Twelveplex - Sustainable Mixed Use
Building Type: Residential, Commercial
Location: Vacant Lot - San Fernando, CA
Class: Architecture 3A; Woodbury University
Professor: Kelly Bair
Date: Fall 2008

Lack of sustainable, affordable, and well designed housing in San Fernando, CA.

Create a sense of place and home that rethinks sociocultural traditions of “house” and utilizes sustainable concepts as the driving design force to create something unique to the user.

Investigate site, question social roles, incorporate treating the skin of the building like a dress as a concept, research concept, diagram site according to concept, generate program, order spatial sequence of program to concept, generate form. Resolve.

Expressive sustainable form jacked up on stilts to overhaul San Fernando and to expose guts of the building.

Program Requirements:
  1. Cafeteria/ Restaurant 1500
  2. Dinning area 2000
  3. Gathering area 500
  4. Multi-purpose area 750
  5. Study hall 500
  6. Bathrooms 500
  7. Lounge 700
  8. Garden 900

Project Intention:
The Twelveplex Project in San Fernando is an approach to sustainable design through form-finding and form-making operations. The form of the building was developed by using the inherent rules of passive solar design as motivators to manipulate mass. The concept of the twelve unit mixed use complex is the interaction between the natural environment and the urban fabric through the process of filtering. The natural elements are brought down into the units via photovoltaic cells and passive solar water-heaters on the roof, and the urban fabric is brought up into each unit from underneath the units through a shared atrium space.

The shared atrium space encased in glass questions the aspect of privacy by forcing neighbors to see into eachothers units in carefully controlled view angles. The growth of the form is analogous to the growth and filtration methods of a tree, and the mass of the form floats above the ground inviting the public into the underbelly. As the environmental elements and the urban elements are exchanged in the housings units, the cells are cooled with a system of gills that respond to the solar path and are articulated accordingly. Each unit operates around a shared atrium space that enables the exchange of natural and urban elements and the mass of the building is pushed and pulled to facilitate the best solar angles for optimum solar usage.

The push and pull of the form creates a split level section for every unit with the living room closest to the entry, and the bedroom the furthest respectively. The structure of the building is derived from the analysis of stair systems and serves as the armature suspending the bulk of the form in the air, only to be anchored at the corner. The vertical green space keeps the gallery cool and provides clean oxygen to the community. The steel for the building would be supplied from manufacturers that incorporate recycled content, thus adding to the sustainable aspects of the project. The Twelveplex Project is about the mixing of urban fabric and environmental forces.