Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture
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CAADS - The John S. Chase Academy for Architectural Design and sustainibility

Sunnyside, Houston, TX - Fall 2017
Created for the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) 2017 Student Design Competition. Presented at the NOMAS Conference in October 2017.
In collaboration with Victoria Yong, Hannah Martinez, Ernest Bellamy, Chase Kea, Vincent DeRienzo, and Lesther Martinez.

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Project Description (by victoria yong)

The John S. Chase Academy of Architectural Design & Sustainability (CAADS) will act as a gathering point for the community of Sunnyside. CAADS will provide a facelift to the Sunnyside Community Center/Park by the inclusion of a grand plaza, and an extension of its services while also acting as a catalyst in a redevelopment of it’s eastern parklands.

CAADS consists of the following elements

Chase Plaza

Serving as a new gathering point for the community and a linchpin in the extension of services offered in and around the site, Chase Plaza allows for Sunnyside residents to gather for public events and exhibitions, and provides the opportunity for spill out from performances in the various public venues of the community center overall.

Sunny Bayou

Mitigating storm water from overloading the Houston storm sewers as well as adding extra capacity to the City’s extensive network of ditch and detention basin systems, the Sunny Bayou will stretch the length of the Comal Street Pedestrian Trail from its terminus as a basin from the Community Center south until Johnson Library, at Reed Road. the Sunny Bayou will enhance the existing ditch system by being planted with native species which will aid in the restoration of the local ecosystem.

Sunnyside Community Education Garden

Repositioning the existing Community Garden and enhancing the educational offerings to the Community about Urban Agriculture, the Community Education Garden strikes a fine balance of allowing for the expansion of a successful park use while allowing for a broader opportunity to engage students and residents alike on the possibilities of growing locally sourced foods and providing opportunity to host events like local culinary nights and outdoor cooking classes.


The John S. Chase Academy for Architectural Design and Sustainability services as not only a specialized academy of advancement and pre-college skill building in architecture and sustainability for 200 of Houston’s best and brightest talent, it also allows for the services of the Community center to be expanded. CAADS allows for a sharing of resources, allowing the use of new services to be incorporated into the Community Center/Park program, by allowing for Community use of Cafeteria, Learning Resource Center, Lecture Hall, and meeting rooms. With these amenities available to the community, the Community center will be able to expand it’s capacity to serve, by allowing for multiple events to take place at the same time, while also allowing for different size event spaces to be available for use. With CAADS, the community not only gains an institution to build strength amongst its youth, it gains a new a catalyst for change in makings “Sunnyside Pride”.

With These Elements and updated axis of flows permeating the site, the overall community center and park will be able to obtain more foot traffic and flow, allowing for more community engagement. The catalytic effect of renewed activity will spur the community to regain a sense of pride, and allow it to grow beyond the boundaries of the site.