Authors: Christopher D’Amico- Andrew Clum
Under supervision of: Gelabert- Navia
University of Miami
Located along the historic “Seven Mile Bridge” in the Florida Keys is Pigeon Key, an island only accessible by ferry. The island currently hosts a number of historic buildings built by Henry Flagler dating back to 1910, currently used for researchers, staff housing and visitors. The project addresses the need for hierarchy on the island, to define the loose collection of existing buildings along with such programming as a library, research labs and classrooms. In order to create a destination point along the highway, this suburban condition is formalized by the creation of a bar building and two outdoor trellises which communicate with Flagler’s smaller historic buildings. Axes of transportation to and from the island along with the direction of solar and prevailing winds yields the location of the bar building in relation to these historic buildings. The project also addresses the reality of climate change as the island itself currently floods multiple times per year. By reallocating necessary spaces to the higher floors and allowing others to flood we are not simply lifting the building up on stilts, we allow certain programming to flood, new modes of transportation onto the island connect the building directly to the bridge Henry Flagler built. A reflecting pool at the center of the atrium on the ground floor not only provides evaporative cooling but shows the impending threat of climate change.
The building communicates transparency and a respect for the local vernacular through the use of wood screens, which envelope the concrete superstructure and provide shade for wrap around circulation, a common occurrence in Florida cracker homes. The roof, reminicscent of island and Caribbean tropical vernaculars, allows hot air to rise and be carried out of the building by the prevailing winds. Only the most necessary rooms are provided with air conditioning systems, comprising the core of the building. All systems are powered by a series of solar panels, integrated into the southern eave. The island is, has been and will continue to be self sufficient.
The model is made of basswood, aluminum, copper piping and MDF.