Because of Houston’s tactics of territorial annexation and leap frogging developments, the outer loop is a patchwork of linear gaps and interstices, empty spaces between places, excluded as other and outer. These spaces functions as buffer zones between suburban enclaves, belonging to neither and therefore maintained by no one; ownership is both contested and blurred. We are proposing the archetype of the wall as a typological solution for these linear domains and a space in which to restructure the project of domestic inhabitation. Opposed to the autonomous unit of the home, the linear archetype is instead a homogenous bar with an open and negotiable interior, countering the paradigm of partition and subdivision within domestic space.
The inhabited wall becomes a cabinet for the body, containing in its poche the spaces for reproduction and thus freeing the space of the dwelling for living and working. The necessary infrastructure for living–bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, storage–are embedded within wall niches and alcoves in measured intervals. By compressing all of the functions of living into the wall, the resultant spaces are allowed to be empty, freed from domestic infrastructural requirements, clearing space for the self-employed, the freelancer, the entrepreneur. We are reclaiming the generic character of the home and reorganizing it into a highly specific cabinet of living and labor, which introduces the body as a centerpiece for a restructuring of domestic space.
In the unstructured space of the Piazza de Termini, the library operates as a territorial stitch between the two potent objects of the site: the Baths of Diocletian and Termini Station. This new urban void enclosed by the incomplete frame of the library negotiates this restructuring of the site, producing a network of figured voids now oriented around the object of the Baths and aligned to its original axes.
The spatial logic of the library belongs to both objects and thus flaunts its duplicity, oscillating between a state of belonging to and subversion of its urban context. What results is a schizophrenic landscape twisted between two constructs of space: the bath’s aggregated logic of spatial modules and the homogenous linear expanse of the train station. The northern bar of the library resurrects the former frame of Diocletian, occupying the space of the bath’s original outer wall. The eastern and western bars of the library repeat the framing logic of Termini, however reoriented to the baths and obscured by the homogenous infill of context. The bars of the library thus carve and are carved by the context, contaminated by their own terms of spatial negotiation.
The Brackishly Bucolic Backwaters of Manhattan
This project deploys a productive landscape that utilizes rising sea levels for salt farming, while providing infrastructure to minimize damage from storm events. This landscape is bracketed to the south by the sea and the north by floodable parkland, which plays host to transient forms of entertainment and an inland beachscape. The icons of Coney Island - the Parachute Jump, the Wonder Wheel, and the Cyclone Coaster - are preserved as spectacular ruins, rising from the polychrome lagoon of the salt farms. New housing types are deployed across the site: rectangular blocks engage the existing urban area; new sinusoidal courtyard buildings occupy the interstitial space between landscapes of leisure and industry; and seaside housing takes advantage of spectacular views. North-south landscape boulevards stitch the sea and productive aquatic landscape into the existing fabric of Coney Island and provide public access to experience the productive, industrial salt-scape. Civic anchor buildings tie the site into transportation networks: locally into the train system and to the world beyond via a new ferry terminal.