Top Fuel at the University of Southern California is a one week, intensive design-build workshop focused on performative systems and the construction of full-scale prototypes. This year's workshop was focused on Pneumatic Systems under the guidance of Achim Menges from the Institute for Computational Design at Stuttgart University and Thomas Auer of Transsolar Klimaengineering.



The focus of this studio was to envision a new future for Exposition Park and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Exposition Park is currently underutilized and suffers from a lack of a clear organization and identity. The Coliseum has a strong history, hosting both the 1932 and 1984 Olympics (the only venue in the world to host two Olympic Games) but is becoming obsolete. The design of the seating bowl is inadequate by today's standards, and the Coliseum lacks the facilities and private boxes befitting a top 25 NCAA football program. Under the guidance of Dan Meis, senior principle at Populous, and Greg Otto, senior principle at Buro Happold, this studio will design a major remodel to the Coliseum and serve as an idea engine for public and university officials seeking to enliven Exposition Park.



Griffith Observatory. Los Angeles CA

Rio Grande Valley. Albuquerque, NM

Santa Monica Beach. Santa Monica, CA

USC Coliseum. Los Angeles, CA

Elizabeth Ballance. Tempe International Triathlon.

The Louvre. Paris, France. 



A collection of photographs from in and around Los Angeles



The design represents an effort to extend open space through a bold urban gesture. The ground itself becomes a building material as a massive slab of the earth’s surface is peeled up to create space and shelter the elementary school underneath.  Urbanistically the building makes a strong statement on the corner while still responding to its surroundings and helping to define the street. The classrooms are sunken below grade, protecting the children from the noise and activity on the street, while the roofscape becomes an elevated urban prairie accessible to the students, providing a landscape where they can play, socialize, and learn.



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In early December 2009, I began work as a lead editor on a new initiative at the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University. Initially identified as "The CoA Projects Book 2010," this student run organization set out to create a publication that would showcase the best work from the college. On May 4th, 2010 we debuted CROP 01 with a Special Edition hardcover. The journal has 240 pages and contains over 140 student projects. Also included are photographic essays on Lubbock, the architecture building and studio culture; student pictures and profiles; and a pair of faculty essays about the school in the context of West Texas and the Southwest. It is the first publication of its kind to come out of the TTU CoA, and we hope the CROP series becomes an integral part of the college for years to come. Softcover copies of CROP 01 are still available to the public via the Blurb Marketplace here.
Editorial Team
James Donovan  |  Samantha Peters  |  Jordan Berta  |  Jigga Patel

Zach Pauls



The project was to design a transportation education center (a trucker school) on Interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas. Included in the design program is a bio-diesel truck stop, repair facilities, convenience store, and local food diner. The site and its relation to I-40 is unique, in that it must perform at multiple scales: Interstate 40 is a major artery of goods across the United States from Barstow, California to Wilmington, North Carolina, with Amarillo almost midway between the two. Therefor, this multi-service truck stop must respond to the community of Amarillo along with the thousands of truckers and families traveling from hundreds or thousands of miles away via Interstate 40.





An oceanic observatory hanging precariously off a cliff wall, this aquatic architectural speculation overlooks the infinite. It is a bridge, a digital link between the constant and the uncertain. It is simultaneously polished and crude: a glossy, technical armature whimsically stitched into a harsh environment. It is surreal, fantastical, an architectural leviathan reaching out towards the far edges of its world. It is a product of the imagination, a playful gesture, and a bold ‘what if…’




ARCHI-GUIDE 2009 is an independent publication I worked on together with Greg Hemmelgarn and Zach Pauls. It served as a guide book for our Study Abroad trip during the Summer of 2009. The book is 148 pages and includes maps, images, and descriptions of many significant works of architecture in Belgium and the Netherlands. The book was published through Lulu.com and is available for purchase at the cost of printing here.



The WKTF is a massive Whitewater Kayaking Training Facility set in Urbanovsky Park, on the campus of Texas Tech University. The training facility is conceived to be a part of a large scale "National Aquatics Training Academy" creating a mini campus of aquatic venues within the larger community in which it resides. The facility uses a state of the art adjustable obstacle system capable of replicating any whitewater scenario. The 2.6 million-gallon lagoon is designed to speed the training process by keeping the athletes in their kayaks, eliminating the time wasted on numerous trips upstream.