In the Wood

Ruijie Liu, M.Arch '21

  • FA.20
  • Level: graduate
  • Discipline: Architecture
  • Program: MLA +2 (Advanced Standing)
  • Instructor: Victor Regnier

This project is a park-like cluster of three buildings including an outpatient clinic, a nursing home and homeless housing for 55+ individuals. The buildings surround a central green with a rich and varied landscape treatment designed to create a supportive therapeutic place for exercise and relaxation.

The project reinforces the civic nature of the community by integrating new buildings with two existing important urban institutions: The Thomas Jefferson High School and the Snyder Recreation Center.

On the west side along Compton Ave is a wide landscape setback that when combined with the existing east side lawn of the high school creates a green swath through the neighborhood. A wide setback on the south edge of the site creates a generous urban sidewalk with a double row of trees. This allows the site to open to the street making 41st street a more inviting and attractive shared urban space. The creation of a farmer’s market on the SW corner activates the street corner, making it more open and inviting. This is a major shift from its previous atmosphere of caution and indifference.

Also, the central park provides a range of different uses for various groups of people. It not only provides a place for staff and patients to exercise and interact, but also provides a place for the elderly to walk and relax. Most importantly, it offers all users a way to get in touch with nature.

The rich landscape elements and the flexible design elements of the building all contribute to making this area an active public space in the heart of this neighborhood community.