The Strip District of Pittsburgh, located on border of the Allegheny River, is a bustling commercial neighborhood with many unique shops and restuarants, but also a rundown sewer system that experiences rainwater overflow, causing sewage floods that pollute the river. My partner and I sought to design a housing system using ecomachines to solve the sewage treatment problem in the Strip. Our housing employed green roofs on our houses that absorb half of the rainwater that this area experiences, and diverts the rest into wetlands that slow down the rush of water and orient it towards living waste treatment machines, which are greenhouses that treat blackwater with the use of specific plant types, and filter it to make it usable in the houses’ plumbing. Our secondary goal was to use these systems to create a variety of communal spaces, providing a type of social interaction currently lacking in the Strip.
The site for this project was in East Liberty, a Pittsburgh neighborhood that has undergone a lot of changes in the recent years. We were tasked to design a media center that combined a business incubator, a cultural stimulator, and a cafe to serve a wide variety of client with different needs. My center was designed around a circular circulation up through the various phases of the building, allowing different ceiling heights and light exposure to fit the space for the needs of the clients.
For this assignment, we were to design a bathhouse north of Saco Lake in New Hampshire. My bathhouse was designed with the adventurous natures of the hikers who would be vacationing there, and I wanted it to exemplify the extreme experiences that they would be seeking. For this reason I built my bathhouse on large cantilevers overlooking the lake, which house hot and cold baths that weave through a variety of tight and large spaces, providing an experience that takes an adventurous stance at relaxation.
For this assignment, our client was Grow Pittsburgh, for whom we were to propose a center for urban agriculture in the North Side neighborhood. After visiting the area and speaking to its residents, the need for accommodations for the disadvantaged was apparent, so I included a homeless shelter in the program of my grow center. My design was based around transient spaces that could manage the needs of both the homeless and general populations through the seasons, and help establish different levels of interaction based on comfort and rehabilitation.
During the fall Grow Collective studio, we formed groups of five to each build a hoop house for the planter beds on the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. These houses were designed to prolong the plants growing season into the harsh Pittsburgh winter and protect them. because the site was on the roof of a building by the river, wind was a large factor in my groups’ design. We built our hoop house out of steel conduit and greenhouse plastic to be aerodynamically shaped so that it could withstand the wind.
For a warm-up assignment for the Grow Collective studio, we were given an herb plant and tasked with designing a planter for it out of cling wrap and piano wire. This planter should protect it and prolong its growing period, keeping in mind each plants specific needs. My plant was a stevia, whose main requirements was protection from the wind and strong drainage. I made a strong, fence like structure that created a wall against the wind, with a hole out the bottom for the extraneous roots that tend to suffocate the plant, and the water drainage.
In this assignment , we were tasked with designing an addition for the school library. In my project, I sought to solve the inadequacy of the study areas to accommodate a range of different people. Each person studies differently, and I wanted to create a space that could work for all of them. This expansion includes three different zones that had varying levels of lighting, intimacy, furniture, and other controls that could customize the space for the user and work for a wide and diverse group of people.
A span is a structure that connects two points across a distance. For this assignment, we were instructed to design a four foot span that connected two piers out of a single plank of wood and was able to withhold the weight of a person without glue, using only joinery. My partner and I based the structure of our design on a DNA helix, and then developed it to be able to hold a large amount of weight. The final span held my weight sitting on it due to the cross-bracing of the ribs.