Student Work

  • Architecture (MArch)

    isela lopez

    Ambitious Elements

    At the outset of my journey in architecture, I learned about the fundamental building elements like every other student. Elements such as columns, floors, roofs, walls, and windows were the staples of every project. I have always been enamored of these simple concepts and wondered whether we could understand these elements beyond their architectural stereotype. With every new project, I found myself asking whether something as well understood as a column could be something more. It was not until I began working on this thesis that I was bold enough to challenge myself to test these architectural norms. My thesis digs deep into two of these fundamental elements: the wall and the column. These two were selected in part because of the freedom they provide to manipulate materiality and scale (in contrast to the restrictions posed by a window, floor or roof). I believe a wall or a column could be changed in such a manner as to create an ambiguous sensation of space without a drastic transformation of their original function. At the same time, these elements can also be combined to provide an experience of a floor, window or roof. In this thesis, I am testing these potentials by creating integrated urban experiences that use these two elements in the geographical context of the Gowanus neighborhood. I also explore the role these elements play in enabling people to understand and alter daily life.