Art Gallery and the City
As the title of this proposal suggests, JANUS is a new vision for Bridgeport that leverages the simple and fluid reversal of fronts and backs of buildings to redefine this neighborhood’s urban fabric and provide it with viable land above the flood plain for future development. Most properties in this neighborhood remain uninsurable due to their location within the flood plain – during even light rains the streets become flooded to the curb. This proposal shifts the current street grid to occupy the space of back-yards, allowing for a re-grading of the street without the need to relocate utilities. The low lying areas that were streets before would be redefined as a system of pedestrian paths whose natural slope and permeable surfaces would help keep adjacent lots dry. Additionally, the vacant and unkempt lots that characterize many of these streets would be used as retention basins during flood events, and provide a recreational amenity connected to the system of pedestrian paths during the rest of the year. What was once the backside of these properties becomes an enlivened street, while the front side opens onto new trails and gardens.
Building Technology: Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center – Renzo Piano
Visualization III: Wiggle Wall
We were interested in testing paper as a material by transforming the way it behaves and generating three dimensional forms out of the two dimensional, conventional material. For the site, we chose the drawing studio courtyard which had a concrete wall bisecting the space. By repeating these panels we created a wall which enclosed an existing space within the courtyard. By varying the degree of the porosity in the panels, we able to manipulate the light conditions and transform what was once a neglected space into a sacred and private space.
Architectural Design: Under Pressure
The premise of this abstract exercise was to create a dialogue between inside and outside along an inclined plane. Drawing inspiration from the Mobius strip—a single twisted surface that in turn creates a continuous path along both sides of the strip—the inclined plane is manipulated in such a way that it generates its own self-contained path. A series of sloping translucent surfaces act simultaneously as shelter and ground; within the interior, spaces are softly lit by the translucent roof, which from the outside appears as solid ground. Any potential monotony of a continually looping path within a contained environment is defeated by traversing this path through varying pockets of enclosure, openness, elevation and descent. Though solid in its physicality, the design is nevertheless experientially precarious.