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architecture

I’ve finally gotten around to having the energy/desire to post my thesis work online. I’m very proud of the work I did in the amount of time I feel I actually had direction. Without further adieu:

Abstract:

This thesis is an architectural exploration of The Serpentine Fen Wildlife Area in Surrey, British Columbia as a public park and an opportunity for environmental education for children. As public education becomes more environmentally con- scious, there is a need for architecture that sup- ports how the child interacts with and perceives their natural environments.

This thesis proposes the use of a single archi- tectural element as a transition between multiple site conditions to create a dynamic link between earth, air, water which affords the abilitity for a relationship to be developed between the user and their environment. This element will consist- ently be present in the user’s journey through the site and serves to encourage interaction with the identified site conditions. The thesis investi- gates how this continous element acts as locus, datum, frame, reference, stage and devise to en- hance the child’s experience of nature.

Thesis question:

How can architecture create a connection be- tween children and nature?

I’m definitely not going to post the body of the work here, though I will post a link at the bottom for those of you brave enough to open it.

Instead, I’ll just post the images I made!

SITE:

Site. Extra / Large SurreyThe Serpentine Wildlife Area

Site conditions:

Site conditions

Plans/Sections/Renders:

ONON
ON

ABOVEAbove
Above

INIn
IN

UNDERUnder
UNDER

WITHWith
WITH

Link to archived pdf.

I have a series of models that I made that I haven’t properly documented yet but I will do in the near future. I also did a lot more mini-renders, 2 for each ‘site condition’ and another 15 to describe the wood ribbon path throughout the site. After I document how they were presented, I’ll do another post about that.

Final pinup:

Pinup

I’ll have my degree in-hand hopefully by mid-June because I won’t be attending convocation on May 22nd.

Cheers!

My thesis title is Site as Education: Using Architecture to Communicate Nature’s Behaviours.

My thesis question is: how can architecture create a connection between children and nature?

The concept is to use a single architectural element that transitions between 5 different tectonic conditions of the site to afford unique experiences in each condition. The architecture is a simple wooden ribbon that twists, wraps, folds, flows and threads its way through the Serpentine Wildlife Area in Surrey, BC. As part of a larger ecological and environmental pedagogy and curriculum , the ribbon will form classrooms along the path for early childhood environmental education. By interacting with the architecture, the user will be encouraged to interact with their immediate environment.

Here are a couple images I have been working on:

Above

Birdwatching and jungle gym pavilion.

Kindergarten entry building.

Kindergarten entry building.

I’m currently working in my final project for my Masters of Architecture so I have not put any effort into formulating posts. Hopefully I’ll be finished this spring but there is a possibility it might continue into late summer… I sure hope not though!

I’m looking forward to getting back home and digging my feet back into the amazing beer and food scene in Vancouver and the pacific northwest!

-r

Here is my feeble attempt at some street photography inspired by Stephen Shore, for my photography elective that I’m taking. I decided to go heavy with the VSCO film presets on this one too for fun and to give it a more retro look. I’m actually not unhappy with the results.

I just picked up my camera and went for a walk around downtown Halifax, which really is only 2 streets (Spring Garden and Barrington). As I take more photographs and get into the “groove” while shooting, it becomes easier and easier to disregard how crazy I must look. I usually end up just going for the shot I want and don’t pay attention to how people feel about me taking their photo. Thus far, I haven’t been met with any hostility and people usually look like they feel guilty about “interfering” in the shot by ducking or sheepishly smiling as they walk by.

I apologize for the lack of content recently. I’m about halfway through the first semester (“Thesis Prep”) of my thesis for my Master of Architecture.

It’s rather time, effort, energy, concentration, imagination, enthusiasm, motivation… etc intensive hence my lack of posting photos. I’m hoping to get out to PEI for a photography adventure for my elective soon, but we’ll see!

Here’s a map I’m working on showing just the building footprints and roads in Surrey, BC. Nothing special, but I’m hoping it begins to inform me about the relationship between the built and natural environment in Surrey. Surrey isn’t very dense at all, it’s basically made up of two things: suburban housing and the agricultural land reserve. “Surrey City Centre” is basically a strip of malls along the highway, a couple residential towers and they sky train… long way to go. I have high hopes for the city though, I feel that it has the potential to be an amazing city but there are a lot of contentious developments exasperating the degradation of the natural landscape that isn’t contributing to the city moving forward. Anyways… quick graphic.

