Design Journal Entry - Module 12 Wrap Up - Juliet Nwagwu Ume-Ezeoke

Journal Entry For
Module 12 - Sharing Your Project


  • Key / Essential / Unique Design Features that you explored in your project.
    • In this project I wanted to focus on a low cost approach to integrating a market space and with the other programmatic concerns indicated in the design brief, such as meeting rooms and open work spaces. To achieve this, I envisioned a modular ring of four identical buildings, and only designed one of the buildings. The individual building is a two story building featuring rammed earth and brick screen facades. The building is L-shaped, with curved elements at the intersection of the two building legs. This long narrow form, in addition to perforated brick screen facades are key in enabling natural ventilation and light. Rammed earth walls enable the use of a low-cost, locally sourced material. The doors in the building are embedded in the wall, so they can open completely, again contributing to light and natural ventilation in the building. This Only the first floor is enclosed, while the second floor is envisioned as a shaded, flexible, outdoor space where commerce can occur. A thin cast-in place concrete shed roof decorated with terracotta tiles provides protection from direct sunlight. Bathrooms and stairs are intentionally co-located outside in order to enable continuity of activity and ventilation in the main structure. In a similar vein, there are no partitions on the second floor, enabling a flexible use of the outdoor space.
  • Your Big Successes -- what worked very well and what features you're most proud to share as examples to inspire others.
    • I am pleased with the overall design of the building. I feel that it responds well to the original goals I proposed, as well as the desired program of the building.
  • Your Big Challenges -- what aspects of the project created the biggest challenges and what would you do differently (in hindsight) to avoid or overcome these challenges.
    • One big challenge was finding ways to incorporate what I envisioned to be low-cost and sustainable components. I ended up having to design custom Revit families, including doors, roof tiles, and brick screens, which was time-consuming, but also helped me learn a lot about the software.
    • Another challenge was trying to reproduce my sketched ideas in Revit. I found the software to be rather inflexible, which meant that having my drawings more fully detailed before trying to model them could have saved a lot of time. I also found that dealing with curved walls was extremely time consuming, which led me to substantially alter my initial design. This led to a large delay in the middle of the quarter. If I had a better idea of what the software made easy to do vs not, I would have based my original design on this.
  • Lessons Learned -- what sage words of advice would you share with other students who are embarking on a similar project.
    • As I designed the building, I would do some research to understand how difficult some elements would be to model in Revit, and choose a design based on this.
    • I also ended up doing far more deep research into precedents after I had an initial design, half way through the project. Specifically, I wanted to look at examples of how elements including brick screens, doors, and stairs had been implemented in architecture for tropical climates. I would definitely try to do this earlier in the project rather than later.

Video Presentation / Tour of Your Project Features

Design Journal Entries

Click the Filter button below, then enter you first name in the search field to link all your Design Journal entries.

Design Journal Entries | Winter 2023