Student Work

Creating New Identities

Juke Jose

Balikbayan boxes were sent from the United States by my family back to the Philippines filled with goods and the idea of the American dream. These boxes are a manifestation of “coming home” of the Filipino diaspora and the actualization of my dreams.

“Wayfinding” is a place that guides immigrants to achieve their American dreams by forging their still evolving identities in the US. The center creates a platform for immigrants where they can get support in the formal immigration process and other areas of acculturation including language, culture, and employment while establishing relationships and connections in the local community of San Francisco.

Through the use of a patchwork of spaces throughout the building, the immigration process of assembling a new way of life is reflected. The language of layered transparency across the spatial patchwork provides personal and visual connections between spaces. Curved planes generate
intimate spaces carved out from the layers of programs while embracing and leading users as they meander through the building.

*Balikbayan box is a carton shipped to the Philippines from another country by a Filipino who has been living overseas, typically containing items such as food, clothing, toys, and household products.

All Work and Text by Juke Jose

Student Work

Sanctuary of Narratives

Daniel Lee

Project Brief

The proposal is called the Sanctuary of Narrative. It is a multi-media archive of San Francisco that functions as an educational facility for the local junior high and high school students and visiting humanities researchers. The primary purpose of the project is to offer a space of heuristic questioning, searching, and learning in an open and translucent field of information.

The Sanctuary of Narratives is an extension of local schools that houses a community of scholars who acknowledge the significance of youth development and methods of information-searching. It is where the youths are encouraged to question, challenge, search, record, and discuss about their families, schools, sexualities, churches, childhoods, adulthoods, and identities. It is a labyrinthian apparatus that curates, stores, produces knowledge and narratives that serve the curious next generation.

Architectural Description

Sanctuary of Narrative is located in Fillmore St. and Golden Gate Ave. where a historically preserved power substation, a mini-urban park, and a fast-food restaurant are placed. Using the existing preservation as a new entrance and an activated retail-filled corridor, the visitors are led to an open field of bright space and curated archives where the students exhibit their learning outcomes.

The upper levels serve various different archival programs and field of archives that are comprised of 12’x12’ grid-based modules. The modules act individually and collectively, depending on suggested activities such as individual learning, researching, discussing in groups, watching multi-media projections, or seeing curated objects. The archival programs are nested within the dissolved field of information and activities.

All Work and Text by Daniel Lee

Student Work

Building Community through Shared Pain

Ramona Gakuba

I am designing a building that would not only give a sense of belonging to individuals that have experienced pain but also to those who have had injustice done to them.

In researching the history of the African American population in the Fillmore District, I found there to be similarities to my life. During the Redevelopment period in the Fillmore, African Americans, who had created a thriving community, were forced to move to the East Bay or to entirely new cities. I grew up in a small country called Rwanda whose people suffered from a genocide in 1994 that took the lives of a million people. Rwandans had to re-orient themselves to the world after a disorienting loss. My generation came of age during this period and saw people struggle to heal but yet create a new community based on shared pain. Years later, after graduating from high school, I had the chance to move to the United States for university. I left a country where I was a part of this communal pain and learned to become an ‘international’ student in a country where I had to find new commonalities with those with a different history.

All Work and Text by Ramona Gakuba

Student Work

Live Music as Therapy for Displacement

Ryan Zhong

I have lived in many different cities by myself. I have faced many major changes in my life. And I have felt lost many times. Whenever I feel lost, I walk down the street without any purpose and let myself be immersed within the surrounding moments listening to the live street music. As an emotional experience, being immersed in these moments gives me inner strength and peace.

The main program of the building is a live music performance space for people who are struggling with their identities and getting lost in their lives. It is intended for two groups of people: those who want to stay in the U. S. but cannot and those who want to go back to their home countries but cannot. The program encourages people to be active while giving them the option to be at rest. It also creates opportunities for people to learn and be informed while interacting with others.

The mapping studies the site as a city grid and analyzes how the rigid grid influences urban development and people’s behaviors. Where do people feel comfortable standing, sitting, and gathering? I am also looking for unusual moments that are happening around the site. For example, where people make U-turns despite the fact that there is a No U-Turn sign, where people cross the street in the absence of a cross walk, where people park when there is a No Parking sign, etc. And how does this relate to the existing city grid in terms of the distribution of the retail, restaurant, and residential buildings, and how does it influence the density of the city?

The idea of the physical model is to explore the relationship between the grid and the unusual moments and to extract the condition of the spaces from them.

The building offers live music as therapy for displacement and architecture as an instrument of peace.

