Southern. California. Architectural. Research.'s avatar

Southern. California. Architectural. Research.

Final project from AR 403 

This project was a collaboration between Matt Harris & myself

A bench I designed animated to show how the structure unfolds from a compact, easy to transport trailer to a full parklet to for human use in a parking space outside your favorite downtown restaurant.

A design I completed to enter into a design competition for the city of San Diego which I did not win but I placed in the top three. I felt since my project had moving parts I would take this as a challenge to create my first Maya animation showcasing how this compact design folds out into a inhabitable space.

A test render, this took 1:30s and I have 500 frames to complete.  I have learned a lot in the two weeks I have been using Maya.  I want to throw together a beginners guide for Maya in Architecture to showcase my biggest learning curve so other people don’t have to go through the same issues, hopefully in the next coming weeks.

I can’t sleep, I love learning and being able to apply that knowledge in a different manner has rendered me sleepless. All the Lynda tutorials and endless hours of working on my techniques are paying off, this animation is coming out way better than expected.  the bump mapping is accentuated and the textures are aligned correctly and the lighting is un-uniform to give a realistic appeal to the whole image.   I just hope my computer doesn’t shit out in the middle of the render process.

First Maya animation batch render starting now

So I got a new watch today and it is just so sleek 

It is a Hurlingham Japan movement and is also water resistant up to 150ft which is nice because I can use it surfing but also perfect in professional settings. 

Culver City, CA

On my trip to Sci-Arc to view all of the graduate thesis project/presentations I decided to stop by Culver City to sneak into the architecture created by Eric Owen Moss’s architecture firm.  While it is private land and security presence is strong on each of these sites, my colleagues and I had to tip-toe around to view this architectural significant block of beautiful structures.  


As architecture students it is our duty to explore, this means even if the spaces are blocked off to the public we can always find a way in.  The most spiritual experience I had during this trip was sneaking in to the construction site of the ‘waffle’ structure.  Seeing the construction details of such a beautiful building while being in a space that is restricted to a select few, which did not include me.  As an aspiring architect visiting construction sites this is one of the most informational ways to see how a building is put together.  Construction drawings are the next best thing and it doesn’t even compare to seeing the physical structure and feeling the nature of the materials and how they are but together. Scale is often an issue in modeling and visualizing in a project but being able to experience how large each individual material is helps to distinguish the real life implementation to the construction documents. 

 These photos are the product of where I went and what I experienced.  The first photo of the new construction was taken from the top of the Samitaur building where we had to by-pass security to get into. All of the spaces, interior and exterior we expressive in a way that I don’t normally experience on a day to day basis.  I aspire to create the way that Eric Owen Moss does, so free but yet functional to the users that inhabit.  

-Christopher Voltl

I received an email from the City of San Diego stating that I have made it to the final selection of the top three parklet designs in which a winner will be chosen by a facebook vote

I am so thrilled right now

Parklet Superimposed Within the Nightlife of San Diego

Testing Materials for render

The framing, wheels, and hitch are all on. The front hitch gets hidden when the floor retracts down

Have to add material to the model and add the sub floor.

Is all the horizontal flooring working good, or is it too much?


Working on the parklet design and I am happy where I am right now in the process.  There are a few measures to figure out to make it a complete ridged structure. 

The main idea is to create a sculptural hangout area that will fit in a parking space, but can be stored and moved easily so making it as compact as possible while keeping the movements gestural was the main challenge. so I chose to contour 3/4in plywood and split the larger piece into two make it so it will rotate to 90 degrees when not in use but able to fold out into a beautiful functional shaded bench while in use. the two ends also fold up to make the footprint even smaller. Still have to workout the details but so far I am very excited.