Advanced Architecture Studio IV
From Landscape to Architecture and Architecture to Landscape
Design for Obsolescence: Dual Futures of Parking Decks, Prisons, Zoos
Knowledge Territories, R/Urban Ecologies II
In the Name of God
The Shells of Newburgh
Caribbean Reconnections
Tomkins Cove Quarry: Extraction, Succession, Retreat
Fringe Timber: A Wildland Urban Intermix Laboratory School
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The Master of Architecture studio sequence concludes with three semesters of Advanced Studios that collectively position “Architecture and Environment” as a fundamental question for the field. Expanding from the relationship of architecture to the “city,” addressed in the Core Studios, Advanced Architecture Studio IV considers the relationship of architecture to “nature,” broadening design and intellectual inquiry to larger, territorial scales.
Advanced Architecture Studio IV
Scales of Environment

The Advanced Architecture Studio IV framework looks at the varied scales of the environment through the lens of a specific geographic context. During the Spring 2020 semester, studios focused on the fragmented “rural” geography of upstate New York (Mid-Hudson Valley region), unpacking its environmental history and its relationship to the city of New York. Each of the eight studios defined its own territorial boundaries and sites, resulting in a range of investigations that reconsidered the relationship between architecture and “nature.” The studios examined and speculated on: agriculture and food production systems; extractive, infrastructural, and logistical sites; lumber forests; parks; man-made and natural bodies of water; and settlements formed by intentional communities. The interrogation of this range of topics resulted in the development of a variety of incisive approaches that re-imagined the “rural” in a new light.

Throughout the semester, students engaged in rigorous quantitative and qualitative research and pursued design strategies operating at multiple scales. This entailed mapping exercises; experimentation with innovative, renewable material and methods of constructions; manipulation of topographic terrain; exploration of water flows and water holdings strategies; the study of the impact of seasonal cycles on built forms; and an understanding of the performative capacities of architecture and landscape through the lens of social and environmental stewardships.

The current extraordinary circumstances imposed on the student body and faculty by COVID-19 have had a deep impact on studio culture this semester. Despite this, the Advanced IV community exhibited a true resilience and a strong will to support each other, turning the semester into a genuinely meaningful experience that resulted in a remarkable group of design projects. The student work is rigorous, intelligent, and daring. The studio concluded with exciting experimentations with online presentation tools coupled with healthy debates on the mandates of architecture studios, repositioning both the contemporary responsibilities of architecture and the agency of the architect.
Advanced Architecture Studio IV TA: Ge Guo
From Landscape to Architecture and Architecture to Landscape
Based on a critical understanding of the urban park as a type, this studio has investigated the interrelationship between architecture and landscape, the relative autonomy of each discipline, and the possibility for translations of techniques, forms, and materials from landscape to architecture and vice versa. Operating within Downing Park, located in Newburgh, New York, a 35-acre landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and Calvert Vaux according to the late 18th and early 19th century theory of the Picturesque, students proposed additional programming and landscape adaptations to revitalize the park and catalyze larger social and economic changes for Newburgh.
Students: Erin Biediger, Maxwell Chen, Mark-Henry Decrausaz, Anoushae Eirabie, Cameron Fullmer, Charlotte Sie W Ho, Yaxin Jiang, Talia Li, Jared Payne, Lauren Scott, Alek Tomich, Brian Turner
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Liquid Matter responds to Newburgh’s water pollution and the lack of active green space by activating Downing Park with water that performs socially, environmentally, and sustainably. Through integrating architecture with landscaping and bodies of water, the park becomes a visual journey of experiencing water in an informative yet leisurely way.
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The Loop
The Loop strives to connect disparate populations along the periphery of Downing Park, improving ...
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Superposer is a “boots on the ground” initiative for the Green New Deal and imagines how this pol...
Natural Mediums carefully amplifies existing intrinsic or latent characteristics of Downing Park—both social and environmental, historical and current—through a series of fragmented interventions scattered through the park that act as microclimates. The fragmentation of architectural elements act as negotiation with the environment, while allowing park-goers to comfortably linger.
Safely Lost Workshops of Downing Park
This project aims to create gateways to wilderness through educational, productive, and retreat p...
Slow Down
Slow Down proposes to change the pace of Newburgh as it approaches and experiences Downing Park. ...
