Integration Studio | Fall 2018
Environment, Form & Feedback 
Professors: Dana Cupkova, Nina Chase

Eco-Morphology: Six Mile Island Housing

Abstract Map, Six Mile Island

Pittsburgh vs. Sharpsburg

Six Mile Island, located between Sharpsburg and Pittsburgh, is a site that holds many ecological characteristics, raising questions such as: how do we deal with flood levels, passive solar strategies for a harsh climate like Pittsburgh, and what is the relationship between the social and environmental patterns? This project specifically focuses on the wind and sun patterns towards the island, and how a landscape with architecture can be created to respond to these aspects and potentially create micro climates that could benefit housing in Pittsburgh. 

We started off this project by zooming out of the island to Pittsburgh as a whole. We analyzed many different aspects of the location and its context, such as transportation methods, sewer systems, wind patterns & direction, infrastructure and flood levels.

The next part of the project involved researching into precedent houses; mine specifically was Poli House located in Chile. Figuring out the underlying geometry and logic of the house, I realized that the program is divided in a cardinal axis, with regulating lines following this pattern, creating a cube-like house. I started off by breaking the house down into its regulating lines, and then re-aligning the windows around it to follow this regulation. This would make the windows around the house more optimal for views and solar gain. Out of a matrix of 16 iterations of alignments, I chose two to develop using shadow studies.

Poli Generative Diagram.png
Site Section

Site Section

After many abstract mappings and wind studies, I decided to place these units on the island in the direction that would ideally block the prevailing winter winds. This placement would also help form the circulation around it, connecting each house to another using the underlying regulating lines that oppose the winter wind.

Site Plan

Site Plan