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COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY Renewing Neighborhoods by RECREATING the VOID

Emma A. Hoppstock Advisor | Professor Cordula Roser-Gray


THESIS DOCUMENT Essay ....................................................................................................................................................................... Annotated Bibliography

5-13

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14-22

Precedent as Inspiration

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23-26

Precedent as Strategy

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27-31

Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................................

32

Scales

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT & THESIS QUESTION

CASE STUDIES

SITE .......................................................................................................................................................

Shrinking Cities

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36-37

City of Detroit

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38-45

Corktown Neighborhood

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46-53

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54-58

Project Description .......................................................................................................................................

59

Project Site

PROGRAM Existing & New Program

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60-61

Programmatic Precedents

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62-65

Site Strategy .......................................................................................................................................................

66-67

Program Diagram & Building Components ....................................................................................

68-69

Site & Floor Plans ..........................................................................................................................................

70-71

Final Documentation ......................................................................................................................................

72-75

PROCESS

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Not so long ago cities were viewed as expanding entities, centers for economic growth, social and cultural exchange, and industry. Shrinkage was a strange anomaly. Today economic hardship, shifting industry, suburbanization, and natural disasters have caused the many world cities to shrink. This leaves cities battling the effects of abandonment. Centers that were once thriving and expanding suddenly find themselves with more planned, built area than there is demand for. The resulting pockets of abandonment create borders with the non-abandoned, which often help spread the effects of abandonment and further shrink the occupied city.

ABSTRACT & THESIS QUESTION

ABSTRACT

In many cities vacancy and abandonment are not universal block to block. Vacancy can range from blocks and neighborhoods with a small rando assortment of remained built or occupied form to total abandonment. Without a major shift in city policy and economic situation it is hard to justify repopulating these vacancies with new built form. So how can these vacant conditions be rethought and celebrated to redefine their surrounding neighborhoods and cities? The city of Detroit is, perhaps, America’s defining example of a shrinking city. The Motor City has become known for its vacant lots and “urban prairie”. An abandoned block in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood once housed historic Tiger Stadium and acted as a heart and point of pride for its surrounding community and city. By embracing this collective spirit the site can now be reimagined to contribute to and improve both Corktown and the city of Detroit as a whole. Community garden plots, carbon forestry, and public green space create a sustainable framework on the site. Outdoor market spaces, storefronts, a community rec center, and a small business incubator fit into the framework and help create a site devoted to studying, teaching, and creating new innovative strategies for bettering the neighborhood, the city and its residents.

THESIS QUESTION How can built form and the surrounding landscape be used together to activate and redefine voids and urban space?

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At one time it would have been hard to think of a city as a shrinking entity. Cities were centers of economic growth and industry: job havens, and therefore places of great social and cultural exchange. Density was forever growing as people flocked to cities to pursue job opportunities and a better quality of life. In recent decades, however, factors such

THESIS DOCUMENT

URBAN DECLINE & SHRINKING CITIES: THE CURRENT CONDITION

as suburbanization, white flight, shifting industry, and economic downturn have reversed the trend of urban growth. Cities that were once active centers of growth suddenly find themselves bleeding population and resources and UN research has found “that for every two cities that are growing, three are shrinking.”1 As shrinking cities have become a broad global issue worldwide studies have attempted to study the decline and search for solutions. One such project, Shrinking Cities, has found that “more than 450 cities with populations above 100,000 have lost 10 percent or more of their populations since 1950, including 59 in the United States alone.”2 These studies offer fascinating data and call attention to the phenomenon of urban decline. There are countless policy and industry issues that need to be addressed to stem the issues of population and economic losses, but what else can be done to stop the bleeding and make these cities viable again? As population and industry have fled cities have been left with more built space than is needed to meet demand.3 The vacancy left by this abandonment is one of the greatest problems and possibilities of shrinking cities. Borders and boundaries are created by the relationships between occupied built form and abandoned and vacant surroundings. The over abundance of vacant space amplifies the effects of prior infrastructure planning such as highway placement to divide neighborhoods and often encourage further population and economic flight. These borders and boundaries need to be bridged and activated by the integration of program between the built form and it’s vacant surroundings. Vacant voids and abandonment can then become valuable contributors to their neighbors rather than frightening and detracting edges. 1 Kate Stohr, “Shrinking City Syndrome,” New York Times, February 5, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/05/garden/shrinking-citysyndrome.html. (accessed September 16, 2012). 2 Stohr, “Shrinking City Syndrome,” New York Times. 3 Terry Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, ed. Alan Mallach (n.p.: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012), 167-83, http://americanassembly.org/sites/americanassembly.org/files/download/project/Chapter%20Six%20-%20Rethinking%20the%20 Places%20Inbetween.pdf (accessed October 19, 2012)

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THE BORDERS OF VOID AND VACANCY Jane Jacobs, the great urban writer and activist, addressed the issue of borders in her book The Life and Death of Great American Cities. She presents the idea of massive single use entities and infrastructure as creators of borders and boundaries in the urban fabric. These borders, however, are often much more than a passive object and actively exert influence, often destructively, on their neighbors.4 These ideas can be applied to the infrastructure and abandoned lots and buildings in shrinking cities. Borders are created between the built and the unbuilt and the occupied and the unoccupied. These borders serve as boundaries of voids and vacancy and inhibit any adjoining program. Jacobs uses railroad tracks as an example of this phenomenon. Railroad tracks, whether in use or abandoned, form a border condition amongst their surroundings and the areas directly adjacent to these edges. With the exception of program directly related to the tracks themselves, these areas rarely thrive.5 The same concept can be applied to any collection of vacant lots and buildings. These areas are seen as dead ends and a lack of program or use is seen as an attractor of trouble. As Jacobs would describe it, the more simplified the territory becomes programmatically, the more infertile the territory becomes, creating a vacuum of dead space radiating from the territory borders.6 Abandoned homes and factories or lots that have been abandoned by built form lack program completely, let alone a single program use. As these spaces are allowed to decay, the borders that are created between vacant and occupied neighbor become amplified. The lack of specified program and guardianship over vacant spaces encourages a reputation for crime and danger that encourages remaining population and industry to move to new areas thus expanding the borders of abandonment. Abandonment, vacancy and their borders can easily be viewed as voids in urban density. Viewing these elements as voids allows one to compare them with planned voids and hopefully to better understand them. The Plan Magazine presents this idea using the examples of Milan, Italy and Detroit, Michigan. Two historically important centers that seem to offer more opposites than similarities, but still allow for an interesting comparison. In Milan voids have been “expressly created” and in Detroit voids are “the result of decline”. As stated in the article, “In one voids 4 Jane Jacobs, “The Curse of Border Vacuums,” in The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961), 257-69. 5 Jacobs, “The Curse of Border Vacuums,” in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 257-69.

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6 Jacobs, “The Curse of Border Vacuums,” in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 257-69.


defined.”7 Many important historic cities, especially in Italy, have celebrated the void as valuable public space. Italian piazzas, for example, offer a break from the dense urban fabric and a gathering point for city and neighborhood inhabitants. In shrinking cities, however, the voids do not have the luxury of being planned breaks in surrounding density. Voids in shrinking cities are created by unknown and unpredictable vacancy, and in most cities are much greater in

THESIS DOCUMENT

are defined by the surrounding density, in the other the empty spaces neither define nor are

scale than any planned void would ever be. So how can the urban experience be redefined in a hollowed out city?8 As shown in successful Italian piazzas from Piazza Navona to the Trevi Fountain, voids need not always be feared or filled. There is more value to be gained in discovering a valuable relationship between built and vacant. Looking to the past and embracing the value of the void can help cities plan their vacant spaces in relationship to the remaining city in a way that offers flexibility for future building and fulfills the needs of a smaller population.

ADDRESSING ABANDONMENT AND REIMAGINING THE VACANT As so many of the world’s cities battle the effects of decline many studies and proposals have been put forth that attempt to address the issues of abandonment. Design competitions and research projects such as the Shrinking Cities Project challenge designers, architects, artists, journalists, and others to come up with innovative solutions to current problems in urban planning and policy in cities from East Germany to the US.9 Terry Schwarz presents the idea that “a smaller, greener city provides useful rhetoric for older industrial cities, providing a way to frame the issue of population decline and urban vacancy in positive terms.”10 This challenge has no easy answer, but offers cities a chance to rethink their own identities. The traditional approach has been to bulldoze eroded neighborhoods, creating urban prairies and allowing for the chance to start from scratch.11 Yet demolition projects merely address issues of decay and do not actually re-imagine new uses for the voids left behind. Different cities have come up with various different solutions for addressing surpluses of vacant land. The “Wall it up and 7 The Plan, Milan - Detroit: Multifaceted Issues for the Contemporary Metropolis, December 2010, pageNr., http://www. theplan.it/J/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1338:milano-detroit-una-molteplicita-di-temi-per-la-metropolicontemporanea&lang=en&Itemid= (accessed November 17, 2012). 8 The Plan, Milan - Detroit: Multifaceted Issues for the Contemporary Metropolis, December 2010. 9 Stohr, “Shrinking City Syndrome,” New York Times. 10 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 167-69. 11 Stohr, “Shrinking City Syndrome,” New York Times.

