House for a Carpenter
Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize
"Aspire to live quietly... and to work with your hands."
On the south side of Chicago there is a need for more than just new housing stock; the communities located there are in need of jobs. With the relocation of the historic stock yards many residents lost their primary source of income. Joblessness forced many to move to other parts of the city. Today, vacant lots abound.
This design is intended to be a prototype which reincorporates a place of production into the home. This place of production acts as both a shop and a classroom. The design maintains a domestic facade on the street while the shop and classroom are accessed from the back alley.
One first builds this house then teaches two neighbors how to build similar houses. Those neighbors in turn teach two more neighbors how to build. Thus, the house becomes not only a place to dwell, but also a didactic tool and a place of production.
The house uses simple materials and construction techniques; a balloon framing system rests on top of a concrete plinth. The main floor of the house has spacious but simple living and kitchen spaces which have access to an open-air terrace between the house and the back entrance to the shop. The second floor of the house has two bedroom suites.
The shop is accessed through the back alley by a stair and lift. It has clerestory windows all around which allow for ample light and give the house above the appearance of floating. There is also a light well which draws light through middle of the house providing both light for the house and shop and views between the domestic space and the productive space.
This project not only proposes a design for infill housing on Chicago’s south side; it proposes another, perhaps, not-so-new way to build and to live in our cities.
Mill River Co-op
Program: Live and light manufacturing
Over the last 50 years the American home has become a place of consumption and self-expression. The Mill River Co-op reincorporates a place of production back into the home. These spaces generate revenue and extend the function of the dwelling space. Mill River Co-op breaks down the work-live separation that is a result of current zoning practices and reactivates the urban environment. Rather than becoming inactive during periods of disuse the co-op transforms multiple times throughout the course of the day alternating between domestic and productive functions.
Mill River Co-op mediates between two scales: the domestic scale and the manufacturing scale. Manufacturing takes place in the large translucent shed structures which run parallel to the river. Dwelling takes place in the smaller wooden bars which run perpendicular to the river. These two programs are woven together. At the intersection, the two create a hybrid space. Supplies are delivered on the south end of each shed and move north along the river. Residents arrive from the mews which runs down the center of the complex and receive either a view to the street or a view to the waterfront. Mill River Co-op provides multiple housing options. One can build either a single-family or a loft model according to lifestyle needs.
Mill River Co-op is constructed out of glulam portal frames and CLT prefabricated panels. Engineered timber is a sustainable and beautiful construction method. Timber is not only a renewable construction material – it also acts as a carbon sequestration tool.
Finally, Mill River Co-op responds to its site. It is located on the edge of a flood zone. The site gradually slopes down towards the river. Floodable program spaces like parking and delivery are located at the level of the river. The domestic space and the production floors begin at the street level and are elevated 15 feet above the flood zone at the river level.
The Longer Wharf proposes a linear residential, commercial, and recreational development along the Boston harbor front. The narrative of a ‘linear village’ harkens back to Boston’s Historical Long Wharf, which was an active commercial and residential hub in the city for over two centuries, but was shortened almost to the point of nonexistence by land infill. In turn, our proposal for a new Longer Wharf links the existing cruise ship terminal to the Boston Convention Center, while extending the conceptual logic of the historical long wharf into the contemporary city. The Longer Wharf, therefore, becomes a new armature for development in Boston by extending the harbor into the city, and ultimately reconnects the city to one of its greatest amenities: the water.
This design for the CASIS headquarters building proposes a single system composed of a nested series of shells which grow ever denser towards the center and ever more porous towards the periphery.
The shells filter both light and view, and create space by acting as floor, wall, display case, and ceiling. Light is filtered through the outer shell, then illuminates vitrines installed in the second shell, and finally penetrates the innermost shell.
This geometric vocabulary calls into question gravity and the body’s normative relationship to the ground. The innermost shell hovers over a sunken theater and appears to resist gravity. Walls press in as one occupies the convex and concave liminal zone of the public promenade. This tension is ultimately broken as one enters into a central domed exhibition space which also provides a connection back to the exterior through oculi.