Conservatory

2020
in collaboration with:
Maria Gutierrez

Willis Carrier’s invention of the modern air conditioner at the turn of the 20th century was a turning point for enclosure. Spatial organization was completely reconsidered in light of the new technology which provided climactic consistency throughout the year. The environment and limitations in enclosure efficiency were no longer obstacles to thermal comfort. As a result, much modern construction became thermally inefficient. With the rise of energy-guzzling buildings, and the reliance on dirty energy sources, the environment begins to suffer. Syracuse has particularly suffered long-term environmental degradation due to the heavy industrial presence of corporations such as Carrier, Honeywell and others. Our proposal is a response to this narrative. As a memorial to the death of the environment, the museum functions as a physical monument to the efforts of conserving the surrounding region’s natural biome amid its rapid degradation. It serves as a learning center, while simultaneously conserving seeds and living local fauna in a “vault” and conservatory respectively. Additionally, the building aims to set an example in responsible building construction and energy utilization.

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