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take a breath” concept created by Peter Alt and Letzelfreivogol Architekten for Linz, Austria addresses vacant conditions by building solid, masonry walls, nine meters high around vacant and abandoned sites.12 This idea is one way of addressing the borders of vacant conditions and loss of density by eliminating the void for the user. Some American Movements such as the “Re-imaging A More Sustainable Cleveland” initiative address the liabilities of vacant and abandoned conditions with innovation and nontraditional uses. Gathering land into a land bank the city then applied various different strategies to their proposal. “Holding strategies” can be applied to areas where development is most likely to occur. These strategies involve low cost, low maintenance greening techniques that produce a more positive stable image for the neighborhood.13 Creating low cost community parks and gardens allows neighbors to be more invested in the void and allows the void to work with its surroundings to improve the neighborhood rather than create liabilities. Another strategy involves Green infrastructure. Green infrastructure provides urban wetlands, waterways, and ways of dealing with storm water run off or carbon emissions that recreate a more sustainable ecosystem.14 Finally, the Cleveland initiative proposes the idea of productive landscapes such as urban farms and community gardens that could increase community involvement as well as provide an economic return. Urban agriculture can be supported by greenhouse operations, community kitchens, food processing facilities, and bio-digester fuel and recycling plants to further increase economic and energy production.15 These vacant lot strategies can be combined with art, culture, and museum projects that hope to reinvigorate and redefine what was once a manufacturing city. Cleveland’s strategies for vacant lots can only become effective when guided by an overarching goal. Terry Schwarz proposes three different spatial models for shrinking cities dealing with an ever-increasing void in city fabric. The consolidation model allows a shrinking city to “push (or coax) remaining residents into the most intact and viable parts of a city.”16 This strategy adds density to viable neighborhoods of the city while returning the rest of the 12 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 169-70. 13 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 170. 14 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 170-71. 15 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 170-71.

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16 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 171-873.


from their homes truly going to result in the re-densification of other city neighborhoods or just encourage further suburbanization? Another strategy is that of dispersion. The dispersion model consolidates lots rather than whole neighborhoods. Adjacent property owners are allowed to “take ownership of surplus land, increasing lot sizes, and reducing density,” while “small-scale green spaces, community gardens, and other vacant land interventions further reduce the overall

THESIS DOCUMENT

urban fabric to nature. While this concept presents a logical design solution, is forcing people

density of neighborhoods in response to emerging and evolving patterns of vacancy.”17 This concept allows the community to take a hands on approach to preserving their neighborhood and redefines density rather than eliminating or moving it. Perhaps the best strategy, however, is a hybrid approach combining the concepts of consolidation and dispersion. This approach “delineates certain areas of a city for consolidation while allowing others to evolve through the process of dispersion.18 This strategy allows more care to be taken in selecting which neighborhoods are viable for dispersion but not deserving of elimination by consolidation. A hybrid combination of new program, community involvement, and de-urbanization of some neighborhoods, while consolidating those that are on their last leg and returning them to nature allows a city to create a new identity and more sustainable density. This approach would redefine borders, activating the boundaries between livable city neighbors and redrawing the border of the city edge.

THE DECLINE OF DETROIT Perhaps more than any other American city, Detroit has become the case study of a shrinking city. Once the fourth largest city in the country, Detroit brought the world the automobile and was a world center for industrial production and innovation. Following a population peak of almost 2 million in 1950 the city has since experienced a free fall in population with a loss of 25 percent in the last decade alone. Detroit is now “the only city in the United States where the population has climbed above one million but also fallen below one million.”19 Suburbanization and the fall of the auto industry are major contributors to the population decline of one of 17 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 173-74. 18 Schwarz, “Rethinking the Places In Between: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse,” in Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, 174. 19 Katharine Seelye “Detroit Census Confirms a Desertion Like No Other,” New York Times, March 22, 2011. http://www.nytimes. com/2011/03/23/us/23detroit.html?_r=0 (accessed November 19, 2012).

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America’s great cities, and this population decline has itself led to loss of a great deal of urban density. A lack of residents would seem to empty the city enough but “with more than 20 percent of lots in the 139-square-mile city vacant” city officials have been left to deal with the consequences of blight and abandonment by demolishing nearly 10,000 empty residential buildings.”20 Despite these losses, however, Detroit remains the busiest border crossing in the United States. This high volume of Canadian-American trade, and a slowly rebuilding auto industry has allowed the city to maintain relevance.21 This designation as a border city seems even more appropriate when considering the borders of vacancy and abandonment that the city faces. Jerry Herron writes about the role of borders in the city in his article Borderland/ Borderama/Detroit, citing not only Detroit’s relevance as an international trade crossing but also that the city “sits precisely at the border of city and not-city; its condition renders the conflict between the natural world and the built environment in a specially forceful way.”22 Mayor David Bing’s push to demolish vacant structures in the city only amplifies these borders between nature and built form and if continued could leave a vast ring of empty land between the condensed city core and outlying suburbs. Rebecca Solnit describes the current condition of the city well in an article in Harper’s Magazine: “This continent has not seen a transformation like Detroit’s since the last days of the Maya. The City, once the fourth largest in the country, is now so depopulated that some stretches resemble the outlying farmland and others are altogether wild…. Between the half erased neighborhoods are ruined factories, boarded up warehouses, rows of storefronts bearing the traces of failed enterprise, and occasional solid blocks of new townhouses that look as thought they had been dropped in by helicopter.”23 These conditions offer no easy solutions and as described in Plan Magazine “urban design is not enough to solve the huge and serious problems of an imploded city.”24 So how can innovative 20 Seelye “Detroit Census Confirms a Desertion Like No Other,” New York Times. 21 Herron, “Borderland/Borderama/Detroit,” Places (July 6, 2010): page nr., http://places.designobserver.com/feature/borderlandborderama-detroit-part-1/13778/ (accessed October 10, 2012). 22 Herron, “Borderland/Borderama/Detroit,” Places (July 6, 2010). 23 Rebecca Solnit, “Detroit Arcadia: Exploring the Post-American Landscape,” Harper’s Magazine, July 2007, pageNr., http://harpers.org/archive/2007/07/detroit-arcadia/ (accessed November 19, 2012).

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24 The Plan, Milan - Detroit: Multifaceted Issues for the Contemporary Metropolis, December 2010.


more important to find a new identity than to resurrect the past and risk further destruction. Of course, as one of the world’s most famous case studies for urban decline, there have been countless studies and proposals studying what can be done with Detroit’s vacant land conditions. Projects ranging from the Shrinking Cities project to Detroit Works have offered possible solutions for the cities’ widespread vacancy. Detroit Works in particular has provided a

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techniques be used to “[redefine] the urban experience in a hollowed out city?”25 It has become

two-year study into how the city can turn its rotting factories, abandoned houses, and dozens of square miles of vacant land into assets. Long-term solutions include urban farming, reforestation, “blue-green” infrastructure, and recreation and live-work spaces.26 Important in this process has been the “belief in a new urban culture shown by citizens themselves and their willingness to take an increasingly decisive role in their city’s destiny.”27 The determination shown by city residents offers hope for the city as a whole and highlights “the need to improve everyday living conditions for Detroit residents.”28 With enthusiastic community involvement, however, there rises a much greater ability to improve life in the city in a way that is truly beneficial to those who live there. This combination will blend well with community projects such as the Heidelberg Project, the Spirit Garden, and the Farnsworth Community. All are projects that hope to improve their neighborhoods with community initiatives, art, and green space. The Heidelberg Project uses art to clean up neighborhood vacancy and “integrate streets, sidewalks, and vegetation into an urban art landscape.”29 Likewise the Spirit Garden attempts to use the concepts of handson art and landscape to address and activate vacancy in the Brightmoor neighborhood.30 The Farnsworth Community focuses less on art and more on sustainable living by using community gardens to “provide produce for local health food stores and restaurants.”31 These are just three projects that highlight the neighborhood initiatives Detroit residents have chosen to implement in saving their city. The countless other small scale projects combined with the greater efforts of projects like Detroit Works offer a sense of hope that if the city cannot return to it’s former

25 The Plan, Milan - Detroit: Multifaceted Issues for the Contemporary Metropolis, December 2010. 26 John Gallagher, “Detroit Works Project to Offer Vision for City: Turn Liabilities Into Assets,” Detroit Free Press, August 5, 2012. http://www.freep.com/article/20120805/BUSINESS06/308050048/Detroit-Works-project-to-offer-vision-for-city-Turn-liabilities-intoassets (accessed November 13, 2012). 27 The Plan, Milan - Detroit: Multifaceted Issues for the Contemporary Metropolis, December 2010. 28 Gallagher, “Detroit Works Project to Offer Vision for City: Turn Liabilities Into Assets,” Detroit Free Press, August 5, 2012. 29 Dan Pitera, “Detroit: Syncopating an Urban Landscape,” Places, July 13, 2010, pageNr., http://places.designobserver.com/feature/detroit-syncopating-an-urban-landscape/14288/ (accessed September 20, 2012). 30 Pitera, “Detroit: Syncopating an Urban Landscape,” Places, July 13, 2010. 31 Pitera, “Detroit: Syncopating an Urban Landscape,” Places, July 13, 2010.

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glory it can still contribute to sustainable innovation and remain intact for those who believe in the city and wish to stay.

RESTITCHING THE NEIGHBORHOOD Corktown is Detroit’s most historic neighborhood and is a wonderful example of how neighborhood spirit can begin to pick up the pieces and address some of the issues of decline. The neighborhood, founded by Irish farmers from the County Cork in the 1800s, is adjacent to the downtown city core and full of historic charm.32 But even these factors weren’t enough to save the neighborhood from the decline seen in the rest of the city. Economic decline and suburban flight have caused the loss of many neighborhood residents and the construction of the I-75 freeway has divided the neighborhood just as the construction of the John C Lodge freeway has divided both neighborhood halves from the city core. Urban renewal projects also demolished sections of the neighborhood to make way for light industrial parks while the rise of cars led to the abandonment of the neighborhoods rail stations, most famously Michigan Central Station.33 Some of the neighborhood’s historic charm and being the home of the city’s Detroit Tigers and Tiger Stadium were able to save the southern portion from total destruction, as North Corktown suffered steady population decline after being severed by the freeway. When the Tigers departed the neighborhood to move to Comerica Park downtown many would have thought that the neighborhood would meet the same fate of near total abandonment as many of it’s neighbors.34 In the past decade, however, the neighborhood has begun to see seeds of growth. Despite the demolishing of Tiger Stadium, long viewed as one of the neighborhood’s central heartbeats, small businesses and restaurants have begun to thrive along the area’s main drag, Michigan Avenue. This core attracts the downtown office and neighboring casino workers during the day and transitions to a destination for entertainment and pub hopping at night.35 Meanwhile, historic homes have been restored or rebuilt as new residents have moved into the 32 Matthew Dolan, “Detroit’s Corktown Stages Comeback,” Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2012. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1 0001424052970204005004578080990826209414.html (accessed October 30, 2012). 33 “Detroit’s Corktown,” Faded Detroit, http://fadeddetroit.blogspot.com/2008/01/detroits-corktown.html (accessed November 19, 2012). 34 Matthew Dolan, “Detroit’s Corktown Stages Comeback,” Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2012. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB 10001424052970204005004578080990826209414.html (accessed October 30, 2012).

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35 Ramsey, Clare. “Corktown Visiting Guide.” Model D. http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/corkvisit.aspx (accessed October 30, 2012).


and business owners have taken a great deal of care in their neighborhood and have taken strides to improve it with initiatives such as the Roosevelt Park Project. This project hopes to create a public park and Skate Park at the foot of abandoned Michigan Central Station and in doing so remember its past ruin while looking towards a brighter future.37 Meanwhile, North Corktown has seen a slower path to renewal. Community gardens and urban farming have taken

THESIS DOCUMENT

area hoping to take advantage of its charm and potential.36 These engaged community members

hold in the more vacant and abandoned section of the neighborhood north of the freeway. Hostel Detroit has also moved into the area offering educational opportunities and drawing in visitors.38 Public art projects and local university efforts such as an urban mini-golf course have also helped to reinvigorate the neighborhood.39 These signs of life give hope to the future of the neighborhood and the city but they do not erase the scars left by decline. I-75 still divides the neighborhood and numerous vacant lots create sad reminders of what used to be. The empty corner that was the former home of the old stadium stands as a stark border between the hopeful vibrancy of surrounding businesses and the voids left by abandonment and demolishment. Community efforts and architectural design can be used to help restitch the severed pieces of this historic neighborhood. Creating pedestrian thoroughfares, and greenways can bridge the two halves of the neighborhood and reconnect the residents, hostel, and farming projects to the north with the residents, restaurants and businesses to the south. Rethinking the border conditions between these existing buildings and the ground plane can help fade the current borders of occupied and abandoned. Applying this same partnership of building and void to create a new community and recreation center and park can recall the history of sport at the site of Old Tiger Stadium while helping the neighborhood to celebrate it’s voids and look to the future. Viewing design as a duet between built form and the ground plane allows the horizontal to be redefined and repopulated to support the thriving aspects of the neighborhood. Allowing vacancy to become an opportunity rather than a scar reactivates the void and helps to redefine the city experience when addtional building infill is no longer a current need. 36 Dolan, “Detroit’s Corktown Stages Comeback,” Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2012. 37 Jonathan Oosting “Roosevelt Park Revival: World-Class Skate Plaza Planned Outside Iconic Train Station in Detroit,” MLive, August 18, 2011. http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/08/world-class_detroit_skate_plaz.html (accessed November 10, 2012). 38 “Hostel Detroit,” hostel Detroit, http://www.hosteldetroit.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=55 (accessed November 10, 2012). 39 Dolan, “Detroit’s Corktown Stages Comeback,” Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2012.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY “Detroit’s Corktown.” Faded Detroit. http://fadeddetroit.blogspot.com/2008/01/detroits-corktown.html (accessed November 19, 2012). Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood. Started in the 1830’s the area was quickly filled by Irish immigrants moving to the city. Over the years this residential area was transformed as city redevelopment efforts attempted to transform the area for light industry and freeways divided the neighborhood and separated it from the city. This rise in automobile travel also contributed to the downfall of the neighborhood’s rail stations. As industry has declined and iconic buildings such as the Michigan Central Rail Station and Tiger Stadium were abandoned or demolished much of the area has been left empty. Despite the voids left by decline the area has managed to reinvent itself and attract new residents and businesses. This summary of the book Detroit’s Corktown provides helpful background about the Corktown neighborhood. It is helpful to understand the history and character of the neighborhood in order to best propose a new use for abandoned sites. Without a timeline of site history and an understanding of neighborhood successes and struggles it is impossible to create valuable connections between the new proposal and its surroundings. Herron, Jerry. “Borderland/Borderama/Detroit.” Places (July 6, 2010): page nr. http://places. designobserver.com/feature/borderland-borderama-detroit-part-1/13778/ (accessed October 10, 2012). In “Borderland/Borderama/Detroit” Jerry Herron states, “Detroit sits precisely at the border of city and not-city; its condition renders the conflict between the natural world and the built environment in a specially forceful way.” The city of Detroit currently experiences many border conditions. The city is literally a border, serving as the busiest commercial border crossing in North America with trade between Canada and the US. As Herron mentions it also finds itself sitting on the precarious edge between the grand city of its past and the non-city wasteland it could so easily succumb to. The border between the built and natural world is the always-visible reminder of that balance. Herron states that “its no the actual border that counts, but the way the border gets represented.” The border between wild nature and built environment also depicts this. When left untamed nature often serves as a detractor, strengthening the 14

boundary and spreading its influence, as the sites it takes over seem untamed and undesirable.


weakens this border. These border conditions are an ever-present issue for Detroit today. As it attempts to hang on to the grandeur of its past abandonment allows wild nature to create and advance strong borders. Until the many border issues of Detroit are addressed and the relationship between nature and the built environment can be reconciled they will continue to threaten the city. “Hostel Detroit.” hostel Detroit. http://www.hosteldetroit.com/index.php?option=com_content&vie w=frontpage&Itemid=55 (accessed November 10, 2012). Hostel Detroit was created to be a place “that would grow out of the community, representing the community, and engaging the community. Opened in early 2011 and located in Detroit’s North Corktown neighborhood, the hostel focuses on educating its visitors and integrating them into the city while offering them an affordable place to stay. Guests are linked with different people, resources, and events during their stay in an effort to help them truly

THESIS DOCUMENT | Annotated Bibliography

When nature is controlled and manipulated curbing nature’s attempts at a hostile takeover

experience the city and change their views of the city and its residents. Local “ambassadors” are also provided to the guests to share unique information and resources. This hostel is an interesting concept as it attempts to redefine visitor’s views of the city and also to make valuable contributions to reinventing the city. It is helpful analyze and discover elements such as this to further introduce the character of the city and the neighborhood. While known for its decline there are elements of rebirth and a spirit of restoration in the city that must be taken into consideration.

