16th - 21st + Smallman Street
Funen Blok K
We began the semester by studying the residential building Funen Blok K. We were then tasked in creating a morphology to address issues that our precedent failed to address. The original building does not allow light to penetrate much of the building, it is surrounded by six story buildings on all sides so direct sunlight is scarce on the site.
We first broke down the apartment into its six essential components. Four out of six of them required daylight, so we organized those spaces as needed. We then added light wells to these apartments to bring in more light from above the shadows of the surrounding buildings.
Historically the Strip District was an industrial neighborhood, most of the buildings are either old warehouses or commercial, and because of the changing economy in Pittsburgh, many of the warehouses are currently abandoned. There are very few residential areas in this neighborhood, the most notable being the Cork Factory which has been repurposed as a luxury apartment building, however the real change of this project was integrating a residential project of this scale into the existing urban context.
Most of the people in the strip are commuters either working or visiting. The neighborhood has potential for additions to its housing; it has a vibrant marketplace selling fresh produce, coffee shops, restaurants, and nightlife, but what we found was lacking was park space. A site the scale of ours felt like it wanted to become that park space, so we decided to use this as an opportunity to give back to the community.
Water + Lighting