Levenbetts design housing for living along the infrastructural canals of Phoenix
This project is a response to the current housing crisis of the single family house and the environmentally unconscious sprawl of the American grid. Phoenix's urban plan, like many American cities, is laid out on a grid, a mile by mile grid. Running through this grid is Phoenix's water infrastructure distributed along 8 canals. Cactus Flower Housing (CFH) is sited along these canals - the infrastructural backyard of the city. These canals run through streets, cross intersections, and cut through neighbourhoods. CFH repurposes the canal system as a new urban circuitry.
In this proposal for a dense water-based desert urbanism, the city can be turned inside out or right-side in by turning the city toward the canals. CFH, is located along the Grand Canal. It includes 5 cactus housing towers, one low rise snake housing and a series of support programs including markets, stores and restaurants. The street level fronts the canal and is a vibrant open commercial and institutional layer with a platform above that is comprised of social services programs as well as a Living Machine that filters the waste water from the building into useable water that can then be fed back into the city's water system or reused in the building.
The roof level is a communal space for the building and functions as both a sun and water umbrella that collects water into a cistern. CFH is composed of several different unit types that are all based on the structure and infrastructure of a cactus - water/infrastructure towards the middle with dryer programme along the perimeter and edges, folded skin for providing shade from the sun and outdoor breezeways and cross ventilation for natural cooling. From urban plan to unit configuration, this new dense multi-family housing, CFH, is conceived and built as an integrated variegated urban infrastructure that is comprised of various similar elements but finds its configuration within the particularities of the canal/grid on a caseXcase basis.