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The urban potential for social housing is the creation of communities and spaces that work together to foster a sense of purpose, belonging, and self-worth. The spaces proposed activate the urban centre by engaging and encouraging people to participate, transform, and renegotiate their environment. Our intervention revolves around the general concept of turning residual spaces adjacent to existing structures into new purposeful structures, specifically designed to fulfill social housing requirements. The residual spaces targeted include parking lots, alleys, the roof tops of two or three storey buildings, and buildings with blank facades. Ultimately such spaces and the existing structures within the urban fabric will dictate the location of housing, pedestrian movement, and opportunities for social engagement. Our approach led us to a closer examination of four key elements: 1. the utilization of existing residual spaces and structures to create new spaces; 2. the stimulation of communal interaction through minimization of private spaces; 3. the provision of (unfinished) spaces that encourage tenant participation and as a result a sense of ownership and responsibility within the members of the community; 4. creation of a green environment. Each analysis contributed to our final design and supported our overall objective: to foster a positive, socially interactive and dynamic community through the integration of urban social housing dictated by the city’s residual spaces. 1. The decision to use existing structures and selected residual spaces was based on economic factors and the idea of turning “dead” and unsafe areas into habitable and comfortable community. By using “left-over space” we are not taking away existing businesses and buildings, but adding to the urban environment in a positive way. 2. Eliminating optional private zones, such as front lawns and balconies within residential units, allowed our team to focus on aspects which would benefit greater numbers of citizens. The arrangement of “ribbons” throughout the blocks created unique residential, commercial/retail, communal areas and public event spaces. In our design, members of the public are free to roam throughout the community both horizontally and vertically. In some instances where retail and residential units are combined, pedestrians are able to access the second level only via public portion of a residential unit. Tenant privacy is restored in the evenings, as access to residential zones is restricted when commercial/retail operations close for the day. 3. There are many spaces within our design that are left unfinished: spaces that are not prescribed and so provide opportunities for engagement and a sense of ownership. Public spaces such as parking lots and green roof tops can be changed to suit a variety of requirements, such as concerts, festivals, farmers market, and outdoor theatre. In addition, within the residential units, tenants may exercise the option of rearranging spaces containing rotating walls to configure rooms that best suit their lifestyle. 4. “Green” in this context refers to the integration of living roofs and city-farming plots. Even on a small scale such examples of growth and sufficiency through the provision of community food, may provide positive examples for celebrating the connections between humans and nature within the urban setting.
mix use mix income mix people
desirable and affordable sense of belonging
existing buildings vehicular traffic pedestrian traffic parking lots alleys 1-3 storey buildings
Delftse Montessori School
Delft, 1960-1966, 1968, 1970, 1981 Herman Hertzberger L-form configuration allow for future explansion and create unique opportunities for social engagement. Also, much attention has been given to the entrances and outside zone to soften the boundaries between indoor and outdoor. In addition, playground is not close off, but can be used by neighborhood children after school hours which support our idea of creating accessible spaces for the people to engage and dissolve boundaries between the public and the residence.
vehicular and pedestrian traffic
Fun Palace (not realized)
Cedric Price The idea of creating unfinished spaces so people can claim ownership and create their own spaces. Unfinished spaces refer to spaces less defined but provide ample opportunities for transformation through use of moveable walls, storage options, and non-prescribed rooms. To provide tenants a sense of ownership and belonging to the community, they are given the responsibility to transform all spaces from residential units to public event spaces.
social engagement vibrantStreetscape
bus route subway route subway route commercial residential
residential vs commerical buildings
SKETC UAL EPT ONC TI C PAR
V0 - Perspective from Rue Bishop