Design for Obsolescence: Dual Futures of Parking Decks, Prisons, Zoos
The studio explores the concept of dual futures that require designing for two building types that transform from one to another. In our societies of continual change, an intended program is often outlasted by the building itself, raising questions about how we define architectural completion. The studio’s near futures involve building types that are common today but are hypothesized to become obsolete in the future. The distant futures require adapting the original types to a future program of education. Students select sites along a high voltage power corridor in the rural areas surrounding Newburgh and imagine a future in which the above-ground transmission lines will be replaced by below ground lines and the corridor will be developable. They imagine that sites along the corridor can be designed to meet the current needs of their communities while transforming over time to the needs of future communities.
Students: Hao Chang, Thomas Chiu, Ineajomaira Cuevas-Gonzalez, Alice Fang, Jun Ito, Daniel Kim, Chengliang Li, Lu Liu, Jihae Park, Luis Pizano, Skylar Royal, Joey Xu
The project comprises a timber nursery, community land trust, and dual-future correctional network focused on compulsory reformation (near future) and voluntary rehabilitation (distant future). Preempting future climatic pressures, the facility emerges from an adaptive module that implements cyclical tree harvesting that provides better climate regulation, learning and work opportunities, and construction materials.
Habitat for autonomous vehicle and wildlife
This project envisions the future of a low-density rural typology where vehicles and wildlife out...
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Future Parking
This is a parking deck with possibilities to be converted to a park and a clinic. It functions as...
The Room Ride
This project aims to embrace the future of mobility— autonomous and electric vehicles— by transfo...
Animal Crossing
This project proposes an urban zoo by using the natural resources of Newburgh and by adapting the...
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Future Parking
This is a parking deck with possibilities to be converted to a park and a clinic. It functions as...
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This zoo functions as a system with five different sites connected by different modes of transit....
Smart Park(ing)
The combination of AV parking deck and service program (park and community center) seeks to incre...
Bridging the Gap
This project consists of a structure that provides animal and human solace both within and outsid...
Knowledge Territories, R/Urban Ecologies II
The city and the countryside have been often placed at the opposite poles, dynamic and densely populated vertical metropolises with maximum productivity on one side, and the timeless and restful countryside that promises simple lives surrounded by pristine “nature” on the other. The studio centers its investigation on the “elsewhere,” on the space beyond the dramatic binarism of the bucolic (or alternatively hyper-futuristic) hinterland and the endlessly growing city. Engaging the complex geographies of the mid Hudson Valley region and its entanglements, the work of the studio investigates the concept of “R/Urban,” or the idea of the multitudes of open relationships between, or beyond, the imaginaries of absolute rurality and absolute urbanity, and more comprehensive notions of “Ecologies” of new and networked nature, to explore the often inscrutable yet expansive territories, of spectra, of in-betweens, overlaps, and intersections. Programatically, the studio explores the new spatial formats of knowledge in the territory, in the context of increasingly extra-territorialized knowledge institutions and their typological proliferations. Tying the concerns of knowledge and territory together, the studio aims to reconsider the false divide between culture and nature, the man-made and the natural, human and non-human, and the social and the technical, and envision the possibilities of a new spatial framework of knowledge within our extremely intertwined bio-techni-socio-political and environmental milieu.
Students: Jacob Hu, Jiazhen Lin, Genevieve Mateyko, David Musa, Greta Crispen, Ian Wach, Helen Winter, Cherry Qu, Tianyu Yang
In the Name of God
The studio scope consists of an investigation of the architectural and programmatic capacity of forms of rural settlement developed by religious communities in upstate NY. The aim is twofold. First, the studio maps and studies the physical architectural and territorial typologies of rural religious settlements. In the context of the studio, these settlements are understood as exemplars of a type of “intentional community” and as a potential form of resistance to the increasingly commodified and fragmented territories of the countryside. Second, the studio identifies sites and proposes physical interventions in the Muslim community hamlet Islamberg, Delware County, NY. These interventions are proposed only after having first critically unpacked Islamberg’s historical evolution and probing the hamlet’s architectural and territorial relationships to its environment.
Students: Alina Abouelenin, Matthew Brubaker, Ashley Esparza, Jonathan Foy, Leah Smith, Begum Karaoglu, Yasmin Ben Ltaifa, U Kei Long, Lin Hou, Reem Yassin
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Incremental Ruralism of Islamberg proposes self-construction and self-sustainability for the expansion of Islamberg as an intentional community. It proposes the collection of quarry waste and quarry dust around the site to produce quarry brick as an efficient material to build the community.
Processions of Water
Processions of Water is conceived through in-depth research into the politics of water in New Yor...
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Ecological Transects
The design operates at three scales as an evolution of architecture and landscape over 30 years. ...