Reza in the studio, test.

I’m taking a photography course at school and the current assignment is rephotography. Halifax has a decent amount of history (relatively speaking for Canada) and we are supposed to retake historical photographs and then merge them together.

The next assignment involves animation so I was immediately reminded of the beautifully animated GIF’s by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg co-creators of the “cinemagraph” that Alison turned me onto.

Here is my first attempt at a cinemagraph. It took me about 30s to set up the scene: “ok reza, stay completely still then look at the camera and turn back.” Shot done. About 30 minutes of tutorial shopping, I settled on one from netmagazine which I found the easiest to follow. Then about an hour of actually making the clip, adjusting animation, deleting frames to get filesize down etc.. and here we are!

Short video of UBC Pharmacy while I was assisting architectural photographer Marc Cramer shooting for HCMA and Saucier + Perrotte.

This is my first video I’ve made on my own. It was shot over 2 days, and a day of learning FCPX and uploading. Next step is to start getting into the technical side of recording. I’m not terribly happy with the quality of what I got out of my 5dmkii which I think can be greatly improved with some simple adjustments.

Shooting video is much different than photos but I’m keen to learn the process and get a grasp on how to piece footage together.

Enjoy!

The Architect & Photographer from Ryan Nelson on Vimeo.

After a good night’s sleep and a leisurely rise, we made our way down to Stumptown Coffee for a scone and coffee before heading out. By the way, Stumptown makes amazing coffee. I usually just go for the drip but they only french press or espresso, really nice stuff.

After coffee we strolled around to get a sense of the city. It’s quite well layed out by quadrants, north-west, north-east, south-west, south-east. The only interruption is the north end on the east side of the Willamette River where it bends and offsets the grid. Streets are easy to navigate, avenues run north south and are numbered starting at the river and streets are named a-y (doesn’t reach z) running north from well, Burnside is the major boundary. Not sure what the plan was for streets south of Burnside… at any rate, on to the food!

Of course, Portland has a well established food cart/truck industry that is just awesome. Entire city blocks are lined with carts of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, styles, and generate quite a bit of traffic. Apparently Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson visited Portland a few years ago and that’s the reason why Vancouver is starting to introduce food trucks. We’re big fans of Guy Fieri’s show Diners Drive-ins and Dives , yeah we know it’s terrible but it’s so fun! One episode he visited Portland and recommended a few places. One that interested us the most was Euro Trash. I ordered the escargot and A ordered the calamari baguette. The snails were drenched in butter, which is definitely not a bad thing, and came with some toasted garlic bread. A’s calamari came in a toasted baguette with a delicious wasabi dressed cole slaw. We carried our lunch to the nearest square and sat down to eat. Such a great start to our vacation!

After the arduous journey around the corner for lunch, we wandered around a bit more to tour some of the shops. I had been searching for a new camera strap to replace the one that comes with the camera. I found a few and a Portland leatherworker made one I liked. We found the shop and checked it out. I bought the strap!

Thanks A for the photo.

random bearded guy wearing a pink dress.

All this walking made us hungry… we almost felt guilty for more or less going from restaurant to restaurant but hey, we were on vacation and dammit we were going to enjoy it!

Most restaurants in Portland have a happy hour between usually 3-6 so we decided on oysters at The Parish for an appetizer before dinner. The service was excellent! We read some reviews complaining about the service and food, but it seems it must have just been a rough start because we enjoyed every moment! Both the servers were very knowledgable about the food and were able to identify each oyster. Our favourite were the Chelsea Gems from Washington, sweet and salty with no fishy flavour and finished clean. Of course you have to pair oysters with vodka martini’s too.

We asked the server to recommend a pizza place and she recommended “oh there’s a place around the corner, I think they make pizza.” Yes, they do make pizza. Delicious, wood-fired, hand made, artisan pizza. That place is Oven & Shaker. I’m a fan of the simple and fresh margherita so that’s always my basis of comparison for good pizza. I was SO happy to see a wood forno oven in Oven & Shaker’s open style kitchen and so we were looking forward to some great pizza! A ordered the bianca. Both were perfectly cooked with a nice crispy bottom and the dough was chewy and soft.

We’ll be back…

Eurotrash (Food Cart) on UrbanspoonOven and Shaker on UrbanspoonThe Parish  on Urbanspoon

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