Issuu on Google+

U R BA N PL A NNI N G

ELLIS HEIGHTS REDEVELOPMENT, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE ROCKFORD HOUSING AUTHORITY Nominated for Graduate Award for Design Excellence, University of Illinois School of Architecture, Spring 2013

ELLIS HEIGHTS LANDMARK

REIMAGINING ELLIS HEIGHTS

ROCKFORD’S WEST PLAZA

revitalizes the Ellis Heights neighborhood. It is the heart of the community, a place where residents belong, a destination where visitors want to go.

ELLIS HEIGHTS

PROJECT INFORMATION Academic_ Ellis Heights Redevelopment, Rockford, Illinois, USA Site_ Approx. 2,400,000 ft2 (0.08 acre2)

Chicago Rockford International Airport

CITY OF ROCKFORD

My Role_ Team of 2 students. Collaborated from research to conceptual design through design development

N

This proposal explores the redevelopment of a Midwestern industrial city in the postindustrial age. Using a neighborhood in the City of Rockford, IL, and in collaboration with the Rockford Housing Authority and residents of the Ellis Heights – Fairgrounds Valley neighborhood, the design re-envisions the neighborhood as a physically, socially and economically healthy community developed around green infrastructure and healthy homes concepts.


et

tre

Fairgrounds Valley Affordable Housing

S on Av

Ellis Heights Choice Neighborhood

M

ulb

err

yS

tre

et

Sta

te

Str

ee

t

e

n gde

nu Ave

O

Jef fe

rso

Elm

Fairgrounds Park

tre

et

Str

Elm

eet

Sh

ort

nS

Str

ee

t

Kilburn

Avenue

tre

et

an Stre

et

nu

t es

te S

Sta

et

re

t tS

Horsm

Ch

Downtown Rockford 0 20 50

100

200

N

WEST PLAZA: A PLACE, A DESTINATION Enhance the assets • Transform the railroad tracks • Improve the creek • Introduce a landmark to celebrate community talents Promote healthy living Design four distinctive zones of programs and amenities: • Places to socialize • Places to play • Places to buy and sell • Places to work

Promote Character Distinctive zones with unique characters

Create Continuity A unified image that radiates from the central landmark

Foster Permeability Clear connections between zones and within zones

Support Adaptability Flexible zones within zones to support changes in use over time

Celebrate Diversity A variety of programs and activities for users of diverse backgrounds


BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Mixed-use neighborhood pavilions Community landmark Office and small-scale retail space Expansion of Life Center

ACTIVITY NODES

Civic use and social interaction Recreation facilities Well-lit spaces Visual interest Adaptable design

GREENSCAPE

Widen creek for storm-water management Water efficient landscaping Tree canopy and shaded streets

WALK AND BIKE PATHS

Connected and open community Bicycle network Walkable streets

REDUCED PARKING FOOTPRINT

Street network Bus transit stops Multiple intersections Designated loading docks

MIXED USE ZONES

Infill development Link to surrounding area Neighborhood to downtown progression Genius loci: heart of community

PLANNING COMPONENTS

Based on LEED for Neighborhood Development and Biophilic Cities by Timothy Beatley


KENT CREEK IMPROVEMENT

M

ulb

2

err

yS

tre

et

B’ B

Je ffe rs

1

den

on

eet

Str

Og

Str

ee

A

Landmark and art plaza Median and flower bed Observation bridge Small plaza - gathering space Nature boardwalk with educational displays Promenade and leisure walk

te

Sta Str

A’

ee

3 5 4 6

4

3 3

5 0 20 50

100

200

N

Enhancing community assets is about preserving and restoring the natural habitat, and creating a central vista to celebrate the community’s artistic talents. The landmark is a place to display the artwork created by the residents.

3

6

t

1 2 3 4 5 6

t

4

4

42”tall stone ledge

20’ tall light post

Section A-A’

ENHANCE COMMUNITY ASSETS: OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVING LANDSCAPE

Railroad Track 12’ wide leisure walk

12’ wide buffer zone

30’ wide safety zone

30’ wide safety zone

16’ wide buffer zone

12’ wide leisure walk

Transforming the Railroad Track: by providing 30’ safety zone and enhancing the landscape with greenery and lighting, the train track is a clean and safe place for residents.


