Most recently, a plethora of environmental disasters has led to the implementation of infrastructural objects to mitigate these catastrophes. As the complexity of these systems increase with the intensity of the environment, our awareness of the objects we are so reliant on decreases. Coupled Autonomies aims to develop a more critical examination and understanding of these systems we need as a society. By blending infrastructure, space and form, this project serves as a body of research that tests the overlaps of these ideas and analyzes the potentials of the gestalt.
The Lower Arroyo of Pasadena is a natural feature which leaves the surrounding built environment extremely vulnerable to disaster. This former fault line acts as a basin that channels high volumes of brush smoke, a product of forest fires, to the community that aligns the basin. As fires in this region become more frequent and proximate, the risk of smoke also becomes greater. The project operates first as a smoke filtration tower that purifies and redirects contaminated air during a fire. When not in use, the structure operates as a recreational viewing tower for the residents and visitors of the Arroyo. Ultimately by coupling society and environment with infrastructure, the architectural event is enhanced and begins to perform at a multitude of different levels.