Urban Design Principles

An urban project, the site was located in Fort Point, Boston. The adjacency to the canal, and propensity towards flooding, urged me to opt for a minimal footprint, and setback from the canal edge. The incorporation of a rain garden, and other water features provide flood mitigation, and water purification, while also spreading awareness within the district. The shifting structural walls create cantilevered floors with a unique relationship to the water, and subtle shifts within the units. Urban Design Principles (Fall 2014), Professor Silvia Acosta

Where the doors are moaning all day long,
Where the stairs are leaning dusk till dawn,
Where the windows are breathing in the light,
Where the rooms are a collection of our lives,
 
This is a place,
Where I don’t, feel alone,
This is a place,
That I call, My home. 
 
- That Home by the Cinematic Orchestra 
 
The proposal extrudes over the water to create intimate spaces that appear to float, and voids within for the public realm. The structural walls, thicken and shift to create core zones, inhabited by passages and support spaces. 
 
The units aim to bring people together, not segregate them into rooms. The creation of inner sanctums in both the unit and the sleeping area, allow for a private space where family can gather, and a space for the mind to reflect and engage the outside world. The structure thickens and envelops to protect you, and becomes transparent to breathe in the outside. The landscape ensures open space will be preserved, a kind of sanctum for the district. 
 
Diagram: Shifting bars 
Final Massing model
Study Models
 
Perspective Study, looking outside from the lobby towards the river. Shifting structural walls become apparent, framing views. 
Study Model: Can two units lock (like a jigsaw puzzle) into one another at the structural wall? (the white indicates the two bedroom) Adding toughness to the structure. The final solution interlocked the two and four bedroom units through a weaving of walls. 
Unit Plan: Two Bedroom
Unit Plan: Four Bedroom
Perspective study: Duplex unit
 
Unit Plan: Duplex.
Perspective study, windows breathing in light. 
 
Unit Plan: One Bedroom, with axonometric study of walls as planes. 
Site Overview, plan, section and cross-section. 
 
Ground & Landscape plan. The building is set back, and footprint is minimal. A rain garden with outdoor seating and water forms follow the grain of the structural walls creating a continuity between building and ground. Three distinct corridors serve separate functions: pedestrian river access, lobby, and vehicular entry from the street.
From Above: Typical floor plan, Extreme floor plan, And Section through central core.
Section Perspective, looking at the interface between water and building; inside and out. 
I do not claim to own the lyrics, they belong to the Cinematic Orchestra. 
 
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