The project will culminate as an art installation and piece of permanent urban furniture in the plaza space of the Eastman Branch of the Cleveland Public Library. It will be comprised of a multi-rowed fabricated seating structure, and a framing apparatus for a 17’x14′ window which will look onto a newly programmed temporary performing arts and gallery space.
Bus Stops to Band Stands
Bus Stops to Band Stands is an installation piece as much as it is a permanent infrastructure. It attempts to give people the power to transform their immediate public space by co-opting the street and transforming it from a place of circulation to a place of inhabitation. A lightweight kit of parts can easily be assembled and disassembled. On a typical day the installation acts as a bus shelter protecting people from the elements and offering a place to sit while waiting for the bus. But the shelter can be converted to a place of performance by unfolding the seating to create an elevated stage, creating an ephemeral space in the street. When not in use as a stage I imagine that the shelter would be used by patrons of DDOT while waiting for the bus. But my hope is that sporadically people deploy the stage and utilize it for its alternative purposes whether that be for speeches, music, performance, or simply to understand how the mechanisms of the shelter work. I image that as time passes the back of the shelter will act as an art canvas, a space for political propaganda, and a community posting location.
Annual Street Festivals in Detroit
1"=1'-0" scale model
A(-) Frame Stool
The A (-) Frame is a stool inspired by Alvar Aalto’s stool 60. The stool is of a utilitarian design made from 5 separate parts. Two interlocking A frames minus the cross bars, one perforated seat, one nut, and one bolt. The A(-) frames are interlocked using a halving joint creating a cross which is fit into a crossing dado cut into the bottom of the seat. The three pieces are held together using a nut and bolt. The structure that comprises the stool was cut from a single piece of plywood. The cross bar of the A(-) frame was left out to allow for the frames to be nested on the CNC routing bed. This increased the output per sheet by double, reducing the total cost per stool to just $4.50. The aesthetics of the slightly splayed legs and the white leg paint are borrowed from the design of surveyor’s equipment.
Fabricated as an experiment in rib construction, the form was generated through lofting 4 simular yet slightly manipulated sections. The object was radially contoured and the peices were lasercut out of 1/8" birch plywood.
Campus for the Beltline
In one of the most heavily industrialised portions of the Beltline we must reconsider for whom and how redevlopment will occur. In traditional development, depending on the context, a hierarchy is created to structure the devlopment I.E. housing, open space, commercial space... In the Campus these hierachies are flattened to create a place where those that labor and those that live do so in harmony. Logistic space is given the same weight as green space, and new manufactuing the same as housing. This leads to a more diverse urbanism, one where the “front of house” of our city is forced to comfront the “back of house” or the engines that makes our city run.
Diagram depicting site location within the context of the Beltline
Diagram of existing businesses depicting industry, revenue, and employee size
Intersection of Gratiot and Bellevue depicting intersection of future BRT line on Gratiot and proposed trolley bus line on Bellevue mediated by pedestrian cross walks.
Détroit: Plastique Fantastique
Detroit is thriving in many ways as an entrepreneurial city, an arts hub, a music mecca, and a place of African American culture. While it is often represented as a city that has fallen from a peak of industry and glamour, for residents in Detroit this Rome-like narrative rings false. Yet, one cliche of Detroit is irrefutable. Detroit is full of empty houses. About 70,000 vacant houses, some dilapidated, some burnt almost to the ground, many just unmaintained. And inside these houses is stuff. Old appliances and furniture, garbage, old clothing and children’s toys. This stuff, this accumulation of grimy stuff, its impenetrable mass of stuffness, that prevent the 20th century models of urban design from operating on the city.
Location and Context
Detroit has about 40 square miles of vacant land excluding the 2 municipalities set within it. That amount of vacant land conglomerated, would be roughly the size of Paris. Unlike much of the demolition that is seen in other places around the world, that which is demolished to make room for the new, in Detroit, demolition takes place due to a state of obsolescence. The project is centered around a case study neighborhood, the neighborhood of Islandview. Islandview was chosen due to its ubiquity. The housing typologies found in Islandview can be found in great numbers throughout the city. It is a neighborhood that has a slightly higher than average vacancy rate and is currently being targeted for blight removal by the city, observations have show a demolition rate of 1 house per week.
