Intended to address the urgent affordability needs of farmworker and service worker families in the Coachella Valley. The agricultural economy of the region relies heavily on both a permanent and seasonal workforce to harvest crops and work in tourism-related service sector jobs. After weighing the advantages of building underground (seismic support, insulation of thermal mass, and the channeling of wind/sun) it seems preposterous not to.
(Merriam Webster Dictionary)
What inspired the design of 'SUB' is contextual relations to the western culture in the United States. Cracked earth brings interesting ideas to the surface in regards to the impact of lack of water to dirt. This idea of fractured earth is carried out in the design using a layered voronoi pattern. The layering effect shines through in all aspects of the design, including the physical model. This scheme reflects the layers of rock found in naturally in canyons.
The project addresses both temporary and permanent residents, and provides affordable housing for a mix of single adults, couples, families, and extended families. The key to designing subterranean spaces is strategic application of open surface area. Instead of creating a structure based on the expected interaction with people, this underground architecture acts as a series of tunnels activating the facade of each deep laceration in the landscape; essentially, the entire site is a network of immense hallways. Units are placed with one glazed edge facing an open surface, and the other three sides surrounded by earth. Since these are shallow spaces, light travels easily through the entire space.