To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the way people communicate. This is because how we communicate is not restricted to words or body language. Every aspect of our lives is a form of communication and, given time, a building can be read much in the same way one would read a book. I wish to better understand this form of communication by learning all that I can. I have studied five foreign languages and now wish to convey the beauty of that knowledge through buildings. Architecture is something that I have always considered to be the art of habitation, and if a two-dimensional object such as a painting were worth a thousand words, then by simple math a three-dimensional building would be worth 31,622. In my studies, I have found that I wish to design such art. I aspire to design buildings that will speak to the world and have the world speak back.
This project was designed to temporarily house a visiting critic for the College of Architecture at the University of Houston. The building was to be placed in front of the College of Architecture. The concept behind the project was derived from a song, specifically "Sunburn" by the British alternative/rock band Muse. From this song, the idea of a moral compass was brought forth; We, as humans, must use this compass on a daily basis. It would not be a stretch by any means to say that critics must also employ the use of this compass in order to remain unbiased on all review sessions and critiques.
The proposed residence acts as a compass and points West where the sun sets in the site context, representing the end of a journey and decisions to be made.
The Broad is a new contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edy on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum, which is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will open to the public in late 2014. The museum will be home to the nearly 2,000 works of art in The Broad Art Foundation and the Broads’ personal collections, which are among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.
My objective was to design a counter proposal for the Broad — to design a museum that met and surpassed the conceptual and technical aspects of the museum proposed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. From the start, I wanted to design a museum that looked inward — a museum that focused on the art within rather than the world without. With this premise in mind, I considered 3 major issues: How does the building relate to its site context? How can I make the museum an experience in and of itself? How would the museum be lit?
I decided to use circulation and an organic form to solve the issue of site context. Movement through the building is kept fluid and clear by implementing organic shapes in plan, but not section. The next issue of making the building experiencial is solved by applying a continuous façade of vertical bamboo chutes which wrap around the building. Visitors are encouraged to touch and experience this green building component as they circulate the building. This method of construction also helps solve the issue of natural lighting since the bamboo chutes are spaced 2 inches apart, allowing light to permeate the building. But this form of lighting is not the only one being used. for the upper level galleries, fields of light rods pierce the roof and ceiling to permit diffused sunlight into the building.
ALLEN'S LANDING VISITOR CENTER
The Nature of City Life
The ground is warm and firm. The roots collect water. The wind blows through the leaves. The sun scatters through the branches and the grass basks in the light. Nature has had since the Earth’s inception to perfect its efficiency and beauty. It would only make sense to learn from it and apply its concepts to urban environments.
The task was to design a visitor’s center located at Allen’s Landing – a site that overlooks the green water of Buffalo Bayou and is facing a detention facility on the other side. Prospectively, the real-estate is undesirable, but at least there is a small park located immediately beside it. This quickly became a point of interest to pull from, though only conceptually. The park itself is not particularly focused on from the building, but rather it provided ideas to draw upon. If one were to want to admire the park, then one should go to the park. However, if I could give the building the same experience as taking a stroll in the park, I would consider the building a success. The promenade: How does it feel to stroll leisurely under the shade of the trees? Starting with this simple idea, I proceeded to design my building.
The path you walk is tiled with dark granite, warmed by the morning sun and kept cool by the steel tree overhead. the sun is disallowed to pass through the tree more and more as the day grows long, keeping the granite a constant temperature. The structure is a grass-tree hybrid whose metal roots reach deep into the ground to anchor the building. Upon the ends of the steel branches is a roof of grass. The heat that a typical concrete roof would retain is efficiently absorbed instead, while rainwater is collected and carried away by gravity through a series of pipes and deposited in an underground water basin. This water is then recycled though the building to minimize the cost of plumbing.
Located in the ghettos of South Houston, this project aims to revitalize the neighborhood by turning cluster housing into a mix of public and private programs.
Bringing artists and art enthusiasts to Houston, ArtsPlace becomes a collaboration of people and spectacle in order to educate and inspire the public. It is a combination of ideas and principles that shape how one views art. This allows one to see art in nearly every aspect of life — and a building is no exception. With so many mediums to convey an artist's intent, it may seem difficult to settle on just one, thus several may be chosen to work toward a common goal.