Jacobs, Jane. “The Curse of Border Vacuums.” In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 257-69. New York: Random House, 1961. “The Curse of Border Vacuums” presents the idea of massive single use entities as formers of borders in urban fabric. These borders are often much more than a passive object and actually exert active influence, often destructively for their neighbors. Jacobs uses railroad tracks as an analogy. Tracks form a border condition and the areas directly adjacent to these edges rarely thrive minus any program directly related to the track itself. In general the city sites that seem to attract the most people are rarely found in zones that immediately adjoin massive single uses. The borders created by entities such as hospital complexes and large parks 15


are often seen as barriers and dead ends. Jacobs sees these areas as necessary but makes the point that the more simplified the territory becomes programmatically the more infertile the territory becomes and this often creates a vacuum of dead space radiating from the territory borders. Jacobs also acknowledges the concentrating power a border can offer in areas that are strong enough to stand alone. These ideas of borders ask architects to consider how their designs interact with the borders of their site and how the built form and its pieces can be placed to activate the edge condition. These ideas can be applied to the thesis as an argument that as many city elements and built forms as possible should be used to create lively, mixed territory and as few as possible to create unnecessary borders. John Gallagher, “Detroit Works Project to Offer Vision for City: Turn Liabilities Into Assets,” Detroit Free Press, August 5, 2012. http://www.freep.com/article/20120805/BUSINESS06/308050048/Detroit-Works-project-to-offer-vision-for-city-Turn-liabilities-into-assets (accessed November 13, 2012). The Detroit Works Project was launched two years ago, in 2010, by Mayor Dave Bing as a two part effort of short term neighborhood pilot programs and a long term look at citywide issues over the next 50 years. The goal is to solve city problems and create a new, improved sense of ownership. The project focuses on several different key areas: economic growth; neighborhoods; public land and facilities; city systems; infrastructure and environment; and land use, zoning, and urban design. Those heading the project assert that Detroit should make assets out of its liabilities and acknowledge that different strategies will be required for different neighborhoods. They hope that strategies such as turning empty factories into “livemake” spaces for artists ad using vacant land for urban farms, reforestation projects, greenway recreation paths, rainwater retention ponds, and other blue-green infrastructure will improve the quality of life for Detroit residents. Looking at projects such as this one give valuable insight into ways cities hope to address their own decline. It is especially relevant as it gives a broad view of how Detroit specifically hopes to put in the effort to reinvent itself. Reviewing these broad proposals also offers a chance to see what can be added to or pulled from the idea for new design projects.

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Jonathan Oosting “Roosevelt Park Revival: World-Class Skate Plaza Planned Outside Iconic Train Station in Detroit,” MLive, August 18, 2011. http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/ index.ssf/2011/08/world-class_detroit_skate_plaz.html (accessed November 10, 2012).


internationally known symbols of Detroit’s decline. Both public and private ownership have been largely unable or unwilling to maintain the area leaving a massive blight for the surrounding neighborhood. The Roosevelt Park Conservancy has hoped to change that. A community initiative, they have proposed small-scale improvements to the site such as an amphitheatre and a skate park. As the community works to improve the site they hope to reclaim the park as a community resource and regional attraction. Projects such this one provide useful ideas about how neighborhoods and cities deal with blight and decline. Like other projects, such as Detroit Works, it is especially helpful to analyze and understand not only these types of efforts but also the specific efforts of the city and neighborhood relative to chosen site.

Kate Stohr, “Shrinking City Syndrome,” New York Times, February 5, 2012. http://www.nytimes. com/2004/02/05/garden/shrinking-citysyndrome.html. (accessed September 16, 2012). Shrinking cities, once seen as isolated anomalies, are becoming startling realities. Cities

THESIS DOCUMENT | Annotated Bibliography

The abandoned Michigan Central Station and surrounding Roosevelt Park have become

that were active centers of growth just a decade ago are now bleeding population and resources. For every two growing cities there are three shrinking and this trend leaves city planners and designers with the challenge of reinventing and reusing current abandoned architecture and effectively reformatting their city to address a newer small size. Stohr’s article uses many shrinking cities in the United Kingdom and former East Germany as examples of places that now fight job loss, an ever shrinking tax base, and empty schools and businesses. Many of these cities have banded together teams of architects, artists, urban planners and others to study shrinkage and propose new projects for each city. The results of the study highlighted in the article are critical of urban planning’s tendency to erase existing structures and start with a blank space. Dan Dubowitz, a Scottish architect, proposes that more creative uses be found for existing abandoned structures and searching for the positives of these spaces rather than focusing on the negatives. Another member of the study, Dan Pitera, also suggests finding new life in abandoned spaces rather than just filling gaps and “recreating a city in an image of its past.” These ideas provide valuable insight into the contributions that can be made to shrinking cities by rebranding versus rebuilding.

Katharine Seelye “Detroit Census Confirms a Desertion Like No Other,” New York Times, March

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22, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/us/23detroit.html?_r=0 (accessed November 19, 2012). Detroit population has declined 25% over the last decade. This is the largest loss for any US city with a population over 100,000 over the last decade, except for New Orleans postKatrina. The cities current population is its lowest since 1910 and makes Detroit the only US city where population has climbed above and fallen below 1 million. The auto industry fueled city growth to make Detroit the 4th largest city in the US by 1920. Losses due to the struggles of the auto industry and the collapse of the industrial based economy have caused the city to drop down to the 10th largest city with a fall as far as 18th place possible. This information is important to frame the level of decline experienced in the city. This level of population exodus contributed to the more than 20% lot vacancy within the city limits. All of this contributes to the emptiness of the city. Analyzing these types of population and vacancy numbers allow one to see Detroit as a city that feels empty of population, physically empty, and therefore empty of ambition and passion.

Matthew Dolan, “Detroit’s Corktown Stages Comeback,” Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2012. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204005004578080990826209414.html (accessed October 30, 2012). Located adjacent to Detroit’s downtown core, the Corktown neighborhood has always been full of historic charm. An ethnic enclave for the city’s Irish immigrants the neighborhood was also home to Tiger Stadium and the city’s Detroit Tigers baseball team for 87 years. In 1999 the Tiger’s left the neighborhood to move to a new stadium downtown. The stadium was demolished in 2009 leaving only a sliver of the former entry gate, a flagpole, and a barren field. As redevelopment proposals for the area floundered, the auto industry failed, and the city and economy declined many feared the once charming neighborhood would be lost to history. In recent years, however, the community has managed to revive itself. The areas historic homes have drawn residents believing in the neighborhood’s charm and potential that have restored and rebuilt them. Public art and local university efforts in the neighborhood have also reinvigorated the area. Meanwhile the Michigan Avenue corridor has become a hot spot for nightlife and restaurants. These are all important factors to consider in analyzing and presenting the true character of Corktown today. It is easy to focus on the negatives of Detroit’s current 18

condition and overlook its success stories. In order to fully understand the city and Corktown,


Pitera, Dan. “Detroit: Syncopating an Urban Landscape.” Places, July 13, 2010. http://places. designobserver.com/feature/detroit-syncopating-an-urban-landscape/14288/ (accessed September 20, 2012). Declining cities are finding themselves in a position where they must reinvent their image and rebrand themselves. Many have focused themselves too much on one single entity, such as the auto industry in Detroit. To be successful moving forward, they must be careful not to fall into the trap of single dependency again. In attempting to rebrand themselves cities such as Detroit have developed numerous strategies to address their conditions. In Detroit some of these include architectural interventions, productive landscapes, and art installations. Projects such as the Heidleburg Project involve the community and community artists in saving their own neighborhoods through community art initiatives. Other projects, such as the frozen house, where a house is frozen in ice, utilized one of the many blighted buildings of Detroit to create

THESIS DOCUMENT | Annotated Bibliography

however, one must look at these efforts as well as the problems.

an attraction and raise awareness of the vacancies. Strategies like these get the community involved in its own rebranding and reinvention. This is an important strategy to analyze and efforts are most likely to succeed when the passion of the community members are behind them. The Plan. Milan - Detroit: Multifaceted Issues for the Contemporary Metropolis. December 2010. http://www.theplan.it/J/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1338:mila no-detroit-una-molteplicita-di-temi-per-la-metropoli-contemporanea&lang=en&Itemid= (accessed November 17, 2012). Voids and density are always important elements in conversations about architecture and urban design. Italian cities have been embracing the void for centuries through the design and use of their various piazzas. In cities such as Milan these voids were “expressly created” as breaks in density. Cities such as Detroit now find themselves experiencing their own void condition. Voids as the “result of decline.” The article states, “In one voids are defined by the surrounding density, in the other the empty spaces neither define nor are defined.” The success of Italian piazzas exhibits the value voids can contribute. Unlike Italian cities, however, Detroit does not have the luxury of dense context and must focus “on redefining the urban experience in a hollowed out city.” The article presents many interesting questions to be asked about the void. “How should [they] be utilized (or created) to promote an overall urban design

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and offer new public space opportunities for the future?” “What sort of density should there be around and inside the voids, and what is the best way to use the huge brown sites left in a post industrial city?” “How can these voids be the pivotal points for a diverse range of ad hoc programmes at the different urban scales to develop a new way of city living?” “How can areas of urban intensity (not to be confused with building density) be created inside the voids rather than around them?” These are all important questions to ask in analyzing the abundance of open space in Detroit today. Finding new ways to embrace and use the void can help the city reinvent itself and reclaim its physical environment.