MODEL OF LANDMARK AND PLAY ZONE

a

Widen Kent Creek to improve stormwater management

b

Limestone blocks set along the creek edge and form terraces

c

Preserve mature trees, revegetate the ground layer plant, and introduce native species

d

Elevated garden and seating area

e

Concrete pavers at pedestrian crossing through railroad tracks

Arches enable pedestrian to passthrough the landmark

e Steel structure with stretched fabric roof allows light filtration

e

c d

b

d

Capture the central vista in the community

Establish connections

Ecology Park

Art plaques to be attached to steel frame structure

22’ interior roof height

15’ arch opening

d

3’ high stone ledge

Section B-B’ 76’ arch opening

A Sense of Belonging: Each household in Ellis Heights will receive a plaque to create a unique artwork. The plaque will then be displayed on the interior side of the landmark to participate in the community mosaic.

a


MARKET ZONE

8

4

et

tre

1

4

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

M

ulb

5

S on Av

err

yS

tre

et

5

Small plaza - light sculpture garden Large plaza - festival plaza Large plaza - community four seasons garden Indoor market pavilion - open market hall, restrooms, storage Outdoor shaded market Greenhouse Parking lot with permeable surface Street parking

6

2

8 1 D

D’

3

1 Jeffers o

n Stree

t

7

te

St a

200

N

The Market Zone is about providing residents access to fresh produce and community goods. The indoor market and greenhouse pavilions, as well as the outdoor sheltered space encourage use for all seasons. It is also a place to host seasonal festivals and maintain a community garden.

t

100

ee

Str

0 20 50

A Street narrowing at pedestrian crossing with accessible ramp at curb B 12’ wide pedestrian sidewalks and bike paths

D

I B

II

A

C Programmed plazas with moveable or built-in seating and shades along sidewalks

C 66’ 46’

E

D

Extension of colored pavers to neighborhood streets

E

Parking along Mulberry Street to provide convenience for residents

III

Define circulation

Pedestrian Flow

Create zones

Vehicular Traffic

PROMOTE HEALTHY LIVING: PLACES TO BUY AND SELL

I

Market Pavilions

II

Street Frontage - Plaza and Festival Space

III

Parking

Layout program

Large community plaza Small sculptural plaza Indoor programs Outdoor programs with shelter

Determine streetscape


SOCIAL ZONE

C’

t

ree

t nS

o Av

1

C

Small plaza - life-size board games Small plaza - barbeque area Small plaza - outdoor performance space Large plaza - outdoor basketball court Large plaza - outdoor musical fountain Indoor sports pavilion - restrooms, locker rooms, game lounge Indoor music pavilion - stage, seating, restrooms, lounges Indoor storage pavilion - store equipment and supplies

Jeffers o

n Stree

4

6

t

1

Sta

3

te

1

t

5

8

ee

Str

7

Elm t

ee

Str

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1

2

0 20 50

Section C-C’

100

200

N

Jefferson Street two-lane road

Market zone small plaza 12’ sidewalk 16’ transition and bike path zone with accessible curb

20’ one-way traffic

Community landmark plaza

20’ one-way traffic

The Social Zone is about building relationship and network. It is a place to have casual meetings with friends, host family reunions, organize community events, play sports, and have performances.

6’ pedestrian crossing island

PROMOTE HEALTHY LIVING: PLACES TO SOCIALIZE


PLAY ZONE

M

ulb

err

yS

tre

et

Jeffers o

n Stree

t

et

en

Playground with shelter Large plaza - splash fountains Indoor bike rental pavilion - office and storage Indoor pavilion - restrooms and storage Promenade and leisure walk

Ogd

1

te St a

4

Stre

3 2 5

ee

Str

1 2 3 4 5

t

0 20 50

100

200

N

The Play Zone is about providing a safe and fun place for children and families. Children can enjoy a variety of structured and unstructured play activities, such as a sand playground, colorful swings, train playset, and splash fountains while parents can comfortably sit and watch them play.

A One-way road

B I

B Street narrowing at pedestrian crossing with accessible ramp at curb

C D

II

A

F

C 12’ wide pedestrian sidewalks and bike paths D Programmed playground with moveable or built-in seating and shades along sidewalks

Define circulation

Pedestrian Flow

Create zones

Vehicular Traffic

I II

Playground Promenade and leisure walk

Layout program

Large play plaza Playground Indoor programs

PROMOTE HEALTHY LIVING: PLACES TO PLAY

Determine streetscape


PLAY ZONE MODEL

on Av

t

ree

St

8 1

9

6

9

Jef fe

Elm

rso

Str

2

nS

tree

t

t

ee

7

Life Center

8

Two stories, community health services - 7800 ft2 Two stories, community health services - 5000 ft2 Three stories, businesses - 9900 ft2 a Three stories, businesses - 8800 ft2 Two stories, future expansion for the Life Center - 7800 ft2 Parking lot with permeable surface Street parking Green space with native plants Plaza with moveable shades, seating and tables

