Final Project







Presentation Boards


For the final model, I used Bristol Vellum, copy paper, and foam core. The base is two foam core pieces representing the sidewalk of Acorn Alley. The intricate steel structure is represented by Bristol Vellum held by copy paper columns.



Looking down Acorn Alley





Side View 1



Side View 2

Close up 1



Close up 2
Aerial View

The original material was wire, but after many mistrials, the material was found to be unfit for the construction of the model. The scale was too small to display the intricacy of the design. 


In this construction drawing, materiality studies are displayed. On the left, the steel groves in the two L shaped beams separate the glass and solar panels to prevent chemical reactions. In the center the construction and attaching of each L beam is shown, with rivets in opposite corners. On the right the joint of four L beams is shown.


This is elevation looking down Acorn Alley. The structure nearly reaches the height of the surrounding buildings.

Here are two cross sections, the top view, and joints of the petal, as well as the interior gathering spaces.




Section and Section Detail. All Solar energy is captured within tanks in the larger columns for use in colder weather.


Site plan



Maitlyn Fitz


“Composite Tectonics: From monolithic wholes to manifold assemblies” – Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich

In this article, Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich explore the topic of composite materials in architecture, from small scale pieces of art to large scale buildings.  They discuss multiple projects and how their innovations can be used in multiple situations. Specific procedures are used to achieve these goals in design. While they may be time consuming or expensive, the results are well worth the effort.

In my opinion, the concept of composites is an important one, especially in the field of architecture.  Multiple materials with complimenting properties are able to be joined in one functional and structural component.  This also gives way into using recycled materials for building that one would not normally use. Plastic, glass, and stone could be recycled and used to create composite building materials. Also, the majority of materials that can be recycled can be found in close proximity to the building sites and perhaps be fabricated on site to lower costs.

However, the properties of each material must be taken into consideration.  If one does not have a certain property, yet the other does, then the materials could make a successful composite. On the other hand if there is possibility of any material reactions, such as chemical, the composite may be revised and perhaps involve another material in order to make it successful.  

For my personal design, I would like to create a structure that takes in the natural surroundings, such as vegetation and sunlight. I would like each panel to be either tinted or solar powered to capture energy for evening and night lighting, as well as heating and cooling in the off seasons. Also using the vegetation could also benefit the overall experience by growing natural occurring plants and using the rain water gathered naturally to water these plants, which are also lighted by solar power.  The surrounding environmental conditions, such as wind, humidity, snowfall, and rainfall may affect this design, particularly in materiality. Perhaps a composite of plastic and glass for panels, as well as stone, steel, and structure may further help the innovation the space. Further research into these materials and environmental effects will give more advice on the execution of the design.


Maitlyn Fitz

Climate and Sunlight

I did some research of sun patterns and climate.  I found a good bit of information, including a tool to make your own sun studies.  The sun study is very helpful in estimating sunlight at a particular time of day during the year. I also was able to find some information regarding the climate of Kent throughout the year.  Here are the links.


Snow/Wind/Humidity (scroll down a bit)

Sun Graph Tool,-81.3579,13/2013.12.21/16:58

I was not sure on how all of you are interpreting the information regarding your design, but I hope you find these sources useful in your analysis. 


Maitlyn Fitz



Precedent – Final Project

National Portrait Gallery Atrium, Smithsonian Institution
Washington D.C.
Architect: Foster and Partners

1221d_portrait2_b 1221d_portrait1_b

The museum was looking to add an atrium in the center of the structure.  The original building was designed and built in the Neoclassical style. The new modern atrium structure is composed of steel and aluminum, in contrast to the tough stone exterior of the museum.  The shape was influenced by the spirit of the museum: knowledge.  The free flowing shape acts as pure structure, to keep cost down, as mentioned by the firm.

AcornTop3 AcornTop1

Remembering my personal visit to the atrium, what stood out to me was the pattern and the movement it created. Relating back to Acorn Alley, the possibility of creating the same experience sparked an idea. The influence I thought of was the pattern of a top of an acorn. Similar to a dome, it has a broad round shape that is able to cover an acorn completely. In terms of an architectural structure, it could do the same.


Isolating this natural pattern into shape and line, the relationship of solid and void is clearly seen.  In designing the structure, I plan to continue the hierarchy from outside to center, creating heavier, stronger beams and making them smaller as they move to the top of the dome.  The center circle may act as a centering point for each individual arch.


Acorn Alley is an active area during the day, as well as the evening.  The North-South path extends to a few different elevations, and empties into a central courtyard, which has plants that must be climate controlled. This may be achieved through the choice of materiality and span of the roof. In order to hold up the structure, a column system will also be developed. The glass panels can be tinted in terms of sunlight patterns that move perpendicular to the path.

Maitlyn Fitz

Mortice, Zach.  “Museum Courtyard Glides Through the Ages: “Once again, Foster +                  Partners prove their mastery of the historic public sphere”.   AIA Architect. American          Institute of Architects, 21 December 2007.  Web.  17 November 2013.         <>

“Detailing Articulation” – Philip Anzalone and Stephanie Bayard

In this article, the authors discuss the digital design process with various materials. The authors stress the errors that can happen, both by human and machine.  The concepts and ideas must be concrete in that the full development must carry through in the final design. However, the mathematical calculations must be taken into consideration in terms of proportion, shape, size, and intricate detail. One’s design may contain small components that repeat throughout that require very accurate craft, but methods by machine or hand may not be able to create what the designer intends.

