denCITY: a modular village for the disPLACEd
Density and the Architecture of Exchange
Ecological Crossings in New Orleans
Expandable Prototypes for Public Schools in Post Katrina New Orleans:
          Cultural Complex Prototype:
          Who Gets To Call School Home?
Fail-safe Housing
Femanator: Can a Trailer Park Evolve?
Habitat Re-evolve
High Density Housing on the River Front
Lake Piers
The Levee
Liquid Urbanism: The New New Orleans
Local Green: Live Work Play
Lotus and the Rain
Modular Transitional Growth Housing
New Life on the River's Edge: Strategies for Reconnection + Reconstruction
New Orleans High Density Housing
Re-Building Wetlands
Resilient Topographies: Ascending Gardens
Resilient Topographies: Collected Roofs
Resilient Topographies: Deployable City
Resilient Topographies: Inhabitable Foundations
Resilient Topographies: New Orleans Trellis
Resilient Topographies: Temporal Towers
Site 3 F4: Chantily Drive Development
Site 6
    <prev  1  next>
title   Global Green USA Competition: Sustainable Design for New Orleans:
Local Green: Live Work Play
team   Judith Kinnard, FAIA, Maurice Cox, Justin Laskin, Pete O’Shea, ASLA, Leigh Wilkerson, Giovanna Galfione, Kenneth Schwartz, FAIA, Kathleen Mark
principal   Judith Kinnard, FAIA
date   July 2006
firm   CP+D Workshop (Charlottesville, VA)
subject   multiple-unit housing
site   Holy Cross
This project demonstrates how new residential development can be sensitively integrated into historic New Orleans neighborhoods while providing public landscape amenities and incubating innovative employment opportunities. Fully engaged in the neighborhood, LOCAL GREEN seeks independence in terms of its impact on the infrastructure of the city and the resources of the region: self-sustaining, yet fundamentally connected to its place in the city.

The site is located at a strategic intersection between 3 diverse conditions:

• A nationally recognized historic neighborhood of low scale homes in a rural setting interspersed with larger scale structures like the Doullut Steamboat Houses and the Holy Cross School
• A levee park promenade that links the city to the Mississippi River
• An active shipping operation located at the Alabo Wharf area just downriver from the site

This proposal integrates and affirms the compatibility of these uses - by incorporating an extension of the park onto the site and including a commercial farming component that promotes jobs and acknowledges the importance of maintaining and expanding appropriate industrial uses in the city.

Park/Public Institutions
The pervasive vertical grass bank of the levee is remade into a park that is layered with terraces, trees and a promenade that provides the basic shelter of shade to allow inhabitation. This sculpting of the protective landform is extended out into the neighborhood as a ceremonial passage between the community and the river. The levee is redefined as a connector instead of a boundary and the ground plane tells stories of the past as geology always does. The public is invited into the site on a sloping earthwork, which begins at Douglass Street. This creates a gentle accessible ramp through the site and up on to the river’s edge. The ramp connects to the existing levee path that will be further connected upriver to a proposed bicycle crossing at the St. Claude Avenue Bridge. Additional earthwork connections are proposed at key intersections in the neighborhood - particularly to new uses at historic sites such as the Holy Cross School. Live Oaks will be nurtured to eventually reach their sculpted, moss draped presence. The earthwork establishes a new ground plane to which the Day Center and the Community Room are linked by sloping roofs. The roof of the community room is a green plane, which acts as an exterior gathering space for the community. Andry Street provides the primary pedestrian entry for both the Daycare Center and Community Room, which relate to three outdoor rooms. The children’s areas of the daycare center are organized around the first outdoor room, a central play court partially covered by a photovoltaic umbrella and visually connected to the living machine and grey water cisterns. The second outdoor room, adjacent to the Community Room has large pivot doors, which open onto the courtyard. This space can be used by the daycare center when appropriate. This large courtyard gently slopes towards the river, creating a natural amphitheater.

Single and Multi-Family Residential
Low scale homes with narrow street frontage are typical to the historic Holy Cross neighborhood. This pattern is continued in the siting of the 6 single-family detached homes along Douglass Street. The gaps between these homes continue throughout the site, carving passages for light, air and side yard gardens through to the larger scale apartment building that faces the river. This linear organization promotes visual connections between the single family and multi-family uses. Though compact, each unit in the apartment building has 11’ ceilings with operable transoms and clerestories. All units have screened porches and access to a shared rooftop. The two and three bedroom apartments face the river, while the smaller apartments face the city. Both individual homes and apartments share a central parking area, which is covered by a hydroponic garden. The spaces between houses are imbued with both function and tactility as gardens and storm water courses inscribe the ground plane.

Urban Farming and Forestry
The fallow urban spaces in and around the site are reclaimed through agriculture and the management of a new urban forest creating a hybrid of the rural conditions found along the river. Carbon is sequestered in the collective mass of the forest, the air is filtered and the shady habitat below supports the gathering of the community. This area of the city was historically the site of truck gardens that sold produce to the French Market and to restaurants in the French Quarter We propose a hydroponics farm for this site in the area above the parking lot. These entrepreneurial uses could be extended to other abandoned sites in the Holy Cross / Lower 9th Ward neighborhood. Slender greenhouses could occupy abandoned lots while other areas could be forested with commercially viable trees to produce income and new jobs while the neighborhood is in the process of reinvestment.

