Friday, October 21, 2011

Water Damage

So after a long break from LA after graduation, I am returning to posting with some of the projects I am currently on for the Mills Group LLC.  My first project is the redesigning of a flooded sports field in Bethel, Vermont. It is a very small town, and apparently my boss is from the area. 

Currently, I have created an autocadd basemap and generated an existing conditions model of the site. TMG will eventually design the new sports structures and layout.

The side parts are flat, cad faces. Whereas, the middle section has 3d terrain I acquired from the google terrain.

Here are the different parts split up so you can see. I was able to trim the google terrain by draping my cad lines over it, then erasing the newly created faces where I didn't need them. Finished it up by coloring everything a nice green.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Woodburn presentation

Just as a note, the online conversion software used to upload my powerpoint presentation has changed all the text, and it's uneditable. So some of the text I really don't like but I cannot change it. It was all nice and professional in power-point and I've tried 3 different fonts and its still gets converted to that tacky looking font.  If anyone should ever want the original files with the proper text, they are just an email away. It also screwed up my master plan page, so I've uploaded that separately. I guess with free programs you get what you pay for!! Apart from that, I think the only thing we didn't go over was that we would be closing Parsons Street. That should be all...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I felt like leaking some presentation graphics before I had the chance to make a full post. don't worry the whole shebang will be along soon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Since it has been awhile since I have posted, I figured I could at least give a sneak peak into our final design presentation next week. Still got lots of work to do, but things are taking shape quickly...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sense of Place


In keeping with our program, we have developed some sense of place based designs. These designs aim to capture the culture and traditions of the Woodburn Community. This is a brainstorming phase, so all ideas are considered, and the better ones we tried to place onsite.

Beginning with mindmaps, we tried to identify some of the historic aspects of the Woodburn Community that could shape and meaning to our site and design. (its doublesided print is what you see coming thru)

Master #1 -  bring a new road up to parsons along the side of the addition and create a loop for parent drop-off. also add a road through the existing parking lot area for a sheltered bus drop-off.
Master #2 - moved parent drop-off to side of addition, put playground where it was. realigned the bus drop-off for a different flow.

Master #3 - a second itteration of #1, but blocking off Fortney to reduce cut-through traffic and increase safety on the roads immediately surrounding the school. Found that this layout forced the isolation of the k-2 playground to across a street, which is a big nono... Added idea of forsythia tunnels on the hillside for a 'dragon's den.' Also see some form to the community connection park, which would offer basketball, rock climbing, and outdoor bowling (a welsh tradition) nestled nicely in the community.
Master #4 - a combination of the previous plans, this plan features the turnaround of #2, and the circulation of #3. looks like i misplaced the sidewalk on fortney, oops. The overall design is that of agrarian aerial topography. Does it look like a farm? We liked where this plan took us, but we didn't like A) it destroyed 6 houses. B) its still relies heavily on the existing circulation & C) it conforms to the existing site boundaries. D) Its more "Illinois" style farmland, perhaps look at contour farming methods.

support sketches
The mountain form relocated to create terraced gardens
Dragon-slide, inspired from a case-study
Growth as an underlying theme, Woodburn once being a farming community, it relates well to growing children
Facade renovations, simplification of materials, use of WV glass for a brighter, more inviting entrance, kept original arch shape. Panes of glass will probably be much larger than in the rendering, to prevent a church feel.
Community connection park. outdoor bowling, rock climbing, + basketball would be next to this
Main playground, located on existing playground. Again, farming was the theme, so is trying to mimic the aerial feel of farmland. This pic includes basketball, kickball, 4-square, and open spaces.
The bus pick-up/drop-off is inspired by the streetcars that once ran through the neighborhood on Richwood Avenue. It would allow 4 buses to stack at once. Perhaps we should over-design this for more buses....
Parent pick-up/drop-off, also taking the look of the streetcar stations. I want this to be bigger, wider, and allow more cars. We'll see what happens...
Considerations from our advisor: taking a heavier-handed approach to the circulation, resiting the addition, and a new parent drop-off at the historic entrance.

Friday, February 25, 2011


We wanted to make a quick post of our current standings for everyone to see. Also, I will take this opportunity to describe some of the aspects that are and are not illustrated in these renderings.

