Team C - Selected Design
Enclosure is that which contains and protects. Beyond material properties, building is the mediator between two worlds, interior and exterior. Considering these fundamentals, we defined two spatial strategies that are modular and scalable. The first principle is a power cell, a mechanical core that holds the bathing and cooking configuration, which becomes an efficient means of organizing interiors between public and private. The second principle is the delamination of the building envelope. A typical floor plan is stacked and rotated. Stairs are added which allows a potential for borrowed space below.The addition of these two principles yields a third condition: the garden. This technique blurs the boundary between interior and exterior environments. Akin to the New Haven triple-decker vernacular, the garden is instrumental in connecting residents with the neighborhood. We believe our proposal is a highly efficient use of material and space. More importantly, an exciting and inspiring way to connect individuals with building and context. This is a homecoming, a chance to create places for life.
Our project explores the balance between privateness and publicness, concealment and exposure, and territory and commons. It is a careful attempt to provide a sense of ownership for a group of occupants who may have been deprived of territory and privacy due to the realities of homelessness. The project is defined by a series of bands of territory which run parallel to the street throughout the entire site. These territories are defined by hard and soft boundaries. The hard boundaries, like the solid party walls between units, establish clear zones of privacy. The softer boundaries, like the planters and landscape elements, still delineate territory, but begin to dissolve and soften those boundaries. This dialectic allows for a balance between private and public space throughout the site. The bands which are occupied by a housing unit are more private, while the bands near the back of the site are shared. The bands run parallel to the street in order to allow for private space to expand into semi-private space while still maintaining a sense of territory for each occupant. The small, single-occupant units feel expansive because they extend into the landscape and upwards to the sky.
Hyun Jae Jung
Martin Carrillo Bueno
Through the analysis of critical surfaces in which a series of daily rituals transpire, the rituals of sanitation, rest and nourishment have been identified as the essential in order ‘to dwell’. A space without sensibility to the former elements cannot be considered a dwelling. As spaces are configured through a process favoring functionality, spatial economy and connectivity between the aforementioned rituals, an overarching condition of negotiation occurs as one surface experiences a push force from within, and the adjacent surface experiences a subtractive pull. Whether it be the transition from interior space to exterior enclosure, or transitioning between interior spaces—a certain memory, or porosity of the adjoining element becomes evident within the scheme. A fluid connectivity is produced through the insertion of bedroom volumes into the living space, both completing the dwelling and adjoining the dwelling to the next as a collective aggregation.
The individualization of a dwelling can be empowering and is uniquely personal. Our design aims to optimize essential components for efficiency, without sacrificing comfort or quality of space, in order to maximize versatile space that can adapt to different individuals and evolve over time, alongside the resident. Each unit is composed of two bands. The dense band houses necessities of sleeping, cooking, cleaning, and storage while defining each unit’s private outdoor space from its neighbor. Along the open band, the covered front patio and open rear deck extend the living space beyond the envelope, to create the sense of a larger volume and claim more area that can be manipulated by the individual.
We believe flexibility and individuality are qualities that can empower an occupant with agency over his own home. Our design provides flexibility for the occupant through an operable millwork bookcase that can partition an otherwise open living space into distinct zones based on his preference. He might slide the furniture piece across the main living space to separate it from the kitchen, or position it against the sleeping area to create a more private space for himself. Our design provides individuality by incorporating a distinct entrance and private exterior space for each unit, each of which takes advantage of the site’s ample southern exposure. In aggregating the units to compose our house, we strove to accommodate different types of bodies, and therefore created a fully ADA-compliant unit positioned at the rear of the structure. To complement this apartment and create a building mass proportional to the existing homes on Plymouth Street, we designed an identical second floor unit stacked above and a comparably-sized duplex unit toward the front of the property. A vertical circulation core is both the physical and conceptual buffer that divides the house between front and back. On the southern facade, our crisp, gabled mass is carved away to produce pockets of space that function as private entryways, porches or balconies, while a veil of louvers reinforces the original form. On the first floor, chamfered porch walls extend out into the landscape to claim individual space and to trace circulation paths. Many of the men who have experienced homelessness have felt severely out of control of their environments. When they arrive in their new, stable home, we hope our design affords them greater dignity through control of their preferred lifestyles and daily habits.
