Brian Pekar
San Francisco, CA

Brian is an architectural designer, strategist, and planner with a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Michigan where he has focused his work on topics of equity, access, innovation, & affordability. He has had work exhibited at the 2020 and 2021 Taubman College Student Shows and has work published in SuckerPunch. In 2019 he earned an undergraduate degree from Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design and is originally from Cleveland, Oh.

He has started his professional career as a strategic planner in Higher Education and has previous experience from internships spanning the past 5 years, most recently working at a K-12 and Higher education focused architecture firm out of Cleveland. 

Thank you.

Email: Bpekar@umich.edu
LinkedIn: Click Here
Graduate Portfolio:
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Undergraduate Portfolio:
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Project #1

Cat Walks & the Hats
Attainable Housing for the Middle
W/ Zach Stewart & Claire Shue
*2021 Student Show Participant
*Published By Taubman College
*Published By SuckerPunch

The project’s ambitions included the formation of attainable housing that fosters community connections in familiar and novel ways. Addressing a dialogue and sensibility with the site’s shifting conditions and future aspirations. Using stock materials to form a much different exterior conditions than expected. And creation of unique and intimate domestic conditions that counter them.

To navigate the issues of the site conditions we identified, we have created a kit of parts that aggregate into different residential program modules which eventually arrange themselves into buildings. This strategy allows for easy repetition structurally and programmatically across the site, and also accounts for some degree of affordability in construction. 

Located: Detroit, MI


[fall 2020] Systems Studio_Profs. Ellie Abrons & Meredith Miller


Project #2

Ann Arbor Public Wifi Collective:
Community, Equity, Urban Planning

W/ Josh Myers & Nick Button
*2021 Arts Engine Grant Winner

The Ann Arbor Public Wifi Collective is a proposal designed to address the growing disparity and urgency in internet access that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Targeting lower income and disadvantaged areas the project builds off of the existing local transit infrastructure to optimize and give new agency to a public service preparing for new use conditions. Bus shelters will be altered to house speculative Wifi network SuperNode antennas that can provide internet access to entire neighborhoods while providing safe coworking and waiting space for bus riders.

While smaller bus stops serve as router distribution points on a new route through the city carried by a previously underutilized bus.

Located: Washtenaw County, MI


[summer 2020] Pandemic and The City Competition
Guidance from Paul Danna, Design Lead SOM LA
& McLain Clutter, Architecture Chair Taubman College. 


Project #3

Inside Looking In
Theater + Housing
*2020 Student Show Nominee

The project functions as a study of social housing conditions and their pairing with a semi rigid programmatic element of a community centric theater.

Sharing typological frameworks and influences, these elements interact through viewports creating a courtyard condition familiar in apartment living but shifted to share space with the theater’s fly tower. This relationship allows residents and occupants to view the ongoings of the theater stage, creating a new form and
platform of performance.

Treating each unit’s viewport as a proscenium frames different props and pieces of equipment as actors playing a role. This experience changes from floor to floor in the three story courtyard.

Located: Chicago, IL (Pilsen)


[fall 2019] Institutions Studio_Prof Peter Halquist


Project #4

Future Space Programming for Campus growth
Major Canadian Research University

My role included half of a 15 year capital investment plan that was used to evaluate current state of all buildings on Campus. The factors accounted for in the digital model included: facility condition, suitability based on current use and space scoring, deffered maintainance costs, utilization, and future demand.

I constructed the digital model in Excel and in Tableau using the clients space databases and scoring systems that were tailor made for the University. The outputs from the model informed where and when new buildings will be constructed, what programs and space profiles will be included, and what the budget will be.

Located: Ontario, Canada 


[fall 2021] Professional_Work Master/Strategic Planning


Project #5

Freedom (from) Trade Zones
Links to Work In Progress Website

With special economic zones growing rapidly via supply chain expansion in the ecommerce and global goods trade age, world economic hubs and their surrounding cities are being consumed by non-descript landscapes of bonded warehouses and light assembly facilities. These spaces exist in specific locations to not only serve a consumer base but also for transnational corporations to evade standard trade tariffs, import taxes, and regulations. This spatial and economic disconnect increasingly affects surrounding residential neighborhoods as zones grow to the outermost limits of natural and man made boundaries.

These support cities, such as Mississauga, Ontario, are losing ground as land prices soar and corporations encroach further. The point has been reached in which only infrastructural corridors, pathways, and gateways remain as the buffer between the hungry corporate entities and their neighbors. Augmenting these between spaces, no mans lands of exception, cities and neighborhood communities can fortify their territory and plan for eventualities of new resilience. By cutting unexpected populations into the zone’s benefits, novel opportunities to common utilities and community institutions arise along existing infrastructure pathways.

The project exists to question the paradigms of capital and corporate imperialism while proposing fittings of hybridized typologies that act within those rigid frameworks to amplify local presence and manufacture civic appeal at networked leverage points.

Located: Mississauga, Ontario 


[winter 2021] Thesis_Prof. Malcolm McCullough