Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Area: 4200 square feet
Client: Harvard Graduate School of Design
Flatland is an installation that forms a canopy over the south balconies of Gund Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Design. Designed by Casey Hughes Architects (CHA) and installed in collaboration with Hiroshi Jacobs, the concept was developed for a design competition initiated by the Harvard Graduate School of Design Student Forum and Building Services.
The installation is made up of 10,000 feet of custom-made 1/8-inch-diameter red and blue bungee cord, fixed in place by more than 1,000 hardware connections. Sixty individual lines emerge from the entrance of Gund Hall on Cambridge Street and traverse the south façade of the building, suggesting two continuous doubly ruled hyperbolic paraboloid surfaces. This highly rational geometry creates Flatlands’ distinctive whipped, saddle-like spaces.
This project studies the relationship between dimensionality and flatness by exploring how a one-dimensional line can at once produce a surface and a volume. The design began with the interest of developing a lightweight system that is economical and durable while having a large spatial impact. This led to Flatland, a system where, with mathematical efficiency, one-dimensional lines produce complex spaces with a wide range of scale and enclosure.
The title of the installation is based on Edwin Abbot Abbot’s 1884 novel Flatland, about a fictional two-dimensional world inhabited by geometric figures. The plot follows the protagonist, a square, who discovers “the mysteries of three dimensions” and returns to the Flatland to share it with others.
Location: Denali, Alaska
Area: 6.7 square miles
Client: National Park Service
Status: First place in Competition
This entry won first prize in the Lyceum Fellowship competition for which I was awarded a six-month travel grant. The brief called for "a dwelling for two in a National Park." We selected a naturally occurring ice cave in Denali, Alaska because it seemed like an ideal location for the inhabitants to experience the force and magnitude of this changing glacial landscape. Embedded in the floor of the cave and suspended from the ceiling are a series of platforms that constantly shift due to the movement of the glacier. Beams of light penetrate the glacier through perforations connecting the enclosed world of the cave and the continually changing light of the outside environment.
Our intervention into the cave goes beyond the beauty and spectacle of the space in an attempt to create a sense of temporality for the inhabitants. The project does not aspire to be architecture but rather to occupy a space between culture and nature, creating a middle ground for reflection.
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Program: Warming Hut
Area: 275 square feet
Client: Warming Huts: An Art + Architecture Competition on Ice
Ice Cave punctuates Assiniboine River trail, creating an ethereal shelter where people can gather protected from the elements. Inside the hut is a platform that changes in height and depth to accommodate different types of inhabitation (sitting, standing, reclining, etc.). Inhabitants are oriented towards the open middle of the hut, creating a sense of gathering and community, while experiencing the light filtering through the thickened façade.
The building’s envelope is comprised of two layers creating a barrier from the elements and giving the hut a sense of deep transparency and mass. The outer layer is a thin shell of ice that is formed by applying water to rope netting. The interior layer is translucent tent fabric stretched over guide wires strung to the hut’s tubular metal frame. Together these layers block the winter wind and create an insulating air pocket. The ice façade allows diffuse light to penetrate the hut and links the hut to the wintery surrounding. The hut resonates with the Forks river context through the use of materiality (ice) and the winter images the hut evokes.
Location: Union Square, New York City
Area: 325 square feet
Client: St. Louis Washington University
Status: First place in Competition
Temporary Building to Celebrate the Jewish Festival of Sukkot -This design proposes to mediate personal worship and celebration of the Sukkot with the community at large.
Like a traditional Sukkah, this proposal uses humble materials and expedient construction techniques in keeping with the temporary and cyclical nature of this celebration. As with tradition, the structure merges with its environment, adapting to its context to provide enclosed intimate space as well as incorporating its surroundings.
Three piano hinges connect the 4 components of the Sukkah and allow the 10’ by 16’ footprint to expand and fulfill a more public role. This possibility of being reconfigured heightens the understanding of the traditional Sukkah’s temporality, in that throughout the Sukkot, the space can adapt to the needs of its inhabitants and the larger community. This proposal fully embraces the traditions of the Sukkot while engaging the city with Jewish culture, celebration and design.