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PORTFOLIO EMMANUEL COLOMA / HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN


CONTENTS 4-9 10-17 18-23 24-29 30-33

The Softest Shore Right of Soil Adaptive Ecologies Franklin Park Surface & Edge: Indeterminacy


The Softest Shore: A Framework for an Absorbent Landscape in the San Francisco Waterfront Fall 2017 Studio Critics: James Lord, Roderick Wyllie Site: Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA The Softest Shore is a project about allowing water into the city. Situated in an estuary in the midst of sea level rise, San Francisco’s Embarcadero is ripe for radical ways to set the stage for further inundation, and creating a more absorbent waterfront. The project is driven by two thematic strategies: a vegetation gradient from trees to salt and flood tolerant grasses and flowering plants, and the cut and fill of the Embarcadero to accommodate both a more littoral public realm, and the defense against king tides. By allowing water to infiltrate, San Francisco can make strides toward becoming a more absorbent city. I propose that instead of building walls, we instead begin to appreciate the urban surface that works with the gradient of an estuary, and to welcome the public realm that is engendered by it.


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Right of Soil: A non-hierarchical distributed soil improvement network for a resilient Cuba Spring 2017 Studio Critics: Fionn Byrne, Pierre Bélanger Site: Guantánamo Bay, Cuba Collaboration: 11 other students As the U.S. Military makes the ‘pivot’ to Asia with a consequent withdrawal from the Middle East, it becomes an imperative to build a strong foothold in the Americas in order to ensure national security. The Soviet Union demonstrated in the Cold war that Cuba could be utilized as a political weapon which China could revisit and leverage in negotiations on the South China Sea. In the eyes of the military, the lifting of the United States embargo on Cuba will be a critical step to open the nation to American imperialism, couched as Cuban development and humanitarian aid. Right of Soil is a projective work in four acts designing a non-hierarchical distributed soil improvement network that seeks to build agency for a resilient political, social future despite environmental change and imperial influence. The network is catalyzed around key points of exchange, and mobilizes external inputs to drive their investment into lasting improvements of the soil. The spatial practices of cultivation, territorialized by plant selections, remain decided upon, operationalized, and distributed by Cuban society at scales appropriate to the desired practice. Improved soils support a more robust and resilient agricultural network. When combined with Cuba’s strong education and health care system, these expansions reposition Cuba as a leader among Caribbean nations. As the future brings continued political and military struggle for power, compounded by harsher storm events, environmental degradation, along with the food and water shortages associated with these events, Cuba is set to emerge as a center of exchange and relief in this archipelago of nations. We assert that respect for human rights must hold precedence over territorial integrity and absolute sovereignty. Upon closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention camps, the US is invited to maintain a presence on Cuban soil, joined by representatives and emigres of other nations.


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Soil as Death

Soil as Womb 12


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Dollars to Dirt: Converting tourist dollars to soil improvements through coastal seaweed management

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Aid in the Understory: Grounding international aid and displaced people in mountainous regions for food security and reforestation.

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Layered Exchanges: Establishing countervailing live economies in the city.

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Right to Soil: Citing Guantánamo Bay, Cuba as a center for seed knowledge exchange among the world’s most vulnerable nations.

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Adaptive Ecologies: A Phytoremediation Framework for South Boston Development Fall 2016 Studio Critics: Bradley Cantrell, Sergio Lopez-Piñeiro Site: Reserve Channel, Boston, MA Partner: Carlos Espinoza The urban district should be framed by landform that facilitates a cleansing of the industrial landscape, and an open system network that adapts to growing urban pressures and processes. Given the current state of the site: industrial, polluted, private, and developing, we believe that the urban district should evolve in a way that reflects the remediation of the industry on the site. We propose that landscape is the main framework that emerging types of urbanity will emerge from (i.e. landscape will always define the distribution and logic of buildings and program.) We believe that landform should be the main force that guides phytoremediation, and will adapt to different urban pressures by evolving its form and distribution to reflect the needs of said pressures. Through land, we aim to expose people to their agency in fulfilling a sustainable urban system.


Development Process

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Franklin Park Spring 2016 Studio Critics: Jill Desimini, Silvia Benedito, Anita Berrizbeitia Site: Franklin Park, Boston, MA Franklin Park was contextualized and analyzed through its potentials relative to spatial and environmental conditions, social use, and ecological performance. Investigations into the history of the park and its climatic portraits served as prompts to ďŹ nd new relations and potentials of use while taking into consideration the surrounding neighborhood contexts. Then detail was added to the overarching design idea developed during the previous sequence by zooming into a chosen area. My project attempts to reconcile notions of beauty, and its role towards strengthening the park’s relevance to the community and creating spaces of pleasure and calm as an escape from the chaos of daily life. The tranquility of the park is heavily informed by the relationship between both landform and vegetation and the network of paths and ďŹ elds.


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Surface & Edge: Indeterminacy Fall 2015 Studio Critics: Luis Callejas, Jane Hutton, and Gary Hilderbrand Site: Marina Park, Boston Seaport, Boston, MA This design project is to conceptualize a new urban square on this site that exploits the indefinite, moving edge between land and water. I examine various ways to transform a currently flat site into one that interacts with the changing tides through the study of waterfront precedents, morphology, water movement, program, vegetation, materiality, and site tectonics. In between the rapidly developing Fan Pier and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), the project site is at the heart of an area that experiences various scales of indeterminancy: from the economical to the ecological. The design exploration’s main theme is enclosure, as reinforced through the surrounding vegetation on one side and the bridge on the other. Intended as both a reprieve from the developing urban context and an invitation to the shoreline, visitors will experience a dynamic space through the daily tidal flux. The project itself becomes a stage for ecological dynamism, and its enclosure reinforces an inward, and introspective participation into this phenomenon. Another theme explored is emergence. Visitors must either descend into the deeper part of the site, or rise up to an elevated vista point, where different viewsheds are experienced. The enclosure of the trees through time will be a way to entice visitors to peer through the branches of the allee and emerge into a new and distinct space. The vegetation also softens the strong geometries of the site, while taking into consideration salt and inundation tolerances. The allee of Black Gum and Black Cherry will create a wind break from strong waterfront winds in the colder months, while providing shade in the warmer months. Kayakers are free to roam given the appropriate tide conditions. There are plenty of open places for flexible programming as well, situated near the trees right along Northern Avenue. By extending the pier beyond its current limits, both further into the bay and excavating into the urban context, this project allows for circulation to become more intimate with its relationship to the waterfront.


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Process Models

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Harvard GSD Portfolio - Jan 2018  
Harvard GSD Portfolio - Jan 2018  
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