Out of the Soil, Architecture From the New Modernist Forrest
Nick Gelpi Master Project Studio
From a Formal Basis to a Material Argument
This studio will explore new material concepts for architecture derived from deep
investigations into the tectonics of trees, and the particular behaviors of wood as
an organic building material.
Beginning with early examples of mass produced steam-bent furniture, students
will analyze the relationships between forms and this novel fabrication process.
Steam-bending will be explored in the context of hands-on, exercises to demonstrate
the “intensive” properties of wood tissues, shifting the typical considerations
of materials, from the extensive properties of wood into the intensive
Projects are for the design of a new recreation-center, along the Miami River near
Lummus Park. On the site sits William Wagner Homestead, arguably Miami’s
first all wooden house, constructed in 1857 of only Dade County Pine.
From this prehistoric precedent, students will utilize new technologies and conceptual
approaches at two scales. First by diving into the materiality of wood,
zooming in and extracting micro-spatial concepts, and second, by zooming out,