Urban Porosity

Due to a lack of infrastructure, Willets Point at Flushing Bay, Queens, NY experiences constant flooding. The rise in sea level, the rise of the water table due to fewer people pumping drinking water from the aquifer, and a hub of discharge points for combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in Flushing Bay all contribute to this phenomenon. By increasing the site’s porosity through dualizing infrastructure, the project aims to increase flooding capacity, keep water out of the CSOs, and send clean water back into the bay. The driving force behind the project is gravity, which dictates how water will move due to topography.

The urban form of the project is derived from and dependent upon the levels of porosity and the movement of water. Where urban density is highest, porosity is lowest and water moves more quickly. The movement of water is coupled with the movement of people. In locations where people move faster, water moves faster. Where people are at rest, water becomes absorbed. The city is about fluidity: the circulation of people, materials, and water. In this integrated network of circulation systems, human movement corridors are overlaid on water collection conduits, preventing streets from flooding while treating water and increasing vegetated surfaces. The project aims to increase the site’s capacity to handle varying water levels, to maximize the vegetated surface area for water intake, erosion control, and nutrient filtering, and to create more intimate streets and public realms.

Sections of my proposed design display the public realm and the interconnectivity of the water treatment system in relationship to the street. They reveal the components at play in the event of a storm. There is an emphasis on shared public space as well as on the fluid movement and containment of water. The selected series illustrates the site as a network of gradients: from hard to soft, impervious to porous, and high density to low density.

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Ornithological Reserve

South Weymouth Naval Air Station is a former military Superfund site that has been closed under the Base Realignment and Closure program. The challenge of the studio is to develop strategies to remediate contamination, make regional connections, and develop the site through natural and infrastructural systems in order to produce a multi-faceted landscape that enhances ecology and provides a value-added benefit to the Boston metropolis.

My team developed the site as an Ornithological Reserve. Our main focus was the enhancement of the site’s natural systems and habitat functions. Over a period of time from the present to 2050, we proposed to transform the site into an ecological preserve that serves as regional green infrastructure while resisting the spread of low-density, inefficiently allocated development. The defining characteristic of the site is its open space, which provides expansive views that are unique to the region – and more importantly, the opportunity to establish an extensive grassland ecosystem. The region is lacking in these vital landscapes which were once common in New England, but have now been subordinated by forestland and agriculture, or else have become industrial “meadows,” such as airports and landfills.

Grasslands serve as an important habitat for bird species. Many birds currently use the site year-round or as a stopover for migration, and many more will be attracted to it in the future as a result of careful design and management. Grassland plants were selected and organized in accordance with the needs of bird species that use the site.

The forest management strategy utilizes a macro approach to maximize biodiversity. In order to maintain a wide variety of habitats, we proposed selective logging in rotating plots over time. This approach establishes multiple stages of succession while maintaining the forest’s average age. The maintenance regime aims to support highest possible biodiversity and maximize the population count between all groups.

Mycoremediation is the cheapest and most effective strategy available for on-site decontamination. We proposed to use fungal materials both to decontaminate the site as well as to provide ongoing ecological benefits such as decomposing unwanted wood and supplying food to the community. We also designed a land use strategy using a land banking process, in which parcels of land are set aside for future development as transit-oriented housing adjacent to the existing commuter rail station. The sale of land and/or housing units will help fund the proposed ecological improvements to the site. The Ornithological Reserve is a public regional infrastructure that provides a unique opportunity to maintain grassland and forest for ecological enhancement and economic stimulation, while offering an educational and recreational destination to the public.

[in]Habitable Wall- Remake Thesis

Re-making is a process of redefinition: an opportunity to explore possibilities that were previously untapped.
In my redefinition of my previous housing project, I reiterated the concept of wall habitation and thread on three scales: the inhabitant, the apartment, and the building as a whole.
Living minimally in New York City is a challenge for housing design. The problem inspired me to reimagine the wall not only as something which defines the space we inhabit, but also as something with the potential to contain, extend, and express living space.
The program is defined around habitation requirements of light/air, storage, and resting. The wall becomes the canvas in which these three living necessities are programmatically delineated. The thinning and thickening of the wall creates pocket-spaces within which the kitchen and bathroom are contained.
As inhabitants move through the space and use interior walls to access different programmatic functions, the exterior wall shifts to accommodate these uses. The exterior wall is thus a dynamic body which transfers, projects, and imprints all living activities from inside to outside, resulting in a symbiotic relationship between wall and program.

Tiber Institute and Museum

The site, Piazza Bocca della Verita (Forum Boarium) is Rome’s oldest and first public space, predating even the Forum Romanum. Adjacent to the Palentine Hill and alongside the Tiber River, it was a fundamental place of exchange, serving as a market. It contains the city’s oldest preserved temple, dedicated to Hercules Victor and a second republican era temple dedicated to the god Portunus, protector of the nearby port. The first fortification wall of the city, the Servian Wall, included the site within its boundary.
The sectional lessons ofan initial, spatial exercise provided a set of possibilities for challenging the problematic circumstances of the particular site. Invented transformations of the analyzed urban space, Trastevere/St. Peter’s spatial sequence, became tools, like swiss army knives that can be unfolded and configured to resolve a particular circumstance while extending the palimpsest of the city. Three primary programmatic elements were given- a Think Tank (the Tiber Institute), a Museum of the Cloaca Maxima, and a Chamber Music Performance Hall. They were to be conjoined and address individually as well as collectively the ongoing issues of contextual integration through exhibition, performance, assembly, and housing. Collectively, the project is intended to act as a mirror to the cumulative essence of the city’s larger context.

Customizable Skatepark

This project began with an analysis of a material, concrete. I focused on its properties of evolution from beginning to end; a fluid material that can be molded to a desired form, and then cured into a solid state—liquid stone. This led me to a study of concrete skateparks as a program because of the diversity of form.
Through a movement analysis of skaters during the performance of different tricks, I generated various modules that can be combined in multiple ways, essentially creating a dialogue of construction between the components and the skaters that will build their ideal skatepark. This allows for a flexible assemblage to take place.

[in]Habitable Wall

The basis of the project is adaptation and an imprinting of information onto surfaces. After the analysis of moveable, adaptable surfaces and surface complexities which create depth on a semi-flat surface, my ephemeral surface was created.
Its language is a translation of the occupants’ dialogue with the interior, which is projected outward. The street-front facade is alive to the rhythm and needs of the inhabitants. Its language is a result of light allowance, storage, resting, and space separation. The program’s organization provides the foundations for how the dialogue is translated. The translated usage is enigmatic to those outside. However, it is grasped only from within, by its users that create the esoteric text of the transitory narrative of habitation.

Adaptable Coffee Table

The scenario of a bachelor living in a small studio apartment in the East Village of New York City was the premise and inspiration for this table. The design is a reaction to the limited space in the apartment. Its features include two pocket sleeve drawers on opposite sides, spaces within the table tops for storage, and rotating table tops that allow for an extension of the surface to adapt to the user’s needs.