ARCH 505B: Graduate Architecture Design I Gallery: Clusters and Aggregates: Housing and Urbanism

Vertical Courtyard Houses

This project studies the spatial relationship between micro-towers and integral outdoor courtyard-patio spaces. A smaller footprint allows for more outdoor green space on the ground, so argued Le Corbusier when he published The Radiant City in 1924. And, while this is true it also results in buildings that are objects in a landscape, with dwelling units that are largely disconnected from each other. Consequently, the challenge in re-imaging the idea is to create a field of open figures—porous micro-towers with visual connections between one another in the form of elevated courtyards, patios, and roof terraces, situated on different levels of the towers. Instead of the strict repetitive order of the Cartesian grid that Le Corbusier used, a “loose grid” is adopted to create a “vertical village” of unique and dynamic shared spaces for the residents to gather outdoors on the ground level, or in the various courtyards and roof terraces. Finally, each tower is clad with a bi-fold shutter system which allows inhabitants to modulate the amount of sunlight and air that the unit receives at any given time of day, as well as the degree of privacy they desire.