Project 2: Urban Infill

Following the conclusion of Project One, we were assigned an Urban Infill Project. We were asked to design two dwelling units at the tip of Campo dei Fiori. We were asked to either choose clients for the units, or to tell a story about the people who would inhabit the spaces. These spaces were to encompass all the daily elements of life: eating, sleeping, and working. The space was to accommodate their every day needs, all the while sticking to the enclosed space- which was 70 sm. We had to keep in mind the way light, sound, views, and other amenities would be affected by the positioning of the units. Students were limited to a 60% total roof surface and were restricted to a height of 7 meters. 

Mon-Wed: Jan 26-28

Our class spent the afternoon- either individually or in groups- working on a preliminary site analysis for our 2 residential housing units located in Campo dei Fiori. Luckily, the location assigned was right next to our studio space! With our 1:500 scaled site plans in hand, we took to the streets of Campo to study pedestrian patterns, dissect building usage, analyze sun paths and immerse ourselves in the cultural and environmental experience of the surrounding areas. After being physically present in the site, students graphically represented this array of information on A3 sheets with the 1:500 scale map. These were pinned up and reviewed on Wednesday during our studio class where Sophia and Sandro gave us advice on graphic representation and discussed some of the popular themes on our site analyses. These included, but were not limited to, the dense population near restaurants and shops, the circulation between the open air market tents, the rooftop plant life and various courtyards in the surrounding buildings. 

After collecting some vital data from our site analysis, we were asked to initiate the conceptual phase of our project. Our weekend assignment was to construct "sushi" models composed of three different colors of clay. Each color represented a different space within our units. We were asked to illustrate the relationship between public and private, and the way light influences these spaces. The next step after our sushi models was to diagram geometries, symbolism and materials as well as draw plans and sections at 1:100 scale. 

After our sushi model group critique with Sophia and Sandro, we all headed to Northern Italy for our program trip with Marina to explore the architecture that the rest of Italy had to offer. 

When we returned from our program trip, students were asked to make changes to their previously thought out ideas and allow the new insights from our experiences up North to influence our projects. We were to use 3 inspirations from our trip in our new and refined unit designs. 

Upon our arrival from our journey, we were given three days to wrap up any loose ends in our project. As the final jury day began, we pinned up our Urban Infill Projects. All students were to have constructed a final model at 1:100, and to have completed diagrams, plans, sections and perspectives. Students were critiqued in groups of two organized by similar concepts and features in their designs. Sophia, Sandro and Marina were our three main crits and student pairs were asked to sit as jury members as well. The project proved to be a big success with a number of different concepts and layouts, especially considering the amount of square meters we were asked to work with. After working with such small parameters, we can't wait to put our skills to the test on our next urban development project. 

-Lauren Kennedy & Ian Walker