Charlie Ekstrom

Journal Entry For
Module 11 - Sharing Your Project


  • Key / Essential / Unique Design Features —  In my design, the main feature I wanted to accentuate was the duality of the space and nature of the project. Designing two separate building entities connected by a stairway to fit onto a hillside in Jasper Ridge and work with different elements of the landscape was my ultimate goal. To be able to use the building to feature multiple elements of the preserve and accentuate these features in the process was a goal that I think my design definitely adheres to. Allowing for lots of glass and windows and lots of natural light was another important feature, as the spaces were indoors but I wanted them to be able to feel as though they were still connected to the outside world.
  • Your Big Successes —  I am super proud of being able to maintain my design goals while also incorporating sustainability and a sense of modernity in the design. With sustainable heating and cooling systems I feel that the building woks well with the goals of the biological preserve at Jasper Ridge which is what I wanted to work with the most heavily in inspiration. In the simplicity and modernity of the design I was able to give the opportunity for ambiguity, which is what the space, especially the first level, is going to be used fo in lab/classroom/office spaces.
  • Your Big Challenges — I think my biggest challenge came at the end of the quarter in modeling the more complex aspects of the building systems. Finding a way to keep thee building sustainable in heating and cooling came on the easier side, especially after talking to Glenn, but, modeling it was so difficult for me. If the quarter would have ben longer and had allowed for more time to be spent on the systems, I might have looked into alternative modeling methods to improve those pieces. I was confident with my building shape, but the new additions of systems made planning much more of a challenge than I thought it would be. I think I also probably over-did it on the structure, as my building levels are apart from one another and likely didn’t need quite as many supports as I designed them to have. I think my process thought that it was better to be safe than sorry, however, so I likely over-shot on it.
  • Lessons Learned —  If I was to go back and do it again, I would have scheduled more 1 on 1s. Glenn was so incredibly helpful this quarter with helping me see and achieve a lot of my design goals. Another piece of advice I would give would be to focus on keeping the systems simple and on the small side, while finding a way to experiment with the look and meaning of your design. Creating an exhibition space I pretty open-ended and I think that a lot of people lose sight on finding the meaning in their design. With creating such a highly complex integrated model, finding meaning might be able to bring a bit of purpose that might be missing from the design process. Lastly, THANK YOUR ENGINEERS in all of your future designs. I was so challenged by the system planning, and have never truly appreciated the complexity of that job and figuring out how to include all the systems before. This class really opened my eyes up to the true complexity of it.

BIM Model Coordination space of linked elements:

BIM Final Check In Folder Link:

Video Presentation / Tour of Your Project Features

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Design Journal Entries | Winter 2021