NoMo House / Act 1
North Mountain Preserve / Phoenix, Arizona
An intervention conceived as a form of participatory urbanism to create a vital community fabric, NoMo House / Act 1 marks the initial step in ‘prepping the site for construction’ for a new mode of domestic habitation on an otherwise typical single family parcel in the extensive sprawl neighborhood of Phoenix Arizona.
The population of Phoenix is now over 4.4m and expected to reach 6.3m by 2020, placing it as the 12th largest metro 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 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.
Still, most of its residential developments suffer a general sense of placelessness and social isolation, two concepts which are directly in opposition to building ‘home’.
Act 1 seeks to revitalize the suburban neighborhood of the Sunnyslope via ‘Pink Zone Overlay’ to create the option for residents to participate in an effort to develop the neighborhood into the site of a community-wide display.
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.
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.
Act 1 proposes an art installation that articulates pedestrian passage through current vacant lots and a rezoning for all future developments, in order to extend T100 into the city.
The community benefits from the district overlay through improved community identity and also can option to participate their property in the community-wide art installation.
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 previously internalized housing up to a fresh network of mobility designed for the 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.
NoMo House / Act 1
Neighborhood Terrain Park Intervention / Phoenix, AZ
AS / IS
Colin Billings, Dominique Price
Office AS / IS Team
Ashley Hickman, Kay Yang