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Architecture is a mediator, which exists everywhere - its basic elements of geometry, signatures of materiality, it bonds with and relates to everything.

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Universal Courtyard(s) - Housing Complex

Instructor: Neil Denari ︎
Year:  2019 Fall
Individual Work
If housing is generally understood to be organized by regular patterns and unit repetition, then my project seeks to find methods to produce difference and diversity within this self-similarity.

Setting a 20 by 20 feet modular block as a basic grid, then the three types of units would be 1 block, 2 blocks, and 3 blocks. When they mix together into a courtyard building and spread out, a new medium size grid emerge which is a 4 by 4 block building with a 2 by2 block courtyard inside. And when some diagonal bridges introduce into the courtyard buildings, they merge together into a bigger courtyard complex with complimentary area floating on the 1 block wide street. The complexes could be a 9 by 9 stretched hexagonal block or a 14 by 9 of symmetric stretched hexagonal block. These three sizes of grid happen simultaneously in this whole site.

So, the diagonal bridges pushing up and lifting up the blocks and creating a loop to connect the complimentary area from exterior to interior. People can walk through several buildings within the loop.

Because of the need for supporting the upper levels, different scale arches are introduced into the loop's joint between blocks and bridges for long span or higher stories. So, with the arches, it is easier to recognize where the public area or the private units are. By rotating the arches, the structural elements are shaping in circles with core or not, and inner or outer corridor within buildings.
When a building reverses its courtyard direction at four corners facing to the other all buildings, it becomes a monumental building leads the whole site as the tallest one with 6 stories, 3 interiors, 3 exteriors, layer by layer, all complimentary area. For supporting the interior level, arches also exist. It becomes to a gathering place benefits from its floral shape.



When the arches reflect horizontally, especially for the elevation, they are aimed for smoothing the rigid rectangular grid of buildings. Windows in units as grid shapes have a contrast compared with the arches. But the folding depth on each punched window is also a smoother to soft the shadow and the shadow is imitating the shape of arches.
When the arch and smooth elements scale down and put into courtyards, they become landscape facilities such as benches and canopies, or hybrid ones. In plans, louvres separate the building to public for complimentary area and semi-public areas for residence, as you can also see in sections, louvre ceilings at complimentary area for more sunlight get in. courtyard with circulation.