Philadelphia Viaduct Museum

Philadelphia, PA 

The concept for the project is The Windows Into The Cut. Each space is structured as a concrete box with glazing on the north and south faces, opening the gallery’s views to Matthias Baldwin Park and The Cut. The walls of the concrete structure extend past the glazing helping to project the viewer from the north topography to the south. The gallery is designed to have a low profile when viewed from the north adapting to the context of the park and a three-story elevation on the south façade to adapt to the context of the cut. The gallery has three entrances that function as intermediate levels descending downward from the level of the park into the gallery. This intermediate level creates an interior space which transitions from one story at the Baldwin Park entrance to a double height space toward the south elevation opening to the cut.


Library of the Long Now

Meadowcroft, PA 

Upgrade Detroit

Rome, Italy 

Project Description  

This semester the students will design a/the Library of the Long Now. The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996 to develop the 10,000 year Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution.

The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

The project will be located on the property of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella, PA. Under a rock overhang next to Cross Creek, archeologists found human artifacts and remains that are continuously stratified back to 16,000 years before today. These are believed to be the oldest found remains of human habitation in the United States.

Site & Topography 

Our site is located on the peninsula of the Meadowcroft Site.


Our site is on a steep hill surrounded by Cross Creek, which connects to the Rock Shelter, and is just north of the existing rail line that connects to Pittsburgh.


History, Culture, & People 

The unique artifacts found on the site indicate that there were people since 16,000 years ago. It initially was used as a shelter by Paleoindians (first people ever lived in North America), and then became home for Native Americans who left the area during the American Revolutionary War and later on 19th Century American habitats.

The existing Meadowcroft Rockshelter Museum, which is currently open to the public, was formed due to attempts of Albert Miller and his family in 1969. Miller formed the museum with the intention of restoring the site, and also creating an environment, where history and culture of the area be tangible for people.

Studying the site opens up the door to some of the oldest and deepest parts of the history of the world and America, making it the suitable site, for designing a building, not only belonging to present, but also the future. Not only America, but also the world.

The Library the Past to the Future 

The library is, fundamentally, a place for storing information. For most of history, that information has come in the form of physical writing—etched stone tablets, papyrus scrolls, printed books, etc. We are currently seeing a shift in the contents of the library from storage of physical writing to digital information. At the same time, we see other parties stepping forward to create digital archives of written information. In creating a ‘library’ for the long now the students must think about how information will be stored and translated in 10,000 years. Will everything be understood through binary code; will books and language still be the basis of communicating, and if so, what language will dominate; or, will we see an entirely new form of communication?

Library Program: 

Collection Area: 8000-12000 sq. ft.

  • Knowledge Center/ Stacks 5000-9000 sq.ft (50,000 -90,000 volume books)

  • Non printing area 2000 sq.ft

  • Periodicals 1000 sq.ft

Storage: 676 sq. ft.

  • Documents room 176 sq. ft

  • Administrate archives 324 sq. ft

Administration Area: 2884 sq. ft.

  • 2 small offices 200 sq.ft

  • A large office 150 sq. ft

  • 2 executive offices 450 sq. ft

  • Reception desk 80 sq. ft

  • Reception seating area 200 sq.ft

  • Big conference room 600 sq. ft

  • 2 Small conference rooms 500 sq. ft

  • Admin facility center( printer, Copier, fax center) 60 sq. ft

  • File Area 144 sq. ft

  • IT center 200 sq. ft

Building Facility: 6300 sq. ft.

  • Bathroom Area 300 sq. ft for 570 person.

  • Mechanical 3000 sq. ft ( 10% of total gross area)

  • Public Area ( stairs, Corridor, etc) 3000 sq. ft (10% of total gross area)

Eatery: 4000 sq. ft.

  • Café 2500 sq. ft

  • Kitchen 500 sq. ft

  • Dining Area 1000 sq. ft

Public Area: 8200 sq. ft.

  • Reading/ Study Area 2500 sq. ft ( 10 sq. ft per chair)

  • Auditorium 5200 sq. ft for 570 person ( 9 sq.ft per person )

  • 5 Meeting Spaces 500 sq. ft ( 25 sq. ft per person )

Technology Center: 1150 sq. ft.

  • Computer cluster 750 sq. ft ( Each computer station required 75 sq. ft )

  • Audio station 200 sq. ft ( 10 sq. ft per chair)

  • Visionary hub 200 sq. ft ( 10 sq. ft per chair)

TOTAL:  31,000-35,000 sq.ft

Upgrade Detroit is a revival of the Packard Motor Company and seeks to create new opportunity for growth and development through creative sustainable urban architecture. The design is based around an elevated active stripe that connects the urban landscape to a 6 stage urban level, built within the concrete structure of the Packard Ruins.


The active stripe runs along the façade of the building and supports a series of stairs, lifts, and platforms elevated above the ground level, similar to the Beaubourg Façade in Paris. When the red glass is illuminated at night this stripe becomes a new identity and landmark for the city. It stretches 1 kilometer along Concord Avenue and designed is to be a reassembly of the old Packard line that helped give Detroit its name, The Motor City. The 6 stage urban level creates new opportunity for commercial, industrial, residential and retail uses. These spaces extend out from the active strip to overlook the Detroit city skyline and hang above the new urban landscape and cultural performance center.


