Around the Block
University of Texas at Austin + École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville
Advanced Design: Paris Study Abroad, Nov 2015
Critics: Igor Siddiqui, John Blood, Gaelle Breton, Jean Francois Renaud
Collaborators: Léanna Burgin, Sarah Monnier, and Anne Musca
This project delves into looking at a new urban scheme for Parisian urban housing. The 50,000 sq meter project is a mixed-use housing, office, school, and retail complex sited between a large public park and railway tracks in the ZAC Batignolles area.
The project attempts to invert the typical Parisian Haussmann block - interpreted as a solid exterior with a “surprise” on the inside - by creating a transparent architecture in which boundaries are blurred across various scales to connect park to railway and enhance collective living. Specifically, an emphasis is placed on blurring the boundaries of “building enclosure” and “block”. The idea of phenomenological transparency as well as literal transparency are studied at the building scale and used to inform massing strategies. Program masses and buildings are scattered to dissolve the idea of the block and the clear visible distinction of program separation. A 3-dimensional structural matrix is employed through buildings, playing with the edge of interior conditioned spaces to vary, disrupt, and distort the understanding of “enclosure”.
Looking at the scale of a unit and unit aggregation, we tested ideas of transparency and a breakdown of building boundaries in a specific residential building and a specific floor of housing. The examination uses specific modules in which can be re-arranged to reform separate apartment types, sitting within a visible framework that shifts and plays with the edge of the room units.