craig borum + Claudia wigger – Beat the heat
The Beat the HEAT studio was concerned with working toward new approaches to equitable housing as a critical component for a just, healthy and sustainable future of the urban condition.
This studio sought to turn up the Social HEAT in addressing issues of discriminatory practices and policies that prohibit equal access to social services regardless of race, ethnicity, age, class or sexual orientation. We focused on how housing has the potential to provide healthy, sustainable and educational spaces that allow for strong social interactions of current and future residents.
This studio made proposals that turn up the Economic HEAT on the lack of access to affordable, quality housing for low-income populations in Detroit. It rethought alternative models of homeownership that offer opportunities to increase generational wealth for minority populations and address issues of gentrification.
This studio foregrounded architectural and landscape architectural approaches to passive systems (natural ventilation, shading, access to outdoor spaces), that address a broad array of challenges brought on by the increasing extreme Environmental HEAT.
HEAT Island: The studio’s site was located on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit’s Islandview neighborhood. Large empty lots, Historic single- and multi-family homes, apartments and row houses define the surrounding context. The neighborhood is home to more than 15 Elderly and Adult Foster Care Homes and nonprofit organizations like Gleaners Community Food Bank and Capuchin Soup Kitchen and its Earthworks Urban Farm.
Located in-between Downtown and the Villages and in close proximity to Detroit’s island park, Belle Isle, the neighborhood has experienced an increase in real estate values and recently planned real estate investments. These trends put pressure on the housing affordability for current low income, majority Afro-American residents.
Students developed in teams of three students their comprehensive design proposals for mid-rise housing in Detroit in a remote studio format.
Lyse Messmer, David Siepmann, Nicole Urban – “Block Party”
This large housing project in Detroit addresses affordability and climate resiliency by integrating water, light, and air into the unit schemes, construction logics, and systems design. Modular units combine or split based on residents’ size requirements, with central plumbing stacks and wind chimneys providing the constraints of the structure. Grey water is captured from residences and common laundry rooms to water landscaping and to cool heat producing machinery. Each unit has two full North/South exposures providing daylight and winter solar radiation. The overall building is wrapped in a permeable louver system that captures or blocks high breezes coming off of the Detroit River, depending on climatic conditions. Considerable attention was paid to low-cost and low-tech solutions within the project addressing the need for affordable, high-quality modern housing in Detroit that can be occupied without high energy costs. Finally, Housing Climate Together imagines a housing future that is fun and alive, but with serious implications for how we might live both communally and environmentally in the future.
Mackenzie Anderson + Yidong Yang + Jiazhen Sun – “THE VALLEY”
The Valley, situated on the corner of the East Grand Boulevard and Congress Street, plays with spatial complexities and contextual narratives. The project site is a very important one because of its node-like location in between Downtown and East Detroit, and its position at the entrance to the popular Belle Isle. When selecting our team-specific plot of land, we decided to take on the city want to keep the mansion along East Grand and use that as a catalyst, which then gave way to the morphology logic of our mass. To achieve a high FAR, we chose to take a majority site coverage at 63% but began to break up the mass to not only provide an elevation green space for the public to enjoy, but also the logistical inner circulation and egress. Looking directly adjacent to the historic mansion, we called upon the gabled roof typology to start to sculpt the large masses as well as accounting for solar orientation and prevailing winter/summer winds. These drastically peaked roofs began to divide the units as if the roof were the interior walls themselves. This resultant form gave way to the townhome-sized units ranging from 1-story to 3-story lofts, totaling 118,600 square feet. The overall mass, matching the approximate height of the adjacent apartment complex and old mansion, situates itself within its context.