The urban landscape is designed to bring together nature and humanity through a reappropriation of the existing land. This space is designed in three parts consisting of a reservoir, urban forest, and urban agricultural farm. Detroit is battling many socio-economic problems including unemployment, poverty, and bankruptcy. However, there are also environmental challenges the people of Detroit are struggling to overcome, such as access to clean fresh water.


The reservoir is designed to collect, treat, and distribute natural rain water to the new city through a series of pipes running along the elevated active strip. The urban agricultural farmland is designed to be a self-efficient resource for fresh food and produce for the community. The space works in parallel with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative that uses agriculture as a platform to promote education, community and sustainability. The Urban Forest is a spontaneous revival of the existing abandoned landscape of the Packard ruins. The concept is inspired by Gilles Clement’s, "Third Kind", which explores the natural beauty formed by forgotten industrial voids, ruins, and misused neglected spaces.


The new cultural performance center, Hitsville, is a circular collection auditoriums, at the end of the promenade, dedicated to Motown, Rap, Techno and Rock music history that originated in Detroit, honoring the greats like Bellville Three, Eminem, Jackson 5, Jack White, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. Upgrade Detroit is the start for many new possibilities and a new opportunity at the American dream for the people of Motor City.


Passive Solar Housing

Hong Kong, China

Design a pair of side-by-side 3-story village houses, 700 gross square-foot footprint. Each house will have three 700 square-foot apartments, one on each floor. Stairs to upper levels may be on the exterior of the buildings. The traditional exterior walls are masonry and 8” in thickness on the upper floors and 13.5” on the ground floor.

Each unit shall have the following amenities:

  • A living-dining space

  • A fully functional kitchen with modern features (study compact kitchens) '

  • 2 bedrooms, one for the parents and one for the children

  • 1 compact bath dimensionally meeting US residential expectations (expats are potential tenants)

The building shall have a 700 square-foot rectangular footprint which may vary from 1:1 (a square) to 2:1

The roof shall be useable for clothes drying, lounging, and other purposes. The roof deck shall be maximum 30’ above the first floor elevation. (Total building height = 30’ plus a roof canopy if desired. Canopy can be only 6’ above the roof deck.)

The building is intended to be passively cooled and heated. While mechanical systems will be provided, it is desired that cooling and heating be accomplished by natural means as much as possible.

Solar thermal and photo voltaic devices, if used, must be incorporated into the architecture in a skillful manner. (Keep things simple!)

Nakagin Tower

Tokyo, Japan

The concept for the project was as a group of master students to rebuild the Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa located in ShimbashiTokyoJapan. The purpose of reconstructing this building was to help our class better understand how a building of this scale is constructed and what is means to function in Micro Housing.  


Bicycle City

Brooklyn, NY

This project was focused on Modular Housing. Using the knowledge and building techniques we acquired from our study of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, we were to design a modular building that was bicycle friendly in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. We were given three different sized units, (150, 250. 500 sq. ft) and we were required to fit at least 100 units onto our site. The concept behind my design was to stack the units so that each unit had access to an outdoor space. The circulation for each building is accessible from the courtyard in the middle of the site. This allows each resident to easily circulate through the building to their unit with their bicycle. 

Saint Benedict Chapel Analysis

Sumvtig, Switzerland

The Saint Benedict Chapel, located in the village of Sumvitg, Graubünden, was designed by the Pritzker Prize Laureate Peter Zumthor in 1988. The objective for this project was to complete a thorough analysis of the chapel and understand elements of the building and what makes this chapel unique to the landscape where it was built. 

Maison Casa Fuerte

Paris, France

The objective for the project was to study Le Corbusier's Maison Casa Fuerte. We were given scanned images of the original plans, sections, and elevations to help us reproduce modern drawings of the building which we would use to help us construct a model of the building. 

The Captial 

The objective of this project was to create a tool that could record the shape of the capital and give us the ability to draw the capital to scale. 


Fire Lookout Tower

This is the first small building design and construction documentation exercise for ARCH 204. For this

assignment, we designed, detailed, modeled and drew a small building made primarily out of concrete

masonry and glazing. For this assignment we worked in teams of 3students. Teams were formed in studio. All documented drawing are drawn to an exact scale.

This is the first small building design and construction documentation exercise for ARCH 204. For this

assignment, we designed, detailed, modeled and drew a small building made primarily out of concrete

masonry and light wood framing. This was a project for a client, the Nittany Valley Little

League. For this assignment we worked in teams of 4 or 5 students. Teams were formed in studio. All documented drawing are drawn to an exact scale.

Concession Stand

Show More
Show More

Case Study House Pavilion

This project was my third and fourth quarter studio project completed in my Fall 2014 semester. For our third quarter project we were given a case study to research and examine. I was given Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #21. It was our job to learn and study every detail of the house in order to use what we learned to create a our own pavilions.


This pavilion would be placed on the Philip Johnson Estate in New Canaan, Connecticut. We payed a visit to the Glass House and walked around to the different follies on the property that Philip Johnson created in memory of the world renown architects from the past and present. Our pavilion was to continue this tradition and serve as a folly honoring the architect and building assigned to us.


My job was to use the style of Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #21 in my own creation of my pavilion. I chose a specific location for my folly that along the path on the hill facing the glass house. The layout of my pavilion is in an L Shape and allows the visitor to be greeted by a sliding glass door that leads directly to a viewing area that is slowly revealed to you through the opacity of the materials chosen. Much like the style of Pierre Koenig. The visitor can also enjoy a garden behind the viewing area that gives the pavilion a functionality. 

© 2017 by Steven Severino Portfolio. Proudly created with

Map with