With every demolition, a celebration. With each abandoned home torn down, a small victory for the neighborhood. As Luther Vandross said “A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there, but a chair is not a house and a house is not a home when there’s no one there to hold you tight.” The character of communities is transformed overnight, from that of a dense fabric to a pastoral field of empty overgrown blocks. The current solution for the city of Detroit for these lots is to plant them over with saplings until new development comes in to fill the void left by the demolition. The idea is that we as Detroit’s should begin to become comfortable with the third landscape. Détroit: Plastique Fantastique is a project which offers an alternative to the third landscape by proposing an architecture of deconstruction and reconfiguration which is as ephemeral as the sapling yet as permanent as the architecture which previously adorned the site.
Process and Methods of Preservation
Do not demolish the structure if at all possible. Time, effort, and carbon emissions were depleted to erect this original home, the option of preservation, if feasible, should always be the first choice in Detroit, where a new architecture via market demand is most likely not looming thus a tabula rasa is not neccessary. But it is not ok to leave these homes in the state that they are in, they attract unwanted activity, and diminish property values for surrounding residence. Therefore this is where the examination of the process of succession becomes useful. The city mimics the way in which the third landscape fills the spaces left behind by utilizing similar material such as planting saplings. Instead of a material mimicry, the inflatable attempts to mimic succession through formal composition. Using the logic of succession examined in the lot. A reconfiguration of material, particularly roofing membrane and weather barrier are utilized to create an inflatable form that protects the house from undesirable uses and creates a safer environment for the neighborhood, the inflatable acts as a spectacle, making those with illicit plans weary of attempting their activities.
Process and Methods of Removal
When demolition is inevitable, preventing particulate matter from entering the air is of first importance. Secondly, the reclamation of material for resale and reuse is a more intelligible option both economically and environmentally. Demolishing a building with traditional methods, form the outside in, is notoriously bad for both releasing particulate matter and destroying valuable material. Detroit’s urban housing stock was built some time between the turn of the century and the end of World War I giving us primarily brick masonry and balloon framed homes. What balloon framed and masonry homes allow is a slow demolition from the inside out. The entire inside of the home is gutted and material is parsed on site with the use of an inflatable with separate chambers for different material. The material is immediately packaged and ready for sale to any of the thousands of urban reclaimed material businesses, countering the cost of labor to demolish the home. Once the interior is gutted and the shell is all that remains, an inflatable is inflated within the home acting as a ghost home, as the shell begins to be dismantled the inflatable registers the process overtime leaving behind a spatial filler that allows for a neighborhood to retain its fabric.
Walk of Contemplation
A re-design for D.C.’s Pershing Park. Walk Contemplation was a project done in collaboration with Clement Blanchet Architecture for the National World War I Memorial Competition. The premise of the project was to convert the current monument in the park to a monument as a park. The overall budget was $25 Million US dollars and was to commemorate and honor those that had died serving in World War I.
War; deemed so unavoidable by humanity that conventions were held to determine how to kills ethically. This speaks to the unfillable mental and physical void left by war. One which we attempt to remediate with intellectual crises. After World War One the U.S. populous underwent an almost neo-enlightenment. Ideas arose that people should have a fundamental understanding of how others should be treated. This monument attempts to formalize this enlightenment and act as a living memorial to the soldiers that died one hundred years ago.
The monument is most active at the urban scale, materializing and extrapolating the axis that connects the seat of economic power, the U.S. Treasury, the seat of political power, the U.S. Capital, and creating a new visual axis with the Washington Monument, the monument re-structures the contemporary urban setting. The form works representationally as a metaphor for the outcomes of war: sacrifice, justice, peace, egality, existentialism, and enlightenment, and refers to these societal principles temporally from past to present and on to the future. The void left by war takes the form of a trench representing the past and the 50,402 U.S. soldiers killed in battle. The axis begins to lift from the ground and reach for the top of the D.C. fabric as a “stairway to heaven” representing the future and its eventual outcomes. Our greatest hope is that this simple poetic action that has given form to the abstract notion of axis will be a place to envision the future, embrace what will be the next societal advancement, and contemplate on the past, all via the creation of memory as place in the public urban setting of Pershing Park.
