NoMo House / Act 1

North Mountain Preserve / Phoenix, Arizona

Sprawl Repair = Intervention conceived as a form of participatory urbanism to create a tighter sense of community.

Revitalization of the Sunnyslope neighborhood via ‘Pink Zone Overlay’ to create the option for residents to participate in a resident artist’s effort to develop the neighborhood into the site of a community-wide art installation.

The population of Phoenix is now over 4.4m and expected to reach 6.3m by 2020, placing it as the 12th largest MSA in the US.

This 14,700 square mile area is dominated by postwar suburban developments of detached housing and large areas of uninhabited desert, with the car monopolizing vital circulation.

The Urbanized Area of the MSA is 1,147 square miles, with nearly 190,000 acres of that dedicated to open space, providing Phoenix with the largest municipal park system in the US.

Phoenix’s vast network of desert preserves and hiking trails earned the city recognition from National Geographic, placing it among the nation’s 15 best hiking cities.

82% of the nation walked outdoors for pleasure between 1999-2003, more than any other outdoor activity, making it the most prevalent form of outdoor recreation in the US.

Research shows that hiking helps fight depression and feelings of hopelessness while increasing physical endurance and leading people to live a more active lifestyle.

A good trail is accessible throughout the day and its quality is measured by the diversity of experiences. T100 is known for its variety and mix of city events and wilderness.

NoMo House / Act 1 is designed to reimagine the way that the single family parcel is used in the Sunnyslope community nestled in the North Mountain Range foothills, seven miles north of downtown Phoenix.

Sunnyslope was annexed by Phoenix in 1959, and the North Mountain Range annexed in 1960 to become the North Mountain Preserve in a response to tension between the directions of developing of Phoenix and a desire to protect its pristine nature.

North Mountain Preserve contains over 26 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Trail 100 spans the entire preserve and passes by our particular site roughly 1/4 mile due north.

NoMo House / Act 1 proposes a passage through the neighborhood’s vacant lots that extends T100 into the city, adding an element of immersion, and closing the gap between North Mountain and the potential local trail events present within the Sunnyslope neighborhood, such as overlooks, wildlife, and aberrations in the terrain, to enrich the overall trail experience.

By improving the existing recreational infrastructure we not only integrate the desert back into the city, forming the new hybrid of an engaging ‘terrain park’, but we can also open the housing up to a fresh network of mobility designed for the active and exploring pedestrian.

NoMo House / Act 1 is an example of how this re-mapping of the trails can incrementally reintegrate the suburban fabric through a simple shift in the permutation of pubic and private space toward a more immersive and playful urban arrangement.

Bringing the nature park through the suburbs to activate the empty sidewalks.

Tactical landscape urbanism toolkit provides tools that could be used by neighbors anywhere to inject the suburbs with new routes and connect them to a broader network of existing routes.

NoMo House / Act 1
Architectural Urban Impact Study / Phoenix, AZ

Colin Billings, Dominique Price

Office AS / IS Team
Ashley Hickman, Kay Yang

NoMo House / Act 1