final ppr - Nicole Chan 1st December 2010 Amanda Dietz The...

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Nicole Chan 1 st December 2010 Amanda Dietz The Sustainable Redesign of Southwest After reading “Southwest Quadrangle, University of Massachusetts” from Process: Architecture , no. 10 (1979), and studying the plans for the Southwest residential area, it is evident that Southwest portrays a usonian design. It is my understanding that Hugh Stubbins’ vision for the Southwest area is to produce a high volume of communal housing that would satisfy both the needs of the individual and collective group. Due to the increasing population of students, the construction of the towers provides maximal housing in a confined space. This technique is also seen in Alvar Aalto’s design for the Baker House MIT dormitory. Aalto stresses the importance for every individual room to have a southern orientation to receive sunlight, and this is only achievable by expanding vertically. While Aalto faced similar factors of economic pressures and population growth, vertical building was the best solution for meeting these needs under these circumstances. 1 During the course of construction, the orientation and microclimate of outdoor spaces was an important factor for the site design as well. 2 These were key elements of the design because it affects the community as a whole in terms of addressing their needs. The university’s latest efforts of sustainability for the Southwest residential 1 “The Individual and Mass Housing: the Delicate Balance” Michael Trencher 251 2 “Southwest Quadrangle, University of Massachusetts” Process: Architecture no. 10 (1979), 111 1
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area are currently still in progress. Landscape architects are working on integrated landscaping and taking a greener approach in landscape design for a better future. Southwest is a densely populated section of campus, with five high-rise towers and eleven low-rise buildings, totaling in sixteen dormitories; these dormitories can house up to 5,500 students. Not to mention the presence of three dining commons, conveniently located near each cluster of dormitories; a basketball court, snack bars/convenience stores, administrative buildings and more. Naturally, the Southwest area has transformed into its own constantly buzzing community. With the close proximity of the low and high-rise dormitories, and the three dining commons, Southwest serves as the ultimate “visual gateway” to the university. 3 The photograph in Figure 1 was taken at the bottom of the hill, facing three high-rises and a low-rise building. The tower is extremely noticeable at all angles, even from the lowest point of the hill. Driving towards the university, these buildings are impossible to miss. There are multiple entrances for the driver to approach the complex. Each sector/cluster of residence halls has its own parking lot, making it easy for people to drive up close and unload their luggage on move-in day. However, the driver cannot access the inner space of the Southwest area, creating a
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final ppr - Nicole Chan 1st December 2010 Amanda Dietz The...

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