Sunday, February 25, 2007

Designer Public Housing

Although poorly laid out the PAUs are amazing in their ability to provide a large amount of public housing through incentives for private developers. It also allows the city to hire some high quality architects. Unfortunately, for most its just a skin project as the layout already sticks them with a boxy plot (such as the reed clad FOA project pictured). Two projects that we saw which attempted to circumvent current trends in the PAU were the vertical block by MVRDV and the labyrinthine layout by Morphosis. Instead of the typical solid block with an open core MVRDV convinced the city to let them turn the block vertical to free up more ground space. They also placed a shared open space up in the air at the center of the block. For the Morphosis project the open space is interspersed through low density housing units in the center creating a heterogeneous space for communal interactions.