All posts by Steph Rakiec

DD Review – Ali Pugliese

Introduction of project:

As is known, our site has a unique corner condition, allowing people to decide to address it our not. Here, Ali’s proposed fire station design, occupies the corner and she situates her main entrance along Franklin Street, the busier of the two streets. She has also decided to stack the required program and to make her building less dense with this stacked program she has made the design decision to create interior courtyards, allowing for natural light to pass into interior rooms.

NAAB Criteria Critique:

Overall, Ali’s project meets most of the NAAB Studio Criteria in a somewhat adequate way, but there is definitely room for improvement in the areas discussed below.

Ali discussed in her presentation that she has several precedents, which do show up on her board, but the names escaped her at the time of presenting and they weren’t labeled. But, with these precedents Ali seems to have analyzed them closely, especially the one that she stated drove her project the most since she used this idea of the interior courtyards from the section she saw of this precedent. However, she should look back at her precedents a little more closely, which Peter Aeschbacher, one her guest critiques, suggested to do, and I agree with him. In that precedent which helped to shape Ali’s design decision to incorporate interior courtyard spaces, there are spaces shown in the precedent’s section that have double height courtyard spaces and there is no wasted space. Right now in Ali’s current design there seems to be spaces that aren’t working cohesively together in section or in plan as well.

Another critique that was made was that Ali’s site is underdeveloped. Here it seems that Ali has not met the NAAB criteria for site planning just yet, but I believe she can develop the site by working with these interior courtyard spaces as well. Maybe she can think about trying to bring about this idea of tying the inside spaces back to something that is happening on the exterior? I noticed on her site plan that she has something design near the edge of our site along the east river shore that she didn’t really talk about. I’m curious as to what that possible could be from the precedent picture near it, it seems as though it’s a concrete forum like space, which could work there but my question to Ali would be why is it in that location and what does she see exactly happening there? Here site layout is similar to mine in that, volumetrically we both have our fire stations occupying the corner and our monitor museums located a little further back in the site. She has also lined trees between the Monitor Museum and the fire station along Quay street, which I don’t think is the best idea since I believe it makes the site closed off for pedestrians to come wonder about. However, because of the volumetric layout of her site, she has created these different pockets in her site that can each be programmed with something different maybe? These are design decisions that Ali still has to answer.

I would say Ali’s plan works for the most part. There are some issues she needs to resolve which the critics had pointed out, which is to double check that her apparatus area does indeed work with the turning radius needed for a fire truck. Ali also mentioned that her apparatus bay is able to be driven though, but that isn’t isn’t clearly as there is that odd angle moment that makes it seem as though it isn’t a drive through area. Also, a good point brought up by the reviewers was why are her living spaces pointed toward the streets? The living space situation isn’t as important to work out at this point, in my opinion though as making sure her apparatus bay works. So if I were Ali I would focus on the apparatus bay more as that is the most crucial aspect of our program to get right.

Overall the way Ali communicated her design and what she is trying to do with her building was effective. I think her verbal presentation was more effective than her boards and what she said gave different platforms for the reviewers to go off from to help her strengthen her design in the next couple weeks.

Critique of the Critique:

I think both Peter and Juan were on the same page regarding Ali’s project. The main thing Ali should do before correcting anything mentioned above is to develop the architectural parti of her project. Juan and Peter think there isn’t one at the moment, but there is enough information and pieces developed in Ali’s project that there can be a parti developed. Ali should sit and think about what she ‘s trying to convey with her building. As mentioned she has all the parts including geometries, volumes, planes, etc. but they don’t intersect with one another cohesively yet. There are these “unexpected” instances that need to worked out as Peter put it; and the structure and elements that Ali currently have need to work together to formulate a story as Juan critiqued.

I believe that Juan and Peter were helpful. Although they seemed a little harsh with their choice of words, I think overall Ali got good feedback from them and hopefully can use some of it to further her project for the final review. Again, the way she presented her ideas verbally are what gave Peter and Juan platforms to build off of and points that will strengthen Ali’s project.

Orders of Worth Critique:

I believe the main area Juan and Peter focused on was the domestic area of the higher common principle in the orders od worth matrix. Ali needs to establish these guidelines for herself, which will be established through an architectural parti. With these guidelines she will then be able to have a sense of hierarchy within her building and all the pieces she has already will be able to hopefully come together into a more cohesive design rather a disjunctive one.


