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Omer Gorashi | ARCH 1031 | Summer 2018

In the 3rd floor courtyard at Campbell Hall, students and faculty from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture to find themselves in a completely different world just outside of their studio. The manner in which the trees are placed throughout the space begins to create subtle boundaries creating a circulation similar to the transept of a basilican plan. The distance between the trees branches and the retaining wall even mimics a lighted clerestory. These conditions not only give inhabitants a sense of tranquility but evoke a certain spirituality.

The summer settlement reflects upon that spirituality, not only from the Christian viewpoint but from the Islamic perspective. The heights of the walls of the structure not only reflect the different architectural features of a Muslim place of worship but the different positions of prostration as well. The placement of the structure against the retaining wall on the third floor strengthens the rapport between the settlements on both floors to create a conversation in this “middle ground”.

Through the use of only recyclable materials, the settlement is a reminder to be frugal in design, whether it’s staying under the budget or conserving construction material. It can even be as simple as limiting the hatching in one’s designs or glue used in a model. With creativity and innovation through design, we can save and sustain the environment one recyclable at a time.