Ramsey, Clare. “Corktown Visiting Guide.” Model D. http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/ corkvisit.aspx (accessed October 30, 2012). Many assumed that a Corktown without Tiger baseball wouldn’t survive. It would become a shell of its former self and wither, much as its surrounding neighborhoods. Yet the Corktown is surprising all and finding a way to thrive in its post Tigers era. One of the city’s most walkable neighborhoods, the area has become a popular location for dining and nightlife. With no shortage of pubs, dance halls, music venues, and eateries it is easy to park and enjoy a simple evening of wandering from establishment to establishment. During the day these eateries continue to serve diners and office workers from downtown who venture out to sample the popular fare. The neighborhood also places host to yearly events, most famous being the communities St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Past and new residents of the area have also worked to restore Corktown’s historic buildings and charm. In spite of the expected downfall of Detroit’s oldest neighborhood the area has found a way to reinvent itself. All of these elements are important in presenting an accurate picture of the neighborhood today and correctly addressing its needs.

Schwarz, Terry. “Rethinking the Places Inbetween: Stabilization, Regeneration, and Reuse.” In Rebuilding America’s Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, edited by Alan Mallach, 167-83. N.p.: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012. http://americanassembly.org/sites/americanassembly.org/files/download/project/Chapter%20Six%20-%20Rethinking%20the%20Places%20Inbetween.pdf (accessed October 19, 2012). Many declining cities, not just Detroit, are in the midst of attempts at regenerating themselves and addressing rampant vacant lot conditions. When left uncared for these vacant 20

lots often encourage further spread of blight as residents choose to flee shabby areas. Unkempt


least make residents feel less safe. To save shrinking cities these vacant conditions must be addressed. Some cities, such as Cleveland, have already performed studies and come up with strategies. Some strategies involve turning vacant lot conditions into community parks and gardens while others involve turning vacant lots over to adjacent property owners so that the spaces are being cared for. Some other cities, such as Linz, Austria, had more radical proposals such as building walls around vacant sites to maintain density and block out trouble. There are countless answers and ways of addressing blight in today’s declining cities. In order to attempt to propose new strategies it is helpful to first analyze work and strategies that have come before. This allows one to analyze what has been effective and non-effective so as to better address the issue.

Solnit, Rebecca. “Detroit Arcadia: Exploring the Post-American Landscape.” Harper’s Magazine, July 2007. http://harpers.org/archive/2007/07/detroit-arcadia/ (accessed November 19, 2012).

THESIS DOCUMENT | Annotated Bibliography

lots not only detract from the look of the community but also attract crime or at the very

Perhaps more than any other shrinking city Detroit offers an interesting and unique case study. It is an extraordinary mix of typical America and ruin, a cautionary tale of single industry towns. Its transformation has been something North America hasn’t witnessed since, perhaps, the days of the Maya. While Detroit developed and brought the world the automobile it also developed and built the machine that would help destroy it and urban industrialism in the US. The white flight, decentralization, and deindustrialization that Detroit has experienced have placed Detroit in an interesting category. Unlike other cities torn apart by war and natural disaster, such as Hiroshima, Dresden, or San Francisco, Detroit will never go through a massive rebuilding effort. It has become the first of many cities forced to become something else, to reinvent itself. The fascinating mix of new, surviving, and abandoned ruin in the city provide opportunity to Detroit to reinvent a new identity while remembering its past. No story is ever completely black or white and Detroit’s story is no different. The mix of ruin and ordinary write Detroit’s narrative. One cannot add to the story without accepting both sides of the reality.

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BOUNDARIES Built form and vacant space boundaries that can be used to define space. Exisiting conditions can also create boundaries within a site. Architecture can be used to further define or bridge those boundaries.

CONNECTIONS Existing conditions on a site or existing patterns can be used to connect new design to its context.

CASE STUDIES | Precedent as Inspiration

DESIGN PRINCIPLES

RENEWAL Architecture ages with time and sometimes doesn’t meet the new needs of its location. Just as architecture once activated the space rethinking design elements can reactivate and renew the space. PUBLIC SPACES Just as design can be used to define space in built form, built form and architectural design tools can be used to define public space. VOIDS Ground planes and the horizontal plane, often seen as voids in the built environment, can be used and manipulated to work with built form to create spaces. These types of interventions can add programmatic density when building density may not be the best answer.

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Parc de la Villette

Bernard Tschumi | Paris, France

Image Source: hotel-aida-marais-paris.com

Olympic Sculpture Park

Weiss/Manfredi | Seattle, WA

Image Source: archdaily.com

McCormick Tribune Campus Center

Rem Koolhaas (OMA) | Chicago, IL

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Image Source: chronicle.com


Sanaa | Lausanne, Switzerland

Image Source: flickriver.com

Roosevelt Park

CASE STUDIES | Precedent as Inspiration

Rolex Learning Center

urBanDetail & Tadd Heidgerken | Detroit, MI

Image Source: bbandm.files.wordpress.com

Aberdeen City Garden

Diller Scofidio + Renfro | Aberdeen, Scotland

Image Source: designboomcom

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Dilworth Plaza

Olin & Kieran Timberlake | Philadelphia, PA

Image Source: core77.com

International Retreat

Weiss/Manfredi | Location Undisclosed

Image Source: archdaily.com

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Bernard Tschumi | Paris, France Strategy: SITE/LOCATION

Tschumi designed Parc de la Villette, occupying the site of the former Paris slaughterhouses, as a park based on culture rather than nature. The park is designed as a system of dispersed points (the red follies) that foster interaction and act as reference points along demarcated movement paths and amongst green surface space. Theoretically these points create encounters and emphasize movement.

Image Source: philharmoniedeparis.com

Movement

CASE STUDIES | Precedent as Strategy

Parc de la Villette

GRID POINTS

Surface Image Source: europeantrips.org

McCormick Tribune Campus Center

Rem Koolhaas (OMA) | Chicago, IL Strategy: SITE/LOCATION

The campus center was placed on an existing campus parking lot that was divided by Chicago’s elevated rail. Koolhaas’ design integrates the paths students used to cross the site as circulation pathways in the new building. The existing railline is also integrated into the building form. The project uses and embraces the existing site conditions to inform the new design.

Image Source: wikipedia.com

Movement

Existing Rail

Image Source: flikr.com/photos/eridony

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Rolex Learning Center

Sanaa | Lausanne, Switzerland

Strategy: THEORETICAL INTENTIONS/PRINCIPLES

Image Source: funimag.com

In designing the Rolex Center SANAA hoped to eliminate boundaries while defining space with voids and topographical changes. Pulling parts of the building form up from the groundplane creates circulation space that connects to the campus. Voids cut through the building to create spaces underneath by opening up to the sky. These voids also create the boundaries that form the interior space. The rippling effect created by the pulls also creat topography to help to define interior space.

Image Source: flikr.com/photos/oxmox

Olympic Sculpture Park

Weiss/Manfredi | Seattle, WA

Strategy: THEORETICAL INTENTIONS/PRINCIPLES

Image Source: archdaily.com

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Image Source: archdaily.com

The site of the Olympic Sculpture Park consissts of 3 former brownfield sites divided by an existing roadway and railway. Rather than ignoring these boundaries or allowing them to divide the new site Weiss/Manfredi chose to embrace them. The design crosses them and creates views down into them allowing the infrastructure to help connect the site to the surrounding city rather than act as a boundary.


urBanDetail & Tadd Heidgerken | Detroit, MI Strategy: PROGRAM/USE

The framework of the park’s renewal works as an organizational system of community based programmatic interventions to be added over time. Program elements such as an amphitheater, skate park, and athletic courts attract visitors and help to support the surrounding community. Image Source: mlive.com

CASE STUDIES | Precedent as Strategy

Roosevelt Park

Image Source: observatory.designobserver.com

Aberdeen City Garden (Proposal) Diller Scofidio + Renfro | Aberdeen, Scotland Strategy: PROGRAM/USE

This city garden designed for the center of Aberdeen integrates nature and culture with a 3D network of connections. Pathways are created from relevant site lines and help to define the community cultural spaces as well as fit circulation neds. The program draws in the community and adds them to the layers of the city. and it’s history.

Image Source: designboom.com

Image Source: designboom.com

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Olympic Sculpture Park

Weiss/Manfredi | Seattle, WA

Strategy: MATERIAL/TECHNOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS In order to bridge and connect the 3 existing brownfield sites Weiss/Manfredi manipulated the ground plane to create a progression from the city above to the water front. This grassy groundplane creates a surface that defines the base formation of the site, emphasizes the zig-zag form, and helps to define the different distinguishing elements placed upon and below it (i.e. the path or the infrastructure cuts).

