evan d hall - an architecture website portfolio
university of minnesota architecture bs | 2004 - 2008 college work sample


An articulated process in architectural design is essential to synthesize large amounts of information efficiently, creatively and thoughtfully. Architectural process can be simplified in order to filter meaningful discovery from chaos. In this studio, meaningful discovery is better described as the process of making, not acting, in order to explore architectural history along side personal expression. Therefore, using this process of making, the material qualities of light, the possibilities of steel frame, and the deep social responsibility of organizing programmatic spaces are further defined in this studio.

Light is ephemeral, powerful, and integral in defining perceived space. In order to understand light not as something intangible, but as a material itself, qualities of light can be captured using a net made out of only paper. The paper itself, which articulates the net for capturing light, visually disappears when confronted with the sun’s indirect rays. Light is not something that exists without body or substance, but a material that flows; the illumination source acts as the source of a river of pure energy, sending out rays of liquid like vibrancy down streams that are infinitely powerful and dynamic. When this energy is confronted with the light net, traces of this almost invisible stream of energy are not defined, but further explored. The material qualities these streams of light are understood by the process of making.

Steel is a dense crystal lattice structure, a product of iron and carbon joined together to create an alloy. When given form and direction, steel is malleable, strong in tension, and capable of magnificent enclosure. Forces moving through steel can be easily calculated and directed using proper delineations between primary, secondary, and tertiary steel members. By studying Mies van der Roh’s Crown Hall alongside a domestic work of architecture with similar attributes, the distinction of how forces flow through all works of architecture becomes logical. Crown Hall, like the domestic structure with similar proportions, carries loads to the ground almost identically, and if only the steel is visible, this similar flow of energy becomes clear. However, the further refined Crown Hall fully acknowledges the beauty of the forces flowing through the steel. Through the act of making physical models of these two frames, and deeply studying these structures in small groups, the powerful influence of connections and flows of forces throughout a steel structure becomes visible.

Built environment defines how humans will relate to one another in physical space. By studying Louis Kahn’s remarkable understanding of relating spaces in a way that facilitates meeting, learning, and well being, we are able to grasp how a successful institution is defined. In this process, institution is broken down into space devoted to the individual, space for the small group, and space for the large group. A physical, scale model is produced to visualize Louis Kahn’s articulation of spatial relationship in a successful institution.

For a final design assignment, the light study, frame study, and institution study are synthesized into a building proposal for a forty thousand square foot theatre building on the University of Minnesota campus. The process of studying these elements of architectural analysis individually and then combining them together in a final design process is not unlike how architecture has been advanced throughout history. The process itself of designing becomes not uncontrolled force, but articulated understanding of what has come before, how it applies today, and where it will go tomorrow. This final design proposal is in no ways final, only an accumulation of architectural ideas synthesized at one point in time with respect to the past and the future.

Architecture is not based on the cheer expression of one individual nor one node it time. On the contrary, architecture is a culmination of linked nodes defined by ideas which are moving in unison. As new ideas are added, the exploration process continues. However, the individual is essential in the synthesizing of nodes which have not been properly articulated. It is when these connections are properly explored that architecture is opened to new possibilities.