@ the Fortney/Richwood intersection, definitely an optimal view to maintain. What you see is the existing building (in orange) being enveloped by additions, giving us the opportunity to create very unique spaces inside, meshing the traditional exterior materials with contemporary interior treatments (great example shown to the right). The bottom two parts of the white addition were removed, per safety of the children, so they couldn't climb up on the roof. To see how the angled addition would work, please refer to my previous post, here, its still conceptual though and mostly just forms. Out front we are planning to incorporate some unique play structures/designs, but these plans have yet to make it to the model. Outdoor classrooms currently would be behind the white addition, on the hillside overlooking the area.
Thomas & Hazel Little Library Expansion @ Eastern Kentucky University

 On the backside of the school, we are proposing 2 pick/drop offs, one for parents and one for buses, both located on the backside of the building. The parent pickup would run directly next to the school, with a sheltered roof over top of the road to ensure year round use. Of course they aren't modeled yet, but the grey box on the back in the middle is approximately the location and height we are thinking about.

An important contextual view, here most people get their first sight of the school as they enter the Woodburn Community near Mario's Fishbowl. The top floor face has been oriented to this view to acknowledge this, while perhaps telling about the story of Woodburn school (its a spiderweb now because its a neat pattern, but its totally open to ideas. We've been considering a wolf-related pattern, but are finding it a bit harder to find shapes to tell that story.)

     Obviously, we still have lots of work to do developing our outdoor classrooms, physical services, playgrounds, and just general site layout - which you can see our concepts for the masterplan in my previous posts, hereBelow is the project program that we are working from, so you can we have started to address some of the designs while others have yet to surface in the model.

Jared Gorby & Andrew McKee
Woodburn Green School

Mission Statement:
Our mission is to redesign the current Woodburn Elementary School site, by providing an intelligent and imaginative school site selection and design. We plan to integrate our design with surrounding natural elements. Doing so will provide sufficient space for a school building, interactive educational facilities, a strong connection to nature, and integration with existing structures – while maintaining an adaptive reuse of the current site with low impact construction methods. Thus, a visual and cultural connection will be established within the Woodburn community, while showing respect for the local heritage and environment. The end result will produce a natural campus, for Woodburn Elementary, which encourages sustainable education.

Goal 1: Establish a creative school campus.
Objective: Design a school building with a capacity for 450 students at approximately
32,000 square feet of building space, and contains all necessary facilities.
Objective: Design a building layout that takes advantage of surrounding topography,
amenities, utilities, and green building practices.
Objective: Provide a low maintenance, native planting design on campus and outdoor
classroom areas that can accommodate 30 students.
Objective: Provide trash and recycling receptacles at convenient location throughout
the campus.
Objective: Establish an energy efficient, low impact outdoor lighting system throughout
the campus.

Goal 2: Create a variety of interactive-educational opportunities.
Objective: Allow for architectural design and landscape elements to provide and
support student oriented interactive learning opportunities.
Objective: Green building features, such as: green roofs, cisterns, and other water
management techniques, can be utilized as educational benefits for students.
Objective: Integrate recreational opportunities with educational opportunities by
providing stimulating toys, playground equipment, and a variety of other interesting and
thought-provoking amenities.

Goal 3: Develop a children’s playground, within the schools’ campus, which is
environmentally sensitive.
Objective: Create a theme for the playground and surrounding campus areas.
Objective: Protect and enhance quality views on and off-site by highlighting these
views with view sheds.
Objective: Integrate interactive learning experiences throughout the playground with
the use of creative playground equipment and a variety of other experiences.
Objective: Incorporate a variety of children’s playground equipment.

Goal 4: Create a connection between the Woodburn Elementary School and the
Woodburn neighborhood.
Objective: Enhance pedestrian connectivity and safety throughout neighborhood and
school campus by limiting the amount of vehicular traffic through campus.
Objective: Multiple uses for school, as a small-scale neighborhood event center.
Objective: Limit the amount of vehicular traffic on-site through the use of on-street
parking and other vehicular stipulations.

School Building, Parking Lots, Playgrounds, Maintenance Facility, Recycling Area,
Common Area (Courtyard), Open Green Space, Outdoor Classrooms

Here are some personal renderings by Andrew as part of his personal designing process, which have their own nice style to them. We've been looking alot at architect Frank Gehry, and find his style of line drawings to be loose and conceptual, but stylized to a point of elegance, in which they hold up as presentation graphics. 