Image Source: archdaily.com

Parc de la Villette

Bernard Tschumi | Paris, France

Strategy: MATERIAL/TECHNOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS The follies at Parc de la Villette are placed on a grid to create referenece points throughout the site. They help to define movenet through the park and attempt to add an element at the human scale, contrasting with the expansive groundplane. This could be viewed as the reverse of urban conditions where dense built fabric distorts the human scale until a garden, plaza, or other open space is stumbled upon.

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Image Source: archdaily.com


Olin & Kieran Timberlake | Philadelphia, PA Strategy: CULTURAL/HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Dilworth Plaza has been viewed as an unsuccessful urban renewal project. Olin’s new proposal for the site covers the transportation center below, bringing the groundplane back to the level of city hall. The historic hall behind serves as a backdrop for activity and newer modern elements in the plaza. The design of the glass entrances to the lower levels as well as the color paths that light up and follow the paths of the trains below also reference the sites transportation functions and history.

Image Source: core77.com

CASE STUDIES | Precedent as Strategy

Dilworth Plaza

Image Source: core77.com

International Retreat

Weiss/Manfredi | Location Undisclosed Strategy: CULTURAL/HISTORICAL CONTEXT

This UN retreat, built on a secluded estate, is located on a site that already featured a number of historic structures. Weiss/Manfredi embraced these historic buildings and redesigned and subtracted from them to integrate the surrounding landscape and minimize the percieved boundaries between interior and exterior landscape.

Existing

Carve

Add

Image Source: archdaily.com

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CASE STUDY BIBLIOGRAPHY PARC DE LA VILLETTE Kroll , Andrew . “AD Classics: Parc de la Villette / Bernard Tschumi” 09 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 07 Oct 2012. <http://www.archdaily.com/92321>. “Parc De La Villette.” Bernard Tschumi Architects. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.tschumi. com/projects/3/>.

OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK Minner , Kelly . “Olympic Sculpture Park / Weiss Manfredi” 06 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 07 Oct 2012. <http://www.archdaily.com/101836>. “Seattle Art Museum: Olympic Sculpture Park.” Weiss/Manfredi. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.weissmanfredi.com/project/seattle-art-museum-olympic-sculpture-park>.

MCCORMICK TRIBUNE CAMPUS CENTER “IIT McCormick Tribune Campus Center, USA, Chicago, 2003.” OMA. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. < http://oma.eu/projects/2003/iit-mccormick-tribune-campus-center>. Rolex Learning Center “SANAA: Rolex Learning Center.” Designboom. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.designboom. com/weblog/cat/9/view/9197/sanaa-rolex-learning-center.html>.

ROOSEVELT PARK “Roosevelt Park / Detroit, MI.” Urban Detail LLC. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2012. <http://www.urban-detail. com/>.

ABERDEEN CITY GARDEN “Aberdeen City Garden.” Diller Scofidio + Renfro. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.dsrny.com/>. “Diller Scofidio + Renfro Win Aberdeen City Garden Competition.” Designboom. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/18640/diller-scofidio-renfro-win-aberdeen-citygarden-competition.html>.

DILWORTH PLAZA “Dilworth Plaza.” OLIN. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.theolinstudio.com/flash>. Shapiro, Ilyssa. “DesignPhiladelphia 2011: Transforming Dilworth Plaza.” Core77.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.core77.com/blog/design_festivals/designphiladelphia_2011_transforming_dilworth_ plaza_20907.asp>.

INTERNATIONAL RETREAT Cilento , Karen . “International Retreat / Weiss/Manfredi” 13 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 07 Oct 2012. <http://www.archdaily.com/103390>.

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“International Retreat.” Weiss/Manfredi. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.weissmanfredi.com/ project/international-retreat>.


SITE

CITY

Detroit, Michigan

NEIGHBORHOOD

Corktown & North Corktown

SITE

2121 Trumball Avenue (Old Tiger Stadium Site)

572’

899’ approx. 447,734 sq.ft. 670’

611’

33


AMERICA’S SHRINKING CITIES

Cities With A Population Decline of At Least 20% (From Peak Over 100,000)

34


CITY 



ʣˍ˔ˑːʏʱʪ    ʣˎ˄˃ː˛ʏʰʻ    ʤ˃ˎ˖ˋˏˑ˔ˇʏʯʦ   ʤˋ˔ˏˋːˉˊ˃ˏʏʣʮ   ʤˑ˕˖ˑːʏʯʣ    





   

Buffalo, NY

Cleveland, OH 









Gary, IN

ʪ˃ˏˏˑːˆʏʫʰ    ʪ˃˔˖ˈˑ˔ˆʏʥʶ    ʬˇ˔˕ˇ˛ʥˋ˖˛ʏʰʬ   ʯˋːːˇ˃˒ˑˎˋ˕ʏʯʰ   ʰˇ˙˃˔ˍʏʰʬ    ʰˇ˙ʪ˃˘ˇːʏʥʶ   ʰˇ˙ʱ˔ˎˇ˃ː˕ʏʮʣ  

ʓʛʛʏʓʓʒ ʛʙʏʚʗʘ

     

Niagara Falls, NY

ʔʓʔʏʔʕʙ

ʲ˔ˑ˘ˋˆˇː˅ˇʏʴʫ   ʴˇ˃ˆˋːˉʏʲʣ    ʴˑ˅ˊˇ˕˖ˇ˔ʏʰʻ   ʵ˅˔˃ː˖ˑːʏʲʣ    ʵˑ˗˖ˊʤˇːˆʏʫʰ  

ʘʓʙʏʘʛʖ 53.4%

Youngstown, OH

ʙʙʏʕʖʖ

ʓʔʖʏʗʗʗ

37.6%

ʙʕʏʒʒʙ

ʓʓʘʏʛʓʔ 25.6%

ʔʏʘʛʗʏʗʛʚ 41.1%

ʔʛʘʏʛʖʕ

914,808

46.1%

ʔʘʔʏʕʕʔ

61.4%

1,840,568 26.5%

ʓʒʓʏʙʚʘ 43.4%

ʓʒʔʏʖʕʖ

178,320 27.6%

ʚʒʏʚʕʒ

30.1%

ʓʔʖʏʒʘʒ

21.8%

ʔʖʙʏʗʖʙ

26.7%

ʕʚʔʏʗʙʚ 37.3%

ʔʙʙʏʓʖʒ

   

ʓʔʛʏʙʙʛ 45.2%

54.8%

 

20.8%

ʚʚʏʒʚʔ 36.7%



ʓʒʓʏʓʘʚ 62.7%

25.2%

ʛʘʏʘʓʒ

33.7% 38.8%

66,982

ʓʓʓʏʓʙʓ

ʓʕʔʏʖʖʗ

ʔʔʒʏʗʚʕ ʕʚʕʏʚʓʚ ʓʔʚʏʒʒʛ ʓʒʓʏʙʖʒ

25.0% 60.6%

ʔʗʔʏʛʚʓ

856,796 34.2%

ʘʒʓʏʙʔʕ

ʔʏʒʙʓʏʛʒʗ

ʓʖʕʏʕʕʕ 23.6%

ʘʔʏʔʕʗ

ʓʘʖʏʖʖʕ

ʕʕʔʏʖʚʚ

46.9%

ʚʖʏʛʓʕ

ʗʓʔʏʙʓʚ

676,806 29.6%

ʓʖʗʏʓʙʒ

ʕʓʘʏʙʓʗ

102,394 26.3%

ʓʙʚʏʒʖʔ

319,294

ʓʙʙʏʕʛʙ

ʘʔʙʏʗʔʗ

51.0%

ʙʘʏʒʚʛ

ʓʓʓʏʘʛʚ

ʖʖʔʏʕʕʙ 21.1%

ʔʓʒʏʗʘʗ

ʓʚʚʏʖʖʒ ʓʛʘʏʛʖʒ

55.0%

ʕʖʕʏʚʔʛ

ʕʏʘʔʒʏʛʘʔ ʗʒʕʏʛʛʚ

56.6%

ʓʖʓʏʗʔʙ

ʚʒʓʏʖʖʖ

580,132 37.9%

305,704 

St. Louis, MO ʵ˛˔˃˅˗˕ˇʏʰʻ    ʶˑˎˇˆˑʏʱʪ    ʶ˔ˇː˖ˑːʏʰʬ    ʷ˖ˋ˅˃ʏʰʻ    ʹ˃˕ˊˋːˉ˖ˑːʏʦʥ   

ʕʖʒʏʚʚʙ 22.9%

ʓʏʗʔʘʏʒʒʘ

Pittsburgh, PA

ʛʖʛʏʙʒʚ

37.7%

50,194

ʲˊˋˎ˃ˆˇˎ˒ˊˋ˃ʏʲʣ  

ʓʕʖʏʛʛʗ

34.6%

ʘʔʒʏʛʘʓ

713,777

ʔʛʒʏʕʗʓ

27.5%

80,294 

PEAK

34.5%

396,815 

Detroit, MI ʧ˔ˋˇʏʲʣ   ʨˎˋː˖ʏʯʫ  

POPULATION

270,240

ʥ˃ˏˆˇːʏʰʬ    ʥ˃ː˖ˑːʏʱʪ     ʥˊˋ˅˃ˉˑʏʫʮ    ʥˋː˅ˋːː˃˖ˋʏʱʪ   

ʦ˃˛˖ˑːʏʱʪ  

2010

SITE | The Shrinking City Condition



ʚʒʔʏʙʓʚ

170,002

35


DESTINATION MOTOR CITY

America’s Defining Shrinking City & It’s Declining Neighborhoods

MICHIGAN population declined 0.6% from 2000-2010. The only state to shrink.

