A key idea from the Dutch Dialogues research is that Modern engineering projects provide one layer of protection that has the potential to fail miserably. “Post-Modern Engineering” calls for multiple levels of protection, as well as integrating for multiple uses. With the current standard, high levee walls promote a fear of water.
The same theory applies to healthcare. Centralized hospitals have a stigma. This weighs down the entire system, because we avoid care until the issue becomes exaggerated. A new model of preventative clinics that focus on eating habits, mental health, and physical activity will improve the quality of our lifestyles.
This scheme features three clinics each providing services to Dillard and the community and offering Nursing students hands-on experience with preventative care in a relaxed natural environment.
The first “clinic” is actually a residential college with dorm rooms and public spaces for fitness classes, classrooms, and cafes. These halls are arranged at the new waterfront in a dense pattern that creates an urban scale public space and areas for water retention.
At the edge of the wetland reserve, a nature “clinic” for mental relaxation hosts outdoor events, mediation classes, offices, and study rooms. The tower is both an opportunity to rise above and see your place in the world and a placemarker for the wetland visible from the campus (but invisible to the immediate neighbors)
The spaces between dorms are used for water retention. A covered walkway shields against the summer sun while catching rain and running it down a channel into water retention areas to be absorbed as groundwater. Water is constantly moving throughout the site, being cleansed naturally and then pumped back into the canal.
“UnderLevee” parking and services beneath the “hill” allow the buildings to plug in along the canal edge. Public circulation goes up to the fourth floor, but the housing walkways are private for the residents. The first level at the top of the levee has enough space to hold a cafe and study area. The architectural style stretches between the traditional Dillard white and more contemporary metal and wood. A translucent shading strategy for the western facade opens and closes to follow the sun path while allowing diffuse light to enter.