Laura Martin Portfolio

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Undergraduate Architectural Work

Text of Laura Martin Portfolio

  • Laura Martin | Portfolio

  • Contents

    Museum of Expressive Movement

    Design-Build Expandable Desk

    The Hole in the Do-nutUrban Design & Planning Studio

    Chinati Facility for Conservati onOJ Baker Competi ti on: Honorable Menti on

    Nuuk Fish Market Polar Climate Strategy

    GLOWbal BrickAcme Brick Competi ti on: Third Place

    ORTHONaef Wooden Toy Competi ti on


  • This student project called for an Institute of Movement Studies, an international research center for the study of performance and body techniques located in a sunken parking lot. The overall program of the building and focus of movement was left up to the students discretion.

    The function chosen for my particular project was a Museum of Expressive Movement, where all research conducted is on display. The building would house re-search facilities, exhibits, and performance spaces in or-der to study movement that expresses physical, mental and spiritual states. The movements studied in particular would be ballet, yoga, and body language. The museum informs the visitors of the history, dynamics, and ways of perceiving these states.

    Because of the nature of the museum and its research, it was imperative for the feeling of public access and privacy to coexist within spaces. There was much consideration for how the research participants could achieve a sense of privacy within a public space. The way in which visi-tors view into the spaces was the main solution for how a space could feel private to the occupier yet accessible to the viewer.

    The exhibits also invite the visitor to perceive movements in a variety of unconventional ways. Sometimes he or she views the performers from above or below. Other times there is the absence of sight, sound, or even detail. For instance, from the exterior wall of the building, passersby can only see the basic silhouetted movement of the per-formers through a Litracon wall.


    of Expressive Movem

    ent Fall 2012

  • Sight without Hearing [Ink+Charcoal+Photoshop]

    Section through the Performance space, glass wall of the Library, and Practice spaces.

  • Hearing without Sight[Ink+Charcoal+Photoshop]

    Section through practice space and hallway.

  • Above: Second Floor PlanBelow: First Floor Plan [Rhinoceros+Autocad+Photoshop]

    Right: Structural Drawing [Ink]

  • Model Images

    The structure fuses itself into the site, originally a sunken parking lot in Alexandria, VA.

  • Process Diagrams

    Exploring how to occupy space created by angular form and negotiating the publicexhibition of a seemingly private space .

  • This expandable desk was conceived in a Prod-uct-Making class at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Consortium. The class was based off of the assumption that one must make in order to know. Its goal was for students to explore design through actual produc-tion of a product. The process of making helped us discov-er how to design while adhering to a particular materials properties and exploring joinery and detail.

    Another valuable asset taught during the course was how to adapt a design during the construction pro-cess, when mistakes in design strategy or assembly oc-cur. I also learned a myriad of valuable wood shop skills such as using the CNC router, at least 6 different types of saws, wood properties and joinery, and finishing techniques. I fully conceived, constructed, and finished this desk made of FSC certified Louisiana White Ash.


    uild Expandable Desk

    Spring 2012

  • Joinery

    The desks design originated from my fascination with a single joint: the dovetail. From there, the tables form and function was conceived. The goal was for the joinery to be expressed and celebrated.

    A. Butterfly tails were cut by using a table saw angled at 14 degrees.

    B. A band saw is used to cut the leg tenons.

    C. A CNC router was used to cut the dovetail grooves and mortise.

    A. B.


  • Expansion

    The work desk at rest and expanded using dovetail rails.

  • The Hole in the D


    Urban Design and Planning Studio

    Downtown Baltimore, Maryland is surrounded by the cen-tral business district, the vibrant Inner Harbor, the Univer-sity of Maryland, and many residential districts. The West-side of downtown, though surrounded by this healthy urban tissue, has become largely vacant and dilapidated. This area has been dubbed the hole in the donut of Bal-timore. My studio was split in to two groups of six and giv-en the task to design a strategy to revitalize the Westside. My team spent time thoroughly analyzing the site and its surrounding areas and designed a master plan. After the comprehensive plan was fully agreed upon, the team then assigned each member an architectural or landscape in-tervention. These interventions acted as catalysts for the implementation of our master plan.