Ali had an ok review overall. She has plenty of comments that the reviewers mentioned that she can work off of from the coming weeks. Ultimately, even if Ali doesn’t get to fixing all the “issues” and only fixes a few, she’ll have a good design for final review.


Photo Credit:

de Young Memorial Museum: San Francisco
Architects: Herzog & de Meuron

DD Project Statement

With the gentrification happening in Brooklyn, New York there are proposals for new residential and commercial high rises, and schools. In the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, there is a need for a new firehouse to provide sufficient services to the increase in population. Situated on the corner of Quay Street and Franklin Street, the firehouse becomes a community beacon by rising above the historical industrial neighborhood.

The stacked program provides height to compete with the new high rise and becomes more private as you move up. The circulation “rod” allows for a central circulation core to each level providing an easy, fast access for the firefighters to reach the apparatus bay through an escape chute. The rod allows for the stacked program to be pushed and pulled creating green roof terraces and providing views of Manhattan. To promote more community involvement, the firehouse is also becoming the North Brooklyn Children’s Garden (NBCG) as the community will have access to the green roofs; and the children from the proposed new schools can come learn and plat foods and vegetables, and the community can host events there as well. The materiality of the building also uses a concrete framing system with Elm wood panels, which are local sources, to bring back the idea of the historical wooden firehouses and also celebrate the new concrete framed structures being built.

The firehouse becomes a hinge point for community members, both new and old, to experience the past and present.

Photo Information:


Designers: Ramon Coz + Benjamin Ortiz

Photographer: Sergio Pirrone

Architects vs. Interior Designers

Thesis Statement: Interior design should fall under the jurisdiction of the architect and not an interior designer, as they are more qualified in both education and professional experience.

Periodical: ArchDaily

There has always been a conflict between the interior design and architecture professions in how they intersect with one another. Architects continually believe that the interior design of a building falls under their jurisdiction, as they are more qualified in both education and professional experience.

A Bachelor of Architecture Degree from an accredited university takes more time and effort than an Interior Design BFA Degree. Although, “interior design has changed dramatically since the beginning of the 20th century, when it was merely interior decoration,” (Guerin) it doesn’t hold up to the same standards as if one was to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Interior design is now considered to be, “a discipline of professionals qualified to identify, research and creatively solve problems of the interior environment . . . and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public,” (Guerin, Thompson). However, architecture education has already been focused around research, creative design solutions, and the health and welfare of the public since the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) first introduced a national standard in architectural education in 1912 (NAAB History).

Recommended Academic Plan for the Bachelor of Architecture (BARC
FIT Academic Plan 2

If one were to take a look at an interior design education today, such as one at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and compare it to an accredited school of architecture education, such as the one at The Pennsylvania State University, they would believe the two different disciplines have a relatively similar education background. They both take studio courses, courses in hand drawing and computer skills, environmental system courses, art history courses, a professional practice course and both complete theses. The main difference someone would see is that an architecture student attends school for five years while an interior design student only     attends for four years. Just because the two degrees look fairly similar on paper, doesn’t mean in practicality they are. After an interview with a third year interior design student attending FIT and her friends, and comparing it to my own and fellow classmates’ experiences as third year architecture majors there were major differences. They get handed a pre-designed building already and are told to design the interior spaces of that building, architecture students are told to design whole building and the spatial qualities of the different programs; so here this shows that architecture students have more practice with design strategies than an interior designer does, and they understand how the building itself is suppose to feel as they are the ones from the beginning that have a certain feel/picture in mind for the spaces. However, in our architectural education there is not an emphasis on materials for interior spaces, there is definitely an emphasis on building facades and different treatments regarding that, but in reality architecture students really don’t have a basic concept of interior materials like fabrics, and tiles. In the end though, future architects have more design skills based off the amount of time through school they spend on studio, and how they are able to integrate structural engineering, HVAC, plumbing, and sustainable strategies into a design of a building, thus designing the interior spaces of projects should fall into their realms of the design process.