Sustainable Infrastructure
Katrina revealed the fragility of city services by leaving many residents without power and sewer services for months. Residents understand that in future hurricanes this condition is likely to recur. Therefore energy independence and infrastructure integrity become more than abstract goals.

Solar Energy is gathered in two ways. Photo-voltaic panels with battery backup and reverse metering are located above the apartment building and the daycare center. The total for the arrays is 8000 sf. With tracking racks this should generate 6,000 Watts/household per day and 15,000 Watts for the Daycare Center and the Community Room. Solar Hot water panels are provided for each residence. Insulated tanks are located on the roofs above the bathroom core. 20 - 30 sf array/residence.

Storm Water and Sewer
New Orleans receives an average of 57” of rain each year and relies on aging pumps to move this water outside the city. Green Roofs and cisterns work to absorb and utilize this water rather than allowing it to flow into the city system.

New technologies allow human waste to be treated naturally on site. A ”Living Machine” is included to treat the waste generated by the daycare center and the community room. Although the multi-family housing remains linked to the sewer, this could change in the future.

Green Building Design
The buildings are designed to minimize energy use. Their linear form and 11’ ceilings are designed to maximize natural ventilation. Operable transoms and clerestory windows allow mechanical venting of hot humid air. Roofs are either shaded with solar collectors or planted to insulate against solar heat gain.

Design for De-Construction
The entire life cycle of a building should be considered in developing a construction strategy. This project proposes to use the core principles of “design for de-construction” to extend the life span of the building and its material resources. Timber and steel framing members would be assembled using mechanical fasteners minimizing the need for chemical sealants. Components and sub-components would be selected to allow re-use, re-manufacture, recycling or bio-degrading. This construction ethic would be reinforced by reusing salvaged wood and steel. Materials would be reconfigured and woven into a new culturally rich ground. Recognizable elements of the city will be re-imagined and presented as part of a new critical texture of place. Cypress and heart pine are particularly valuable materials that can last indefinitely if assemble properly.

LOCAL GREEN would secure funding from programs dedicated to the redevelopment of the Gulf Coast and from initiatives designed to promote and model innovative green building strategies. Initial predevelopment loans and grants would be sought from several nonprofit foundations and housing intermediaries, including the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and the Green Communities Initiative of the Enterprise Foundation. In addition, the project should be able to secure support from the foundation and corporate divisions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which have dedicated significant resources to the recovery of the Gulf Coast. Permanent funding might be secured from a combination of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity and long term debt. While LIHTC awards are typically highly competitive, Congress’s authorization of the Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) includes a substantial additional LIHTC allocation. Because GO Zone LIHTC demand has not matched availability to date, the project seems assured of serious consideration for an LIHTC award. In addition, the Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities program and/or other local and regional lenders should be able to extend all necessary long term debt at affordable rates and terms. The project’s community space and day care are eligible capital costs under the LIHTC program, as are additional capital costs related to green building design and specifications. The day care would also be eligible for funding under the US Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) program. The solar array could generate Renewable Energy Credits that could be sold to local industries.
link   firm site
competition site

Judith Kinnard
Charlottesville, VA

Rebuilding in the gulf will require a rethinking of what constitutes “ground”. The risk of future flooding and the potential toxicity of soils have made the street level a troubled territory. Residents are unlikely to forget that many of the deaths in Katrina were caused by the floodwaters engulfing one-story homes. FEMA has mandated higher elevations for dwelling both in Louisiana and in Mississippi creating a difference of up to 15’ between street and interior grades in parts of Biloxi and other coastal communities.

Street level has historically been a questionable location for healthful dwelling in the city. 19th century images of London terraced houses show cesspools, coal bins and cisterns of domestic life creating a rather gritty base for more elegant dwelling distanced from the street and sidewalk. In most contemporary urban settings, open sewers and horses are gone, but the automobile has created new problems for life “at grade”.

Two recent competitions in New Orleans provided the opportunity to explore this issue in multi-family housing. Both projects address the challenge of linking the public realm of the city with a new raised level. Earthen ramps link to this new ground which weaves a porous landscape over and through the hard surfaces of buildings and asphalt. This new terrain has the potential to address a number of social and environmental issues. Semi-public park-like spaces can create social settings above the street. Ramping strategies can accommodate residents with disabilities. Parking is located at grade, yet is partially covered and shielded from the street.

Sustainable dwelling requires us to promote porous surfaces and retain storm water on site to limit flooding. Hot climates also suggest the need for a shaded, verdant landscape to limit the heat island effect and reduce demand for air conditioning. All of these conditions suggest that instead of a single ground we need to acknowledge and articulate multiple ground levels in a way that encourages a socially vital and economically sustainable pattern of multi-family dwelling.

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