3,230,000 SF Mixed Use, Multi Family, Commercial, Master Planning, Sustainability
Architecture, Master Planning
The proposed design for “Marina + Beach Village” consists of three low-rise, six high-rise, three pavilion buildings, and a few townhouses spread throughout seven city plots. The Beach front plots are separated from the city by a public park which is integrated into the site plan. Parking will be completely underground with levels varying as required by the program above. The heights of the buildings also vary per requirements of the program and design guidelines. The landscape was used as a unifying element in this disparate group of lots.
The idea of skyscrapers in the park became a guiding theme; pedestrian activity and landscaping integrate the towers on the campus. In terms of aesthetics, all buildings on site share a common architectural vocabulary inspired by structural forces, solar shading, and desirable water views. The structural outer skeleton of the proposed design allows less internal shear walls and columns, contributing to a greater degree of flexibility in terms of floor plan layouts. The simplicity of the buildings and high efficiency of the floor plates contrasts with the vigorous and dynamic shaping of the western canal front edge.
The manipulation of the sea wall at this edge yields four times the water frontage that would otherwise be available, adding considerable value to the adjoining properties. These areas carved from an otherwise very linear and harsh city boundary are proposed as native habitat parks, restoring local ecosystems such as the Grey Mangrove, the salt water marsh lands, and other estuarine amphibious environments. The insertion of parks, fields, islands, marinas, and even a few buildings further activates this part of site, becoming a precious amenity to the site plan. The maximization of views was one of the primary design goals of the scheme, causing the towers to be slender and elegant. Those units that are not afforded beach front views are given several options that are no less desirable. To the west, a new waterfront edge was created, including habitat islands, marinas, and retail spaces. The spaces between the towers are filled with man-made wetlands, offering views of lily pads and tall grasses. To the south lies another municipal park, and to the east there will be city views that light up the sky during the evenings. Since the property is surrounded by four municipal parks, it seemed fitting to connect them all through the site, allowing the parks to become the ground plane for the programmed buildings. The proposed site plan, in effect, borrows from the adjacent green areas while expanding them.
There is no clear definition of where the site begins or ends because the landscaping is one continuous collection of native ecosystems. The interaction between urban parks is a challenging but necessary element within cities so the flora and fauna have the opportunity to flourish and thrive. Hopefully, the inhabitants of the buildings will do the same. Sustainability was a main part of the design process. Access to sun, wind, and light is crucial to high-rise design. In addition to the native landscaping, many other sustainable strategies have been incorporated, ranging from grey water treatment to high efficiency light fixtures. The ability to blend the boundary between interior and exterior environments remains a strong point of the proposed design as well. Passive design strategies such as solar shading, evaporative cooling, and heat island avoidance have contributed to taming the harsh climate conditions that exist in this part of the world, making life more comfortable for human existence.