Cohousing – Piazza delle Cure
Date: Spring 2014 Class: Sustainable Architecture Objective: Design a cohousing project for a group of art and architecture students in Florence, Italy.
The Piazza delle Cure cohousing project is a sustainable development in Florence, Italy. The site is adjacent to one of the piazza’s on the perimeter of Florence, with train tracks running another side. The project is targeted for groups of art and architecture students, providing housing as well as studio and classroom space all in one site. Important elements to consider when designing the development were circulation, views, and noise pollution.
The Conditions above helped to determine the location of the living units versus the shared common spaces and public areas, in addition to the circulation strategy through the site. The apartments were raised one story off the ground to create a separation between public and private spaces, as well as improving day lighting and views, and providing spaces underneath for the public. An elevated system of walkways connects the living units together, and links them to the studio spaces, and the ground level.
The design of the cohousing complex aims to be as sustainable as possible, by reducing energy consumption, hosting on site resource collection, and bringing green space into the neighborhood. All of the ground and elevated walkways are made up of porous pavers, allowing rainwater to natural soak into the ground. If the rain picks up, two detention basins hold the water while allowing it to seep into the ground slowly. Rainwater from the buildings is collected and stored for later use. Grouping the apartments means reducing the exterior wall surfaces, which reduces heating and cooling loads. Photo-voltaic systems on the roofs helps to offset the energy consumption on site, and an off grid hydrogen system is used to store any excess generated electricity.