SCI-Arc Future Initiatives, Postgraduate Program

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Aggregated Figure: Courtyard ReInvented

Student: Janiva Henry
Studio Title: CITY DESIGN STUDIO FALL 2012: Porter Ranch Redux: The Figure and It’s Unfolded Ground
SCIFI Guest Faculty: Peter Trummer
TAs: Ursula Frick and Thomas Grabner


This project is concerned with the housing unit and how it aggregates to constitute larger program. An architectural diagram, that is a progression through architectural types, begins with the typical American single family unit, morphs into a courtyard and transforms into new forms as density increases. As the diagram transforms past a courtyard house, density doubles, and the courtyard slowly unfolds vertically. It extends into a ‘C’ shape, whose arms bridge over the street, connecting aggregates. Density increases again, and the arms from both sides of the street fold together to accommodate larger program and occupy less ground area.

A street pattern generated across an untouched region of California’s San Fernando Valley based on slope, is populated with aggregations from the architectural diagram, by matching their densities with decided equivalent land values. The ability to use reduced ground area, not only allows the diagram to react to constrictive site conditions, but also provides aggregations for assignment to lots with higher value. When the transformation moves from the sides of the into the street, it assumes Hilberseimer’s model of the integration of buildings and streets.

Innate to this courtyard scheme is the porosity necessary to make dense site population viable. The resulting site population is both dense and sparse, with the ability to contain a large range of program.

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SCI-Arc's SCIFI is an intensive research-based, post-professional degree program and think tank dedicated to generating pertinent examinations of contemporary civic design, city formulation, and urban regulation.


Program Calendar

October 2018
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