This project redesigns the space of a culverted river and an elevated highway as a multifunctional infrastructural public corridor connecting downtown Baltimore through hydrological and social activity. Creating a corridor for visible stormwater management introduces an alternative spatial logic into the urban fabric of downtown Baltimore – a field strategy that is gradient and flexible so as to fit within and respond to varying site geometries and conditions. This responsive organizational logic informs the structures for alternative social and ecological occupations of the site. The underutilized artery through the center of Baltimore is thus transformed into a vibrant intensified space where the intersection of transportation and hydrological infrastructures breeds new spatial typologies for hybrid public spaces.
Baltimore is a city founded on a river, the Jones Falls River. Its urban fabric grew as a response to the infrastructural services provided by the river corridor – transportation, energy for mills, and drainage – so that major streets radiate from the corridor, and urban grids shift with the river’s bends. Unfortunately, as Baltimore grew and modernized the street grid was prioritized, and the city began encroaching on the river’s floodplane. To accommodate this shift in attitude, the lower Jones Falls was adjusted to follow a straight path, and in 1915 it was burried in three large box culverts that run unnoticed through downtown before spilling into the Inner Harbor. Soon after, the Jones Falls Expressway (JFX) was constructed alongside the buried river to efficiently connect Baltimore’s downtown business districts to the expanding suburbs by bypassing much of the city fabric via this partially elevated highway.
The large linear space of the Jones Falls corridor is naturally situated to treat and retain a significant portion of this urban runoff if the site were organized and designed to accommodate stormwater hydrology through the parameters of purity and volume. By analyzing the topography that surrounds and creates the Jones Falls corridor one can begin to subdivide the watershed area into smaller urban drainage basins that topographically direct surface runoff toward the Jones Falls River. Computational analysis of the topography allows one to get the precise areas of each sub-watershed, and thus the total volume of stormwater that would fall on each during any given design storm. Assuming, conservatively, that Baltimore is completely impervious, and all of the stormwater runoff from the sub-watersheds surrounding the lower Jones Falls River would be dealt with within the space of the Jones Falls/JFX corridor, it is possible to computationally locate and design stormwater basins along the corridor that are each sized according to their maximum needed retention volume. These basins are located at the points where the street grid intersects the edge of the Jones Falls territory, and they are sized ambitiously to handle their portion of the total volume of the 100yr/24hr storm event.
The ground of the corridor is divided to create a parametrically informed field pattern that can accommodate a multitude of flows and programs along the length of the lower Jones Falls. The ultimate field is a voronoi pattern based on an irregular grid of points that radiates in a gradient from the curvature of the river. These points were shifted, added to, and subtracted from in response to flows of transportation and hydrology entering and crossing the site. The resulting voronoi pattern reflects the site’s physical geometries, as well as the various social, infrastructural, and hydrological forces acting along the corridor. The voronoi cells allow for the shaping of retention basins based on the parameters of volume, site geometry, and spatial constraint. The basins terrace down from the street toward the river to create a filtration sequence for the polluted urban runoff.
Existing roads cross the corridor on grade and bring water and street life to the terraces of the retention basins, and the underside of the JFX is activated as a public space sheltered by the expressway and serviced by transportation, energy, and water infrastructure. The edges of this covered space are populated by thin branching structures that derive their form from the edges of the voronoi field pattern. These branching structures bridge from the ground to the JFX and support occupation and movement between the two. The curvilinear scaffolds plug into the underside of the JFX as the high-speed movement of the expressway is seen as an opportunity to generate electricity. Small wind turbines are embedded in a screen that runs vertically alongside the highway and twists to become canopy in places where bus stops and drop-off points are added. The bus stops would allow people to take buses into the city and switch at points along the highway to other local bus routes, or to bicycle or foot transportation. The underside of the highway would have a robust bicycle and pedestrian network weaving alongside existing roads and new program.Architecture, Landscape Design2013
Venice symbolizes the strange beauty that is possible when human habitation adapts itself to extreme environmental surroundings. Sea level rise and climate change place the Venetian lagoon at a critical juncture in its existence and necessitate new techniques of adaptation. Terra Nova proposes a new, more flexible set of methods to build ground, improve biodiversity, and permit human access to these critical processes in order to allow this unique city and ecosystem to survive.
GROUNDBUILDING LACE | Terra Nova proposes an aquatic geotextile that could be employed throughout the lagoon as part of a new ground-building regime of incremental sediment accretion and supplementation. The geotextile uses patterns of perforations that open and expand like gills to capture and hold sediment. This would encourage a slow and varied buildup of ground and the shifting emergence of a diversity of lagoon morphologies and interdependent ecosystems.
FLOATING WETLANDS / PATH NETWORK | To protect against erosion and pollution from boat traffic, the edge between channel and newly accreting ground would be thickened by a network of floating treatment wetland islands. These islands are made of a matrix of recycled plastic curls that supports plant growth and provides habitat for marine invertebrates. The network is a voronoi pattern that is parametrically derived along curve geometries that thicken and thin to create more or less biomass for varying protection and habitat needs.
TIDAL STAIR | In places, the voronoi pattern tightens and regularizes to create a floating walkway that allows residents and visitors to occupy this emerging world of ecological activity. The walkway would be accessed through a new typology of stairs that would attach at key places along the hard vertical edges of the city. These large terracing stairs would retract and extend as an evocative new register of tidal flux that allows for constant access to the water. The pathways would provide new publically accessible waterfronts in emerging residential zones and allow pedestrian access to some of the city’s mysterious and beautiful peripheral islands that are currently marginalized and underused.
This multifunctional operation of ground building lace, floating wetland/walkway networks, and tidal stairs would bring the richness of the lagoon’s ecology into closer proximity with the city of Venice and give it a more evocative and accessible presence within the lagoon. By diversifying and protecting the ecological activity within the lagoon, and allowing people to experience these processes, the project aims to change the perception of Venice from that of a postcard image of narrow alleys and gondola-filled canals to a fantastic city in which the urban fabric, history, and practices are inextricably connected to the processes that constitute this unique lagoon environment.Architecture, Landscape Design2013
The perception of a change in climatic conditions can mark a soft, flexible, boundary between different spaces. Using fabric surfaces to manipulate the flow of sunlight and wind, our group has articulated spaces with their own microclimates similar to those created by shading tree canopies or a sheltering hedgerow in the landscape.
The canopies of trees that provide shaded spaces in the summer lose their leaves to allow sunlight to penetrate to the ground in winter when it is needed for warmth. Likewise, in order to maintain a relatively consistent level of comfort, a constructed microclimatic space must be flexible to accommodate changes in the surrounding environment. The modular form of the triangle used in our construction can be reconfigured to allow for more or less penetration by the elements of sun and wind: a denser, more solid, configuration offers fuller protection from the elements, while a loser configuration has minimal impact, perhaps only shading the inhabitants face from the direct light.
The project demonstrates that with an economy of inexpensive materials, a light, portable, intervention can succeed in creating beautiful spaces that can be manipulated by their inhabitants to adapt to a multitude of shifting environments.Architecture2013
Dasan City Park System is a competition proposal completed while working with Taewook Cha at Supermass Studio and in collaboration with Ga-One Landscape Architecture. The competition called for an extensive park system to be designed for a new development to be constructed outside of Seoul in agricultural land situated between a small mountain range and the Wang-Suk stream. We proposed to extend the mountainous topography into the park, and connect this to the stream via a serious of earthworks and water filtration/retention devices. The design focused on two large park spaces, the larger "central park" located along the Eastern, mountainous, edge, and the smaller "waterfront park" located along the Western, riparian, edge. These were connected via a linear urban park that merges vegetated earthworks, bioswales, and urban hardscape along a wiggling path connecting mountain to stream.Landscape Design2013
Project designed, fabricated, and constructed with Dripps + Phinney Studio (summer 2012)
Poplar Wardrobe is a CNC fabricated project constructed at the home/office/research laboratory of Dripps + Phinney Studio in Batesville, Va. The side wall of the wardrobe consists of clear acrylic fins cut to reflect the constructed and natural topography of the office and its landscape. The front wall is four large sliding doors each made of four CNC routed acrylite panels mounted on welded steal frames that slide along a steal track attached to the ceiling trusses. The pattern routed into the doors was derived by parametrically sampling photos of the overlapping branching and leafing patterns of the Tulip Poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera) that meter the office’s view out toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.Architecture2013
This is a project by HuangMarshWorkshop, Kurt Marsh and Jie Huang. It was designed in response to the 2014 FOLLY competition run by the Architectural League of New York and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. The competition called for an interpretation of the architectural folly as sculpture to be fabricated and constructed in Socrates Sculpture Park by the winning design team.Architecture2014
Belmont Bay is in need of a node of activity within the community, one that will simultaneously invigorate the harbor’s street life and allow members and visitors to understand the bay’s place within its larger social and ecological context. George Mason University’s (GMU) Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC) laboratory building and its harbor-side site can fill this need in a way that showcases the education and environmental stewardship inherent in the PEREC program.