WAYNE COUNTY population has declined 0.5% since the collapse of the auto industry.

DETROIT population, once America’s 4th largest, now hovers around 700,000.

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Population: 1,196 Average Household Income (2010 Census): Corktown $33,965 Detroit $38,979 Median Age: MALES Corktown 37.8 Detroit 30.9 FEMALES Corktown 36.0 Detroit 32.5 Total Population 25 & Older: 897 Average Household Size: Corktown 2.0 Detroit 2.8 Total Housing Units: 774 Occupied 74.3% Unoccupied 25.7%

SITE | The Shrinking City Condition

CORKTOWN

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CITY OF DETROIT, MICHIGAN The City Scale

Detroit is possibly Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest example of a shrinking city. Once a world leader in innovation and industry the home of the auto industry has suffered from suburbinazation, racial tension, the fall of the American auto industry, and the economic downturn. Detroit today is merely a shell of what once existed. While the downtown area has recently begun to reinvent and rejuvenate itself much of the city suffers from abandonment and blight.

Image Source: existentialistcowboy.blogspot.com

Image Source: flikr.com

Image Source: theatlantic.com

Image Source: autoblog.com

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Image Source: meganrolph.files.wordpress.com

Image Source: erickimphotography.com


SITE | City of Detroit

IMPORTANT SITES

Landmarks/Buildings/Cities/Parks/Neighborhoods

HIGHLAND PARK

Motown Museum

Detroit Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum

HAMTRAMCK GM Detroit - Hamtramck Assembly Center

Detroit Institute of Art Museum of Contemporary Art

CORKTOWN

Cobo Hall & Joe Louis Arena

Ambassador Bridge

BELLE ISLE

WINDSOR, CANADA Detroit Renaissance Center Ford Field

DOWNTOWN DETROIT Comerica Park

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POPULATION DENSITY, 1930 By Census Tract

ʲʧʴʵʱʰʵʲʧʴʵʳʷʣʴʧʯʫʮʧ ʖʒʏʒʒʒʐʘʖʏʛʓʒ ʕʒʏʒʒʒʐʕʛʏʛʛʛ ʔʒʏʒʒʒʐʔʛʏʛʛʛ ʓʒʏʒʒʒʐʓʛʏʛʛʛ ʗʏʒʒʒʐʛʏʛʛʛ ʗʒʐʖʏʛʛʛ ʰˑʲˑ˒˗ˎ˃˖ˋˑː

POPULATION DENSITY, 1950 By Census Tract

ʲʧʴʵʱʰʵʲʧʴʵʳʷʣʴʧʯʫʮʧ ʖʒʏʒʒʒʐʚʒʏʓʗʒ ʕʒʏʒʒʒʐʕʛʏʛʛʛ ʔʒʏʒʒʒʐʔʛʏʛʛʛ ʓʒʏʒʒʒʐʓʛʏʛʛʛ ʗʏʒʒʒʐʛʏʛʛʛ ʚʐʖʏʛʛʛ

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By Census Tract

SITE | City of Detroit

POPULATION DENSITY, 1970

ʲʧʴʵʱʰʵʲʧʴʵʳʷʣʴʧʯʫʮʧ ʕʒʏʒʒʒʐʕʛʏʗʚʔ ʔʒʏʒʒʒʐʔʛʏʛʛʛ ʓʒʏʒʒʒʐʓʛʏʛʛʛ ʗʏʒʒʒʐʛʏʛʛʛ ʖʒʗʐʖʏʛʛʛ

POPULATION DENSITY, 1990 By Census Tract

ʲʧʴʵʱʰʵʲʧʴʵʳʷʣʴʧʯʫʮʧ ʓʒʏʒʒʒʐʓʘʏʛʒʓ ʗʏʒʒʒʐʛʏʛʛʛ ʓʓʗʐʖʏʛʛʛ ʰˑʲˑ˒˗ˎ˃˖ˋˑː

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POPULATION DENSITY, 2010 By Census Tract

ʲʧʴʵʱʰʵʲʧʴʵʳʷʣʴʧʯʫʮʧ ʓʒʏʒʒʓʐʓʘʏʒʗʓ ʗʏʒʒʓʐʓʒʏʒʒʒ ʘʐʗʏʒʒʒ ʰˑʲˑ˒˗ˎ˃˖ˋˑː

PERCENTAGE OF VACANT LOTS Of Total Residential Parcels

ʤˎˑ˅ˍʩ˔ˑ˗˒˕ʧ˚˅ˎ˗ˆˇˆ ʒʆʐʓʔʎʗʆ ʓʔʎʘʆʐʔʗʆ ʔʗʎʓʆʐʗʒʆ ʗʒʎʓʆʐʓʒʒʆ

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Vacant & Abandoned Lots In the City Vacant Lots

SITE | City of Detroit

DETROITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S VACANT LOTS

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GREENING THE CITY

Activating Voids With Urban Farming, Community Gardens, & Public Green Space Vacant Lots Public Green Space Urban Farms & Community Gardens

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Zoning Employment & Encouraging Renewal Through Innovative Businesses Primary Employment Districts Secondary Employment Districts (Industrial) Innovative Businesses & Venture Start Ups hoping to help improve the city

SITE | City of Detroit

INNOVATIVE ECONOMY

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CORKTOWN/NORTH CORKTOWN The Neighborhood Scale

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Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood. Started in the 1830’s the area was quickly filled by Irish immigrants moving to the city from Ireland’s County Cork. Over the years this residential area was transformed as city redevelopment efforts attempted to transform the area for light industry. Eventually the neighborhood was divided and sperarated from the city with the addition of freeways. The rise in automobile travel also contributed to the downfall of the neighborhood’s rail stations. As industry has declined and iconic buildings such as the Michigan Central Rail Station and Tiger Stadium were abandoned or demolished major voids have been left in the neighborhood fabric. Despite the voids left by decline the area has managed to reinvent itself and attract new residents and businesses. Michigan Avenue has become a center for dining, and nightlife while residents attracted to the potential of the area have begun to renovate and rebuild the areas historic homes. On the north side of the freeways in North Corktown urban farming efforts and additions such as Hostel Detroit hope to add valuable contributions to the community.

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SITE | Corktown Neighborhood

IMPORTANT SITES

Businesses/Buildings/etc.

BURTON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Brother Nature Urban Farm Hostel Detroit Spaulding Court Townhouses Nancy’s Whiskey Bar

MOTORCITY CASINO & HOTEL Franklin Adult Education

MGM GRAND DETROIT

Detroit Public Works

Slow’s BBQ Sugar House Astro Coffee O’Conner Realty JL’s Lounge Gaelic League Irish American Club Mercury Burger Bar

Roosevelt Park

Brooklyn St Local PJ’s Lager House Detroit Insitute of Bagels Corktown Inn Nemo’s Baile Corcaigh Bar

SITE, OLD TIGER STADIUM

MICHIGAN CENTRAL STATION

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NEIGHBORHOOD VACANCY Corktown’s Vacant Lots Vacant Lots

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Public Green Space & Community Gardnens Vacant Lots Public Green Space Urban Farms & Community Gardens

SITE | Corktown Neighborhood

NEIGHBORHOOD GREEN

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NEIGHBORHOOD EMPLOYMENT

Existing Assets/Potential Growth Core Employment Zone Existing Industrial Anchor/Asset Potential Business Investment Opportunity Arts/Entertainment Asset Civic Asset

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Within the City Framework/Public Transit Michigan Avenue (City Diagram) Public Transit (Neighborhood)

SITE | Corktown Neighborhood

NEIGHBORHOOD CIRCULATION

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CORKTOWN MAP, 1885 Before the Freeways

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Before Stadium Demolished

SITE | Corktown Neighborhood

CORKTOWN MAP, 1999

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2121 TRUMBALL AVE.

