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  • FINAL THESIS POSTER [presented during OCAD University’s Graduate Exhibition]

    TN STATION: Toronto’s Farming Learning Centre and Hydroponic Farm

    This poster was a hodge-podge of everything integral to understanding my thesis project but luckily the mix of elements somehow had graphic similarities and inevitably lent themselves to one another very well. This means that I also might have developed a graphic “style” and if I truly did then, well.. then I’m a happy camper! 

    To see my work from start to finish, visit my “undergraduate thesis” link and back track all the way to the beginning :) It’s a pretty interesting design process.. well it’s mine. So enjoy dealing with that haha

    Project III: The Architecture of EmotionTemple of laughter

    Charlotte Rauchberger, Thy Nguyen Kim Dao, Dhruv Soni

    December 4, 2013

    Location- Centre of Yonge & Dundas Square

    Type of Architecture- Temporary installation for the summer

    Program- This structure brings humour by the use of self-reflection, narcissism and voyeurism. It has half-body length, one-way mirrors located inside a structure that allows observers to be observed by others. Two individuals will be able to align and orient their bodies to match each other on either side of the one-way mirror. By doing so, the mirrors will display the top half of one person aligned with the bottom half of another person.

    Design Features- The ‘Temple of Laughter’ consists of two layers assembled in a circular plan. The outer layer made from a steel sheet creates a space that is 40’ in diameter and 9’ in height. This layer floats above the ground and is supported by thin, non-distracting steel columns along with various sized circular cavities. This form allows pedestrians along the streets to be able to slightly view the interior through the subtle openings to create interest in curiosity and a sense of safety to enter the place. As they proceed through the 8’ wide opening, they would be able to view the inner layer. The inner layer consists of two; half-body, one-way mirrors sandwiched together and placed together to create a full-length mirror. Such arrangement allows observers to view someone else’s top half of the body with respect to their bottom half of the body. As users walk through the 8’ wide semicircular pathway, they would be able to orient themselves to match their bodies with users who are standing in the centre of the inner layer. This invites the notion of voyeurism and narcissism as they enter the central space. The installation lacks a roof to invite sunlight and eliminates artificial lighting issues, as lighting is a critical element needed for reflection.

    TN STATION: Final Sectional Model  

    April 2014


    • 1/8 inch baltic birch plywood (stained “cherry”)
    • 3/32” Balsa Strips
    • Hi-Core corrugated translucent plastic 
    • ESCA board
    • Illustration board
    • Task Board
    • Wire
    • White corrugated paper
    • maple veneers

    A great project where I genuinely didn’t want to discard the models I made afterwards. This one continues to get beat up and shuffled around my 8x10 closet that I call “bedroom”. 

    I made two project models from cardboard earlier in my process however they appear very similar to my final on the exterior due to the heavy amounts of time spent on planning the interior (“community” spaces were my main focus). Tackling the Southern landscape was extremely important because I wanted it to be a space that fell under that category of community. By the last 2 weeks of the project I found myself having to become a professional landscaper, where researching perennial plants, understanding different exterior ground surfaces and designing new “shed” structures from scratch became my work. But looking back, I learnt so much in such a short amount of time and put literally every piece of knowledge I had acquired, over the course of four years, to work in a week. That’s OCAD University for you.

    But thank you OCAD U.. OCADOO? This information felt meaningful and pertinent to my self-development and growth. Architecture and concepts about its impact on people has been permanently fastened to my brain and my heart. I have a passion for learning, practicing and physically manifesting the things I have learnt. I love making predictions, then watching the unfolding outcomes. All this gives me a rush. No other school would have offered the conceptual push, encouraged the use of every sense in all participants, while still reminding us to remain thoughtful in our practice like OCAD U did. I love this school. I even love the hatred I still have for some aspects of my learning experience. I love how passionate the classes made me.

    I like how passionate I am about designing environments now, even after four years.  

    Sorry that this turned into a sappy sentimental post. But this project was an illustration of my influences for the last four years and I think it’s a satisfactory representation of listening, absorbing and applying. I’m really proud of myself.


