Solar Shell: The Divine Lorraine Hotel was once a luxury hotel designed for the wealthy elite. In 1948, it was acquired by the Reverend Major J. Divine, who is a 1930’s civil rights leader and founder of the Cooperative Economic Plan. He transformed the Divine Lorraine to a habitat of the poor, and a place to practice his Whole-person approach as a part of the Civil Rights Movement. The project attempts to practice the Whole-person approach in a more autonomous and sustainable way. The businesses before were efficient through ordinary means, making them vulnerable to competition. In order to establish its own critical competitiveness, the project pushes its solar orientation to an extreme. Standing on the south side of the Divine Lorraine Hotel with no high-rise buildings blocking sunlight, the building takes advantage of the energy that is gathered from the sun in order to self-supply the whole project. This act reduces the living expenses significantly. Paradoxically, this efficiency is achieved by the employment of sophisticated and expensive sun-harvesting technology purchased through wealthy donors, expiating their capitalistic exploitation of the environment.

Mass and Void

Looking from the top, the Hotel could be partitioned into 3 blocks, which follow an A-B-A pattern in terms of mass and void. The Project will occupy the next mass, thus the pattern is expanded into A-B-A-B-A.

Alignment and Proportion

With respect to the adjacent Divine Lorraine Hotel, the project has its floors aligned evenly and its overall height higher exactly by the Golden ratio. The two openings on project’s shell are also located according to the façade of the original one.

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