Millvale is a town across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh that has major flood problems. The Zero Runoff Community stops all storm water through a series of check dams and uses this water to activate the public spaces between the living units. The check dams were strategically placed to retain all major storm water flows of the site and also respond to the urban grid. As a result, these check dams create three distinctive zones: The Live/Work zone, The Village, and The Park.
The lower Live/Work zone contains units that specialize in urban living and live/work spaces (see renders above). These spaces are perfect for young families and emerging young creatives looking for a start up space. An elevated boardwalk creates a cozy public space with opportunity for protected seating. It also serves to direct people towards a much needed community center that was once a brewery. This center will provide meeting spaces for start ups, community space for the town of Millvale, and a water purification system to purify storm water.
The Village, which is located in the middle zone, contains more family oriented units. The public space contains a pond that dynamically changes depending on the level of the water (see renders below). Each unit also has a public facing garden or dock that allows neighbors to interact with each other and maintain Pittsburgh's porch culture.
Finally, the upper zone provides the town of Millvale with a much needed park that has a striking overlook of the city and a relaxing pond.
This project was a studio project at Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture with Dan Sztanga.