Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Shirt

Now that I'm out of school, with a bit more time on my hands, I've been experimenting with a few sewing projects. My first project was a tablecloth for our eating area. I made it out of denim, with a border of colorful striped fabric. I think it turned out really well, and looks great with our Fiesta dishes.

My second project was kind of a test for what I really want to make. I have not been able to find a dress to fit me in the past few years, so I want to start making dresses for myself. First I decided to make a test shirt from the same pattern. It turned out ok. ;) I don't think I'll be going further than the mailbox in it, but it makes a comfy around-the-house shirt. My plan is to start on a dress today or tomorrow. We'll see...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Final Project - Peru Mission's Square

My final project for the Master of Architecture was based on the work of the Christian mission society Peru Mission (PM). (For detailed information about Peru Mission, I've included a link to their website.) A lot of PM's energies are focused in Trujillo, a city on the northern coast of Peru.

Trujillo is organized on a grid system; each neighborhood in the city consists of an open square on one block surrounded by blocks of housing. PM has been given several of these sites; on each they are building a church building, medical clinic, school and a house for the pastor and his family. For my project, PM sent me the plan of a site in Trujillo and I designed the complex using their model.

The first thing I had to do in the design process was to figure out where the different buildings should be located on the site. One of the factors that influenced building placement was the climate. Trujillo has a warm, dry climate. Air conditioning was not an option, so I placed the
buildings to try to catch as much wind as possible. The L-shaped building in the top left corner is the school; the L-shaped building in the lower left corner is the medical clinic. The church runs northwest-southeast from the center of the site to the lower right corner. The fellowship building is northeast of the church, and the manse (pastor's house) is the C-shaped building to the right of the church. Hopefully the complex will be a gathering space for the whole community, so I added trellises with climbing plants to provide shade in the courtyard.

Site view from South


The church building has two entrances. The image to the left shows the courtyard entrance; the first image below shows the view of the building from the street. Trujillo is located in a desert with very little vegetation; most buildings are painted in bright colors to relieve the monotony. The colors on the church building are coded according to the function of the interior spaces. The sanctuary is within the yellow block, the office and support spaces are painted cream, and the entrances are marked with the red color. The view captured in the third image is of the southwest wall of the church building. A colonnade was created at ground level to visually break up the large surface of wall. Empty space between the columns allows natural ventilation through the sanctuary.


The sanctuary occupies the majority of the church building. People coming to the building from the courtyard (top left on plan) enter into a foyer separated from the main sanctuary by a series of columns. The first image below shows a view of the front of the sanctuary and pulpit from this entrance into the sanctuary. People entering from the street (bottom of plan) come into a smaller foyer and enter the sanctuary next to the colonnade west wall. This experience is shown in the second image below. The third image provides a view of the rear of the sanctuary (including the colonnade dividing the foyer and sanctuary) from the southern entrance into the sanctuary. One of my favorite parts of this project is the pulpit area. The pulpit is located
within the tall red block on the south side of the building. In the ceiling of this block is a skylight. The cross on the wall behind the pulpit is pushed inward so that it protrudes into the sanctuary space. Sunlight falling through the skylight creates a shadow beneath the cross, further emphasizing it.

I hope this hasn't been too confusing. I've never tried to sum up a 20 minute presentation into a few sentences on a blog. It's rather challenging. Especially since I can't point at things while I'm trying to explain. ;) If anything isn't clear, or even if you're just curious about something, feel free to ask. Sometimes I forget and fall into "architecture-speak." Maybe later this week I'll add a few of my earlier projects from school.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


So I've started a blog. I never thought I'd be here, typing out a first posting to my own blog, but here I am.
In school, I always got annoyed with other students who talked about MySpace and blogs - if they had that much free time, I could give them something to do! My excuse for starting my own blog is that it will be a good way to share my final project with out-of-town friends and family who would like to know what I've been so busy working on during the past year. And then, of course, it will be good for sharing pictures and keeping people up to date while Brian and I are in Peru this summer. So I've made my excuses. I'm sure over time I'll come up with lots of random things to post! Maybe I'll even gradually cease to feel ridiculous for having started a blog in the first place. ;)