The group did some fascinating research into repeating ratio patterns made when considering the amenity needs of “class housing,” with a thesis that as students move from class year to class year, their needs (and restrictions, or supervision) will change radically. By conceiving of the project as a continuous, flexing bar running the length of High Street and appropriating these repeating programs and amenities along its length, the project would be able to visually signify where these conditions aligned or misaligned, or made significant overlaps that could offer inclusive places for students to mix. These ratio patterns operated at the scale of the housing (i.e. dormitory rooms to resident advisor to study lounge) and at the scale of the city (i.e. dormitory population to bars and restaurants, neighborhood population to grocerys and bowling alleys).
Popa began with the group’s realization that the site was located precisely between two peripheral neighborhood commercial centers and studied how these programs might inhabit the slender ribbon of real estate. His project inserts a 100,000 square foot grocery into the mix of dormitory and graduate family apartment housing, in a way that allows the housing above to us this new proximity to advantage while remaining undisrupted by the seemingly obtrusive overlap of uses.