Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)



Sep '06 - Dec '09

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    Reviewing the Midterm

    Quilian Riano
    Mar 21, '07 6:33 PM EST

    Sorry for the lack of updates, but this semester is by far the hardest I have ever had, plus I have been busy outside of school too. Structures is sucking up most of my time during week days. There are times I hate it with a passion, but I have to admit that being able to figure out forces on an arch or a tensile structure is pretty cool. On the other side of fun, I really like the Pro-prac class, my prof liked the paper I wrote on the virtual professional challenges and asked me to present it to the class.

    Finally, Studio is going well, housing is a program that is forcing people to make some fun and interesting units, aggregation, and site strategy. The units are probably the most fun as they force you to think about domestic inhabitation. There is a large variety of units and aggregations, some of the drivers for unit and aggregation design seen around the studios:
    -vehicular traffic
    -challenging typologies (suburban house, row house, etc...)

    As I posted before, my project began by looking at these precedents, the Josep Lluis Mateo example was specially helpful as the very sectional quality of the project gave me a starting point for my unit. I made a very sectional U-shaped unit that wraps around a corridor. The unit section also allows for the corridor to receive natural light as necessary/desired. The aggregation strategy then focuses on the corridor its spatial qualities, and the expansion it may provide to create public space. The site itself is in front of a Harvard-managed arboretum that is part of the emerald necklace and at the end of the orange line. I see the role of the housing block in its neighborhood as a place that people can go to find badly needed commercial/public space and a connection to the emerald necklace/arboretum. The critique centered around my site proposal and some of the site moves such as lifting parts of the block, they called it heroic (in a not so good way).





    • b3tadine[sutures]

      i got to tell you +q, your, meta, and eric from bartlett work[s] intrigue the shit out of me. i don't know what you are like in person, but i hope you're just as interesting - don't take this wrong - and not some ivy elitist...kudos to you.

      looking forward to reading the monograph of your work.

      Mar 21, 07 8:14 pm  · 

      i can attest that q is as humble as he is intelligent and talented.

      q - i'm interested to hear more about the comments you received at mid-term. although much of the bldg's mass is lifted above the site, when it does engage the ground, it seems quite deliberate. ...

      Mar 21, 07 8:41 pm  · 

      I like your use of colour in the model. Given that the building is actively engaging with its site I think it would help if you you enlarged the base of the model to show the surrounding topography.

      Mar 22, 07 2:17 am  · 

      i'm betting this base 'plugs in' to a larger site model. maybe one shared by the class?

      Mar 22, 07 7:02 am  · 

      Stourley, thanks a lot for your kind words. I do understand what you are referring to, I don't think I am elitist, if nothing else because of my background. If you are ever in Boston/Cambridge let's go out for a beer and let's see!

      AP, Bryan Boyer (the TA for this studio) actually wrote down all the comments of the crit while it was happening so I may have a little more insight. It seems like they thought that I should go up and down at the same time. right now I am only going up. So although the project is engaging the site I am taking the ground for granted. They also said that the drawings and unit aggregation models create more exciting interior spaces than the ones I am depicting in the physical model. That is a fair assessment as the model was just an initial move that is mostly about massing. I think my next steps will be to go back inside and look carefully at all the interior spaces and how the units themselves and the generic aggregation strategy can help me create variety within them. To show that affectively I may have to use a new way to model it.

      S/SW: thanks, and yes this is a plug that goes into a larger (4'x4') group site model. There are three sites and four of us in the studio are using this one.

      Mar 22, 07 8:31 am  · 

      nice to see you're doing well +q...hit me up if you're ever in NYC

      your fellow architraver...


      Mar 22, 07 4:54 pm  · 

      Hey +q. I just found out about this website (despite the fact that I've been a student of architecture since 2001).

      I have just been admitted to GSD's M.ArchII program and will be attending starting this fall...I was wondering if it was relatively easy to get a place in Perkins (I believe that's the housing you show in one of your first blogs?) or housing around GSD.

      Eitherway, keep up the good work with your blogs. Reading through it makes me want to start school now!

      Mar 23, 07 12:44 am  · 


      sent you an email last night re: Ed Mazria. If you didn't get it, send me a note with a better email.

      Cool project, I'll second beta's comments, except that I hope you have all those Ivie pretentions like me ;)

      I''ll be in boston over memorial day weekend. If your still around, I'd love to grab a beer or two.

      Mar 23, 07 2:20 pm  · 

      urban juicer, first of all, nice name change. Of course bud, let's try to get together. I want to go down to NY to see the show in the storefront for architecture. If you are ever up here again (I know through reliable sources that you and your roommates come up every once in a while ;) ) let me know and we'll go out for a beer.

      Signo, it is the peabody terrace, and I think it is fairly easy to get in. There are about 5 or 6 GSD'ers in my tower alone. Good luck through the transition.

      TK, it would be my honor. I am pretty sure I will be here. I did not get an email, I will send you one for you to reply.

      Mar 23, 07 2:29 pm  · 

      that's some tight models...but don't fail on us +q can we see them larger. Interesting stuff.

      Mar 23, 07 11:29 pm  · 

      q+ - I like the way you sited the market to meet the arboretum and opened the ground near the neighborhood, it makes a nice transition, sort of interlocking the urban and natural... do the red masses indicate a specific program (4/5 story market, 3 story gym?), or are they aesthetic? what happens in the gray slanted portions of the undercroft thing? do you even care about answering these questions?

      lol i guess I'm more curious about the types of comments you'd get in a midterm..

      I also like your use of internal public space... I'll stay tuned :)

      Mar 25, 07 8:56 pm  · 

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