S E L E C T E D
GREEN CASBAH DESIGN TOOL ESCAPE PODS
HOUSING PROJECT -- AUROVILLE, INDIA EARTH CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES ARCHITECTURE + EDUCATION -- BUFFALO, NY
CASTING EARTH BUILDING BODY | BUILDING | SKINS STRATA MODA BRIDGE
CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS HOUSING PROJECT -- AUROVILLE, INDIA M.ARCH THESIS CONCEPT ASSEMBLY SYSTEM COLLAGE STUDY GRIFFIS SCULPTURE PARK (installation)
MATERIALS + SYSTEMS RESEARCH
W O R K
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The Green Casbah housing proposal
The “Green Casbah” is intended as a culminatation of the principles of a dense, organic urban settlement, sustainable building practices and the integration of the principles of Human Unity on which the Universal Township of Auroville was founded.
DESIGN ELEMENTS AND INSPIRATION: Attention should be given to the concept of the Casbah, Roger Anger’s Galaxy Plan for residences, and especially to the needs and desires of the current popularion of Auroville. The unique climate and site conditions should be considered as well. May through August is extremely hot and humid with sporadic intense rainfall. September through Februaary houses a cooler retreiving monsoon, with increasing temperatures on both ends. Sustainable building techniques should be considered: earth construction, green roofs, rainwater collection and wastewater treatment, passive cooling (jali), attention to site conditions, and natural lighting. In addition, this project should attempt a very dense urban fabric while giving special note to lighting, views, circulation, and noise pollution.
GENERAL PROGRAM: 70 units total [15 double rooms, 25 single rooms, 30 studios (25, 2-room studios + 5 single-room studios) 5 Guest Houses in a variety of sizes Common areas for laundry, activities, kitchen Galleries, courtyards and terraces Not more than three levels high
the galaxy plan
The Galaxy Plan of Auroville divides the area into four main zones: Residential, Industrial, Cultural and the Green Belt. The residential zone was intended to incorporate smaller shopping, utilities, and community recreation facilities within and near the housing developments. The maximum living space per person was set at 30 square meters, incorporating a range of densities and interesting architectural forms. All residential projects should allow for 50% unpaved area as permeable space, collective and community areas, the use eco-friendly building practices, water and energy management, pedestrian and cycle ways, and a harmonious landscaping and tree planting plan.
the kasbah of algiers
The Kasbah of Algiers is located on the Mediterranean coast in the Northern part of Algeria. The site was inhabited at least from the 6th century BC when a Phoenician trading post was established there. The term Kasbah, that originally designated the highest point of the medina (the non-European part of a northern African city), today applies to the ensemble of the old town of El Djazair, within the boundaries marked by the ramparts and built at the end of the 16th century, dating back to the Ottoman period.
housing density + design
The Kasbah of Algiers has exercised considerable inﬂuence on architecture and town-planning in North Africa, Andalusia and in sub-Saharan Africa during the 16th and 17th centuries. These exchanges are illustrated in the speciﬁc character of its houses and the density of its urban stratiﬁcation, a model of human settlement where the ancestral lifestyle and Muslim customs have blended with other types of traditions. It is also an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement representing a profoundly Mediterranean Muslim culture, synthesis of numerous traditions. The vestiges of the citadel, ancient mosques, Ottoman palaces, as well as a traditional urban structure associated with a strong sense of community testify to this culture and are the result of its interaction with the various layers of populations.
MVRDV, Wozoco’s Apartments, Amsterdam Moshe Sofdie, Habitat 67, Montreal Kisho Kurokawa, Nagakin Capsule Tower, Tokyo Stephane Malka, Pocket of Active Resistance, Paris Traboule, Lyon LAN Architecture, Collective Housing Charles Correa, Housing Projects, India Urban Slums, Dharavi-Mumbai, India Nicholas Grimshaw, The Eden Project, England
European misunderstanding of the Arab lifestyle on the one hand, and, on the other hand, settlers’ desire for their own customs and architectural and urban aesthetics combined to produce severe destruction. Fortunately, part of the city was saved. In the 1920s, real interest was expressed in safeguarding the ancient city. However, the Algerian authorities ordered the ﬁrst studies for safeguarding the Algiers Kasbah only in the early 1970s. At that time it was classiﬁed as a historic site and a vast restoration and upgrading plan was adopted for the ancient city. A very intelligent redevelopment plan is under way for the Kasbah, to introduce modern comfort without upsetting the traditional urbanism and architecture and to restore the Kasbah’s original functions: residential, commercial and cultural quarters.