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After education is complete, and interior design students and architecture students move into the real world, there is still this separation between the two even though they tend to work side by side. Each profession requires its professionals to have a license. According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, interior designers need to obtain at least two years of fulltime or part-time work experience, receive a formal interior design education, and pass three parts in the time given to become licensed (NCIDQ Examination). In regards to becoming a licensed architect, one needs to attend a five year NAAB accredited degree program, pass seven exams, and acquire a total of 3,740 hours of interning before becoming fully licensed (“The Basics”). “All 54 U.S. jurisdictions require the completion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE),” (“The Basics”), while not every state requires an interior designer to become licensed.


As one can see there are more credentials needed to become a licensed architect than there are to become a licensed interior designer. In fact, someone who went to school and obtained a B. Arch degree can apply and take the exam to become a licensed interior designer (NCIDQ Examination). In a professional licensing sense, an architect definitely seems more qualified to be a decision maker; the architect has gone through more schooling, more required internship hours and can even become a licensed interior designer if they wanted to. The fact that after schooling an architect can become a licensed interior designer but an interior designer can’t become a licensed architect shows that interior designers and architects are on two different levels, with the architect being above.

There are some people that believe the architect’s argument that the design of the interior spaces falls under their jurisdiction is invalid. That with today’s more, “increased complexity in the design of interior environments… demand[s] a more focused expertise and skill set,” (Weigand). It is argued that in architectural education with, “its inherent breadth, has failed to provide the focused experience at the interior scale needed to support an evolving high level interior design practice,” (White). Although it may be true, architects don’t learn a whole lot on the interior scale, but architectural education does support and encourage research on interior spaces and the different experiences someone can have while being brought through the building.

Architects are taught from the beginning that both the shell (exterior of the building) and the interior of the building operate as a whole. Architects tell stories through their buildings, and evoke emotions as people move about the interior spaces they create. Through the conceptual and technical training that a person with a B. Arch degree does both in and out of school to achieve a licensure in architecture, compared someone with an Interior Design BFA degree does to achieve their license, don’t compare on an even scale. Ultimately, the design of the interior spaces falls into the hands of the project architect.

Featured Image Info:

Designer: Spector Group Designs




“The Basics.” NCARB. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Guerin, Denise A., Ph.D., and Jo Ann Asher Thompson, Ph.D. “Interior Design                                                Education in the 21st Century: An Educational Transformation.” Journal of Interior Design 30.1 (2004): 1-12. Print.

Guerin, Denise A., Ph.D. “Issues Facing Interior Design Education in the Twenty – First Century.” Journal of Interior Design Education and Research 17.2 (1992): 9-16. Print.

“Interior Design BFA Degree Program.” Fashion Institute of Technology. Fashion Institute of Technology, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

“NAAB History.” NAAB Website: About The NAAB – NAAB History. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

“NCIDQ Examination | Application Information.” NCIDQ Examination. Pronto Legal Notices, 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

Weigand, John. “Interior Design and Architecture.” Design Intelligence (2013): n. pag. Design and Architecture – DesignIntelligence. Greenway Communications, 20 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.

White, Allison Carll, Ph.D. “What’s in a Name? Interior Design And/or Interior       Architecture: The Discussion Continues.” Journal of Interior Design 35.1 (2009): 10-17. Print.

Schematic Design Review: Veronica Landron

The main idea through Veronica’s telling of her proposal, is how she was creating a building that will connect the shore line of Bushwick Inlet, and the corner of Quay and Franklin streets. The way she responded to the shoreline side of the site through her building was by creating a unique roof structure using a triangular geodesic “dome” pattern creating a lightweight, environmentally friendly design. On the street side of her proposed project she responded to the corner condition of Quay and Franklin by replicating the angled lines of the streets to form the shape of her apparatus bay. In her schematic design project statement, Veronica stated how she was using the two different structures of the roof and apparatus bay to harmoniously connect the two different characteristics of our site, that being the urban condition verse the park/landscape.

To be honest, before Veronica presented I had no idea what her project was or what direction she was going in. At first glance, Veronica’s presentation board seemed to be a simple presentation, with her site plan being one of the more telling drawings on her board in my opinion. However, her model she had at presentation was also really successfully in showing the reviewers this concept of the geodesic “dome” covering a portion of her building. I would ask Veronica for her to work on projecting her voice a little more, it was difficult to hear what she was saying at times and I was only in the second row of seats.

