Venice, Italy 2011 | estimated completion date: 2025
This master plan concept design integrates the airport’s existing terminal with a new terminal, as well as transportation interchange, high-speed train station, metro station, monorail, office buildings, parking structures, roadways, bus station, and links to the water taxi port using the urban concept of “canyons” and a new transportation interchange “spine.” The spine provides a direct pedestrian connection from the airport to the train station and is inspired in part by Italy’s many spectacular gallerias such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The scheme focuses on smart long term planning, sustainability, passenger experience, and architectural character. It proposes to use local materials, particularly the wood, and construction knowledge, and references the intricate ornamental facades of Venice as exemplified by the Ca’ d’Oro.
Collaboration with ARUP Milan
St. Jeannet, France 2015 | ongoing
Inspired by the stone retaining walls typical of the South of France and the Maeght Foundation museum nearby, this residence emerges from the landscape. The steep site is terraced into four levels each with a distinct function: green roof terrace, main living level, lower apartment, and street-level garage. The luminous living spaces are partially buried in the hillside in the back and open up to a spectacular view of the Mediterranean in the front; sunken courtyards allow natural light and air to circulate throughout the structure, and large sliding glass panels blur indoor and outdoor living. Finally, this environmentally sustainable house, built from local materials, can be used as one large villa or two separate residences connected by a subterranean garage.
[Collaboration with Labro & Davis]
TriBeCa, New York 2014 | ongoing
This modern and bright loft started out as a cramped and dark space in a converted 1880 coconut processing warehouse. The final layout includes a new kitchen, master bedroom, child’s bedroom, and second bathroom. The design celebrates and amplifies the character of this Romanesque Revival building by preserving its key architectural features: high ceilings, exposed timber columns and beams, exposed brick, and original oak floors. A new palette of natural materials including walnut, schist, and marble breathes new life into the space. Finally, in order to take advantage of the natural sunlight streaming into the space, a glass wall in the new bedroom allows natural light to penetrate deep into the loft and light color wall surfaces reflect sunlight to create as much natural luminosity as possible.
Object 2014 | ongoing
Inspired by the natural beauty of wood and the forest spirits in Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film My Neighbor Totoro, the Totoro collection transforms salvaged logs into multi-functional sculptural objects. These whimsical forms can be used in a variety of ways: as stools, low tables or sculptures, and are made using a 5-axis computer-numerically-controlled robot arm refurbished from the auto industry. Although the Totoros are made with a highly precise digital tool, they crack naturally as inner moisture is exposed during fabrication, demonstrating the tension between a designed object and a natural material with a life of its own. As designers, we cannot fully control the final outcome. The Totoro continues to change. It’s alive.
[Collaboration with Sasha Ritter]
Helsinki, Finland 2014 | Guggenheim Helsinki Competition
Set against the verdant Tähtitorninvuori park, the Guggenheim Helsinki Museum is shaped by the currents of the Gulf of Finland. The building suggests an archipelago of snow drifts formed by the wind. Clad in Finnish timber, the pavilions are tied together with a net of glass and steel that covers a central gathering space to create an inviting cultural zone at the heart of the museum. Undercuts in the timber forms create spaces for immersive arts experiences and engaging public programs. Finally, the project achieves zero net energy consumption by using a wide variety of environmental strategies including but not limited to a highly insulated building shell, integrated facade ventilation louvers, solar panels, earth-duct, and green roof. With this design, we aim to create a building both honors the Guggenheim creative legacy and integrates environmental strategies of the future.
Concepción, Chile 2011 | Competition
Like large faceted rocks delicately balanced on a stone outcropping, two shimmering volumes frame an elevated plaza with spectacular views of the Bio Bio River. The project offers a charged void for the city: a vibrant elevated public plaza for outdoor gatherings and performances framed by a theater building on each side. Undercuts to each volume make them seem to float off the ground and provide covered entrance areas; the theaters within are timber volumes that create striking indoor public gathering spaces between the two volumes. A façade of translucent and reflective white glass panels, arranged like scales of fish, creates plays of light on the surface of the buildings and within the interiors during the day. At night a net of integrated façade LEDs allow the building to act as an ambient coastal lighthouse.