The Site of Old Tiger Stadium For 87 years, what was fondly known as “the corner” played host to baseball’s Detroit Tigers. In 1999 the Tigers moved downtown to new Comerica Park, abandoning the beloved old Tiger Stadium. Redevelopment proposals for the stadium and site were unsuccessful and it 2009 the city demolished the stadium leaving a massive void in a place that had once been a thriving heart and attractor for the neighborhood.

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SITE | Project Site

NEIGHBORHOOD CIRCULATION Streets/Connections/Boundaries

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE OLD TIGER STADIUM Vacant Brooks Lumber

Checker Cab

Builder Direct

COMMERCIAL/DINING

Oblivian Restaurant Casey’s Pub Maltese American Benevolent Backstreet Firestone Car Service

St Peter’s Episcopal Vacant Eaton Detroit Spring Inc. Great Wall Chinese Restaurant Marathon Subway Corktown Tavern

Detroit Athletic Co.

COMMERCIAL/ DINING

Hoots on the Avenue Michigan Avenue Lofts Team Screen Printing

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SITE, 1885

Before the Stadium & Freeways

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With Stadium

SITE | Project Site

SITE, 1999

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SITE, 2011 Post Stadium

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- How does proposed program interact and connect with existing program around the site? - How do existing program and proposed program work together to enhance and contribute to the community? -How does project connect to neighborhood and surrounding elements? - How is vacancy programmed to celebrate the void while contributing to its surroundings? - How does project attract attention and visibility? - How are the changing weather conditions of Midwest seasons, especially the sharp contrast of winter and summer, considered in program and use?

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

PROGRAM | Project Description

ISSUES TO CONSIDER

The construction of I-75 divided the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit into the original neighborhood to the south of the interstate and North Corktown to the north. The corridor of southern Corktown between I-75 and Michigan Avenue was once home to Tiger Stadium and often viewed as the heart of the community. Since the economic downturn, The Detroit Tigers move downtown to Comerica Park, and the subsequent demolishment of old Tiger Stadium the neighborhood has suffered, much as the rest of the city. Primarily residential North Corktown has been devastated and struggled since the border of I-75 was carved. On the southern side there is a greater relationship with downtown and the holes left by vacant lots and the former stadium are interspersed with restaurants, bars, and retail. These businesses have begun to flourish and have become a source of pride and revenue for the community. How can the vacant spaces be used to recall history, create a new heart for the community, and support and connect the existing context? An abandoned block in Detroitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Corktown neighborhood once housed historic

Tiger

Stadium and acted as a heart for itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surrounding community and city. By embracing this collective spirit the site can now be reimagined to contribute to and better both Corktown and the city of Detroit. Community garden plots, carbon forestry, and public green space create a sustainable framework on the site. Outdoor market spaces, storefronts, a community rec center, and an small business incubator fit into the framework and help create a site devoted to studying, teaching, and creating new innovative strategies for bettering the city and its residents.

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EXISTING PROGRAM AROUND SITE COMMERCIAL BUSINESS & RETAIL

Checker Cab Service O’Connor Realty Team Screen Printing Sam’s Pawn Shop Brooks Lumber Builder Direct Greening of Detroit Prudential Landmark Xcalibur Salon Integrated Media Technologies True Body Fitness

BARS & DINING

Slow’s BBQ Astro Coffee Corktown Tavern JL’s Lounge Sugar House Oblivian Casey’s Pub Backstreet White Castle Hoots on the Avenue Unnamed Italian Restaurant Renovation in Progress Maltese American Benevolent Society Nemos PJ Lager House Brooklyn Street Local Detroit Institute of Bagels

LIVING

Grinnel Place Condos Brooklyn Park Lofts Michigan Avenue Lofts Honor & Folly Bed & Breakfast

MISCELLANEOUS

Gaelic League Irish American Club F’nite Art Gallery 2 Existing One Story Commercial Warehouses Currently For Sale

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RETAIL & COMMUNITY GATHERING SPACE Learning/Media Center/Exhibit Space Retail Spaces (3 @ 3,000 sq ft) Dining Space Learning Kitchen Dining Area

19,500 sq ft

2,000 sq ft 2,500 sq ft

BUSINESS INCUBATOR

28,800 sq ft

Entrance/Lobby Flexible Rental Office Space Shared Meeting Rooms (varying sizes) Shared Conference Rooms (3 @ varying sizes) Greenhouse Space

2,000 sq ft 16,000 sq ft 3,000 sq ft 4,800 sq ft 3,000 sq ft

COMMUNITY REC CENTER Entrance Lobby Information/Guest Services Desk Fitness Center Gymnasium 2 Basketball Courts Cardio/Stretching Spaces Recreational Weight Area Dance/Aerobics Studios (2 @ 1,500 sq ft) Locker Rooms & Restrooms (2 @ 2,000 sq ft) Administration Offices (10 @ 150 sq ft) Conference Room Break Room Storage Classroom Space

6,000 sq ft 9,000 sq ft 4,500 sq ft

PROGRAM | Existing & New Program

NEW PROGRAM

59,450 sq ft 1,000 sq ft 1,000 sq ft 19,500 sq ft 20,500 sq ft 6,200 sq ft

1,500 sq ft 500 sq ft 250 sq ft 500 sq ft 1,500 sq ft

2,000 sq ft 46,200 sq ft

3,000 sq ft 4,000 sq ft 4,250 sq ft

MISCELLANEOUS Receiving Area/Trash Restrooms Service Circulation, Mechanical/Electrical, Walls

32,325 sq ft

2,500 sq ft as required by code 30% of net

OUTDOOR SPACES Carbon Forest

Farm & Garden Space Green Space Market 61


AME (ACCOUVEUR MULTIPLICATEUR Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ENTREPRISES) Wesh | Angers, France The goal behind AME is to create a world where different companies can develop and grow with shared, provided services. All of the elements are wrapped in a bioclimatic greehouse. The interior space is split into a common space and forest. Common spaces fill and carve into this greenhouse environment. The configuration of the spaces is also adaptable to best fit the needs of the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inhabitants.

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Image Source: archdaily.com

Created as an anchor for the urban development of Edmonton the building works to blend natural landscape and the needs of the community. The roof form is drawn from the surrounding prairie landscape and the program is arranged in striations so that these striations and the circulation can blend with and pull the natural landscape into the building experience.

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PROGRAM | Programmatic Precedents

MEADOWS COMMUNITY REC CENTRE & EDMONTON PUBLIC LIBRARY Group 2 & Shore Tilbe Perkins + Will Edmonton, Canada

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EAST OAKLAND SPORTS CENTER ELS Architecture | Oakland, CA The East Oakland Sports Center is a community sports, recreation, and aquatics center aimed at revitalizing the drug and gang ridden neighborhood of Brookfield in Oakland, CA. Phase 1 of the project is 25,000 sq ft and features a 9,000 sq ft aquatics center, a 3,600 sq ft fitness center, a 3,300 sq ft dance and aerobic studio, locker rooms, lobby, and a learning and media center. Phase 2 will add an additional 25,000 sq ft with a 2 court gymnasium, suspended running track and 25 yard x 25 meter competivitve swimming pool. The rest of the 11 acre site will feature baseball and soccer fields.

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Located in the Chamberi District of Madrid Spain, the project takes the place of an old stadium complex that featured a locally famous stadium and various complementary sports facilities. The design hopes to embrace and interact with the city while creating a metting point and activity focus revolving around sport. The architects also focused on integrating the building into itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environment and creating stong relationships with the outside and streets.

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PROGRAM | Programmatic Precedent

VALLEHERMOSO SPORTS CENTRE ABM Arquitectos | Madrid, Spain

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DIVIDE lot into 10’x10’ Farm Plot Grid

FRAME lot with Carbon Forest (lining roads/freeways)

CARVE striations, opening the site to the main street

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PROGESS | Site Strategy

CREATE framework of striations to inform circulation and program placement on site

PLACE building and program in framework

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BUSINESS INCUBATOR

COMMUNITY REC CENTER

RETAIL & COMMUNITY GATHERING SPACE

RUNNING TRACK CONNECTING FITNESS CENTER AND LANDCAPE

CIRCULATION THROUGH SITE

COMMUNITY GARDEN AND MARKET SPACES

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are placed on front facade to continue the language of the landwcape within the facade framework

FRITTED GLASS PANELS

are mixed with regular glass panels within the framework of the facade

GREENHOUSE BOXES

are placed to continue the language of

PROGESS | Program & Building Components

PANELS FOR PLANT GROWTH

landscape within the building framework

SHARED MEETING ROOMS & PUBLIC SPACES are pulled from the building framework

BUILDING FRAMEWORK

SITE FRAMEWORK

holds community garden plots,, mixed in with public green space covered structures house market and farm service spaces carbon forest fhugs street edge providing potential space for green parking strategies

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PROGESS | Site & Floor Plans

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FARM & AERIAL STREET VIEWS

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PROGESS | Final Documentation

MODEL PHOTOS

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PROGESS | Final Documentation

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Emma Hoppstock - Thesis Booklet