Composition and Character

My photo
* * * Thank you for visiting Composition & Character! My name is Samuel Lima. I am an alumnus of Judson University's M.Arch program and the Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism program at the University of Notre Dame. I am passionate about excellence in the design of classical and traditional architecture and the creation of new places worthy of the care of future generations!


Washington D.C.: National Museum of Science and Technology

This new museum for the Smithsonian Institution is proposed for the current site of the J. Edgar Hoover Building (offices of the FBI) on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.  The aerial perspective above shows the building as it would appear from the top of the Old Post Office tower.

This section cuts through the large galleries and rotunda and shows one of the large permanent displays, an interactive scale model of a through-arch bridge.

The building contains two large permanent display galleries on the South side of the building, an IMAX theater, a central rotunda and vertical circulation core (a grand circular stair and 4 elevators), a whisper chamber (the eliptical room in the plan), and flexible exhibit spaces on the North side of the building.  There are also two main entrances (as in many D.C. museums).

These perspectives illustrate the central rotunda and one of the large permanent display galleries.  Click on any image to see it in high resolution! 

The Previous Post contains a large charcoal rendering of the portico of this museum.  Duncan Stroik was my professor for this project.



Click Image to Enlarge

This half portico detail is for a new Science and Technology Museum in Washington D.C.  The drawing is over 6 feet tall and was drafted at 3/4" = 1' scale in graphite.  The figures in the tympanum are, from right to left: an Allegory of Wisdom, an Allegory of Science, a Biologist, a Chemist, and an Astronomer.  The piece is fully rendered in shade and shadow with charcoal.


Habitat for Humanity / ICA&CA Competition

This 1,236 square foot home was recently awarded Honorable Mention in the Dream Dallas Home Design Competition administered by Habitat for Humanity and the Texas Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. It is designed to be affordable and energy efficient, but also beautiful and enduring. Dr. Christopher Miller of Judson University was my sponsor for the competition.

For more information, visit:

Public Library

 (click to enlarge image)

This hypothetical 60,000 square foot public library is designed for the South-West corner of the intersection of Washington and Michigan Streets in South Bend, Indiana. It is designed around a central sky-lit atrium containing a grand stair. Large windows light the shelves and reading room, and are organized to align with standard stack spacing. Small pedimented aedicules are centered in each arched window and express the shelves they are aligned with (and by extension the use of the building as a home for books). A theater/lecture hall, which contains murals of St. Joseph County, terminates the procession of the staircase as it arrives on the second floor.
The project is rendered in a mixture of Lamp Black and New Gamboge.  The design and rendering took five days. 

Tuscan Arcade

This one week project for a small brick and limestone garden pavilion is rendered in watercolor. Vitruvius' three ideal qualities of architecture, Firmitas (durability), Utilitas (functionality), and Venustas (beauty) are inscribed in the frieze.


Rockford Charrette

These are a few watercolors from a charrette that I recently participated in for Rockford, Illinois. Under the leadership of the Rock River Development Partnership and Live Work Learn Play LLP, we worked on a plan for the revitalization of a focus area near the river. Brendan Herr, Dr. Christopher Miller of Judson, and I drew the scenes, and then I painted them.

The subject of the paintings is a new central market for the city and the restoration of several downtown buildings.


Chelsea Barracks

My studio project this year has involved developing a master plan for the site of the Chelsea Barracks in London. The plan grew out of a thorough study of the peculiarities of London urbanism, and subsequently included a wide range of building types from mews houses to large apartment structures. After completing the urban design portion of the studio, I focused on the design of one of the buildings in the master plan, a four story mixed use building designed to house a church, multi-use space, offices, and a child care facility.

An animated fly-through of the scheme can be found HERE.