Design with Climate: A Retreat for Vieques, Puerto Rico
Rellihan, Sara Salazar
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One of the main ideas this thesis pursues is the impact of climate on architecture. It involves the exploration of an architecture that is sensitive to the climatic particularities of its site and is able to create a passively comfortable environment for its inhabitants. The focus of the thesis has been the design of a retreat on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Of particular interest has been the study of 19th century plantation houses in Puerto Rico and their climatic adaptation to the region during a time when climate control mechanisms did not exist. The site is located on the former lands of the United States Navy, which, until May 2003, had occupied most of the island. Due largely to the presence of the Navy, much of Vieques has remained undeveloped. It is a "virgin" island with pristine beaches and a variety of flora and fauna that attract a fair number of tourists.