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X-Frame - The structural frame solution for a waste free building industry.

The building and construction sector in New Zealand consumes more than 50% of all raw materials while simultaneously generating more than 50% of all waste sent to landfill (Ministry for the Environment, 26). These unprecedented levels of consumption are set to continue as demand for residential housing in New Zealand continues to grow rapidly (Statistics NZ, n.p). Architects and building professionals, as key figures in the building sector, have a responsibility to implement systems that reduce the impact of our industry on the environment. One such approach is to design for deconstruction. Through planning and designing for the disassembly of buildings at the end of their useful life we have the potential to greatly reduce the quantity and type of waste produced. Consequently, we also reduce the amount of virgin materials needed in further building projects. However, the inherent complexity of a building – its scale, material combinations, required lifespan, necessary structural components and rigid fixings make them extremely difficult to deconstruct in a timely and economic manor. This research investigates how these issues may be overcome and how a mainstream residential dwelling might be re-designed to be easily deconstructed into individual material components for reuse in a timely fashion at the end of its useful life. For construction updates please visit the blog

An Incredible concept well executed. A Genius piece of development
— BEST Design Awards, Judge's comments

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Academic publications available here.

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Portfolio available here. Note all Portfolio material is available on this Webpage. 


Other Architectural Projects

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coding the Beautiful.

How can the digital add to architecture’s understanding and application of beauty?

Digital design processes and tools have unlocked a new formal potential in architecture. Self generating forms and systems with endless iterative potential give us as designers limitless freedom to re-imagine architecture’s formal properties. However the process remains heavily deterministic - “author driven and subjective” - relying on the architect’s ‘eye for beauty’ to ‘select’ or ‘choose’ the final form (Moss, p. 159, 2010). This research will question the role of digital technologies in defining the final state of geometric output — in defining ‘beauty’. The research will evaluate the influence and impact of pre-existing notions of beauty and of determining beauty - evaluating their effect on digital outcomes. Can processes be developed that take our pre-existing expectations of ‘the beautiful’ and apply them to a design as if they were another parametric condition? A fundamental component of this research will challenge the possibility of quantifying architectural ‘beauty’ for interpretation by the artificial.


^Figure. ‘Beauty’ as a digital function - Authors Image.

See the full research proposal here (.pdf download). 

The Columbia

the Columbia.

'The Columbia' was a 12 week architectural design research project investigating how the significance of heritage buildings can be retained and possibly heightened or developed through the process of urban densification. The resolved design proposal attempts to generate a new connection with the physical characteristics of built heritage for building occupants. This connection was achieved by replicating the original heritage facade element throughout the new building. The resulting moulded concrete forms are used to define the characteristics of the buildings spaces and articulate every aspect of the buildings occupation.  A series of narrow apartments are generated that challenge the occupants to live vertically - in, around and through the built heritage.

Conceptual Design Process:

Developed Design:

Final Model:

Structural and Services Report (PDF Download | 6.1MB).

Technical Drawing Package (PDF Download | 0.6MB). 

More details coming soon!

Project Details: VUW ARCI412 | Trimester 2, 2016 |  Supervision Victoria Willocks | Grade A+ 


the View.

The following material summarises a series of exploitative physical models that considers how view could be used to re-imagine the aesthetic of house and home. This work establishes view as an organic medium that dynamically interacts with ridged form.  The notion of a dynamic interaction is articulated in the craft process itself. A condition of ‘view’ (Resin) is used to articulate a mass (Plaster) through an interaction with the ‘system’ of house and home (balloons). The result is an architecture of clashing mediums and disruptive interactions. Such a conditional spatial result establishes a platform for further investigation.

Project Details: VUW ARCI455 | Trimester 1, 2016 | Lecturer and Supervision Simon Twose | Grade A+ | Exhibited publicly in July 2016.   


the Froces of Context.

This body of architectural research examines the potential for parametric design to respond directly to existing, formal, architectural conditions. 

Through a comprehensive geometric analysis of existing arrangements and the corresponding development of a responsive, force based, parametric system, an experimental architecture is formulated. Using force based parametric methodologies the interaction between existing and new is directly addressed.  The developed system is inherently responsive with the potential to occupy existing geometry as well as conditions of void. This system considers directly the Ornamental qualities of the existing built environment, attempting to negotiate between the new and the old.   


More details coming soon.


the Tidal Defense.

A heated, semi-enclosed salt water tidal pool located at Point Jerningham, Wellington. This process based architectural project used physical mediums to explore ritual and geometry (animated development process above).

More details coming soon.

Critical Reflections:

This project was completed under the guidance of an amazing tutor and influential lecturer. Architectural Design in its most pure form was taught. The creative process was uncompromisingly organic, developmental and personal. This was the first architectural project of our studies where 12 weeks were entirely devoted to the design and understanding of a single project. Criticisms of the project included a lack of coherent composition, especially in the modeled form perhaps brought about by the modeled triangular surroundings. This is more then true as the triangular forms significantly reduced the continuity of the architecture itself. Originally the base was to be a copper sheet treated with bleach and salt (like the remainder of the frame) however the cost of a copper sheet was far to high. This is a case where associated components, and not the architecture itself, compromised the project. Model making is perhaps a medium where such issues are very common - a physical object must in some way deal with an unrelated physical context. 

This project suffered probably the biggest set back of my undergraduate degree. Two weeks prior to the final hand in I discovered the main copper model had be thrown into a rubbish skip prior to final photography. The model was scavenged and the resulting imagery of the hundreds of individual lengths of copper made it into the final portfolio. A rebuild process using hot glue and white spray paint resulted in the model pictured towards the end of the portfolio. This project was exhibited at the 2015 Victoria University Open Day and the schools end of year exhibition.

Project Details: VUW ARCI311 | Trimester 1, 2015 | Lecturer Dr. Peter Wood | Tutor Terèse Fitzgerald. Grade A+.


earthquake Museum.

The National Earthquake Museum - A Symbol of Recovery - 'a place to remember together'. New Zealand's National Earthquake Museum is a symbol of collective recovery. The building engages with how we as individuals naturally seek a collective after being completely and utterly exposed during earthquake events. View the animated proposal below, download the Project Brief here and the Design's Structural Report here.

Critical Reflections:

ARCI312 - Architectural Integration - focuses on integrating considerations for structural systems with architectural purpose and intent. Studio workshops encouraged form to be developed through the structural potential of reinforced concrete. As a result formal arrangements for this project have been established through physical model making while final digital presentation images were modeled digitally. 

Criticisms of this project questioned the formal decisions, notably regarding uninhabited structures and spacial variety between programs. These criticisms are founded in the geometry itself. An inherent lack of variety exists within the from as a decision early on was made to ensure all elements curve to some degree. The architectural idea was that this mass was a collection of independent experiences merged together to become a place of consideration for all. Design iterations demanded that this not just be an informed architectural idea but something felt by people totally unaware of the purpose of the architecture. Unfortunately this was never fully developed and many ideas intended to add more variety to the form were never introduced. 


Project Details: VUW ARCI312 | Trimester 2, 2015 | Lecturer Daniele Abreu e Lima & Andrew Charleson | TutorNabil Allaf. Grade A+.




The following projects have been archived and are available as PDF. download...