The Corsair project uses storytelling as a tool for architectural place making and community building. Storytelling that celebrates the history, geography, and culture of a particular place and speaks to what it can become. At a time when so much of the built environment is placeless and faceless, celebrating the history of a place adds authenticity and provides continuity with the past.
During World War II, propellers for the Corsair aircraft that helped turn the tide in the Pacific were manufactured at this location, the workforce was primarily female, and their heroic story is memorialized there.
The Corsair story provided a common thread that tied the place together. The integration of the architecture into the urban fabric of the street, and the referencing of the local brick industrial mill building typology helped to make the building both fit in, and stand out. Within the community space at Corsair we developed a wide range of environments to house a variety of activities.
The Recylcling of the historic industrial materials and artifacts from an earlier age endows Corsair with spirit, and provides authenticity to the experience of living there. The attention to brand related details, like the displaying old bottles that were found during the excavation, and the preservation of cast stone panels that adorned the prior building on the site, layer additional meaning into the place making, and sent out strong messages to residents, or future residents that this is a caring community, and a great place to live.