Project Type: Urban Design Study
Project Status: Planned
Completion Date: July 2012
Site Area: 60 acres
Client: In-house study
We seldom find land planning projects that incorporate the artistry of the ultra-modern-chic-stylized-look of “starchitects” with the pragmatic, modest, yet skillful layouts derived from traditional precepts and principles. Surveying the strata of contemporary designs, “starchitects” sometimes lack and often purposely dismiss realism, sacrificing the creation of livable places instead of visually impacting images that seek to call attention to themselves and nothing more – these are projects that are made for publication and not for living. On the other hand, traditional design methods follow the principle of systematically sacrificing vision and often relegating interventions to “another Traditional Neighborhood Development” (TOD). In these cases, we often find livable communities that create “a sense of place,” disregarding the identity inherent in every site where they intervene. The imposition of a new “Genius Loci” (spirit of place) at the expense of losing each site’s historical/social/etymological value.
Playa Inca is the first of a series of studies to find common ground between artistry and traditional principles by using locally identifiable patterns that become the crux of design, introducing proven principles and techniques from traditional land planning. Located near a Peruvian oceanfront town, Playa Inca derives its form from the legacy of Incan construction methods. Its thoroughfare network, open space system, and lot division are extrapolated from the joints created in Incan walls. These forms are morphed into the land, following the terrain and respecting existing streams, topography, and beach dunes. Embedded within its framework, a central all-purpose building faces one of the open space and provides some civic and commercial uses to the project.
*This design series is intended for research and education, not construction.