FAMU: year THREE-semester TWO

The notion of Refuge began with local news articles and projects, within the Sociology department at a local University, about the current state of homelessness. With a decline in the housing market, the issue of homelessness has become an ever increasing concern across these United States. Established shelters are finding themselves filled to capacity on a nightly basis and hard pressed for space. Through investigation of editorials, recent homeless poles conducted by the local university, site analysis and precedent research, various design moves and program focuses were implemented to establish this outreach facility for the displaced. The design began with symbolically representing what the existing shelter hope to accomplish. During a visit to a local facility, the use of a tortoise as a brand was apparent. When asked, volunteers recited that “… a tortoise must carry everything on their back. It is their home: it is their shelter from the world outside.” Using this insight, the investigation of form and scale developed the exterior envelope–an extensive unearthly entity with potential. After defining orientation and location on the site, a push and pull treatment layered on the envelope for natural lighting and ventilation. The effect can be referenced with the polygonal forms that appear on the shell of various species of tortoise. Continued explorations into amenities, circulation, and space layout, help identify form, order, and materiality.

Precedent Study, Site Analysis, Sketches, Final Product