Almost Classicism (The Village)
Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize
This studio began with a broad mission – to investigate the even covered field in the United States through a search for the commons in the American village.We selected a rural site in the Corn Belt and studied the physical and political forces that govern the productive landscape. While profits in commodity crop production are only increasing, agricultural communities are suffering a demographic crisis in the form of an aging, male-dominated population.
In response, we have proposed a network of farming co-operatives that operate at the scale of the Jeffersonian township. These Co-ops seek to formalize an ad hoc system that is already emerging amongst young farmers. Shared machinery, labor, inputs and storage reduces barriers to entry for beginning farmers and makes land a more liquid asset by eliminating the artificial geographic constraint set by slow- moving implements.
My project began with an analysis of the Roman horrea type – an inward- facing, fortified and centralized storage facility for grain or arms. Unlike the individually-owned farm, which grows and shrinks according to land acquisition, the Co-op serves a known quantity of land with a stable set of requirements for machinery, labor and inputs. Thus, the project takes the form of a closed-loop system that defines a public interior.
The architectural proposal began with the landscape, which is experienced as utterly horizontal, yet dynamic—constantly rising and falling as crops are grown and harvested.This moving datum corresponds exactly to the unique labor cycles of farmers, who experience periods of intense activity, followed by months of relative quietude. The architecture is meant to respond to this movement, establishing its own horizon that is concealed and revealed as the fields rise and fall around it.
The crux of the project lies in the problem of dwelling. How can a human scale exist within this vast perimeter, whose scale is predetermined by the requirements of the infrastructure? My response was to create a doubling of the courtyard space. A single entrance to the building leads to a vast interior, which is the territory of machinery and logistics.Those arriving by car, however, process into the smaller square nested within the larger perimeter, or what I’m calling the commons.This commons becomes a space of transition and respite between the home and the field.
This site on the Southeast end of Bridgeport is a microcosm of the larger issues afflicting the city. With four disparate zones of program – recreation, industry, residential and institutional – harshly juxtaposed against one another, the Broad Street artery connecting downtown with the waterfront has become an unoccupied line of demarcation with no character or pedestrian presence. Our project seeks to enliven this territory, allowing each of these four programs to reclaim the adjacent ground while providing a more unified identity. The large power plants on the site have proven repellent to pedestrian-oriented development, but their presence there provides the economic lifeblood of the city and looms large as the prevailing image of Bridgeport. Our project seeks to learn from these industrial structures, taking formal and operative cues from this typology and repurposing their program as a public amenity.
School of Architecture for Penn Design
This project is derived from the conceit that the program of the architecture school must accommodate two separate but complementary constituencies — students and faculty. Like any educational institution, the architecture school is dependent upon the integration of both groups. However, the highly iterative and affective nature of design labor creates a unique requirement for individualized spaces. The building’s form emerges as two individual volumes that take on the identity of the students and the institution, respectively. While each mass is physically distinct, they are dependent on one another for structure and support. On the interior, the interstices between the intertwining volumes create public spaces for display, exhibition and collaboration. The result is an irreducible composition of defined parts.
Architectural Design: New Haven Test
This project responds to the problem of the minimal dwelling through a bifurcated architectural language that juxtaposes density and openness. The design process began by categorizing the functions and meta-functions of the dwelling – what the house does and what it allows one to do. By packing the functions of the home into a compact, reproducible unit, living spaces are freed. The result is a scheme in which the biological operations of the house take place in a single unit, while two light frame living units emerge parasitically from its mass.
Architectural Design: Dwelling Code
This project began with an exploration of the role of building systems in supporting the minimal performances of the dwelling. The resultant series of drawings reveals an inhabited poché, in which the thickness of the walls conceals an arterial web of building services. Space is arranged to prioritize an economy of infrastructure, which in turn established a base series of programmatic relationships that would inform the housing prototype.