By reinterpreting the existing threshold at the entrance of Islamberg, the project aims to create a two-fold agenda that ultimately will bolster relations the community has with its neighborhoods, while also providing Islamberg’s youth with educational prospects that break down the socially constructed reality of “religious vs. secular” education. This environmentally responsive development has a long term outlook for the ecology as well as the prospects of residents.
The Shells of Newburgh
This studio proposes a Newburgh Regional Boat Association that only includes the existing Newburgh Rowing Club but also expands its mission to include boat repair and new boat construction. It also roughly triples its size to include nearby rowing and boating clubs as well as high schools and colleges. The new construction has many uses: storage, river access, a workshop for boatbuilding and repair, and rowing fitness. The proposed program is understood as a way to return the environmental uses of the Hudson River to a tactile, physical one. The former uses, primarily industrial, have been supplanted. A recreational, athletic, and craft use is proposed. It is hoped that the new uses enhance an appreciation of the river as a natural resource to be protected and appreciated.
Students: Isabella Bartenstein, Oliver Bradley, Zachary Bundy, Yirmiyahu Gilbert, Marisa Kefalidis, Mike Kolodesh, Camille Lanier, Aaron Sage, Liza Tedeschi, Florencia Yalale, Elie Zeinoun
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The project re-envisions an existing boathouse to further engage the Newburgh community. It expands the program to encompass cycling by harnessing the synergies between the two activities. The project starts by connecting to the existing bike lane and by then transforming the roof into a publicly accessible velodrome.
Newburgh Rowing Club
This expansion to the Newburgh Rowing Club’s boathouse provides it with a boardwalk directl...
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Newburgh Community Boathouse
Newburgh is a racially and socioeconomically segregated city. Operating at the building scale, th...
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Flexible Boathouse
This project intertwines the existing Rowing Club to a mutually beneficial secondary program: fle...
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The Newburgh Boat Factory
The renovation of the Newburgh Rowing Club embraces the relationship of the industrial past and c...
Newburgh Boathouse
Inspired by Newburgh’s historic architecture and classic boathouse architecture, this proposal ex...
Newburgh Rowing Club
Newburgh Rowing Club is a micro-urban project that brings together three user groups — rowers, pa...
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the New Newburgh Boathouse
Embracing history while looking to the future, the new proposal adds to the original structure by...
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The Shells of Newburgh
This project expands the square footage of an existing Club by encasing the footprint and enclosu...
Caribbean Reconnections
This joint Urban Planning and Architecture studio is part of a series focusing on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The studio focuses specifically on the neighboring island of Culebra and the Main Island at the Municipality of Ceiba—all three sites share problems related to transportation and general developmental issues. This studio continues to engage the study of infrastructure, building, and livelihood futures begun in Vieques while expanding the scope of architectural design to include planning, policy, and implementation issues. The core concerns of infrastructural development remain. An overriding concern of the studio is exploring the developmental advantages of infrastructural improvements in maritime-related infrastructure.
Students: Regina Alcazar, Courtland Hayes Buchanan, Tihana Bulut, Melissa Chervin, Steven Corsello, Nelson De Jesus Ubri, Camille Jayne Esquivel, Kassandra Lee, Calli Li, Aria Ling, Shih Yu Liu, Sarah Zamler
Gateway to Culebra
Our proposal “Gateway to Culebra” promotes long-term economic development while strengthening the...
Integrated Waste Management, Roosevelt Roads
The proposal co-locates recycling, in-vessel composting, and waste-to-energy within a vertically ...
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El Solárium: Redefining Community Energy
El Solárium challenges the traditional implementation of a microgrid field and renewable energy g...
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Combined marine research field station, vocational training school, community space, and tourist ...
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Grow Culebra
Our project proposes an adaptable and scalable strategy for a more sustainable food system in Cul...
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Museum of History and Resiliency
The Museum of History and Resiliency is a series of site-specific micro-museums. It analyzes the ...
Tomkins Cove Quarry: Extraction, Succession, Retreat
Tomkins Cove Quarry in Stony Point NY is a 199-acre limestone quarry to the north of the Stony Point Battlefield on the Hudson River. It is one of a network of abandoned stone quarries in the Hudson Valley - former sources of construction materials for the development of New York and other cities in the region.The site is currently unused and public access prohibited. In the seven years since the suspension of extraction activity in Tomkins Cove Quarry spontaneous ecological succession has already begun. This studio takes this form of ecological restoration as a partial given and considers possible futures for the site and its vast crater. The interplay of three time scales direct the enquiry and govern the speculations: the geological, the ecological, and that of human activity. Architects are engaged in an energy economy usually confined to the thermodynamics of materials and bodies in space. The studio expands this view to encompass the reality that every encounter with the environment, every sense, movement or decision be it at the retina, neuromuscular junction or cortex, is a constant transfer from one form of energy to another. To Vernadsky’s biogeochemical we will add the prefix neuro. The program of a residency or a retreat is the starting point for proposing low impact/low density occupation of the site.
