Earthen/Urban: Phoenix Hill Housing

  • Jeremy Bilotti, B.Arch. 2018
  • Hometown Portland, Maine
  • Class Arch 4101 Fabric Urbanism: Strategies for Urban Mat-Housing and Fabrication
  • Instructor Leslie Lok

This proposal introduces a fine-grained mat fabric to the Phoenix Hill area of Hangzhou, China. This new typology of fabric is largely composed of multi-level earthen structures which utilize an abundance of demolition waste present throughout the city as aggregate, creating variation and identity in texture and surface throughout. The scale and organization of the new urban fabric varies from dense and intimate to sparse and vast. It transitions dynamically between high density housing and the natural landscape with which inhabitants of Hangzhou maintain an important cultural relationship.

The fabric's inhabitable structures are fabricated using large-scale, robotic 3D printing. A biodegradable mesh structure is printed in segments, assembled on-site, infilled with recycled aggregate, and then packed with earth and lime to form a dense compression wall. Where tension forces pose a problem, bamboo reinforcement is accepted by the porous mesh structure.