Student Work

Valencia Lighthouse

Ally Santori

The Valencia Lighthouse is about offering a path towards hope for low-income communities in San Francisco. Through my research and my own personal experiences, I focused the project on creating a program that works as a support system for families. The design stemmed from my mapping, where I mapped out community resources and realized many community resources rely on each other in order to survive. Taking this dependence concept, I explored this through the process of model making, where the basswood became the depending structure and the offset surfaces became ways for allowing light to pass through spaces. I developed a language where spaces are housed within translucent and transparent walls, where screens define special boundaries and where volumes intersect and overlap each other. Using this language in the design, offered beneficial characteristics for the user group. Allowing views of people and activities from the exterior inviting people in. Volumes of space offset and intersect maximizing views from the interior into other spaces and out, allowing natural light to filter into each space.

Student Work

SF Film & Photography School & Visitors Centre

Adam Nuru

The program consists of a viewing gallery as well as a school where tourists and film & photography students can mingle so that tourists get a glimpse of how students create their work.

The tourist aspect came from my personal narrative of traveling and having the opportunity to see various landmarks. Tourists typically get a highly curated perception of how San Francisco wants to be seen through their iconic landmarks. But someone that lives in San Francisco gets a unique perspective as there are hidden gems around the city that one can stumble upon. The Film & Photography School in my vision allows for the tourist to understand how others see the world.

A mapping of landmarks in San Francisco generated a formal language which was further explored in the notational models. The concept of framing in the architectural language created directionality in the way user-groups moved through space. The play between the directed views and movements through the use of frames introduces the varying perspectives and perceptions of other people in the building.

The concept of framing was further inspired by the camera which allows for multi-perspectival views of events. The visitors are invited to construct their own views of the city of San Francisco. The use of frames encourages the visitors to appreciate a different way of seeing their surroundings.

Student Work

Studio 7 Tectonics & Structure

Course Description

This course posits new ways to inhabit large urban structures through a process-driven methodology. By challenging type-driven formulaic structural responses, conflicts between architectural priorities and structural efficiencies are celebrated as the starting point of a dialogue that instigates structural adaptations creating rich tectonic expressions, complex spatial configurations, new program relationships.

When structural design lacks integration with architecture, the structural design criteria become largely dependent on efficiencies in cost and construction. The studio projects reinforce the concept of an efficiency that encourages resiliency through tectonic adaptation. This efficiency is understood to exist within a much longer time frame where the expression of the building is both integrative and timeless.

If we posit that architecture is to fulfill a need beyond structural stability and cost-effectiveness in construction, then the integration between architecture and structure points towards a different relationship in which the two disciplines engage in a dialogue. Founded on critical analyses of prevalent formulaic structural solutions, a productive dialogue is one in which there are meaningful conflicts that must be resolved. The students identify sources of conflict in order to develop an adaptable structural system. The metric by which resilience is measured is informed by the degree to which the integration between architecture and structure is successful in creating a trigger for a rich tectonic expression that adapts to conditions and needs while at the same time fulfilling the responsibilities of structural stability and efficiency.

Course Learning Outcomes

Student Work

Structures 3 Systems Investigation

Taken concurrently with ARH 410 Studio 7, in this course structural intuition is cultivated through physical model making to evaluate and propose structural systems for design studio projects. The relationship between structural behaviors and building geometry is studied through load tests and load path diagrams to establish design criteria for structural systems.

Architects collaborate with structural engineers in the design of buildings. For this collaboration to be successful it is important for architects to cultivate an intuitive sense of how building structures behave. We will develop structural intuition through load testing physical models and making careful observations. Structural design this semester will aspire towards a close integration with architecture. A clear architectural design intent and an open-mindedness for inventive structural systems are the necessary ingredients for a meaningful integration. When structural design is approached as an architectural design opportunity, rather than as a restriction on design freedom, compelling and rigorous design proposals will follow. Grounded in a critique of prevalent contemporary structural systems, we will explore and experiment with creating conditional rules for structural behaviors to invent new structural systems.

Our goal this semester is to integrate the architectural design intent with the structural solution. The structural proposal will be uniquely adapted to the architectural studio project. In other words, the structural proposal will not be one that is generic. To this end, we will actively seek to create a structural problem. The presence of a structural problem in your project is a good litmus test for the integration. 

Constraints make better design. For this reason, the competing design criteria between architecture and structure is welcomed in this class. The negotiation and compromise that must happen to reconcile the competing priorities is what we refer to as the integration between architecture and structure, our goal.

Course Learning Outcome