Author Archives: Jennifer Valerio

Design 7 Reflection

The Process

I did not realize how beneficial the process was until I got to the project. Searching our own neighborhood and case study of a different city I thought would be time that could be used for design but it helped me understand hoe master plans work beyond the site and what it takes to make a urban city work. It would be better to shorten this process. Only because of time constrain.

Happy City

Happy City was an amazing experience to have during urban planning. Intuitively we as student architects understand that what we build are for people but because we do not ¬†get to the point of actually building it we leave the reality behind. It reinforced that we build to empower people at work, home, institution etc. I think reading out loud was difficult for me because I do not learn that way, I’m a visual learner and it would have easier for me to follow alone if I had the text in front of me.

Client Interaction

Client interaction was amazing! It was real, very different from all other design studio. We dealt with real people, real vision, real wants and needs and its interesting to hear that some gave too much information and others did not give enough. I think these are the challenges that architects have to go through. Its a different perspective and a must.

Group Work

With group work there is always a give and take. There are not only your ideas but three other member’s plus two teachers. That is a lot of ideas to filter and connect together. Personally I had the best team work I’ve ever had in Citytech. We all connected at a level to understand each other even when we disagreed we were civil towards our ideas and our opinions. To make a group work there has be a level of respect for one another. A level of understand and not underestimating each others skills. As an architect student, group work is what its all about not only in school but also outside of it. Its a skill that must be learned and concur¬†in order to succeeded.

Master Planning vs. Architectural Project

I liked that we focused a lot on the master plan, I think that point and the difference of this studio is that we have to focus on the master plan. We did have some rules that we followed but it was put off to the side because (for our group) we did not want to be constricted with the numbers (square footage) of the amount of parks etc. We made it into a guideline and not a must follow rules. Personally for me when it came to the architectural project I had to spend some time going back to the master plan and re-planning in order to make my site and the overall master plan work. I would have liked to have more time with the architectural project but at the same time I could always continue to finish the architectural project as long as I understand the different and how the interact with each other.

Team Design Principles

Allow the site to flood and design the site to be resilient to withstand annual rainfall spikes and storms.

Provide the right ratio of commercial and public area for residencies.

Understand circulation, hierarchy of importance and relationships of uses to obtain a level of privacy and public for the residencies.

Eliza Baraggan, Walkiria Cabrera, Isaias Garcia and Jennifer Valerio


Team Design Sketches: Progress Stage Two

Eliza   issaias

jen   wallie


 Planning Overall Master Plan

Top Left:

The plan focuses on commercial (orange) being in the center connecting a canal that will have a central ‘island’ and bridging so that people can move to other parts of the site. Another design detail that was important was creating a ‘wrap-a-round’ open space/ park. ¬†The open space will go around the entire site in order to bring green spaces to the existing area and to guide people towards the waterfront to prevent overcrowding and or blocking the streets into the space.

Top Right:

The main concept of this plan features a central plaza that has the canal running underneath. The canal will come from three places and join in the center. People will be able to use the bridge to get to each side. Parking will be limited and so parking lots will only be in two areas. The site also dedicate the waterfront as marsh land and the infill will be part of defense for rising water.

Middle Left:

This plan has multiple ridging when the canal separates two land spaces in order to keep walking continuous. The bridging is a part of walking paths. There essentially three main commercial spaces. The central one consist of major department stores including walking around green space. The other two ‘centers’ have multiple uses. There is a separation of private and public in order to keep the private areas safe and not feel like the public is intrusive. Even though the block on the inside will mainly be residential the blocks will include commercial and open spaces.

Middle Right:

The last plan is made up of major streets. Choosing not to builded on the southern corner of the site allows for visitors to feel welcomed. The plan shows very clearly the hierarchy of roads and open spaces. Which is one of our principles to show within our final master plan.

Bottom Left:

This plan is a combination plan. We choose to have the main center in the southern corner, create a plaza in front of the existing buildings, naturally form the canal cutting through the site, and limit the use of cars that will pass through the site. We want to encourage green living and one way is by limiting the use of cars.

