Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Final Weeks - final review

Driving diagrams

How can the damage of Katrina be put to good use? One of the great polluters of the world is the housing industry. We do not have permanent, sustainable techniques that reuse building materials, cut energy costs, and improve the environment. Can we use the detritus of the hurricane to alleviate other problems, namely the hurricane itself?

This design builds on the introductory housing project, leveraging the careful arrangement of sight lines to empower the inhabitants against any unwanted infiltration by outsiders. The design is tall, with all rooms of all units containing windows. Just as the unit configuration is equalized, the building turns to open up more opportunities for the inhabitants to inspect the landscape. The building footprint itself is small to compact space and make effective the possiblity of resident interaction and overall external awareness. And, the building is placed on a mound with a winding path so that the facing units can inspect any potential visitors.

It is this mound that solves the next problem - the water. The debris of the hurricane moves from problem to solution - the mound of debris is the wall. This imposing structure acts as a deterrent to the water and to crime. This wall stands well above the potential water line since the city itself lies at or below sea level in most areas. This mound rises higher than a 100 year flood with increases for sea level increases due to global warming. It is created as both a practical physical barrier to potential natural dangers and as an ideological reminder that perhaps we should work with the environment - lest we find ourselves in ruin.

Unit Diagram Model

Transformation Mapping - Upper Floors

Detritus Wall - plan

Typical Floor Plans (through transformation)

Section (through transformation)


Perspective Rendering

Model on Site (perspective)

Model on Site (plan)


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Week 9 - Group Site Analysis

The students investigated five general catagories, in preparation of development of their housing projects.

Topography / Land Features
Landmarks / Monuments / Visual Area Moments
Weather / Climate

These catagories developed as a database for all students to reference.

There is one great equalizing factor in New Orleans, and that is the flood. Sociological, economic, and racial data points to the fact that the flood, above all, affected every group. Vastly diverse in their heritage, saddled with a population consisting of 25% living below the poverty line, riddled with crime - this defines New Orleans. We saw this change with the flood. And while one could claim that the government toiled too little effect for certain segments of the distressed city while responding to the disaster, one cannot argue against the hard facts - the water was everywhere.

Flood Terrain

Sun Days

Demographics/Flood Analysis