I do wish to thank Tony Christini @ for his support and input, as well as the kind reporter at the Dominion Post, Jim Bisset, for his interest and willingness to share our ideas, not to mention our professors for their hard work molding us into young designers, and anyone else who has given their input or shared this with others. The most rewarding part of doing what we do is seeing others embrace our designs!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Ugh this night has been a pain in the neck. Crashed a model earlier without saving it, probably 1.5 hours of work on it. hate that stuff. After some odd interpretations of the new addition, it was quite necessary to whip up some ideas to review asap because I don't think the vision was getting translated very well early on... Hopefully this will convey more of how it would work, which is still very conceptual at this point. I mean, I don't even know if we will stick with this building or not. Hopefully these pictures will sell it.

Growing up in West Virginia, the ongoing story of our lives has always been coal, and mountaintop removal. This designs aims to mimic a mountaintop in character, by doing the opposite of mountaintop removal with mountaintop addition - paying tribute to the forever lost beauty of WV. The 3 classrooms in the corner are just an example of how we am trying to layout some of the floors... perhaps the summit is a local stone?? 

Classes have passive daylighting, feature living machines (waste filtration) for bathroom facilities & classroom grey-water, as well as act as an ongoing interactive science experiment for children, teaching the values of sustainability and the relationship between man and nature. 

Perspection so you get the feel... don't trust those shadows, its cut open.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Modeling 2B BIG idiot here did not save the model after taking those pictures in the last post. So ya, I stayed up till 5 am redoing it, then adding some more stuff. So here another post of what I added. I'm gonna need a real model of the school soon...

unglassed the top parts of the new white addition, added one more in the middle, lowered overall elevation of white section so that the front leftside corner meets the grade. Also added classroom expansion on the roof, featuring a greenroof (thats like a given, anymore).

glassed the middle entryway on the farleft white addition, added the exterior double-doors, added some more glass. spiderweb design for character and its visual landmark (shown below)

hope your screen resolution can see this, but can you make out the spiderweb design? (fishbowl^)


Suns will be up soon, think I may just stay up tonight. sleep schedule has been waaay too out of sync... need something to reset my schedule.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Modeling pt.2

    Just a quick post of the design I just put together. Apparently I've been looking at a screen for too long, and my right eye is all messed up and bloodshot now and is pretty irritated. Calling it an early night....
    With this set I was working to incorporate the two different entities. I revamped the elevations of the addition for a different aesthetic, and wrapped a galvanized steel/bay window area with an atrium on the western side. The glass box around the entrance is just a concept to envelop the entrance inside of contemporary materials, like on the southside. Also, I made some of the large boxes of the new addition glass where they transition with the old building, to show the connection.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hot off the Podium presses comes some concepts for the proposed additions to the existing Woodburn School. The angle of the roofs is @ 39* for optimal photovaultic exposure. We are thinking about putting thin strips of photovaultic cells across the windows to create a pseudo-stained glass effect, while producing interesting shapes and shadows onto the ground below.... Alot more work to do, but I thought these pics would make for a nice post. Enjoy!

perhaps a design to mimick mountains?

sexy landmark ;)

nobody would ever see this from here, but its a sexy view, eh?

The idea is kind of like, you drive around the corner, and then all of a sudden you see this massive structure that looks almost as if it has sunken into the hillside.

My crappy handwriting + crappy design sketch. quotes by FLW

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Site Analysis

     So our first interim presentations have come and gone, and our project's inventory and analysis is coming to an end. The long nights and early mornings have subsided for the time being as our professors have given us some freedom this weekend while they prepare WVU's LA accreditation. Looking back at the presentations, its like they say - hindsight is 20/20. Sure, some things worked better than others, but any true artist, designer, or architect knows how important it is to take risks.

With that said, I'll share some of the more successful graphics from our presentation.

Warm summer winds move northward on our site, rising from the Mon River lowpoint, across our site.

Cool winter winds moving eastward across our site

Landmark buildings within the neighborhood, Mario's Fishbowl & some big mansion on the highpoint.

Sun+shade study

view to be maintained #1 + the actual view (below)

 view to be maintained #1

Site-Wide Perspection 

School-Site Perspection

 Preliminary Designs (sorry no table lol!)

Linear Flow Chart for the presentation (graphics were inlayed in bubbles and presentation program zoomed in/out on bubbles. 

Check out the actual presentation here!  Comments, critiques, suggestions, always welcome (thats why I share it....)!!

Also, had a first today. Pocket-blogged from my droid while walking across town! hahaha

Big Thanks to my project partner, Andrew McKee, for all his input and contributions to our project!