Urban Design Principles, Architecture, Fall 2012

  • Inhabiting Vastness: Situational Aperture
    This project redefines the built environment as collective spaces for exchange by creating an interface place. As an artifact (*) to the city the proposal is a wall, but a wall that that is caught in suspense: between enclosure and division, disintegration and assemblage. The varied sizes of the openings reveal what lies between, within, and beyond the wall. The layering of these openings creates opportunities for spaces that are voids of contemplation and frames of observations allowing for a dynamic dialogue between the individual and the group.
    *Artifact, not as a dated product of circumstances that exist solely in a given time period, but an artifact that is ever changing. Today, the proposal is situated on an edge where it exists as a catalyst. Nevertheless, one day it will become the citation. It is an artifact that is to be integrated and exploited. It is an artifact that always has new potential.
    The studio consisted of four parts: mapping, storefront intervention, urban analysis, and finally housing. The studio was divided into six sections, each section was given a district of Boston to work within. My section, lead by Professor Silvia Acosta, was given the Seaport and Fort Point Channel Districts of Boston.
  • Urban Analysis: For Part 1 we were asked to divide ourselves into smaller working groups and analyze our given neighborhood according to the following list: movement networks, natural systems, building types and forms, technology and infrastructure, urban morphology, and sensory environments. Each working group was asked to analyze the chosen subject/topic of the city at five scales: the body, the room, the building, the block, and the neighborhood. Our analyses considered a variety of starting points, including history, transportation, zoning regulations, pedestrian movement, uses of space, topography, vegetation, materiality, light, physical form, historical precedents, typology, visual corridors, demographics, activity, memory, hydrology, and geology.
    Lucy Siyao Liu and myself were assigned to study the urban morphology of our site and its context. After completing the urban morphology analysis we were asked to collaborate as a section to combine the six areas of study/subjects into one comprehensive analysis of our neighborhood.
  • Housing: In the previous exercises, we have seen how housing functions as the fabric of neighborhood in each of the districts we have studies. We are now asked to create new extensions and transformations of those neighborhoods with fabric of our own design. Urban dwellings must function in multiple ways – as homes for individuals, family groups, and communities and as the building blocks of the public realm. By exploring this dual nature of the private and the public, we will need to think about the tension between the individual and the whole, repetition and singularity, private and public. How can one accumulate increments of private space to form larger public spaces. How are the transitions from public streets to intimate personal spaces choreographed? How does architecture structure the relationships of strangers living in close proximity?