I commend Veronica for pursuing a design with a complicated structural scheme, as not many of us have yet to delve too far into the structural aspects of our designs. Although, she seems to have a unique structural feature to be used in her design proposal, she does need to rethink her programming. Like the reviewers stated, the idea of a geodesic dome should be in an area that programmatically needs high ceilings and open space, in our design this is perfect for the apparatus bay area. But in Veronica’s scheme right now she has all the private sectioned off residential areas under the geodesic “dome” roof structure. The reviewers told Veronica that she needs to think critically about what programmatic spaces and the benefit of using this roof structure she is looking to implement.

I would encourage Veronica to make the structure of the geodesic “dome” her primary focus. Right now it seems to be secondary. There are more qualities and strengths to the geodesic dome other than the ability to have large open spaces; as the reviewers commented these other qualities can influence Veronica’s design decisions of the rest of the building. One of these other qualities include the transparency of it, how light would be able to penetrate the structure and effect the different functions of the building.

I’m sure Veronica has been studying up on Buckminster Fuller and his uses of the geodesic dome. One particular precedent she should pay close attention to, as the reviewers mentioned, is the Montreal Biosphere. Here the reviewers were encouraging Veronica to start looking at her landscape as being apart of the building. At this point her building just sat on the site being its own object, and now she needs to start seeing how her building can (and should) become integrated with the land and surrounding site. Maybe she should begin to integrate this concept of temporal boundaries within her proposal. Start introducing the idea of the landscape coming into the building since the structure is wanting her to do this since there is the transparent quality with the material of the structure she is using; and with this transparency there is an ability to have the landscape work its way into the building in some fashion.

The residential side of Veronica’s proposal faces toward the views of Manhattan, which is the obvious thing to do in the site we have been given.  However, are there any other programmatic spaces that would be enhanced by orienting them toward the views of the East River and Manhattan? How about the recreation space and dayroom and kitchen area? If I were someone in those spaces, I would want to have a view of the skyline as I was eating dinner or hanging out playing some pool.

Overall, I believe that Veronica’s building is a good start at proposing something interesting and unique for the area. With Brooklyn being an up and coming neighborhood, this affords the opportunity for Veronica to propose a unique building for the area like the one she is proposing with the geodesic “dome” roof structure for a portion of her building. I know it is special for the users of the building to have that view of Manhattan, but with the unique triangular structure Veronica is proposing, her building can become one of the unique buildings apart of the Brooklyn skyline Brooklyn being that dynamic, interesting structure for the viewers in Manhattan to see.

Some main things that Veronica should focus on now are:

  • Look at your programmatic spaces and what works best with your structural elements. I know you have focused on your structure a lot so the programmatic spaces aren’t 100% figured out yet.
  • Think of the the canopy that is going over the structure. What is the material going to be? Is it going to be translucent? This will make your building that dynamic structure seen from Manhattan.
  • How are you treating the rest of your site? Like I mentioned earlier, maybe there is a way to integrate the roof structure in with the landscape somehow creating temporal boundaries?
  • What are the sustainability aspects of your design? What exactly about the roof structure makes it environmentally friendly as you stated during your presentation?
  • The harder task like the reviewers mentioned, and I agree with, is how are you going to integrate the residential, private,  and closed off areas of the program into the structure?

Image: View of Montreal Biosphere

Image Website:

SD Design Statement

Greenpoint Brooklyn, being an up and coming area for new residential and commercial high rises is in need of a new firehouse to provide sufficient services to the increase in population. The building is situated on the corner of Quay Street and Franklin Street, becoming a hinge point between the old (facing the industrial avenue of Brooklyn) and the new (facing the East River and Manhattan). The building faces Franklin Street, the more active of the two streets. The stacked programs, provides height to compete with the new high rises and becomes more private as you move up. The central circulation “rod”  allows for program to be pushed and rotated on it, creating terraces, view corridors, and optimal thermal barriers. The angled window wall facades and terraces frame specific views of Manhattan and  create areas of rest and  plant growth. The temporal boundaries of the building help situate it in its changing environment.



Architects: Paul Davis + Design Partners