    My teams urban strategy was comprised of three main goals: to establish the areas identity, to increase connec-tivity within and to the site, and to promote a sense of community within the Westside. We proposed utilizing the healthy surrounding areas and expanding upon these existing successes in order to create new identifiable dis-tricts within our area. In order to link these districts, we established two streets, Howard and Lexington, to be-come the main axes of the area. To further filter circula-tion from the axes and into the site, we also established secondary circulation paths through existing and created back alleyways. Lastly, we focused on interventions that would promote community gathering, interaction, and ed-ucation and are set along the main axes to serve as anchor points in the area.

    Spring 2012



    IDENTITY: Existing Districts IDENTITY: Proposed Districts

    CONNECTIVITY: Secondary Axes COMMUNITY: Interventions

    Group Strategy Diagrams[Autocad+ Illustrator]

  • Individual Intervention

    Development Plan

    The existing figure-ground shows a large amount of sur-face parking, essentially deadening the area.

    The plan suggests pushing the parking towards the inte-rior of the blocks, creating a greater sense of density. This sense will make the area more walkable and emphasize the proposed park.


    Establish a performing arts center that will help develop the area, reusing vacant buildings, such as the Mayfeld Theater, and building upon empty lots to rehabilitate the northern part of Westside. This district is an expansion of the existing Arts district north of the site.

    Performing arts event spaces Public services, pertaining to the performing arts

    Public services, other

    [Rhinoceros+Autocad+ Photoshop]

  • AB







    Plan 1 Diagram

    A-Ticketing and InformationB- Blackbox Theater

    H-Green Room, Dressing, Lockers, Retail I-Music & Film Library, Classrooms, Private Lessons, Apartments Entry

    E-AtriumD-Performance Hall: LargeE-Performance Hall: Small

    F- Restaurant, Lounge, Refreshments,RestroomsG- Kitchen

  • [Rhinoceros+ Photoshop]

  • OJ Baker Competition Honorable Mention

    The design of the Marfa, Texas Chinati Facility for Conser-vation was inspired by the unique environment in which it is situated. This facility is one of a kind: the first build-ing designed for the Chinati Foundation without the art-ist and founder Donald Judds personal involvement. The Foundation has a very distinctive atmosphere and point of view that should not be ignored. The conservation build-ing acknowledges and complements this celebrated style of Donald Judd. The design drivers of the structure were based on my favorite aspects of Judds work. Judds em-phasis on the void and the fantastic interaction between his anorganic work and its contrastingly natural environ-ment is striking to me and inspired this facilitys concep-tion.

    Donald Judds method of design incorporates the impor-tance of space and the significance of an objects relation-ship to its surroundings. It could be said that his work is very much architectural. The fundamentals of his design are frequently utilized in buildings. Judd even began to use his design to renovate existing buildings in Marfa. Unfor-tunately, Judd limited his inventiveness to only building renovation, never building conception. It is only fitting that Judds design quality be carried through completely in a building in the middle of his Marfa masterpiece.

    Chinati Facility for C

    onservation Fall 2010

    Spatial Diagrams

    Works of Donald Judd

  • [Autocad+Illustrator+ Photoshop]

  • [Sketchup+Autocad+ Photoshop]

  • Sketchup+Vray+ Photoshop]

  • Inspired by the documentary The Cove, this studio proj-ect was assigned to negotiate the tension between a func-tional fish market and a public statement of the injustices carried out in the fishing industry. The fish markets de-sign, located in Nuuk, Greenland, is inspired the publics ignorance of these injustices and the buildings move to-wards enlightenment.


    The entry space of the market is dense and sturdy, in-spired by the surrounding structures that are common to Nuuk, and represent the preconceived notion of what fish-ing means to man. Most are comfortable with the notion of fishing and never question its practice.

    Yet, as one moves through the building, the