Senior Thesis

Designed in partnership with DianDian Li, our project seeks a quiet, calm integration of building and site by utilizing a natural wooden structure, subtle shifts in topography, and a landscape that complements the natural ecology of South Boston to harness potentials for rainwater collection through vegetation. By defining the Southern edge of our site as urban (facing a highway and busy intersection) and the Northern edge as softer and less defined, our strategy evolved into an entry sequence from urban to natural, leading inhabitants from a linear hardscape to softer bioswales in the North. The rational of the building follows a regular grid that is influenced by a number of distinct ground conditions such as: urban edges, transportation connections, and stormwater management- seeking an integration of all elements into a cohesive, elegant whole.

This building utlizies an underfloor plenum to heat and cool the space efficiently and quickly. Along with the active systems, the building is oriented to take the most advantage of solar angles in the south and is designed with adequate insulation to keep the space thermally sound in the colder months of Boston.

Ground water pollution was a key aspect to the landscape design of the site. By taking advantage of the natural ecology of South Boston, a series of bioswales filter contaminated rainfall of pollutants and improve the local ecosystem. As an added benefit, the bioswales provide beautiful nature walks with lively plants.

The facade is designed to easily adapt to future programmatic changes through the use of removable structurally insulated panels located on a modular grid system that is structurally supported by a series of wooden vertical timbers that tie into the timber frame. By remaining structurally independent, the insulated panels can be renovated into windows quickly and without impacting the overall support of the building.

Picture of the Exterior Building Landscape