Corbin Keech

Corbin Keech

Chicago, IL, US



The primary objective of this studio was to investigate the potential of the post-crisis condition. Our initial task was to isolate a specific global crisis and examine its potential for triggering innovation and experimentation in architecture, urban design, as well as the invention of new typologies.

The site for the studio was Sans Souci on the southern coast of the Domincan Republic. Despite its relatively large economy the country is consistently plagued by drastic income inequality and crippling unemployment. Adding more complexity is the country’s relationship with its neighbor, Haiti. The earthquake that flattened Haiti in January 2010 has only worsened an already volatile relationship between the two countries.

The Santo Domingo Malecón lies virtually inactive. Cut off from the city by the coastal highway, and composed of a largely un-walkable and dangerous rocky surface, its activation faces many challenges. Unfortunately this chronic absence of activity and program along this edge is part of the character of the Dominican Malecón.

This inactivity is further troubling given the 60 meter “maritime zone” that extends along the Dominican coastline. This invisible boundary is measured from the high tide mark inland, which in effect converts all beaches and waterfront areas into public property. No building is allowed within the maritime zone without a special permit from the government. In other words, this continuous strip of land is designed for public use, but it lacks the infrastructure and programmatic intelligence to sustain any prolonged interest.

60m is a master plan of diverse programs that exists entirely within the 60 meter maritime zone, defining the Santo Domingo waterfront as public space. 60m accepts certain natural crises and incorporates protective measures into the architecture, creating a network of hybrid structures whose ambition is to activate sustainable, yet uniquely Dominican, urban activity. 

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Status: School Project
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic