Speculative | 2012
METAFICTION: fiction that self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in order to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality.
This project begins with a work of literature by Jorge Luis Borges entitled "The Library of Babel." While the thesis itself doesn't pursue the library typology, out of an obsession with this fictional Universe, a series of architectural questions are explored through the production of an analogous architectural Universe. The beauty of Borges' library lies in its poetic occupation of polar extremes. Its components are both completely real--even banal--and its consequences extreme. The world of Borges' fiction is one in which the reader is caught in a perpetual moment of hesitation between the real and the imaginary, producing a condition of the fantastic. This thesis leverages Todorov's definition of the fantastic in order to maintain an ambiguous relationship to the known and the real, producing a machine framework in architecture that can straddle the territory between the visionary and the banal, instrumentalizing fiction, the imaginary, and the playful for grounded and real ends. The program is a menagerie for animals. Using the structural module of the vault, the requirements of each animal are distilled and scripted into a series of specific design moves. In this way, variation of the structural and geometric system is able to produce typological differentiation, and spawn a field of variations which can then be evaluated and taken into the real world.
Prototype | 2012
The Flexible Pavilion combines traditionally contradictory qualities in a structural vaults. Vaults are rigid, opaque, and permanent structures, often seen in monumental spaces. In turning to a durable, flexible, and translucent material, the assumptions of the vault are turned on its head. Made entirely from polypropylene--a flexible and durable plastic--the vaulted pavilion measures 10 feet in width, height, and length. A core of structural ribs slot together as in traditional Japanese joinery, and are covered in a double skin, providing shear resistance and a glowing, translucent canopy. Each leg of the pavilion is able to move up to a foot in any given direction, allowing the pavilion to be placed on uneven terrain. The vault finds its own ideal catenary geometry for each site as a result of its flexible plastic composition. The Flexible Vault is part of Babel, a speculative design for a zoo. The Pavilion is a prototype for the aviary within the zoo.
Boston | 2016
A roof deck in Boston's South End was both cluttered and underutilized out of the client's desire to accommodate a multitude of activities ranging from work to yoga, intimate dinners and large parties. The variety and amount of furniture needed was overwhelming, leaving a space that couldn't comfortably accommodate any activity.
In order to resolve this contradiction, we removed the furniture and instead transformed the surface of the deck itself into subtly integrated surfaces for sitting, lounging, and entertaining. Areas are sculpted up from the floor to various levels and angles of repose to produce terraced zones for a range of activities ranging from active to sedentary, reducing visual clutter while achieving both intimacy and openness.
The deck itself is crafted out of Sapele and assembled entirely without without screws or nails. Instead, each piece is digitally sculpted with interlocking Japanese wood joints to ensure graceful longevity. The deck is also entirely modular and can be disassembled and relocated easily. In this project, we sought to combine digital tools with traditional craft and materials to produce a space that is both innovative and subtle.
Design: Jeremy Jih
Carpentry & Install: Jeremy Jih
CNC Milling: Polyfab
Steel Fabrication: Atlantic Steel
Wood Supplier: Kenyon Woodworking
Landscape Install: Carey Erdman
Plant Supplier: Mahoneys
Stowe, VT | 2016
The Stowe Glass House is dedicated to framing an exquisite view of Mt. Mansfield in the town of Stowe, VT. A continuous living space pivots around a central three-sided stone hearth which forms the structural and conceptual heart of the house. Each wing of the house faces both inwards towards a hearth and outward towards the view, allowing each space to become a viewing area for the mountain. A continuous floor-to-ceiling curtainwall system wraps the entire mountainside perimeter of the house, while the roof sweeps seamlessly from interior to exterior to dissolve the boundary between the two, and bring the view of the mountain into the interior spaces. A wraparound, continuous deck continues the illusion and extends the living space of the house to the exterior.
Design: Jeremy Jih
Contractor: Cypress Woodworks
Engineering: Harris Structural Engineering
Boston | 2014
The triangular site of this Extreme Sports YMCA is fraught with multiple adjacencies and public flows, sitting between the boundaries of the Financial District, Chinatown, and the Leather district and bounded on all sides by intense urban activity. This project seeks to develop these relationships by positioning the YMCA as a Spectacle Machine. In opposition to the Downtown Athletic Club as described by Rem Koolhaas, the Spectacle Machine seeks to escape the horizontally isolated layering of the tower and the slab, and produce oblique relationships between spectator and spectacle that overlap and rotate, allowing for a true intermix. The spectacle of sport is exploited to leverage relationships between juxtaposed programs, and to allow the street to act as a space of casual spectatorship to the building interior, allowing the urban context to participate in the interior interactions. Rather than dedicate pure zones of activity and spectation, each arena is at once spectator and spectacle, separated by a central rift--a void which provides enough distance to allow for spectation and to provide a spatial buffer between active programs. This void--the climbing canyon--becomes an orienting atrium, and occupiable vertical surface. Though the center is evacuated, the atrial void is finally programmatically laden. The climbing canyon is not only programmatically integral to its surrounding programs, but also functions as a structural shear wall integral to the support of the building, and as a light well to illuminate the often deep programs.
