SITE. The site is on Science Hill in New Haven, Connecticut. Seen as a residual plot of greenery in Yale’s north campus, the site is a focal point for academic and social congregation.
ECOLOGY ZONES. The site is divided into six self-sustaining wetlands - ranging from grass dominated marshes to less permeable moss bogs. Densities, species and ecologies vary.
INFRASTRUCTURE. Deep foundation retaining walls create defined basins for each wetlands typology - resulting in a fully contained system with controlled overlap points. Dams, pumps and storage tanks all co-exists within the walls.
PATH. A raised boardwalk connects all zones as well as all of the key elements of program on the site. This path serves as the public realm within the park.
AQUATIC ZONES. Water is contained within each zone and through a series of flowing and pooling, eventually travels between each wetland. Each ecosystem is intended to sequentially purify the water so that once the run-off or storm water that enters the park filters out, it will be clean. This is performed by both mechanic and natural methods.
PAVILIONS. Each pavilion takes on a different approach to its relationship with the landscape - whether physical or experiential. The experiences of immersion, observation and separation are explored within each intervention.
SYSTEMS. Land, water and air recording systems are implemented throughout the site in the efforts to imply a holistic research approach to the wetlands. One must understand greater forces in the macro-sphere to begin to clearly perceive the micro-sphere, and vice versa.
Architectural Design: Stage 01
The site is divided into 8 rooms, from the street edge to the back lot line. Each zone, although spatially distinct, relies on its relationship to each adjacent room and gains its hierarchy from that relationship. The spatial organization of the ground level of the house is driven by a gradient of density from the central entrance room outwards to the lot lines. This expansion occurs along two formal wall armatures that both define and implicitly imply space. The second level of the house reads as two shifting volumes along the two armatures below. This shift defines two volumetric openings, linking the levels [the stair and the double heighted living room]. A symmetry is established and reinforced by two flanking terraces at the two ends. Each room contains a totemic object - a marker of occupation and usage. Alternative to the governance of the armatures, the project can be perceived as a sequence of flow and activity between these objects, from porch to chimney to kitchen table. In addition to functioning programmatically, the armatures integrate a performative quality to the house. At grade the two walls are designed to bring light and mediate the flow of heat into each room when needed and to conversely provide shade when applicable. The trombe wall emits heat at night. The form of the second level creates a cross axis within the house specific to bringing in different qualities of light across the seasons. The formal shift is revealed in the roof whereby a linear sky light ensures a desired airiness to the space.