Students: Shuang Bi, Camille Brustlein, Eva Jiang, Jacob Li, Yuan Li, Maria Perez Benavides, Marcell Sandor, Vera Savory, Tristan Schendel, Amber Shen, Taylor Urbshott, Urechi Oguguo
Quarry Immersion
The Quarry Immersion is a 1 to 6 months artist retreat to defamiliarize from the quarry. To explo...
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Centrifugal Field
The Quarry is an artifact of extreme force, whether that be the ones that produced its geology or...
After Us
This project is an ecological research residence where natural science researchers are granted fu...
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Anthropocenery is a short-term residency for New Media artists to explore projected installations...
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Timescape adapts remnants of the quarrying operation for civic use, converting benches to meditat...
Liquid Landscape
Liquid landscape is a series of fragments and buoyant infrastructure enhancing the human experien...
By casting on the waste piles in Tomkins Quarry, this project creates a new concrete landscape th...
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Quarry as Therapy
Utilizing the site-specific conditions of a post-productive quarry, this project aims to increase...
Reservoir is a project that transforms Tomkins Cove Quarry from a geological site of industrial e...
Retreat in Recess
This project excavates into the surface of a quarry to create intimate, natural spaces for indivi...
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Artists’ Retreat
A three month retreat in an industrial natural artifact. Across 10 sites in the quarry, minimal, ...
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Mobile Retreat
This quarry operates with several interconnected systems, where an ecological effect produces a u...
Fringe Timber: A Wildland Urban Intermix Laboratory School
Building from the 2018 Timber Innovation Act and the forthcoming 2021 IBC Engineered Timber update, the studio considers the future of engineered timber, working landscapes, and the subsequent built environment in the Hudson River Valley. Here, most trees are privately owned, growing on land at the fringe of urban development, designated Wildland Urban Intermix (WUI). Under these conditions, a diverse local timber economy is one way to incentivize private landowners to keep forests as forests; and to care for new forests, potentially increasing our capacity to sink carbon. Through the design of a regional Timber Flow and a Living Laboratory, projects explore cultivation and harvest, manufacturing and automation, species driven design and new ways of life. By designing sites of extraction and sites of consumption in tandem, reciprocal and cyclical relationships are formed, blurring obsolete boundaries and advocating for a more aptly scaled future.
Students: Anirudh Chandar, Abhinav Gupta, Rahul Gupta, Spenser Krut, Adela Locsin, Tung Nguyen, Ogheneochuko Okor, Sarah Shi, Charlotte Yu, Angela Sun, Sixuan Liu
Crown Shyness explores knowledge-sharing in three dimensions: between forest and non-forest, humans and machines, and home and work. Autonomous harvesters, laminators, and planters tend to the forest and LVL manufacturing, while humans research assembly and genetically modified trees in a modular architecture that gradually spreads on the forest floor.
The Rapid Modular Housing Prototype Lab is a symbiotic system that shortens the feedback loop between the various stages of design, fabrication, and performance analysis by bringing together various stakeholders to develop and test innovations in high rise modular construction on site. A new ecosystem of extraction, production, and consumption results in a rapidly responsive architecture that forms a new relationship between the town and the forest.
Frankenstein Material Lab
The Lab is a space that allows for the creation of unusual composite products and architecture. I...
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Timber Living Lab
The Timber Living Lab selectively harvests trees from forest owners in Newburgh and uses the crop...
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Amphibious Energy
The project re-imagines Newburgh’s energy paradigm of historically flood-prone natural gas ...
The Forest Cellar
The project is a living lab combining red oak (wood waste) and grapes (grape waste) into new wine...
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Cultivating the knowledge of the biological intelligence of living trees, our living lab engineers a flow of hardwood timber production whose process and product moves and filters water. Sited in Newburgh, the project aims to provide equitable water infrastructure to the community it serves.
This proposal for a new timber flow focuses on changing our perception of manufacturing as a process that must be distanced from the activities of everyday life. By reallocating 2000 acres of agricultural land for timber farming, the project establishes a framework for controlled growth and proposes a transition for the rural condition.