First Year | Second Semester Project


The Gradience project stemmed from a larger, seven-city team project where seven groups where assigned one city each: Detroit, Washington DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Austin, New York City. Given the main street of each city, time was take to research, develop diagrams, and use each city typology to create a fictional city: Gradience. This fictional city formed the canvas on which two fictional corner structures mixed the design typologies found within the cities used.

Design Requirements

  • All 7 main streets from the cities researched must be used

  • The streets must be organized in a grid pattern; one street can cross at an angle

  • No existing structures can be deleted

Gradience focuses on density both structurally and circulatory. The figure-ground shows how streets were strategically placed to create an increasing richness in black figures as the eye moves from top to bottom. The infrastructure map operates similarly by displaying how roads, sidewalks, and transportation achieve the same goal.

Washington DC Condo Complex/Las Vegas Motel

The DC/LV structure consists of a Washington DC condo home mixed with a Las Vegas motel. When creating this franken-architecture, the elevation and plan showcase the elements from each building typology slowly, beginning with the complete typology on one end and the hybridization of recognizable elements further towards the corner. This blurs the line where one typology ends and the other begins.

Austin Home/New York Skyscraper

The Austin/New York franken-architecture takes the two ends of the building form spectrum - houses and skyscrapers - and inverts their design elements through the gradient. Placing the skyscraper centered with the home and intersecting them at the junction, the plan has a lobby at the corner with elevator shafts accessible by going through the home space. Paying closer attention to the facade of the structure, the architectural elements of a home take over the skyscraper while the skyscraper elements take over the home, both doing so in a dramatic                             way. The window, roof, and brick of a

home are scaled to fit the skyscraper height, and the home becomes enlarged and uses multiple windows and doors on the exterior.

In this case, the two typologies go to completely opposite ends and demonstrate what occurs when a gradient reaches both extremes, where the transition becomes final.