Project Jury, Selections and Site Charrette


Friday / Saturday

The students presented their design projects to a jury of practicing architects, professors and a structural engineer.  The projects were evaluated based on their constructability, material availability, adaptability and response to the site conditions. 

The process extended into Saturday and the announcement of the projects that will be pursued in Haiti were revealed.  The decision was made to utilize the concepts of 4 projects.  Since the availability of materials is still in question, the group wanted to keep all options open till the team is on site. 

Following the announcements, the students were split into 5 groups for a site design charrette.

Each groups presented their site proposals and the best concepts of each presentation were identified.  The entire group also identified potential areas that were not discussed in the proposals for continued discussion before the final decisions.


Good Concept Ideas

  • Utilizing terracing as a water and soil strategy
  • Use of edge as means to connect to community
  • Use of intersection as community commercial zone
  • Symbolic/functional element to generate program (water wall)
  • Sensitivity to assets on site
  • Boundary as stitch
  • Generative barrier

Concepts that need Addressed

  • How to develop sense of whole territory
  • Complexity of circulation not addressed
  • Need for human experience of site (dreams) as an intersection of infrastructure
  • Planting strategies (micro-climates – site ecology)
  • Working with site terrain and ecology
  • Public perception of orphanage – design response
  • Flexibility
  • Immediate neighbors
  • Support local capacities / economies
  • Design for appropriation



Paris Slideshow

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Jour Premier à École Spéciale d’Architecture


Boy was it nice to be on the other side of the spectrum for a change. The class spent a whole day in conversation with ESA Architecture students about the progression of their projects.

The thematic discussion projected a large facility for producing standardized concrete block that can reset the building habits of Haitian living. The foundation of this project is to meet the goals of an orphanage that is soon to be built in Haiti, just north of Port-au-Prince. ESA students had a variety of solutions for a locally manufactured and seismic responsive building that can be easily reproduced in a short time. Some students presented timber frame structures while most others had structural steel frame systems that can be imported by surrounding countries. The amount of work produced in 3 weeks time was immense!

The 8 hour day was split into two parts while the discussion of production was ongoing. The discussion to and from the students was inspiring and responsive to our individual concept and design aspirations we have considered at PSU.

Sketching the Pompidou

sketching the pompodou

PSU Architecture students sketching the Pompidou, Paris, France. Photo collage by Rudy Barton

Getting to work at Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture


We each had free time to explore before meeting up at T/E/S/S for a structural and facade design presentation from Tom Gray that aligned the structural world with architectural inspiration.  He had us thinking about where the loads go and how do the loads go through a building.  He explained that in today’s structures envisioned by architects through computer and paper models the enemy is bending forces.

“The so-called masters Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Foster, but in fact the real masters are gravity, earth, wind and sun.”

Today the work begins at Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture.

Sketching and Walking….another day in paradise


Panthéon, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Institut du Monde Arabe, The Fondation Le Corbusier, Eiffel Tower, Maison La Roche and Maison Jeanneret….sketching, walking, shopping at the market and lots of pictures.

Sore Feet for Tired Travelers

First, we began our day by walking through the Garden of Luxembourg, a beautifully perfected garden.  There we were able to look at a French Senate building, and start our morning with classic French architecture, a perfect example of mansard roofs and their stylistic significance to engaging the skyline.  Afterward, we walked to Notre Dame, studying the outside of the building before entering the cavernous space inside and sketching its details.  In this part of the city, we were able to take in the view of Paris’ amazing bridges crossing the Seine.  From there, Sergio, Clive, and Rudy led us through the city to Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop.  This had an incredible street side model shop and an otherwise unassuming facade.  After waiting in anticipation, we finally were let in and were able to tour the studio with one of Sergio’s past students from UT Austin.  It was, safe to say, considerably the most fantastic studio any of us had ever seen.

Following, it was time to break for lunch, where we all went separate ways and then met back at the Pompidou where we were able to eat and sketch one of Piano’s works.  This provided a perfect transition into further navigation of the built environment, when we ended outside the Louvre and broke for the night.

On the ground in Paris


Bonjour. Arrival in Paris. Charles de Gaulle airport. 1:30pm Paris time, 4:30 am, Portland time. Jet lag won’t slow us down.

Paris Bound!!!

12 Students, Professor Rudy Barton and Professor and Department Chair Clive Knights…..set to cross the big pond. A before trip group picture to follow.   Where’s Sergio???