Eliza Baraggan, Walkiria Cabrera, Isaias Garcia and Jennifer Valerio

Indiviudal Design Sketches

IMG_4420 IMG_4421 IMG_4422 IMG_4423

Top Left:

This was my last sketch I did before seeing the site. My last thoughts I was not very concern with exactly where buildings were placed, I actually found it very difficult and found making connections of how people traveled was important. I wanted to really think about the person walking home or to the grocery store. The visitor walking to the site. What did they want to see? what are the difference between the visitor and the resident. Connections became my focus.

Top Right:

This is the third sketch I had. I wanted to make sure that whatever buildings I had that I would be able to provide “shortcuts” and routes through the building. I didn’t want buildings to get in the way of hoe people move. The purple lines are minor streets and the pick are major. All building is connected to a minor street and all minor streets connect to the major. The green are pars & open space.

Bottom Left:

This is the second sketch and it connected to the third sketch. I wanted to continue the existing streets. Purple lines being minor or shortcut streets and pink being major streets connecting back to the grid.

Bottom Right:

My frist sketch. I wanted to connect the green open spaces to the current streets trying to attract people to the site.

Team Design Sketches: Progress Stage One

IMG_4417 IMG_4418 IMG_4419 IMG_4424

Focusing on Key Elements of the Site

Top Left:

As a team we talked about what about the site and design interests us. We went discussed some ideas about the residential buildings that we may want to consider having either a low maintenance green roof which the families cannot use or a garden green roof allowing the families to grow their own food if they choose too. This is just one of the early ideas that will be further discussed.

Top Right:

Choosing where the “entrance” of the neighborhood¬†would be located. We decided we didn’t like the word “entrance” we wanted to keep it apart of the community by following the grid of the streets. The yellow lines are the roads that do not disrupt the views looking towards the site. We find these streets very important because people like to look were they are going. Our “entry” will be located on those points. The ferry is also another entry point to the site. We decided to place the ferry on the right of site because we wanted parks along the water.

Bottom Left:

One of the idea we had was to have a canal through our site. This plan is actually three plans in one. The possibility of how far the canal show come to the site and the advantages and disadvantages of splitting the site into two is what is being discussed. The overall idea behind this plan is to have private and safety to those that live in the site while allowing the surrounding visitors to enjoy the site as well. Creating a balance and guiding visitors to enjoy the area and not feel like they are intruding.

Bottom Right:

Continuing the canal talk and suggesting if we do divide the site there should be connecting points like bridging. Deciding to walk over or walking along side the canal. Thinking about how would people move to and from the site. Moving from one canal to possibly multiple.

 Eliza Baraggan, Walkiria Cabrera, Isaias Garcia and Jennifer Valerio

‘Happy City’- Team Reflection

  1. Transportation ‚Äď how to attract¬†people to the site?

Happiness: Making the site a center for social interactions. The Journey of arriving to the site, for an new experience.

2.  To attract early families and young adult to live at the site.

Happiness: Making the site safe, having comfort and promote a healthy communities and families.

3.  Analyze and understand circulation and hierarchy of importance and relationships of uses.

Happiness: fulfill the peoples needs. Trying not to make things hard to get to and allowing the people to become self-sufficient.

4.  Easy circulation throughout the site for bicycles, cars and pedestrians


5.  Incorporating existing neighborhoods and buildings

6.  Keep the style and feel of Brooklyn and try not to modernize too much.

7.  Flood resilience and Storm awareness

8.  Provide a right ratio of commercial and public area with residential


Eliza Baraggan, Walkiria Cabrera, Isaias Garcia and Jennifer Valerio

‘Happy City’ Personal Reflection- Jennifer Valerio

Free writing.

Happy. Happiness. It’s a common and foreign topic to me. I thought I knew what it is and what it means to me but the more I think about it the more I find I don’t know what it is. Is that strange? Did I not have the “right” influences to “teach” me what happiness is suppose to be or what it looks like? Or maybe that is the purpose. When you experience something for yourself it stays with you, like an imprint. Okay, this is starting to sound like a dairy lol. My five mins are almost up, but the ‘happy city’ can never exist. If we were all happy- happy would mean nothing therefore the concept to create an urban city for happiness is the same¬†idea to try to find the¬†meaning of life or what happens after death. Its just… too individual? I don’t know. : /