The site for my homeless assistance center is located in the historical
Charter Oak area of Hartford, CT. The lot takes up almost a half a block, leaving
us with much more site than our program required. The site also has a large
abandoned mill factory occupying the street corner. I took this as a challenge
and developed the entire site. I wanted the site to be a transition point for the
homeless people to reenter society.
My concept developed after I had chosen to use the entire site along
with the existing structure. I took the idea of the natural efficiency that the
homeless possess and transformed that into an idea on how I could fit the
program of the assistance center into the orthogonal constraints of the existing
mill building in a natural and organic way.
I started to experiment with the Voroni algorithm because it has the ability
to produce organically shaped volumes within created restraints while leaving
no wasted space. As I progressed in my design I quickly realized that a
completely organic and random shape could not only not function as a
building but also lacked the symbolic datum line that the homeless need. This is
when I started bending the rules of the Voroni algorithm and applied
parameters to these organic shapes so that some sort of organization could be
The lines created in the Voroni plots grew into steel tubing, which in the
case of the temporary housing meets the existing steel structure of the mill
building. The positive spaces turned into temporary living pods for the needy
and low income housing for the community. The void spaces morphed into
garden areas for the inhabitants to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables.
This is not only sustainable but teaches independence to the occupants.
The resulting buildings collectively form a sanctuary for the homeless
citizens to transition back into society.
Status: Competition Entry