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Unifrax, located in Tonawanda, NY.
Niagara Falls Observation tower underwent masive reconstruction and was completed in September, 2002.
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Exterior of `Quad Space`

Quad Space is an insertion of an architectural academic exercise as a full-scale constructed exploration to spatially and structurally manipulate and define the division of four spaces within a 600 sqf house.


CIR was approached for assistance by students of University at Buffalo to provide assistance in their design/build thesis project.

Project Details

This thesis re-evaluates the operations of architectural exercises within the academia and its role and relationship with the social, communal and economic environment that it is based in. This thesis project will critically investigates the process of establishing an academic architectural research project as a full scale construction insertion in the city of Buffalo, through the physical manipulation and conversion of a derelict house into a habitable space.

This collaborative thesis project is strengthened and necessitated by the nature, scale and logistics of a full scale architectural construction exercise involving coordination, compromises and negotiations by four individuals, while also being challenged and contorted by the conventions of the academia and its definition of a thesis work as a purely individual exercise.

This thesis project operates within the space of two current economic situations: the first being the stagnant and derelict economic landscape of Buffalo's domestic environment in which the insertion of this academic project, self-motivated and independently funded by architectural students/ designers/ builders/ owners creates a sense of iconography and raise awareness for innovative attitudes towards the re-considering the banal within such an urban landscape.

The second  being that of the typical American view of domesticity, which the thesis acknowledges and provokes by challenging the perception of conventionally extensive spatial needs within the ideal American home and domestic landscape, by re-defining and re-interpreting conventional building codes requirements for minimal living.

A Letter from the Students

"The members of Quad Space, a collaborative thesis project at the University at Buffalo, would like to extend their appreciation to CIR Electric. You went far and beyond what we ever imagined or expected from you in helping us reach our goal. Not only did you supply us with the necessary parts, but you also donated your time in order to teach us the correct methods in both designing and installing electrical systems. The skills you have shared with us will help us continue our education and improve our skills with our passion in design/build projects. Being four graduate students trying to independently fund a large scale project, such as our house at 139 Howell Street, it is hard to gather all the necessary funds, however, thanks to your generosity our project was able to be successfully completed.

Special thanks to Greg Jakubowski for offering CIR's knowledge, experience, and good will.

Also thanks to John Gugino and Dave Jakubowski for donating their time and knowledge of the trade to us. Both John and Dave were enthusiastic of the project, professional and very resourceful with respect to their knowledge of electrical systems.

Thank you.

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Ed wrote: At Saint-Gobain Structural Ceramics, we built three clearly marked boxes out of 1/2" plywood with handles that are marked for battery recycling.


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