Pillows Over Pools: Cooperative Housing For Gourmet Rest
Harvard Graduate School of Design 
Cambridge, 2023
Instructor: Jenny French 
Collaborator: Ian Erickson 

The quality of our sleep and our relationship to the activity has fundamentally changed during modernization, however, the biological imperative to sleep remains. The rest and restoration of both the bodies and the buildings of an under-utilized office block in Chelsea, Massachussetts is the guiding concept for this energy cooperative housing project: c ooperative housing for gourment rest. In pursuing an architecture of rest, we rethink how human bodies rest together in both new and old ways, reviving pre-modern forms of sleep and their attendant architectures and creature comforts alongside some new ones as well. Similarly, we seek to rethink the comfort of buildings themselves, looking towards the idea of building scale blankets, or “bed clothes for the building” that propose to swaddle structures with soft layers of insulation against the exterior climate, eliminating the need for mechanical conditioning and letting the buildings themselves drift off to sleep.

We looked towards the site to see what existing conditions might get in our way, mapping the enemies of rest in the area: the big box mattress store, single family homes, hospitals and laundromats. Taking inspiration from Thomas Sheppey’s Book of Choice Recipies, a medical document from 1675 that wrote out recipes of sleep as antidotes for various ailments from insomnia to gout. So we, too, write a series of recipes to combat our enemies. We collect these antidotes and salves for a tired world in a menu of recipes for gourmet rest:

- Big Bed
- Parking Bed
- Continous Bed
- Cabinet Bed
- Diurnal Bed
- Building Sleep

Additionally, a laundry coop is inserted on the ground floor as the secondary commercial co-op to service our architecture of beds and textiles. The long history of laundry co-op as the largest, oldest, most commercially viable co-ops positions laundry as a kind of anchor tenant upon which other commerical programs rest.