9

te

Sta Str

8

5

t

3

6

6

treet

Kilburn S

ee

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

D 7 D’

8

6

9

4

4

Notes: a Alternate purpose use as a three-story parking garage

8

8 9 6

et

re

u

tn

0 20 50

100

200

es

N

t tS

Ch

Section D-D’ Two-story office building

12’ sidewalk and bike path 3’ transition with low lighting

10’ street parking

40’ two-way traffic

10’ street parking

12’ sidewalk and bike path

Three-story office building

The Work Zone is about supporting local economic growth and attracting businesses to move closer to Ellis Heights. Office buildings are to be designed for energy efficiency and provide healthy workplace environments. Workers can also easily access the amenities and nature of the WEST PLAZA.

3’ transition with low lighting

PROMOTE HEALTHY LIVING: PLACES TO WORK


PROJECT NARRATIVE

REIMAGINING ELLIS HEIGHTS

ROCKFORD’S WEST PLAZA

revitalizes the Ellis Heights neighborhood. It is the heart of the community, a place where residents belong, a destination where visitors want to go.

The Rockford Choice Neighborhood Initiative focuses on revitalizing, renewing, and bringing respect to the distressed neighborhoods through the implementation of housing and neighborhood improvement plans. The proposal of Rockford’s West Plaza is an opportunity to enhance the presence of Ellis Heights and strengthen its connection with the city. The vision statement from the Ellis Heights Community Workshop informs us that the residents want their neighborhood to be “a nice place to live”, which is “safe, affordable, clean and pleasant.” Our goal is to find ways to help define what a nice neighborhood actually looks like.

RESEARCH AND OBSERVATION

IDENTIFY CHALLENGES

The social, economical and historical contexts of Ellis Heights and Rockford Rockford had a rich history in furniture, metal, and textile manufacturing. The city was also known for indoor amateur sports. The city’s economic advantage and competitiveness have slowly diminished since industry moved away from Rockford. Nevertheless, the residents continued to strive through the recession. New neighborhoods and suburbs expanded towards the north and east and attracted new residents. New recreational facilities and community centers are constructed but they are quite far from Ellis Heights. Despite the growth, the city is still confronting social issues such as racial segregation and discrimination.

The city of Rockford is implementing a plan to widen State Street and Jefferson Street. This new plan allows the vehicular traffic to travel through the city with greater speed. It also creates greater separation in Ellis Heights in the north-south direction. To bring strong connectivity within the neighborhood and establish a neighborhood identity to the city, Ellis Heights needs a “front porch” to slow down the traffic and welcome visitors to the neighborhood.

Residents’ hopes and dreams Ellis Heights is a vibrant community whose characters and talents deserve recognition and respect. Life-long residents informed us that Ellis Heights used to be a very intimate community. It had a small hometown feeling where everyone knew each other. Unfortunately with the economic recession, many residents and businesses moved away. As a result, the neighborhood began to lose the closeness and the trusting relationship among its residents. New residents have not taken an interest in investing in the community. The residents of Ellis Heights want to bring positivity back. They want changes that offer them a healthy lifestyle and more integration with the city. They want to take control of their own living environment. They want to celebrate and showcase their unique characteristics and artistic talents. They have hopes for a better future. Physical Environment State Street is one of the busiest roads in Rockford, which extends from the west side through Ellis Heights neighborhood to the downtown, and then continues to the east side of the city. The condition of the physical environment along State Street differ significantly between the east and west side of the Rock River.

URBAN IDENTITY Theorists such as Kevin Lynch, Jane Jacobs, Oscar Newman, and William Whyte provided guiding principles in designing urban spaces and plazas. Several critical components of urban design include: 1 Streets - bring life to the city, encouraging activities and social interaction occur 2 Safety - define clear territory and providing natural surveillance 3 Interconnectivity - provide strong connection among paths, edges, nodes, landmarks, and districts in the city 4 Image - create unique civic identity 5 Blocks - plan small blocks with diverse function

According to Urban Identity: Learning from Place, an identity of a place is defined by the collective vision and the behavior of the community. The quality of built environment and the character of street life enhance the sense of belonging. From our observation and research, Ellis Heights has various opportunities to reflect its characters. The location we identified to enhance the neighborhood identity is the underutilized land along State and Jefferson Streets, between Ellis Heights and downtown Rockford. Neighborhood identity is essentially a “front porch” of the city, which is welcoming and showcases the personalities of the residents.


Portfolio rockford