48-300 Architecture Design Studio: Environment I Fall 2013 I Professor Dana Cupkova
Tasked with fostering a healthier riverfront through a park for the Strip District in Pittsburgh, PA initial explorations focused on creating a form that would respond sustainably to its surrounding environment through the use of photovoltaics and bioswales. We chose these varying systems to collect energy and self-sustain program within our design and to control water levels coming in from the Alleghany River.
Using the sun as a parameter, my partner and I chose a form that manipulates the undulation of the basic sine curve. After creating varying surface undulations, I analyzed exact sun exposure and shadows using the program DIVA and Ladybug. This study helped determine the optimal shape in which to place our systems. Photovoltaics are located in areas that receive the most sunlight and bioswales in areas with the most amount of shadow.
Lastly, the shadowed areas would then be used to incorporate occupancy. The inside of these earth mounds have a completely different orthogonal language from the sinuous curvature of the exterior to provide for an interesting juxtaposed experience. There is no specific program applied to this project because it can parametrically change to suit the ecological needs of any site that it is given.