Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)



Sep '06 - Dec '09

  • anchor

    DISCO Project 3: City Hall Plaza

    Quilian Riano
    Aug 2, '09 11:00 AM EST

    The GSD's Career Discovery program finished a little over a week ago with a final project in Boston's famed City Hall Plaza. A challenging site for any studio, but for a 2 week project with brand new students even more so. The students, however, rose to occasion and made proposals with vision and energy.

    We began the process this time by doing site research. As in the previous projects I wanted the analysis to give my students a point to start from. Thus I asked each of them to make an analytical drawing that looked at one issue closer and tried to understand the architectural elements that make that condition possible. Some chose light, sound, wind, edges as they relate to public/private relationships, plazas, etc...

    They then began the hard work to develop that concept. They used it to develop the program, the sequence of spaces, circulation, structure, facades, the ground condition, and the siting of the building.

    By the final we had three main typologies emerge, the sprawling building that took the entire site in front of city hall, the mid-rise building sited within the site, and the tower with a landscape condition. We reviewed the projects by discussing them within these typologies in the final review. The final jury included many designers that also know a lot about fabrication, among them archinect's own Aaron W. AKA pixelwhore. In what can only be described as a special treat we also had the project manager that oversaw construction of the City Hall building and plaza, Henry Wood, with us.

    To see results of this two-week project from three of the students that put their projects in flickr go here:

    Full Image Pool:


    Both Images above taken by Stefan Zebrowski-Rubin.
    Top: Aaron and Matthew reviewing
    Bottom: Patricia listens to the comments by landscape architect Masako, Maciej, and Q.

    It is fitting that as anything in design this ended up being a lot more intense than I originally imagined. It was a lot of work but it was worth it to see eight people with different skills begin to use the design process to come up with projects that neither them nor I would never have imagined at the outset.

    I now look forward to the post-GSD world. I will probably finish this blog with an entry or two over the next few weeks summarizing my time at the GSD, my documentation of that time using this blog, and I will tentatively look towards an uncertain (yet exciting to me) future.


    • 10

      well done, congratulations.

      Aug 3, 09 11:13 pm  · 
      Lian Chikako Chang

      Wow. Looks like you did a great job with your students. I hope you end up teaching more in your uncertain/exciting future!

      Aug 3, 09 11:29 pm  · 

      I got my official appointment letter from the University last week(!) and gave notice at my office on Monday - so I can finally share that I'll be teaching this academic year in the Department of Landscape Architecture. I don't plan on re-hashing each lecture or studio assignment on this blog, but hope to share the life of being a Lecturer at a public university. Accredited High School AND Adison High School

      Dec 15, 09 11:18 am  · 

      A few months ago my coworker Steph Larsen and I co-hosted community health care reform forums in towns across Iowa. The forums provided the opportunity for folks to get together and talk about their ideas and concerns on health care reform. Online Diploma AND Ged Test Online AND online homeschooling

      Dec 15, 09 11:19 am  · 

      Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?


      This is your first comment on Archinect. Your comment will be visible once approved.

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Other blogs affiliated with Harvard University:

Recent Entries