Client: World War I memorial Comitee
Location: Washington D.C.
Lead Designer: Jonathan Hanna + Clement Blanchet
Team: Ettien Gilly, Fedirico Silvestri, Philip Sarfati
25867 Shoreline Drive
The residential addition to 25867 Shorline Drive was commissioned by a young family who were conflicted by their suburban ambitions, and their disdain for the washed and stripped version of a mcmansion that they had just invested into. They commissioned The Workshop to create a new sun room and outdoor deck for entertainment. The bottom of the deck would be used as an outdoor kitchen, and shady seating space after long days on the lake.
The addition features a contemporary colonnade. A stair seemingly removed from the grid of the new structure, rotated 45 degrees, and re-embedded into the mass. And a new sun room connecting to the existing structure.
67 Wind Chimes Competition Entry
Considering the requirements set forward by The Conservancy of a long table, reclaimed wood benches, and 67 wind chimes in tandem with the historical context of the site and the power of the Peace Tower, the competition makes for a particularly interesting design challenge. We’re particularly fascinated by the narrative of the demolished bath house and how it was used as an overflow jail during the 67 rebellion. As designers and children of Detroit we could see but only one form that could encompass such a loaded prompt, a ring. Traditionally in architecture, rings have been used as a formal manifestations of societal power dynamics. In terms of surveillance, the person on the interior of a ring has the capacity to survey actions outside of the ring without the people on the outside of the ring knowing whether or not they’re being watched, thus they act in a way in which they believe they are constantly being surveyed. This gives power to those that occupy the interior of the ring. The 67 rebellion was about subverting these power structures. In the pavilion, the people of Detroit will occupy the interior of the the ring and use the space to dismantle the existing power structures, providing a space to read, reflect, gather, and collaborate.
Project Budget : $10,000
Isle of the Itinerant
The ships came and went, They didn't need a captain. Their trajectories were programmed, Now, could you imagine?
A system with no people. We sat and we wondered. Just beyond the horizon, So much left to be discovered.
I can point and I see, there it is in the distance. But you cannot cross it, despite your insistence.
They come from Despia. a land far and wide. To the Port of Cecila, where our cultures did collide.
But one cannot approach the horizon you see, the ships of Despia were as soulless as could be.
Monstrous masses, with containers on top. Containing containers, that contained a whole lot.
No one has gone to Despia from here, but I did and I’ll tell you if you lend me your ear.
It happened one day as I was inspecting the port We have inspectors for inspectors, inspecting the sort.
I day dreamed of Despia from all that I've seen. From heavy steel to fine china and things in between.
Machines do the work, today, in their world. Some people go fish, or take bikes for a whirl!
Despia is now a place of much leisure, with sling shots and catapults For travel and pleasure.
They comfort their weak, and they shelter their poor. Their hungry and tired Don’t sleep on the floor.
Despia is the place that I want to be. On this ship I must travel, oh this place I must see.
It was scheduled to depart At noon on the dot. I packed all my bags and hopped onto the top.
I will never be able to cross the horizon. What was I thinking? I must have forgotten.
There’s no turning back. Into the sea I must ride. The ships are in sync, and they rise with the tide.
It was my amazement at what I had found. A sea of tall buildings, to a grid they were bound.
A place to store all the data we use. Out of sight, out of mind, all our thoughts reproduced.
The ship navigated the grid with such ease, as if they communicated sea currents and wind speeds.
The ship kept traveling deeper into the sea. We must be there by now, how far could it be?
I thought to myself, the ship must know that I’m here. It’ll never cross the horizon, not if it knows that I’m near.
But lo and behold It’s land that I see. A city so marvelous Despia, could it be?
As the ship had approached, it was all that I dreamed. With slides to and fro and blimps with ice cream.
The ship hit the port, and I hopped on the dock. As I watched the inspectors start to take stock.
The air was crisp, and mild just like home. The dock seemed familiar But what do I know?
I head into town, to see what I'd find. There were flying machines that were one of a kind!
But I recognized this place, I’d been here before. “Tavern of Cecila” read the sign on the door.
That's when I realized the ships were a screen I never crossed the horizon But how could this be?
You can ask the right questions. You can search and you'll find, That Cecilia and Despia are but two states of mind!