Advanced Design Studio: Bilbao
Despite Chulavista’s close proximity to Guadalajara, this development is marred by a high percentage of abandonment and lack of nearby employment opportunities. The scarcity of basic services and disconnection to the city center makes living conditions fall far below satisfactory standards as well. After studying the continuing nearby trends in uncontrolled growth, we employed design solutions to formally and programmatically curb urban sprawl. Our project is comprised of a series of architectural, urban, and environmental interventions along the southern boundary of the site that will stimulate positive growth and reconnect the large housing development to Tlajomulco, the municipality’s center of government, and Guadalajara’s rich cultural and economic resources.
This proposal considered the new Bus Rapid Transit system already in process to connect Tlajomulco and Guadalajara, relocating residents in the most abandoned and crime-ridden areas along the development’s edge, the young population, and the low rate of car ownership of approximately 25 percent. With these factors in mind, our project provides identity and connectivity to Chulavista by creating an architectural diaphragm, or dense urban edge, that physically reinforces the Conavi or federal housing boundary. This new edge to the city provides services to support the development, mixed live-work housing strategies to accommodate local business and economy, provide recreational amenities, promote the regional agricultural practices through community farms and urban gardens, and most importantly create exterior spaces for residents to congregate during social events. Here, the linear edge city becomes the framework for Chulavista’s unique identity.
Advanced Design Studio: FAT
Winner, H.I. Feldman Prize
Vauxhall is currently one of London’s larger sites being developed as the city looks to a 21st century future. Various influential projects in the area include the construction of the new American Embassy and the refurbishment of the Battersea Power Station.
The proposed hotel hopes to function both as a gateway for embassy employees arriving for short periods of time and long term immigrants. The idiosyncratic clash of a non-denominational prayer hall for immigrants with various backgrounds and hotel for embassy and event guests provides an inventive typology to accommodate needs of both local and visiting groups. The scale of Vauxhall becomes an issue, as surrounding built work does not relate to a human scale. The hotel uses a telescoping technique to slowly introduce visitors into the site after crossing the Thames River, and it gradually grows in size to blend into its neighboring context.
The hotel’s organization provides versatile functions for a hotel lobby/lounge, prayer hall, wedding hall, funeral hall, party venue, and more. This organization is initially structured off of a typical Latin cross plan, however rooms are stacked above the “aisles” next to a “nave” where two transepts then slice through the hotel, creating atriums for sunlight access. The ground level can transform into a colonnaded Mosque prayer hall or remain divided for small intimate gatherings. The “nave” ends in a space devoted specifically for any religious event. The tectonic assemblage of volumetric components create opportunities for light to enter indirectly through various colored glass. This also provides privacy and a stronger sense of community for guests and visitors. The tectonic, volumetric forms draw from the natural environment. For example, the hotel appears to sit within a forest, as references to tree canopies sculpt the building’s base.
2024 Boston Olympic Village
The Olympic Village in South Boston required exploration for a new housing typology to expand and develop the edge of the neighborhood for future adaptation. Our project developed into two large, thin linear boundaries which took the form of a crescent, both architecturally and in the site’s landscape. Large crescent earthworks, resultant of cut and fill to celebrate the water’s edge further into the site, provide water collection and protection for South Boston against rising sea levels. Additionally, they double as outdoor training fields and outdoor recreation after the Olympics which include amenities such as Harbor Baths. A binocular effect is produced at the top of each earthwork, or the lobby levels of each crescent housing band, to provide views simultaneously overlooking South Boston in one direction and parkland and the water’s edge in the other. Each crescent is formed by two parallel housing bands where an elevated pedestrian street between them becomes populated by both private residents and the public who pass through the lobby partaking in outdoor amenities or enjoying the food and shop vendors. The crescent housing acts as a connective tissue through the site. Its sawtooth form serves to transform from small private residences, into large public amenities between each crescent where there is a direct public axis to the water for South Boston residents.
The design intends to act as a transition between Earth and an alien world, which simultaneously refers to leaving behind the present and moving into the future. The building’s appearance and relationship to the site separates itself from many of the surrounding buildings. The building stands on two feet which arch over a slight depression in the earth that allows visitors to pass through the building during the day and exposes hidden views into the atrium from below.
The estrangement of the exterior becomes clarified upon passing through into the foreign interior. The interior ornament which hangs from the ceiling to form a large central atrium is of a higher resolution than the exterior building form. Movement between these two surfaces stirs memories of Earth - the exterior shell - and visions of the future and outer space - the interior ornament. Internal symmetry reinforces these effects of estrangement and unearthliness. When one enters the cupola, a 360 degree digital viewing device to look at Earth from outer space, this phenomenon is nearly realized. Suspended in the ornamental walls on the top floor, views from the cupola reveal the atrium’s pure symmetry.