Robert Anthony Cannavino
Systems Integration: CASIS Headquarters Comprehensive Documentation
This semester-long project focused on creating a set of comprehensive construction documents for a student project designed during a prior semester. This set of documents required each group to design and solve problems of structure, egress, construction sequencing, waterproofing, and climatization. Our design had the added challenge of pushing limits of traditional methods of construction, involving a parametrically controlled, panelized skin which wrapped both the facade and the interior atrium. The projectís main focus was solving the problem of how to construct a clad six-story atrium, which fondly became known as the ëYAMí, while providing all necessities of structure, fire-proofing, sunlight and conditioning. As a result, the entire project was redesigned and rebuilt using BIM software, reverse engineered from a regularized structural system. Following the redesign, the project utilized conventional construction methods to achieve the same desired effect of the original design.
The project brief challenged each group to establish a planning, zoning and development scheme for Mott Haven, a neighborhood in the South Bronx. Our team determined that Mott Haven was already a vibrant community, and had the potential for significant growth without substantial modification. However, the neighborhood lacked a cohesive plan to draw the activity on its periphery into its heart. To that end, the proposal unifies small pocket parks into one long path, weaving through the southern half of the study area. Inspired by the greenways in Philadelphia’s Society Hill, the design incorporates existing parks and vacant lots beginning at the Plaza Borinquen. This network, the Mott Loop, increases the walk-ability of Mott Haven and helps to break up the long avenue blocks. Supported by a Community Improvement District Corporation, each park will be carefully programmed and serve as a vital part of the network.
The Loop’s true strength is its modesty and scale. The project does not seek to channel Haussmann but rather returns to the true scale of a neighborhood. In a place where government initiatives have demolished entire blocks, the Loop builds upon an existing fabric, requiring little to no relocation. Instead, unites and enhances what already exists. By connecting the parks, both physically and visually, the proposal will create a cohesive public realm in the neighborhood. It is upon this spine, supported with a new comprehensive zoning scheme, that the redevelopment of Mott Haven will begin in earnest. Yet, the proposal does not end at the park but rather plans for and incorporates the future housing and commercial development that will lead to the future of Mott Haven.
A City of Spheres
In architecture as in other intellectual disciplines, spheres and the attribute of circularity do not simply constitute one species of forms among others; they have always held a special status in the way they have been associated with the visionary and the spiritual, the atmospheric, and the sublime, as well as with the paradigmatic and the autonomous. It appears that a number of analogies can be drawn between the epistemology and the aesthetics of spheres, hinging on the notion of “interiority.” This seminar attempts to categorize and understand the different connections between the morphology of sphericality in architecture and the modern history and theories associated with it. Spherical architecture has a trajectory that runs parallel to the ambitions of “modernization” and, accordingly, has been reenergized in the present-day debates in the dialectic between humanism and the post-human.
This project aspires to re-engage Coney Island to its historical roots. Once a place to go to lose oneself, to blend and meld into the public realm in excess and grandeur, Coney Island has lost its identity as a place of escape from the traditional public/private dialectical condition of Manhattanism. This project proposes a megastructure consisting of 60' square microtowers that lift the amusement region off the ground while simultaneously protecting existing assets. By breaking the towers into smaller units and through a variegated stratified structure, new urban relationships form with both the existing ground plane and in the new lifted public realm. Typifying the spirit of Coney Island is the coloring that is used to act as a wayfinding device.