Allapattah Motor Housing
An Hybrid Housing sharing a motel and a work force housing, postmodernism ironie and standardized dwellings, reverie and realism, along the Miami River at Allapattah - Miami.
This project results from a methodology taught in the laboratory ”MicroMegasLab“ ULB La Cambre Horta. This lab proposes to study large urban areas in order to bring specific interventions and improve life quality. Starting from considerations of large urban scale planning, the laboratory focuses its actions on smaller intervention areas. This strategy seeks to abolish the segregation between urban planning and architecture. The large scale is dependent on microstructures that allow connections between buildings and peoples. The aim is to highlight, into the heterogeneity and diversity of cities, the problematic micro-networks, with the goal of rebalancing them, re-characterising them and, if necessary, giving them new forms and meanings.
The Allapattah Motor Housing proposes to combine contradictory functions. On the one hand, we have the motor hotel (motel) which refers to the roadside imagery and the allegory of Miami’s 80s. On the other hand, the Work Force Housing (which is an American social housing typology) is rooted in a much less shiny reality and linked to stronger concrete issues. This hybrid program seeks to express the American paradox that constantly makes these two opposite elements living together. The idea is to create connections between these two worlds through an architectural proposal. This project offers a concentrate on solved absurdities.
It rethink the social housing standardised facades by making strong cuts and openings while keeping units repetitions of collective housings. Where most American residential architecture uses the road as the main contextual approach, this project uses the river to define its implantation and volumes. Another example would be the courtyard which is usually designed as a residual space only used for circulation. In this case the courtyard is the central space, it links the different typologies each other and aims to bring climatic considerations thanks to its tropical vegetation. This project has a series elements referring both to everydayness and cliche.
The four Allapattah Motor Housing typologies seek to express all Miami’s appearances. Each of them explores a particular component of the city and tries to magnify or emphasise it. The main issue of these apartments is referring to imagination and dreams while designing viable and liveable spaces for everyone. This project wants to express the complexity of the Magic City through an endless boing back and forth between dreams and reality.
The last step is done through the homogenisation of the project by using postmodernist codes and aesthetics within the standardised aspect of the Work Force Housings in order to create a coherent whole that still expresses Miami’s contradictions. This reference doesn’t want to give a basic stylistic identity to the building. It is the necessary step to connect the opposite entities.