COOL WATER
Garden Loft

Feb - May 2021, 4 months, YSOA
Critic: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Emily Abruzzo

Site: East New York
Type : Live-Work
Size: 664,125 sqft

Group Academic Project
Teammate: Stella Chuqiao Xu

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After investigating the garden apartment type and the loft type, we have discovered that both types can provide relevant solutions to contemporary urban dwelling conditions.

Individual living modules could be combined or separated to accommodate the different household sizes and housing needs. Within each block, the design balances communal spaces for sharing and private units by dedicating the central portion for a range of shared programs, such as daycare, library, recreation, sports, labor, as well as workshop and production space for artists, small manufacturer, and small business owners. Both the living units, the communal area, and the workshop space are designed with a minimal partition which grants autonomy of use to the future dwellers.

The basis living modules are organized in a pinwheel configuration, creating different kinds of outdoor thresholds. Locations and edges of the garden indicate different levels of privacy to accommodate various activities. Overall, a garden means more action than form. A ritual of maintenance facilitates the willingness to cooperate and connect in the neighborhood.

The living units comprise three types that accommodate various tenants. These types can be arranged with flexibility within the pinwheel module. Workspace with diverse sizes also allows activities with different spatial and acoustic needs. The standardized façade panel allows prefabrication, which reduces the budget and creates a sense of community.

In conclusion, Cool Water: Garden Loft is not only about bringing together two distinctive types in one new model. It advocates to cancel the binary separation between public and private, live and work, indoor and outdoor domestic space, as these separations in today’s urban living patterns are unravelling and becoming more fluid. Through the introduction of a new type, we want to encourage more social interactions and meaningful work.

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