Wood Site Model
MichaelDennis and Nader Tehrani co-taught a design studio at MIT that looked at urbaninfill sites in Palermo. Yap Zhang presented a beautiful woodmodel of an infill project comprised of “P” and“9”-shaped housing blocks with continuously sloping roofs. Each of the buildings was rendered in a different species of wood, distinctfrom the bass wood of the base model. Guest critics Steven Peterson,Barbara Littenberg, and Erik Thorkildsen (a Principal at Michael Dennis’office) all hated the sculptural roof strategy. I thought the interactionbetween the roofs produced some very interesting urbanistic effects at eyelevel. The roof lines aligned with neighboring buildings at key points tocreate a continuous (albeit sloped) cornice line around the new piazza createdin the center of the project and at the thresholds to new streets. Atother places in the scheme, the roofline created picturesque disjunctions.