Solar High Rise, 1979
The Solar High Rise Armature proposal is based on landform metaphors of the geological structure of the earth’s crust, archeological layers of civilization and organic life. A low rise Armature is shown with solar efficient high-rise apartments above. The high-rise is featured with a tapered side, while porches that can be opened or closed with glass panels are on the flat side of the building. The glassy building contains residences and offices developed by the private sector and utilizes the principle of a continuous “sun porch” that is eight feet deep to function as a heat trap or insulating buffer, as well as an outside porch.
The public Armature is a three-story portion that interfaces with the urban street block. Its walls are load-bearing masonry with exposed structural lintels that support future openings. The openings identify stores and offices at street level, while light streams into the interior from skylights. The dark exterior mass is covered with reliefs that are accessible to pedestrians on one side and vehicles on the other. The street face is a mosaic tapestry of designs made of ceramics, glass, concrete, metals and other materials that continuously evolve through community art projects. The collage process is a streaming continuum of time, where old designs are replaced with new ones after designated periods of time. Architect and artist facilitators coordinate the work of citizens and artists, encouraging individuality of each piece, adding meaning to a larger public frame.