The Oasis Community Facility

Oasis came first from seeing a news story among many of starving people in Africa or some such place when I was around nine or ten.  I didn't know what I was seeing other than throngs of people walking across parched and barren land.  And my crusade was born... Land!  Why, I would build a town, a city in fact. Small complexes in rows across a half a mile of land. What a place I could see. No roads, odd sized lots and hills to get in the way.  Greenhouses and apartments for all the people.  Why scar the land with dotted homes and those shacks they were using. Real rooms for each person, work and food for everyone.  Schools and farms self-contained and available to all those people. Wow, the possibilities...

Oasis has had many incarnations over the years, been huge and small, but has finally come clearly to mind. A moderate sized complex, a community within a single building, and housing for quite a few people.  Granted, it may change somewhat in the real world, but I doubt it will change much.

So let me describe a little of what you are about to see.  The structure itself is three hundred and thirty feet from front to back and one hundred feet wide.  Plus what landscaping space the residents include (I image a patio that runs the width of the building, 100 feet, and comes out about fifty feet away from the facility, with a lovely sculpture or fountain that acts as a welcome to residents and visitors). The front of the facility has a lobby, fifty feet across, twenty five feet high, and thirty five feet deep.  It is well lit and sparsely furnished, with a high ceiling to make the transition from the outside a little easier.

There should be a reception area for visitors to get assistance. And beyond, a small mall of shops and services for the visitors and residents alike. The mall can be very different from one facility to the next, though the measurements will be the same: One hundred feet by one hundred feet, with twelve foot ceilings. There can be very different things from one facility to the next, perhaps a large farmer's market in one, where another may have many health and beauty stands, and yet another a focus on literature and art. Whatever unique or interesting production, or environment the facility is using as a base.  But we'll talk about that in a moment.

Upstairs, above this "lobby mall" as I have referred to it, is the residential area: three floors of apartments for singles, couples, and families.  Each of the three floors has ten apartments available. They are twenty feet across by forty-five feet deep.  Each has a small kitchen, living room, bath room, and sleeping space, though each section can be designed for whoever would be using it.  I envision couples on one floor, singles another, and families another, and all ten apartments on each floor would be designed alike. For singles, two small bedrooms would suffice to let two residents share living space. For couples, a large private room, with perhaps a tiny extra bed for visitors. And for families, two bedrooms, one for adults, and one for kids.  I have specific floor plan designs for each of those, though I've only shown the singles flat here.

At the back of the facility, the bulk of the space, a hundred feet wide, two levels each, twenty five feet high, and two hundred feet deep, is the main part of the facility.  This is the life and sustenance of the facility.  In one scenario you could have a single facility built in a desert, away from towns or cities.  A commune on it's own.  One of the floors of the main facility could be devoted to farming.  Small agricultural crops planted of many varieties could help to feed the community while on the other level, a product or service could be provided for selling to other communities and within this one, generating income for the facility.

For a single facility in the middle of nowhere, with few things outside, such as in desert area, far from a town, it may seem a little oasis.  And there are many possibilities for what could be done as a main focus.  Perhaps a retirement community, or a recovery facility to help people in transition (i.e. homeless or handicapped people trained and cared for until they are ready to take on roles out in society), or perhaps a teaching facility for students to learn a specific trade, gaining experience, and being able to live, without struggling to make ends meet.

Or another scenario, an entire city of these facilities, each one having it's own particular function or specialty, interconnected simply by proximity, each utilizing each others resources as well as their own.  One a greenhouse, another a school, one an office complex handling many different businesses and services, another maybe a zoo... There are a hundred possibilities.  The area would not be congested and the view spoiled by irregular views and odd sized structures that clash with the landscape. An almost futuristic image in my mind.

Again, this is only one of the cities I envision. I hope you will look on to view the sketches of what I've described.  Enjoy.

Front top view of the Community Facility

Artistic rendering of the Front/main entry as it would appear.  The fountain in front is a beautiful addition to contrast against the stark symmetry of the structure.

Other such facilities could easily be placed in 
close proximity to make a wonderful community, where, although each one would be self-regulated, they each would have something to offer each other.  Children and spouses could have friends, jobs, etc. in one or more of the neighboring communes, yet live in whichever one had the accommodations available at the time they come to it. 

Information about the facilities features and uses in regards to design specifications:

Property needs:
Because the dimensions of the overall structure are 350 feet long by 100 feet wide, it must be placed on a lot that is at least 500 feet by 200 feet minimum, though it is preferable to be 500 by 500 feet to allow for the view and sunlight.

Proposed usage:
This facility is designed with the intention to house up to 75 people maximum within 30 available apartments in the front of the structure, and have a small mall of services and shops for those residents to use and work in within a 100 x 100 feet space.  As well as the two levels that make up the majority of the facility for specialized areas such as gardens, manufacturing, etc.

Each one of these facilities would specialize in a particular production area.

   Interior: Entry Foyer

Twenty five feet high main production area (this one showed with vines, apple and pear trees).

Interior view of main section of structure (lower or upper level may contain different interior setup).  Though, each facility has to choose which production they want to engage in (i.e. vegetation, animals, production, etc.) to be the major field of study or production.

Apartments available for singles to share, for a married couple, or a family.  Each apartment is arranged and designed for different needs.  (Shown is a shared "Singles Room".  For two unrelated persons to share a common living space.)  Because the designer is planning for an environment suited to her imagined facility, she imagines that this particular facility would be largely of interest to young people trying to gain experience in their chosen career, in lieu of  going to college, more or less they would come to apprentice in a field of study, get hands on training and something for their resume ... The apartment would be on an intern arrangement,  food and housing free for 40 hours a week labor within the facility as apprentices and 20 hours a week in a communal service/facility arrangement (i.e. working in one of the shops or for the facility itself): uniforms and services provided to them as well as rent included as part of the agreement they would sign upon entering.

This is not just a facility to the designer, but an alternative life.  Residents running in a communal way their own town within the perimeter of the facility.  Yet, maintaining a level of privacy, and the option to leave, should the time come, without penalty or loss.

Lower  level mall community services and shops:  Laundry and tailoring, post office, diner/restaurant, coffee shop, shoes, beauty salon, etc.  Services provided by residents for residents ... Stairs and elevators in the center of the "lobby mall" for access to the upper level housing/apartment area.

The lobby mall area is 100 x 100 Ft with 12 1/2 foot high ceilings.

Thia's World Introduction

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