Generate a site-speciﬁc plan for all services based on slope and site conditions. Without necessarily specifying the exact location of the individual inlets/outlets, make a plan and section of all electrical, water and sewage showing the path which these services might take. Show areas of rest (like collection pools, wells, tanks) and areas of connection (surfaces which collect water, the pipes between them). Use this as a conceptual network from which to build and aggregate the units within the system.
circulation + connectivity
services + systems
Choose a type of cell, abstract or biological (eg, ‘molecule,’ plant, muscle, bone, egg...any ‘unit’). Study its structure, behaviors and methods of reproduction and aggregation. Develop a set of rules based on this cellular structure and aggregation that could be applied to the various housing units in the project. Is each type housing unit a different kind of cell that aggregates and attaches to other cells in some way? Are they all the same cells just multiplied to create more space? Work in both plan and section to develop ways of producing and aggregating cells.
Circulation: Develop a circulation pattern through the site. Think about different levels of access – major public walkways and internal private halls. Circulation would also include areas of open terrace, courtyards and other abstract spaces. Determine major and minor nodes through function or site conditions and ﬁnd ways to connect them. Don’t worry about structure so much as relationships between different areas of function, view, light, water, etc. This will be a bit abstract at ﬁrst, but once the relationships are determined, both local and global, the individual units can be integrated. (For instance, determine a method of internal circulation and how it’s connected, if at all, to the entrance of a particular unit. Then, the entrances of all the units should have some connection to a tiered system of circulation – like, what if the units are grouped in pods of 3-4 with a small internal courtyard that is connected to a larger network of pathways – see Traboule).
modules + form
The Green Casbah design approach
cellular reproduction + aggregation
Critical areas in dense housing include: views, lighting, circulation services, aesthetics, comfort and the incorporation of cultural ideals. Models of modular aggregation, intricate circulation, and environmental integration should be studied as a way of fusing the Aurovillian ideals with the complex organic structure of the kasbah.
Create a housing unit(s) that are like composite building blocks based on the type of units needed or make them all completely unique with a common system of connection. Refer to jigsaw puzzles, grid systems (not just square), and different types of ‘building blocks’ (like, Legos or Tinkertoys). Focus on geometry, assembly and aggregation.
GREEN CASBAH, HOUSING PROJECT -- AUROVILLE, INDIA
In this living environment where nearly 50,000 people reside, very interesting traditional houses, palaces, hammams, mosques and various souks are still conserved, the urban form of which bears witness to an effect of stratiﬁcation of several styles in a complex and original system that has adapted remarkably well to a very hilly and uneven site.
From initial investigations into the definition of architecture, a studio art project was developed, which allowed students to learn practical skills in drawing while presenting a critical assessment of their surroundings. Precedent analysis of Antonio Gaudiâ€™s designs drove the design of a personal escape pod. The students will be asked to evaluate how they want to be perceived in the world, and how they perceive others through their designs.
ESCAPE PODS, ARCHITECTURE + EDUCATION -- BUFFALO, NY
Situated in Auroville, India, this 17-unit housing project is in its second phase of construction. It is scheduled to be completed in early 2012. I am a Project Manager for this development and a Lead Designer, trainer and consultant in Earth Building Techniques. The mission of the Auroville Earth Institute is to research, develop, promote and transfer earth-based technologies that are cost and energy effective. These technologies are disseminated through training courses, seminars, workshops, manuals and publications. The Institute also offers a variety of architectural services, and provides consultancy in India, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America. The most promoted technology today is Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEB), which is the primary method for constructing this development. The use of CSEB not only provides a cost-effective and sustainable building technology, but the production of the blocks can help to provide jobs for an otherwise lessereducated population in areas of natural disaster recovery and notable poverty. In Auroville, the goal is to help alleviate the current housing crisis for a population with a fixed income and a need for communal housing solutions.
