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Iowa State University B.Arch.

  • First/Second Year

    Now that I've graduated, it's time for some reflection, starting with first and second year in ISU's architecture program.

    DSN S 102 is the dreaded first design studio, before any of us have "made it" into a degree program. Above is a doorway, constructed from lumber, with hand saws and chisels, in teams of three and four.

    The culminating project in this studio involves building a tool out of paper, a sculptural "space container" from a piece of the tool, and multiple 2d drawings. A design cultures course (history, more or less) and a still-life drawing course round out the first year. After a competitive portfolio submission process, students are accepted into the various design programs.

    Putting the portfolio together.

    Second year started with precedent studies, involving plans, models, and sections. Our model was the Nail Collector's House by Steven Holl.

    The geometry of this window was ridiculously hard to determine...

    After slaving away on models for weeks, we sawed them in half to make section drawings. Ours was the Villa dall'Ava by Rem Koolhaas.

    Louis Sullivan's bank in Grinnell, Iowa, on our fall field trip.

    Gehry building in Iowa City.

    WIth the furniture chained down.

    And a dramatic interior atrium.

    Oddly enough, part of it was being used by the rowing club (which happened to be our program for the semester project).

    Gwathmey Siegel, Levitt Center.

    Steven Holl.

    David Chipperfield's Figge Museum in Davenport.

    Some study models on a river cruise.

    The final project in fall was a boathouse for 60 rowing shells.

    Packing the model up to take back to school after a "leisurely" Thanksgiving break (laser cutters were off limits for second-years).

    Spring semester started with an infill apartment building.

    Some light tubes.

    Learning to watercolor an elevation.

    Chicago field trip.

    The Robie.

    The final project in our studio was a women's shelter.


  • Architecture Schools Should Be Dissolved! *Unless... and other topics

    In this year's Datum, Iowa State's Student Journal of Architecture, this and other topics (including one on architecture websites) are discussed. It's also a showcase of a wide variety of student work from the year. Check it out! http://issuu.com/datum_isu/docs/no._4_something_made_diffrent_/1


  • Fallow: Reconstructed Space Exhibit . May 4

    Please join us at the Black's Heritage Farm for the exhibition of Fallow: Reconstructed Space. Fallow has been a semester long effort by students to investigate production of a support system for the re-occupation of a dormant seed-drying chamber located south of Ames, Iowa. Temporary research...


  • NAAB Accreditation

    This semester, Iowa State's B.Arch. and M.Arch. programs were reviewed for NAAB accreditation. For a few months, the College of Design was packed with models, drawings, and presentation boards. Second year projects emphasized exploration through drawing. Machines from the second years...


  • Hansen Competition and Lecture + David Leatherbarrow

    Every spring, the ISU Department of Architecture puts together a great event: the Richard F. Hansen Prize Competition and Lecture. This year, our guest of honor was author, scholar, and chair of the architecture department at University of Pennsylvania, David Leatherbarrow, who was a member of...


  • CSI Competition: Comprehensive Studios

    During finals week in December, twelve teams (two from each studio) competed at Iowa State for the CSI Prize. Participants were all grad students and undergrads in the last year of their education. Jurors were members of the Construction Specifications Institute or practitioners from Des Moines...


  • Final Year: Boston Comprehensive Studio

    Our class is entering the fifth and final year of the B.Arch. degree. In fall that means we undertake comprehensive studio. This year we are designing a jazz and experimental music hall. It will contain a 1200-seat main hall and a 300-seat experimental hall. Two weeks ago we took a field trip to...


  • Steven Holl's second building in Iowa City

    The University of Iowa, located in Iowa City, has always been Iowa State's bitter rival. Even though Iowa State has an architecture program and U Iowa does not, the University of Iowa boasts work by Charles Gwathmey, Frank Gehry, and Steven Holl. Imagine our jealousy at discovering that Steven...


  • Scarpa Weekend

    February 9-11 was a three-day weekend packed with Scarpa. Two of my roommates and I went north to San Vito d'Altivole, Verona, and Venice to see if the real thing is as good as the legends say. A lot of pain and effort was required. It was a cold winter, and we spent quite a bit of time in...


  • Iowa State Rome Show

    Architects in Rome: Iowa State University's Rome Program invites you to come to our studio and see what we've done this semester. It will be open on Tuesday, April 24 from 6 pm to 9 pm and Wednesday, April 25 from 9 am to 6 pm. We are located at Piazza delle Cinque Scole 23, very close to Largo...


  • Forum Boarium, Primavalle

    On January 20, we toured the Forum Boarium, which is located next to the round Temple of Hercules and the Mouth of Truth, and Primavalle, a distant suburb in northwest Rome that was made up largely of people displaced from the city center by government visions of the city. Our tour guide was...


  • Rome, Week One: Forum Romanum + Palatine Hill

    In spring of fourth year, Iowa State architecture students have the option to study in Rome for the semester. This year, 35 architecture students and 2 landscape architecture students have chosen to take advantage of this opportunity. As part of our first week of classes, we've been introduced to...


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