Hampton University (Mark)



Sep '06 - Dec '09

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    Have a blast. It's good for you

    By Mark_M
    Oct 3, '07 10:56 AM EST

    It’s been a hectic five weeks. Following our public transportation exercise we were to analyze three sites where we would be designing a bus stop. Our building site is in Norfolk, Virginia, one of the seven cities that make up Hampton Roads. It is the most “urban” out of the seven. They are starting construction to build a light rail to connect two of the major cities in the area, Virginia Beach and Norfolk. So our job was to analyze the site and state our findings. My group and I decided to do an abstract site analysis to convey our discoveries. One of our discoveries was a gap on one of the sites. A social, physical, and physiological barrier. A railroad track divides our site from…..well to be blunt, the black neighborhood and the white neighborhood. As soon as you crossed the track the environment changes but the building context remained the same. The buildings still address the street as well as define public spaces but the stark contrast between the up keeping and retail was very significant. The stores changed form starbucks to bottom dollar grocery stores, from dairy queen to liquor and cigar shops. So we decide to explore this discovery and spark some dialogue within the studio. Can what we build be controlled? Will the original intent of a place be carried out or will it change depending on the demographic of the people? Will alleys, public spaces and streets gather the masses or will they become home bases to “sling some rock.” The dialogue has continued in studio and we are still looking for a way to break the divide. Well here are some our boards and models.


    Here is the link for bigger images of the site analysis.

    I started to fold paper rather than sketch my ideas out for the bus stop. I wanted to try a different method of designing with this project. I chose the college student as my user because of the four colleges found in the area, Norfolk State, ODU, EVMS, and TCC. Hampton Roads is known for having non-traditional students on their college campuses. The student varies in age range so I chose them because I wanted to create a stop that changes to the user rather than having a permanent form. The stop can fold for seating, sheltering and different space configuration depending on the amount of users. Here are some prototypes. I’m revamping and folding as I type this blog.

    board 5
    board 4
    board 3

    Here is the link for bigger images of the bus stop.

    We have started to build in our Building Science Class. We were to create a curtain wall that would become a prototype for the dwelling we will be creating at the end of the semester. This was definitely a great experience for me because it brought me back to those framing days. It had to hang on the railing at the Heart of Bemis Hall. It had to be at least 4” out and 1’6” above and below the railing. Our group took the triangles from the railing and used them as our precedent the wall. We used the 345 triangle to proportion our wall and structure. Here are some pics from concept to presentation.

    mask project
    mask project
    mask project
    mask project
    mask project

    Here is the link fo rthe Mask project

    Graphic design is a blast. Can-struction is going up. I did the flier and promo to encourage the students to participate. I created and fabricated the "idea can." They were to sketch their idea in the trace inside and bring their concept to the charrette. A first student won the charrette but we cant reveal the idea yet.

    mock 1
    mock 4
    mock 1_ sign up
    mock 3
    mock 3_ sign up
    idea can

    Here is the link for bigger images of canstruction.

    It’s been crazy and I hope everybody else is enjoying their year so far. I know the sleepless nights have been killer. I know mine have. Run it off. Thats what I have been doing to keep my head in proper perspective. I ran a 5k along with some classmates to unleash the stress. It really helps on those grueling studio days.


    Good luck everyone mid terms is almost here.


    • cool stuff, mark. you guys produce a lot of work!

      since a lot of my growing up is tied to the norfolk/va beach area, i'm very familiar with your project's area. i'm excited to see where you go with the project. it's about time they did the norfolk/va beach connection after voting it down a few times. seems obvious....

      beware of things which are expected to transform too much. i've learned that people in transit are not so much likely to mess with their surroundings - or engage them in any way - unless their surroundings engage them in some overt way. [and this might not be a welcome thing when you're tired and want to go home.]

      an exception would be those users who engage the place aggressively: with bus stops you gotta think about vandalism.

      Oct 4, 07 7:31 am

      Thanks Steve. You lived by Freemason Street and Boush right? That is a pretty big intersection now with hustle and bustle urbanism. Its way out of scale now and the storefronts can’t be differentiated from the residential. It goes away from the cobble street area of that part of town. What I don’t understand is why would they build homes in front of the seawall? Isn’t there for a reason?

      Well as far as the bus stop goes. I'm reeling in the transformation concept a bit. I'm looking to establish something more with permanence. I realized it changed too much and did not retain any form. Ill post the transformation when it’s finished.

      Oct 4, 07 8:30 am

      didn't live in that area, but i know that intersection very well. four generations of my family have gone to epworth united methodist church, the big stone richardsonian pile right there on the corner. and i've had many lunches at 'the abbey' right across the street.

      not sure about homes outside the seawall, though my father (works at the city) might know. i would assume that they must have their own individual floodwall protection?

      good luck.

      Oct 5, 07 6:47 am

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