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Strips on the Strip District

Partnership with Nadia Islam and Yue Pan | Fall 2015
Professors Matthew Huber and Matthew Plecity

Our goal in designing this housing project was to create not only a unique place for people to live but also a gathering place for the community of the Strip District in Pittsburgh. We created a park that covered the rooftops of the apartments and expanded into a central hub which acts as a marketplace and indoor park for The Strip. A living machine to filter the gray water and the black water from the apartments was worked in the park. It’s plant filter tanks are centered in the pathways and its wetland is the focus of the park’s hub.

Neighborhood Analysis

At the start of the semester, I created analytical diagrams that focused on what I thought were the most important neighborhood systems for the design to connect to. We later studied the Living Machine system for natural water filtration.


We went through many iterations during the semester, manipulating the strips into many different forms to create the best garden and indoor spaces.

Our final iteration put the living machine at the central focus of the design. We created an indoor greenhouse with the final steps of a living machine, the Wetland. The whole housing project became a park where people could easily climb to the roofs of the apartments for great views of the city.

A Community Park

We created 2 models for this project: a sectional model to show the ramp system in the wetland hub, and a site model to explain the overall site strategy. This was the first project for which we were able to take advantage of 3D printing. It allowed us to create the Grasshopper designed canopy at this small scale.

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