New York, NY
Mid City and Tulane/Gravier both positioned next to each other, both are able to be defined in the same way. Those neighborhoods located so close to the center of NO on the other hand are pushed aside and almost abandoned. My intention in this project was to propose a program, which will give some impulse to improve quality of living in there. And also improve safety, both on the daily basis but during the extreme events as well.
There are three layers of approach to the problem, and the easiest way to distinguish them is to divide them by vertically.
1. Lower level. WATER
Water in New Orleans is the most significant and demanding player, on the other hand water is my first step to change the network. Primary using the historical connection to water channels, and consider the fact that NO had quite large number of different kind of channels. The idea is to restore that unique way of communication and transportation. Canals in New Orleans will encourage people to explore other sites of this city, and will bring life to other cells in the urban body. Please note on my project on page 2 the proposed route of new canal, which simply extends original Bayou St John canal, and drifting on L shape finally meet the hearth of NO.
Some of the advantages:
- differential look of the whole area
- more people “flows” through that zone
- more water oriented culture
- adding value to the neighborhood
2. Mid level. GROUND
Ground level, still under the water table is shaky, but still this is the only ground which men was able to grab from the land. The ground in neighborhoods around the city is a risk soil. This is why I propose a totally different then shot gun housing, but traditional for New Orleans type of building. In general I propose combining lots which will create a mini-communities, each block one. Each block will be treated as a one building lot, and owners will hold shares. Program for housing consists of several points which need to work together.
The most important elements are:
- instead detached single houses, introduce more consolidated type of buildings.
- small size of community (one block only) will maintain privacy within the block
- creating a more dense dwelling body, we are giving up more green space , which may be fully public accessible and also has enclosed areas
- housing will have a vertical gradation, basically ground floor will be designated for all type of garage/storage spaces, parlor floors, exercise areas etc. these will be a flood adaptable areas as well, plus by meeting FEMA codes will receive a full insurance capability.
- another crucial element is to share space with city, by giving up about 30% of land for public parks, canals or other public facilities, city in return will participate in building process.
3. Upper level. AIR
One of the very characteristic pictures of the New Orleans city is a street view with two or three story buildings along which an endless line of balconies run. This feature creates sort of double layered communication, and this element I would like to continue throughout the entire city. As a part of heterotopic elements a series of nodes will be proposed. Those knots I call keeps, and those keeps will play a main role in city functioning.
This new structure will act as a node in each neighborhood. The primary function of this design is to enhance a cultural and social intensification in each area. The structure is light but the design has to be strong enough to withstand hurricane conditions. Its secondary use is intended as a protective shelter, provided during a storm, it will accommodate those who for certain reason couldn't evacuate.
All refuge spots are with system of ramps and elevators, designed for easy access for people in different conditions. Free form allows the interior to adapt into varies uses. Considerations have also been taken to the paths leading to the structure, as well as the “keep” itself, they are open and elevated which allows onlookers to catch the New Orleans breeze. This will encourage people to gather for an active day during the summer season. Those paths with network of above ground pedestrian (or light vehicular) trials will also be servicing the balcony system, which allows to use fairly easy buildings even during the major flood time. During long summer days, the elevated paths give nice shade to walkways underneath. Te unique appearance will add an additional value into the neighborhood.