â€œDesign is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.â€œ
- Steve Jobs
table of contents design studios
+ project 1: urban design - anacostia riverfront initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01
[4th year] + project 2: urban design
- viale di trastevere transportation corridor . . . . . . . . 05 + project 3: rural design - taylor colliery redevelopment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 09
[5th year] + project 4: rural design
- luzerne county farmers market & town reclaimation . . . 13 + project 5: suburban design - methodist home for children urban agriculture . . . . . . 19
project 1 anacostia riverfront initiative [location]: Anacostia, Washington D.C. [semester]: Spring 2009 third year [professor(s)]: Tim Baird, Associate Professor Stuart Echols, Associate Professor Barry Kew, Assistant Professor [issue]: Located along the Anacostia river is a brownfield site which borders a low-income portion of the city. Members of the surrounding community do not have many escapes from their declining conditions, which causes them to fall victim to their surroundings. Along with this is the need for more living affordable living conditions which are within close proximity to fundamental amenities. [solution]: My solution to this issue was to revitalize the brownfield by transforming it into a useful community center. Throughout the community, there would be affordable mixed-use living with a slew of different facilities that could be used for community cohesion as well as a segue from the life of crime most young people fell into. Along with this, would be a systematic planting plan which would strive to remediate the soil composition and overtime turn into a city-wide greening plan that would offer tax discounts to those who participated in the remediation effort for inner city soils.
project 2 viale di trastevere transportation corridor [location]: Rome, Italy [semester]: Fall 2009 fourth year [professor(s)]: Luca Peralta, Assistant Professor [issue]: Within the downtown center of Rome lies a transportation corridor known as Viale di Trastevere. This corridor is home to a congestion of automobile, tram, and pedestrian traffic as it provides a direct connection from the inner city to the area of Trastevere. This corridor is prone to not only congestion, but accidents due to the overabundance of different transportation systems. Each student was given a small common area along the corridor to examine further and create a connection to Viale di Trastevere. [solution]: The solution that was created sought to blend the various modes into a heterogeneous synthesis. One that would slow down the vehicular traffic by diverting it from the main corridor and implementing a tram and pedestrian-only venue. Along with this, the design promotes a connection of smaller green spaces throughout the city that branch off of the common area assigned to me. The connections mimic a molecular type connection with each green space being connected by a pedestrian corridor.
project 3 taylor colliery redevelopment [location]: Taylor, Pennsylvania [semester]: Spring 2010 fourth year [professor(s)]: Neil Korostoff, Associate Professor [issue]: In the heart of Taylor Borough lies an Anthracite mine which was once home to over 700 jobs supporting the surrounding areaâ€™s economy. For about 40 years now, the 150-acre mine has sat dormant creating a variety of ecological issues such as acid mine drainage. Along with the environmental dangers lies the problems related to trespassing in the abandoned mine lands and the several abandoned buildings on site. [solution]: The solution that I chose to implement incorporated a montage of different functions. The design institutes a very strong community center surrounded by a variety of housing options including; apartments, condominiums, town homes, and single family houses. Within the community center is an abundance of shopping opportunities which helps to boost the struggling economy of the area. Another concern that was addressed was the idea of senior citizens of the area aging in place. With that in mind, a senior citizens home and health facility was incorporated. In order to connect with the mining past, the dilapidated main building was converted into a museum.
project 4 luzerne county farmers market [location]: Conyngham, Pennsylvania [semester]: Fall 2010 fifth year [professor(s)]: Barry Kew, Assistant Professor [issue]: The county of Luzerne has always had a strong agrarian identity. However with the incline in property taxes and decline in interest of locally grown produce, many large farms in the area were being parceled out and large portions were sold off. These parcels became developed as large housing developments which had little to no identity within the county and created a sense of gentrification within Luzerne. [solution]: The design that I developed, focused on creating a strong community meeting area which served as a multipurpose space to a farmers market, outdoor movie theater, and community greenhouse. It keyed in on branding the local produce in Luzerne County in an effort to open more doors to the idea of buying local. In conjunction with the community center, the design focused on repairing the idea of the traditional neighborhood through transit oriented design. This created assemblages of living options which followed the patterns of the existing community that were within walking distance from mixed-use store fronts and the outdoor market space.
project 5 methodist home for children urban agriculture [location]: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [semester]: Spring 2011 fifth year [professor(s)]: Tim Baird, Associate Professor [issue]: My last studio as an undergraduate focused on a home for battered and homeless women within the city of Philadelphia. The home, previously an orphanage since the 1950â€™s, transformed from a children campus to a safe haven for both women and children. The home supplies living quarters, food, and protection for the women and their children. However, with the city of Philadelphia raising their electric and water management bills along with the rise in food costs and economic crisis, the Methodist home was looking to start becoming a more self-sufficient entity. [solution]: Due to the monetary strain on the home, my solution included a variety of moneysaving alternatives to the functionality of the campus. First, was the idea of a community farm for the home to provide food for the women, and a pot-in-pot tree nursery which would generate revenue for the organization and give the women job opportunities. Along with this were ways recycle water runoff for farming purposes and cut down on water treatment bills, as well as green roof systems, wind energy and solar energy systems. These were to power the campus and cut down on the inevitable increase in Philadelphia utility charges.
gary westlake 2290 st. peters rd. pottstown, pa 19465 610.329.1971 email@example.com