    -Char :)


    Planning & Scenarios, Places and Images of Spatial Moods

    Sorry for the bizarre layout of planning. For the sake of this medium, I placed the ground floor plan at the top…but you read it from the bottom up as usual. ugh confusing lol

    Ground Floor Plan: Shows main entry access points at the North-West corner, middle North facade and the Easterly North-South pedestrian breezeway, for access to the Southern exterior community gardens. The breezeway houses all the safe and convenient bike parking for people working in and visiting the community. The ground floor is comprised mainly of “community” programming. Shipping containers that once sat at the back of my building have been brought inside to create retail spaces that can be rented out to practicing chefs, artists, gardeners and crafts people who wish to have their skills be shared with the community. Hydroponic/aeroponic farming takes up the remainder of the ground floor.

     2nd 3rd & 4th Floor Plans: The most notable aspect of the design scheme for all three floors is the explicit, direct relationship between farming and education. The Light well that passes between them is to provide natural light to both the farming facilities and classrooms.

    Community fresh produce cafe, “energy room” (shared lounge) and library are located in the West portion of the building while the educational community kitchen and children’s kitchen are at the far East side and allow for viewing into the greenhouses. 

    Roof Plan: optimal growing space with ample amounts of natural light. Module greenhouses located on the main building roof. 

    -Charlotte Rauchberger :)

    A & K Lick-A-Chick 

    Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

    Photos by: Nathalie Pye & Charlotte Rauchberger

    TN STATION: elevation and sectional drawings

    The West elevation: shows a few of the site conditions I had to deal with during the design of the addition (the ground slope and existing trees). Figuring out where the newer portion of the building floor plates met with the older section of the building floor plates was another challenge to delve into. Organizing egresses and accessible ramps within the building had to be addressed. 

    The North elevation: contains new inset balconies for the residential units where windows initially were. No protrusions exist but it still creates a subtle change to the previous facade. I wanted to be respectful to the heritage building adding only overhangs over major entryways. 

    The Southern elevation: shows the stacking and offset method of arranging the greenhouses. I did not set out to design a vertical farm. My design contains many smaller scaled greenhouses that, I hoped, would sensitively attach themselves to the back of the existing building. It just so happens that I have an incredibly tall building and the greenhouses thus stretch in a vertical form… So I designed a vertical farm haha

    The East section: shows how the concept of growth serves in the design of the learning centre (pink section). 2nd floor: “Planting Ideas”, 3rd floor: “Sprouting Actions”, 4th floor: “Blooming Knowledge”. The light-well can also be seen to the south side of the building which provides natural light for both the addition (greenhouses) and the learning facilities 


    Bulwer Street Toronto

    Client: Canadian, singer, songwriter Rufus Wainwright

    I designed a studio live/work environment for my client in Toronto. 37 Bulwer Street, located at the main intersections of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue, is described as populated, commercial, and retail. Bulwer offers back-alley isolation, convenient shopping, and a potential view of the city’s downtown financial core to the South. The sites’ material qualities are rough and rugged. Laneway materials like concrete and wire fences are found amply throughout the site. Finding the right amount of privacy for my client was an important challenge to solve.

    “Rufus has some of the strongest lungs in pop music today… he is able to sustain a long melody, a very long melody for a remarkable length of time.” He sings “Long notes… without gasping for breath” (Lake, 86). 


    The key concept I sought to express with my architectural response to Rufus’ live/ work residence was to allow the building to function in the same way his body does when he sings, with rooms that expand like lungs when used or unused, or altered when a certain type of acoustic in a space needs to be achieved. “Suspension” and “sustain” are other words used to describe Rufus’s voice that were translated into his space. The elongated notes he sings are transformed into extended, seemingly never-ending lines and planes that provide views within the residence. They hit a peak.

    TN Station: Final Context Model

    King Street West & Bathurst Street with the CPR & CNR to the South

    I loved building this model. The intricacy of it was fantastic. Cutting Eska board and news board was a lousy task but I even appreciated the effort I placed into that. Finding a way to creatively represent the railway was enjoyable. Just building models in general is where my heart lies. 


    1. View within the “Light Well”: The view from within the easterly elevator core that runs through the light well

    2. Indoor Planting Space

    3. Potting Room: Area for prepping, potting and transplanting plants before being transferred to the “Natural Light Rooms”

    4. Under the Trellace + Community Garden pathway 

    5. Community Kitchen

    6. View down the “Light Well”

    7. South side site rendering: garden plots that can be seasonally rented, readily available and free to pick herb gardens, pedestrian paths, community gathering and resting areas, topography that directs and captures water for re-use in outdoor gardening, tool rental and machinery shed + seasonally operated outdoor shop. 

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