Villa Carmen | Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico
Illuminate is a preliminary proposal for the redesign of Villa Carmen Atelier in Puerta de Tierra, San Juan. Based in a UNESCO World Heritage neighborhood, Villa Carmen is a historic “nexus of innovation, collaboration, and exhibition”. After Hurricane Maria, it has struggled to recover fully from the structural damage and as such has been unable to provide the community with the full extent of services. I will be continuing an independent study along with a multi-disciplinary team of landscape architects, architects, artists, healers, and educators, in revamping this community hub.
Illuminate aims to re-establish the Atelier as a community-strong hold in the face of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood through the use of light as a connecting and empowering force. A solar powered, adjustable chandelier system moves vertically through the interior courtyard to the rooftop providing a visual connection element between floors. In addition to connecting the spaces inside the building, the light acts as a beacon for the neighborhood during prolonged power outages. The chandelier system doubles as a pulley system that can move rooftop structures (i.e. - plants, seating, water cisterns, etc.) inside the building before extreme weather events to minimize destruction and hasten the bounce back period.
The 1st floor acts as the primary community meeting place. The design focuses on creating a multi-use space through a series of modular movable seating components allowing the users to personalize the configuration. The furniture can enhance theater seating, gallery presentation space, or community meetings.
See updated work on Villa Carmen's Website here.
Renders: Rhino, V-Ray, Sketchup, Illustrator