Fall 2016 | In collaboration with Timothy Khalifa

By the year 2100, global warming, increasing sea levels and lack of land resources has prompted a shift of inhabitation to the waterfront.

Living with a constant state of flooding and inundation is a necessity as well as an opportunity to rethink the housing project, the return to the notion of the commons and the collective.

As the city that remains on land becomes over-populated, segregated and too susceptible to the climatic fluctuations of the apocalyptic scenario, we propose a network of water settlements that is not tied to ownership of land, territory or rights, promoting the sharing movement of collectivity for new social and environmental engagements.


Imagining the event of a flooded Pittsburgh river edge, we extract from environmental data of the Strip District site and overlay the underground combined sewage network with layers of floodplain to identify convergences of stormwater overflow. Out of these pollution outflows develop networks of bioswales for water filtration. The filtered water is then extracted underground through these infrastructural coils that then gets developed into a collective housing scheme.

They operate like a vertical street, allowing for room to plug in programs as needed. Along with the resettlement of population also comes the need for food and agriculture. As land gets inundated by flood water, real estate for farming is lifted above ground in a canopy network between the housing coils.

Supported by the water pumped from underground, growing pipes sprawls out from various levels, connecting to higher grounds on the un-flooded land. While providing new territory for vegetation these pipes also serve to regenerate existing soil. The result is a constant fluctuation of ground between the softscape of the canopy and the hardscape of existing landform.