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breaking ground

my past life as an architect
architect, designer – jan 2002
Breaking Ground is my print portfolio. Completed in 2001, the majority of the works contained within are architectural design projects, some professional and some academic.

"As I make headway...I pick up tools necessary to construct. The more tools I acquire, the more varied the project grows. And this is exactly what makes the project worth undertaking."
  • Print portfolio

    The physical object, submitted for acceptance into graduate school. Back when people printed things.

  • Work-live space for a sculptor and a painter

    Sited in a hybrid industrial-residential neighborhood on St. Louis' south side, this home is texturally and programmatically linked to the community in which it resides.
    The living quarters for the painter and sculptor occupy the south end of the home, away from the street. The interior and exterior are clad in rough-sawn lumber, an allusion to traditional home building and to the lumberyard next door.
    Two studios and a gallery provide a place to create and show work. The lumber cladding peels away to reveal board-form concrete walls at the studios, and polished concrete at the gallery.

  • Polished retail space on Michigan Avenue

    Occupying a highly visible space in a high-end retail center in downtown Chicago, this space is Holmes Place Health Clubs' introduction to the American populous.
    The 566sf pre-sales space serves as a marketing, membership, and retail center for the international upscale health club chain.
    Working with CannonDesign as project designer, architect, and manager, I placed emphasis on maximizing visual impact with a minimum of means. A trim budget and a limited amount of space demanded visual and spatial transparency with effective use of materials.

  • New school integrated into the existing neighborhood fabric

    A competition held by the Chicago Public School District called for a facility to accommodate a diverse body of 800 students; my partner and I expanded the program to accommodate the south-side community of Roseland.
    By integrating existing buildings into the new, we sought to maintain and enhance neighborhood cohesion. About 15% of the student body will be physically disabled. as such, primary circulation is ramped through the 'vivarium', a semi-outdoor space that changes throughout the year.

  • Sculpture, painting, and ceramics studios embedded in the park

    Laumeier is an alternative venue for the display and creation of art. Site-specific and independent artwork is placed throughout the park, in a variety of natural settings.
    Outdoor and indoor spaces at Laumeier are essentially different rooms in the same gallery -- exterior circulation flows directly into and through interior spaces. Buildings become events along existing and new paths that flow through the outdoor exhibits.

  • Potting shed for a friend

    A friend wanted to build a potting shed in her backyard. I designed Chez Fleur Minihan to be buildable by someone with little construction knowledge and a tight budget. The accompanying drawings are somewhere between a standard set of construction docs and a how-to manual.
    The material palette is simple in order to keep costs down: a lumber frame with concrete footings, standard hardware, and a corrugated fiberglass roof.
    The structure itself, while providing shelter for supplies and tools, is kept very open to allow maximum sunlight and air circulation for the plants growing inside and around the shed.

  • Furniture design/build on a budget

    I needed a desk, but was working with a modest neophyte architect's salary. Acknowledging my fairly transient lifestyle, I opted to design a modular desk that could be broken down for easier moving, and that could be assembled in a variety of configurations to fit a variety of spaces.
    The structure consists of 9-15 concrete blocks, depending on the chosen configuration. The shelves and top are birch plywood with a custom blue stain and polyurethane finish. The cmu also allows for efficient cable management by routing wires through its open cells.

  • Experiment in color and light

    Layers of ruby red plexi, offset by washers and nuts, spaced along a single threaded rod that acts as both the main structure and a handle. The core is surrounded by translucent acetate sheeting to diffuse the light. This lamp can be installed as either a desk lamp or a hanging lantern.