• Urban Activity Center is a culmination of several projects completed for a semester-long "Fundamentals of Architectural Design" studio in spring 2012.
  • I created all architectural and graphic designs.
  • Adobe Illustrator and InDesign; Rhinoceros 3D

Finding Formal Systems

The studio began with an exercise to explore formal systems. I was tasked with analyzing a two-dimensional image to identify a latent formal system, producing a drawing to describe the system, and manipulating the system to create a three-dimensional form.

I chose an image of a snakeskin and created a drawing that explored the image's qualities of light and shadow as a formal system. I modeled a three-dimensional form based on my drawing and produced orthographic and sectional drawings of the form. My identified formal system and design process served as a jumping off point for the creation of the subsequent "urban activity center."

Urban Activity Center

The remainder of the studio focused on developing a mixed-use space in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood in San Francisco. This "urban activity center" included varied programmatic elements, including a basketball court, swimming pool, gym, offices, and mixed-use spaces.

I incorporated thematic and aesthetic elements from the formal systems exercise, while also designing around three key elements:

  • Accommodating SoMa's large population living in affordable housing units. SoMa has 63 affordable housing projects that contain 3826 individual housing units. It comprises 21% of the total units in the city of San Francisco.
  • Acting as a spatial catalyst to integrate building interactions into the urban setting. The building skin and programmatic layout allow the building and its spaces to be a "spatial catalyst." Users are brought directly up and into the building, while public space surrounds the building and integrates throughout.
  • Integration of green building technologies, specifically a double-skin. The double-skin (a building system consisting of two skins or exteriors) allows for thermal insulation and air ventilation. In my design, the space between the exterior skin and building is also inhabitable.

I created a three-dimensional digital model of my design, from which I produced orthographic, sectional, and plan drawings.