation of the vertical garden and supply of the reflective pool. The roof of the museum slopes inward with water carried around the parameter and drain downward behind the courtyard’s green wall into the upper pool and along the wall of water to the pool in the entry plaza. The water overflow is stored by a cistern beneath the building.
The design problem solution began with a creation of a surface and matrix conditions, which were to inform the design of the library. The organization of the matrix with variation of connection lengths inspired the formation of the spatial grid of the library and its ability to respond to site and programmatic conditions. The motion of twisting present in the matrix influenced the rotation of the building frame. The spatial grid is pulled and stretched by the sidewalk and twisted around the hearth of the library, the stacks. The urban edge of the structure along the sidewalk is straight, while the edge of the building that meets the private garden becomes biomorphic in shape. The direction of the twist is determined by the context of the site and attempts to maximize the views of midtown skyline. Further, the change in density of the surface informs the adaptability to sun exposure of the skin of the building. The media become the central aspect of the library with study spaces surrounding it, immersed in the garden. The transparency of the structure allows it to open up to the surrounding and to expose the library activities to the street. The degree of division, connectivity, fluidity and flexibility delineates the relationship between media and study spaces while shaping the experience of library users and inspiring their routes for exploration and learning. The building grid allows for the spaces to remain flexible and adapt to the changing needs of library users and the evolution of this building type in the future.
The patterns attempt to create an illusion of three-dimensional arrangements utilizing simple two-dimensional geometry of lines and shapes. Each tile is identical and finite, but designed to visually attach at its boundaries with other tiles alike to create a larger configuration. When the files conjoin the individuality of singular tile vanishes and an often unexpected, yet coherent pattern emerges. The arrangement creates an impression of woven multi-layered texture. Later patterns attempt to look into relationships between icons, indexes, and symbols of a common object, or explore visualizations of popular metaphors.
Wallpaper patter module extruded into three-dimensional cone-like object by layering triangulated flat surfaces becomes a module for 20 faces of the icosahedron light fixture. The smallest triangle of the module is absent and becomes an aperture to transmit light. The modules are constructed out of cardboard slices allowing for additional light to be transmitted through the corrugations.
The project’s site is located in Athens, Ga in a vibrant downtown area at the edge of the university campus. The form of the triplex building is conceptually created by a continuous folded strip of concrete. The fold, defined by the programmatic spaces and constrains of the lot, is intertwined between its inhabitants; it connects them as neighbors while creating separate living units. Its form attempts to address to the context of the site and to articulate the streetscape. The structure of the fold defines two building volumes as well as creates two distinct building facades. Push and shift of the fold attempts to define the exposed corner. The law professor occupies the lower levels of the triplex (blue color). His private area, students’ bedrooms, and the living and dining spaces are all connected by a library, where the residents can study and discuss issues relevant to their profession. Double-story unit positioned in the back of the site (green color) is designed for the pianist. It allows for having a tall practice and performance space filled with southern light. Finally, the triple-level penthouse (orange color) is occupied by the artist and consists of a studio, entertainment, and retreat space. The unit’s location in the front of the building allows to maximize northern light and provide views of the city. The entry to the triplex is located in the front of the building, at the change of direction of the fold; there the fold protrudes outward and becomes a part of the streetscape.
The objective was to design a sculpture pavilion on the University of Memphis campus with consideration of context, programmatic components, materiality, spacial requirements, and circulation. The main purpose of this multi-purpose pavilion was to create spaces which correspond to and enhance three unique modern sculptures to be exhibited within the structure: Alexander Calder’s “Aluminum Leaves, Red Post,” Donald Judd’s “Box,” and Isamu Noguchi’s “Energy Void.” Careful consideration was to be given to the way in which the structure responds to and interacts with the site, the way one approaches and circulates through the structure, and how the design of the space for each sculpture echoes each artist’s philosophy regarding how the piece should be presented to the viewer. The project program called for three sculpture rooms/gardens, circulation space with seating arrangements that could be used for rotating exhibits, an outdoor classroom, meditation space, and a water feature. The concrete/wooden-screen pavilion is located east off a campus street behind a screen of four large oaks. The larger spacing between the first and second tree becomes a gate on the path to the main entrance. A second entrance is located on the south of the site along a path through a nearby green space that becomes an extension of the circulation space. The east portion of the site offers a beautiful view of an unoccupied green field that the three sculpture rooms open up to. The overall form of the pavilion evolved from three massive tubes representing main programmatic requirements (sculpture rooms, circulation space, and classroom with meditation space), split apart to create the required spaces of different functions. Conceptually derived motif of a squared off spiral becomes a common denominator of the three sculptures and is apparent in the floor plan of the sculpture rooms and sections of the circulation space. Each sculpture room creates a unique space for designated piece of artwork. The first room (furthest south) gradually opens to reveal the massiveness of “Box,” the second room weaves to finally reveal the view through “Energy Void,” while the last room is open on two sites to capture north-east winds and put “Aluminum Leaves, Red Post” to motion. All the spaces are bound by the rotating exhibit circulation space and reflecting pool that runs though and by the structure.
The design objective was an exploration of methods of making spaces without the constrains of function, program, site or construction technique. The design was to consist of 1000 sq ft base plan, 500 sq ft continuous, vertical plan with 2 openings equaling 50 ft sq, 300 sq ft horizontal plane, and built-in seating element. Structure which base plan consists of two rectangles, which offset is enhanced by the vertical plane. This wall separates two spaces: more public with reflecting pool and more private covered with overhead plane including seating element. The horizontal plane mirrors the base plane. It uses bending and shifting to define two levels of enclosure.
Memorial for the displaced near Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta