Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break Charrette Day 1: Grading

To keep the momentum going a few friends and I are holding a 4 day charrette during spring break. We meet around 11 tell each other what we want to do and work until pin-up at 6PM.

I chose to spend my first day working on my landscape grading plan.

The first thing I needed to rethink is what, exactly, do I want the water to do. In my midterm scheme I had the water more or less moving away from the site off to be cleaned. Some of it would come back to the site and the rest would go off to the arroyo eventually arriving in the estuary.

I experimented with a similar approach (moving water away from the site). However, now the water pools at moments within the site creating the logic for the community centers while affecting the housing layout.

Although this scheme works slightly better I have decided that it is the wrong approach. Instead I am now looking into a landscape scheme that tries to keep as much water on the site. To do this, the site needs to be terraced with water pooling in the backsides of the lots.
I then wanted to think about a continuous landscape band that at times bulges to create larger pools and give space to the community centers.

^final sketch

Tomorrow I plan to do a careful contour model of this version to see how it works on the site.

While I do that I am going to be inspired by a lot of projects. I am specially looking at the landscape design in Kieran Timberlake's Sidwell Friends School. In my project, however the architecture and landscape architecture would be intertwined.
Not a real project, but looking at what I want this project to do it reminded me of Work AC's Program Primer in Praxis a few year's back. Specially the idea of the Swan.
Not sure how to use this part of it yet. However, I am sure this will become helpful as I begin to think about the details of my urban planning and architecture.

P.S. Lots of thanks to landscape architect Shauna Gillies-Smith and Kirsten who graciously helped me see the light on landscape grading.

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