Rahmiel Rechtschaffen - Online Portfolio

:: Architecture :: Interiors :: Student Offices


This project was the winner of a “2006 AIA Education Award” from the American Institute of Architecture and a 2006 INFORM Award from the Virginia Society of the AIA and the Virginia Center for Architecture.

Due to the construction of a new elevator, the school of architecture’s student organizations (AIAS, CSI, USG) were displaced from their prior office space. This studio undertook the task of designing and building a new office for the student organizations in the underutilized student lounge that would also improve the quality of the lounge. The studio was also exploring the use of digital fabrication technology in the design and building process. Aside from meeting the program requirements the project was expected to be built using the digital fabrication technologies available at the school of architecture.

The fabrication and assembly of the project lasted about five weeks with the majority of the time spent on fabrication. Only the titanium used in the structural members was fabricated outside of the school.

The curved panels that make up the skin are made up of four layers of bendable 1/8th inch birch plywood. The panels were perforated and cut on a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) router table. They were then bent and glued over a form work also cut on the CNC router. When removed from the form work the panels held their shape due to the glue between them. The panels were joined into groups of six on the ground before being installed.

The structure is a sandwich of 3/4 inch plywood with 1/16th inch titanium on each side. The titanium was cut with a CNC water jet cutter while the plywood was cut with a CNC router. The individual pieces in each structural rib are joined together by a puzzle piece.

The furniture is made of laminated construction grade plywood. The plywood was cut into strips, laminated together, and then shaped on a CNC milling machine.

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