Public Housing Redux – John Becker & Yuval Borochov – GSAPP

Today we are taking a look at public housing projects that adds a gondola into the mix as a form of public/private transportation for the housing units.  The design of the building is in a constant state of flux, as the spaces can interchange between public greens, private (homes) space, and or leased out as transportation pods.  The project itself strives to not act as a transportation hub, but create a local networking hub of social interactions within a housing complex.  Check out more after the jump! 

SCHOOL: Columbia University
PROFESSORS: Michael Bell
STUDENTS: John Becker & Yuval Borochov
YEAR: 2008

“Gondola-housing explores the meaning of urban space as a commodity. The project examines a variety of urban archetypes condominium and office towers, parking lots, private homes, public housing and reveals the opportunities to optimize their use of space.

The idea is a practical separation of space and utilities for the sake of the efficient use of structure. No space is private for any longer than it needs to be. When not in use, the space module, the gondola, is lease out as a transportation pod or as desired program space to the different archetypes in question.

The main exporter of space is a housing block, which stands in a parasitic or free structure. This structure supports parkland platforms that are open to the public when any or all of the gondola-housing units are cleared. Taking the example of the zip car, a project that relabeled the car as public property and gave an economic model to this effect, gondola-housing renders ephemeral the line between private and public in two scales: the domestic and the urban.

The gondola is, thus, not only a mode of light transport; it insists on reconnecting the city back to itself by creating a network of local exchanges of space and activity. This exchange effectively revitalizes and stabilizes the local economy, supporting the main hub as public housing, helping private homes ward off foreclosures, and providing people with a safe, cheap, and humane transportation.” – John Becker

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