In collaboration with REBECCA BAIERWICK
ECOHOUSING AND FLOWSCAPES RECOGNIZED WITH STUDIO DESIGN COMMENDATION DISTINCTION
The final solution involved the connection and bridging of the urban context with the environmental context of the river. Using the slender directional nature of the forms to we aimed to reinforce the pedestrian and water flows through the living machine system. The housing prototypes grip the terminal and deform it, thus allowing the public to slip through the terminal and progress transversely to the river, breaking the expected longitudinal flows present in the Strip District currently along Penn Ave. In addition the placement of a bioswale rain garden on the northern portion of the site also promotes a flow of water and people from the Strip to the riverfront. The roofs of the prototypes slant downwards toward the river, channeling rain water into swale gutters that send it to the terminal for filtration and processing.
The formal articulation came from the shifts needed for sun angles and water flows, and other programmatic needs. Re purposing the terminal as an art gallery and artisan storefront draws people inwards and allows occupancy of the raingarden and amenities located on the first floor of the prototypes, such as a cafe, library, workout space, etc. A series of environmental moments intend to allow the occupants interact with the constructed nature infrastructure, to foster a personal understanding of the system operation.
The living machine was the main concept to be reinforced through a progression of experiences with the constructed ecology. From the septic tanks being articulated as weighted roof sacs to the aerobic reactors and wetlands aimed to be large swaths of space people wander through, the living machine is intended to reflect the nature of water as mass, life, play, and essence. The sizing of the system allows for the integration of the surrounding urban waste and the collection of stormwater to prevent the contamination of the river during storm overflows.