Jackson Heights, NY 2013 | built
This pair of custom benches creates a welcoming scene in front of a popular local coffee shop. The client was interested in using perforations in order to create transparency through the benches to allow light and views in and out of the storefront glass. The perforation pattern is based on the blurring of two overlapping triangles to create a gradient of different sizes circular holes, and the logo of the shop is milled into the bottom of the cup holders. The seat, backrest and armrests are made from salvaged walnut resting on a steel frame.
Furniture 2014 | built
This asymmetrical dining table is inspired by the work of Donald Judd and John Pawson and explores orthogonal planar geometry to create a stable structure. In order to stabilize the tabletop, a steel frame is embedded into the underside of the hard maple top to counteract any twisting that may be caused by the movement of the wood. It is finished with a whitewash.
Long Island City, NY 2013 | unbuilt
This temporary park proposal uses reclaimed wood from demolished nearby buildings to create a collection of large-scale sculptural furniture that provide spaces for sitting, working, and lounging and becomes an immersive field of light at night. The developer wanted to create an attractive and low-cost temporary park to coincide with the opening of a new residential tower across the street. Reclaimed wood offers a cost-effective solution, that is recyclable, and can be assembled and disassembled quickly. Finally, the forms of the furniture elements are reminiscent of the tapered brick smoke stacks of this part of the city which has an industrial past.
Jackson Heights, NY 2014 | unbuilt
This study aimed to create a new vision for Travers Park in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights and to build on the great work of the Jackson Heights Green Alliance. The community ranks near the bottom for park space in New York City, and the Parks Department will be increasing the park’s size and renovating it soon. In collaboration with other community advocates, this plan was generated in order to influence the final design of the park. The park is envisioned as an inclusive social green space that can serve all the needs of the highly diverse neighborhood. The vision seeks to integrate a traditional park with a café, area for a farmer’s market, and sports fields within a constrained urban space. It promotes the use of local materials and environmentally sustainable design solutions. The vision was presented at a community hearing held by the Parks Department and attended by over a hundred members of the community.
Beirut, Lebanon 2010 | Beirut House of Culture Competition
The proposal aims to provide a new kind of cultural experience by mixing spaces for the production of art and culture with spaces for display and performance. Five stacked rings create the building volume and within this envelope, a continuous spiraling promenade allows visitors to walk from the sidewalk up through the entire project coming into contact with artist studios, performance spaces, and spaces for the display and archiving of art. The line between artist and audience becomes blurred creating a more intimate dialogue between the two. The interplay between the five rings also creates opportunities for light and air to enter the building, as well as terraces with spectacular views of the city. The perforated concrete façade is designed as a brise-soleil to filter out excess sunlight and is borrowed from the vernacular architecture of the region.
[Collaboration with MOBIL Arquitectos and Adam Ganser]
Furniture 2014 | unbuilt
Inspired by the simple act of pressing one’s finger into soft clay, the thumbprint collection is a proposal for a residential lobby. Made from silver maple logs glue-laminated together and milled using a robot arm, the seating elements combine a natural material with new fabrication technology to create a timeless product.
Helsinki, Finland 2013 | unbuilt
Echoing Finnish building tradition through the use of local timber on the façade, this design for the new Helsinki Central Library emerges from Makasiinipuisto Park as an elegant landmark to attract visitors from all around the cultural district and beyond. The project rethinks the library’s reading hall as one homogenous space and instead proposes a non-linear space, where programmatic areas (book stacks, cinema, restaurant, saunas, lobbies, cafes etc.) overlap to create hybrid zones of activity including reading a book while having a coffee, taking part in a workshop while while seeing a film projected nearby, or browsing the internet from a sauna. The library is designed to encourage chance encounters. In addition, voids in the floor plates allow for visual connections across different levels and vertical circulation takes place within vertical cores. Finally, the project is environmentally sustainable. It uses local materials and a wide variety of environmental strategies including but not limited to a highly insulated building shell, maximizing natural day-lighting, integrated ventilation louvers in the folded facade, solar panels, and earth-ducts.
[Collaboration with Hume Coover Studio & Reed Finlay]