Group Project Microquarry Urbanism
Mark Lien, M.Arch. 2018
ClassARCH 5115 Core Design Studio V
Visiting Critic Lior Galili
Mechanically Articulating Urban and Domestic Landscapes and Territories through Excavation and Building Methods in Husillo’s Microquarries capitalizes on the mechanical quarry limestone excavation process as an opportunity to shape and manipulate terrains, landscapes, and territories in order to rethink the relationship between housing as a domestic [micro] and urban [macro] territory; microquarries as a collection of microterritories; and the surrounding macroterritory of Havana’s Metropolitan Park and forest. The smaller and more personal quarry cutting machine allows for a more intimate articulation of domestic space from the scale and detail of a table, chair, shelf, or stair and even the ornamental to the scale of urban edges and pathways such as streets, sidewalks, and recreational areas. This combination of architectural and urbanistic implications, therefore, sets up a relationship between housing and forest/agriculture where each microquarry becomes its own microterritory or neighborhood of houses, where each neighborhood manages and regulates its own agricultural, communal, and recreational territories.
More importantly, during the research phase of the project, it became evident that building practices in Havana range from more regulated forms through microbrigades in planned communities in opposition to unregulated self-building practices found in informal settlements. This project draws from both of these building methodologies and practices, by first setting up a framework and terrain articulation that defines public and private boundaries and domestic, agricultural, and recreational territories while still giving enough flexibility to members of this microquarry neighborhood to expand their domestic territory as more family members move in into the community and the family grows.