Studio Professor: Herwig Baumgartner
My thesis project speculates on how the extreme heat and water shortages of our future environment
will dramatically alter the form of architecture and it relation to the city. In this extremely
harsh future world, architecture must become tightly integrated with the ecological life cycle.
In order for architecture to continue creating comfortable spaces and microclimates within
these extreme climates/weather conditions, it must, like a living part of the surrounding
ecology, harness every opportunity to respond, and adapt.
Terraforming Community is an attempt to renegotiate the architectural object’s relation to the
ground at the scale of the housing unit and the city. Much like Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, and its precedent Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City, “The intention of this community is to form a
gestalt that houses the relations and interactions that living organisms have with respect to
each other and their natural environment.” Stretching along the transition between the
remains of an abandoned city and surrounding topography, Terraforming Community expands
the architectural object to the scale of the city. Strategically located wind towers expand
vertically to facilitate the circulation of cool air, generated in a network of subterranean canals
embedded deep below the surface through the hive-like housing structures situated in the
micro-climates created within the transitional zone between these extremes. Each of the
housing units takes its precedent from the traditional courtyard typology and expands the type
and its conventions to adapt to the radically altered ecological context and the newly formed
Terraform Community of which it is a part.