h o m e

        a railway museum
        an old school
a (LOT OF) thresholds

        + a cul de sac
        + a fishing village

        + (to peel) a factory

a line drawing
        + a color drawing

        + a twin drawing  

    ︎ MODEL
        + a section model
        + a real wall
a garbage model
a useless object
        + a useful object



instagram / pinterest 

a cul de sac

cca / b.arch / 2018
site: east palo alto, ca

*2018 AIA COTE Top Ten Student Award
*2018 AIA LA 2x8 Student Exhibit

instructor: Janette Kim, All of the Above
team: Wilson Fung / Joshua Park

Known Unknowns experimented with strategies for designing urban waterproofing techniques that can grow or change over time. We examined how the hydrological and ecological demands of things like levees, wetland restoration and green infrastructure might overlap with more socially-driven questions of who owns them, maintains them, and benefits from such investments. We studied how these approaches relate to recent theories of urbanism—the mega structure, ‘bigness’ and acupuncture urbanism—and their implications for scales of inclusion. Then, we tested how buildings can adapt to possible futures, through ideas like subtraction, flipping, retrofits, subdivision, and selective demolition. (studio brief by Janette Kim, All of the Above.)
This project transforms cul de sacs in East Palo Alto into a network of interconnected structures that promote collaboration among residents and build resilience against sea level rise.

East Palo Alto is vulnerable not only to sea level rise pressures, but also to risks we call ‘infrastructural disjunction’ and ‘selective sacrifice.’ EPA has been sliced apart by infrastructure such as roads and levees, leaving both newcomers and locals disconnected from natural and cultural resources. Though there are many ways to flood-proof houses, income inequities make such approach impossible and thus sacrifice the well-being of the city’s most vulnerable.
Instead, we want to recognize what EPA residents have established throughout the city’s strong history of activism. Our project builds on Stewart Brand’s ‘shearing layers’ concept, which suggests that change can take place incrementally by retrofitting buildings layer by layer.

“Small lots will support resilience because they allow many people to attend directly to their needs
by designing, building and maintaining their own environment.” – Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn

We propose to retrofit existing houses and add in three new architectural typologies: a ‘nucleus’ that houses residential and commercial spaces in freestanding buildings, a ‘chromosome’ that houses shared public functions in smaller pavilions, and a ‘membrane’ that serves as a flexible surface, or scaffold, to link buildings to each other and provide seismic stability across them.
These create elevated spaces that can serve as an emergency response center during a flood, or house expanding family-owned businesses, such as an after-school program or a rental apartment, that can support long-term economic stability.