In the early stages of my research, I found a local article lamenting the growing numbers of young professionals making Jeffries Point their home. The article echoed community concerns that this new wave of residents are disinterested in the neighborhood and its history of survival, and lack the emotional investment to protect the historically underrepresented community. This was a call to action for me, prompting me to ask “Can architecture cultivate emotional investment?”
In response, I designed a hybrid community and residential space. The project integrates into the urban fabric by maintaining public access on the ground floor through a neighborhood library and community farm, while the second and third floors are private, with 6 flexible units ranging from 1000 to 1600 sq ft in size. The units have an open, unobstructed floor plan defined loosely through a “utility block” that consists of the kitchen and bathroom. In addition to choreographing more public and private interior spaces, this method also anticipates shifts in user’s spatial needs over the course of their lives by allowing for change.
A main objective of this project has been to explore the experience of “belonging,” or having a secure place in the community, through an interplay of public and private. This project attempts to create both distinctions and blurrings between these two states through perspectival shifts that create moments of visual and physical access and moments of restriction, as well as moments that challenge the distinction between the two.
By focusing on these perspectival manipulations, I see this project’s approach as capable of adapting to other sites and urban conditions. Moving forward, I am interested in continuing to explore the question of “belonging” as well as the design of spaces that can adapt to changing needs over time.