Process Catalog | Formal Organization

This post is dedicated to communicating some of the design process I engaged with, in an attempt for an organizational first pass. The diagrams below are a sort of warm-up exercise to get my hand moving and my brain thinking.



Stoa (στοά) is a Greek architectural term that describes a covered walkway or colonnade that was usually designed for public use. Early examples, often employing the Doric order, were usually composed of a single level, although later examples (Hellenistic and Roman) came to be two-story freestanding structures. These later examples allowed interior space for shops or other rooms and often incorporated the Ionic order for interior colonnades.
— Jeffrey Becker. "Introduction to Greek architecture"

As I mentioned previously, I was inspired by the Greek Stoa. The Stoa introduces the kind of rhythm and human scale that I believe will work well for our project. I have always enjoyed Greek architecture and urban form. However, the Stoa as a precedent, also fulfills multiple objectives set forth by our guiding principles.

  1. The Stoa represents an inclusive, semi-public space

  2. The Stoa was originally designed to function, in part, as a framing device for the views of the surrounding landscape.

  3. The Stoa maximizes natural ventilation and lighting .


Plan Iterations

Building off of the idea of the Stoa, I began to create some quick sketches - blending in operative design concepts (I wrote about in the previous post). I am interested in a simple form, that can act as a framing device for the surrounding wetlands and critical habitat, provide excellent interior spaces, and connect the site through a beautiful design language.


My goal here, was to arrive on a type of organization in which to deploy the unit system I designed earlier. I cycles through several iterations, just tampering with various mas and void interactions. with every iteration, I went back and tested it against my unit model.

The most challenging aspects were the corners, and devising a way to overlap edges that could conceivably include a building envelope while maintaining a space for circulation in between.


After arriving on a plan that I was comfortable bringing forward, I digitized my hand graphic and made a diagram labeling programmatic spaces.

Site Plan

The final plan is a simple rendering off of the previous diagram’s line-work. I keep a personal supply of digital landscape elements and entourage in my CC library for quick drop-in render tools. I should also point out that when I say “final plan” in this context, I mean final in terms of this round of iterations. I completely expect this plan to change over the coming days. However, everything has to start somewhere.. it is important to me to begin producing “final drawings early in the design process so that they can be refined over time.

base plan.jpg


After finalizing a plan (for now), I moved into Rhino to produce a model of the site. I included a brief video clip below (20x speed) to show some of my building process inside the digital software.

Now that I have a completed model of the site, I can use it as a tool to quickly cut sections, shoot perspective images, or create any kind of drawing I might need very efficiently. I like to jump into digital modeling early so that I have a tool that I can use as the design process moves forward. It is okay if things change because I was very specific about how I organized my model layers and groups. It will be easy for me to add, subtract, or alter any element within the model. I can also use the grasshopper plugin to make elements in the model parametric for very quick testing of ideas.