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Architectural Planning & Design, Remodeling, Luxury Renovations, Architectural Evaluation.





D E S E R T   U T O P I A

Type: Mixed Use 

Status: Conceptual

Year: 2017

This project is a laboratory experiment in search of new architectural models. The goal is to rethink the architectural avant‐garde as a strategy for developing the intersection between the technological/material/formal and the social/cultural. We live in a modern society where current architectural paradigms are winding down, projects are led by an exaggerated formalism that deprive the architectural experience.

The goal of the study is to find out whether it is possible to propose another Architectural Revolution based on our capitalistic society, its socio-economic needs, and new technologies appropriate for today’s modern times. Usually, during any phase of design there are boundaries and compromised to be made; the following project takes a form of an utopian development and is freed from all constrains, for the purpose of the research, yet it maintains a scale of tangibility. The study focuses on the complex operations involved in turning abstract architectural concepts into concrete building proposals. To build architecture, it is necessary to move beyond surface appearances to understand the complex, material composition of buildings. It is necessary to negotiate between ideas and facts; the proposed utopia develops from conception (design) to construction (systems) and, proposes ultimately, an imagined inhabitation.

It was necessary to study past urban strategies that influenced the development of architectural movements that shaped our modern cities; emphasis was given to a study on Rome, Roman Castra, Canabas, and Coloniae. After the analysis of various grid systems, a radial scheme was chosen with a central plan.​ The program is arranged around primary circulation that runs North to South and East to West, and secondary circulation running concentrically around the plan.​ Interaction among programs was essential, therefore spaces juxtaposition as well as space - overlaps are present within the built environment; the expansion and contraction of the various spaces create a dynamic setting.

Temporary residents are situated in the hotels with guest rooms, lobbies and offices. They are placed tangent to the main axes and divide the organization into sectors; one for permanent residents that includes housing, vinyards and wine facilities (storage, tasting areas etc.), and one for the artists with various workshop spaces.​ Attention is given to a central space that houses an open forum and an exhibition space used by both artist, performers and wine related events.​ Envelop and enclosure systems are used to provide natural ventilation (air chambers, vents), passive heating (trombe walls), and drain water recycling for a sustainable architecture.

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