This design inhabits the boundary between interior and exterior space. Its dwellers approach from the street and enter a gap between their public and private lives. This gap is rich with opportunities for chance encounters with one another, for planned gatherings, for the cultivation of plants, for a moment outside. The gap is a permeable space that allows in light and air to cultivate an environment of vivacity. Within this screen, private life begins at the apartment door, beyond which lie both interior and exterior spaces for each dweller.
With a multitude of circumstances impacting our dwelling statuses, histories, and trajectories, the concept of a “home” is both broadly understood and personally defined. Yet despite the immense variety of its physical manifestations, the home reveals itself as that critical space in which one finds comfort, safety, autonomy, and belonging. Through a gradient of territories — from the public life of the sidewalk to the personal respite of the bedroom — our project seeks to embed its tenants in the healing fabric of a community without sacrificing a sense of individuality, control, and ownership over their very own space. This is architecturally accomplished through a conceptual gradient, where one moves in and up to increasingly vulnerable spaces of privacy, and out and through to more secure and open spaces of social interaction. This series of spatial relationships define, not only the internal configuration of the dwelling unit, but their individual and collective connections to the backyard landscape, the adjacent houses, and the neighborhood beyond. In further studying these broader extents, the front porch emerged as a key social space, knitting the fabric of the neighborhood together. In continuing this expression across the front of each dwelling, the architectural rhythm and social continuity of the neighborhood is strengthened, all the while giving each tenant a public expression of their personhood, a space to point to and identify as their own.
Our proposal for Plymouth Street is based on the balance between the inhabitant and the community, where a central courtyard acts as both a separator and a connective tissue. Each unit entrance is under one of three cutouts in the mass which allows them each equitable access to a shared courtyard. The courtyard provides opportunity for encounters between the residents, but each still has the choice to not traverse through it. The courtyard also allows each unit to have a wall facing each of the cardinal directions, which is advantageous for cross ventilation in the summer as well as south glazing for winter solar gain. Each unit is composed of a kitchen and living area on the first floor, and bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. Built-in furniture line the two long walls of the first floor to maximize the efficiency of floor usage with shelving under the stairs to utilize otherwise wasted space. The aggregation of the three units provides acoustic privacy between them by minimizing shared walls and never having one overlap another. The form also creates three porches which invite the residents into the building. Our building relates to the neighborhood through size of massing, roof pitch, height and the inclusion of a front porch.
Our homes sit humbly among the neighborhood fabric on Plymouth Street. As one travels down the street, they are greeted by the low roof line of our dwelling which bows down at a sympathetic angle to the viewer responding to the natural New Haven topography. Our one story units are bridged to the neighboring two story homes by a row of trees just larger than our roof line and lower than our neighbor’s eave, orchestrating a gentle elevation transition for the eye. As the dweller enters the unit, the inertia gained by walking down the street is further carried through the sectional qualities of plan and out into the site behind. A system of tiered elements draw the occupant in, establishing a living experience which aspires to embrace at the street and invite in. Our interior offers opportunities to imbue your identity within the space; a series of pull-out shelves reside in a cavity below the bed. One may begin to store the possessions of life in these chambers. And from the bed above, one may survey the extents of their home before slipping into rest for the night, knowing fully the protection of its enclosure and also what may wait beyond.
Sze Wai Justin Kong
The goal of our design is to create privileged views and access to sunlight without sacrificing the occupant’s privacy and autonomy from the other two units. In order to achieve this goal, each unit is formed in an L-shape around a private courtyard. The back courtyard then becomes an extension of the kitchen and bedroom, while a more public front porch can be seen as an extension of the living room. The front porch responds to the context of Plymouth Street and is a central part in our team’s strategy to address the surrounding buildings. Our design also provides a fresh take on the existing three-story, gable-roofed apartment buildings that populate New Haven. These traditional buildings typically contain three different units, however they do not provide equal benefits. The ground-floor unit has perceived ownership over the entire yard and front porch, while the middle and upper units may have access to better views. The top unit also occupies the gable roof. Our design reinterprets the ground to roof relationship and provides each unit with their own front porch, access to the landscape, and gabled roof.