When dusk has reached Cal Poly Pomona’s campus and most students and staff members have gone home, the architecture 24-hour Interim Design Center (IDC) is filled with students working through the night. 

An access card is required to enter the studio, which is no ordinary space. Rows of standing desks, 3D printers, scraps of materials, models and site plans pinned against the walls are seen throughout. 

Project deadlines are a few weeks away and months of student research, site plan development, and model assembling are nearing the end.   

Senior Project Studio has a new concept being implemented this year by veteran assistant professors Katrin Terstegen and Robert Alexander, teaching Senior Project Studios for the first time.    

Students were asked to compile a program of what design approach they would like to take after reviewing nearly 100 case studies collectively among studios where architectural theories and designs were explored from the previous semester. 

Every year, seniors are given a site to work and design from with limited conditions, but this semester Terstegen and Alexander took a risk that could have overwhelmed students, yet proved to do otherwise.  

“Site selection this year covered a lot more areas in Los Angeles than years past,” Alexander said. “By expanding the site areas there was a lot more diversity for the students and we proposed the idea of rail corridors, transit corridors, the port, East L.A., Boyle Heights and Highland. 

“It has been fun seeing what students have come up with.”

Fourth-year students shared their project development and concentration topics that will soon be their final design at CPP.

Parady Sarun | Yonex Headquarters / Office and Badminton Training Center

“Yonex is a Japanese brand that manufactures badminton products. My structure would be an integrated facility where the headquarter office spaces are integrated with badminton training, which is the product the company manufactures. Rather than following the conventional office structure, I am suggesting we implement the product of the company to the core of the structure. The core of a building is traditionally a space used for an elevator shaft and stairs. I would make the core areas into a landscape experience still moving people from one floor to the other without relying on an elevator box. The core becomes an interactive open space where the structure would have badminton courts and walking open areas around. I was influenced by tech companies such as Apple and Google’s approach of creating an office space that fits into the culture.”

Mariana Uy | Monastery and Brewery 

“I am creating a monastery and brewery location in an urban setting for an adapt and reuse project imposing a Trappist monastery next to the Los Angeles River. Breaking away from the traditional Benedictine rules on location, I suggested creating a structure influenced by isolation in a place of socialization to merge two concepts into one site. The monastery would follow its traditional practices but be placed on a site where they wouldn’t traditionally be expected. The structure was designed to follow the monks’ strict schedule that would follow the sun’s orient but still allow brewery visitors to enjoy the location. My site has 17 existing buildings that would be reused as material to structure the monks’ living corridors, a library and their church. The structures would take on [an] anonymous layout so that the public would only know that the steel brewery is present and maintain the monks’ identity hidden.” 

Tiffany De La Cruz | Multigenerational Community Center

“My project concentrates on a Multigenerational Community Center in downtown Los Angeles off the L.A. River by an industrialized park. I concentrated on volumes and overlapping them and having an area that may not originally be utilized and making it resourceful.  When L.A. began to grow, communities and cities began to merge together in awkward positions where they would fight to claim the boundary lines of the city and I explored that idea to create a structure where there are no ‘walls inside.’ It would be a communal space and everyone could share it so it would take literal the idea of how L.A. was formed and place everyone inside one spot to emphasizing that it could be an open and boundary-free space for everyone to use.”

(Jessica Araujo / The Poly Post)

Kleon Tran | Recording Office and Festival Space

“The project I have proposed to design is a mix between a recording studio/office space for the record label Radiate Rising combined with a festival site. My structure is located by Boyle Heights and the river in an industrial park area large enough to host a festival. For the structure, I sampled my own work and took all my previous projects from first to fourth year and took them out of their original context to stitch portions of previous designs into my festival space. Because my previous studio work has implemented this engagement of how does the space of music and culture development translate into a structure, I used that to stich sampling of hip-hop music along the projects design.”

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