Third Year | Fall 16'
Project done in collaboration with Jakob Uhlenhopp
This studio focused on introducing systemic design thinking that links the development of the form to performative processes such as: climate responsive strategies and effects, systems integration, daylighting, water management and filtration, and construction and support of new natural systems. Here, architecture emerges as a contingent object, negotiated between its internal typological constraints and larger socio-ecology.
Major post-industrial cities across the U.S. are re-inventing and re-vitalizing the water’s edge in favor of developing waterfront opportunities for public use. Working at the boundary of two distinct environments, between ground and water, the studio investigated strategies for systemic integration of Commuter Housing System for Young Professionals and construction of Public Urban Landscapes. Located at the edge of Allegheny River, in the area of Strip District. The initial focus of the project was to understand the larger ecology of the site, followed by a careful development of systemically performative iterations of architectural morphologies, and their aggregation at the urban scale. The project negotiated tensions between the site, local ecologies, water infrastructure and a proposed tectonic logic that would accommodate specific environmental and programmatic agenda for designing a housing system at the edge of the Allegheny River.
The strip district is a lively, complex atmosphere. Known for its variety of food places, markets and bustling nightlife. Following an urban linear pattern, its magnetic atmosphere pulls people in. Having this in mind, this urban project aims to extend the lively movement of people from the strip district onto the site and edge of the Allegheny River.
The resulting experience of the housing complex provides residents with private areas of social connectivity and areas beyond that are open to the public. The design also aims on an increasing resiliency, using algae for energy and elevating the units and creating a new topography with the new livable spaces.
SEMESTER WORK ANALYSIS
Phase 1 SITE AND CLIMATE: By analyzing the site’s climate, environmental conditions, topography, urban relations we gained a comprehensive understanding of the larger contextual forces, developed analytical drawings and new operative site diagrams that facilitated the negotiation of formal parameters for future proposal.
Phase 2 HOUSING TYPOLOGIES: This phase involved analyzing a housing precedent: Habitat 67. This allowed us to become familiar with housing concepts and strategies, including housing typology, layout, geometry, occupation, as well as passive strategies related to climatic context. Daylighting analysis was introduced in order to facilitate explorations of novel modular and organizational logics.
Phase 3 ECO MACHINE: This phase included research, documentation and diagramming of the functionality, parameters and operative logic of a particular eco-machine: processing system or passive strategy that is climactically appropriate for the site. We looked at the Green Roof with the intention to understand the systems’ metrics, performative parameters and its potential for integration into a design proposition. Consequently, the focus was on the creative integration of these strategies with a housing unit proposal; resulting on a new housing type defined into a site specific modular eco machine geometry.