m. arch i
vertical studio i
professor michael garrison
the university of texas at austin


This one-week long project was a quick introductory project to the concepts of the studio focused on affordable, environmental, and modular design. The intended clients are the workers who maintain the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas.

The design of these modular homes hearkens back to the architectural aspect of the Shanghai 2010 Expo Redevelopment and re-adapts it for a smaller scale development. The trapezoidal modules are redesigned to have a rectangular living module with a trapezoidal kitchen or bathroom module fastened and sealed to it. This allows the cheap and rapid propagation of more modules if the observatory needs to accommodate more employees due to the fact that the modules are interchangeable and fit within standard road shipping dimensions.

The particular orientation in this proposal is based on the design of Anasazi Indian settlements – a semicircle with the south open to the sun. The orientation of the Fort Davis design with roofs sloping towards the south allow for optimal solar power collection, and also reduce glare.

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