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The challenge of ELEMENTAL is to plan a community of buildings and spaces that can offer a surplus of premiums, overcoming the stigma of the budgetary and dimensional limitations the program mandates. To this end, we use the restrictions with elemental rigor to develop a plan that offers several gradations of open space for the community—from the scale of the collective down to that of each individual private unit. The project has one unit type that can be transformed in at least seven different elemental ways, thus using the ammunition of flexibility to catalyze individuality, identity, and social differentiation in the most open-ended way. The unit can be combined, among other types, to produce townhouses, bridges, or towers that can be strategically sited according to urbanistic requirements. Most all constructional elements are to be prefabricated off-site and assembled with minimum labor intensity, and thus the terms of implementation have been thought through in terms of affordability, durability, and buildability. 

All concrete columns, beams, and floor slabs are pre-cast elements.  The structure is built in anticipation for the expansion plan is designed as a moment frame to provide maximum flexibility for future interventions. The party wall is concrete block, infilling the zone between the structural frame acting as a shear wall in the longitudinal axis. The short elevations have a composite panel, a corrugated cladding component which includes insulation and acts as the lateral shear walls. The elevation facing the courtyard is left more flexible to enable more openings in relation to the light and air. Concrete slabs are pre-cast and designed as waffle slabs and set into structural frame. Wood beams may be used for the expansion plan. 

Principals in charge:
Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani

Project Coordinator:
Julian Palacio

Project Team:
Penn Ruderman, Krists Karklins, Sean Baccei, Ethan Kuschner, Lisa Huang, Davis Jefferis

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