Julie Hess received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Miami University in 2007 and her professional experience includes FRCH Design Worldwide and Perkins+Will. She is passionate about pursuing social responsibility in her design process.
The sloping landscape naturally acts as a playscape. To emphasize this, I designed areas that are cleared for educational play environments, which are built from upcycled waste materials and found objects. I created a foundation of retaining walls for the overall structure, which will provide vertical play in the meantime. Lockable storage and bathrooms are built for those playing and building on the site. Butterfly roofs collect rainwater, which is then used to irrigate vegetable gardens.
As they desire, the community can build up wattle walls in addition to retaining walls. More roofs may be built as needed. Enclosed spaces naturally enable gathering and education. At the entrance to the site a future market space and supporting infrastructure will allow for the exchange of produce and artifacts, as well as encourage meaningful interaction and anchor much needed networks of trust.
In the third phase of initial intervention the architecture and landscapes will become increasingly articulated and complete in a slow process through which the vernacular knowledge and imported expert strategies become one. The community can add daub to wattle and additional roofs, creating a full enclosure.
Additional architectural systems for flexible storage and group education are also implemented to increase efficiency in care. It is expected that the community will lead this phase of further in-fill and that the enabling framework of the previous phases will act as sources of inspiration adjusted to the real-life needs.
(Master of Architecture with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture)