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Housing that Pacifies the Pedestrian-Automobile Conflict
This studio project focused on providing hybrid housing for the Charlottesville community within a site along Preston Avenue. Going above and beyond the parameter, I also aimed to create a building that would change local infrastructure and serve as a paradigm to city living. Despite being a relatively small city, Charlottesville maintains a high degree of traffic—especially during the weekend when students are free to travel. When entering or leaving the city, Preston Avenue serves as one of Charlottesville’s main artery. As a pedestrian, walking along the avenue is easy; however, when it comes to crossing, it becomes a barrier with low porosity. In designing for the semester, I questioned how I might fashion a structure that separates the circulation for automobiles and pedestrians in a natural and thoughtful way.
I started this project by collecting data and taking a walk to understand the site and its context while considering what I could add (or subtract) to improve it. I explored one side of the area but had to walk a while before I found a suitable place to cross Preston Avenue. At this moment I realized what pivotal question I would weave throughout my project: how can we create an instance in space where neither the pedestrian nor the automobile have to bend for one another?
Bus Routs & Stops
Public vs. Private
To make the pedestrian and automobile equal in priority, I needed to shift them on different circulation planes. I began to work and mold the topography into a structure that would provide different elevations and become a bridge for one or the other. This structure needed to be long and low to the ground to integrate with its surroundings. I chose the ideal site and began brainstorming forms. To provide the greatest degree of functionality, I conceived a two-prong structure with a large courtyard sinking below ground level and a road tunnel piercing through it. The programs I included after served to provide community and a place to congregate.
Using Structures to Connect
The courtyard provides a sense of seclusion to the housing lining its perimeter. The road’s footprint creates a space below for a central market and a slightly more private outdoor area for the residents of this complex.