Project Location ··· House 14, Governors Island
Year ··· Jan 2021 - Aug 2021
Faculty ··· Jonas Coersmeier, Ariane Harrison, Erich Schonenberger and Olivia Vien, at Pratt Institute

House of Species

The project aims to spark conversation about the ethics, politics, and aesthetics of coexistence between humans and non-human species in urban environments at a domestic scale. Governors Island serves as a testing ground for cohabitation and cross-species sociability. In the modern world, while non-humans are increasingly viewed as commodities occupying a human space, this project heightens their agency and provokes a shift in thought to viewing other species as clients or collaborators in architecture. This scenario opens up an exploration of spatial and territorial boundaries between humans and non-humans. Thus, moving beyond binary spaces such as interior and exterior, and taking advantage of the various scalar (spatial and lifecycle) requirements of multi-species, an intertwined ecosystem of curated and wild architecture is proposed.

Tectonic Grounds Model︎︎︎

Multi-species architecture - form development︎︎︎

Through a study of the species on Governors island, a “species calendar” (left) is organized to understand the seasonal rhythms, commonalities and interdependency of species on site. Studying the habitats, food, substrate, and movements of species found on GI leads to a scalar study of non-human spaces. The above research drawings have been made in collaboration with partner Krithi Krishnan.

Scaffolding-like architectural elements are proposed to allow organic habitats to grow around them at various scales and heights from within the ground to the tree covers. The substrate elements aid the species while also serving as mediating walls between humans and non-humans.

2017 — Frogtown, Los Angeles