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Work completed in M.Arch1 program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 08.10 - 05.12.


  • Angela McCroryMaster of Architecture CandidateRensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Cardiff Bay Opera HouseDesign Development based on Zaha Hadids 1994 proposal

  • Ingesting the Piazza:

    The design for the Cardiff Bay Opera House is intended to end the unwelcoming face-off between the monumental cultural institution and the piazza. Where the traditional monumental building would form a hard edge to open public space, the Op-era House instead extends out into the Oval Bay Piazza while simultaneously pulling this public zone upwards and into the center of the site.

    Performance and rehearsal spaces are discernable as trans-lucent or transparent protrusions set against the relative opaque solidity of a band of servicing spaces to which they are affixed. While the band of servicing spaces folds in on itself, shielding the practicing spaces, public access and view are still permitted from below, as this opaque band is raised high above the piazza. In addition, a corner of this perimeter is erased, exposing the full height of the main auditorium to oblique views. Into this space of semi-enclosure, the piazza is pulled inward and upward, granting pedestrian access along a sloping plinth. The institution no longer meets the public with opposition but with embrace.

    The arrangement and architectural expression of the two types of program, serviced and servicing, create a dynamic tension, as access and view are available yet incomplete. The Opera House is introverted yet accessible. The jewel-like prac-tice and performance spaces are glimpsed from outside the perimeter, but not fully experienced until the viewer has fol-lowed the ramped extension of piazza past the opaque perim-eter, and into the geode-like interior.

    Paintings by Zaha Hadid

  • Distribution of Program

    Entrance to Auditorium Lobby View from Auditorium Lobby under Sloping Plinth

  • Dance Rehearsal Space

    Servicing Arm

    Back of House: Offices

    Back of House: Distant from Stage

    Back of House: Close to Stage

    Back of House: Immediate Stage Access

    Front of House: Lobby, Tickets




  • Section: 202.11

    Elevation: SW 303.11

  • Plan: Level 4000

    Plan: Level 1000

  • A Malaysian TowerKuala Lumpurs Climate as Design Driver

  • Distribution of ProgramThe schematic massing model addresses the three distinct programmatic zones in the tower: resi-dential, hospitality, and corporate. The twisting, three-legged tower separates the three programs at the base, while providing overlap in key areas. The creases along the facade would also shade from Malaysias equatorial sun.

  • 1.

    2. Louvers became strands to emphasize continuity along the twist-ing tower.

    3. The strands then thinned and finally dissa-peared in areas of the facade of greater self-shading or desired view.

    1. Optimized angles of louvered shading system on a curving facade.

    Optimized Brise-Soleil for a Curved FacadeConsidering the cooling load for a hot, humid climate such as that in Kuala Lumpur and the ubiquity of the screened spaces in vernacular Malaysian architecture, I chose to implement a brise-soleil that would be optimized according to facade orientation.



  • 3.

  • Analysis of the Villa La Roche led to a consideration of a domestic promenade, which I applied in the arrangement and internal planning of a twenty four unit housing complex located in Troy, NY.

    AttenuationA Domestic Promenade

  • Internal PathwaysDiagramming Villa La Roche

    In an effort to understand the internal choreogra-phy of circulation in Le Corbusiers Villa La Roche, I diagrammed the geometry of views through the different types of fenestration, as well as the swell-ing and contracting pathways that connect various domestic zones.

  • Tracing VelocitiesShaker Museum, Analysis

    Through a diagrammatic investigation of a Shaker wool spinning wheel, I mapped movement, velocity and winding accretion. This led to the de-velopment of geometries imbued with the dynamism of spinning.

  • Twisting TrianglesRhythmic Stacking

    Drawing from the development of my spinning and accretion diagrams, I began to think about the possibility of a module which would distill the notion of spinning. The modular unit would be able to tesse-late in three-dimensions, creating various spatial zones for program.