EARTH BUILDING, HOUSING PROJECT -- AUROVILLE, INDIA
To provide a low-cost solution for window overhangs, we designed a set of ferrocement shells, with their respective casting moulds. The shells required a detailed set of casting and assembly drawings for multiple applications in the project. I was responsible for design development and overseeing the drawings and communication with the labor. Drawings completed by intern, Rekha Lamichhane.
FERROCEMENT CASTING, CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS
Unfashionable and inefficient cladding systems are increasingly replaced to provide more energy efficient and contemporary building skins. This project uses concepts in garment and building construction to generate a customizable pattern for building surfaces. The goal is to provide a flexible and adaptive skin, promoting individuality, function and utility, comfort, sustainability and aesthetics. Pattern-making inherently implies a prefabricated and standardized system, within which the ideal of production efficiency can be paired with mass customization. The cube can be viewed at different scales architecturally - aggregated as a building block to create new volumes, or itself identified as the volume of a room or an entire building. As an orthogonal solid, it is universal in its form, production and subsequent aggregation. Similarly, its surface can be unfolded and reproduced for mass production efficiently as patterned on sheet material. There are eleven ways to unfold the cube according to its faces and edges. Each method produces a single, continuous sheet patterned with cut and fold lines. These cube patterns are examined and manipulated using a variety of folding techniques, connecting at points and edges not necessarily defined by the assembly of the original cube. Three new building modules are developed in aggregations - both as homogenous arrays, and as complex heterogeneous fabrics. Various materials are used to experiment with properties, systems, limits and connections in order to determine the viability of a fabric that can both drape and act as a self-structured system. The resulting skin provides opportunities for new ways to approach interior spatial arrangements.
BODY | BUILDING | SKINS -- M.ARCH THESIS
BODY | BUILDING | SKINS -- M.ARCH THESIS
A self-supporting formwork that is reusable, lightweight and easily transported. Cast-in-place construction leads to low transportation costs of lightweight panels that can be embedded with structure on site. Structural “members” can be in the form of uniform dimensional lumber or a more loose fill of various sized aggregates or on-site materials. The inherent texture from the panel construction provides an aesthetic finish.
UNIVERSAL COMPOSITE PANEL SYSTEM F L E X I B L E F O R M W O R K
LIQUID FORMWORK, MATERIAL RESEARCH + CONSTRUCTION SYSTEMS
Addressing Gaston Bachelardâ€™s concepts of the attic and cellar, this project unifies the articulated structure of the attic with the irrationality of the cellar by way of structured strata. Layers of material are connected in varied sections, providing a standard construction method that allows for spatial variation. Initially, the form is explored through pushing the upper layer of the earth in order to access the underground. The pushing and pulling of the layers of earth is exploited tectonically through a sectional constructions, pinned to a separate, gridded armature. The rational structure acts as a practical interface and as a conceptual reference from the irrational arrangement of the sections.
STRATA, CONCEPT ASSEMBLY SYSTEM
Clothing can either reveal or conceal experiences, political messages or personal agendas. Through collage, this project began as a new kind of fashion magazine, created to show that imagery in fashion is more powerful than the garment itself. This project started during a trip to Rome, Italy and has continued as a critique on the fashionable representation of building skins and architecture as backdrop.
MODA, COLLAGE STUDY
A bridge connects two points, but it doesnâ€™t always have to be in a straight line. This bridge was designed and built by welding an outer frame and assembling a inner frame that moves independently. Connecting both the outer and inner frames is a serious of industrial plastic panels embedded in ETFE rubber with steel borders. The flexible deck gives an unsteady but controlled journey from one point to another, forcing the bodyâ€™s enhanced awareness of its path. [collaborators: C. Smith, K. McEneny, C. Rust]
BRIDGE, INSTALLATION -- GRIFFIS SCULPTURE PARK