Village Urbanism

Felipe Oropeza Jr. (website)
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Core Studio III
Faculty: Iñaki Abalos (website)


Earth, wind, water, and the sun broadly define the fundamental elements that begin to inform the formal and material strategies of a southwest village vernacular. They define a regionalist approach to architecture. It seeks to resist the placeless universal homogeneity of mainstream modernism, through a didactic understanding of the geographical, climactic, as well as any sociocultural particularities related to site. These elements delineate a scalar and hierarchical relationship between the part-to-whole as they interact with various contingencies of the urban, human, and material scales. Walls are homogeniously massive porous modular components of the earth for structural purposes. The fenestration is orientated in the direction of prevailing wind to facilitate ventilation and strategically inset to maximize heating and cooling through solar control. Water is celebrated for its cooling and recreational properties, nurturing a unique desert experience that runs counter any preconceived notion for the arid climate of the American southwest.  

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