The various materials are important to consider, in that a certain material, crafted with certain technology, may best execute one’s design.  These materials will have different textures, thicknesses, and most importantly costs in order to fabricate a final iteration of an idea. One must think of their idea both as a whole, and as different components fitting together to form one final product.

The final product does not always have to be a complete form, but rather a component to a final form, such as a block or a tile.  The authors stress that continuity between all of these components is important. Continuity through all details helps create the fluidity and unity of each component. These smaller forms can create structural forms such as walls, or even the tools that help put architectural elements together, like rivets or screws.

The variety of possibility of today’s technology allows designers to further analyze structure as a tool and a self-supporting structure.


Maitlyn Fitz

“A Brise Soleil without a Building” – Hilary Sample

In this article, Hilary sample discusses the architectural component of Brise-Soleil and its origin from modernists, as well as its many benefits.  The sole purpose of the project is to shield an existing structure from natural sunlight, and lower energy costs.  While providing a new technology, the large, vertical, free standing panel serves as an improvement to the surrounding environment.

This concept of brise-soleil gives a great insight to what façade of a structure, or structure alone is meant to provide.  It does not necessarily have to be contained in all 3 dimensions.  It can be predominately 2 or 1 dimension, regardless of the function it serves by itself, or joined by another.   The piece must be to stand alone, on its own merit when separated from the adjoining structure, as well as surrounding environment.

This also stresses the importance of the creation of spaces, not structure.  The effects and affects the structure creates within its environment needs to be thoroughly examined.  The intent and artistic concepts fuel the structural design.  Each individual panel that creates this larger structure needs to also provide their best service to the piece as a whole. The site’s surroundings are equally as important.  The interactions between the existing and new architectures complete the relationship and need to be heavily studied. If all parts are completed to the best of the artist’s ability, the project will succeed.


Maitlyn Fitz

“Matter is but Captured Energy” – Kiel Moe

In this article, Kiel Moe discusses the relationship between concept and 3D modeling and introduces the idea of matter being captured energy.  The energy that is captured in time is fueled by the concept of the project.  The project displays the movement and flow of rhythm, pattern, and time of the concept and concentrates on one particular moment, hence it being frozen in time.  The details and thorough understanding of both concept and material create space, providing an experience. While they are vital to forming this space, the shapes themselves nearly stand concretely and are fabricated through layers of material.  This can be done by either sticking or stacking materials.  Sticking has many layers in different materials and builds up the energy horizontally whereas stacking takes the same material and stacks it vertically.

This relates to my concept of the Palladio pattern in that I may convey the layers of the pattern in 3D form using stacking.  However, since each line can be moved vertically but not horizontally, I can use differentiating materials for each one, giving a new view from every angle and creating a greater experience.  I also may create more space than shape due to the higher contribution to the experience. The weaving and intersecting of lines will perhaps create the most interesting spaces in between.

I agree with Moe’s view point in that matter is captured energy.  The moment chosen to be represented must have a story and in depth influence as it contributes to thorough design. Materiality and construction methods are the two most important components in conveying space and shape.  Without this understanding, the purpose of the project will fail.


Maitlyn Fitz

Assignment II: Pattern Making

This project is inspired by Karl Jenkin’s Palladio for string orchestra.  It was a piece that I performed with my fellow string players in middle school, both of 7th and 8th grade. The piece has always inspired me and is my all time favorite.  In this project, I wanted to display the movement and passion of the music through the 2-D pattern and final 3-D model.

I started by studying the staff lines of the music and the strings of the instruments. Both create a series of 5 lines. Although each string instrument only has four, there are 5 different noted strings, henceforth the series of five lines used repeatedly in the pattern. Since the music and strings intersect in order to provide the sound, I created a criss-cross effect with both these sets of lines.  The slightly slanted direction of the vertical lines correspond the movement of the bow, down or up (right or left from the player’s perspective).  The three groupings of five lines represent each prominent music part in the score.  The light gray lines in the background represent the steady beat, like that of a metronome or internal pulse and balance out all lines in the foreground.  As in some sections the vertical lines recede behind these gray lines, they create a level changing image similar to a bar graph.  Each height represents a pitch in the main phrase. All lines interweave with each other, as each instrument’s part compliments the other. Image

For the additive and subtractive concept models, the instrument string lines are added and subtracted respectively, layered to represent each instrument. The staff lines are represented in the additive model and also layered. In the subtractive model, each layer is mirrored or rotated upon the next, to view how each interacts with the other, much like the parts of the music.




In the final model, each layer of the center plane were folded and flattened to create lines on a flat surface (music score). This plane is supported by horizontally folded paper.  This supportive layer was left folded in an accordion-like state to represent these lines in three dimensions; also, the steady beat.  This same representation was used for the string lines on the top surface.  Each staff line gently sits on top of these strings and gives an illusion of smooth movement in contrast to the harsh “spike” of each fold.  Both the hard edges and smooth lines create the impact of the beats and transitions of the music  to the listener.  Each part compliments the other.  When lighted, the model creates the same feeling in shadow, contrasting with the all white medium of paper.  





Maitlyn Fitz