Alumnus Jesus Aguilar BLOG from Chicago, No. 2


Alumnus Jesus Aguilar (08′) moved to Chicago in August and began his Master of Architecture graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (with advanced standing).

Jesus’ UIC studio experience began with Architectural Design III. His almost-complete studio project (as of 12.01.14) is described below and shown above, in the images.


UIC School of Architecture
ARCH 553 – Architectural Design III, Fall 2014
The studio focussed on designing a home for a same-sex couple, with a 10 year-old child and a wheelchair-bound in-law.
Students were asked to re-invent the domestic setting, in a five-phase process. Working from the inside out, each phase was intended to bring higher resolution to a house “that has always been there.” The project began with “objects” (furniture – items for living) and moved on to “decor,” (colors, textiles and coverings), “elements,” (built-ins, ceilings, circulation), “poche,” (structure), and, finally, “exterior” (envelope and landscape).

Jesus Aguilar’s Project Statement

Life as a constant theatre in flux has been extended into the domestic setting. Through the use of decor and objects, an archipelago of scenes have been designed to produce a theatrical effect. Each scene is viewed from the periphery on seating that concentrically frames it.

The decor’s color palette consists of pink, yellow, gold, and grey hues. These colors are selectively dispersed within each scene to create a sense of unity and cohesiveness throughout the project. All of the scenes are furnished with a combination of Ligne Roset, Blue Dot, Moooi and Ikea furniture – to promote a balance between the high-end and economically simple tastes of the clients. Paired with these objects, the decor serves as background – through the use of gold drapery, textured or printed wall coverings, area rugs and green fur upholstery. Each scene is placed on a stage that is sectionally independent of the others. The stages are supported by “back of house” walls that conceal utility closets, wardrobes, equipment and in one instance, circulation.

To extend the idea of theatricality, a monolithic and minimal exterior stands on three curved legs. The structure of the building is a steel lattice system clad in a white translucent polycarbonate. Apertures in the skin allow views out from the stages – providing a visual escape for the ‘performer.’ The apertures were produced from the voided space of the furniture and calibrated to eye level. To enter the home, one walks under the belly of the building to a glass tube, whose circular platform lifts you into the center of the house where arrival in the double-height space provides simultaneous views of all the stages.

left images and top right: views of Jesus’s ARCH 553 – Architectural Design III model
bottom right: Jesus Aguilar (in front) in studio, at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, October 2014