Interior Design Thesis
The New York School of Interior Design
2019 - 2020
Instructor: Terry Kleinberg
Skills: AutoCAD, SketchUp, V-Ray, Photoshop, Illustrator
In the summer of 2019, my design-oriented best friend and I toured the historic Gothic Revival Lyndurst Mansion in Tarrytown, NY and leisurely strolled around the stunning grounds afterward. Eventually, we stumbled upon the abandoned greenhouse on the property, once hailed as the most impressive and largest steel-framed Victorian greenhouse in the country. Even though all the glass has been stripped away and no orchids or exuberant plant species have been cultivated there for decades, the magnificence of the structure captured my heart and imagination.
The prerequisite for a thesis project at the New York School of Interior Design, where I was enrolled at the time, included selecting a building, either occupied or vacant, with walls and flexible space that can be designed to fit the needs of a particular purpose. Because all that was left of the greenhouse was the steel framing, it took a bit of convincing for my thesis instructor to approve my proposal.
It ended up becoming much more than an interior design project. I conceptualized the architecture, including the exterior glazing, as well as the surrounding natural landscape. When I initially proposed a project type, I had a cultural arts center in mind, but halfway through the semester, I had a revelation. The unique location of Lyndhurst on the Hudson River demanded another purpose and I was somehow able to convince my instructor again to shift gears and move forward with a eco-education facility devoted on the conservation of the Hudson River and the surrounding ecosystems. I later came up with the name Living Lyndhurst because the fragile land and the buildings we build on them are living, breathing organisms meant to sustain life on Earth. This topic aligned with the concept of reviving and conserving the greenhouse itself.
My colleagues and I worked tirelessly on our respective projects, having multiple checkpoints throughout the year to share our progress in preparation for our final thesis dissertation. We had Spring break in mid-March and unfortunately, were never able to return to campus again. COVID-19 was wreaking havoc on the globe. Far from ideal, we finished the semester, our last, online. Prior to this experience, it was unimaginable for me to defend my thesis over Zoom, but that is exactly how it ended.
Living Lyndhurst is a culmination of ideas and design skills important to me, including sustainability, historical preservation, environmentalism, furniture design, 3D rendering, interior design, and landscape design.