The site’s central location within the Belmont Bay community and its immediate adjacency to the community’s most attractive amenity, the Occoquan River, makes it a potential catalyst for the construction of a more lively and connected social and ecological community: As a social and ecological hub, the building is designed to be porous and penetrable; light-weight, and able to allow for the passage of different social and environmental systems. The building is conceived as a four story rectangular volume that takes up the entirety of the site. The volume is divided into rectangular modules that can be shifted and removed to allow for the fluid entrance of sun from above and social activity on the ground floor. The resulting courtyard space is open to street and sky and functions as the center of circulation and social interaction for the building’s regular occupants and its many visitors.
The scientists at PEREC want a small field station on the Occoquan River for closer, hands on, research and learning of the freshwater tidal ecosystem. The same layered construction method is utilized to create several sheltered research labs and classrooms. A network of smaller wooden walkways and floating wetlands aggregates around these research platforms and creates a series of mesocosms of different types and sizes for more controlled analysis of the local ecosystem. A skeletal lookout tower/weather station anchors this matrix of platforms, mesocosms, and floating wetlands to the shore, and marks the entrance with a visible vertical element.
This project demonstrates that a building need not be a place for human activity alone, but can foster meaningful, didactic, interaction between community and environment.Architecture2013
This project reimagines the edge of an urban stream valley as a two story line of market clusters linked to a daylit stream and an urban playground. This 500’ constructed edge will act as a shared front porch joining the residential neighborhoods around the downtown mall across a corridor of heightened social and ecological activity. This corridor will draw social activity from the downtown Mall to the North and connect this to the ecological, hydrological, and recreational activities of the Rivanna River and its associated trail network via Pollocks Run and Moore’s Creek to the South.
The 6th St. edge is constructed as a two-story market porch that is fragmented to accommodate various scales of activity, from the full Saturday market, to smaller weekday market clusters. The edge is covered by an undulating canopy structure that sets up a meter for vendor clusters and individual stalls and provides simple tables and benches. When not operating as a full market, the structure will provide an armature for social gathering such as community meetings, bbqs, picnics, street sports and general front-porch activities.
The construction of this edge is closely linked to the daylighting of Pollocks run, a culverted stream that runs underneath the site. The streambed is constructed as a series of gently tilted planes that encourage slow filtering sheet flow and support verdant wetland vegetation. The stream leads residents and visitors along the market edge and under Monticello Ave to the former IX factory site, where postindustrial expanses will be the backdrop for an urban playground of basketball courts, and pavilions.
The site is poised at the intersection of several distinct communities and processes, each crucially involved in the physical and social shaping of downtown Charlottesville. Figuring this important edge as a shared front porch, market and playground for the adjacent communities will change this site from a problematic divide to a connective element for downtown Charlottesville. The varied scales and qualities of this constructed edge and the temporal nature of the various programs of market, stream corridor, linear park, and playground will support rhythmic occupations by all of the site’s adjacent influences in spaces that are distinct yet connected.Architecture, Landscape Design2013
This project takes an active section of the Charlottesville Downtown Mall as a laboratory by which to analyze the rhythms of pedestrian motion along a passage of public space. Analysis began through observation and layered gestural drawings completed in two-hour periods on two different days spent on the Mall. The representations begin to reveal patterns of motion and pause along the studied length. The drawings were then analyzed tonally in Grasshopper to generate curves representing the rhythms of occupation on the two observation days. The result are drawings layering artistic analysis through observation with computational interpretations that can then begin to be pulled into three dimensions to inform potential spatial constructs. The portion of the mall was also analyzed in plan using basic experiments in swarm logic to try to simulate the movement and gather of crowds along this short but active length of public space.Architecture, Landscape Design2013