Speculative | 2011
The 2012 America's Cup in San Francisco is comprised of a complex series of events and races that increase in scale from a Youth Cup of 5,000 spectators to the final America's Cup Regatta of 100,000 spectators. This requires not only a phaseable solution, but an architecture that accommodates modular expansion and open views during all phases. The thin-shell structural vault provides openness, modular self-sufficiency, and reflects the aesthetics and culture of the sailing events. By allowing the vault to touch down on the ground either on points or edges, gentle interior partitions are set, guiding occupants and establishing zones for various activities and programs. The shells are cast with standardized, cost-effective board formworks which are then used to build a mirrored, gently sloping ground surface that allow for bleacher-like views to the water, and allow for support programs such as ticket booths and restrooms to be unobtrosively integrated into the landscape. The malleability of structural vaulting systems also allows for modulation from very large to intimate spans, accommodating private VIP lounges, large spectator spaces, and enclosed exhibit spaces. To allow for greater light and openness, the roof surfaces are also perforated following a finite element analysis of surface stresses within the shell to maximize light while maintaining structural integrity. The orientation of the perforation is driven by solar azimuth and orientation, to allow for either direct or indirect light according to specific programmatic needs in each zone.
Beijing | 2016
A historic courtyard house adjacent to the Forbidden City presented an incredible opportunity for reinvention. Existing historic elements are first preserved, and known elements restored. Then, a modern glass insertion sits within the historic structure like a vitrine, deferring both to the historic nature and location of the structure, while providing a beautiful and quiet contrast between old and new. The circulation of the courtyard house is linked to become a fully continuous loop, centered around a sculpted water stone.
Boston | 2016
Speculative | NYC | 2011
The skyscraper is one of the most economically constrained building types. While architects strive for formal expression, these efforts are often sharply limited by real-estate pressures and performance ratios: floor-to-floor height, facade-to-area-ratio, building height, and many others. Rather than resist the authority of these industry performance ratios, this project places them at the heart of the creative process. A single equation is written which generates a building form that is parametrically driven both aesthetic, economic, structural and technical constraints including Gross Floor Area, floor to floor height, circulation cores and facade-to-area ratio. An exhaustive preliminary research phase developed a responsive data matrix which examined the efficiencies of each performance ratio in relation to all available permutations of building shape and dimension. This matrix drives a single parametric equation which produces the entire building and all its components. Interlocking residential units, double height commercial space, structural cantilevers and circulation systems are all given by the single equation. The parametric is used to respond to the need for a critically and formally mature architecture which performs on a technical and economic level.
Boston | 2016
A historic brownstone in the South End is converted to a loft-style bachelor pad. Beautiful joists, hidden behind a 1980s-era renovation, are exposed and acoustic textiles laid between the joists for sound isolation. Raw steel and warm weathered stone tie together the material palette.
Provincetown | 2016
A triangular site anchored by a historic Cape house needed to be transformed into a courtyard. To accomplish this, J.Roc proposed a poolhouse to anchor a central pool and sunken courtyard space. The ground floor of the poolhouse is glass, to allow for continuity with public pool spaces, while the upper levels are rotated 30 degrees to face the existing structure at a perpendicular angle. Public spaces are oriented at the 30 degree angle to allow for oblique three-quarter views to dominate across the courtyard, and to structure viewing relationships within the space. A choreography of entry is produced to allow for a sudden reveal of the hidden courtyard by ascending a stair which becomes a new elevated ground in front of the poolhouse, which continues inside the house itself, lifting the roof for a Richardsonian half-eyebrow dormer.
Furniture Design | 2016
Fabrication: Cypress Woodworks
Hand crafted in walnut with brass tenon joints. The pronounced grain and coloration of walnut is accentuated by allowing its mass to disappear: all edges on the console taper to a knife edge, allowing the eye to focus only on the surface grain itself. The base--a hyperbolic paraboloid surface--subtly twists to give the appearance of a floating, cantilevered end.