COLLISION of concepts: In the beginning, three masses are materialized — two small masses representing the essence of art and humanity, and one large mass representing the connection that ArtsPlace makes between art and humanity.
FRAMED identities: The three masses are framed by continuous white surfaces that become roofs, walls and floor plates. These frames identify the three masses independently so that they are not mashed together into an indistinguishable blob. This is an attempt to convey the independence found in both humanity and art while making a bridge between the two.
INFILL of language: While the frames indentify the objects separately, the infill moves to render them inseparable where the objects intersect and overlap. It is based on the idea of crumpling — taking flat surfaces and bending them to reveal where they are most vulnerable.
MUSIC BOX CHAPEL
In Houston, Texas lies a park situated between the Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel. Upon this park is to be built a place of spiritual repose and reflection. This place, a chapel of contemplation, would invite visitors to explore their spirituality and help them to achieve enlightenment.
As a park that attracts vast amounts of locals each day, it is advised that the chapel should infringe as little as possible on the park-goers' right to enjoy nature. It is with this caution that I begin to see what the concept of the chapel should take form as: Harmony. In music, harmony is defined by the collaboration of two or more musical instruments that complement each other in order to create a single work of art; however, it is not restricted to the category of music. Outside the musical realm, harmony is defined when two or more factors contribute to the same goal and reach and equal understanding of each other. By capturing the essence of this concept, it is possible to imagine several spaces with different agendas that work to convey a single idea. Much in the same way that a cluster of trees in a field make a forest, so does the intervention of program into a structure make a building.
Houston’s economy has evolved around the processing of hydrocarbons into polymers. The raw materials for a multitude of products made around the world originate in this region. This material culture covers a vast area, primarily in the east and southern industrial areas and remains hidden from the popular identity of the city. The potential for the creative application of plastics in the built environment is a market that Houston could further engage in and this project embraces the fact that this situation could be incubated with a state of the art plastics R&D facility that includes space for making as well as exhibition of the products. The proposed building embodies the materiality of plastics as well as contains them. It is a light manufacturing facility programmed to include trade organization offices and exhibition space for the display of the R&D activities taking place in the lab.
The project is located on Navigation Blvd. in the East End of Houston. This urban fabric of this area is the result of a city with no zoning and the interesting juxtapositions that emerge. Light industrial buildings mix with large-scale manufacturing and energy complexes as well as old housing stock with potential for renovation or demolition. The response to the site and program will engage a unique Houston typology of the fabrication facility with an architecturally interesting front office joined to the utilitarian free span shop space in the rear.
VIEW-PORT is a component of a master plan that incorporates a new location for the Maritime Museum of Houston, a new terminal for those touring the ship channel on the M/V Sam Houston and a new dock for one of the fireboats recently purchased by the Port Authority. The program is separated for use by the public and mariners.
The project begins with a simple geometric form – a rectangular prism – containing all the program elements. The object in divided into 3 sections separated by 2 major circulation elements. The two major circulation elements, designated for Maritime/Public use respectably, are shifted outside the program boundary and are given double-height spaces to volumize the movement in these spaces. The shifted elements are then stripped bare to reveal the structure and mechanics of the ceiling.
PLASTICITY is the concept of applying digital design strategies, techniques of making/fabrication and diagrammatic modeling strategies to the field of polymer research.
MATERIALS - Transparency, translucency and opacity are to be understood as the basic experiential qualities of materials that can further be articulated through inventive modeling and drawing techniques. Plasticity is a conceptual framework for spatial design as well as literal material to work with in building systems. Further development of materials reveals processes of folding, forming, perforating and pleating as an expanding palette of possibilities.
SYSTEMS - Parametric design optimizes form and structure as an evolving set of relationships. Further development of the digital model into coordinated layers allows the designer to predict and design the building systems simultaneously with the overall form and organization.
PRODUCTION - Digital Fabrication is the means and method for delivering projects as integrated packages of virtual models, 2D orthographic extractions and 3D physical manifestations of higher degrees of material complexity.
addr + Houston, Texas
cell + 713.562.3303
email + HH@hunterhaus.com
I am a designer, drafter, and aspiring architect with an indepth skillset ranging anywhere from drafting/presentation programs such as AutoCAD and Adobe Illustrator (as well as 80% of all Adobe products) to 3D modeling and rendering programs such as Rhinoceros and Revit.